Falling into Autumn

The weather turned crisp here in the St. Louis area this week. I love it. We made the great winter clothes switchover in our home, which of course left everything in my house undone for a few days. Trying on jeans and sweaters assessing what fits and doesn't, determining the purchases to get everyone outfitted for the coming months is always a task and one I face with a bit of dread.

In my routine I have I added an extra step each year that I have come to call Snow Day. When the first snow of the season comes and my kids would wake up begging to play in it, I would find myself scrambling for mismatched gloves, and boots they had outgrown from the previous year. I would be forced to send them out with bread bags on their legs like I'd done as a child; Or worse, I would venture out in the weather against all advice, risking life and limb to buy things I knew we already owned (and one more gallon milk just because.)

Since everything is in upheaval anyway take a bit of time and gather the following Snow Day items:

  • 3 pairs of gloves per person - 1 for everyday to be kept in coat pockets, and 2 for snow. When they come in and warm up send them back out with fresh dry gloves.
  • Boots
  • 2 pair of wool socks
  • Snow pants or bibs
  • 3 warm hats
  • 2-3 coats - 1 for everyday that isn't too bulky for getting in and out of the car. 1 - for snow that is super warm and if possible an extra one to have for changing out and warming up.
  • A scarf
  • Hand warmers (little packets that slip in pockets, sell for less than a dollar but are totally worth it! and you can find them in the sporting goods section)
  • Thermal underwear are always great too
  • Find the sleds, saucers and snowboards so you aren't climbing over Christmas decorations in the attic to find them at 20 degrees.
If you really want to make your life easier this winter put ALL the Snow Day items except for daily gloves, hat and coat into their own storage tote, foot locker, or even a large garbage bag in the garage or closet. You won't be one of those women driving in the snow at 6 am and fighting over what's left of the worst selection at Wal-mart.

And another thing. Do you donate to Goodwill? Because I do and I donate some really great coats every year when my kids grow out of them. Don't spend a fortune on the extra coats, boots and gloves shop the second-hand stores you donate to regularly and stock up now while the selections are plentiful.

Okay, last thing. If you really want to take this housewife thing to the next level. Stock up right now, (now like right now, run don't walk) on several boxes of hot chocolate mix, marshmallows, cider, quickie cookie mixes any other quick warm treats for the cold weather. When they come in to fresh baked cookies and cocoa, and a clean dry set of snow clothes, you will be Mom of the Year. We can talk about making amazing hot cocoa from scratch or almost homemade in a few weeks.

If you use firewood, make sure you have that chimney swept and plenty of dry seasoned wood. I think we might be in for a rough winter because my big toe is hurting.