Tuesday, February 6, 2024

2024 Winter Products

Hi folks.  On occasion, I have shared some fun finds here that bring us pleasure in our home.  I'm not affiliated with any of these products, nor do I receive any compensation for talking about them on my blog.  These are just things I'm enjoying at the moment and thought you might be interested in them, too.  
First thing I wanted to share is this new-to-us milk we purchased this week at our local grocery store.  

Homestead Creamery is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.  We actually bought some of their eggnog during the holidays, and it was delicious!  I kept some of the bottles (they were quart size) and gave a few to my sister and niece because they love farmhouse decor.  Then I realized we had eggnog bottles from last year (I had washed them in the dishwasher and put them in a closet) so we returned the remaining bottles for a cash refund of $3.00 per bottle.  I expect we would get more for this milk bottle, as it's a half-gallon size.  The milk is 2% milkfat, and we normally drink 1%.  We used to drink 1/2%, but they stopped making it apparently.  I was a little worried this milk would taste too "creamy" to us, but it is delicious.  I mostly just use it for cereal or oatmeal, so I'm not too worried about the extra milkfat.  After drinking this milk, it honestly made me feel like our other milk had a synthetic taste.  I feel sure this brand is more expensive than the store brand we've been drinking for years, but I'm hoping the refund from returning the bottles will mostly offset the difference in price.     

When we traveled to England back in 1999, we stayed at a hotel in the country.  We had our own suite with a kitchen on the lower floor.  The day we arrived, there were bottles of milk in the refrigerator; I had not seen bottled milk since I was a child, when we got our milk from the milkman.  I was so excited! 😊  I would be happy to return the glass bottles for all beverages if companies would give up plastic and go back to glass; it's so much better for the environment.  Even though we are faithful about recycling, I have my doubts about how much plastic actually gets recycled.  

 I've also been eating oatmeal for breakfast, and these Bob's Red Mill rolled oats are the best I've ever had.  Hal thinks so, too.  We grew up eating Quaker Oats, and these are just better.  They have a creamier texture and thicker consistency, and I like them better than steel cut oats.  We purchased the oats at our local grocery store, but they are available on Amazon, and probably all over the U.S.  I'm not sure about the milk; it might just be available in this region.  I feel sure there are lots of other small dairies out there these days, so check your local stores and farmer's market if you're interested. 
My mom wanted some wind chimes for Christmas, and after we purchased hers, I liked them so much that Hal got some for me.  

These are "Corinthian Bells" chimes, made by Wind River Chimes, also in Virginia. They are made in the USA using USA-sourced materials.  We are so impressed with these wind chimes; they have such a melodious sound.  They're really attractive, too.  I got the green color for my mom, and Hal got copper vein for me.  The aluminum-alloy tubes are powder-coated, making them more resilient to weather over the years.  

According to the website, these are hand-tuned to the scale of "C".  We got the 27-inch chimes, which are also the smallest size (as these are not inexpensive).  You can order them on the company website, and they also sell them on Amazon.  We ordered directly from the company and were very pleased with the quick delivery.
We had a few nights in January when the temps. dropped into the low to mid-teens.  I woke up on one of those really cold nights, and Hal had all the cover on his side of the bed, not for the first time, I might add. 😠 I might have mentioned this the next morning (also not for the first time) and in a few days, we received this new blanket in the mail.  Problem solved, since we also got a king-size blanket for our queen-sized bed.  This blanket is really warm, and it's so lightweight.  I think Hal was skeptical at first that it would be warm enough since we took our other blankets off the bed, but we were not disappointed.  I would highly recommend it for people living in colder climates than ours. 

There are two candles I'm burning this winter, and our son actually gave us both of them last Christmas (2022).  This one has a Christmas picture on the tin, but I consider it an all-around winter candle.  It smells wonderful!!  This is the first time I've tried a soy wax candle, and I think I'll go with these from now on.  I am highly sensitive to certain fragrances and chemical smells such as those found in so many household cleaners.  I even have to be really particular about liquid hand soaps, lotions, etc.  I've had some scented candles in the past that I just couldn't tolerate.  This particular candle has a nice, mild cinnamon scent -- just perfect for me.  

The brand is Paddywax, and I looked at their website a few weeks ago.  They, also, are not inexpensive, but I can splurge now and then for a nice candle.  I will probably try one of their floral scents for spring and summer.  These are also available on Amazon, if you prefer shopping there.

This is the candle I'm burning right now -- Northern Lights "Bourbon & Spice".  This one is also a winner; it has a very pleasing scent, and it looks nice in our den.  Hal appreciates the masculine look of the container. 😉  

For the last thing in this post, here's a book you may be interested in.

Janine Marsh and her husband are British ex-pats who purchased a derelict farmhouse and moved to France two decades ago.  She has a blog and a free online magazine, The Good Life France, where she shares her travels throughout the diverse country of France, as well as French recipes, celebrations, fashion, etc.  I think her blog and magazine are really good, and I subscribe to her newsletter.  Janine previously wrote three books about her experiences in France, which I read about a year ago.  You can find those books listed on her website.  I purchased the latest book, How To Be French, after Christmas last month.  I'm enjoying it so far; it has some lovely photos of France, and my only complaint -- the print is tiny.  Yikes!  Even with my reading glasses, it's a bit of a challenge.  
So that's all for this post.  Are you having a good winter?  I'd love to know if you've used any of these products/brands.  Thanks so much for your visit and have a great week!   


  1. I love soy candles. Strong fragrances!
    Love the blanket and chimes...My Larry is also a BlanketHog...I've had to get a separate blanket for just my side. Works great and I'm no longer waking up freezing! lol

  2. I love candles, but rarely burn scented ones as the chemicals really bother me. Your blanket looks cozy and a big one is the way to go. I haven't used any of the products you've mentioned. I still use Quaker Oats, but never make cooked oatmeal, as my husband prefers granola instead.

  3. Thanks for sharing your winter finds, Denise. We have had a 'different' winter with less snow and more rain and fog. I think the sun is breaking through right about now and that is putting a smile on my face since sunshine has been scarce for a couple of weeks. Those wind chimes sound lovely! This whole week has gotten away from me and I'm late visiting blogs! Happy Thursday to you.

  4. I would love to find milk in glass bottles. I remember the milkman delivering bottles of milk to our door when I was a child. It stayed cold in bottles and tasted so good. Plastic is awful and is so bad for us. We do need to replace plastic. I use Bob's Red Mill Oats, too. I think it is the best brand available.
    I am excited to check out your recommendation of the Good Life France. We have a trip planned in May to do a cruise on the Rhone River and several days in Paris before the cruise starts.
    It was so good to hear from you, Denise. Bonnie

  5. I love candles, Denise, but certain scents bother me. I even have those plug-ins and some of those bother me, too. I’ll have to check out your candles. I haven’t tried Bob’s Red Mill oats, but I’ve used other products from them. How wonderful to get milk in glass bottles! What nice gifts those wind chimes make. I’ll bet the sound is soothing.
    Happy February, my friend. ❤️

  6. Thanks for the tip on "The Good Life France." I love reading abut the relocation of ex-pats, so this is right up my alley. "A Year in Provence" was a favorite of mine.



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