mind, body, spirit | february

This may be stating the obvious, but if you live in a colder climate, February is kind of the worst. Apologies to those of you with February birthdays, but you're biased because you automatically have fun stuff to do this month. For the rest of us, of course we can find ways to keep ourselves entertained, but they're harder to come by than in the gentler months.

In Montreal, we always had Nuit Blanche in at the end of the month, and it would arrive just in time. Because nothing lifts you out of the winter blues like a mulled wine-fueled night of walking around a beautiful city full of artwork. This almost always fell on the coldest night of the year, but I'd gladly shiver through the snow because I was surrounded by some of my favourite people and we were always having fun (and wearing 10 layers of clothing).

Luckily, Madison is a city that does winter well, too. There are lots of winter/snow/ice festivals and by virtue of being a college town, there is always a lot to do in general. In these first six weeks, we've barely scratched the surface, but I feel like we're starting to get acquainted with this new city and what it has to offer.

Since I believe in always being proactive about my state of wellbeing, I really make it a priority to seek out things that make me feel good, especially during the colder months. I had to think harder about what those things were this time around, and in doing so I realized that they might help you as well.

And with that, I happily introduce a new monthly feature: Mind, Body, Spirit (winter survival edition).

MIND


I love to listen as I work, but I find music distracting. I love it too much and I always end up singing along, trying to memorize the words. But, silence is pretty lonely when you're working alone, so podcasts are the perfect solution. It's just amazing to me that I can hear from so many amazing people around the world, in the form of in-depth conversations. I particularly love these interviewers, because they ask thoughtful questions and garner amazing (and sometimes awkward) responses. Here are my favourite podcasts right now:

Musea (photography and business - interviews with creatives)
A Man to Fish (art and business - explores the business side of creative entrepreneurship )
Design*Sponge (art and design - be inspired by artists and business people around the world)
WTF with Marc Maron (comedy and life - brian and I listen to these on all our long drives)

BODY


All the change this year has wrought has been wonderful for my sense of adventure, but terrible for my skin. I'd had enough dermatological drama, so I invested in a Clarisonic. Every day, this little machine polishes up my face, sloughs away the dull skin and helps clear blemishes faster. As much as it's possible to love an object, I love this tool.

Secondly, I've been getting lots of use out of my Spin Pins, as they hold my hair in a neat bun beautifully, and even keeping things in place on the treadmill. Thank you Christina for the tip/gift!

Yesterday, a package arrived from our dear friends Jennie and Zach. It was filled with two beautiful mugs and some of our favourite flavours from DAVIDsTEA. It was a warm hug and a taste of Canada in a cardboard box, and my heart just about burst as I opened it.

SPIRIT

Bill Cunningham New York. See this beautiful film, this incredibly inspiring documentary. If you love photography, fashion, or people who are the absolute best, find a way to see this. Brian and I watched it last night at free screening by the Wisconsin Union Directorate's Film Committee. I laughed, I cried, and I revere the film's subject. A special thanks goes to my amazing 2013 bride and fellow photographer, Karly, for recommending it.