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I'm Suzy of Simply by Suzy, and I'm so happy you're here at my blog because I can't wait to serve you with lots of good stuff like a peek into all of my favorite photoshoots for clients, freebies and resources on motherhood, how to get more connected with your life, and how to take beautiful pictures of it.
All right I don’t know about you but I was one of the many people who found themselves extremely disappointed when May came and every garden thing, kiddie pool and pretty much every fun summer thing was sold out. Well that ain’t happening again. No no my friends, we are going to be prepared this winter and get all the good winter things now. You with me?
After tons of research and brainstorming and asking friends, here’s what I came up with (below). Now, keep in mind you certainly don’t have to get everything on this list because it’s going to add up and be pretty costly. But this way you can pick and choose what sounds like the best for you and your family. I recommend buying some things now on sites with current discounts running or just things you really want and can afford. For other items you’re saving for, bookmark those and subscribe to the company’s email list so you can be notified when a sale runs like Labor Day (but if I were you, my goal would be to get them by Labor Day as I predict October things will start to sell out).
Sleds (GET THEM NOW!) **you can get any sled but in my research this one is pretty awesome by LL Bean. It’s made for a commercial sled park so it’s super durable, the reviews are all great and I do love the idea of using something more padded and safe with handles for the kids like the inflatable sled vs the hard shell sled.
A push sled – this isn’t a sled meant to go down a sledding hill, it’s more like a stroller for the snow. I’m not sure how this is going to work out but I decided to get these for the girls (I got the large with a cushion) and I’m envisioning going out for walks in them, like the local forest preserve or maybe going to the beach and walking on the snowy beach in them.
Or could get a winter wagon
An outdoor patio heater and even a fire pit to go with it if you don’t have one already.
** Click HERE to see how many BTUs you need to heat up your patio space and read more about the different kinds of patio heaters you can get for big and small spaces
Indoor trapeze or swing (or both!) – Usually in winter we take our toddler to the mall in the early morning to run off her energy or the local kids’ museum or play place. I imagine these will all be closed or just not very desirable to take kids this winter so I’m trying to think of what ways can I make sure she gets all of her energy out and how I can encourage her to be as physically active as possible.
Nugget Couch – just another thing to add to your arsenal of how you can turn your current playroom into a mini kids’ playplace. And apparently a hot ticket item as there’s already a wait list so sign up now if you want one!
(snagged this photo from my friend’s instagram @victoriap8er of her twins on a nugget couch, and who you should totally follow along as she has the most beautiful, colorful life with her kids and their mid-century modern house they’ve been restoring/renovating)
**ALL THE ART SUPPLIES** – I imagine since so many people are homeschooling and just in general everyone being stuck at home, I am forecasting that come January, finding plentiful art supplies might be like March 2020 toilet paper. Make sure you get things that are age appropriate and safe for your kids (as in, no choking hazards and no glitter – that one is mostly just for your sanity lol)
Think playdough, washable paints, paint brushes, water colors, crayons, markers, pipe cleaners (these are awesome for kids to play with and build things or you can do activities like have your toddler try to put them through spaghetti strainer holes), lots of paper, coloring books, etc.
This kids’ table from Ikea you can use as a sensory table and put different things in the trays for your kids to play with (we’re going to use ours in the kitchen where we have tile floor that’s easy to clean up).
**Stock up on your first aid kit and things for being sick should you come down with something** I feel like things have finally settled down and you can actually find cough syrup, elderberry syrup if you like to go the natural route, vitamin d, tylenol, hand soap and sanitizing wipes, so make sure you get enough to last you through the winter now while you can.
Firewood – if you have a fire pit or a fireplace you plan on using this winter start stocking up now!
Christmas tree & decorations – if you celebrate Christmas, be sure to get your tree now (if you want a fake one) and all your decorations. I highly recommend going to Hobby Lobby and asking when they put their holiday decor out and going right away because they often do a 50% off everything sale when it first hits the shelves months before the holidays.
**Get all your winter gear now!** Get extra hats and gloves for the kids because we all know at least one or two will get lost or ruined mid season, and splurge on good water proof boots and coats if you can so you can be outside comfortably for as long as possible.
Popcorn maker – This popcorn maker is effortless to use and I’m already envisioning all the family move nights with this thing. My personal favorite is to melt butter and drizzle some white truffle oil on top.
Glopals – these little cubes light up and glow different colors when you put them in water and truly they make bath time so much fun (especially the first time you use them). Though I would recommend just using them on occasion as something to mix up the week instead of every bath session (the first set I bought lasted me about 10 or so bath times and then they started to lose their glow power).
Infrared Sauna – If you’re ready to splurge on something, this is it. My husband and I saved forever and got this full spectrum Infrared sauna and it’s been the best investment we’ve ever made. It’s super compact so it’s in our basement (we do not have a big home) and it was SO unbelievably easy to put together. Also after all the research I did this brand was the best infrared sauna to get – best value and love the way that it looks in our home, it’s the most energy efficient (as one of my concerns was that getting our money’s worth out of it and using it a lot would jack up our electric bill), and the reviews for this company are just stellar beyond anything else I found and we had a great experience with buying it. We decided to get this because there are a lot of research studies that show the benefit of sauna use for your overall health, immune system and depression which, let’s be honest, is a huge issue for a lot of us right now and possibly even more so once winter hits and us northern dwellers are all stuck inside and there’s not a lot of sunshine.
We got this 2 person sauna but to be honest we could have gotten the 1 person, saved some money and been happy with it since we rarely get to use it at the same time (also since this will be placed inside your home as opposed to outside you can get the cheaper Hemlock wood. The cedar wood is only important if it’s an outside sauna OR you just have no budget and you want the beautiful cedar wood and that cedar sauna smell)
Follow along for more about photography, motherhood and life behind the scenes with my own family.