Friday, January 20, 2012

my love affair with winter

This year I decided I was going to embrace winter. Not just survive it; actually enjoy everything it has to offer (which isn't much in my opinion).

Every time people try to convince me how awesome winter is, they always talk about skiing or staying home and watching movies curled up on the couch. I can get behind that. The problem is when it's 6 a.m. and I'm shivering as I scrape snow off my car and I haven't seen the sunshine in three damn days. (That's a quote. I feel it's completely acceptable to say bad words in quotes. Technically I'm not saying it, someone else is.)

So my question is, what do you do in those moments? Summer is so carefree and requires minimal clothing. Winter is Summer's rigid, imposing, unwelcome cousin who overstays his welcome. I'm not a fan.

I find it very humorous that the year I finally decide to fall in love with winter, we have the driest winter on record. Sure it's been cold, but there has also been more sunshine than the last three winters combined. (I know I am setting myself up here. The very moment I press "Publish" on this post, mother nature will send her snowstorms and I'll be wearing Uggs well into June like last year.)

For those of you who are in my "I hate winter" camp, I've come up with a few methods that seem to make it a little more tolerable.

1. Drink tea. Hot cocoa is good, but it gets old really fast. I've started drinking a glass of tea every morning. This little ritual helps me to get out of bed even though it's frigid outside of my nice warm covers.

2. On that same note, drink water. In the summertime, I easily drink 100 oz of water a day. In the winter it's a different story entirely. Even though my body needs it just as much, I don't seem to crave it the way I do in the summer. But drinking water makes me feel a million times better.

3. Buy really good boots. Don't buy the knock-offs or the fake leather. You wear the same coat and boots 98% of the time in winter. You will want to burn them by the end of February, BUT they make a huge difference. I am terrified for when the whole tucking-your-skinny-jeans-into-your-boots trend goes out of style. It keeps my feet and pants so much drier. I may just have to keep rockin this look for the sake of my sanity.

4. Use a humidifier. So I have occasionally used a humidifier the last few winters when Nate and I sleep at night. It helps a lot with my dry skin. But I went over to my friend's house and she had it running during the day with essential oils. I haven't gotten around to buying the essential oils yet, but her house felt amazing. Seriously.

5. Speaking of dry skin, I have discovered the best exfoliator. We all know Nate works for a skincare company, but even their exfoliator doesn't always get the job done for me (their other products are amazing, though). In the winter, my skin gets so dry it actually hurts. I talked to a dermatologist and she said that a good exfoliator would make a big difference. You know what I finally started using? 1 part sugar with 2 parts olive oil once a week. It has completely changed my skin. It doesn't smell the best, but it works wonders. I'm not sure where I discovered this recipe--I think it was on one of those Yahoo! question boards or something. Totally legit.

6. Move to a warmer climate.

So #6 isn't a real possibility for most of us, but the rest of the advice is pretty sound and easy to follow.This is what I've learned after nearly eight winters in Utah. I talked to a man who grew up in California and has lived here for probably 40 years. He still dreads the winter. Still! I just can't handle dreading nearly half of my year every year. Hopefully these ideas help someone else who gets the wintertime blues. And if you have any winter wisdom, post it in the comments. I would love to add a few more tricks to my arsenal.


Ashley said...

Seriously love this post. I am so with you on the boots and jeans thing. Make it stay in fashion forever!

Glo said...

I have been embracing winter for a while now and this no snow winter is kicking my butt...way more depressing than a snowy, fun winter. I totally agree with everything on your list! I would add, for dry skin get some L'Occitain en Provence lotion--miracle worker, oh and a ski pass is a miracle worker (every winter but this one).

Margaret said...

Just so you know, it is mosDEF going to snow now that you put your optimism in writing. Take it back! Take it back!

Also, I love your swears. That may have counterbalanced the groundhog winter we are going to have now.

Brenda said...

You are so funny! Good post with good advice. Too bad I am way too old to tuck my jeans into my boots - oh well.

David and Shalynna said...

That is an amazing snowman!

I loved this post. What great advice. I'm trying to think of my best winter advice and the only thing I can come up with is to buy a new coat and a new pair of boots each winter (and like you said- good quality ones). Then you actually get excited to bundle up. The past two winters I have gotten two new winter coats from the beloved Anthropologie and I actually enjoy going outside so I can wear them. :)

I was sofa shopping on Craigslist last night and found a Crate and Barrel sofa that you would have absolutely loved. I love that we share the same taste. Wish we could be neighbors. Miss you.

Alisha Erin said...

I would like to hibernate until spring. Maybe summer.

Shelby Kendall M. said...

I agree with you 100%. Not a fan of Utah winters, but this is good advice! And your writing style is really capturing and cracks me up! :) I think i'm going to try to get a good humidifier!

tricia said...

I'm super offended by your offensive language:)

Amanda said...

I want to try that exfoliant! Sounds awesome. So does the humidifier with essential oils. So does moving to a warmer climate . . .

And I totally agree about a good pair of boots. I got a new pair in November and they changed my life.

Amanda S. said...

Have you tried the humidifier thing? Someone suggested that same exact thing on Facebook the other day, though in that case it was something to do with getting a baby to go to sleep. In any case, our apartment could use some aromatherapy because I did some cooking earlier and that sometimes means smoke and fire alarms and bad smells.

M.C. Sommers said...

I did try it! I actually bought some wall plug-ins that had essential oils in them and just put them in the humidifier--it totally worked!

TeaButterfly said...


I found your blog via a comment you left on ill seen, ill said.

I believe simplicity is best, so I gather a few ideas as "Winter Essentials" here:

I hope you'll find inspiration there!

My fave idea is taking beautiful pics on a really icy day: snow, icicles etc... make a winter wonderland. Check out for visual inspiration. Or read Henry James for a literary one.