Snow Day Your Way

Snow days aren’t just for kids. There are tons of ways to embrace the chills and thrills with your best friends or special someone. Get started with the ideas below, and have an arctic blast.

Let nostalgia take over. Remember snow angels, sledding, and massive snowball fights? Snow never held you back as a kid, so don’t let it now: Bundle up and get out there! Even a walk in the park can turn a humdrum day into a magical adventure. The whole white world is waiting.

Dress for comfort. There’s no not-loving the outdoor experience when you’re dressed for comfort. Launder your snow jacket, pants, and thermals using a liquid fabric softener in a sunny-fresh scent that will get you charged up for fun. (It'll help tame pesky static, too.)

Cue the romance factor. There’s no better excuse to get close to someone than walking in the snow or ice-skating on a pond. Pack a thermos so you can extend the moment by sipping a warm drink afterward.

Host a ‘brrr’ party. Invite a group of up-for-anything friends over and cue up a bunch of zany team competitions, like building the biggest or most creative snowman. Or have a massive snowball fight. When everyone’s toes have gone numb, head inside for a hot dinner of homemade chili or a hearty soup.

Reflect on the fun. After the activities are over, cuddle up. Tip: Toss your favorite blanket in the dryer for a few minutes with a scented dryer sheet. You’ll enjoy great smelling warmth as you snuggle up with fresh memories of good snowy times. 

Pamper Yourself Like the Pros

 

TLC for your tresses.

 

 

Megawatt stars wouldn’t consider posing for the paparazzi without first treating their locks to a “hair facial.” This relaxing spa service generally includes special ingredients like soy proteins to smooth and moisturize damaged locks. For an at-home treatment, look for hair masques or deep conditioners with botanical ingredients that soften strands and add star-quality shine. 

 

Lights, camera, action.

 

 

When it comes to looking your best, it’s no small feat to gear up for the season’s biggest award show—whether you’re a starlet or a spectator. By the time the telecast begins, we’ve all heard details on who’s wearing what, the latest hair and makeup trends, and which stars are likely to bring home the gold statues. All that buildup is especially fun if you can plan a day of Hollywood-style pampering with your friends before the show. So get the party started with our step-by-step regimen, and look relaxed and red-carpet fabulous in time for the big event.

 

 

Get comfy.

 

 

Freshen your fluffiest towels and plush terry robes with a liquid fabric softener and an in-wash scent booster. Try soft, luxurious scents, such as vanilla or herbal lavender, which will soothe your guests’ senses and set the mood for the pampering to follow.  

 

 

Freshen your face.

 

 

Provide a range of facial masks and soothing creams that work for various skin types (dry, oily, sensitive) as well as chilled cucumber slices and moistened tea bags, both of which may help reduce under-eye puffiness.

 

 

 

Get ready to glow.

 

 

Baring your arms or legs for the evening? Exfoliate with an emollient sugar-based body polish in the shower, then add a bit of shimmery loose powder to your most luxurious body cream before slathering it on from your neck to your toes.

 

 

 

Give yourself a hand.

 

 

Soothe dry, chapped hands with a rich moisturizer, then paint your nails with your favorite polish. Cool shades like pale pink, powder white, gray, and taupe are trending for 2014, as are flirtier dark reds and metallics. And don’t forget to hydrate your skin from the inside out: Sip fresh juice, soothing chamomile tea, or herb-infused water while your nails dry.

 

 

Treat your feet.

 

 

Soak your tootsies in a tub of warm water, then push back cuticles. Buff rough heels with a pumice stone or file, apply a thick, creamy moisturizer, and give your toes a fresh coat of lacquer (matching your nail and toe polish is optional, of course, but encouraged by most old-school screen stars). Once you and your pals have completed the pampering circuit, you’ll be ready to put your best foot forward—and raise a glass to the night’s most beautiful winners, including yourselves.  

 

Get Dressed: 5 Ways to Brighten Your Wardrobe

 

Pucker Up

 

 

This season’s hottest beauty trend is a bold, bright lip. Try a blue-based red for a bright pop of color against fair winter skin. Two of spring’s hottest lipstick colors, pretty pink or bold red-orange, can complement more neutral winter wardrobes too. Plus, it just feels good to change up your look with something special that doesn’t break the bank.

 

 

Go Bold and Bright.

 

 

Neon and super-bright colors don’t seem to be going anywhere, and it’s a look you can wear now and through spring. Help keep colors bright by washing garments inside out with a liquid laundry detergent. As always, be sure to read each fabric care label for any special instructions.

 

 

Layers Work.

 

 

It might feel as though you have nothing fun to wear when it’s super chilly, but layering your winter pieces over brighter, more exciting warm-weather items can spruce up your look now. Try pairing cozy winter sweaters with bright pants and skirts or layering a cardigan over a favorite floral blouse.

 

 

Nailed It.

 

 

Ditch the nude digits for something more colorful. Manicure artwork and designs have been popping up on the pages of the fashion magazines and on the hands of in-the-know fashionistas. Bright nails aren’t just for summer anymore, either. Add a pop of color now and brighten your week.

 

 

Dots, Checks, and Stripes.

 

 

If loud colors aren’t your thing—or you just can’t wrap your head around neon in February—let graphic stripes, vivid plaids, and girly floral prints lift your wardrobe out of its winter doldrums. An exciting pattern draws the eye to you—and can give an outfit the pop that we all need when spring can’t arrive soon enough.

 

4 Reasons to Love Your Bed (Psst, It Loves You Back)

Your bed is such an inviting place, isn’t it? It doesn’t judge you, it’s always available, and its sole purpose for existing is to make you comfortable. So why spend so much time blowing it off? Here, a few examples of the benefits of your bed’s unconditional love for you.

It can make you more beautiful. Yes, beauty sleep is a real thing! Your skin renews itself while you’re sleeping, so be sure to get seven or eight hours a night. Try to sleep on your back to avoid getting creases or fine lines on your face as a result of being pressed against your pillow. If you have sensitive skin, you might opt for crisp white linens rather than dyed sheets.

It’s an opportunity for aromatherapy. Who doesn’t love falling asleep swathed in sheets with a fresh scent? Indulge in calming scents like lavender and vanilla at bedtime. To achieve olfactory bliss every night, launder your linens with an in-wash scent booster. 

It can help you shed pounds, or at least maintain your current weight. That doesn’t mean you should skip the gym for extra shut-eye every day, but hear this out. The body produces a hormone called leptin that helps the brain know when you’re full. When you don’t get enough sleep, your leptin levels drop, which can make you feel hungrier and more likely to overindulge. Maintaining a consistent sleep schedule can play an important role in your healthy diet and exercise routine.

It gives you time to reflect. Use the quiet moments before you go to sleep at night and just after you wake up in the morning to your advantage. When you’re lying in bed it’s the perfect time to think about what you accomplished during your day or what you’d like to do tomorrow. Use the period before going to sleep at night to unplug from your ever-connected world. When you wake, don’t reach for a device first thing—stay present in the room as long as you can and collect yourself as you get ready for your day.

Running + Yoga: A Winning Combination

Do you dream of standing on the winner’s podium, draped in a flag with a medal around your neck? Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just lacing up for your first 5K, incorporating yoga into your workout routine can help you run faster, better, and more comfortably. “Yoga works the entire body, whereas running is very repetitious and uses the same muscles again and again—but yoga counteracts that, which can help prevent injuries,” says Jennifer Heister, a certified yoga instructor in New York City who runs marathons and half-marathons. Plus, “the breathing techniques [from yoga] are good for calming you, helping you build bigger lung capacity, making you more focused for races, and keeping your breathing under control so you can push yourself harder.” Practicing yoga can also improve your strength, balance, and flexibility, as well as giving you a mental escape from the daily grind—a winning formula, indeed.

Here’s how to incorporate yoga into your workout regimen effectively.

Learn the basics. If you’re starting your yoga practice from scratch, find a class near you where you can get familiar with the moves. There are also streaming videos or apps that teach beginner-level yoga. It’s important to learn how to pose properly and with the right alignment, not only to prevent injuries but also to maximize your benefits from the practice. Some yoga studios and gyms now offer classes specializing in yoga for runners.

Tailor the moves to your needs. Runners often have tight shoulders, hip flexors, and hamstrings, making certain poses especially beneficial. These include the Down Dog (which releases tension in the chest and shoulders), the Crescent Lunge (for the hips), the Forward Fold (for the hamstrings), and the Eagle and Tree poses (both of which strengthen and stretch the whole body). Restorative poses like Legs-Up-the-Wall and the Child’s Pose also ease muscle tension in the back, hips, and legs and promote relaxation. Don’t know how to do these poses? It’s easy to find illustrations and descriptions online.

Put time on your side. Take advantage of the perks of stretching after a run. “Yoga can ease soreness after running,” Heister notes. “The body becomes more malleable and you’ll find more ease in the poses,” which can help you attain a greater range of motion. Still, if you’re new to yoga, it’s wise to start slowly and heed certain precautions: Don’t push a stretch excessively or try the highest level of a pose. “Be mindful of your body and go easy on yourself,” Heister advises. 

Stretch your workout clothes. To keep your yoga gear clean and soft, use a detergent with a fabric softener every time you do laundry. Think of this as a way of giving your workout wear maximum (cleaning) power and freshness, the same qualities you want from your workout routine.