Ok, so this might sound silly coming from someone who has been complaining about the lack of heat for weeks now, but Portland has a way of going from chilly to muggyasallgetout in no time at all.  Since the lot of us here are basically climate pansies, we freak out the minute the pendulum starts to swing into “too darn hot” territory: “Hot?  We can’t be too hot!  Wait, we ARE hot!  What do we doooooooo?” whine whine etc. etc. etc.

So today’s cheap thrill is a list I’ve compiled from friend, the interwebs, and trial and error, of my favorite free or cheap-o ways to combat the summer heat and survive life without air conditioning.  It can be done.

The “Stay Cool!  Have a Great Summer! xoxo Karyn” List

1. Learn to work your windows.  Sleep with them open, shut them once it starts to heat up in the morning.  Close blinds and drapes during the hottest part of the day to further insulate.  Don’t get lazy and leave them open/shut (heh hemmmm, self.)

2. Cuddle with your freezer.  Before bed, place dry sheets, pillowcases, or a tshirt in the freezer for 15 minutes or so, then remove and don right before you pass out.  If you’re super smart like a few of my friends, you’ll freeze an additional shirt in case the heat wakes you up – instant cool down, no shower required.

3. Plan your daily shower for the hottest part of the day, if at all possible.  That way, you get the cool down benefit without wasting extra water.  Embrace cold showering.  Do it.

4. Make popsicles!  Get creative freezing juice and fruit and going cold for your meals and snacks.  Freeze some bananas and blend them in a food processor – creamy yummy goodness.

5. Cold brew your daily coffee.  Fill your french press in the evening and leave it in the fridge overnight.  Dedicate one ice cube tray to coffee ice cubes and voilá!  Cold coffee, first thing in the morning, that won’t water down as the ice melts.

6. Keep a cucumber in the fridge.  Slices are great for sticking on your face, neck, arms, whereev, for an instant cool down.

7. Put mint in your ice water!  It’s super tasty, helps to make water more exciting to drink, and mint has cooling properties.  You can also seek out lotions, shampoos, and even perfumes with a minty kick to keep you feeling refreshed (and smelling lovely).

8. Two words: Water Balloons.  Cheap, fun, done.

9. Two better words: Super Soaker.  Fun, plus no clean up.  Win

10. Hang out in the library, Starbucks, Powells, the mall (cringe), the movies, or anywhere else they have AC.

Remember, this heat is what we’ve been begging for over the last several months, so when you can, try to enjoy it… find a pool to soak in, or a beach to go to, get a cute hat and some fabulous sun glasses and live it up!  We’ll be shivering again before we know it.


  • Rachelle June 28, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Just a few ideas I have from my heat wave experience last summer:

    1. buy a fan before they’re sold out.
    2. put a damp beach towel in the freezer, then put in on your bed and lay on it.
    3. sprinklers (how was this not a part of your list?)

    Love the post and can’t wait for th heat! 🙂

  • Liesl August 16, 2011 at 1:20 am

    It’s heeerrrrrreeeee!!!! 🙂