Home improvement expert Julie Edelman, a.k.a. The Accidental Housewife, shares how you and your pets can weather the January doldrums by making what is cold (and old) new again!
Winter can be challenging to even the most hardy and well adjusted of Accidental Housewives and cabin fever can exacerbate our pet peeves. Here’s what you can do to tackle winter’s toughest challenges, the Accidental Housewife way.
How Shocking!: In the winter, when there is less moisture in the air, static electricity flows much more freely and the result is horrible shocks when touching anything metal and hair that stands up on its own without hairspray. Tap a metal key (without a transmitter) or a metal coin on doorknobs and car door handles before you touch them with your hands to stop those electrons in their tracks. You can also run a dryer sheet through your hair and those fly-aways are gone-aways, leaving your hair in place and smelling oh so fresh. For more information dryer sheets check out http://www.bounceeverywhere.com/en_US/products/original/detail.jsp?section=scents&scent=outdoorfresh.
Got Salt?: Snow and ice on the ground means salt on the roads, sidewalks, and your shoes, leaving nasty marks and quickly deteriorating your fave leather boots and shoes. This winter, instead of visiting the shoe store (which is always fun), open your pantry and unlock the restorative magic of white vinegar and water. First wipe both shoes with a damp cloth to remove any debris. Next just dip a clean, soft rag in an equal mixture of white vinegar and water, and gently wipe away the salt stains. Allow your shoes to dry and they will look as good as new. Then take some good old Vaseline and rub on the leather to keep the leather from cracking and polish again. You’ll be stepping out in style.
Got Milk?: “Uggs”and other suede boots are all the rage but road salt is particularly tough on suede. To keep those mukluks spiffy, you can use an emery board for small stains then a toothbrush (preferably not the one you brush with!) to restore the knap. Another option is to dip your finger in a glass of milk and dab it on the salt stain, then rub the milk in with a soft cloth. Leave overnight and you are good to go! Dipping cookies in some milk whilst doing is optional :)
Got Shrinkage?: Shrinkage is never good except when it comes to waistlines and debt! During the cold winter months, hardwood floors may contract and begin squeaking and creaking every time you walk over them. This irritating phenomenon can be stopped in its tracks with baby or talcum powder. Just sprinkle a layer of powder on top of the floor and sweep it with a broom back and forth so it gets in the cracks. Do this until the powder isn’t visible. Sweep away any excess because powder can make your floors as slippery as the ice coating your walkways. Enjoy the silence!
Pet Peeve: If you don’t own a Husky or other sled dog, you may find that your little fluffy doesn’t like to go outside when the ground is covered in snow and ice and instead decides that your floors are a much better option. For those unfortunate accidents, I suggest using Nature’s Miracle, http://www.naturemakesitwork.com/home/index.php, to remove stains and odors. If you don’t have bottle of Nature’s Miracle on hand, do not panic! You can use toothpaste, hydrogen peroxide or tea tree oil instead. After wiping up the mess, put some Crest or Colgate -non gel, on an old toothbrush or scrubbing brush and go over the stain. You can also mix hydrogen peroxide with water and clean the stain, then sprinkle with a little baking soda to neutralize the odor. If you have tea tree oil, mix a ¼cup with water and it will work wonders on pet stains and odors. Remember, do not use vinegar or ammonia since urine contains ammonia and is acidic and will draw your pet right back to the same spot to do his business.
BTW a great product for your indoor loving canine is the UGODOG, an innovative and environmentally friendly indoor dog potty and house training system. UGODOG will not only keep your dog’s paws dry, but will keep your house dry, just the way you and your pet prefer it. To check out UGODOG, go to http://www.ugodog.net/
Pet Friendly: Many ice melting products can harm pets, children and the environment. Safe Paws Ice Melter http://www.safepaw.com/ is a non-toxic ice-melting alternative to keep everyone safe this winter.
Stay Toasty: After a hard winter’s day of housewifeliness, why not kick back with a glass of wine from Les Compagnons? A portion of your purchase goes to four dog charities. To find out more about Les Campagnons, go to http://www.lescompagnonswines.com/.
So my Accidental Housewife friends, when the sun is low in the sky and your life seems more like “The Shining”than “The Sound of Music”, stay calm, take a deep breathe, and reward yourself for all that you do to keep your house just clean enough.
To read more about what I’m up to these days, visit http://www.theaccidentalhousewife.com/
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