Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Top 7 Ways to Hibernate this Winter

We're sharing a blast from the past today. It's a post that we published last year, but totally still useful in keeping busy over the cold and long winter months in Toronto. Enjoy!

Canada is a hiber-nation. When it's dark at 5 o'clock and your toes are freezing, the last thing you want to do is hang outside all day. So here are the hip + urban girl's suggestions for fun activities to do inside:
Photo Credit
1) Go for Indian Food - The hot, hot heat of spicy Indian flavours will keep the fires warm, not to mention your sinuses clear. Round up your besties and make it a girls night out. The spices in curry are full of antioxidants and good for you. Little India Restaurant on Queen West is also a favourite with a la carte style at dinner and buffet at lunch. Finish your meal off with a refreshing and healthy mango lassi - a yogurt based smoothie.
2) Try Hot Yoga - If you've never tried sweating it out in a variety of poses, maybe the cold weather is a good time to inspire you. Warm-up and workout at the same time! Now that's multi-tasking at its finest. The release of all those toxins through sweating will leave you feeling refreshed and you'll sleep like a baby. Make sure to drink lots of water and stay hydrated. Try Tula Hot Yoga in Toronto, it's only $10 for your first class and your second one is free. A great deal for anyone unsure on whether or not they will like this.
3) Hit the Spa - Sometimes the best way to unwind, besides lying on the couch all day - is lying on a massage table and having a professional work out all your knots. When was the last time you treated yourself to a massage? It could even almost free in cost if you have massage therapy benefits which covers a treatment by an RMT. Your best bet is to book an appointment at a spa that has a sauna, steam room and water therapy facilities. The hip + urban girl is a big fan of Body Blitz in Toronto, which offers a whole water spa detox and massage therapy in one. Read about our visit here.  A nice long soak in a salt water hot tub can solve some winter apathy.  Read on for more tips!

4) Take a Cooking Class - Even if you're a great cook, go out and learn something new about food and make something you'venever tried before. I always feel a million times more adventurous after a cooking class. No idea how to cook? Winter is a great time to experiment with soups and stews and learn how to finally put your kitchen to work. Check out your local grocery store, community centre and catering company for classes. Dish Cooking Studio in Toronto offers a fantastic variety of classes for different levels. 
5) Go for Pho - The intoxicating smell of a complex beef broth with basil leaves, fresh squeezed lime juice, coriander and a bit of onion is hard to resist. Add slippery rice noodles, crunchy bean sprouts and thinly sliced rare beef (that finishes cooking in the hot bowl of soup) and you have a piece of some quality Vietnamese comfort food.  Head over to your favourite Pho place and order yourself a super bowl. Pho shizzle. Toronto hipsters swear by Rua Vang Golden Turtle Restaurant at only $6-8 for a bowl!
6) Drink Lots of Herbal Tea - Steep yourself a nice gourmet pot of high-quality loose-leaf herbal tea and curl up with a good book from our Winter Reading List. Stock up on a variety of favourites like chamomile or green tea and try some new flavours with a visit to a local tea shoppe. Tea varieties go so much further than what you can find at a grocery store. We love Tealish in Toronto and their Toasty Almond Tea which is a bestseller blend that reminds us of a warm caramel apple.  I love to warm up with a caffeine-free tea on a snowy winter evening after dinner. It's great for digestion and an easy pick-me-up.
7) Catch up on Movies - Were you working your butt off all Christmas and missed every great movie that came out? Hit the movie theatre or set up shop on your couch with a couple new DVDs. Try our recipe for easy homemade microwave popcorn.

What are your favourite things to do when you want to hang indoors and hibernate?


  1. Great list! Another idea is to check out Paintlounge =)

    It's a cafe and an art studio in one. Relax to loose leaf teas while you do some DIY painting on canvases! Tuesdays are great for date night (2 for 1!) and or go with your girls on Thursday nights (free drink for ladies)

    Check them out at www.paintlounge.ca

  2. I second Tealish! Great teas, service and savy....