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January 6, 2014

How to survive life on Mars

It's, like, really cold here in sweet home Minnesota. Colder than a witch's chesticles. Colder than an icicle frozen inside of snowdrift inside of the Grinch's heart pre-Whoville. Colder, apparently, than Mars.

Much of the state is closed today in response to these -50F windchills, including, thank Moses, my office, giving me the time to write a little guide to braving these frigid temps.

Step 1: Stop washing your hair.

Ain't nobody got the time for taking their feathers from wet to dry in weather like this. You'll probably catch cold/pneumonia/plague if you even try. If you need to be seen in public and you care about not looking like a sewer rat, you're going to need some dry shampoo. I've used a few different spray kinds, like Suave (turns my hair gray!), Dove (don't like the smell!), bumble+bumble (it's like brown spray paint!), and wasn't impressed. A Buzzfeed article led me to this potion from Brooklyn man store Fellow Barber. It's a bit messier since it's a powder, but it actually gives my hair the volume and clean appearance the other guys were promising. And the bergamot scent is quite pleasing!

Step 2: Take a detox bath. 

Just because you aren't washing your hairs doesn't mean you should let the rest of you get rank. Draw yourself a steaming hot bath and add a half cup baking soda, a cup of Epsom salts, and a few sprinkles of an essential oil (I like lavender). Stew for 20 minutes. You'll emerge relaxed and quite warm.

I don't know how much I really buy the "detox" aspect of the bath, but hey. Worth a shot.

Step 3: Slather coconut oil all over yourself. 

Coconut oil is so hot right now. Yesterday I told the mister I was going to rub it all over my face and see what happened. Here's what happened:

-It removed my makeup
-It left my skin very shiny and moist, which is better than dull and dry
-I smelled like a Mounds bar

This morning I put it on my chapped lips after reading this article, and it has totally relieved my Alligator Lip Syndrome.

Step 4: Warm your innards.

I discovered this hibiscus tea/ginger-clementine simple syrup concoction last winter. It produces a beverage that is both sweet and tart, and it's the prettiest color you ever did see. If you're local, you can get hibiscus tea at TeaSource. Or you could come over. I have it stockpiled.

Step 5: Put on your Katniss cowl.

You are sooooo sick of me talking about my damn Katniss cowl/huntress vest. I know. BUT LOOK AT IT IT'S SO COOL! AND I MADE IT! I MADE SOMETHING COOL! It's perfect for wearing on top of your shirt when you need extra warmth but don't want extra bulk under your arms. It's perfect for wearing under your coat. I love it the best.

Step 5: If you must go outside, get serious about it.

The MIL gave me this Patagonia down coat for Chrismukkah. It is like walking around in a sleeping bag. Highly recommended.

These Sorel Joan of Artic boots have made tromping out of doors as close to a pleasure as it could be. Before I got my sleeping bag coat, my feet were often the warmest part of my body.

Step 6: Don't even try to care what you look like.

When you're on Mars, it's better to be bundled than babely.

Stay warm out thar!


  1. Oh man you use really fancy and cool looking toiletries. I went home to Minnesota for the break and now I don't think I can ever ever live in Minnesota. I'm sad about it. But I'm glad you're alive and smelling amazing!