7 Cheap and Cheerful Suggestions for Surviving the Polar Vortex

posted in Around the House, Fun Stuff, Winter on by with 18 Replies

This winter, or as I like to call it, 100 Years of Solitude, (I’m sorry Gabriel Garcia Marquez, I’m sorry) SUCKS.  I don’t even know why we bothered to buy the children snow gear since it’s too damn cold to play outside.

But chin up, kids!  It can’t last forever.  So to help us all make it through to a day when the sun actually does something useful with itself, here are my 7 cheap and cheerful suggestions for surviving the polar vortex:

1.  Get some flower arrangements up in your crib

Please don’t even tell me you still have Christmas decorations up in your house.  Stop it.  Stop it right now and put that shit AWAY.  It’s time for flowers.  Maybe if we all believe and pretend hard enough, spring really will come.  So get some flowers.

I know what you’re thinking.  It’s either that flowers are not cheap or that flowers are lame.  I will show you how wrong you are:


These flowers aren’t real, which sounds lame, but look at them!  They make me so happy!  I got them at the dollar store.  The kind of dollar store where everything actually costs $1.  So since I already had the pretty white pitcher, I only had to spend SEVEN DOLLARS for a cheery flower arrangement that perks me up every time I look at it.


2.  Cover everything in your life with salted caramel something-or-other


Add a generous slug of salted caramel vodka to your salted caramel hot chocolate and surviving the polar vortex will seem easy.  Well, for a few minutes anyway.


3.  Check out some hilarious blogs

These are a few of my favorite laugh-out-loud funny posts:

RachRiot – Vermont is for Lesbians

Blame the Spiders…Illustrated with Crappy Pictures

Detached from Logic – Don’t Do It Yourself

ComfyTown Chronicles – Naughty Night Names

Girls: The Care and Maintenance Of – Trippin’ Out


4.  Have a dance party with your kids while wearing something, um, unexpected

This morning while dancing with my kids, it was rain boots.  That’s not really unexpected, especially since kids love shoes they can put on themselves, but recently the twins were dancing in rain boots, pajama tops, and nothing in between.  So barenaked bummies plus rainboots equals a ridiculously adorable and un-photographable dance party.  Wait, did I make it sound like I was wearing the same thing?  Because I wasn’t.  I mean, I was wearing rain boots, but I had my damn pants on for heaven’s sake what is wrong with you?


Unfortunately the girls won’t let us have a dance party to anything but Dora music these days, but I’m holding onto the hope that I can choose the music again someday soon.  The Grumpy Old Troll doesn’t really make me want to shake my groove thang, if you know what I mean.

The only clothing this guy's wearing is a beard.  How is he allowed anywhere near Dora and her lil' friends?

The only “clothing” this guy’s wearing is a beard. How is he allowed anywhere near Dora and her lil’ friends?


5.  Embrace the fact that you own 4,611 scarves

Oh, is that just me?  I love scarves.  I have a lot of them.  When I was a teacher, I had ample opportunities to wear them.  Scarves are pretty, they bring color up near your face which is nice this time of year when you look like Crisco, and if you teach teenage boys, they can be a handy way to cover up your boobs.  Now though, who sees me?  Who cares if my cleavage is showing or if I have any color near my face?  Well, it’s time to start caring.  Put on a scarf and look nice for a change, peeps.  If you need to borrow one, just let me know.

I'm not even sure this is all of them.  Don't try to count them.  You could get hurt.

I’m not even sure this is all of them. Don’t try to count them. You could get hurt.


6. Three little words: EOS (okay that’s not really a word I guess) Lip Balm

You guys.  This stuff is awesome.  It actually works.  As in, it moisturizes your lips without that lip-product-addiction problem you get with some stuff.  It’s organic.  The little egg-shaped containers are freaking adorable and colorful.  You can buy them at Target, Wal-Mart, the grocery store, and probably other places but I wouldn’t know because I never go anywhere else.  They only cost $2.99 each.  This isn’t a paid endorsement or anything, I just love this lip balm.


Honeysuckle Honeydew is my favorite.  I’m not a big fan of the Summer Fruit flavor because I think it’s supposed to smell like peaches or nectarines but it kind of smells like armpits.  I still use it though.  I don’t want to let it go to waste.  But if I’m talking to you and you think you smell armpits, it’s probably just my lip balm.  It could be armpits though.  You never know.  Don’t hate.


7.  Read some poetry



I love this anthology, Good Poems for Hard Times, because it really is just that: a collection of poems to get you through the tough stuff.  I’m pretty sure this winter counts as some tough stuff.  So find some good poems, or any good book really, and snuggle up with your salted caramel hot chocolate and let yourself be absorbed into someone else’s words.  It’s the best kind of escapism.


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  • Kristy

    I share your disappointment with the nasty “Summer Fruit Armpit” lip balm. Of course I still use it.. whenever I can find it..

    • ShakespearesMom

      Well at least I won’t be the only one with weird armpit-scented lips. Thanks, Kristy!!

  • Janel Mills

    Hey thanks for the shoutout! 🙂 For someone who despises winter, I also own far too many scarves and hats. Someone called me Punky Brewster today at work because of my crazy scarf/hat/boot combination, and I took it as a compliment.

    • ShakespearesMom

      You’re welcome! Thanks for stopping by! I’m sure your Punky Brewster look was awesome. I tried to put all of my scarves on to take a picture for this post, but then I couldn’t see well enough to take a selfie. Also I got fuzz in my eye. I can’t believe I just admitted that happened.

  • Adela crandell durkee

    Reading poetry. Now that’s a great idea. Maybe in a colorful scarf?

    • ShakespearesMom

      Exactly! I feel like poetry gets a bad rap sometimes and deserves a little more attention. Good poetry, anyway.

  • Linda Roy

    The hot chocolate/vodka thing…yes please! I’m on a snow day here…need some of this. 😉 I have to get some of that lip balm. I’m a lip balm addict. 😉

    • ShakespearesMom

      I’m a lip balm addict too, so I’ve tried many kinds and this stuff really is nice. Stay warm!

  • http://www.estheticgoddess.com/ Esthetic Goddess

    I couldn’t agree more about this winter being long and cold. I only hope I remember this feeling when it’s 90 degrees out with 110% humidity!

    • ShakespearesMom

      Oh I know. I complain about being sweaty all the time in the summer. Maybe it will be a delightful, low-humidity kind of summer. Here’s hoping!

  • Suzanne Rudge (MapleMouseMama)

    Awesome suggestions for surviving this nasty winter, especially the salted caramel one 🙂 Oh and raeding a good blog. Yours is helping already 🙂

    • ShakespearesMom

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re enjoying my blog. Oh, and I just discovered mini chocolate cookies with salted caramel FROSTING at the grocery store. For some reason, my jeans didn’t button up very easily this morning…

  • Sarah E. White

    Poetry and chocolate can get you through a lot! Nice ideas.

    • ShakespearesMom

      Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

  • HighHeelsandTWheels

    I love the EOS chapstick. I also love dancing and scarves. You …my dear….are pretty awesome 🙂

    • ShakespearesMom

      Why thank you, dahling! Thanks for stopping by!

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  • Renee Weatherford

    You definitely have to be self-entertaining through all of this… what a winter! Stay warm!!