Winter Essentials Round Up

It took its time this year but winter has arrived in Sydney. Along with the comfy knits, cozy coffee dates and sweet children in mittens comes sniffy noses, chapped lips and frozen little fingers on dreary days.

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Here I’ve collected the recipes, patterns and ideas that get me and my family through winter that I’d like to share with others. All these can be found on my Winter Essentials Pinterest board which I love to add to whenever I come across something new.

Lip balm

Burt’s Bees Copycat Recipe by Karrie,

I love the Burt’s Bees lip balm but hate the price tag. Although the ingredients to get started with this recipe can cost a bit they last and last. The ingredients for 2015’s Christmas presents lasted all through the winter and must have produced hundreds of homemade beauty products. I’ve found Karrie’s recipe sets in pots as well as cleaned out chap stick tubes.

Click here to see the recipe on!

Vapour rub

DIY Natural Vapor Rub by Claire,

We all reach for the Vick’s when the family is sick. I’ve joined the ranks of mums who swear by vick’s on a little one’s feet covered by clean cotton socks to stop night time coughs but there are two drawbacks to Vick’s – 1) price per jar 2) I don’t know exactly what’s in it. And with a husband riddled with allergies from dust to grass to shell fish, I’d rather I wrote the ingredient list until our little one is a little older.

Here is Everyday Roots wonderful recipe for homemade, all natural vapour rub.

vapor rub
Click here for the recipe by Claire, Everyday Roots

Ear warmers

Crochet Ear Warmer by Krista,

Quick and easy is my favourite kind of crochet.These wide and warm headbands work up quickly in double crochet, are dead simple for beginners and make thoughtful little gifts. I made matching ones for a friend’s daughters (I’ll have to make another soon as she has baby girl #3 on the way!) and my own Little Lottie loves her blue ‘Elsa’ headband.

Click here for the pattern by Krista, Rescued Paw Designs


“Mrs Murdoch’s Mittens” by Brenda B. K. Anderson,

Crocheting mittens took me a bit of practice but this somewhat famous pattern that pops up all over Pinterest helped me out a lot. Brenda’s pattern comes in little kids, older kids and women’s sizes and once you’ve gotten used to it, is easy to customize.

Click here for the pattern by Brenda Anderson,

Easy Fleece Mittens by Denise,

Everything about this sewing pattern is a big YES for me.

Cheap? Yes. Easy? Yes. Quick? Yes. Can I do it in the Disney print my kid picked out? Yes.

You will have to register for email newsletters for the template PDFs but it’s worth it (and the newsletters are actually great). This pattern is by Denise, is great for keeping little fingers warm and it’s not a disaster if one is lost at preschool or the park. I fiddled with the wrist seam and added a blue ribbon drawstring on the last pair I did.

Click here for the pattern by Denise on


Double Crochet Beanie by Laura Eccleston,

Of course my favourite crochet queen was going to feature on this list. The woman who’s videos reawakened my love of crochet and turbo charged my skills with her Youtube tutorials created perhaps the best video tutorial series on beanies ever.

This link leads to the 12 months – 3 years size beanie as that is the size I tend to make the most however she has written patterns for 0-6 months, 6-12 months, 3yrs- pre teen, teen – small ladies and also ladies to men’s sizes as well. You must register or log in to download the pattern or head to Laura’s youtube channel for the full tutorial.

Click here for Laura’s pattern on

Bunny Rabbit Beanie by Sarah,

Unfortunately I only found this pattern AFTER I had spent $10 on one very similar beanie in Cotton On Kids. So cute, not too fiddly and the colour combinations are wide. I already have a request for a purple and pink bunny (or a “Twilight Sparkle Bunny hat” as little Lottie put it).

BunnyHat repeat crafter me
Click here for the pattern by Sarah,

Rice bags

Microwave Heating Pads by

I make my own little heart shaped fleece rice bags as hand warmers for our cold morning commutes. The best all round article on making your own can be found on The lady behind TipNut doesn’t share her name but her site has been around for 10 years (!) and is a treasure trove of useful household articles.

rice bags tipnut
Click here for the article on

Hot Toddies & Hot Chocolate

I got the flu the week before my wedding. An English friend took one look at miserable and panicked me and immediately prescribed hot toddies. The basic ingredients are simple; hot water, lemon, honey, brandy or whiskey, but everyone has their own variation. This is one version I whip up the most although if I have them on hand, mine usually includes cinnamon and cloves.

hot toddy
Click here for a basic Hot Toddy recipe on


Italian Hot Chocolate by Elena,

I agree with Elena who wrote this recipe 100%. Hot chocolate should be a rich indulgence that warms you to the very depths. Her recipe is everything I expect from a hot chocolate; thick, creamy, rich and topped with cream.

Click here for Elena’s recipe

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