Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sunshine In Winter

If you know me, it's no secret: I love lemon. Any and all things lemony and citrusy. It calls to me. I love it. The smell, the scent, the taste, the way your jaw gives a sharp little satisfying ache when you bite into something deliciously sour...I love it all.

Especially in winter!

In the winter in Michigan, sunshine is at a premium which gives me a serious case of the blues. It got to the point in college where my doctor recommended that I hit the tanning bed 10-15 minutes a week to counteract the effects of gloom, darkness, cold, and damp. I just wasn't designed to live life in a cave, you know? Come the very first tiny whiff of spring in the air in late March and I'm like a colt- bounding outside looking for hints of green and the first flowers of the year, chasing sunshine, and convincing myself that I can totally start wearing skirts all the time without my legs turning blue (incidentally, I'm wrong about that last one every year). 

But one thing helps:

Ahhhhh...Just looking at those pictures lifts my spirits!!! The fruits' peels even look so sunny and inviting. I imagine walking through that grove of trees smelling the tart, citrusy leaves and for a moment I'm transported from snow and ice to sun and sweetness. It's a little vacation courtesy of my computer. 

To keep that feeling going no matter where I am or just how cold the slush is that just sloshed over the tops of my shoes, I become obsessive in my search for citrus anything in the winter!

First up is the bath or shower. I submit that there are few things more miserable than dragging yourself out of bed into the frosty air to go stand, shivering, in the bathroom waiting for the shower to heat up only to have the knowledge tapping at the back of your mind that as soon as you start to warm up in the warm spray, you're going to have step back out of the shower to shiver and freeze again. Blech. So I inundate my shower stall with all things citrusy in the months of December to March. Here are some suggestions:

First up is The Body Shop's Sweet Lemon line. Light, slightly sweet, and definitely lemon, this whole line is wonderful. The sugary background keeps it from just smelling like you sprayed yourself with Lemon Pledge (which is no joke in the game of lemon body fragrances) and it's so incredibly hydrating which is something that my poor winter-ravaged skin desperately needs in wintertime. I included my favorites from the line, but there are a ton of other items with this same scent that are equally wonderful. Ahhh...I feel myself warming up already!
The Body Shop Sweet Lemon Scrub- a good sugar scrub is indispensable in the winter for getting your skin glowing in the winter, especially on your legs, knees, and upper arms! The increased blood circulation generated by rubbing the scrub into your skin aids with cell turnover as well, which keeps skin healthy and hydrated.
Their Whip Body Lotion is...amazing. SO hydrating and layering your scent carriers (shower gel, perfume, lotion, etc) helps your skin hold onto the fragrance longer. It is such a lovely, fresh lift to catch a whiff of lemon on myself in the middle of the day. Aaaahhhh...

There are some fantastic options lurking no further than your neighborhood drugstore just waiting to take you on a little mini vacay via your shower, as well! I actually am loving the reforumlation frenzy that is happening over at Suave and their shower gels and lotions are getting the overall treatment right along with their hair care products. If it's been awhile since you've tried them out, you may way to consider giving them another look. They've put out a really nice rendition of The Body Shop's Mango Mandarin in a shower gel and lotion set. At about $2-$3 each, these are so very doable, so go ahead and throw them in your cart next time you're grabbing Q-Tips and mouthwash.

 I stumbled on this fun little limited edition product at our local Walmart the other day and I'm excited to see how it works long-term on my skin (I have really dry skin under great conditions, so I take a serious hit in the winter). What can I say, I'm a sucker for anything "limited edition." lol.

For real, this smells just like pink lemonade! Like...I want to drink it, it's so realistic. Mmmm...
Okay, now that we're all warmed up, let's work to stay that way! The best way that I've found to do that is with the help of my favorite beverage company (outside of my trusty Mountain Dew creator, Pepsico), Celestial Seasonings! I can think of few things cozier than a warm mug of steaming hot tea held up to my face, thawing out my hands and warming my throat.
Mmmm...warm tea with a generous slice of lemon and some honey. Perfection.

Completely addictive and is also wonderful as sun tea and/or iced tea. The whole Zinger line of herbal teas within the Celestial Seasonings company are faintly sour and definitely refreshing and uplifting in scent and flavor. This one is great first thing in the morning when you need to put a little pep in your step!

This one is delicious with a generous dollop of raw honey, especially around the holidays when clove-riddled orange pomanders are sitting out in bowls around the house. SO yummy. This one is worth brewing if only for the smell! Plus, I'm in love with the retro-looking box.
There are some little pocket-size ways to take the chill off as well, which are fun to use just because well...they're fun. lol. And they smell and taste good. Good enough for me!
Eos lip balm in Lemon Drop, spf 15. I know you all have heard me rave about Eos lip balms before, but seriously? They are worth raving about. These are the first balms that I've tried that don't make my lipstick slide off of my mouth and that also feel fantastic all by themselves. This particular flavor is also the only one that features an SPF which makes it a no-brainer for summer but also in the winter. Your lips don't have oil glands, which makes them especially susceptible to aging and sun damage. They really need babying!

Eos lip balm in Tangerine. This one feels like it was developed just for me- it's medicated for use on chapped lips and it has a delicious taste and scent. Ahhhhh...

This was introduced to me by a good friend back in college and I've been chomping away ever since. It has a yummy fruit punch flavor, is actually good for your teeth (I had a dental hygienist give me a mini-lecture in line at Meijer about only buying gum that contains xylitol and I kind of promised that I would so I sort of feel honor-bound to Trident now. And no, I didn't know her and no, there was no gum in my cart at the time and no, I have no idea what xylitol is. Apparently it's a make-or-break issue, though), and as a nice little bonus, it will make your whole purse smell all fruit punchy. lol.

Lemon drops, on this list if only because they've always been my fave. Mmmmm...and I'm in good company because they are also one Professor Albus Dumbledore's favorite so...there you go.

In order to keep the house smelling yummy, there are a few little tricks I know...okay, it's candles. Candles is the trick I know. BUT I'm really good at picking out yummy scents! These are my favorites for mid-to-late winter when you've had to hang up your Christmas ones (because really, I get sick of cinnamon immediately following Christmas) and around January I'm more interested in creating a fresh, clean smell in the house rather than the heavier, "warm" scents of fall and the holidays. 
This one actually isn't "in your face" citrusy. It's more herb-y than citrus, but it has an awesome light, sunny, airy fragrance that makes the house feel fresh and bright. 

There is no denying that this one is definitely LEMON, but in a nice, light way. Again, no Lemon Pledge here! This smells like...lemonade on a hot summer day, if you can imagine that as a smell. It's just delicious and light and summery. Perfect when you're craving sunshine!
I'm a fan of my Scentsy warmer because I'm ridiculously clumsy and am always terrified of setting myself, home, and loved ones on fire with traditional candles it's an awesome alternative to traditional air freshener methods, and this one smells like walking through a grove of grapefruit and orange trees in Florida. SO bright, cheerful, and zesty! I love.
So, now you know my secret. I'm addicted to citrus as opposed to downing an entire box of pasta followed by a box of Cheez-Its (Seasonal Affect Disorder can make you crave carbs, a fact to which I and my thighs are living testaments). It really does help me shake the winter blahs and keeps me from going stir crazy with cabin fever!

How do YOU get through the winter doldrums? Any little coping mechanisms or quirks that get you through it without hating the sight of the four walls of your house by the end of February?


  1. So much lemon! I love it. Kind of off-topic, but there is this product called Lemi-shine. Its a dishwasher additive that removes hard water build up. I SERIOUSLY LOVE IT. My dishes all come out sparkly with no yucky film. Just had to add my favorite "lemon". ;-)

    Oh, and Disney music helps the winter doldrums too!

  2. I miss winter... Which causes similar doldrums.... So, I opt for yellow roses in my kitchen :-)