Monday Musings- Getting Cozy

This past weekend reminds me of why British Columbia is so lush and green. It rains here, a lot. I remember my brother advising that the best way to survive the gloomy weather is to go outside anytime the sun is out. Good advice because if it’s not pouring down these days, it’s misting. I did get to the Chapters bookstore and wow, it is nothing like mine at home.clothes on shelves in bookstore

Along with a staggering selection of books, the upstairs had a great array of things to wear, small kitchen gadgets, gifts, toys, and home decor!

Here are a few things on my mind this week:

As our weather cools down we’ll be spending even more time indoors so I want to do everything I can to have a welcoming atmosphere in my home. That starts with the scent which usually means candles.


We burn candles year-round in our house, but this time of year, my fragrance of choice turns to all things cozy. Pumpkin, nutmeg, oatmeal cookies, (although those are tough on my appetite), cedar. Fragrances that make me feel happy to be inside. There’s always a double bonus when they have wicks that crackle. I prefer ones with lids so I can capture the smoke when I blow out the candle.


I’ve shared my love for cashmere here many times and some of my very favorites are from Everlane. Here’s how I usually care for it. Then this exchange happened with my daughter last week.text message of how to wash cashmerephoto of text message

So while I don’t recommend throwing your cashmere in the dryer, my daughter’s Everlane cashmere came out looking amazing!

I ordinarily use a mild shampoo or gentle hand soap on my cashmere but am tempted to The Laundress.

Booksdisplay of books at Chapters

My husband had to threaten to walk home to get me to leave the bookstore this weekend. I’m one of those people who could and would happily spend all day pursuing the aisles until I had a serious crick in my neck from peering sideways. They’re almost as fun as libraries that have big cushy chairs to sit in. In the end, I bought nothing so I will obviously have to go back. I asked for some suggestions on Facebook and here’s what people have loved this year:


Nothing says a cozy afternoon to me like a softly scented candle, a warm cup of tea, a fun book, and a cozy throw to cover my legs. If I end up napping, all the better:).

Is cozy important to you?

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  1. Lauren
    October 12, 2020 / 8:09 pm

    “Chapters” is a Canadian bookstore….”Coles” is the name of the smaller less selection version of the store (often in a Mall or Plaza)…..and “Indigo” is the name that the larger stores. They are all the same company. The Chapters stores are switching their name to Indigo as each one gets an update on the decor. They sell everything from the stores online.

  2. Kami
    October 12, 2020 / 4:34 pm

    I love a cozy, well-curated book store—especially if they also have a coffee counter stocked with locally baked chocolate chip cookies like ours does! However, hanging out in the bookstore is less appealing these days, so I have been checking out most of my books on the Libby app through my public library. I can read them on either my iPad or my Kindle. I’ve found that since I started checking out books through the library, I have been more willing to stretch out of my comfort zone and read about topics or try authors I might not have taken a chance on if I had to actually purchase the book. I have found several new authors this way, and enlightened myself on a variety of new topics. Nonetheless, I will be happy to return to my local bookstore again once the pandemic is in the rear view mirror!

  3. Anon
    October 12, 2020 / 1:30 pm

    Chapters/Indigo discovered years ago that giftware makes more money than books. They have a big toy selection in certain stores, and the Christmas flyer has just come out. This enthralls me, even though I have no one to buy toys for. You do, Jennifer, and there are discount coupons for toys and books until January. I always check the discount table there for nice soy candles, but of course books are the reason I go, and the in-store coffee shop. I never leave without something.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:29 pm

      I’m looking forward to it;)

  4. Carolynn
    October 12, 2020 / 12:00 pm

    I’m reading The Book of Lost Friends, right now. It’s a very good read. I would suggest Lisa Wingate’s book Before and After, which is the real life stories of children who survived the Tennessee Children’s Home orphanages. It’s a sequel to her book Before We Were Yours.

    Do you also machine wash wool blankets? I have one sitting in my laundry room as I’m just not sure how to wash it.I’ve googled it and still question myself.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:30 pm

      I suspect a wool blanket might felt, but I’m not sure.

  5. Sandy
    October 12, 2020 / 11:24 am

    Never heard of Chapters, but it sounds like a great store. Just finished reading The Great Alone. I thought it very good, although, I have heard that it is not as good as her book Nightingale.

  6. Marta
    October 12, 2020 / 11:05 am

    I make **CASHMERE FELT** all the time from sad cashmere sweaters which have moth holes or other defects (family and friends save old cashmere for me. . .) I use the washer with hot water and the hot dryer and the sweaters shrink and the surfaces become felted. It is wonderful material for many craft projects, including liners for beautiful wood boxes that my husband makes. Layered to make soft coasters, liners between fine chin plates, etc. Love LOVE felted cashmere!!

  7. Gale
    October 12, 2020 / 10:33 am

    Ah yes, Chapters was my favourite place to spend my lunch hour when I was working. There was one near my office. Now that I’m retired and living in a small town the independent book store is a welcoming place to spend my time, but hence, no comfy chairs. I’ve just read all of Lucy Foley’s books based on your recommendation and loved them all. Next is Kristin Hannah’s The Nightinggales and Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House.
    Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:31 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Eve
    October 12, 2020 / 10:05 am

    Cozy to me means a fireplace, a cup of hot tea, a good book, my afghan given to me years ago by my husband. It has bears and pine trees. I like my warm glow bulbs in my lamp, I hate LED. Yes, you can see better but at what price.
    In my house if it won’t wash and wear, it’s probably going out the door. I won’t cook a recipe with more than 7 ingredients and if I don’t love it or it’s not useful, it’s gone. The new rules for Retirement. 😄

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:32 pm

      I am not a fan of LED either!

  9. Joanna
    October 12, 2020 / 9:40 am

    The rain usually looks worse from inside. To live here you need good rain gear and get outside. Once out, the rain is not that bad. Sure beats snow and cold with icy roads. And, you can dream of that next vacation/cruise in the new year.

    I love Chapters and have spent hours there. I read a lot so it is a treasure trove. It’s a great place to while away a rainy afternoon.

    I wash my cashmere with gentle soap, swirl to rinse, then roll in a towel to absorb most of the water. I would be very nervous to wash in the machine. Did Vanessa put her sweater in a laundry bag so it didn’t stretch?

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:33 pm

      No, I accidentally put her sweater in a load with my things so they went through the washer and dryer.

  10. Book Goddess
    October 12, 2020 / 9:09 am

    I recently retired after 33 years as a librarian and eight as a bookseller before that, so this post is right down my alley. I am primarily a reader of fiction, but I loved The Worst Hard Time – a fascinating narrative of the origins and consequences of the Dust Bowl. Also highly recommended: Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition. Amazing how so many different social movements came together including women’s suffrage. Definitely consider these two titles even if you don’t usually read nonfiction.

  11. Deborah
    October 12, 2020 / 8:24 am

    I was both my cashmere and down comforters in the washing machine at home. I dry the comforters in the dryer, but not my cashmere! I lay flat or drip dry those.

    I have only had one sweater from J. Crew shrink. I was so upset and disappointed! It has put me off J. Crew cashmere I can tell you. I use Wonder Wool Fine Fabric Wash for my cashmere and knit sweaters too. Just a couple of cap fulls and Voila! They’re so soft. I do use a tiny bit of fabric softener too diluted with water.

    I’m walking, hiking, and birding to keep me sane, but I have put on some pounds anyway! I’m going to have to get serious about losing them.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:35 pm

      I would never intentionally put cashmere in the dryer either:)

  12. Linda Henderson
    October 12, 2020 / 8:11 am

    As many have noted, visiting bookstores is such a pleasure. I am not familiar with Chapters bookstores but I am sure I would like it. I also love small independent bookstores and try to support them too. You mentioned all the rain and I was just thinking yesterday how long it has been since we had any rain where I live here in West Texas. Maybe you could send us some? I am reading American Dirt and have found it a page-turner.

  13. MRSBEN2
    October 12, 2020 / 7:59 am

    Generally love browsing bookstores, however this year (due to our very strict lock downs and since I don’t fancy standing in a long lineup waiting entrance) sadly will be ordering my books on line as is the chosen ‘ gift from the Elves’ this year. A Christmas tradition of ours where those who grace our table are gifted a present from them ….. ☺….. that will include audible books for the grandchildren since they appear to be always plugged in. Wishing you a beautiful week Jennifer.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:42 pm

      Kids do always appear plugged in these days, great idea

  14. Arna
    October 12, 2020 / 7:44 am

    I just finished Her Last Flight last night. I really liked it. The Book of Lost Friends and The Great Alone are both excellent. I don’t think I have read the others you posted. I read so many books that I sometimes forget which ones I have read haha!

  15. Linda Simpson
    October 12, 2020 / 7:10 am

    I started using The Laundress Wool and Cashmere detergent last year on my cashmere and merino wool sweaters. It is absolutely the best! My sweaters are soft and look beautiful. I am not a fan of winter weather; however, I do embrace the warmth of a fireplace while sipping a delightful tea and reading a book nestled with a soft throw.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:43 pm

      A fireplace would make it perfect

  16. Diane B
    October 12, 2020 / 6:57 am

    Oh how I love Chapters. I know enough now to go by myself so I can spend as much time as I like checking different sections and sniffing candles. They also have the English magazines that I treat myself to once in a while. Funny thing, last Christmas they had a promotion that if you spent certain dollars, there was a fake fur throw for half price. It is like a little piece of heaven. Reminds me to light the birch candle that smells like outdoor and a fire all at once. Good luck with the dog sitting and have a cosy day. Happy Thanksgiving.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:44 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too! What brand is your birch candle?

  17. sheryl
    October 12, 2020 / 6:56 am

    Ah, a good book store. the only thing better than a nice big new book store….is a little cozy used book store, always has a bell on the door, right? and the familiar scent of old paperbacks, which some people of course dont care for, but its downright intoxicating to me.

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:44 pm

      Yes, yes, yes!! I agree

  18. Francesca B.
    October 12, 2020 / 6:48 am

    Love the post thank you Jennifer and thank you for the book ideas. My husband and I are about to drive 8 hours to Lake Tahoe and so we have got the new audble of Ruth Ware’s new novel and the new Tana French mystery. Bliss. Take care:)

    • Jennifer
      October 12, 2020 / 4:45 pm

      Those should make the drive really fun.

  19. Linda Wiggins
    October 12, 2020 / 6:18 am

    Pleasantly surprised to see Heather Pick’s photo on the poster in the bookstore. She is well-known in Columbus as a beloved tv anchor who lost her fight with breast cancer a few years ago.

    • Yvonne
      October 12, 2020 / 6:43 am

      Just an FYI that “Heather’s Picks” are a selection of books chosen by Heather Reisman, CEO of Chapters, which is a Canadian chain of book stores.

      • Linda Wiggins
        October 12, 2020 / 2:54 pm

        Wow. She looks exactly like Heather Pick. Sorry for the error!

  20. Eileen
    October 12, 2020 / 5:44 am

    What a great bookstore! I worked in bookstores for ten years, the best job, and people I have experienced. I love getting lost in a bookstore.

  21. MP
    October 12, 2020 / 5:08 am

    I bough my 1st cashmere sweater last week. Can’t wait to wear it — plum color, v neck. I’ve read many blogs on handwashing cashmere which is my plan.
    That bookstore looks fantastic! What city?

  22. Betsy
    October 12, 2020 / 5:04 am

    HIGHLY, highly recommend “This Tender Land” and “The Great Alone”. “The Island of Sea Women” is in my TBR pile. I love anything she writes.

  23. Paulette Levy
    October 12, 2020 / 3:17 am

    I was at our local independent bookstore yesterday too. But it was sunny and nice out! I stayed about half an hour, came home with a new Ruth Ware mystery which I hope to read over the next coup,e of days as we are now expecting rain too. Like yours our bookstore has a wonderful gift and accessory gallery plus an area for kiddies- educational toys.
    I’ve been walking about 2-3 miles a day since March when Covid first shut everything down so now I plan to have plenty of books, food etc ready in case of another lockdown. Im baking more. The walking helps me feel less guilty. So it’s now Bake then Eat then Walk. Lol.

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