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Expert Tips for Bringing Springtime Sunshine Indoors

LIFESTYLE

From blooming buds all around to longer, sunnier days, it’s no secret that the spring season brings joy. Even if you’re spending much of your time indoors, harnessing springtime energy can help uplift your spirits. To do just that, we’ve collected some of our favorite expert tips for summoning the sunshine — from the outside in — with simple hacks that channel mood-enhancing outdoor vibes.

A DIY Uplifting Room Spray

There’s nothing like a natural room refresher spray for an immediate mood lift (just imagine the smell of zesting a citrus fruit). Make your own using either essential oils or natural ingredients like lemon slices and cinnamon sticks. “I firmly believe that certain scents can uplift your mood; citrus transports me to summer and happy days.” says Marcela Barraza, Founder of MB Green Cleaning NYC and host of the YouTube channel Clean Casa. “I love making my own air refreshers as store-bought [versions] are mixed with other chemicals and preservatives, which can reduce the natural power of the scent. DIY refreshers tend to last less time, so it’s better to do it in small amounts.”

Some of Marcela’s favorite room refresher recipes:


Citrus Fresh

Ingredients:

Lemon peels (be sure to remove any fruit, using only the actual peel, where the essential oil can be found)
Rosemary and/or mint leaves
Distilled water

Directions:

Put all ingredients into a spray bottle and let soak overnight. Use as needed.

Orange & Cinnamon

Ingredients:

Orange peel (be sure to remove any fruit, using only the actual peel, where the essential oil can be found)
Cinnamon stick
Clove sticks
Distilled water

Directions:

Put all ingredients into a spray bottle and let soak overnight. Use as needed.

Essential Blend

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
10-15 drops essential oil (can be up to two scents like lemon/lavender)

Directions:

Pour all ingredients into a spray bottle and spritz as needed.

Miniature Herb Garden

Many delicious herbs can be grown indoors, right on your windowsill or kitchen counter. As long as they have plenty of access to sunshine, indoor herbs can truly thrive with a little love (warmer home temperatures help in this, too). Try a simple starter kit like this one from Planter’s Choice, which includes organic, non-GMO basil, cilantro, chive and parsley seeds, plus biodegradable pots and an easy-to-follow instruction manual, perfect for even the greenest of gardening novices. “If all you’ve got is a sunny little nook on a windowsill, you can grow your own herbs,” says Claire Ratinon, an organic food grower. “Once you feel confident growing the more familiar types — like parsley, basil or cilantro — you can try your hand at growing more unusual varieties not easily found at the store.”

Streak-Free Sunshine

Spending extra time inside can prioritize overlooked around-the-house chores, including tending to those smudged, dull windows. No need to seek out chemical-laden cleaners to make them sparkling, as many natural alternatives work just as well, and can be made using ingredients already in your pantry (i.e. distilled vinegar) — all the better to see the outside world, my dear! “I use [white] vinegar to clean pretty much my entire house, bathrooms, kitchen sink, stainless steel appliances, and windows,” says Marcela. “The acidity of vinegar helps eliminate film on windows created by dust, dirt, debris, etc., plus you can make [the formula] yourself for pennies! I swear by this oh-so-simple recipe.”

One-Step Vinegar-Based Glass Cleaner

1 cup water
1/2 vinegar
Couple drops of dish soap

Put all ingredients in a spray bottle and clean away!

A Dash of Bronzer & SPF

Mimic a day spent outdoors with our mineral-infused ENDLESS SUMMER Bronzer. The clean formula gives you an immediate healthy-looking flush, and also helps build a sun-kissed glow over time. Don’t forget: even if you’re sun-worshiping from inside your home, it’s important to put on your daily sunscreen as skin-damaging rays can still get to you through the windows. “I recommend that people wear sunscreen even if they are indoors, especially if you’re working in front of a computer,” says Dr. Joyce Park, bareMinerals Global Dermatology Ambassador. “We know that cell phone screens and computer can emit blue light, which can worsen dark spots on the skin.”

Frozen Lemonade with a Twist of Mint

For an instant summery uplift, try a refreshing, slushy recipe inspired by Israeli Limonana. This minty, lemony drink is so delicious, it will literally make you smile. “[It’s a] perfect summer refresher,” says Jane Coxwell, the chef behind all of the fresh recipes we share here on THE GOOD EDIT. “In any form of cooking or food, a lemon adds brightness, so inherently lemons are a very uplifting, optimistic food.” Jane’s version allows you to customize the mint/lemon ratio for the perfect blend of flavor profiles, according to your own tastes. “I always say, mint and lemon are best friends. The crispness of mint works really well with the brightness of a lemon,” she explains. “Both are bright and clean. The mint acts as a kind of bridge between the tartness of the lemon, and the sweetness of the sugar.”

Summer Limonana Recipe by Jane Coxwell

To make about 6 servings, dissolve 1 cup of sugar into 4 cups of water in a pot over a medium heat, using a whisk or spoon. Let it cool until room temperature. Put the sugar water in a blender, along with 1.5 cups of fresh lemon juice and 3 cups of lightly packed mint leaves. Blend that for about 10 seconds, then add about 3 cups of ice cubes and blend until smooth. Give it a taste and add more sugar or lemon depending on how sweet or tart you’d like it.

Expert Tip: If you make more than you want to drink, you can turn it in to a granita for another time. Freeze the mixture in Stasher or Ziploc bags, and place them flat in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat the granita, remove from the freezer, put a dishtowel over the bag, and using the bottom of a sauce pan to lightly smash it up until it’s the texture of a granita. Serve in a bowl with a sprig of mint.

Out with The Old

Nothing brings on those renewal vibes like a little spring cleaning. Getting rid of expired, half-empty products will help you feel decluttered and refreshed. From your fridge to your beauty stash, if it’s past the expiration date, let it go! If you’re confused about what to keep and what to toss, there are plenty of helpful guides, like the FoodKeeper App, developed by the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and Cornell University, to help you get there.

Vitamins on Your Skin

We all need our vitamin D (thank you sunshine and multi-vites!), but adding some vitamins right onto your skin is also going to help your complexion look healthy and glowing. Try our skin-smoothing PRIME TIME Original Primer, which delivers Vitamins C & E plus Aloe Leaf, Chamomile and Licorice Root straight to your beautiful face. No need for foundation or concealer for low-maintenance days.

Juicing Without a Juicer

You don’t need a juicer to make a delicious juice or smoothie. All you need is a blender, plenty of fruits and veggies, and a strainer. “It’s true, you don’t need an expensive juicer that takes up too much counter space in order to make great smoothies and juices,” says chef Jane. “For a breakfast smoothie that will keep you full until lunch, try mixing banana, avocado, oat milk, blueberries and spinach. For more of a mousse-like texture, add less oat milk than you would in a liquid smoothie. (No need to strain this mix, just blend until completely smooth). For a hydrating, green, afternoon pick-me-up, try cucumber, kale, apple, parsley and ginger (straining required after blending). And for an electrolyte and antioxidant-packed post-workout mix, blend coconut water, frozen cherries and banana (no need to strain).”

Expert Tips for Juicer-Free Juicing

  • Always start by cutting up any fruits and vegetables for seamless blending
  • Peel any produce with skins as fibrous peels make blending more difficult
  • To avoid bitterness, remove any seeds from citrus fruits and apples
  • For smooth blending, start with liquids, then add produce
  • Only some juices or smoothies need to be strained through a sieve
    • Generally, vegetables with a grainy or pulpy texture need straining
    • For juices that will be strained, blend until as smooth as possible, then strain through a sieve and use the pulp left behind for composting

Classic Springtime Movies

There’s no better time than now to channel some calming, uplifting vibes through cinema. Cue up some nostalgic springtime films (i.e. Singing in the Rain, Mary Poppins and A League of Their Own) that harken a simpler time, and watch as your mood magically becomes just a little bit sunnier.