I absolutely love having a “Favorite Things” gift swap with friends! If you haven’t done one before, you gotta! A few of my close friends and I did it a few times, and then during COVID years it got dropped and I have missed it dearly and am wanting to start it back up ASAP! For those not privy on it, a “Favorite Things” gift swap is when you purchase an item (or items) you absolutely love and use often; something you want others to experience and know about and enjoy. The other person (or people, if there is a group of you) also do the same and buy something that they love, for every person that is exchanging a gift. Typically there is a ‘budget’ of sorts, so that the gift value is relatively close. It has been a blast every time I have done it and so much fun to get gifts that my friends love and to watch them love and appreciate my favorite thing as well.
Since I didn’t do a “Favorite Things” gift swap this year with friends, I want to help spread the word on some awesome gift ideas for yourself or others, specifically for those who get to experience all of the joys of a chilly winter.
These are AMAZING. I bought a 3-pack but quickly learned it wasn’t enough. These socks are the exact same ones that Bobby got last year and loved, and so this year I thought I would check ’em out. He is an avid online shopper and makes his decisions largely based on reviews of the product. These gems had a ton of awesome reviews, and for good reason.
They’re thick, warm, cozy, and great for wearing around the house, outside with boots, “inside” at the ice rink watching kiddos’ hockey games, whatever! These are a great gift for nearly anyone in your family. Socks are often something I just stick to what I know and always buy a 6-pack of ankle Puma black and grey socks. They are inexpensive and have treated me well for so many years. This year though, I was willing to treat myself a bit for a few pair of warmer socks, and bonus points that I like how they are able to peep out the top of black Chelsea or combat boots. Here is the direct link to the 3-pack I have and love!
This was probably one of the best gifts Bobby ever got for me. Unlike many electric blankets these days that apparently do not start heating up the bed until you are in it, this electric heated mattress pad fits nicely over your mattress, under your sheets, and will warm up your bed so that it is so incredibly cozy as soon as you get in! Gone are the days of getting into ice cycle sheets and flailing around in a frenzy to warm up.
Most of them come with two controls, one for each side of the bed, and have a wide variety of heat control settings to customize it to what you like. Our’s also has timers in the control pad so that you can set how long you want it on for. We like to turn our’s on about an hour before bed (although it only takes a few minutes to warm up), and keep it on a low setting as a little goes a long way! The main reason we utilize our’s is to heat the bed so it is warm for us when we get in, and then before we fall asleep we shut it off for the night (although you could certainly utilize the timer function to do that). Currently, in our older home our bedroom is not well heated or insulated and historically getting into our bed was freezing! So much so that it would be like a jolt of coldness to my body and would increase my alertness, making it more difficult to relax and fall asleep. This addition to our bed has been phenomenal and greatly benefited our coziness and sleep quality.
Shackets. As a Minnesotan, these things are genius and now make up a good chunk of my wardrobe selection. The combo of a shirt and a jacket, these warm outer layers provide such a fun and functional addition to an outfit, which is precisely why I own a variety of them. One of my ultimate favorites though, is fleece-lined! How amazing is that?! The exact one that I have from a favorite online boutique is not currently available, but here is one quite similar! However, from that same shop, here is another shacket I own and love (it just isn’t fleece lined). Shackets come in a variety of material, styles and fit so it is easy to find one that meets your needs and occasion. Pair it with boots or sneakers, jeans or leggings depending on your look, and if you’re wanting even more warmth wear it over a long sleeve, add a puffer vest, and/or toss on a beanie.
If you live in a place that has true winter, you own Sorel boots. I think it’s a fact. From the 1990’s historic tan boots and black rubber bottoms with white fur-lined insides (you know the ones), to the trendy wedge-style to go with a cute night-out outfit, there are so many options from this awesome brand! They know how to create boots that function for the cold yet also are light-weight, non-bulky and trendy. Over the years, their popularity has risen so that there are now also knock-off brand options. I think most are lacking in their cold-rating and ability to keep your feet warm like true Sorel’s do, however when it comes to appearance they are nearly idendentical! Over the years, this style Sorel boot has been my absolute go-to as it is tall enough for deeper snow yet not clunky, and very lightweight. I’ve had the same pair for over ten years and they are still going strong! These are not the exact same as mine, but the style/model is the same and just as cute.
The boots below, the “Out N’ About” boots, are some of my new favorites! I have a similar pair of Sperry boots, and they are the perfect footwear for running errands! Quick to get on and off, lower profile, and perfect for keeping feet warm and dry from winter snow and slush. And again, super cute and trendy to make the crummiest things like grocery shopping, not such a drag.
I am awful at consuming adequate water, and especially in the winter when hot coffee sounds delightful. Because of that, my skin takes a toll and is incredibly dry especially my hands and face. While I work on getting my water intake in check, one thing that has helped has been utilizing a facial oil at nighttime after I wash and tone my face before bed. If you haven’t yet realized in my other posts (like this one), over the years I have transitioned to using safer skin-care products with higher quality ingredients. A few of the facial oils that I have tried and have liked are Annmarie Anti-Aging Facial Oil, LifeLife Midnight Oil Serum, and Beautycounter Counter+No.3 Balancing Oil. During summer months I utilize the facial oil maybe a couple of times throughout the week, as I tend to not be quite as dry. During the winter months though, I opt to use a facial oil each night and sometimes in the morning as well.
I hope these gave you some great ideas for how to pamper yourself or someone else this winter! The cold weather and shortened daylight hours can make for a long few months, but having fun items to brighten the mood sure do help at times! What are some of your favorite things for wintertime?