Colder weather is starting to settle in for many of us, and we’re kind of staring bleakly into a winter quarantining. I’m not thrilled about the idea, but I’m trying to prepare myself and my family so that we’ll get through this season healthily and happily.
Be sure to check out Caroline’s post on what we need to stock up on this winter, which covers everything from a baby gym to keep your kids entertained to the grocery staples you need in case of emergency.
But from a tech perspective, I’ve been thinking over which gadgets will be extra helpful while quarantining this winter. Some are fun, some could be life-saving, and others are just plain smart.
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With the coronavirus rates skyrocketing in my town, I have a feeling our libraries will be closing to in-person browsing soon. It might be time for me to invest in a Kindle Paperwhite, so I can instantly download books from my library with Overdrive or buy them Amazon (and even share them with my kids when I’m done). Bonus: this model is waterproof, so if I happen to drop it in the snow or the sink, it’ll be just fine.
With the gyms closed, I’ve been turning to the great outdoors for my fitness goals. My Apple Watch has been a good accountability partner, with its gentle reminders to stand up, move around, and fill in those circles. The new Apple Watch SE GPS + Cellular, which happens to be on sale ($50 off) at Target this week, is the one we recommend if you’re ready to buy one.
My husband and I are really, really missing getting drinks at the neighborhood restaurant while we play trivia with friends right now, but this fun Drinkworks machine might help. It’s basically Keurig…for cocktails, and since we can’t hang at the bar we can bring it home to us. No bartender needed. Just add trivia over Zoom, and we’re all set.
Y’all, the Daylight Saving impact is legit. I need more daylight! If you need a pick me up from the pitch-black darkness that is 4:30 pm these days, then this HappyLight Therapy Lamp is a smart investment. Hint: it’s going to be 20% off for Black Friday with code CYBERWEEK20 at their site too.
With the theaters closed, and some awesome entertainment on AppleTV and Netflix these days, I really want to upgrade to a portable movie projector. This is perfect for summer weather too, of course, and I love the idea of getting the whole family together to play video games on it as well. This Anker Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector consistently gets great reviews for being a very high quality home projector, but you can also go the budget route with this Dr. J projector that comes with it’s own portable screen too.
We love our Instant Pots, can you tell? Seriously, if you haven’t invested in an Instant Pot for your family yet, do it before winter hits. If you already have one, upgrade by adding an air fryer lid or some accessories to up your game this winter, or spend time actually figuring out how to use all those fancy options beyond just pressure cooking. You’ll love it.
The family that games together, stays together. Right? If you’re struggling to find a PlayStation 5 anywhere, we feel you. Maybe now’s the time to get everyone their own phone (the LG Stylo 6 is under $250 at Target this week!) so you can all lounge around the living room and play Among Us until they’re back in stock.
Parents, get yourself a robotic vacuum, so you can spend this winter enjoying your family, not cleaning. The iRobot Roomba 981 is ideal for families with pets. It vacuums and mops, and even connects to Alexa, so all you have to do is say, “Alexa, clean the floors” and it’s done. It’s nearly $200 off in a limited-time sale right now, so it’s the time to snag one!
You know how it is: you’re bound to have some that are freezing while others are too hot. And when everyone is always home, there’s no break from the bickering. Solve the problem by getting an affordable, quiet space heater for the cold-blooded ones. This model is basic, but it’s safe and has 24k+ reviews on Amazon. And if you’re hoping to do some visiting with friends this winter (fingers crossed!) you might want to splurge on an outdoor heat lamp so you can stay warm while you stay safe.
With everyone in the house more than normal, we’re thinking more about our indoor air-quality. You can open up the windows for a while, but also consider investing in a great air purifier and humidifier too. I love the idea of this Air 5G purifier from our recent sponsor Kronos, because it not only kills 99% of the germs in the air, but also—and this is the best part—doesn’t need expensive replacement filters. Add a good quality, affordable humidifier and you’re all set.
This may be a small thing, but I cannot get through this winter with cold coffee. It just isn’t happening. Lately, even my thermal travel mugs aren’t keeping my drink warm, so I’m thinking about investing in an Ember smart coffee mug. First, it’s a mug — not a travel mug (though they do make those if you’re in the market) — which just feels so homey; I love it! Second, it also works to keep your hot toddy warm. Just don’t tell the kids.
This is a very 2020 purchase, but one that could be lifesaving. My best friend recommended I get a Pulse Oximeter for some peace of mind, and it’s been a huge help. This one is affordable and has 58k ratings. I have a feeling, going forward, these will become staples in our medicine cabinets alongside our digital thermometers and baby Tylenol.