The Big Freeze. Snowmaggedon, Antarctic vortex.
Whatever you call it, there’s no denying that Australia’s eastern seaboard is under attack from mother nature with wild winds, plummeting temperatures and apparently, the almost unheard of, thundersnow!
Facebook friends, prepare to be overrun with comments from your Brisbane-based friends complaining about the cold.
Why? Because we don’t ‘do’ winter here in sunny Queensland.
We live in beautiful old Queenslanders with draughty wooden floorboards and many windows. Our homes have air conditioning (rarely reverse cycle), we frequent open-air rooftop bars designed to make the most of our warm and sunny climate.
We love to feel the sun shine on our shoulders … shoulders that shouldn’t be clad in puffer jackets (says she who owns three … just in case I ever have to go to Toowoomba in winter).
We know it’s winter when the temperature drops below 23 degrees (that’s 73 fahrenheit). When it hits 22 degrees, our bronzed bare flesh is quickly covered up with opaque tights, cardigans and scarves.
Thankfully, after my recent visit to Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat in the Gold Coast hinterland (close to the New South Wales border) I feel slightly more prepared for the big freeze because, as well as learning about mindfulness and how to look after my body and soul, I also learnt the important lesson of layering.
And high on the mountain, many, many layers were needed.
So I have scoured the shops to bring you some of my favourite pieces to layer which you can race out and buy today if you so desire … or you could just wear your pyjamas under your jeans and jumper, I mean, who’s going to know?!
1. Seed Shearling Utility Parka, $189.95 | 2. Witchery Luxe Puffer, $249.95 | 3. Gorman Copenhagen coat, $269 | 4. French Connection Drape Front Jacket, $279.95 | 5. Review Lacy Fur Trim Coat in Shiraz, $329.99 | 6. Sportsgirl Textured Maritime Sweat, $34.97
7. Sportsgirl Sequin Stripe Sweat, $69.95 | 8. Babes Ride Bikes The Namesake, $60 | 9. Lorna Jane Feel Good L/S Sweat, $89.99 | 10. Wildfox Baggy Beach Sweatshirt With Hell No Cardio Print, $168 | 11. Sussan Pattern Scarf, $39.95 | 12. Seed Pom Pom Snood, $59.95 | 13. Witchery Herringbone Scarf, $69.95 | 14. Alannah Hill Spot the Difference Scarf, $99 | 15. Mimco Geostatic Scarf, $129 | 16. Forever New Kelis Knitted Headband, $19.99 | 17. Witchery Rib Cuff Beanie, $24.95 | 18. Seed Cable Knit Pom Pom Beanie, $29.95 | 19. Rip Curl Bandit Beanie, $29.95 | 20. Vanishing Elephant Beanie, $59.95 | 21. Peter Alexander Check Bow Mittens, $9 | 22. Forever New Jessie Faux Fur Gloves, $24.95 | 23. Superdry Twist Herder Mittens, $39.95 | 24. Alannah Hill Dipped in Gold Gloves, $71.20 | 25. Jendi Milan Leather Gloves, $79.95.
And my number one tip is to invest in one (or a few) of Lululemon’s Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve tops:
They are lightweight but super warm. Pretty much anytime I’m spotted wearing a sweatshirt at the moment, it’s fair to assume I’ve got one of these babies underneath keeping me cozy. Plus not only do they come in awesome colours but they have thumb holes!
Now that you’re sorted on the body front, here’s my favourite slow cooker recipe to nourish your soul (which is exactly with Em, Nic and I did last night while taking a trip back to the 90s while watching Clueless).
Slow-cooked shredded chicken tacos
4-6 chicken breasts
1 jar of salsa (the kind you eat with corn chips)
1 packet taco mix
1. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker and set for either 4-6 hours on high or 8 hours on low.
2. When cooked, use forks to pull the chicken apart.
3. Add your favourite taco toppings and you’re good to go.
I like to serve mine with a corn, tomato, red onion, coriander (or continental parsley if you’re part of the anti-coriander brigade) and lime salsa.