Thursday, January 9, 2014

5 Tips For Making Winter Easier (Yes, It IS Possible)

It's 30 degrees outside. You may think that's cold, but compared to the one digit numbers this area of the U.S. has been having, it's bikini weather! In fact, for the first time in several days, my son can actually wait for the school bus without my fearing that his nose or other body parts will turn gray and fall off. Still, Winter is not going anywhere, so I thought I share with you some ideas for keeping warm and safe for the rest of this chilly season. Note: I am not a scientist or any kind of expert. The tips I'm about to share have worked for me and my hope is that they'll either work for you.  Here we go!

To Melt Ice – I am not a fan of commercial ice melts ever since my dog repeatedly wound up limping after walking on sidewalks that had been coated with the stuff; in addition, I understand that it's quite environmentally unfriendly. So when confronted with dangerous, icy steps, I sprinkle a handful or two of either Kosher salt or even table salt, if that's all I have, on the steps. Both will melt ice pretty quickly, although too much can't be good for grass or pavements either. I've also used cheap, generic kitty litter and carry a bag of it in the trunk of my car. Kitty litter won't melt anything, but it will provide traction. It will also make a big mess when you bring it in on your shoes, so keep a towel or rag rug in your entrance area and, once the ice melts, sweep the litter away. Alternatively, you can use some old sand from the kids' sandbox. If you want to cut down on the amount of salt you're using, mix it with the litter or sand. Now there are a lot of recipes for homemade deicers on the web, but for more information on which ones actuallywork, visit The Mother Nature Network here:

To Keep Your Car Doors From Freezing – Last year when I dropped Diva off at school one morning, we discovered that the door on her side of the car wouldn't open. Arrgh!  She had to get out on the traffic-side of the car while I got out and made sure she was okay.   I vowed that that would never happen again, so before the snow and ice come, I spray some non-stick cooking spray or WD-40 on a paper towel and wipe it around the seal of the doors. The oils in those products stop the water from melting into the rubber. Don't spray either around the door because if they drip, they can stain the interior of your vehicle.

De-Icing A Lock – I carry hand sanitizer on my key chain and if my car door lock ices over, I merely rub a bit on the key and lock.  It works like a charm!   Just make sure you're using a product with at least 60% alcohol which is the active ingredient that melts the ice.

Conditioning Your Shovel – Periodically I spray WD-40 on my shovels. It keeps gloppy snow from staying on the shovel (and me from cussing out the snow). 

Trunk Essentials - I mentioned that I carry kitty litter in my car in the Winter for traction. Also in my car are:
  • small water bottles.  They'll thaw much faster than a jug of water.
  • an ice scraper with attached snow brush
  • protein bars
  • toilet paper (you never know when you'll need it)
  • paper towels
  • safety flares
  • coloring books and crayons.  Even a bored Teen will use these if you break down for more than an hour.
  • jumper cables
  • extra clothes for the kids and me
  • a shovel.  Pick up a child's snow shovel at Home Depot, although in a pinch I've used a dust pan.
  • sandwich bags. Place these over your gloves if you have to dig out in the snow and they'll keep your hands even warmer.
  • a lightweight sled with a handle. Scoff if you want, but if I need to get help, I cannot carry my daughter through the snow. I'd rather pull her. Plus, having a sled makes an emergency situation seem more like an adventure than a crisis.
  • a blanket
  • a flashlight and spare batteries. Why a flashlight when I have my cellphone on me at all times? Because in case of emergency, I'll need that phone to make calls, not for use as a light source.
You've see it before - my $10 Target phone charger.  It also doubles as a flashlight.  Love it!
And, of course, I always have my emergency car charger fully charged on my key chain at all times. For more information on car essentials, read this article from Life Hacker at

Do you have any tips you'd like to share? Please comment below!

Most of us, including me, are looking to lose weight after indulging a bit during the Holidays (Diva's comment was, "Mommy, please don't turn into a hippo again."  Gotta love that kid!).  Please check back in a day or two for some weight loss ideas that actually working for me, aka The Mom Without Willpower.

Stay warm, people!

1 comment:

  1. These are awesome tips! I'd never heard of using hand sanitizer or cooking oil on my car before. I'm going to pin this and send it to my husband. Thanks for sharing!


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