I've lived in Western Pennsylvania for 25 years and I still hate... no LOATHE the winter season. Snowy roads, icy sidewalks, static cling, chapped lips, dry skin- it's all awful. Don't get me wrong, Pittsburgh itself is a great place to be. But DAMN can't a girl just get a few more sunny days?!
I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never escape the cold weather. I have a great job, I found myself a great guy, and all of my family is close by. I have a pretty amazing life here in the 412. I'm not going anywhere, so I've just learned to cope!
From an arsenal of fuzzy clothing to a fully stocked bar, here's my recommended approach to surviving a Pittsburgh winter:
1. Get Yourself a Heated Blanket
If you're an always-at-all-times-cold human like me, a heated blanket is essential for keeping yourself warm. If you live in what feels like an ice box like me, you're going to need one for every room. Hack: Before you get into your pjs at night or before you get in the shower in the morning, turn on your heated blanket and wrap your clothes in it. They’ll be nice and toasty when you’re ready to get dressed.
2. Don't Leave The House Unarmed
The white death dust, also commonly referred to as snow, can strike at any moment. Make sure you have a hat and gloves on you at all times and ALWAYS keep a snow brush/ice scraper in your vehicle. I don't know about you guys, but I am also chronically late so I do not have time to let my car fully defrost before hitting the road. I just recently purchased this windshield cover from Amazon and it is a lifesaver.
3. Stock up on Fuzzy Everything
In my opinion, every girl living in this region really just needs a full stock of fuzzy everything. Socks, sweaters, blankets, fleeces, hats- you name it. Tip: Dress in layers whenever you can. That super thick wool sweater will look like a great idea in the morning, but it won't seem so great when it's 2pm and you're sweating your ass off at the office. I like to layer a long sleeve shirt under my sweaters and jackets. My arms don't see the light of day until about May.
4. Stick to Hot Foods
There's truly nothing worse than being stuck with a cold bowl of cereal or a salad when it's 15 degrees outside. Stock your pantry with lots of warm comfort foods. My favorite cold weather eats are soup, oatmeal, rice bowls, stir fry, egg and turkey sausage breakfast sandwiches, cauliflower tots, veggie burgers, grilled cheese, and piping hot caffeinated cups of goodness (AKA coffee and lattes) Check out my DIY lattes post for inspo!
5. Deal With Those Pesky Pipes
For those of you that also live in an ancient house or apartment, there's a good chance you'll run into pipe issues when the temps sink to the teens or single digits. The building that my apartment is in is literally over 100 years old. (No exaggeration) So naturally, the frigid temperatures really screw with our plumbing. Tips: Leave cabinet doors underneath your sinks open to let warm(er) air circulate, leave all of your faucets on a slight drip, and don’t call a plumber unless your landlord says they'll handle it. Plumbers charge an arm and a leg and can't do anything for frozen pipes other than gradually warm the area with a space heater. You can do that yourself for FREE.
6. Bottoms up!
I'm just saying a little vodka never hurt nobody. Sometimes the cold is just a bit easier to manage with a buzz.