My Winter Survival List for Winter 2014

Each January for the last two years, I’ve put together a winter survival list with my top 10 favorites for surviving winter. Instead of waiting until we’re deep into winter, I thought I’d share my faves now as the cold weather and winter looms ahead. I think what got me in the mood for this is the drizzly, cold overcast day I awoke to today. I’m actually kind of enjoying it, though…makes this heater that’s running right now under my desk feel that much more ahhhhhhh.

Since I’ve created this post two years in a row, I’m just going to list 5 things this time around instead of repeating some of my old faves. I’ll link to previous year’s lists at the bottom of this post in case you would like to check those out.

Most Important Part

Now, here’s the most important and my favorite part of this post every year…YOUR comments. Each year I ask, “What are your favorite things or products that get you through the winter.” I LOVE reading your answers and every year I learn something new from you. So don’t forget to leave a comment listing your favorites for winter.

Okay, here we go…here’s my top  5 faves for coping with the cold this winter:

1. Gloves That Work with Smart Phones and Tablets

I’m kind of late to the game on these, apparently they have been out a while. I discovered them on a recent trip to the little town of Blue Ridge Georgia and they really work! Apparently, the trick is a conductive fabric that’s used in the tips of each finger. No more taking off gloves to use your tablet or phone. Awesome! You’ll find a list of 18 winter gloves that work with smart phones here: Gloves that work with smart phones and tablets

Gloves you can use with phone and ipad


2. Hot Chocolate

I’m not much of a hot-coffee drinker (prefer mine iced) but I do love hot chocolate. One of my faves is the peppermint hot chocolate from Williams-Sonoma.  It’s made from shavings of chocolate, not cocoa powder, so your milk needs to be nice and hot to melt it…but it’s yummy. I just noticed they also have Salted Caramel…does that sound sinful or what? May have to try that flavor this year.

Hot Chocolate 2

Speaking of hot chocolate, you need to check out this amazing Hot Cocoa Bar Jennifer at Celebrating Everyday Life created and posted on her blog last year. It has inspired me to put together my own hot cocoa/hot cider bar.

I love those GIANT marshmallows. Imagine the size cup you would need for one of those!
Actually, those are for campfires but I like imagining a cup of cocoa that big! 

Be sure and visit Jennifer’s blog at the link above to see the rest of this amazing porch. It’s all dressed for some winter fun. I think my porch needs a hot cocoa bar this winter!  Wonder if I can make that sign…just may have to try.

Hot Cocoa Sation


3.  A warm throw for the porch

There are some pretty nice days here in Georgia during the winter. Some hot chocolate and a warm throw and you’re all set for some napping on the porch.

Fall & Winter Porch


4. Boots with Low Heels

I hate having cold feet. When I was up in Blue Ridge recently, I discovered just how much I loved wearing low-heeled, comfortable boots on an every day basis. There’s just something to be said for keeping those ankles warm and having that extra coverage on the legs.


They have to have a normal height heel, look dressy and casual enough to go with regular winter clothing/pants and they have to have good arch support to be comfortable enough to run errands in.  The ones I wore up there were mid calf but I think I’ll look for some higher ones for this winter.


5.  Christmas Home Tours

Every single year without fail I HAVE to go on a Christmas home tour or two. It’s ridiculous how excited I get anticipating these each year! Pssst: You’ll find links to lots of Christmas home tours here: Christmas Home Tours

Christmas Home Tour, Marietta, GA

I go all out, decking the car with garland and Christmas lights.  Maybe I should add antlers and a nose for this year.

Decorate Car for Christmas with Garland and Lights
Would you be caught riding around with me on a Christmas home tour?

So, those are my top 5 faves for this upcoming winter. I can’t wait to hear yours!

Winter Survival Lists: 

Here are my previous Winter Survival Lists for the past two years. Be sure and check out the comments because they are absolutely filled with great ideas and products to get you through those cold days of winter)

January 2013

January 2012 

Please share your top favorites things for surviving winter each year…can’t wait to hear!

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  1. SharonFromMichigan says

    Susan – I can’t wait to pull my UGG boots out of the closet. I practically live in those boots all winter long. They are definitely a must for living in Michigan. I also love to pin big sparkly brooches on my winter coats. They seem to help clear away the dreariness of the short winter daylight hours. I love the lighted garland on your vehicle! I have a Jeep Wrangler and always put a wreath on the back spare tire.

    • Sharon, I’ve heard so much about those. I need to buy a pair. I know I can order them online, but I’d rather see the styles in person and try them on. I need to check around and see who has a good selection locally. I love seeing wreaths on vehicles…that sounds perfect for your Jeep!

      • Marcee ... ILLINOIS says

        Oh. Love UGGS! Have lots. Styles for 2013 are really nice. : )
        Zappos can help ya Susan! The “sister” online store 6pm …. may also have UGGS from time to time. Always complimentary shipping, to and from. With 6pm, initial ship is complimentary. When returning items it will be at your expense. Great deals though!
        No. I am not an employee of either store …. a customer. Haa-ha.

        P.S. Ahhh …. love your little “toddler” reindeer!

        • I thought about ordering from them but I just can’t tell if I like them without touching them and seeing them in person. Zappos does an amazing amount of business so they must be doing something right! Thanks, Marcee!

      • Susan, I loved reading your list. I didn’t know about the gloves for smart phones, etc. They’ve on my Christmas list for family and me. The hot chocolate bar looks wonderful and so inviting. I just need a porch! I have a bit of porch envy. Home tours are the best! A dear friend and I have gone on one for years.
        My favorite thing are Uggs. Because of neuropathy my feet feel cold all year long. So in the summer, while friends are in beautiful fun sandals and flip flops, yes, I’m in my Uggs. Ug!! Nordstroms have free shipping both ways all the time. Looking forward to reading all the suggestions you received. So enjoy all your posts, Pam

  2. Love the gloves! The peppermint hot chocolate from WS is yummy and must remember to get some. And of course I would love to be riding around in your Christmas carriage visiting all of the decorated homes!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  3. Add in flannel pj’s, UGG slippers, and a good book and you can withstand anything!

    • Definitely the flannel PJs…love those! Oh, yes…a good book. I have my new Mario Buatta book and have barely made a dent in it. It will be fun to read this winter. I love your list, Barbara!

  4. I live in a ‘rainforest’ in Hawai’i, so our “Winters” are much more tolerable than for most of the mainland, but…the weather does change and it can get ‘coolish’ for us who are not used to it (coolish to us is anything below 75 😉 ) and most of our houses are not equipped with insulation (most are wooden single wall construction) or heating units. In some areas of the island and at higher elevations, many homes have fireplaces…but we don’t…and our house is full of windows which gives us lovely cross breezes in the warmer months but can be quite cold when the days are shorter, grayer and damper.

    My favorite ways to keep warm: socks and sweats, hot chocolate and a nice throw when reading in my favorite chair.

  5. I’m not a coffee drinker either, but Fireside Coffee is wonderful. It’s available online ( or at craft fairs – the latter is where I discovered them years ago. They offer coffee drinks in flavors such as cinnamon chocolate and butter rum. Yummy and it warms you right up!
    My three favorite winter things are throws (I just discovered the dream throw from Lands End and it certainly is dreamy!), flannel sheets, and my dog. Cuddling up with all of them at once is pure heaven!
    Light a few candles and winter is downright cozy!

  6. If you haven’t tried fleece sheets, you have no idea what you’re missing. I used to think that flannel sheets were the best thing in the winter, but fleece tops them!

    • Lisa, I haven’t tried those…do you have any issues with static electricity? I was reading they are made of polyester so I was just wondering. They surely look warm and cozy!

  7. I just put the flannel sheets on the Quingdom’s beds. There’s no way I could survive winter without them!

  8. THROWS! I love my throws, and add to my collection every year. I tend to keep the house rather chilly, so like to have one on every bed, at the end of each couch, and tucked beneath pillows on easy chairs. What is more snuggly? Pottery Barn is my main source (watch for sales!), and this year I have my eye on those faux fur throws. Yummy!

  9. My faves are a soft and warm throw blanket to wear while “working the couch” and Neutrogena Norwegian Formula hand cream that I use from November thru March and can’t get thru Ohio winters without!

    • lol Love that “working the couch.” Ohhh, have to put that handcream on my shopping list! Does it absorb quickly? I like handcreams that disappear quickly after you put them on…don’t like a greasy feeling, if you know what I mean.

  10. Oh, and long johns, either heavy cotton or silk for “dressy” occasions.

  11. I just discovered bareMinerals Luminous Hydrating Body Cream. This is the BEST body cream I’ve ever found, and I’ve tried a lot of lotions, creams, etc. for my extra dry skin. It’s not greasy, soaks in extremely well and I can’t say enough about it. In reading the reviews, it appears that it can come and go in their product line, so I’m going to order another jar to be sure I make it through the winter! And…I’m going to have to try the WS Salted Caramel Chocolate – thanks for the tip!

  12. I could NOT survive winter without my electric throw! Fabulous! Makes me immediately relax to cover up my legs with it. And makes hubby happy I don’t need to turn the heat up quite as high. 🙂

    • I keep saying every year I’m going to get one! Need to do that…would be great while I work at my desk since my office is one of the colder rooms in the house since it juts out like a square bay window.

  13. Oh Susan! Thanks for including my Hot Cocoa front porch party in your survival list! What an honor!!! I love everything on your list. I’m a boot gal too – especially tailored, equestrian styled ones like that! So pretty!!! ~Hugs, Jennifer

    • Jennifer, it was my pleasure! Love your Hot Cocoa station and that amazing porch you designed! I noticed someone asked if you did it for a party or event and I love that you said that you did it for them…your readers. What a blessing your are to your readers, creating such beautiful, inspirational posts for them. I love that! You’ve inspired me to create a Hot Cocoa station this winter for my porch. 🙂

  14. I agree with Sharon about Ugg boots- I have several and am already wearing them! ♥♥♥

    I love my fireplace, love to layer with all my fleece vests, love when the Buckeyes go to Champion games, love hot steamy soups, love all the holiday parties.

    Cannot imagine being able to nap on a Ohio porch in winter, haha, no way – lucky you! I need to come visit!!

    • Yup, big difference between GA and OH, although we can get some cold weather here, too. I just don’t think it comes as early or lasts as long…and we don’t get all that snow you guys get.

  15. I love home tours, too…. and hot chocolate! I’m gonna decorate the car, thanks for the cool idea!

  16. I’m with you on the hot chocolate – but unless drinking it for breakfast, I up the game a little bit. For a warm cozy after dinner drink, add a shot of Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua or Butterscotch Schnapps. Talk about warming your up!

  17. Love those gloves and I just bought a pair of boots that look pretty identical to the ones that you are showing. They are really comfy. Sitting by the fire with a good book is my favorite thing to do to get me through the winter. xo Laura

  18. My favorites? A good book, a cozy fire, a pot of soup on the stove and the mattress pad heater on my bed. I hate cold sheets!

    • Gloria in Pgh says

      I forgot about the soup!! Definitely a pot of soup on the stove. Can I interest you in a freshly baked loaf of crusty bread , warm from the oven with soft butter to go with that bowl of soup?

  19. Love, love, love my flannel sheets! I don’t scrimp on these and get good quality sheets that hold up. So wonderful to get in bed and it’s not cold! Also have my throws for extra warmth, and fleece gloves I get from Duluth Trading Co. – they last and last, and are so warm!

    • So with you on those sheets, Diane! Where do you buy yours? I spent a little last year and purchase some from Lands End and they have been wonderful…already have them on the bed for this year. I need to check out DT Company…I’ve heard of them but haven’t purchased anything there.

    • I bought my last two sets off of ebay, and both were Laura Ashley – love the quality! DT Company is a wonderful source for outdoor clothing – really, really good quality and reliable. I’ve purchased several different items from them, and I’ve never been disappointed. A good friend of mine loves their Fire Hose pants!

  20. Gloria in Pgh says

    One thing that gets me through the winter, which can be pretty dark and nasty here in Pittsburgh, is the soft warm glow of candles in the windows of my house. I put the electric candles in my windows as soon as daylight savings time ends which, coincidentally, was just last weekend. It is getting dark when I get home from work and , in the dead of winter, IS dark when I get home. If I have to slip and slide my way home through snow or ice or the dreaded freezing rain, my tension eases and all is right when I crest the hill of my street and see my house glowing with those cheery candles. I keep candles in the windows well past Christmas and through the winter months. They make the house seem warmer and welcoming and more comforting. Flannel sheets are also a must for me and my husband and our four dogs — wee little West Highland White Terriers. They keep me warm on those “four dog nights” when the north wind blows and the lake effect snow falls. While I watch TV or read a good book (or blog!), they all four snuggle close to me on our favorite chair in the family room — Duffy on my left side, Rosebud on my right side, Molly B at my feet and Spencer, my littlest guy, curled up on my lap. When we are all together, safe and snug and warm, let the snow and ice fall outside, because all is right with my world.

    • Gloria, I love that they each have THEIR spot. That is sooo cute! Love the candle idea, too. Who says we can only have them for Christmas!

    • Patti O'Donnell says

      I have two westies, Shamrock and Watson. Shamrock loves to get on the back of my chair so he keeps my neck warm while Watson nestles down beside me on the arm and if possible under the quilt.

  21. Peggy Thal says

    I would add great PJ’s and a down comforter. Love the cocoa bar. Wish I would have made one like that for my children in the winter . It would be so cute after playing outside or shoveling snow. It was always so fun having the whole gang in for cocoa an cookies ( or lunch). Big pile of snow clothes and boots in the mud room all mixed up. Miss having young children. Grandchildren never are here enough!

  22. Hi……I’d like to add my woodstove to the list..I can open the doors to the back porch on occasion…can’t leave out my wonderful feather duvet..I got it yrs & yrs ago at Ikea..I can get up in the middle of the night to feed the cats make a pit stop on the way back to bed..and it’s toasty warm when I climb back in…Love that…

  23. Great list! I too LOVE a Christmas Home Tour. My sister and I went on one last year and it was fun and lovely. The homes were REAL homes, not a Home Tour that showcases builders’ and decorators’ talents (not that they aren’t fun to attend, I love them too 😉 ) The tour was just a really neat way to see how others celebrate and decorate for Christmas., so that is on my list this year too!

    Flannel sheets are a must, and already on the bed! a good blanket for the den, and the Hallmark channel-which usually sends my husband out of the room or puts him asleep!

    We recently purchased a hot tub and look forward to using that on winter evenings. We will make a mad dash to the back door to dry off.

    • Exactly…that’s the kind I love. I also love hearing the history of the house and the lovely collections/antiques they have inside. So MUCH fun! lol about hubby and Hallmark.

  24. I would TOTALLY ride around in your decorated car with you – We could SING!!

  25. Susan-Great list as usual. I recently purchased a Keurig coffee maker. DH & I neither one are coffee drinkers, but I wanted to have this on hand for guests and to also make hot chocolate, tea, etc. Well the great flavors available for Keurig’s have turned me into a coffee drinker! My favs so far are vanilla biscotti and hazelnut. I’m sure it will be very popular w/ guests over the holiday. Also, we tried those huge marshmallows this fall for smores making and they swelled up to the size of a child’s head when roasted!!! Unbelievable.

    • Hallie, I’ve been eyeing those. I read that some will even work for hot chocolate. That’s hilarious about the big marshmallows! Wonder who first thought that up…making them huge. 🙂

  26. You got me thinking, Susan. I live in New England and love the 4 seasons. I really enjoy watching the snow fall with my fireplace glowing, Emile Pandolfino on my CD player and of course candles. I’m all for flannel pjs, long fleecy robes and my LL Bean slippers! I started a tradition years ago when my son use to be out with his Dad plowing snow. When the snow flies, I bake Toll House cookies and serve them warm with hot cocoa when they would come in from plowing. Now I live in Granny suite with my grandchildren and the tradition is still alive.

    Thanks for your blog. It really brightens my day!!

  27. Love the idea of garland and lights on the car, but how do you get them to work – where do you plug them in? In WI, boots are a must, hot cocoa, and especially candles in the windows, but also a good snow blower or shovel!! My first job to get ready for winter is get the furnace checked over and new filters in…then I’m good to go! Add lots of books and a new wool scarf that I knitted myself!

    • They are battery operated. You can find the battery operated lights in lots of stores. The first set I had eventually wore out so I bought new ones last year in Michaels. They are so cute…little round balls. I need to get them out and make sure they still work because they tend to disappear fast in the stores. Like your list! ♥

  28. well my list is a little more survival that yours
    batteries for my flashlight
    ice melt
    bottled water
    snow shovel on front porch or garage
    lots canned food I like
    just in case I loose electricity and get snowed in again this year with over 2 feet of snow
    I like your list best LOL

    • So smart, Janice! I need to do the same. I’m not very practical sometimes but I should prepare, just in case. I’ve had three people this fall tell me we are in for a BAD, BAD winter. I hope that doesn’t mean ice storms.

  29. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Oh Susan, you are so funny. You’re in Georgia, yet prepare like it’s Siberia! Lol. 😀 I used to live in cold climates (like Alaska and Colorado) and never thought twice about winter or really did anything special to prepare for it except to ‘hunker down,’ but I do like your idea of having a winter survival list. Let’s see, it’s been many years but when I lived in Alaska, winter meant, shearling and /or down jackets, mukluks, shearling gloves, a block heater for the car (you’d have to plug your car in at night so the engine wouldn’t crack 😮 ) and lots and lots and lots of cozy movies and needlework to get you through those long nights. 😀

    Now that I’m in relatively warm Tennessee I don’t need the mukluks or shearlings or block heaters, but I do love my afghans. I have a bombe chest in the living room where I keep several stored away and we have all sizes, colors, weights, etc. but my favorite is still the old bedspread I made for my son when he was little … batman on one side, power rangers on the other (remember them? lol) There’s just something so cozy about it to me. Memories …

    And of course, hot choco (as we call it). We tend to purchase different varieties of good quality cocoa powder and mix and match our own concoctions. I like to put an extra dab of cream in it and froth it with our little battery operated frother, then shave a bit of chocolate bar on top to make it seem extra fancy. 😉

    Oh, and hot buttered rum for those extra cozy times. 😉

    And I love a nice smell in the house so simmering pots of cinnamon, cloves, apple cider, etc, (whatever is on hand) is a cozy way to evoke those special, chilly weather holiday feelings. 🙂

    I HAVE to have my cozy winter movies, mostly Christmas movies; Funny Farm, Rudolf (the animated show from when we were kids, awww) Home Alone, Jingle All the Way, etc.

    Then of course there are the fireplaces. We have a funny situation in that we have one gas fireplace and one wood fireplace. I love the convenience of gas, but nothing beats the smell, crackle and look of a wood fire!

    I love to sit on the back porch on a cold night, bundled into my robe, with those bootie socks and piles of afghans and read one of my favorite mysteries while stopping occasionally to enjoy the night sky. Do you have that app for your phone called, Skyview? If not, it’s a free app for either i-phone or android and you just point it at the sky and it will identify the stars, constellations, etc. It’s awesome! (I love technology, even though I’m a bit of a bumbler with it.)

    I know I’m forgetting things. 🙁 If I remember, I’ll come back and post them. I love, love, love this time of year!! Hee. 😀 What a fun list and a great idea to share these things. Thanks so much. I’ve learned of things I never knew about or thought of. As usual, it’s always so fun stopping by and sharing. 😀

    • OMG PAM! Thanks so much for the Skyview app recommendation ! I just downloaded it and can’t believe how awesome it is! I can see getting lots of use from it. We have a farm and love to sit outside and look at the stars. Now I will know what we’re looking at! Thanks again.

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

        Haha, Hallie, you’re very welcome. I’m so glad you read my comment so you could learn about it. I love it so much. Wish I could visit you on the farm; I bet it’s nice and dark out in the country, so the stars are even brighter. 🙂

    • Hey Girlfriend, sometimes it is like Siberia…check out this post! 🙂 A couple of years ago, we got so much snow and ice, no one could leave the house for 4 days. The state invested in some salt trucks and plows after that insane week. It was crazy! GA is a state of extremes and anything can happen…and it does! I’m with you on the fireplaces. I would love to have both. Gas is so convenient but I love the smell of the wood and the crackling.
      Alaska sounds rough…I don’t think I’d like that kind of weather too much…sounds like a lot of work!
      The app I have and use is Star Walk and I love it! I’ve had it on my iPad ever since I bought it a couple of years ago. I will have to check out Sky View…love that kind of thing! I can’t remember if Star Walk was free or not since I’ve had it so long. I also love the Audobon apps for Birds, Wildflowers, Mammals and Trees. How did we live without these before? 🙂 Love you list, Pam!

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

        Oh my Susan, I see what you mean about Siberia in Georgia! 😮 When we moved to Tennessee 20 years ago, I thought I was moving to warm weather country. 😀 Then we had an ice storm. Yikes!! In all my years in Alaska I had never seen anything like that “hundred year” Tennessee ice storm. It literally closed down everything for two weeks. I thought, wow .. welcome to Tennessee! lol.

        Thanks for mentioning the Audobon apps! I didn’t even know about those and they sound right up my alley. 😉 Haha, I love sharing like this; we all get so much out of it. 🙂

    • Pam, I just downloaded SkyView and went ahead and bought the Premium one for $1.99. It’s very cool! I think it’s similar to Starwalk which I think is free, too. It won the Apple Design Award in 2010 and says it has over 8 million users. It’s a little confusing sometimes because the menus are hidden at times. I love the weird music that accompanies it, although after a while, I mute it. I also love how you can see the moon phases on the “Sky Live” page. I think I have a little nerd in me! 😉

  30. One thing I always needed (especially when I trekked 40 miles everyday to Chicago for work)….Kitty litter. Yes Kitty litter……it helps with getting out of driveways or up icy hills. And my faux mink headband…..That keeps my ears warm. 🙂

  31. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Oh, and of course I’d go on a Christmas home tour with you (you’ll drive, right? 😉 ) And we can put on Michael Buble’s Christmas albums and sing at the top of our lungs …. with the windows open — so we get chilly and our cheeks get pink and rosey. hee. And we’ll bring thermoses of hot cocoa and have ‘lap blankets’ in the car. 😉 hee. I am sooo in! 😀

  32. I wouldn’t mind riding around in your Christmas “buggy” if you wouldn’t care if we had the windows down with a Mannheim Steamroller CD blaring! 😉 I love it when snow is predicted and I know my family is home safe. There is just nothing better than curling up with coffee, a good book or good movie, flannel pajama pants on, and watching it snow!

  33. Love these! And love the cute little Rudolph. Can you share where you found him?

  34. After reading everyone’s comments on Winter, I’m a little jealous! All I can do right now is dream about it! You see, I live in Fl., and it”s still in the mid 80″s here. With the Holidays approaching, I’m hoping it will cool down a bit. My survival kit will include wearing my flannel Pjs, watching Heidi (an old Shirley Temple movie), sipping hot cocoa and pulling out my down comforter. Please blow some of that cold air this way so I can enjoy some Winter too!

  35. I love the things that you do for winter BUT for me, here in California, its maybe a sweater and a new pair of flip flops! I was at Macy’s yesterday and was really pleased to see a good selection of cute lower heeled boots – have to get back and try on! (Yes, we do wear boots-I’m joking about the flipflops being worn all winter!)

  36. Susan I would ride with you in a heartbeat! Michigan winters can be brutal and the Farmers Almanac is predicting a bitter and snowy one for us. To see me through I want hot chocolate, a new infinity scarf, yummy smelling candles, a new throw for the sofa and new boots. Did you hear thst Santa?!?!

  37. Beverly Kennedy says

    I really enjoyed your Winter Survival List in today’s Between Naps On The Porch!!! I am going to take this idea one step further and prepare ” Winter Survival Holiday Tote bags” as gifts for my son’s and their families for Christmas. I am even including a nice warm snuggly blanket for my little granddaughters and some favorite winter themed storybooks and a stuffed pen quin toy. Thanks for all the great suggestions. Keep on blogging!!! I look forward to every issue of your blog!!! P.S. I would add one item to your survival list…for dry or cracked hands, buy a tube of TheraSeal Hand Protection at your local pharmacy. They keep it behind the pharmacy counter but you do not need a prescription. Just ask the pharmacist for it!!! You can not find anything better!!! It even seals in moisture so even if you have to wash your hands frequently because of your job or just to prevent germs, TheraSeal will keep your hands moist and smooth!!!

    • Beverly, I love your idea of a Winter Survival Holiday Tote…how awesome is that! Wow, that must be some good hand cream if they keep in behind the counter. Thanks for the tip!

  38. lite wt. Wool socks and cotton under shirts to wear with oxford cloth
    button downs

  39. There are going to be a lot of us on your Christmas House Tours Susan, so you had better add a sleigh to the back of your car!! 🙂 What fun we could have!!
    Loved the hot chocolate bar!!!! Will check out Jennifer’s site.
    As I am one of those strange people who is too warm to have flannel sheets and p.j.’s, I will settle for some throws for the couch when I am watching old movies, Christmas and otherwise. We kept our old VHS machine and I pick up the greatest *oldies* for $1 each. One of my favourites is Notting Hill which I just watched.
    O.K., hot chocolate in different flavours, coffee too, books and magazines and recorded books.
    I have to have sturdy ankle boots here as we do have really cold weather even though our summers are hot. Have slipped one too many times in boots with heels.
    Christmas music gets me through the Christmas baking, so c.d.’s are a must.
    One thing I would like to keep me warm is Pierce Brosnan, but not much chance of that!! 🙂

  40. Hi Susan!
    Hmmmm, Winter List……
    Well, first I love my plush blanket sheets and down comforter….its cold up here in NE PA!
    peppermint hot cocoa, watching the Christmas movies on Hallmark, falling asleep while watching the snow fall on the pine trees from my window…..ah, winter its almost here!

  41. Several of my “must haves” are on others’ lists…My number one is our fireplace (we just had 2 cord of wood delivered). The fireplace is what sold me on our house. Also on my list are flannel sheets, kitty cats, homemade soup, chocolate (though that is a year round must have!!). Winter also requires good books and my favorite magazines (The English Home, Victoria, and Tea Time). I also love colorful, lined leather gloves! All very necessary in cold and snowy upstate NY!

  42. Well, I’D go on a house tour with you in your decorated car! Do you put a wreath on the front…by the radiator?…love those! We have winter rituals, the usual boots, gloves, warm jackets, working snowblower…assorted shovels…and a well stocked pantry! On a more personal note…lots of books to read, and tea! After all, it is Wisconsin! 😉

  43. Susan, I can completely relate to some items from your past lists (Downton Abbey, heated car seats), but I would also add mulling spices, “No Crack” Super hand cream from Duluth Trading, and a slow cooker.

  44. Christmas Tour of Homes – an absolute must do, each year for us! Sadly, I am not allowed to decorate the car. Someone thinks it will scratch the paint. (rolling eyes) This year I am going to try to get “Santa” to venture off to surrounding cities for more home tours. If I can’t do that, I will be depending on your blog to get my yearly fix ! 🙂

  45. Two words: cuddl duds!

  46. What I love about winter:
    1. Watching movies under a afghan on the couch
    2. Baking pies with my two little girls, so the house can fill with nice smells
    3. Candles to warm up the house even more
    4. Cats finally coming inside instead of being on the hunt all day
    5. Can’t wait until we can close the shutters we want to install in our kitchen to keep the cold outside
    6. Cats sleeping on the foot of the bed at night

  47. Karen, Love your post as always. Here are a few of my favorite winter musts.
    Holiday craft fairs. We have some wonderful local artisians.
    Winter photography with icy crystals draping my pine tree branches.
    Garden catalogs and springtime yard plans
    Lanz Flannel Nightgowns. I’ve worn them for years. They get softer with every wash and are made so well they last for years!! Also warm fuzzy slippers.
    Comfy, soothing Chamomile tea.
    Good literary finds, a warm beverage and my heated recliner by the fireplace. ummmmmm
    My herbal-scented neck wrap warmed in the micro. A wonderful combination of bot heat and aroma therapy.
    Lots of candles and potpourri.
    Blistex lip cream. Very healing.
    I wanted to write you about two additional items also. Our area is hosting a large charity event this weekend at The Ohio Design Center in Beachwood, Oh to fund one of our local farmers markets. Every room will provide a designer tablescape. It’s really beautiful. There are adult holiday tables, children tables, and many others. I credit your blog for furthering this wonderful artform. Thank you.
    Secondly, Your hot cocoa table post fell right in line with the searches I’ve been doing for several weeks. I set up various beverage stations for my holiday gatherings and I am always searching for ideas to improve my settings. I have a coffee station, tea station, hot chocolate station, wine station , water station with Pellegrino and other bottled waters, and I also work in mulled cider, eggnog and holiday punch. I try to decorate each area really special with holiday decor and the proper accoutrements to accompany each offering. If you have any additional photos or ideas for these, I would love to see that post. Thank you again for all the inspiration you’ve provided over the years and a Very Happy Holiday Season to you and yours!
    Sincerely, Norma

  48. Oh Susan, the chocolate station is really awesome! I’m loving it caz I’m into hot chocolate, like my post, as we always have a kind of spring-fall weather, sometimes very cold and others warm but dry, so it’s perfect for teas and hot choc. Thanks for sharing. I’m going away for a long weekend. til Monday night, hope I have a chance to join TT later, because I never take my computer so I can really rest and enjoy my grands. Big hugs,

  49. Elaine in Laguna says

    What great lists and suggestions! My list includes my brick fireplace, faux fur throw, hot chocolate and Bear Creek fur-lined slippers. And planting for spring. I just planted my herb garden last weekend. In So Cal yesterday it was about 80 – so pls send a little rain and cool air our way! Especially rain!

  50. ~Susan~
    The five things I love most about winter are special memories during childhood;
    1). going evening ice skating on my uncle jacks pond in the woods and then sitting around a fire!
    2.) making giant snowman with my daddy and siblings !
    3.) going sledding and hot chocolate
    4.) making snow angels
    5.) walking in the snow fall in the evening
    we up north get so excited with the first snow fall, its almost funny ITS LIKE WE NEVER SEEN SNOW BEFORE!!!
    Have a wonderful day!
    p.s. I would ride in your 4wheel sled for Christmas home tours , 🙂

  51. Katherine G says

    Wow – great post ! I am going definitely going to do a hot chocolate bar! I started making hot chocolate from scratch after seeing the movie Chocolat, and have been a devotee ever since. I moved to TN 4 years ago from FL, and have not gotten used to even the relatively mild winters here. Ways to enjoy it in addition to all the wonderful ideas above… any possible winter sports, heating up the kitchen with baking: casseroles, bread, cookies, making hot fresh lemon ginger tea, and planning a weekend trip south!

    • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

      Hi Katherine! I’m in Tennessee too and I know what you mean about the ‘relatively’ mild winters, lol. I thought I was moving to the ‘warm south, ‘ lol. But in all fairness, I have lived here when we could go outside in our shirtsleeves all January, and other years it was like living in Siberia (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but only slight. 😉 ) And I like your lemon ginger tea idea. I like to make ginger tea from freshly grated ginger root. Oh yum .. now I want some. I’ve also had an orange ginger packaged tea from Rishi that is good, fyi. Or maybe it was tangerine. :/ Bah!

  52. 4 of my 5 favorites are all in one setting:
    1) Raging, crackling fire in the den
    2) Holiday movies (old ones) “It’s A Wonderful Life” (B/W) always on Christmas Eve
    3) One of many favorite throws
    4) Curled up wearing Soma Embraceable Cool Nights PJ’s (once discovered, all I wear now)
    5) Sitting on our living room sofa just looking at our 8.5′ Christmas Tree of Memories; from homemade ornaments, to sometimes cheesy ones from vacations, to Waterford & Radko – every one of about 500 ornaments bring fond memories & make me smile inside. This will be the 5th year this tree has remained up all year because whenever it has to come down, doubtful it will ever go up again (too labor intensive for us at 60+). Between January>June “the tree is STILL up” and from July>December “the tree is ALREADY up.” Also have a 7′ Santa Tree in the Dining Room – all Santa ornaments, also collected through the years. About 10 years ago, we began letting our three grandchildren select one ornament each from our trees to take home & hang on their tree. Hopefully, the legacy of memories will live on. Grandmom (NC)

  53. What a lovely post! Hmm, my winter survival list includes identifying what things we like to do to celebrate the season – like you maybe Christmas home tours, seeing a light spectacle or going ice skating. I like to make these informal “to do” lists because I definitely like to take advantage of all the special things fall, Christmas or winter have to offer.

    But winter survival also includes lots of snuggle time under the blankets! A must-do for chilly nights.

  54. Up in Maine we are getting ready for winter too. In my area we haven’t had snow yet, but any day now we will. I have moved all the furniture in from my open front porch inside. My survival list includes my Bog boots, with a pair of Yax Trax Pro put on them to keep me from falling on the ice when I walk my corgi dog. I also like the battery operated candles and keep a few on in the evenings around the house. I have found nice wax, flickering battery candles in Homegoods. Much safer for me to put those on rather than real candles as I can tend to forget I have candles lit. This has been a fun post to read. Thank you Susan, for all your wonderful posts and stories. I loved reading how people around the country prepare for winter. All the best wishes to everyone for preparing for a safe winter.

  55. I live in Texas near the coast and so when we get cold weather (and we DO!) it is a wet, bone-chilling cold. I have come to LOVE the seat heaters in my car. They warm up so fast and when my tush is warm … baby, it can be really cold outside and I’m OK.

  56. I bought the salted caramel hot chocolate for hostess gifts last year. Everyone loved them. I also took some up to my brothers cabin where I finally got to try it. It was delicious. This year I am treating myself to some.

  57. Patti O'Donnell says

    First there must be a fire not only does it keep you warm but the sound is so soothing. Second, toss those throws, there is nothing better than a home made quilt with a wool batting. Fluffy, warm and full of love. Then either a good book or a great movie, my two westies sitting along side of me and husband at my side. There are things to look forward to in winter. PattiO

  58. Susan, this has been such a fun post to read. I love everyone’s comments and have added many of their ideas to my “must have” list. For me, no winter would be complete without some stitching to keep my hands busy. Whether its needlepoint, cross stitch, or embroidery- it doesn’t matter, as long as there is a needle and thread involved.
    I also love my fingerless gloves that my MIL knitted for me. I wear them inside the house because my hands are always cold. Having my fingers free, let’s me do everything I could with out the gloves.
    The last item on my list is Williams Sonoma’s mulled cider mix. I use it to make mulled wine for the grow-ups and mulled cider for the kids. It’s the perfect thing after a day of skiing or when you’ve just finished shoveling the drive. It also makes your home smell so wonderful.

  59. I would LOVE to ride around going on some Christmas home tours with you! Could we stop at Starbucks and get a Venti Carmel Apple Cider? YUMMY! And wear really ugly Christmas sweaters and really ugly Christmas jewelry? Okay….not really with the sweater and jewelry !
    My favorite snuggle ups are blankets I made for my husband and I. We are both tall and have trouble finding blankets that you can wrap your feet in and that will then reach your shoulders…so I bought some fleece fabric, to length, handstiched a blanket stitch around it and now we are comfy cozy all winter! Note that you don’t have to hand stich yours! I did his first, we were dating and lived very far apart and the extra love put into the stitches made it a special gift. A simple sewing machine seam would suffice if one were making a gift for oneself!

  60. pam ~ crumpety cottage says


    This morning I went through these survival lists again and ordered several of the lotions and potions, as well as the lip butter you suggested. I am so dry, I feel like a cracking prune. I hope these folks are right so that in a few days, I’ll be feeling more like a plump, fresh raisin. 😀 Hee.

  61. Love my flannel sheets, warm soup, my warm kitty (purrrrr), and plan on making some handwarmers–felt hearts filled with rice and heated in the microwave. I think they will make a great gift!

  62. 1. I love having the excuse it’s too cold to really do anything
    2. Get the fire going.
    3. Make a large cup of cocoa.
    4 Wrap-up in a warm throw and Thank God for being so good to me, and reading my Bible, just having a good time with God for a few minutes.
    5. Then I just sit back and enjoy my time. (let’s not forget a nice warm bath)
    Thank you so much for sharing all your wonderful ideals and thoughts, I know you are a very special person. Not to many people worry about the little birds. I’m sure you are just as pretty on the inside as the out. You just make my day and you are such a blessing to me.

  63. Smart wool socks are the best at keeping feet warm in the winter! They have various thicknesses to fit boots and shoes. A family Christmas tradition, for the runners, the “my feet are freezing” and the winter sports folks. Can’t do without them.
    In addition to the socks; hot cocoa, throws & cozy blankets, flannel pj’s, crackling fires, good books, “old time” movies, Hallmark channel, homemade soup, candles & wine, loved ones and the family pet(s), are my favorites for winter survival

  64. I love and hate winter at the same time. I hate it when it’s too cold to do anything, but that feeling when I just stay in my warm bed with a book and hot chocolate is so amazing. But then, Monday comes…
    And I love your boots with low heels;) Can not not have it!

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