6 Tips to help you stay warm and comfortable in winter

Filed under: Healthy Living — mainewarmers @ 10:32 am

In Maine, even on the coldest days of winter, I am amazed to see people outside in shorts! Many people wearing light jackets or sweatshirts, with no hats or gloves, dash from cars to buildings. Even a short distance in extreme cold can make life pretty miserable.

We lose most of our body heat through our heads, the most exposed body part in cold weather — with the exception of bare legs for those who wear shorts. If you find winter to be uncomfortable, here are a few things, other than traveling South, you can do to feel better.

1. Stash several chap sticks for easy access in your coat pocket, your car, in a place close to your door, or in a purse for quick and frequent use. Cracked lips are not fun, especially when eating chips.

2. Use over-the-counter eye drops, “Tears,” to replenish the moisture in your eyes, which can become dry faster in cold weather. Avoid crying!

3. Use a little vitamin E oil on a Q-tip to soften and soothe dry, itchy ears. Share with your cat or dog.

4. Apply sunscreen to your face when going outside for recreation even in cold climates, and use moisturizing lotion every day. Your skin will thank you as the years go by.

5. Get outside and enjoy the winter as much as possible. Exercise helps stimulate circulation and helps keep you warm. Dress in layers and wear a hat.

6. Keep your chin up and a Maine Warmer close at hand. We are now on the downhill slope of winter!

Maine Warmers’ reusable hand warmers and foot warmers bring instant relief for cold hands and feet in winter.


Microwave heat therapy helps relieve pain of urinary tract infection

Filed under: Healthy Living — Tags: , , , — mainewarmers @ 3:35 am

I thought I had heard or read about every use there is for microwave heating pads. But just this weekend I took a family member to the doctor for a urinary tract infection and we were given some Home Care Instructions on the way out.

Among the recommendations – including a full regimen of antibiotics, drinking lots of water, and avoiding caffeine and carbonated drinks – was taking a hot bath or the use of a heating pad (placed on the lower stomach or back) to help relieve pain.

The written instructions recommended not going to sleep with a heating pad. The danger is that an electric heating pad may overheat, causing burns. A microwave heat pack will slowly cool off after it is heated, thus eliminating the worry of overheating. Another benefit of microwave heat packs is that there is no electrical cord tied to an outlet, which allows for freedom to sit anywhere, and take the heating pad mobile, like in the car or to work.

Maine Warmers has a variety of Back Warmers that can be microwaved and used to help stimulate circulation and help ease pain.  A Cozy Panda Bear or Cat are both microwave heating pads that bring comforting companionship for someone who could use some TLC.


Walking through Transitions

Filed under: Healthy Living — mainewarmers @ 3:21 am

(Taken from the Maine Warmers September 2013 e-Newsletter)

Whenever I drive over the Androscoggin River in Lisbon Falls, Maine, I cross an old rusted, green, metal bridge that makes me feel uncomfortable and gives me a slight adrenalin rush. It takes about 30 seconds to travel across the bumpy, broken surface, and while I want to slow down so I can look upstream and see the spectacular view of the water tumbling over huge boulders, my foot instinctively presses down harder on the gas pedal. At the end of the bridge is a dark, rock cliff that rises straight up about 60 feet, and the road takes a hard left turn.

Our lives are filled with change. Like bridges, rough surfaces, and sometimes looming walls, they involve risk and may cause us to take a different direction. The personal transitions in our lives are sometimes as simple as changing the color of our hair or can be life-altering, like having a child go off to college. Others are collective, affecting us all, like passing from one season to the next, or they can be dramatic, like the changes brought about by world conflicts.

Going from the expectations of the past to the realities of the future isn’t always a smooth ride, and I find that walking helps me cope. Choosing healthy ways to deal with the change can be daunting. Sometimes the comfort of a cup of tea and a brownie is more appealing than physical exercise.

neck heat pad blue copy

Maine Warmers traditional microwave moist Neck Warmer

Walking is supposed to be one of the simplest and healthiest activities and can help improve ones’s mood, according to this article from the Mayo Clinic. The article lists weight management, bone strengthening, better coordination, and balance as value-added benefits from regular walking. It also has tips on technique and routine.

Walking helps me burn some calories from that brownie and makes me feel more comfortable. But no matter how healthy walking is, I will never walk over the Androscoggin River on that green bridge!

Maine Warmers moist heating pads also provide a healthy way to deal with the stresses of change. Check out their Back Warmers and Neck Warmers in traditional and animal designs.


Keeping Your Cool in the Heat

Filed under: Healthy Living — Tags: , — mainewarmers @ 1:27 pm

I recently heard that there is an app for a GPS with an attitude. For example, when a driver disregards the GPS directions to take a short-cut or detour, the voice responds disdainfully, “I said turn right, you idiot!” Many drivers, in turn, respond to a GPS voice as if in conversation and sometimes with profanity.

Attitude can be quite humorous and harmless, but there is a well marked line between fun and lack of respect. When we are in a hurry, upset, angry, frustrated, or in pain, our attitudes can go from nice to negative in seconds. Irate motor vehicle operators often yell at other drivers, make obscene hand gestures, swear, and honk horns — actions they might not take outside of a car or truck.

I recently watched a news report about increasing road rage and how defusing an ugly situation with a calm voice may help prevent a serious altercation. It’s hard for us to know what burdens people carry on their shoulders, and keeping cool in the heat of a bad road experience may be the safest option. There is an excellent article on about how to prevent road rage.

When summer heat or an overabundance of stress cause anxiety, try this recipe for Lavender Iced Tea. Then sit back with a “just out of the freezer” Neck Warmer and relax.


Three Tips for Saving Time

We are all crunched for time, especially during December. If you would like more time for the things you love to do, here are three time-saving tips. Several years ago, after reading ORGANIZING FOR THE CREATIVE PERSON, by Dorothy Lehmkuhl and Dolores Cotter Lamping (Three Rivers Press, NY, 1993), I found these suggestions and more. I was elated to discover a few simple changes could help me overcome some of my scattered ways and save time.

1. Write a plan in pencil. We are sometimes reluctant to write plans down because we think things might change, which they do. If we don’t write them in cement or announce them to the world we can easily make adjustments.

Planning helps you focus on priorities. Write down everything you’d like to do, then cross out, rewrite, rearrange, or start over. You don’t have to show the plans to anyone unless you’d like to.

2. File things vertically, not in horizontal piles on the kitchen table or desk. It’s much easier to find things when they are stored in file folders, in a file cabinet, in a desk-top file organizer, or “loose-leaf” notebook with separators. Compare it to trying to find a book at the library. If all the books were stored haphazardly in large horizontal piles instead of on shelves in an organized manner, you’d waste hours finding what you wanted.

3. Manage the mail as it comes in the door. We often spend extra time going over and over mail. Keep a recycle bin handy and as soon as the mail comes, go through it and discard what you don’t need. Don’t put it down to go through it again and again, zapping away extra minutes. File the bills and other correspondence in their respective vertical files and deal with them at a more appropriate time if you don’t have time at the moment.

Remember, a Maine Warmer is easy to order online or over the phone and solves many of your gift giving dilemmas for co-workers, teachers, great aunts, and the kid (young or old) who has everything. Consider giving one to the person who is always borrowing yours, saving the time it takes you to look for it.

Published in the Maine Warmers’ e-Newsletter, Dec. 2012


Filed under: Healthy Living — mainewarmers @ 2:42 am

I felt like a Grinchy grandmother when I refused to buy some toys for my grandchildren the day after Thanksgiving. After a trip to the Children’s Museum, we stopped to buy a winter coat for my grandson in a small Maine department store and had to walk past several shelves of glittery toys. My grandson and granddaughter were hot to buy one of anything and a bit surprised (and disappointed) when I told them I had no cash.

They must have sensed a hesitation in my voice as they offered several good arguments (including using my credit card) to convince me otherwise. I gently explained that I would rather give them each a few dollars to save for toys they really wanted, rather than spend a few bucks on cheap ones that would soon find homes in a landfill. They weren’t buying it, and with the skill of what seemed like the Harvard debate team, they continued to argue. Finally I saw an opportunity for a life lesson. So, I stiffened my tone, and stood my ground. It was a grim walk back to the car.

But on the drive to their house the tone changed from sad to happy as we talked about the things in life that are of value to them and bring them the most joy. They surprised me, talking not about toys, but about activities they have enjoyed with their mom and dad, the summer camp experiences, and videos (of course).

After we pulled into their driveway, I gave each grandchild a kiss and hug with the promise of a few bucks to slip into their piggy banks. As I drove away I didn’t feel like a Grinch at all.  And I came through with my promise the very next day when we took a trip to the playground.

When you make your plans this season, please consider giving a gift of simple pleasure — comfort and warmth.  Maine Warmers are made in America and provide a truly lasting value. Check out their Cozy Sheep or Bears for special gifts during the holidays.

This post appeared in the December issue of the Maine Warmers December 2011 e-Newsletter.


Rule # 1 in an Emergency

Filed under: Healthy Living — mainewarmers @ 10:00 pm

We teach our children to fasten their seatbelts while riding in a car, to drive defensively, and obey the rules of the road. But do we teach them Rule #1 if they witness an automobile accident?

A few weeks ago, as my husband and I drove to a family gathering, we were shocked to see a black sedan appear out of nowhere, speed in front of us, and slam into a cement wall under a bridge in Portland, Maine. Our first reaction was to run to help. After we simultaneously opened our car doors, my husband abruptly handed me his cell phone and said, “Dial 911.” Then he ran to help while I talked with the police dispatcher to give location and answer as many questions as possible.

Within minutes the police and ambulance, with professionally trained personnel, arrived. A woman, the only person in the car, was regaining consciousness, and we knew she would be okay. The airbag and seatbelt saved her life.

I realized afterwards how important it is to be aware of Rule #1. As difficult as it may be to talk about with teenagers and younger children, it’s also important to remember that a few moments can save a person’s life.

For a brief, but excellent explanation on what to do if you come across an accident visit

If you have ever been in an automobile accident — even a fender bender — you have probably experienced some muscle soreness. The heat from a Neck Warmer relieves stiffness and helps increase flexibility due to injuries or other


12 Tips to save cash & be GREEN!

Filed under: Healthy Living — mainewarmers @ 5:18 pm

 Help the environment & cash in!

  1. Cut worn-out t-shirts, sheets, & bath towels into small pieces to use as rags instead of paper towels. Launder when necessary and re-use or throw them away.
  2. Store portions of cut veggies in a large plastic container in the refrigerator instead of covering each individual portion with plastic wrap. 
  3. Plan and write a menu for the week. Extra trips to the grocery store can easily add to your food bill, waste time, and add to your gas bill.
  4. Use a clothes line or rack to dry clothing instead of a dryer — you’ll save on energy costs and clothes won’t wear out as fast.  
  5. Take stock of the clothing you have before shopping and make a list of what you need — discourages impulse buying. Look in consignment shops and Goodwill Stores for accessories and jewelry that can add a little pizzazz or color to an outfit you are tired of wearing but have not worn out.
  6. Buy children’s clothing, toys, & books at garage sales.
  7. Borrow books and DVDs, especially children’s, from a public library instead of buying them. Children outgrow these items anyway, and this way they don’t get bored with the same old ones.
  8. Drive 55 – 60 MPH on the highway. Speed over 60 MPH increases gas usage exponentially (according to Click n’ Clack).
  9. Wait until you have your seatbelts fastened before you start your car. It won’t seem like much of a savings, but over time those added moments add up, especially with high gas prices today!
  10. Combine errands to save time, fuel, & wear and tear on your vehicle.
  11. Take advantage of Maine Warmers’ e-Newsletter specials to save on gifts that people will love. Plus, you have a chance each month to win a free Maine Warmer! 
  12. A massage costs $35 to $75 per hour. Take a rest with your Maine Warmer instead. You’ll feel great and save!

Got some cash saving tips to share? Feel free to share them on this blog or on our Facebook page.


Facebook and Angel Flight Connection

Filed under: Healthy Living — mainewarmers @ 2:00 pm

In early March, a Facebook post requesting help for a local five-year-old boy needing medical transportation caught the eye of our own Jennifer Sullivan. She talked with her husband whose friend, Tom, is a volunteer pilot for “Angel Flights,” a non-profit organization offering free charitable assistance for people with medical (legitimate) needs. Tom soon began communicating with the boy’s parents, and the rest is history. A caring pilot from CT and a family in need from Maine — complete strangers — started a relationship.

On Friday, March 12th, Tom took a day off from work and flew the boy and his parents on the return flight home to Portland, Maine, a day earlier than originally scheduled due to the forecasted heavy rains for Saturday. This very generous act reminds us that there are so many people in the world who will donate time and money to help a stranger.

Facebook is a social networking site that helps people spread the word in a hurry. If you are a member of Facebook and want to become a fan of Maine Warmers, we’d love to have you on board. We keep messages to a minimum and offer specials on our Maine Warmers’ page.

If your neck is sore from sitting at the computer too long, remember to use your Neck Warmer to help regain flexibility and de-stress.

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