After the sparkle and warmth of the holiday season—even in a year when celebrations were subdued—the winter cold, bare trees, and slumbering earth feel particularly dull and dark. Factor in the additional stress of COVID fatigue, prolonged social restrictions, and continuing political unrest, and you have a surefire recipe for the January bleus. Time and patience hopefully will resolve many (though not all) of the present challenges; until then, we’re cherishing the small pleasures we can incorporate into our daily lives. With that in mind, the Bas Bleu editors assembled this winter self-care kit, a collection of products we hope will deliver a dash of comfort and joy.

Red wine and a book on a wooden table, blur burning fireplace background

Winter Reading Collections
Our first recommendation for self-care will always be to find a comfy spot to kick back and read, to lose yourself in stories of other people, places, and times. And because the winter is long, you should play it safe and make sure your TBR shelf is stocked with plenty of new books!

Snowy Mittens Earl Grey Teabags
Raise your hand if these are the cutest teabags you’ve ever seen. Imported from France and filled with fragrant Earl Gray tea, they’ll make even your solo, at-home winter teatime an event.

Wintry Mix Slipper Socks
Jack Frost nipping at your toes is a guaranteed way to ruin a winter reading marathon! These slipper socks sport a warm, plush lining, their festive knit exterior (and no-slip soles) offering a cheery alternative to worn-out house shoes.

No, this isn’t a book dedicated to Harry Potter fandom! It’s a “refresher course” for how to…well, chill out. Read a magazine. Clean out the junk drawer. Dig in the dirt. Call (don’t text) a friend, just to shoot the breeze. Because making the effort to slow down, to stop multitasking, and to disconnect from the (digital) world can go a long way toward recharging our emotional batteries.

Patterns and Petals Soap Flowers
These colorful soap flowers are almost too pretty to use…almost! Pluck just a few petals from your bloom of choice and scatter them beneath the warm running bathwater. As they dissolve, the petals release their luxurious fragrance, creating a pampering soak sure to soothe your senses. Just take care not to drop your book in the water!

Coffee, Novels, and Oxford Commas Mug
Ask and ye shall receive! When our Tea, Novels, and Oxford Commas Mug debuted in our Holiday 2020 edition, so many of our customers loved it…but coffee-drinking grammar lovers wanted in on the fun, too. So we commissioned a “cup of joe” for those whose hot beverage of choice runs to the dark and roasted.

Marshmallows Puzzle
We have plenty of great new puzzles for you to choose from, but this is one evokes crackling fires, bundling up in sweaters and warm coats…and chowing down on ooey-gooey s’mores! (Our editors each pinpointed her ideal level of roasted-marshmallow “doneness” on this puzzle; what’s your ideal roast?)

The Sunday Night Book
Dreading the end of the weekend? Beat the Sunday night bleus with the dishes (plus a cocktail or two!) transcribed in this cookery book. These “short recipes to make the weekend feel longer” will give Saturday night special occasions a run for their money!

DIY Candle Making Kit
Self-care, hygge, hibernation…however you style your winter haven, candlelight is key. But there’s a lot to be said for learning a new skill, too. Mark both off your to-do list when you learn to pour your own scented candles! Plus they make a great “thinking of you” gift for friends or neighbors with whom you would normally while away the winter evenings.

Library Diffuser
If making your own candles feels like more than you want to tackle right now, simply unscrew the cap from this diffuser, insert the wooden reeds, and allow the rich scent of old books, eucalyptus, and lavender to fragrance your reading nook, powder room, or bedroom.

The Artist’s Path in 500 Walks
To add insult to injury in these dreary winter months, COVID is preventing many of us from hopping a plane and escaping to somewhere sunny and warm…or at least somewhere different. Until that changes, book an armchair stroll to follow in the footsteps of hundreds of writers, artists, and musicians, through urban and rural landscapes around the world.

“Happily Ever After” Sweatshirt
Maybe you actually love winter, and thrill to long walks in the snow and evenings spent around the firepit. If so, pull on this comfy hooded sweatshirt, hunker down by the fire with your book, and pass these next few months “happily ever after.”


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