Snow has started falling and temps have dropped. Winter is here. This is my 8th winter in Chicago, so I’m obviously an expert in how to get by when the air feels like it’s -20 and your skin hurts so bad that you just give up. Since everyone is in layering and hibernating mode, I thought I’d share a few things that I rely on to survive these brutal Chicago winters. Here’s my winter survival guide. 

Winter Survival Guide

Whenever someone finds out I’m from California, they always ask how I ended up here and how I handle the winters. I love Chicago but I’m sort of a mess if it’s 20 or below which happens a lot. My eyes tear up and I really can’t handle being outside. But it’s not all bad. I’ve officially broken out the turtlenecks, coats, and gloves and am ready for make my favorite slow cooker stew. I can make that in a pressure cooker, right?

But really, for a girl who used to think 50s warranted Uggs and puffy coats, these winters are just a lot so here are a few things (aside from a warm-weather vacation or moving to Santa Barbara) that help me get through it.

Bobbi Brown

Hydrating Face Cream

I've been using this since my early 20s and it saves my (naturally) dry skin year after year
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White & Warren

Cashmere Travel Wrap

They're perfect for wrapping around your entire head when you can't feel your face.
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J. Crew

Cozy Pajamas

These are so soft and cozy
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Pressure Cooker

Perfect for all those warm soups and stews
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A Robe You'll Live In

I wear this around the house for hours at a time. It's so comfortable and has a hook to keep it closed!
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Vintage Bookshelf Games


Is it me or is this the prettiest version of scrabble you've ever seen?
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Faux Fur Throw

This is by far the warmest (and heaviest) throw I own.
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Hand Salve

I keep a bottle next to my bed and in my tote bag at all times. This stuff is magic.
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The World's Greatest Space Heatr

This will keep you warm all winter and cool all summer and is safe to use around pets and babies!
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What are some of your winter survival essentials?