My Favorite Things: January 2018

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Happy New Year! I hope you're staying warm. Last night, Mother Nature gave us more than 6 inches of snow here in Pittsburgh. My sons LOVE playing in the snow and don't seem to mind the cold. The high won't even reach 20 degrees F today, but they're out there having a ball. I'd personally rather be warm and cozy, whether inside under a blanket or, if I have to be outside, bundled up in heavy duty snow attire. A few things on my list are perfect for helping to keep you warm. Others are just some new things I've discovered and am enjoying. Leave me a comment, and let me know your thoughts and/or if you'd like me to check out anything you're loving!

1) Sorel Boots


I asked for and received these boots for Christmas. They are super duper warm! My feet never come close to getting cold. The product information states that these are supposed to keep your tootsies toasty in temperatures as low as -25 degrees F. Wow! They are a little clunky, but they are big boots built for the snow. They're stylish though ... winter chic! This particular one is called the "Joan of Arctic," and it comes up to my mid-shin. They are waterproof ... even the suede upper part. The faux fur is also really soft and warm. The foot is rubberized and would be great for a rainy day, too.

2) Cupcake Red Velvet Wine


I'll be 100% honest. I'm no wine connoisseur. I don't have the most refined tastebuds and can't give you advice on which wines pair best with certain dishes. But I do know that I like wine, especially the red variety. Cupcake Vineyards is located in California. They have a variety of wines for very reasonable costs (which is also something I look for). Red Velvet is a blend of unspecified red wines. It's stated to have "notes of cherry, blackberry, chocolate and mocha that fill the palate, while soft hints of vanilla and toasted oak lead to an intense and lengthy finish." It really is silky and delicious. I've given it as gifts to others, and I've served it at parties, and everyone who has tasted it loved it. Even my sister, who is definitely more of a connoisseur, says that Cupcake wines are really good for their price. I typically see this wine running anywhere from $11-14, depending on the store and if there is a promotion. Red Velvet is sure to warm you up on a wintry evening.

3) Grocery Store Curbside Pick-up


This service has been an absolute godsend to me! I only wish it would've been available at my local store when my boys were infants. For you local folks (Pittsburgh area), Giant Eagle now offers, at most locations, "Curbside Express." I know that many other cities and stores also offer a similar service. (Just call your grocery store or inquire at customer service.) At any rate, I'm a weirdo that LOVES to grocery shop, but I HATE to bring my kids with me. When they're with me, it becomes an absolute stress-filled nightmare!! It's just a matter of time before they begin hitting each other, crying, screaming, or trying to jump out of the cart ... even those cool car carts with the steering wheels. So, if I know I won't have someone to watch my kids, and I know they'll both be with me, I try to employ Curbside Express.

At Giant Eagle, the first three pick-ups are FREE, and then every trip thereafter is $4.95. (Incidentally, Giant Eagle also will deliver to your home for something like $12.) You need to plan ahead of time a bit, but I think the store only needs around 4 hours. I try to prepare my list the night before. Then you simply go the website, enter your grocery list items, select your pick-up time, and enter your credit card info (you can also pay at pick-up). When you arrive at the store, you get to park in an up-front designated spot. You'll call the phone number listed on your order (which is also listed on the parking spot sign), and give them your name. Then, you get to sit in your car while the groceries are wheeled out and placed into your trunk. (I usually get out and help, but your certainly don't have to.) They'll print a receipt for you, and that's it!

This service is seriously so nice for the convenience, especially in these cold winter months. I also did this a few days before Christmas, and it was heaven avoiding the crowds inside the store! (Think about this before major holidays or the upcoming Super Bowl!)

The only downside is that sometimes if an item is out of stock, they'll substitute it for something else or they'll skip getting you the item all together. My dilemma has also been that specialty items are sometimes not available on the website even though I know they are on the shelves inside. For example, I eat gluten-free, and some of those items aren't listed online. There is an area with your online list to leave a note to your personal shopper. You might be able to request specific items there, but I find that if I need something in a specialty category, I need to purchase that when I'm actually shopping inside. But all-in-all, grocery pick-up is AMAZING! Oh, and I also tend to spend less money this way. No impulse buys!

4) American Eagle High-Waisted Jeggings


This may sound rather weird coming from a 40-something mom of two boys, but I've recently "discovered" these jeans, and I'm in love. I'm not trying to be a teenager, nor do I want to look like one, but I really think women of all ages can wear these. Someone I follow on Instagram was singing the praises of these jeans, so I looked into them. The moment I tried them on, I literally said "aahh." For so many years, I've worn low-waisted jeans which either reveal one's butt crack or fall under one's belly pooch. Yuck! I really got tired of constantly tugging at the waistband to yank them up to a more comfortable anatomical position. But these jeggings stay in place, don't fall down, and are super soft! I bought a pair in a dark rinse and another pair in a shiny black. They are skinny jeans which fit nicely under high boots or above booties for the fall and winter.

AE jeans are known for having tears and holes which I think looks really cool ... but not on me. I'd go for maybe a little rip, but some of the ones I tried on showed more thigh skin than I was comfortable showing. And THAT made me feel like a wanna-be teen. BTW, AE also sells a "Mom Jean" ... seriously! I did NOT try those on ... just because.

5) The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel


This show is a once-hidden gem turned Golden Globe winner. It airs on Amazon Prime. (If you don't have Amazon Prime, I HIGHLY recommend getting it. It's $99 a year, but you get free two-day shipping on practically everything, and Amazon carries practically everything under the sun. It's a no-brainer, and so super convenient. Plus, you get all of these free movies, TV shows, music, etc.!)

I discovered this show by accident. It had great reviews, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Coincidentally, I was Googling the show to see if and when Season 2 would air, and at the very same time, across my iPhone screen was an announcement that it had won a Golden Globe award ... and then another! (Best TV series--Musical or Comedy and Best Actress-- Musical or Comedy)

This is the description per Amazon:

In 1958 New York, Midge Maisel's life is on track- husband, kids, and elegant Yom Kippur dinners in their Upper West Side apartment. But when her life takes a surprise turn, she has to quickly decide what else she's good at - and going from housewife to stand-up comic is a wild choice to everyone but her.

Rachel Brosnahan plays Midge. She is absolutely fabulous, entertaining, funny, and beautiful. I didn't want the season to end. Other notable stars are Alex Borstein, Michale Zegen, Marin Hinkle, and Tony Shalhoub. 


Thanks for reading January's list of "My Favorite Things." Drop me a line and let me know your favorite products or ways to stay warm through the winter!


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Kim Mavavich