December Favorites, Comfort Clothes for Everyday Life & 2 Wish-List Items On Sale

I’ll be heading back home in the next few days. It has been a wonderful visit with a lot of this going on. I will miss these moments, snuggling and reading.

The book we are reading, A Dark, Dark Tale, is a favorite of my youngest grandson, as it was with his dad. I love it, too. We love looking for the black cat on every page and it has the cutest surprise ending. (Book is available here: A Dark, Dark Tale.)

Update: If you’re an Audible member, I discovered A Dark, Dark Tale is available at Audible and it’s an excellent reading of the book. My grandsons loved listening to it one night while they followed along in their book. You really do need the book to enjoy the Audible reading of it, just wouldn’t be the same if you couldn’t see the pictures.

Reading to Grandchildren


I can’t tell you how happy I am with this hanging toiletry bag I purchased on a previous trip to see family. No more wasted time spent searching through my suitcase and various smaller toiletry bags looking for the things I need.

Hanging Toiletry Bag with Compartments for Travel


With this bag, I know exactly where everything is. If you need a bit of organization with your travel items, this bag is excellent. I can’t recommend it enough! You’ll find it available here: Hanging Travel Toiletry Bag

Best Hanging Toiletry Bag for Travel


This has become my go to lip balm for cold weather. I use it at night and always when I’m heading out into the cold. Love it! You’ll find it here: Aquaphor.

Aquaphor Lip Balm


My youngest grandson saw my travel toothbrush and tried to talk me out of it. lol I ordered this set so he would have his own. These are great for travel–love how they fold for storage. They are available here: Travel Toothbrush


Still singing the praises of these socks! They are incredibly warm and comfortable…so soft and cozy! I can’t get over the price…a steal for 6 pairs of soft merino wool socks! You’ll find them here: Merino Wool Socks.


Best Wool Socks, Merino


Pretty much bathing in this, these days–well, at least my hands and feet. It’s awesome, but don’t take my word for it…check out the reviews! You’ll find it here: Cutemol.


I purchased these for my son this past month since he needed a safe, effective cloth for cleaning his computer screen and his wide-screen TV. They are large size for the big jobs and work great! In fact, I ordered some for my home after seeing how well they work. You’ll find them here: Best Microfiber Cleaning Cloths


I’ve been living in these the last few days with all the rain we’ve been having. They are currently on sale 20% off with the code WINTER at checkout. You’ll find my favorite L.L. Bean boots on sale here: L.L. Bean boots


I purchased this sweater at the start of winter and it has quickly become my favorite sweater. I would wear it every day if I could. It’s soft, cozy and very figure-flattering. It comes down far enough in back to cover your tush…like that!

It seems to run a tad big. I ordered a Small since that’s what I normally wear in L.L. Bean sweaters and it’s nice and roomy. If you like your sweaters a bit loose order your normal size. If you like them a bit more fitted, you may need to size down. It’s currently on sale 20% off with the code, WINTER. You’ll find this beautiful sweater here: Soft Merino Fair Isle Sweater


On My Wish List

Pretty sure I’m going to order this one before the sale ends. I have this thing for Fair Isle sweaters and this one is stunning! You’ll find it available here on sale 20% with the code, WINTER: Fair Isle Sweater


I brought a lot of coats with me on this trip since I knew I’d be here for a while and wasn’t sure what to expect weather-wise. The coats I’ve been wearing a lot are my two Orvis “Barn” coats.

I wonder why they are called Barn Coats? If I had to guess, I bet it’s because they are cut in such a way, you don’t feel at all restricted while wearing them. Maybe they’re called Barn Coats because you could totally work/clean out a barn while wearing one, or do whatever work you needed to do without feeling restricted.

Best Orvis Barn Jacket


In any case, several colors are currently on sale, 1/2 off. I have a red one and a navy one and I’m eyeing getting another one in either the brown color below or another neutral color called, Stone.

I love this look below. I probably couldn’t pull off that hat, but I love everything else about this picture! This is basically me every single day during the winter. During the fall/winter months, I pretty much live in jeans, plaid shirts, sweaters, and comfy coats. This is my everyday attire for errand running and general hanging out. Now I just need a western town and a barn! 🙂

If you could use a great Barn Coat, you’ll find this one on sale here: Barn Coat.

Update: Someone asked if this coat has pockets. It does, they come in from the side so may be hard to see in the photo below.


What’s your favorite winter attire? If I stopped by unannounced on a typical weekday or weekend, what would I find you wearing while running errands or just hanging out?

Update: If you want your barn coat to have a lot of pockets, check out the one I just ordered from L.L. Bean last night. It’s currently on sale 20% off with the code, WINTER. You’ll find it here: Barn Coat.


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  1. Hi Susan, boy you sure look comfy in your grandsons’ bedroom! If you stopped by in winter, you’d see me in jeans, Eddie Bauer l/s tee, and a vest and scarf. I wear my barn coats too (LandsEnd, JCrew), and need to replace my 20+ yo navy one so I’ll check out Orvis’ sale. I’m eyeing that toiletry bag too. Mine’s seen better days, also 20+ yo, lol. Safe travels.

    • I love my flannel pjs. Some days, I don’t even want to take them off. Oh, I have an Eddie Bauer near me. I haven’t been there in ages…need to visit.
      Thanks! I’m loading up on Audible books for the trek back.

  2. Lisa Polinsky says

    I’ve got the barn, the acreage and a 1913 Craftsman home Susan, come visit!!

  3. Franki Parde says

    Ha…..totally unannounced huh….jeggings, wool socks, turtleneck, flannel shirt and lightweight vest…oh, and an infinity scarf (I know, I know, over a turtleneck too yet…I am ALWAYS COLD!) Pretty much it, and, if outdoors always some kind of boot. I’m having withdrawals taking down my Christmas tree…what do you think about a “Valentine’s tree”…red roses, sparkle gold branches stuck in…and…and…franki

  4. Holly Rigby says

    I have the barn coat in red! I love it! Bought it last year! Going to get the book you recommended as well as the hanging bag. You always have the best shopping links! Thanks! .

  5. Aww reading to your grandchildren is the best! Such a darling picture! Thanks for all the great recommendations – I might have to try that lip balm!

    For whatever reason, I don’t like to be changing my clothes a lot, so I’m usually in my business casual skirts and heels most of the week! Workout gear on the weekends unless I’m going somewhere, then it’s usually business casual skirts! 🙂 I’ll take all the inspiration I can get!

  6. Margaret Robinson says

    Almost all coats like this are called “barn” coats because people wear them when going out to their barns, or in case of horse owners like me, going out to the “barn” or stables. Hope that helps.

    • Thanks, Margaret! But why do those coats specifically make good barn coats, as opposed to other style coats? Just wondering why that particular style is good for wearing around barns and stables. Is it because they are nice and roomy? I love how my barn coats are so big and roomy.

      • Margaret Robinson says

        Yup; think most people find them comfortable (e.g., meaning roomie). They’re made for inclement weather, but extremely stylish in most cases (this is my second LL Bean coat). It may be just in California, but I’ve met other horse people from other places who wear them. The fabric on the outside is water repellent and can deflect dirt (a problem for horse people) and wind. They are also comfy on the inside. The pockets are perfect for stashing meds, carrots, etc. or in the “other world” wallets, ID, etc., and large enough to put your hands in when necessary. Oft times I go from the “Barn” (my horse Smokey Robinson is actually out in his own corral) in a line of about 10-12 other horses/corrals) to the store or lunch without feeling too casual. A lot of horses back in the midwest/east coast are in HUGE barns with stalls due to the really bad weather – hot or cold. These types of coats really do double-duty in looking good and being practical! Hope that helps.

        • That helps so much, totally makes sense why they would be perfect for that type of activity/work. I love that these coats have a historical connection to Equestrian activities. Thanks for all that great information, Margaret! Makes me appreciate my barn jackets even more!

  7. Finally: a picture if YOU! I bet he couldn’t wait to crawl under the Santa sheets and plaid comforter when the story was done… Our kids loved that book too, and they are in their thirties now!

  8. Glad you had such a nice Christmas with your family and reading time with grandsons. That’s priceless! If they don’t already have this book, your grandsons would probably love the True Story of Three Little Pigs. I used it to help teach point of view from a fun perspective in my English class. It is from the wolf’s point of view.

    I live in jeans and LLBean shirts. Love their flannel shirts.

  9. I’m wearing a cozy LL Bean flannel shirt and a pair of Talbots high waisted straight leg jeans. No sweater in Atlanta today. It was 71 degrees. Big storm rolled through around 5:00 with tons of rain and high winds. At about 6:00 pm it was only 61.

  10. love the sweater…but they lost me at

  11. For me, you would find me in leggings and long shirt or tunic “something”. Comfy. I live in WNY, but today it was 66 degrees.

  12. Sabrina Holmes says

    I’m a jeans, plaid shirts & sweater girl. I looove Talbots!

  13. Jan Younker says

    Your post has sparked a conversation with my husband who grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio. In the 50’s they always wore their flannel lined denim barn coats to work in the cold. We now live in TN and a company called LC King makes beautiful ones in Bristol ,TN. When my husband got his denim flannel lined barn coat our son, our college grandson, our daughter in England, and her husband (who is a physician) all got one. Thanks for inspiring some nice memories and thoughts.

    • Love that, what a great tradition! Jan, inspired by your story, I just ordered one for my son. I love mine so much, I think he will really enjoy it.

  14. We’re having such a warm winter here in North Texas that most days out find me in light leggings and furry boots, with a lightweight turtle neck layered under a pullover sweater. Or, like today, early jams — fleece from top to toe, even my slippers. (I hope no one rings the doorbell.)
    The picture of you and your grandson is the best, Susan — it’s good to hear you’ve had such a nice visit!

  15. Bobbi Duncan says

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUSAN!!!!! (just in case you don’t post on the 13th., I wanted you to know that I was thinking about you on your special day). Hope it’s a grand day and a perfect year to follow. Hugs!

  16. Selma Kessler says

    Susan, the photo of you reading to your grandson is PRECIOUS. That looks like a whole lot of coziness right there! I happen to be a fan of Duluth NoGa pants and LL Bean rugby shirts. That’s what I wear around the house, (and out and about for that matter). We have cats who love to stretch up on my legs and they tend to snag anything, even jeans, but the NoGa pants seem to be resilient enough to hold up to our band of Vandals!

  17. Cyndi Raines says

    That picture is so sweet! I bet they will miss Grandma too! Susan, one of my Christmas gifts was the extended make up bag /holder and I’m eager to try it out. June seems too far away for our Maine trip, ha! I’ll have to do a quick over-nighter somewhere to break it in. I ordered the socks and this will give me a good excuse to clean out my overly-stuffed sock drawer and get rid of most of them. Thanks Susan

  18. Better late than never … ☺. The photo of you and your grandson is absolutely precious.
    As to what I have been wearing; normally around the house you can find me in leggings (by Hue) and a cozy sweater of some sort as like yourself I’m cold blooded. As for outer wear; began the winter wearing a quilted/classic cut jacket (by Eddie Bauer) suitable for Fall wear however since temperatures have dropped am currently wearing (by Eddie Bauer as well) a down-filled 3/4 length ‘quilted puffer parka’ (importantly with a removable hood). Have different style of foot-wear that accommodates whatever Mother Nature dictates but one thing you can count on is, I’m always layered to some degree … lol! -Brenda-
    P.S: As you know Susan, I live in Canada in a snow belt region so the count of my winter outerwear (casual and dress) is actually that of ten (excluding athletic wear).

  19. Based on your recommendation and so many readers comments, I decided to purchase an Orvis Barn Coat. Got it yesterday and wore it today. I love it!! I got it in the color stone. It’s so warm but yet light weight for my southern humid and damp cold. Thanks so much for the recommendation, Susan!! Love your blog❤️❤️

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