We are constantly finding new products that we love and as materialistic as that sounds, they provide inspiration for how we live our life. I was raised to consider the impact of my decisions on the people who will be living on our world long after we’re gone, and I give so much credit to my parents for the environmentally conscious lifestyle I live today. Brian grew up with three sisters who made him into the most gentle and caring guy I know. I can see so much of them in him, and I also love how independent he is and how much value he holds in his past experiences. His time spent tinkering and working on bikes has given him huge love for utility and for solid products that work hard and work well. So back to the main point, we love finding companies and people who align with both of our values and beliefs. We agree that great people and their products deserve to be championed, and I’m excited to post here about all of our favorite things.
We just got our first snow of the year in Chicago, so I figured it would be a good time to start talking about some of our favorite things that get us through winter.
Growing up with three sisters, Brian has learned all of the BEST things about living with women, including which designer clothing brands are which. He can pick out a Vera Bradley duffel, Tory Burch flats, Joe’s Jeans, and even remembered that the purse I loved at Nordstrom was Michael Kors. He can quote the Babysitter’s Club movie too, but that’s a story for another day 😉
Despite knowing all these brands, Brian HATES shopping for himself, and the majority of his wardrobe is slowly disintegrating. He has worn one single pair of Timberland Earthkeepers for almost 3 years! These boots have served him well, but they need more than just new soles to survive another Chicago winter.
His sweet mom bought him a new pair of the same Timberland Earthkeepers boots this fall, and the side-by-side comparison is just too funny! Brian wears out shoes like crazy, and after trying multiple brands, we’ve found that Timberland and Vans hold up best for his use. We’ve also found some that definitely don’t hold up **cough cough Chrome**
We were laughing so hard when he put the new boot on, we didn’t realize how worn out the old ones were til we saw them next to a new pair! These came just in time too, since we got our first major snow of the year, at least 5 inches and the entire city is covered in a layer of ice. ugh.
There are a few things in the world that i will completely nerd-out about… Tesla, Harry Potter, and Revolights. I’ve been hard core crushing on these tron-inspired bike lights since the first time I saw them on kickstarter. It was a love-at-first-sight type of situation, and two years later, I still can’t shake my obsession.
I’ve only seen them a few times in person, but each time I’ve literally dropped what I was doing (drinking beer, walking downtown) and screamed OMG REVOLIGHTS!!! causing everyone around me to stare and Brian to quickly look away from me in case people thought we were together.
Revolights recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to fund their newest product, Revolights Eclipse +. This update eliminates cords and cables with a wheel mounted battery, and is bluetooth enabled, allowing a rear turn signal and other cool features. At $150 for the super early-bird pricing, they are finally in my price range and I’m itching to buy them! It’s only a matter of time before I have a rush of adrenaline and hit the purchase button ‘by accident’. Good thing I have my credit card number memorized so I can embrace that adrenaline whenever it hits 😉
I was thinking about this post on my way to work this morning while I was marveling at how toasty warm my hands were in my thick mittens that I haven’t worn since last winter. I splurged on a pair of Burton Favorite Leather Mittens last year when it was clear that we were in for a brutally cold chicago winter. One of my roommates in college had a great pair of rabbit fur-lined leather mittens that I fell hard core in love with and they obviously made an impression on me. I have a condition that gives me very poor circulation in my hands and feet, so I’ve cycled (no pun intended) through hundreds of pairs of mittens and gloves in my life, and I know that mittens work best for me. I found this Burton pair online, and even though they looked a little bulky, I figured it was worth the trade off of having warm hands. BEST DECISION EVER. My hands stay so so warm for the 5 mile commute, even when its 10 degrees and sleeting, and they broke in after one ride. It also deserves a mention that these mittens have a built-in snot wiper on the thumb, made of extra soft material….. genius.
Before we dated, brian was anti-“anything that keeps him warm” including gloves, hats, boots, thick socks, scarves, etc. We used to do monthly 2-hour bike counts (he still does) that would just be the WORST during the winter. I would plan my outfit days in advance and stock up on handwarmers just to survive. Brian would stomp into work wearing a lightweight flannel, skinny jeans, and his vans, half frozen. It took some serious convincing, but I’ve brought him around to the wonders of cold weather gear. He now wears hats, gloves, and one of our newer favorites, the Buff Merino Wool Gaiter. Slow and steady wins the race, someday I’ll get him to wear a pair of these Burton mittens too!
I’m starting to realize that most of my favorite things that I own are made out of leather…. coincidence? I think not. I love that it’s natural and not synthetic, and it really does the best job of insulation and durability. Have you ever noticed that companies that sell great leather products stand proudly behind all their workmanship? Brooks, Frye, Burton, Ugg…. I’m sure there are many more, but a strong and proud company is one I’m happy to support.