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Life is good for Socks the white-footed tabby cat until his owners bring home a new pet ... their newborn baby.

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7. Layer on the clothes. "Layering is critical," Smith said. "Even thin layers added together to increase one's ability to retain heat ... focus on keeping the torso warm. Often an extra shirt or vest can warm your hands and feet more than an extra pair of socks or gloves." Inexpensive pairs of tights or long johns can be worn underneath clothes. However, be sure that layering doesn't make your clothing tight, he added, since that could reduce blood flow and thus your body's ability to get warm blood to those areas. Wearing a hat, too, can also keep the heat in.

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Wool or wool-blend socks are superior to cotton, because wool can wick away sweat and still insulate properly. Cotton soaks up sweat, loses its insulation, and can become sodden.

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Stay ahead of overflowing hampers with help from your kids. Toddlers enjoy finding matching socks and sorting colors; and grade-school children can help to fold clothes and towels and put clean clothes where they belong. If your child is ready, you can teach them about labels and washing instructions, as well as the different settings on the washing machine. Teens can also assist with the ironing.

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There are so many book lovers who are also in book clubs — and so many book clubs that consider themselves lovers of wine as much as books. This gift is ideal for anyone who falls into that category. (And with all the book clubs we’ve visited as authors? We think we might have to buy these in bulk.)

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