As human beings we all have our staples that are needed to survive, but for those of us lucky to live in developed countries, our add-on essentials can also tend to vary based on the time of the year. In my world, my emotions and comfort are very much tied up in the seasons, and since it’s autumn in Berlin, it’s basically like winter in California. Once my favourite season, winter has now taken a backseat because winters in Berlin are mostly miserable. The weather that I do love, however, the rainy some days, but cold and sunny other days weather, equates to fall in Berlin. That said, this time around here are my top three essentials for the season:
Considering that I am a writer, my job often consists of sitting at the computer and typing. I love that I work from home, have a flexible schedule, and can essentially wear whatever I want. It’s also nice to be able to run to the kitchen to make coffee or grab a snack, or take care of some household stuff during my downtime. But the truth is, my hands are often cold because of this. My job is solitary, I don’t do much moving around to warm my body, and so my hands freeze. Thank goodness I discovered Wrist Worms. These super adorable not-quite-gloves not-quite-mittens are so wonderful for a few reasons. First, they keep your wrists/hands/knuckles cozy while not restricting movement of hands, so I can still do all the grabbing, poking, typing, etc. that my hands are accustomed to. Second, they are handmade and come in a variety of assortments, including even vegan versions. Arguably cotton isn’t as warm as wool, but it washes better, and it’s not as itchy. Plus, no cruelty and all that. Third, the maker of them, a Swedish lady named Sandra, lives in Berlin. So I feel pretty good giving my money to another ex-pat local.
Boots are always tricky for me, especially considering that a lot of the super cute ones are made with leather or suede, while the warm ones are made with sheepskin or animal fur. There are some exclusively vegan shoe companies that make boots, but often they end up being more expensive and not necessarily as cute. Surprisingly, however, I stumbled across this pair of Esprit boots (yeah, weird that Esprit died out in the states in the 90s but is all over Germany in this, 2012) relatively early on in my search and found that the material is entirely vegan. They also looked amazingly warm (something my last pair wasn’t quite the best at), so I impulsively ordered them in my size. They have been here a few days and already I am wearing them around the house in lieu of slippers, because they keep my feet SO warm. I wish I had the luxury to buy two pairs–one for inside and the other for out.
Of course, there is always the question of what I do with my feet once I go to bed, as I am the kind of person who ALWAYS has cold feet. We haven’t yet turned on our heating, and I am not so lucky as to have a fire made for me every night, so thankfully there is Leschi. More specifically, we have Leschifanten. What are these, you ask? They are coloured little bean-bag-like elephant-shaped warming pillows. I am not good with specifics, but they are made of fleece and filled with wheat something or other, and you put them in the microwave for a few minutes and bam! Heating pillow. M. used to work for the company, and as a result, we have four different Leschis scattered around our bedroom, although for the past few days, they have been nestled under the covers at the foot of our bed, ready to warm our cold feet. Or, you know, have an elephant party.