It’s official: the first snow fell here in Chicago. Nothing stuck on the ground but I have officially switched over into ‘winter hibernation mode’. After living in India for a semester in 2007 my ‘cold’ tolerance has never been the same – even though I went to college in chilly Wisconsin. Every November I try to pull out all my winter clothes and other warm essentials to help me transition into the bitter cold months. Here is a list of 10 life upgrades you can incorporate into your hibernation ritual as we move into the winter months.
1. Heated Tower Warmer & Dryer. I had never even heard of this until Ian and I visited some friends in London in August. Apparently these are considered a household essential across the pond and for good reason – nothing feels more indulgent than a warm towel after a relaxing shower. I also keep Apollo’s small puppy towel on our rack and I wrap him in it after coming in from a frosty morning walk.
2. Fleece-lined Leggings. I was skeptical that I would get too hot in these and that they would be bulky and unattractive but after trying them on I was in heaven. These are perfect for lounging around the house and wearing under dresses on my commute to work. They are thin and comfortable while warm – essential for winter layering.
3. Cuticle Cream. A winter must! My skin gets very dry in winter so I keep a package of this at my desk and at home. It smells like summer which helps with the winter blues too!
4. Lip Balm. Every girl needs a good lip balm in her arsenal. I got a sample of Jouer Lip Enhancer from Birchbox and it is the silkiest lip moisturizer I’ve tried. A little price-y at $14 but will keep your lips chap-free for the entire season.
5. Mulled Wine. I love mulled wine and this blend from William Sonoma is delicious and perfect for brewing a warming cup. Just mix with a basic red wine (I use Burgundy) and some sugar (I use organic) and bring to a boil on the stove. Strain and serve with a cinnamon stick. Warning: Have your favorite hangover cure handy for the next morning.
6. Waterproof Boots. I love these Aquatalia booties – all the positive reviews speak for themselves and the waterproof fabric will keep your feet dry and warm when trudging to work during the next snowstorm. Though the $398 price is a shocker, a good, well-made pair of work-appropriate black booties will be something you will use for years to come.
7. A Tailored Wool Coat. A classic, well-constructed coat is the winter closet’s ‘bread and butter’. Make sure to get one large enough to layer under but with some structure so you don’t look like a walking sleeping bag.
8. A Plush & Cozy Blanket. This is the most important winter essential. Restoration Hardware has been making these fantastic plush blankets for a few years now and I am obsessed with how wonderful they are. I bought the red one last winter and couldn’t have been happier with how cozy, cuddly and warm this blanket was. Plus it washed well and doesn’t lose its ‘coziness’ after three washes.
9. Ugg Scuffette Slippers. I wish I could get these – they look so warm and cozy. But I think there might be too much fur to tempt poor Apollo into being a slobber-puss on these slippers. But for any pug-free family these look like a fabulous winter home staple.
10. A Pug Cuddle. Nature’s best defense against winter: Fur. Cuddling with a pug can be one of the coziest winter activities. Though be warned: you might get snorted on.
What are your favorite ways to stay warm in winter?