Here in Phoenix, January is one of my favorite months because of the beautiful weather: mid 60’s to low 70’s with an abundance of sunshine. So far this year, however, it has been a little gray and gloomy.
While it is nothing like the frigid temperatures that we lived through in Midwestern Januarys of years past, I do miss the sun when it is not smiling at me in the sky. It reminds me, once again, that I am solar powered. A rainy day here and there is refreshing, but too many within a short period of time induce a hint of melancholy.
Whether you are buried underneath inches (or feet) of snow and ice or are simply feeling a touch of the winter blues, today I want to share a few things that are making me happy right now. Finding happiness in simple things is a surefire way to improve your mood. When you are done perusing my list, perhaps you can take a minute to write your own.
1. Orange Ginger Aromatherapy Lotion
I have chronically dry skin in the winter and putting lotion on several times a day saves me from painful cracked fingertips and heels (most of the time). If I am going to wear it anyway, why not get a scent that makes me smile?
Orange Ginger is, hands down, my favorite fragrance from Bath and Body Works. It is their version of “Energy” Aromatherapy, but I think it should be called “Happiness” because it makes me happy every time I put it on my parched skin.
It is a good thing that I got three bottles for Christmas. I may or may not have purchased at least one of those bottles for myself, but you can’t tell me that you didn’t buy at least one Christmas present for yourself. 🙂
2. Working Out
I never thought I would live to see the day when exercise made me happy, but miracles happen, my friends. I used to LOATHE it with every ounce of my being, but I look forward to it now. Perhaps I will write a post about how I learned to love it, but it is an important part of my life at this point.
3. Cute Activewear
I am not a big fan of shopping, but shopping for workout clothing is akin to torture. Modern styles seem to be designed only for people who have perfect bodies. Nearly everything is skin tight, and the shorts are generally too short for my liking. I want to look cute at the gym, but I do not feel comfortable in most of today’s popular activewear.
I’m not a leggings girl when it comes to everyday attire, but I just bought a couple of pairs of Lularoe leggings to wear to the gym, and I am in love! They are buttery soft, more comfortable than anything I have ever put on my body, and come in a variety of cute, colorful patterns.
They are fitted because, well, they are leggings. But they are forgiving. The fun patterns hide a myriad of flaws.
Bright, lively leggings bring a bit of sunshine into the gym. I am hooked! I am also a convert to Lularoe maxi skirts. They are as cute and comfy as maxi skirts come.
If you are interested in giving them a try, I know a girl who can hook you up.
4. Audio Books
I spent a lot of time in the car shuttling kids to and from school and other activities. I get tired of the radio and often prefer to turn off all music and drive in a quiet car.
Lately, however, I have been filling my driving time with audio books and it has been like a breath of fresh air. I don’t spend a ton of time reading because getting into a good book usually means that I neglect everything else in my life that needs my attention.
I can, however, listen to somebody read a book to me when I am driving or doing housework. It makes me feel like I am reading while I get other things done, and that is a winning combination.
I am currently listening to The Land of Stories, by Chris Colfer, and loving it. It is a middle-grade book that my kids have all read and loved, so I thought I’d give it a try. It does not disappoint.
Other books that I have recently listened to are The Mysterious Benedict’s Society and Maisie Dobbs, both of which I have enjoyed immensely. Give audible.com a try and get a free audiobook. Hopefully, you will love it as much as I do.
Soup is one of my favorite foods. Living in Phoenix, we do not have very many months that are cool enough to indulge in its wholesome deliciousness. While we can get away with it, I make soup at least once or twice a week.
Chopping vegetables to throw in the broth is therapeutic, playing with flavors indulges my creativity, smelling its simmering goodness is refreshing, and the experience of eating a meal that warms you from the inside out is good for my soul.
I love so many different varieties of soup, but a modified version of this sausage and tortellini recipe has graced our table twice this week. It is heavenly.
6. Lipstick and Jewelry
I have never been much of a make-up or jewelry girl. But, for the past few months, I have made it a point to get fully ready in the morning, down to the lipstick and jewelry, even if I am only planning on staying home.
Let me tell you; it has made a world of difference in the way that I feel. Rather than feeling frumpy, I feel put together. Even if I am only sitting at my computer and writing while all the kids are at school, the lipstick and jewelry make me feel like I can accomplish more because I tried to show up at my best.
My new favorite lipstick is LipSense because one application lasts all day. Once again, I can hook you up with a consultant if you are interested in trying it.
While most of the country is battling winter, it is planting season around here. We just built a large raised garden bed in our backyard and planted a few seeds.
Guess what? They are starting to grow! While I have not proven myself to be a successful gardener in the past, I cannot wait to try again. Fresh vegetables from my garden are the things my dreams are made of these days.
Even in the midst of winter and gloomy times, it is possible to find happiness in small and simple things. These seven things are boosting my morale these days, which makes all the difference.
Now it is your turn. What things are making you happy amidst the pull of winter?
P.S. I get no compensation for telling you about this stuff. I just love it and hope you will, as well. 🙂