colsie (kol-zee) / origin: Old Scots for ‘cosy’
Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m Sabrina! Sometimes referred to as ‘Arctic’ in emails I never answer. I started a blog called ‘ArcticSabrina’ not because I was a huge ArcticMonkeys fan - not saying I’m not - but I thought coming from Northern Canada was a unique selling point I really needed to focus on.
I grew up in a town called Thunder Bay, a city on Anishinaabe land, settled by Scottish voyageurs working in Fur Trading companies during the early years of colonisation in Canada. In fact, one half of the city used to be the town of ‘Fort William’. And there’s a Mt McKay (Anemki Wajiw), and a Loch Lomond - which is a lake, but is overshadowed by a ski hill. If you tell someone in Thunder Bay that you’re ‘going to Loch’, they think you’re going downhill skiing. Since moving to Scotland a few years ago, I’ve realised I had a very weird and very stereotypically Canadian upbringing.
I like writing, raising plants, taking pretty pictures and binge watching non-stressful detective shows.
What are some ways in which you practice colsie (slow living)?
Colsie isn’t something I heard of until I moved to Scotland and happened across TBCo, but it falls in line with a lot of what I learned growing up in Canada. Where I’m from is a real combination of Indigenous, Scottish, Italian, Ukrainian and Finnish cultures, so growing up we had homemade lasagnas, relaxed in saunas, watched traditional dancing and a lot of hockey. Up North there’s a real emphasis on going out and connecting with nature all year round, hiking in the summer and snowshoeing or nordic skiing once the snow's too deep to walk through.
Now that I live in Edinburgh, I make an effort to go out and connect with nature. I love that I can get on a bus and head in any direction for 30 minutes and I’ll arrive at either a beach or hills or country park. Even while social distancing I’ve gone up one of Edinburgh’s seven hills once a week! While at home, colsie is a lot of baking yummy treats, candle lighting, yoga in the morning and whale songs playing for bedtime. Don’t scoff at the whale songs. Listen to them and then try to tell me that whales don’t have the ultimate soothing wisdom.
How do you practice colsie working from home?
I’ve looked at working from home as a way to really get back to my roots. We were big slow livers in Thunder Bay, always walking dogs in country parks and homecooking. Since moving I’ve become a bit of a busybody. Now, I’m taking the opportunity to relax and get colsie.
I start with yoga in the morning and then make coffee - Italian espresso machine style. It’s a really relaxing practice to get into the habit to, the smell of coffee means it’s time to get to work! On my lunch hour I’ll go out for a walk or a run along the Union Canal and try to spot as many ducks and dogs as possible. Evenings are spent cooking meals with my partner, turning down the lights to just lamps and playing board games. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a jigsaw puzzle and scrabble board, I’m going full grandma!
It’s the little changes that make the difference, like looking for signs of spring or animals on your walk. Or singing while you cook. Just small things that take your mind away and bring you right to the present.
What does your perfect day look like?
My coffee is perfectly made. The milk froths just right. It’s the perfect balance of caffeine and milk and doesn’t require any sugar to make it taste right. If this is how my day starts, it’ll be a perfect day.
How do you stay connected with family and friends?
The one silver lining of working from home is staying better connected. It’s hard to keep in touch across timezones, but now that we’re all at home all day, we’re all always in the group chat! We have a snapchat family group chat which means a lot of dog pictures and embarrassing selfies. But, it’s nice to see everyone’s face on the regular!
I’ve been including my mom in as many online projects as I can - asking her for baby pictures and such and she’s loving it. She’ll ask me for the link to this post so she can pump (hype - I don’t know why she says pump) it up. And, my friends and I have started a WhatsApp group chat so we can send each other pictures of dogs and stand in solidarity when we get annoyed at the other people at home with us!
What’s your favourite TBCo. product?
My mom sent Angus and me a Lambswool Blanket in the Mackellar tartan for our anniversary. It’s embroidered with an S&A so it’s one of a kind! It’s also become my trusty work from home partner as I refuse to turn on the heating before 3pm, and it’s the softest warmest pal to have.
Any current recommendations?
Book - I’m reading a book called Thunder Bay. It’s not great. I’m reading it because it’s set in my hometown and I found it in a pub down the road from my first flat in Edinburgh and they let me keep it. And then I never read it. Now that we’re all stuck at home I figured, I better read that. But you definitely don’t need to.
Song - I have two moods right now: my bedtime playlist which is just Hozier, the Lower Depths (Angus), Taylor Swift and the Dixie Chicks. The other mood? The Dubliners. On repeat. Whenever I’m working. My Spotify year in review for 2020 should be interesting.
Podcast - On the Line with Estée Lalonde! It’s a 90s style call in show on topics ranging from dating, skincare and starting a business. I love it so much.
Quote - My mom always says something like “This isn’t part of my story” for things she doesn’t care for or doesn’t want to do, and “This is part of my story” when she’s doing something she likes. It’s not really a quote but I like it.
Website - Kate La Vie’s blog. I’m obsessed. Especially with the shop page. She gets me. http://www.katelavie.com
App - WordTrip. I’m an expert.
TBCo. is more than a brand, it’s a community. That’s why when things started getting weird, we came to you for your help on how to move forward together! And in true TBCo. family fashion, you all showed up for us with great tips, ideas and encouragement on how to make the best out of all the time we’re all spending at home. Amidst all of the uncertainty, we want to be a place of rest and inspiration, a resource for responding to panic with peace and a way to be together, even while apart. Because now is the time for getting close, no matter the distance.