Authenticity, Gratitude, Personal

How to Stay Warm on the Surface of Mars (See also: Duluth, Minnesota)

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

-Albert Camus



Brrr, baby, brrr!

Here I sit, swaddled in my cherished oversize red fleece blanket, appreciating the blessings of forced air heating & double-pane glass. Life is good.

Sure, the outside temps mirror those on the surface of Mars (Currently in Duluth: 26 below Fahrenheit, with a nippy windchill of -57). But there’s still plenty to be grateful for.

I am grateful to work from a home office (or, like today, from my enveloping sectional couch).

I am grateful the days are getting longer, bit by bit.

I am grateful for time off from shooting client work, so I can focus on the backend of my business, resulting in huge improvements for my lovely clients!

I am grateful for a husband who works year-round at a ski resort, whose technical layering system expertise has rubbed off on me. Seriously. I am now a performance outerwear nerd. Just call me the Maestro of Merino wool. The prodigy of poofy goose down.

Okay, you get my drift.


Above: We decided to go snowshoeing yesterday, you know, as you do when it’s 20 below. Hair & eyelash frost abounds! I, of course, photographed our frosty faces, turning it into a polar styled shoot.


A few of my favorite must-haves for cold temps? In no particular order:

1.) A pair of Kodiak Steger Mukluks: As their tagline proclaims, they are indeed the warmest boots in the world. Amen! I’m the girl with constant popsicle-toes (even in the summer), so these babies rock my world.

2.) Anything from Outdoor Research: Happy, woolly, fleecy goodness! All technical terms, of course. The Women’s Salida Long Hoody is my go-to. Pretty sure I’ve worn it everyday since I got it.

3.) A pair of Stormy Kromer Ida’s Mittens: Yesterday, we went snowshoeing in -20 temps. My hands were sweating in these mitties.

4.) Though not clothing, it’s effective, and oh-so-domestic: A big humidifier that humidifies the entire house. Thermostat stays lower, house feels warmer. Win-win. In other news, I am actually a middle-aged housewife from the ’50s.

5.) The act of home brewing: Exciting news! I brewed my first solo batch of homebrew on New Year’s Eve. Though a bit of an energy hog, the brewing process sure keeps the house nice & steamy. With a malty, hoppy aromatic finish, of course. For those who care (surely not many), it’s a Chinook IPA. I’ll let you know if it’s drinkable in about six weeks.

Pictured below: Yesterday’s brazen snowshoe adventure. Note Exhibit A on the right: Mukluks hard at work.


So tell me: how are YOU staying warm?

Sometimes, I think it’s all about attitude. I love being a hardy Minnesotan — there’s this stubborn, feisty part of me that says, “Bring it on, Mother Nature!”

It makes us stronger. Let’s raise our shovels to that!



Much Love,





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