February 7, 2011

How to Make the Sun Shine.

Key West, 2009. Just looking at all our photos from this trip made me feel warm again. 
It's been a long, gray, cold, dreary, snowy, ugly winter. I dwelled on the crappy weather the most after we got back from California last month. Later, I read that it's actually worse psychologically for people to take a sunny vacation in the middle of winter. It's better to just go skiing or travel somewhere wintery, rather than fooling yourself with some luscious destination.

I've been wanting to do this post since we got back from our vacation. I have no control over the weather, but I've been trying to create spots of sunshine in my life, even when it's a day like today -- no sun for miles, rain sluicing down the window panes, with snow threatening.

Here's what works for me:

Get a bright manicure. I'm all about a beige or dark purple manicure, but there's something about a bright nail color that's a mood booster. Since I saw this on Into The Gloss, I've been inspired to paint every nail a different color, like I used to in junior high school. The manicures below are called "gradation manicures," which I think are really cool too, especially the blue-greens.

Source: All Lacquered Up

Make something fun. I've been piecing this pillow top together for a few days now, using Steam-a-Seam to attach the fabric. I'm not sure how I'll finish it yet, but it's been fun to work on.

Plant a garden (indoors). I've blogged about my plant table before, but really, it's been a serious bright spot in our home this winter. My inspiration for it came from the photo below. I've collected several cacti and succulents, which are almost impossible to kill and can go long periods of time without watering. Plus, they're just interesting-looking.

Source: Lonny Magazine

Wear a dress. Style Me Kimberly blogged about this on Thursday but I really do think it helps lift spirits to put on a favorite summer dress or skirt and make it work in the wintertime.
Source: Parisian Bouquets Halter Dress, Free People

Make a summer cocktail. I can almost always make time for a cocktail, but to me, nothing tastes like summer like a Mojito (which we picked up our extreme affection for in Key West, where they are the drink of choice). But this past summer we also started mixing Moscow Mules, which is vodka, ginger beer and lime juice stirred together.
Source: Dish a Day

Give yourself something to look forward to. My friend Joy says that planning her wedding this spring has been helping her navigate these blah months. For me, it's been planning Tessa's first birthday next month.

I want a cake something like this:
Source: Hello Pretty Eyes
And invitations something like this:
Source: The Rockstar Diaries

Make a summer goal. I'm pretty into goals. I believe in being realistic about them, setting them, and writing them out on your calendar. My goal involves wearing one of these and feeling good about it.

Source: J. Crew
Source: Marc by Marc Jacobs
I feel warmer already. And, look, it's snowing out!