Living Life the Wong Way --In Pursuit of Happiness and Food!

Winter is Coming

Are you dreading winter?

Winter is coming so might as well make the best of it. I’m really trying to embrace it by adopting hygge (pronounced hue-guh). Hygge, for a lack of a better word, is equivalent to cozy. You can read a brief description of it here.

The temperature has really dropped here in Northern California. The nights have been in the mid-’30s and it’s not even officially winter yet.

To combat the cool balmy weather, I’ve been baking a lot. I’m sure the extra padding from the baked goods will keep me warmer, right? My two favorite recipe has been: flaky apple pie and peanut butter cookies. In all seriousness, I’m really trying not to dread winter.

Here are some recent and not so recent finds that have made winter more enjoyable for me.

  1. Piedmont 30 in. Steel Fire Pit in Black with Poker – We’ve recently finished adding pavers to our backyard and reclaimed back more than half of our reusable yard space. We thought about adding a permanent stone firepit but ultimately decided against it and opted for a standalone one. I’m about to order this and am looking forward to making s’mores in our backyard.
  2. Sun’s Tea Ceramic Teapot Warmer – I’ve had this for a few years now. I first got the idea when I went for dim sum and they had a teapot warmer and I thought, what a brilliant idea! I went on Amazon and found a similar one. It keeps my tea hot with just a tealight. Who wants cold tea on a cold day, right?
  3. Assam Black Tea Leaves – I’ve never had British style tea (with milk and sugar) until I had tea service at Victoria’s Fairmont Empress Hotel. If you’ve never had tea here before, it really is a must-try. It’s quite beautiful and elaborate. I loved their tea so much that I’ve ordered from them online multiple times and it’s such a delight to enjoy a hot cup of tea on a cold day. If you find their tea cost-prohibitive, I highly suggest you try Vahdam Tea’s Assam tea, which is also of excellent quality. It’s a nice strong fragrant tea complemented with milk and sugar.
  4. Soyworx 50 Soy Tealights Unscented All Natural Color White Tea Light – These natural unscented tealights goes well with the ceramic teapot warmer. It also adds a really nice natural glow to set the hygge mood. After the wax is melted and it has cooled down a bit, I use it to moisturize my hands too. No waste!
  5. Brookstone Heated Throw – I bought this at the Costco warehouse for $29.99 and within a week, it went on sale for $23.99. I was able to get a price adjustment. They also sell it at but it’s sold out at the moment. I was almost going to return it because I thought I got a defective one but it turned out to be a user error. I made the mistake of plugging this into an extension outlet, which is not recommended. When I plugged it directly into a wall outlet, it works as directed. Because of this, my body is nice and toasty without getting too hot and I don’t need a space heater. My only complaint is that I wish it was just a tad bit longer.
  6. BORRBY Lantern for block candle – I found this at Ikea. It’s only $9.99. It comes in black and white but I think the white looks a bit more comforting. It gives a beautiful warm glow for those winter days.
  7. Presto HeatDish Plus Parabolic Heater – I bought this from the Costco warehouse for $69.99 and do not recommend it from Amazon because it’s overpriced. If you are a Costco member, just get it from their warehouse. Okay, so this thing is not the most aesthetically pleasing but my gosh, it warms up fast! I had this pointed at my youngest daughter and she immediately told me she’s going to melt from the intense heat.
  8. Mr. Coffee Mug Warmer – This is a nice addition if you hate having cold coffee or cold tea. Make sure you start with a piping hot mug of liquid and it’ll be even better if your mug has a lid to contain the heat. While it won’t keep it piping hot, it’ll keep your mug warmer for longer.

Hope these finds will make you winter a little more enjoyable!

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