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Our Bodies, Our Homes

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I’ve read enough health and beauty magazines and seen enough segments on The Today Show to know exactly how to keep my body looking and feeling great throughout these cold winter months. However, it wasn’t until recently, when I noticed that my pine desk was looking almost as dry as my lips, that I began to see the benefits of applying some of my wintertime personal care and beauty tips to my home. Here are some of my ideas:


Moisturize. It’s no surprise that being in an artificially-heated environment all day long can cause your skin to become dry and cracked. But did you know that the heat in your home can also dry out your wood furniture? During the winter, I find that my dining room table needs moisturizing just as much as my chapped hands and elbows. Any product with lemon oil works fine—but I like Wood Doctor Furniture Polish, which comes in a concentrated cream form, just like a hand-and-body moisturizer. Available at vandykes.com.


Think “layers.” This winter, style experts tell us that the “layered look” is “in.” Fashionable or not, we all know that dressing in layers is great way to stay warm when the temperature drops—and a great way to find more uses for transitional-weight clothing pieces. But did you ever consider that layering might also be an easy and inexpensive way to dress your home for winter? I’ve discovered that you can make your place look and feel warmer, just by covering your hardwood floor with a cozy rug, covering your couch with a few accent pillows in lush velvet or velour, or covering the back of your favorite chair with a comfy throw made from fleece, chenille, or cashmere. Right now, I’m completely addicted to the super-soft Forecast by Northern Nights microsuede natural down throw that my aunt gave me for Christmas. Available at qvc.com.


Go anti-bacterial. Winter is cold and flu season. To stay healthy, we all know it’s important to wash our hands frequently, or use antibacterial wipes and hand sanitizers to avoid spreading germs. However, it’s also important to keep our homes clean and germ-free. I like to use Disinfecting Wipes, like the ones by Clorox, to keep things fresh between cleanings. Available at drugstore.com.


Exfoliate… so to speak. Especially during cold weather, it’s a good idea to exfoliate your face and body at least once a week to get rid of the dry, dead skin cells that accumulate. Okay, your house doesn’t accumulate dead skin during the winter—but ice does. So far this winter, I personally know two people who’ve taken nasty falls on the ice. Don’t risk following in their footsteps. To keep sidewalks and driveways ice-free, I’m a huge fan of Hammacher Schlemmer’s rechargeable battery-powered de-icing sprayer. This easy-to-use de-icer sprays a biodegradable melting solution that is harmless to pets as well as the environment—and, it can even be used preemptively up to two hours before snow or ice accumulation. Available at hammacher.com.


Taking special care of your home in cold weather is just as important as taking care of your body. And now, your home can be just as fabulous during the winter as you are.

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