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Your winter coat and boots are essential for keeping you warm, but don’t underestimate your less visible winter gear: your accessories. These items may be less noticeable, but they go a LONG way toward keeping you warm and comfortable. Choose your winter accessories carefully, and you’ll be cozy from head to toe.

Here’s a thorough list of tips for buying every winter accessory you’ll need this season.

Buy both a base layer and an outer layer.
You need two types of winter accessories.

• Base layer: Long underwear, leggings, and socks that will keep your skin dry as well as trap your body heat.
• Outer layer: A scarf, hat, earmuffs, and gloves to keep your extremities from losing heat in the cold.

Choose the right materials.

There are two basic categories for materials: synthetics and naturals. Each one is appropriate for different situations.

For your base layer, you may want to go for a synthetic fiber like polyester. Synthetics can effectively wick moisture away from the body, so your clothes won’t become soaked with sweat – a bad idea if you want to stay warm. Some natural fibers, like merino wool, are also useful for this purpose. Thermal underwear, for example, is often made of wool and/or synthetic fibers.

For outer-layer items, you want to go with a well-insulated, midweight material. Natural materials like wool, leather, and fur are all wonderful options, and synthetics such as polyester fleece, woven acrylic, or faux fur also work well.

For gloves, leather and fleece are especially good because they can be easily wiped clean or machine-washed. For hats, you can’t go wrong with a high-quality wool, fleece, or fur.

Aim for full coverage.

Ideally you don’t want much, if any, of your skin to be exposed to the cold air. This is important for every layer – your long undies should go all the way to your ankles, your gloves should actually cover your wrists, and so on.

Headgear is especially important in this respect. Your head needs to be completely covered in order to stay warm in the cold! If your hat doesn’t cover your ears, then invest in some earmuffs.

But look for a dexterous fit.

While you do need the material to be thick enough to keep you warm, you also don’t want bulky, puffy accessories that will prevent you from being able to walk, bend your knees, reach with your arms, and use your fingers.

You especially need your gloves to be slim and dexterous so that they don’t restrict movement. Look for a stretchy but warm fabric, and of course, go with gloves instead of mittens.

Consider special features.

Lastly, consider which special features you’d appreciate in your accessories. For example, some gloves have touchscreen capability on the fingertips. Some can be converted into mittens as needed for extra warmth. For scarves, you might want to buy an infinity scarf that can also double as a shawl. The sky’s the limit, and your winter accessories should be useful for your personal needs.

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Conversation Starters

by Dee Dee

Ever get tired of the same old “How was your day?” question? The worst part is that it usually leads to an answer that’s about as tired as the question itself. Well, don’t worry you’re definitely not alone and I’ve just stumbled across the perfect, simple solution from The Dating Divas. They created these stacks and stacks of thought-provoking questions to draw out some much more stimulating and meaningful conversations.

These conversation starters have 250 prompts about intimacy, finances, quality time, romance, and family so if you make it through all of them, you’ll have hit all of the biggest ideas in marriage.

We decided on the ‘one a day’ approach and since the first time we’re really alone isn’t until we head to bed, we just have them divided up in our nightstands and we alternate nights. On my day, I’ll just choose a category and pull the top card from the deck. I read it aloud and then we chat about it. Sometimes it’s “easy” question and we share our thoughts for a few minutes but other times we actually have to stop and force ourselves to get to bed (we usually promise to think about it more and discuss over dinner the next day).

There have even been some questions on topics that we never would’ve thought to approach on our own. I think those are my favorites because afterwards we’re always so surprised we never talked about it before, and we usually have pretty similar thoughts on the matter too!

To keep everything organized and to make sure our cards aren’t spread throughout the nightstand (or even the entire house), it’s nice that they fit so perfectly in an Altoids tin. We keep all the cards in their little boxes, even the ones we’ve already discussed because you never know when your thoughts might change or something new might come to you. I’m a sucker for cute packaging, so I love the tins, but there are all kinds of ways to keep them organized – anything from a simple plastic baggie to a binder ring.

We’re pretty satisfied with our question a day routine but I do think it would be fun to use these conversation starters on a long road trip too. Having thoughtful conversation makes the drive seem a lot more purposeful and feel a lot less like a waste of time. We’re also lucky enough to see each other pretty much every night but I really think these would be fun to add to a nightly phone conversation if you’re in a long distance relationship!

So if you’re ready to open up those lines of communication the easy way and stop discussing only the basics of your spouse’s day, try some conversation starters today! I’m guessing you’ll be just as amazed as we were at the discussions these prompts encourage. Click here


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