After 8 Confusing Winters in Illinois, Here’s What I Learned

If you live in the Midwest, you've experienced the Siberia-level of cold last Wednesday.

Frankly, I prefer spring or summer over the bitter cold that is winter. But I live in Illinois so I can’t escape winter no matter what.

You may or may not have been aware that I’ve only been living in the US for the last 8 years. My first winter, I experienced the worst blizzard in 20 years. More than 20″ of snow fell down in Quincy over the period of 2-3 days. That was a fun experience for this tropical monkey. My back froze up. 

It’s been alternating between mild and harsh winter every year since then and now some of us have been blessed with the coldest day in 34 yearscolder than the North Pole. Climate change is no joke.

But you know what? Winter doesn't have to suck!

8 confusing winters in Illinois has taught me a few things:

  1. If I can’t keep myself warm enough there’s always a product to solve the problem.
  2. When I’m warm, my mood is generally better.
  3. Smooth, glowing skin during wintertime is no unicorn.

With each winter, I got better at keeping myself fairly comfortable. I would hoard pajamas or sweaters that have proved to keep me warm(er) during those times. This old house doesn’t have the best insulation.

PS: if you’re curious, I’m wearing the Moon Crater Silver Ring and the Frilly Bonnet Silver Ring in the picture 😉

Mmmm... Warm...

Last year, I got us a heated blanket with dual controllers! Brilliant invention, I tell ya. My husband is mildly convinced that I’m a vampire due to my inability to produce body heat. LOL. I always crawl under the blanket with cold hands and feet every night.

Meanwhile, my husband is as warm as the tropical sun! We couldn’t make the regular heated blanket work for us. Either it was too hot for him or too cold for me. We had been piling up blankets to our liking instead. 

But this heated blanket let us control the heat separately. Last Wednesday, I set mine at 8/10 while he was comfortable at 2/10. Crazy, right?

Keep your hands warm and your spirits high with these hand warmers.


A few months later, I came across these electrical hand warmers. They shaped like smooth pebbles with 3 heat settings. Most of the times, the lowest heat setting works for me. I like to compare the heat with a hot stone massage. If you love getting a hot stone massage, you’ll love these hand warmers! They come in various colors. I have them in rose gold and champagne.

I’m sad that I didn’t find out about them 8 years ago. Where were they 3 years ago when I froze my butt off at a Christmas show in an old warehouse with no heating (it was below freezing)? That’s why I’m sharing the good news here just in case you’re a cold baby like me.

Cold affects my mood. Having these have prevented me from being a grumpy mess during the bitter cold days. I like to run the warm pebbles on my face too pretending that I’m getting a spa treatment. The pulsating heat is soothing to me (my husband can’t stand them! Hahaha!!).

BTW, these electrical hand warmers doubled as power banks so you can charge your phone with one of them in a pinch.

Summer glow in wintertime? No way!

Trust me, it’s possible!

There’s nothing worse than chapped lips. You keep on licking your lips but it made them even drier. The pain when your cuticle split only second to a paper cut. Why settle for dry, cracked skin? Get the summer glow you long for when you apply this premium protection on your skin.

I love rubbing the Happy Maker’s Balm all over my face, hands, and lips before crafting and right before bed to wake up to smooth skin. Happy Maker’s Balm Premium Skin Salve is made of premium organic beeswax from a local bee farm in Quincy, IL. Beeswax will produce an invisible protective layer on your skin without any greasy feeling.

I no longer feel tightness on my skin anymore.

Filled with skin-loving ingredients, Happy Maker’s Balm can be used all year long without a problem. If you get a pack of 4, it will come with a bonus tin can for the beeswax bar. For all skin types. Beat that winter dryness!

How would you like that?

Do you have any winter stories that made you go “huh”? Share your stories in the comment.

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Winter in Illinois doesn't have to suck.

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Kharisma Sommers

Kharisma Sommers

When I'm not working on improving my metalsmithing skills, I like to take macro photos of flowers (but only when the weather is warm because I'm picky like that). I spend my days watching funny animal videos on Facebook and/or glued on Netflix. It's hard to imagine that I won awards for my jewelry if you judge me by my silly pajamas.

I wanna know... What are you thinking? Tell me what's on you mind...

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