With the exception of that crazy October snowfall we had last Fall,, we have had an extremely mild winter with hardly any snow this year. Since it finally feels like winter (we've gotten over 12-inches of snow the last couple of days) I thought this might be a good time to share my winter "essentials" with you!
Favorite Winter Essentials:
boot tray... I place this at the front door for wet, snowy boots and shoes. I found this faux-copper alligator-embossed tray at TJMaxx. You can find them here.
door snakes...It's inevitable, I guess, living in an antique house, but the antique doors don't fit perfectly anymore and there is a slight draft. I found the snakes for sale at a local hardware store, but only in bright red-and-white checks and cutesy fabric. I don't do cutesy;) I custom-ordered three for my antique doors in solid black. You can find them here.
boots... Specifically my Bogs! When we first moved here I went to a small, locally owned shoe store in a neighboring town and asked what their best boots were for walking in the snow. I was surprised when they said Bogs. I adore these boots. 15" of snow? No problem. My Bogs have a comfort rating to minus 40 degrees! I can attest that they keep your feet dry and toasty!
down...I learned quickly that when you live in New England you need several different "fills" of down coats for our daily dog walks!
I wear the down vest (with a hoodie) when the temperature is "warmish"- down to 32 degrees, or so. I wear the heavier down coat (in the middle) when the temperature is between 31 degrees and 0 degrees! And I bring out the massive Eddie Bauer down coat when the temperature is below 0!
Then, of course, there's the heavy winter down comforter for the bed!
smartwool socks... I love these thin wool blend socks. They keep your feet toasty without the bulk of thick wool socks.
snow rake.... Until moving to New England we had never heard of a snow rake! For my Southern peeps a snow rake is basically a flat shovel on a very long arm that you use to remove snow from the roof so that the weight of the snow doesn't cause damage to your house.
my father's wool scarf... I grew up in San Antonio, where the need for winter clothing wasn't big. Throughout my childhood my father only had one scarf, this scarf, that he wore to work on really cold days. I have sweet memories of how dapper he looked when he wore this scarf. I wear it often to remember.
barn room fireplace... We love the barn room fireplace, and use it daily! At least once a year Dan has me recount a story from my early twenties because he thinks it is soooo funny: Fresh out of college living in Houston in a rented condo I bought plastic-wrapped logs from the neighborhood 7-11 (convenience store) for my fireplace. Not growing up with a fireplace (see San Antonio, above;) I left the logs in the plastic wrap thinking I was protecting them, not knowing they needed to dry out. On the night I decided to light the logs I merely took the plastic off and placed them in the fireplace. I held a match underneath the log, thinking it would automatically ignite; like a candle! I went through about 50 matchbooks (remember the days when you got matches from every club and restaurant you went to?!) over several hours, lighting one match after another and holding it under the log- no kindling, no paper, no pine cones; and of course I got nothing... except burnt fingers. That story makes Dan laugh, so he has made it his mission to teach me how to start a proper fire! Under his tutelage I have become fairly adept and am thinking I should submit my name for Survivor!
lots of firewood.... The firewood is stored along one wall in the garage. It shares the same bay as Big Blue. The garage has a radiant heat floor, so that helps the unseasoned firewood to dry out.
Sometimes we splurge on this... de-barked, kiln dried firewood!! Sweet! This is what I needed in my Houston condo, as it will catch by just holding a match to it!
This is my full kindling box.... Even though I'm now quite the fire-maker ;) Dan sweetly presets a fire for me before he goes out of town, but one time he didn't do that and I had to cut my own kindling (cue the violins;) After retelling him the story of me with a dull ax and a couple of mishaps lets just say the kindling box has never been empty again!!! :)
heated steering wheel... In cold New England this is a sweet thing indeed!