The Only Things Getting Me Through this Michigan Winter

Guest post by Whitney Gronski-Buffa

We walked the dog tonight, and it was 3° outside. By the time my daughter and I got home, her face was beet red and she was scrambling for a blanket. I was darting for the hot water kettle. The dog was limping to the couch, which was overly dramatic but still… Michigan winters suck. We’re the second worst in the country, if you believe Thrillist, beaten out only by Minnesota. And I hear bad things about Minnesota winters. Ugh, this is a depressing lede paragraph.

Luckily, money can buy happiness in some ways, so I’m giving you a winter survival shopping list. If even one of these things makes your life better this winter, I’ll be happy. And that’s a big deal, because seasonal depression is real.

An outrageously warm coat

Last Christmas, I got this huge fluffy coat from Uniqlo. It cost more than I’d ever spent on a coat, but it has been worth the price. It’s about 40 percent down, and Uniqlo’s HeatTech really is as good as the reviews suggest. I never feel the cold in this thing. It goes down to my knees, the hood is huge, and I feel like I’m walking around in a sleeping bag most of the time — a huge perk on days when I didn’t want to get out of bed anyway.

An infinity scarf

I also got an infinity scarf for Christmas last year. That scarf and that coat are what get me through Michigan winters, I swear. You can find them everywhere, but isn’t this one on Etsy gorgeous? Someone should buy that.

Carhartt boot socks

If you live in an unforgivingly cold climate, you need boot socks. I’ve had others in my life, but I love the Carhartt ones. They’re thick, they don’t stretch out, and they come in cute colors. I get them at Tractor Supply Company (Life hint: Most of the best things can be found at TSC or Asian food markets. It’s the honest truth.) but here’s a four-pack on Amazon for less than I’ve paid in store!

Glossier Balm Dot Com

A while back, I wrote a post about my first Glossier order and I was pretty excited over my first box. I’ve given up on some of the products after they broke me out, but I’m here to tell you this: As long as Glossier exists, I will never stop buying Balm Dot Com (or the Stretch Concealer, but let’s focus). It completely rehydrates whatever areas have suffered in the winter wind. Lips, cuticles, knuckles, that weird patch of dermatitis left by your stupid FitBit — Balm Dot Com is gonna fix it. I use it for my daughter too, and I’ve subbed it for diaper cream in the past. It’s legit. If I’ve convinced you, here’s my referral code: http://bff.glossier.com/eR2lO 🙂

Hot water kettle and good tea

I inherited this water kettle from a friend who graduated college a year ahead of me, and it has rarely left my counter in the eight years since then. I use it almost every evening for tea, but they’re great for instant noodles, sterilizing things fast, whatever. You need one. As for tea, some standbys in my cupboard are Now Foods Better Off Red, Tiesta Tea Relaxer, Tazo Green Ginger, and any old peppermint. Also, you need to know this sore throat tea recipe, and I suggest adding a bit of cayenne too. You’ll thank me next time you’re sick!

A really good bingeable show

Yeah, ya know what? Sometimes the weather is so awful in Michigan that all the boot socks and infinity scarves in the world aren’t pulling me from the house. I’m staying in, making popcorn and tea, and watching television. I’m not a huge binger, but I recently got sick and binged the whole debut season of Search Party on TBS. It’s all on demand and on tbs.com! It’s a dark comedy about a group of idiot millennials who are looking for a friend who might be kidnapped or dead. The writing is witty, the wardrobing is great/hilarious, and it’s such a drag on the millenial archetype. I was in heaven, despite having a 103° fever. Watch it! You have my permission, especially if it will keep you out of frostbite’s way.


Whitney Gronski-Buffa is a freelance reporter and stay-at-home mom. You can follow her on Twitter @whitneymae.

About Karin

Journalist, singer, reader, movie fanatic, photography buff, GVSU alum, wanna-be-Brit, Crohn's fighter, Coca-Cola addict, animal lover, not a kid person, hater of winter, Michigander
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