Monday, December 20, 2004

Shan's Survival Guide

Ahhh...winter. The time of year when it's normal to wear 2 pairs of pants and a scarf covering my entire face as I walk through lovely, single digit temperature Chicago. I've been thinking of all the ways I have to adapt my life to make it through the winter (like without being upset that wearing 2 pairs of pants is uncomfortable, unflattering, and makes me walk funny). Here's a list of things I compliled in order to "Survive Winter."

1. The first sign the weather's changing: My skin starts to feel like its going to fall off. Hot showers no longer leave you feeling refreshed..just very dried out. Lotion is consumed by the gallon, which helps, but protecting my face is still a different story. I've tried a million different products, but I have to say that putting Vaseline on my face when I go out really helps cut down on the redness and dryness. Of, course, always wipe off before going to work meeting. Also, washing hands a lot during this cold and flu season can really do some damage. I recommend Hemp hand cream from the body shop. It stays on even after you wash your hands a few times. Smells earthy, too.
2. Next sign it is becoming winter: I'm at work and look out the window. I think,"Gee, how come nobody else mentioned that we've all been working until 9pm this week?" No. Now it gets pitch dark at 4:30. Deal with it! And, depending on the weather, it may be twilight-like outside for the entire day as well. Last time I checked, I didn't move to Alaska! Remedy: do not sit on your ass once you get home. Your body thinks its late and that you should be asleep. Go out and do something. Matt and I usually hit up the pool, run errands or jump around the apartment on pogo sticks. If you do sloth around all winter, like I did last year, that's exactly how you'll feel: like a sloth!

3. Protecting yourself against the winter elements can be a fashion challenge. Now, since I walk to work, I tend to dress for weather extremes. This does not mean cute clothing...more like utilitarian. Picture me as an LL Bean catalogue model and then you've got the picture. So, winter is really a high fashion season for me. Easy remedy: buy cute winter wear. Other than my standby red fleece vest, which will never die, I have tried to class things up a bit. I just purchased a cashmere sweater for maximum warmth without the layers, and I have to say that I am very happy with the results. Also, 70% off doesn't hurt. It takes some extra effort to hunt for warm but stylish wear, but it can be done. Anybody have any good clothing tips that keep you warm and jazzy?

All for now. Today is the first day of my xmas vacation so I am wrapping gifts and being merry.
socks are very important to me in the winter. don't get me wrong, as soon as may rolls around, they pretty much don't exisit for me. But they can be critical in cold, wet weather. I try to wear boots as much as possible when it's cold ( i know the heels could be bad for your walk) because then i can wear whatever the hell socks i want it multicolord purple fleece, the ones with the skiing cows or my cashmere socks, which I adore because they're so soft and very, very warm.
Long underwear is both key and clutch. I don't know what kind of pants you are doubling up, but I would suggest some L.U. to cut down on bunching and other such non-jazzy type occurances. I know you gals probably think L.U. is a dude-only product, but just try it out.

Also, a little advice from the backpacking world, if you're buying fleece to keep warm you want something that fits tight. Loose fleece leaks a lot of warmth, so get something a size small so that the arms are nice and snug.

Also, you should give up the Pogo Stick and get with the Pogo Ball program. You can do all kinds of cool tricks that just aren't possible with the limitations of Pogo Stick.
as someone who worked at a snowboard shop in colorado and had only one 3 hour experience with snowboarding i had to rely soley on the facts the reps told us about outerwear, boots, boards etc. but what i heard about fleece is that it shouldn't be skin tight. there needs to be a little room for air to circulate beneath the fleece for you to stay warm. i also learned that you dont have to know anything about snowboards to sell them if you say stuff like, deep side cut or radial sidecut. heehee
Well, since I have lived in the coldest place on earth and live in the draftiest house on earth, I love my poly pro long underwear! It's very warm! I am also a big fan of fleece and or wool socks. I am currently packing to go to Vermont where the actual temperature is -12 I better make sure to get all sorts of layers. Thanks for the tip on the Vasoline shan, I will give that a try!
love the frosty sign! i have one pair of long underwear, which are awesome. i also sport the yoga pant under jeans, which is not too bad. they just have to be really small. i think i am going to buy some cashmere socks. never thought of that!
I can totally relate. When I woke up today, I actually had to put on a shirt when I went outside for my morning smoke.

And yesterday it only got up to 75 degrees -- I mean crazy stuff!

I've said it before and I'll say it again: there's very few times when I actually like living in Phoenix and this is one of them. Obvious but true.
saxdrop--totally feel your pain. i had to wear a long sleeve shirt under my tee shirt today. because it gets cold in the office. but when i step outside in good old SoCal i think...damn it feels good to live here on shortest day of the year...and all the other days too.
hey shan! well, as a lover of the 80s, i am sure sweet on the revival of the legwarmer and embrace this trend with max appeal. not only are the leg warmers fashionable, they are also fuctional! seriously, i have been wearing them all week under my jeams and pants and love the exta calf and ankle give them a try. you can buy 'em at target for about $6 :)

and i feel your pain with the dry skin! for some reason, i have been getting hideous, dried out skin this year and it just makes me the worse it yet to come. dang!
yeah this cold indiana weather has been a shock to my system, that's fo shizzle. i don't know how you guys deal with it week after week!!! old man winter is just not my friend. but, i do have some winter weather gear suggestions...i have silk LUs that are great. they keep you warm but are so thin they're indetectable! also i just snagged some aveeno hand lotion that claims to stay on after hand washing for $6 at target and am pleased with the results so far (my hands were getting all rough and tony-like).
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