Tag Archives: cold weather

Making The Most Out Of Your Time At Home This Winter

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Making The Most Out Of Your Time At Home This Winter

Now that we are in the midst of the cold, dark winter months you are most likely spending the majority of your time cooped up at home since social distanced outdoor hang outs are out of the question. It is probably the longest time a lot of us have spent continuously at home, in the space of just a few months! However, there are ways you can turn this negative into a productive positive with the following ideas:

Learn new skills:

When is the last time that you ever had seemingly unlimited time at home? I can’t remember! Now is the best time to take up new hobbies like cooking, baking, crafting, or photography. It is also ideal for finishing those projects that you have wanted to get around to but never had the time for. Paint the guest room, redecorate the bathroom, or clean out the garage – it feels good to check items off of your to do “eventually” list!

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Keep your home nice and toasty:

At this point in your time at home, you might end up noticing jobs that need to be done around the house like when you spot a hole in the ceiling of your roof as you pack away Christmas decorations in the attic. This is when you need the assistance of Blue Spruce Roofing Company who are professional roofing experts that will be able to inspect and repair any problems you are experiencing. It’s vital to ensure that your cozy nights remain just that, nice and toasty and totally draft free.

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Declutter your space:

Now is the ideal time to reorganize, sort through your possessions, and actually drop your bags of used items off at a local charity instead of driving around with them in the trunk of your car for months. These items could also be regifted, sold online via Facebook marketplaces, or apps like Offer Up. Free up that unnecessary clutter in your life and start afresh. If you haven’t made use of whatever you are considering letting go of in the past year then, chances are, you won’t be using it again.

Heading into 2021 gives you the opportunity to enter into a brand new year with a completely clean slate. Leave all negative vibes behind in 2020 and continue to stay safe by making the most out of your time at home. Cheers!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Important Safety Tips When Driving In Ice And Snow

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Important Safety Tips When Driving In Ice And Snow

Regardless of how long you have been driving, you need to consider safety every time you get behind the wheel. Cars are dangerous and there are always hazards that you need to be aware of because any mistakes could potentially be fatal.

There are a number of driving rules that you should follow at all times, but you need to be particularly careful during the winter. When there is ice and snow on the roads, the dangers are amplified and you need to pay extra attention to what you are doing. If you are concerned about driving in the ice and snow, here are some important tips to help you stay safe:

Check the forecast before you leave:

The weather can change at any moment, and you need to be prepared for whatever may come your way, especially if you are out in the car all day. You don’t want to make the mistake of leaving the house while it’s dry, only to find that you are unprepared when it starts snowing later on in the day. Always check the forecast before you leave the house in the morning so you can allow extra time if it’s likely to be wet or icy. You may also want to change your route and go on safer roads when the weather is particularly bad.

Keep your tires in good condition:

Your tires are among the most important safety features on your car, so it’s vital that you make sure they are in good condition, especially during the winter. Make sure that you check the tread on your tires on a regular basis and replace them when necessary. Even if you have a big 4×4 and you think that you can handle any condition, it’s still vital that you keep the wheels in top shape. Make sure to invest in new 4×4 rims and tires when you need them. When you are buying new tires, look for ones with a high silica content because they provide more grip. You can get specific winter tires, which have a shorter stopping distance, so it may be worth investing in a set.

Check your visibility:

When the weather is cold, your windows will get covered in ice, making it impossible to see. Visibility is vital to your safety on the road, so make sure that your windows are completely clear. Scraping a small gap that you can look out of is not enough so make sure that you clear the windows properly. This means that you will need to leave yourself enough time in the mornings, so plan ahead. You should also check that your window wipers are working correctly so you don’t lose visibility in heavy rain or snow.

If you are driving at night, make sure that you check your lights too. You can’t always tell right away if a light is out while you are driving. It’s best to be safe and quickly check them before you leave the house at night.

Pack a winter breakdown kit:

Breakdowns are never good, but if you get stranded in the middle of winter, you could find yourself in a very difficult situation. That’s why it’s important to bring a winter breakdown kit so you can stay safe and get somebody to help you out. A snow shovel, scraper, and some de-icer will help you stop the car from freezing over or getting stuck in the snow. You should pack a flash light, as well, so you can see what you are doing if you get stranded at night.

Keeping everybody warm while you wait for the breakdown recovery van to show up is important too. It’s worth packing a few blankets in the car and maybe even a thermos with some hot drinks. Make sure that you pack a car charger for your phone so you can still call for help if your battery runs out. But if you get stuck somewhere without a phone signal, you might be forced to walk a while to find help. In this case, it’s a good idea to have some snow boots to change into.

A reflective sign will help other cars spot you if you get stuck at the side of the road. This improves safety and encourages people to stop and give you a hand. This winter breakdown kit can get you out of some sticky situations if you break down in the middle of nowhere while the weather is bad.

Adjust your driving:

You need to adjust the way that you drive to stay safe in the bad weather. Slowing down is the most obvious change to make because your stopping distance will be much greater when roads are wet and icy. It’s also much easier to lose control of the car, so you should always reduce your overall speed when driving in the winter.

Using higher gears is important when driving on ice. Setting off in a higher gear will help you to avoid wheel spin and sticking to a higher gear generally will give you more grip. Always accelerate slowly so you maintain control of the car at all times.

When approaching a bend, always brake gently before and take the turn carefully to avoid skidding. If you do feel the car skidding, it’s important that you don’t panic and slam the brakes on. Instead, you need to turn in the direction that the car is skidding and keep off the brakes as much as possible.

If you adjust your driving and slow down, you will be much safer. It will take you longer to get places, so leave with plenty of time to avoid rushing and putting yourself in dangerous situations.

The risks are much greater when driving in bad weather, so it’s vital that you change your approach. Make sure that you prepare your car properly and pack a winter breakdown kit. You also need to cut your speed and take your time to keep yourself and those around you safe.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Doing Right By Your Dog This Winter

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Doing Right By Your Dog This Winter

As dog parents, we always want to do the best for our furry friends. The colder months are always a little more challenging than summer. But whether you’ve recently added a puppy to the family household or have been with your pooch for years, this winter could be tougher than most.

The impacts of COVID-19 will limit the possibilities in many aspects of dog care. However, you cannot afford to let it prevent your pup from receiving the love and care they deserve. Here are some tips to keep you on top of the situation throughout the early parts of 2021:

Protection from the cold:

The first job facing all dog owners is to keep them protected from the cold weather in winter. A continued commitment to fighting off frostbite and other dangers with dog shoes and coats can make a big impact. You should also use flea sprays and other protective items.

Prevention is the best form of protection at all times. While veterinary services are still open in most places, appointments may be harder to get. So, if you can avoid them altogether through improved winter care, you must grab that opportunity right away.

Pay extra care to nutrition:

A healthy dog is a happy dog, and nutrition remains the central feature. A balanced diet supported by the best dog treats will ensure that your pooch gets the right nutrients all winter. When combined with any necessary supplements, your dog’s health will soar.

It’s very easy to forget about hydration in the winter, but your dog cannot be left to go thirsty, either. Be sure to check out how much liquid a dog of your breed and size should take on each day. On a side note, brain games for dog treats are great to promote mental stimulation.

Stay active:

It’s inevitable that outdoor activities will suffer a reduction in the winter months. While this is true every year, the fact that some attractions are off-limits due to the pandemic does make it harder. Nonetheless, getting your dog out for regular exercise is as essential as ever.

Walking a combination of their favorite routes and new spots is vital for mental stimulation. Moreover, the activity promotes healthy bones, muscles, and joints. The benefits won’t always be seen right away, but you’ll notice them in the future. It’s good for weight management too.

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Cutie!!!

Create a comfy home environment:

Getting outside on a frequent basis is pivotal for your dog’s health. Nonetheless, they will be spending more time at home. So, you owe it to your pooch to ensure that it is a comfortable environment. A great dog bed and plenty of toys should be at the top of the agenda.

If the dog is a new addition to the family, you’ll also need to think about introducing them to other pets. Even the notoriously challenging dog-cat relationship can be a lot simpler to manage than you might first think. The impact it will have in winter and beyond is huge.

Spend time near other dogs:

First and foremost, you must respect the current social distancing restrictions in your local area. However, if you are able to meet a friend for outside walks, this is a great way for dogs to stay socially active. This is crucial for their mental health and emotional stimulation.

While it’s something that dogs need every year, its benefits will be greater than ever over the coming weeks. It might not be possible to do this every day, but you should aim to do it several times each week. Of course, this will be easier if you have multiple dogs.

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Besties!

Invest in good home grooming:

Some dog grooming companies will continue to offer a COVID-safe service. However, the chances of getting the same level of care that you’d usually receive are quite slim. Therefore, you must try to compensate for this by giving your pup the right home treatments.

Finding the best dog brush, nail clippers, and toothbrushes will serve you well. For the true dog parlor vibe, luxury shampoos and conditioners can be used too. Once you embrace the habit, you may find that your reliance on professionals is reduced after the pandemic too.

Think about the heat:

When at home in the cold weather, we all gravitate towards heat sources. However, this can be a danger for dogs if they get too close to heaters and run the risk of dehydration and skin burns. Therefore, radiator covers and fire guards are vital additions. Do it ASAP.

Good air circulation will certainly help the situation while also reducing the threat of bacteria growth. The potential issues with the heat also provides a reason to ensure that water is readily available for your dog throughout the day.

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Snug as a bug.

Manage the backyard:

The backyard is a spot where your dog will gain regular exercise and stimulation. Sadly, if you do not take winter precautions, there’s a risk that they will escape. For example, snow can quickly build up against fences to create potential escape routes.

Likewise, adverse weather could damage panels to create further escape routes for your pup. So, if you wish to avoid this problem, it’s important to inspect the yard each morning before letting the pup out to play. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Show love:

Perhaps most importantly, your dog needs love and attention at this time. And frankly, given your lack of human interaction, it’s vital for you too. Playing games with your pet will deliver mutual mental health rewards. When your dog is happier, it will show in their behavior.

The key is to avoid long-term spells without seeing the pup. For many people, that will be easier than ever due to working from home. If you are still at the office, though, you must find alternative solutions. A dog sitter may not be possible at this time, though, so it’s important to be as present as you can.

Do right by your pups this winter with the tips above. Stay safe!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Protecting Your Dogs In Winter Weather

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Protecting Your Dogs In Winter Weather

When winter comes around, every good pet owner will want to make sure their pooch is happy and safe. We can put on layers, while they cannot. We can avoid puddles and slippery ice on the sidewalk, just by knowing what would entail if we stood in them. Dogs don’t seem to realize their paws will get stuck to the ice and this can be incredibly dangerous and painful. Not to mention, they tend to bring in half the snowfall, as they come inside our homes from walks. We can help our dogs remain safe, not lose our minds with all of the cleanup duties, and enjoy winter together as good pet owners:

Frostbite danger:

Many people will still try to take their restless dog outside in the cold for his morning and evening walks. However, no matter what kind of dog you have, always make him or her wear some shoes. In the wild, dogs are not just roaming around in the cold. They avoid harsh conditions but we have domesticated dogs that want to stick to a routine and need to be outside at a particular time of day. That’s fine, but dogs will start to shiver and their paws become numb if they have prolonged contact with the frozen pavement. So make sure that they are wearing winter shoes or they might suffer from frostbite which is extremely painful.

 

He wants to snuggle:

If your pup isn’t allowed on the furniture, give him an elevated bed so it’s not touching the cold floor. If your dog’s bed is on tiles or hardwood floors, then it will lose warmth. But if you keep it off the ground this won’t be an issue. Nevertheless, give your dog an extra blanket or a thicker blanket for the winter. It is equally as important to move the dog’s bed away from draft-prone areas such as close to windows and doors.

Messy paw prints:

When your dog has been outside in the garden to do his business, he will have muddy paws. You can bet that during winter, in the rain and melting ice, the garden will become a muddy mess and that mess will be brought inside. Your furry friend doesn’t know any better, but thanks to a good reliable carpet cleaning service you won’t need to stay upset for too long. The paw prints won’t be permanent and your nice area rug won’t be scarred for life. They use a special patented Hot Carbonating Extraction service which does a very hot deep cleansing clean of any carpet. The carbonation doesn’t harm the carpet fibers and they don’t need to use any undue pressure to get the mud and muck out.

A need for more:

Just like you, during the winter your dog is going to want more food. It’s natural, as we need more energy to shiver, keep warm, and regulate our metabolism during winter. However, do not use this as your only method of helping your dog get through winter. Although he might beg for more food, you should be wary of feeding him too much. Instead, you should only add an extra 10-15% calories more than he would normally have. Give him a jumper or inside top to wear and this way he will not need to burn as many calories to stay warm.

Brush his paws:

If you go for walks on the pavement instead of on the grass in the park, then beware of grit salt getting stuck in between his paws. This can lead to the skin splitting and becoming raw if left alone. Just use a simple toothbrush to wipe your dog’s paws clean as he gets inside. It will make sure little pieces of grit do not remain lodged in your dog’s paws. Again, as we have recommended earlier, just buy him some winter shoes and all of this will be avoided.

Your dog is counting on you to stick to his routine so he doesn’t feel anxious and become restless. But he also needs protection from the icy gritty pavement. These are just some of the things you can do to keep your pet safer this winter.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

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How To Enjoy A Calm Winter

Winter is well and truly on its way. In fact, it’s pretty much here. And with what’s going on in the world right now, you may find that you really don’t want to be spending too much time on anything that’s strenuous or that takes your energy away. And if that’s the case, you will be reaping as many of the benefits that a winter hibernation can offer you. At this time of the year, we don’t always want to spend too much outside or on hard activities. Instead, we want to be able to slow down and make sure that we can get through to spring feeling fantastic. To help you to do that, you may find that the ideas below will inspire you:

Switch off more:

To start with, one of the best things that you can do here is to make sure that you’re letting yourself switch off as much as possible. If you’re always on the go or your mind is always racing, your time won’t be calm. So try to switch off from work or the online world for a little bit if you can.

Distance yourself:

From here, you might want to try and think about keeping your distance from negativity. This may seem like a strange thing to add in as a winter practice, however, it can be really beneficial for your mind. If you know that you have a lot of toxic people in your life as you’re choosing to enjoy a few calming months, it’s good to try and keep them at arm’s length. That way, you know that your tranquillity won’t be threatened.

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Make room for calming practices:

The next thing that you might want to do is make sure that you are welcoming more calming practices into your life. You may find that you are able to feel a lot calmer throughout the colder months when you actively look to make this happen. Maybe you want to read instead of watch TV? Turn to something like Bloom Farms CBD instead of alcohol? Or quiet games nights with family rather than something rowdier? It all helps.

Treat yourself better:

Even if you think you already do this, you may not be treating yourself as well as you’d think. Are you resting? Are you looking after your body? Are you prioritizing your needs? If not, then you’re going to want to make sure that you change this. You’ll find it helps you to be a lot calmer and feel much better about yourself.

Enjoy the downtime:

Finally, you may find that it’s actually really nice for you to just enjoy more of the downtime. Winter isn’t always as fun, busy, and outgoing as summer – and it needn’t be. With winter comes the cold and dark and it’s not always the time of year that you want to be active. So just let yourself enjoy the calm and the slower pace. Do less. Relax. Be slow. Lap up all of the things you can do in hibernation before a glorious springtime comes back once again.

Ready, set, relax with the tips above and have a calm and safe winter!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

How To Ace Winter At Home

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How To Ace Winter At Home

Winter varies from place to place but unless you’re somewhere on the equator the likelihood is that it’s going to be cold. Sure, some places are worse than others and will need better home preparation but, in most cases, there’s usually a few things needing to be done to ensure the home is a functioning and comfortable place to be during the winter months. Some people love winter. The coziness of it is what attracts people, and Christmas, of course. Others hate it. They don’t do well with the darkness and cold, and that’s fine. Either or, here are some tips to help you succeed over the winter months:

Get your energy solutions sorted:

Energy prices fluctuate year in and out which is why you need to change your provider often. If you want a good winter, you don’t want to pay too much money for your energy, so make sure you consider changing providers. You might also want to look at your insulation. Of course, a heating and cooling company can check this out for you. If you know you don’t have any it could be a worthy investment which could save you a lot of money on energy. In the same vein, you’ll want to get your boiler and other burning devices serviced so that you know they’re safe to operate.

Clean the gutters:

Winter usually brings rain and snow. This will increase water flow and really clog up your gutters, especially if you live somewhere close to trees. The leaves are usually the key culprits of gutter blockage. You can buy the tools for these on amazon but you might just be better off approaching someone to do it for you. If you do it yourself, make sure there’s someone under you holding the ladder so you don’t fall.

You might also need to clear the drains which the gutters run into. These can be more important because they’ll cause standing water issues around your home, small puddles might be manageable but when you get the bigger ones it’ll be a lot harder to handle in most cases. It’s just a case of lifting the lid with a gloved hand and pulling the leaves out.

Check the alarms:

You’ll be at home more often due to the winter weather and this is even more prevalent this year due to coronavirus. So make sure it’s safe. Check your smoke alarms first, then make sure you’ve got a working carbon monoxide alarm in place around any fossil burning appliance. Then you need to ensure the house alarm is working. If it isn’t, think about upgrading or at least making the current one work properly. If you can’t afford it don’t panic, just make sure your doors and locks are secure and be sure to check the windows too.

Get your home in tip top shape before the winter comes with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Accessory Story: StilEstro Bejeweled Gloves Edition

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Accessory Story: StilEstro Bejeweled Gloves Edition

Hi! I love cold weather accessories A LOT. Hats, gloves, fingerless gloves, scarves, shawls, and ponchos – I have several of each thing I mentioned and I always like to treat myself to another one once the cold weather strikes. During my last TJMaxx online haul, I found a lovely pair of wheat colored gloves with a gem stoned surprise. In fact, I was so taken by them that I just had to grab another pair for my bestie for Christmas. Check it out:

Like everything in my wardrobe, I loved that these gloves had a little extra something that made them special. The bejeweled daisy sparkling against the creamy colored fabric is so charming. And, when the light hits it? Forget about it! It’s fabulous. Not to mention, I’m a bit obsessed with having clothes and accessories that were made abroad so the “Made in Italy” on the tag definitely sealed the deal!

When I saw these gloves, they immediately reminded me of my best friend, Lea. I thought that she would look so sweet all bundled up in her navy coat with a tiny bit of bling glittering at her wrist. I can’t wait to gift these to her and then go get a great big Peppermint Mocha from Starbucks in our matching gloves/personalities. Lol, I am so lucky to have her as a best friend for over a decade now and I can’t wait to spoil her this holiday season. ❤

What is your favorite cold weather accessory? How do you spoil your bestie during the holidays? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If The Shoe Fits – Michael Kors Edition

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If The Shoe Fits – Michael Kors Edition

Helloooooo everyone and welcome to a new issue of If The Shoe Fits – Michael Kors style! In association with my post yesterday entitled “Fall Shopping Fun” these beautiful Michael Kors booties were also purchased with the intention of adding them to my cold weather wardrobe. Take a better look at my pretty new babies and then let’s discuss:

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Alright, first let me just say that I am far from a label whore when it comes to my clothing. I don’t care for designer anything. I live for a good deal at Target, Kohl’s, or TJMaxx so it’s extremely out of the ordinary for me to own anything from what I consider a “high end” designer. BUT I saw these boots while shopping with my mom at TJ’s and I fell in love. So how did these MK buckle adorned beauties end up coming home with me? I’m so glad you asked!

I LOVE going to TJ’s with my mom. I can remember going shopping there with my grandma when I was really young and ever since I’ve been a die hard Maxxinista. Whenever my mom and I hit up our favorite store, we always always start in the shoe department. The past few times we’ve shopped at TJ’s we’ve been unimpressed with what they had to offer but not this time around! As I ambled through the aisles of boots, heels, and flats my eyes locked on the industrial style booties. I hurried over and plucked them off the shelf and immediately turned them over to inspect the price. When I saw the tag was far out of my normal price range, I realized that they were Michael Kors. “Oh, that explains it”, I thought to myself and put them back with a heavy heart.

Once my mom caught up to me she asked me if I saw anything that I liked and I pointed out the booties that I just recently returned to the shelf. “Well are you gonna try them on?” she asked. “No, they’re too expensive and I know that if I try them on I’m going to like them too much.” My mom didn’t argue with my logic and we continued to peruse the shoe department together. As my partner in crime tried on some cute new booties of her own, all I wanted to do was try on the Michael Kors. I voiced my insatiable desire deep in my loins to her and she urged me to give them a try. Well, she didn’t have to tell me twice. I rushed my sweet ass to the MK’s and snatched them so fast I was worried that I was going to break a nail. I brought them back to the benches to try them on for the moment of truth…

I sat my sweet tookus on the bench and slipped off my knee high tan riding boots all while thinking, “Sarah, you really shouldn’t be doing this”. But it was too late, my shoes were already off and the Michael Kors were sitting there, waiting patiently to join forces with my feet. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes tight, and shoved the right boot on. I zipped up the zipper on the side and told myself that “that wasn’t so bad” and pulled on the left shoe to complete the pair. I hoisted my sweet badonk off of the bench and walked slowly to the mirror. “Damnit,” I thought as I saw my reflection, “I love them”.

As soon as I saw them in all of their rocker chic glory I knew that I couldn’t leave the store without them. They. Were. Perfect. These Michael Kors booties have legitimately everything that I love. They’re black, buckled, zippered, and edgy as hell. As I previously mentioned, I don’t care about labels. In fact, I hate them. BUT for my first and only pair of designer shoes, I think that they hit the nail on the head!

I don’t plan on buying any more “high end” heels or boots to add to my collection because I really do think that they’re unnecessary. However, I deemed my purchase “worth it” because it really is a one time splurge and the only harm in that is to my wallet. Yes, I do have a lot of beautiful clothes, shoes, and accessories but 99% of them were purchased with price in mind. I’m a smart shopper, I always wait for the best deals, and I like to think that I ball on a budget – but I don’t know any girl that’s going to turn down a pair of Michael Kors booties that were literally made for you!

So there you have it, my latest purchase documented in If The Shoe Fits – Michael Kors Edition. With my amazing new booties and fun new shirt that you can see in “Fall Shopping Fun”, I think that I’ll take a break from the mall for a while…But I really do love both of my new editions to my wardrobe! What has been your favorite splurge purchase? What are you most looking forward to wearing this fall? I wanna hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah