This month, I’m featuring some products that have made my life easier, or better, in the past few weeks.
First, and foremost, I want to thank my scanner for being the most useful thing as I seek reimbursement for the many expenses incurred after Southwest melted down over the holidays. (So. Many. Receipts.)
Having a standalone scanner has been so helpful for everyone in the house. My scanner is old (I ordered it in 2011!) and it’s still going – I have the Fujitsu ScanSnap 1500M, and there are older ones available for $44!
If you’re in the market for a new one, I do like the ScanSnap and how easy it is to use.
That one, which is probably the most updated version of the one I have, is pretty pricey – but this one is portable, wireless, and $200:
In the first few months of the pandemic in 2020, I heard an ad for a local Lasik surgery promoting their services because it’s annoying when your glasses fog up while wearing a mask (which I do pretty consistently when I leave the house. WOW I really like Not Having Bronchitis or Covid or RSV or the flu).
It’s true! It was brilliant advertising: glasses + mask is not fun. My ears are tired! My glasses get foggy and then they get slippy and they start falling down on top of the mask. I’m constantly pushing my spectacles back up, which can mean they get smudged and hard to see out of (I hate smudges on my glasses). It’s a mess.
Am I wearing a mask still? Every time I leave the house. And I don’t remember where I learned about Nerd Wax, but I put it on the nose pieces of my glasses and they. Stay. Put.
Amazing! This is so cool! I put the wax on the nose piece, and boom: they stay where they are supposed to be, including when I’m wearing a K-95. Hell yeah!
CASHMERE MOON HAND CREAM
It is the time of year when the skin on my hands is chapped and raw from so much hand washing and so much dry air. I’ve featured a few different hand creams here in Stuff We Like, some that are very beloved by fiber artists and crafters who work with fabric.
My newest favorite is from Cashmere Moon. I was sent a sample bottle of the Whipped Hand Lotion and it’s sitting in my kitchen getting a ton of attention. I cannot get enough of it. When my hands are red and itchy, and then I use lotion, it usually stings and turns my hands even more red.
Not so with the Cashmere Moon lotion. It’s glorious. It doesn’t sting, it doesn’t have a scent, and it feels lovely and absorbs quickly. I am apparently “has strong feelings about hand cream” years old now, and this is my current fave.
Speaking of “I am…years old,” I received some wool socks for Hanukkah and I could not be more excited about them. I have so many, and I like them so much.
I absolutely hate things that are itchy, and I stayed away from wool anything thinking it would give me a very angry rash (and make me angry, too). The merino wool socks I’ve collected and been given are so lovely, and they don’t make me itchy at all! And since I hate being cold almost as much as I hate being itchy, this is a big win for me in January.
Among my favorites: SmartWool merino wool socks have been worth every penny, and sometimes I find them on sale.
I’ve also found some variety pack of wool socks at Costco, though I do warn that if you have spots on your socks that wear through first (for me it’s the center of the ball of my foot, every time) they do wear thin after awhile. I think mine last about 2 years, which isn’t terrible.
These are my newest set:
I was given this variety pack for Hanukkah, and wow I love them! They’re thicker than the Costco ones, too, so I’m hoping they don’t wear through as quickly, or at all!
I confess: I thought that weighted blankets were a fad.
We have one from Costco that we bought during the pandemic, and I dislike it because the weighted part is inside a fuzzy duvet that’s tied internally at intervals that are so far apart that they come undone. Then the inner weighted part sags and bunches and feels unpleasant, and I really, really dislike touching the fabric of the internal ties. I want to like this blanket, but everything about it feels like a chore. So I figured weighted blankets weren’t for me.
Then I was offered a sample of Eli & Elm’s weighted blanket, and since it’s one piece, ergo no cover fabric, I figured I’d try it.
Oh My Gosh. I thought it was a fad. I thought it was silly and wouldn’t work for me. I was SO WRONG.
I have a twin size on my half of the bed – which may sound bizarre but is nbd, because I always need extra blankets. I’ve honestly thought about cutting a set of flannel sheets in half and sewing one side to a set of regular sheets so I could have flannel and Adam could have Not Flannel. Has anyone done this?
Anyway, the comforter is on my half of the bed, and it is MAGICAL. It’s been a week and I have slept so well. I get sleepy faster, too, with the weight gently pressing me down onto the bed. I get into bed and it’s so ridiculously relaxing.
I have never been so wrong, and so well rested in my wrongness. Wow.
What about you? Do you have a weighted blanket? Do you love wool socks? What items are making your life better lately?
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It’s not at all bizarre to have separate covers in cold climates, it’s just common sense! My half of the bed has flannel (not for the bottom sheet, alas) and a bearaby weighted blanket. It was worth the expense in part because it doesn’t have to be tied in a duvet, but mainly because it’s breathable. All the others I saw have a synthetic layer to keep the weights in place. A weighted blanket definitely helps me sleep but hot flashes/night sweats are pure hell under one that doesn’t breathe. I have a wool blanket and a feather duvet also, because when I am not internally combusting I get quite cold.
I like Darn Tough slightly better than Smart Wool on every front, but they’re comparable. If you too have reached the merino sock years, as a special treat for serious weather days, allow me to suggest: alpaca socks.
Oh, and speaking of serious weather days, if you ever find a cashmere sweater that is too big for you in a thrift store (there are almost always more/better men’s sweaters) just shrink it in hot water in your sink. It’s only maybe 10 minutes to go down a size or two? Felted cashmere is the best layer for when the cold starts trying to throw its weight around and intimidate you.
I’m a Darn Tough fan, too. I have a couple of pairs with over 3K miles of hiking that look brand new. They also come in some cute patterns. And for my husband, they keep the foot stank at bay.
I too have thought of cutting bedding in half and creating 2 his and hers special blankets, but like you haven’t actually done it.
About the socks, are they tight around the calf? I have big calves and hate that line I get from too tight socks.
I love wool socks, especially handknit socks. I have knit 8 or 9 pairs over the last 10 years, and I wear them almost exclusively in the winter, except when I need to look either professional or fancy. (I work from home, so there aren’t many occasions when I need to dress up.) Jeans or jeggings and long-sleeved t-shirts are my everyday go-tos, and they pair well with handknit socks and either sneakers or all-weather mocs.
@Vivi12: They are not wool, but I recommend Yomandamor Bamboo Non-Binding Warm Winter Socks.
I am in the market for merino wool socks after falling in love with a Smartwool base layer. Good to know that their socks get your recommendation if I can’t find another.
Dang! I want everything this week!!
The Nerd Wax sounds like a winner. As for Wool Socks – While SmartWool is my favorite, REI does a store brand version that’s a couple dollars cheaper and just as good.
My spouse and I sleep with separate sheets and blankets and have for a while now, it’s very civilized if you’re not sleep smuggler types as no one can steal blankets and everyone can be their preferred temperature, add the dual zone heated mattress pad and the only thing to negotiate is the texture of the bottom sheet.
I love bamboo socks. I have small feet, so my youngest and I both have the same size socks. Hers are all rainbow striped.
I have a weighted blanket too. It is wonderful.
Thanks, @kkw! I’m off to the thrift shop to look for cashmere sweaters. I guess this would work for wool too, if I see a cool men’s sweater I like.
I got two pairs of SmartWool Everyday Dazzling Wonder Full Cushion Crew Socks for Christmas, and they’re pretty and comfy!
I also like my SockWell Ascender wool socks, which are way more than 2 years old and are starting to wear thin in the Achilles area.
My spouse and I have a king bed but twin comforters (duvets) of different weights. We can snuggle in and there’s no wind tunnel or squabbles over who stole the blankets. I am not exaggerating when I say this has ended at least 36% of our marital strife.
Try buying massage table flannel sheets. They will cover half a bed quite nicely once you’ve tucked in the top, foot & side. They’re also pretty cheap. (Bonus: when they wear out you can cut them up & use them as cleaning rags.)
For Christmas I got a mini air conditioner attached to a sleeping pad, so it funnels cold water through tunnels in the pad. In less than 5 minutes the pad is chilly enough to combat a night time hot flash. It was a few hundred dollars, but we’ll make some of that back when I don’t have to keep the house at 67° on summer nights in the Southwest in order to sleep. The pad itself wasn’t that comfortable, due to the bridges where the water flows and the impermeable surface, so I folded a fleece blanket in half and put it back over the pad under the sheets. It still works and I don’t feel like I’m laying on something stiff and lumpy that doesn’t breathe.
Hell yeah, wool socks! There’s nothing better to keep your feet warm. I’ve since learned to knit my own, but Falke Walkies hiking socks are still the best, IMO. They are right-/left-fitted, superwash and have a plushy sole. IDK if they are availabe outside Europe, though.
One thing I absolutely HAVE to have to keep warm are bed socks. That sounds like old people stuff, but IDC – I AM getting older (plus I get menopausal *cold* flashes, unlike everyone else). They are very soft, with angora wool and I wear them from October to May. Falling asleep has become much easier w/ warm feet, and I sleep better.
I wear toe socks and in winter use Injinji wool ones. I just wish they came in more than one style!
I just need you to know that I have already hit “add to cart” on the Nerd Wax. I thought I was a contacts-forever person, but, seriously, progressive lenses (so you can see far when you look up/out, and read clearly when you look down) are ah-mazing. I’m also still wearing a mask in every public place. So, thanks for potentially changing my glasses-wearing, mask-wearing life!