With the massive amounts of snow we have experienced in Chicago, winter is in full force and taking our lives by storm. What else can we do but revel in the snow globe-like effect this accumulation provides? Yes, hours of back-breaking shoveling, car clearing, and slippery streets can be a real pain in the ass. BUT. I am embracing the winter white in many ways…with a little style, a little bite, and a few sips.
Winter White Coat
I wore the same winter white coat for years…and every few weeks, it turned into a winter grey coat. Many winter coats aren’t machine washable, jacking the cost of ownership up to double if not triple the original purchase price with the addition of bimonthly dry cleaning bills. (Sidenote: bimonthly means both twice a month and every two months. WTF, English language?).
Harper Coats is on a mission to change that. This new company fills the gap in our ever-growing coat closet- they make high-quality, stylish, affordable outerwear that can transition from workout to work to weekend wear. With their direct-to-consumer model (no major department store markups, thank you!), they are able to offer all coats for under $350 and cut out the dry cleaning with cruelty-free machine-washable fill.
My favorite option is the Uptown Puffer in Ivory (yes, even as a mom of two incredibly messy elementary school kids, I am braving the elements with a white hue). They have thought of everything: a cocoon-shaped hood that keeps the material from messing up your makeup, cozy, deep fleece-lined pockets, and chevron seams that flatter your figure instead of Sta-Puffing your winter shape. Here’s a little styling session I had with my Harper Coat…
Andddddd….it is on sale for $225, down from $300!
My winter wardrobe tip- ALWAYS buy your winter coat in February. So…now. This is when the best sales hit and the inventory is still up.
Alabama White Sauce
I am not a wonderful cook. There. I said it. I really just don’t care all that much about taking hours to make food…but I still want it to taste delicious. This is where spices and sauces come into my life!
Jax Sauce Co. is a startup launched by Chicagoan Eric Janzen, whose expertise is crafting the perfect sauces to complement his smoking, grilling, and culinary creations. They kicked into gear during the heart of the pandemic, and have experienced incredible word-of-mouth growth due simply due to the careful crafting of pure flavor that goes into their lineup.
My latest love…their Alabama White Sauce. I call it my Winter White Sauce because it adds some zing to my boring winter dishes. Since I am not out grilling due to my grill being completely submerged in multiple feet of snow, I am looking for alternative methods to prepare food and keep it healthy. I came up with Buffalo Cauliflower with Alabama White Sauce drizzled over the top. This takes kind of a boring veggie side and makes it into a mouth-watering taste explosion!
Use Jax’s Wingy Sauce in this Baked Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe, and spoon (pour) Alabama White over top. The Wingy & White sauce go hand in hand- Wingy is slightly tart, kicked with cayenne, but somehow sweet and smoky at the same time. Alabama White is unlike any sauce I have tried- bite of pepper and horseradish, a little vinegar for tart, creamy without being heavy.
Grab your Jax Sauce Co. here! Jars are $7 each, or grab a sampler pack of ALL their sauces for $15.
Cool Cat White Wine Spritzers
THIS is officially my Winter White Drink of 2021. My friends and I have created a Wednesday event called “Porchtails,” which involves drinking on a friend’s porch with electric blankets and propane-fueled heaters to keep us cozy while we catch up. We have perfected a COVID-friendly form of socializing, and I often bring Cool Cat Wine Spritzers in my pockets to sip during our chats.
I am not a huge fan of hard seltzers…malt anything just reminds me of the 40s of Big Bear that we used to buy in high school. I’ve evolved, people…I am 40 and deserve to have drinks that don’t make me feel horrible the next day.
Cool Cat’s motto is “We don’t spike, we spritz.” Well, thank you for that! I fell in love with the wine spritzer during the summer of 2014 and haven’t looked back since. I have stocked white wine and LaCroix like I was living in a bomb shelter…afraid that my stock would run out if I were quarantined for too long. Well…funny enough… 😉 Cool Cat is the portable option for real wine spritzers. Citrus is a little tart/sour but ultimately refreshing, and their original flavor is Elderflower/Mint/Lime (my personal favorite). These pack a punch at 6.9% ABV, are naturally flavored and gluten-free. Each can- 150 calories.
I plan on stocking these for spring and summer bashes and serve them both straight up as well as mixed into different cocktails like Summer Sangria and Margaritas.
Although the snow is swirling outside, I am enjoying my Winter White Must-Haves all through the season!
Cheers to making the most out of your situation, whether it is getting outside to play in the snow during or socially distant “porchtails” with pals!
Disclosure: I received product for review purposes; all opinions are honest and my own as always!