Thursday, April 12, 2012

How to Get Rid of Stains on the Cheap

Stains...the bain of my existence.

Ok, that might be a little dramatic.  But seriously, who couldn't use a few easy and cheap ways to prevent/get rid of pesky stains?

1 - To prevent underarm stains on white shirts, sprinkle a little baby powder on the underarms of shirt and iron.  That should set in the powder to prevent yellowing.

2 - To get deodorant marks off a shirt, use a baby wipe to more easily remove marks and be ready to wear.

3 - To get out a darker stain like wine, stretch the shirt over a bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Then pour boiling water over it to lift the stain.  Then wash as regular. 

4 - This is one of my favorite tips.  To remove stains from couch cushions, use a toothbrush to lightly scrub regular laundry detergent into fabric.  Then wash in cold water and air dry.  This trick prevent bleach marks or rough wear to the fabric. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Wisdom: Money Management for the Time-Pressed

This article by Real Simple magazine is perfect for anyone time-pressed and "just too busy to deal with it right now".  It is especially great for 20-somethings like myself who need to be reminded and taught about basic money-saving and financial tips. No matter how time pressed you are, take the time to read this article - it even breaks down their 12 easy ideas by how much time you have to work with: 15 minutes, an hour, or 2-3 hours.

My favorite tips?

If you have 15 minutes: Find a great shopping app like My Sherpa or Coupon Cabin to find coupons and lowest prices before and while you shop.

If you have an hour: Have a date with your spouse.  Look at and discuss your cash flow, savings, and expenditures, and take time to talk about financial goals and dreams.  Work on prioritizing three of those goals and start making a concrete saving plan to make it happen.

If you have 2-3 hours: Work on your will.  If you have children, you really should sit down with a lawyer to do this more extensively. For young couples, begin with downloading Quicken’s WillMaker Plus for $35 from

To read this article and pick up tips of your own, go to Real Simple's Money Management for the Time-Pressed.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

DIY Natural Spring Beauty

Spring is the hardest season for me to ease gracefully in to... allergies, dry skin, and a lenient routine can be difficult to bounce back from.  I'm committed to choosing one thing to do better with in taking care of myself mentally, physically, and spiritually, and this year for my physical routine, it's to moisturize.  I found a few natural, easy and inexpensive skin and hair routines to help ease into this wonderful spring weather.

For your hair: 
1 - Use coconut oil to moisture dry hair: it seeps into the hair's follicles and absorbs better than other types of oils.
For between $6-10, you can find coconut oil online at Walmart, Amazon, or

2 - Heat a small amount of olive oil in a dish and use a brush to slowly comb oil into strands.  Wash out in shower as normal.
Olive oil can be found at any grocery store, but particularly cheaply (for about $6.99) at Walmart or at

For your hands:

1 - If you're like me, dry hands = hang nails = ripped skin.  To prevent infection and redness after tearing a hangnail, soak finger in a mix of 1 tsp white vinegar and 4 oz warm water for 3-5 minutes twice a day.  Then apply ointment and a bandage to keep skin protected.  Repeat for 3-7 days.
White vinegar can be found in any grocery store and at the Dollar Tree for $1!

2 - After showering, applying olive oil to your hands, feet, and knees for a moisturizing sheen.

3 - Use olive oil at night to moisturize cuticles.
Olive oil can be found at any grocery store, but particularly cheaply for about $6.99 at Walmart or at

For your face:

1 - To exfoliate dry skin, mix 3 parts baking soda with one part water and rub in a gentle circular motion into skin, avoiding eyes.  Rub off with a warm washcloth.
Baking soda can be found everywhere - even Lowe's!  Its average price is about $1.

2 - To remove makeup, dab a little olive oil under eyes and wash off with a warm washcloth.  

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Views from Unpacking

Our living room - settled, but in the works

Our catch-all spot

My desk

Upstairs Bedroom - Ben's "command central"

My side of the bed

Our new kitchen with so much more floor space! We are still waiting for the landlords to install the new sink unit that matches the upper cabinet - should come in next week!

A gift from our new neighbor, Sarah - so sweet!

Kitchen - Vintage sign from eBay

Our little table for 2 - the new sink unit to be installed is sitting behind it

Study looking into our living room

Monday, April 2, 2012

Moving In, Starting New

This weekend we moved into a new house in our same little city.  It is amazing how much work goes into packing all your belongings up, and then how quickly it is time to unpack them all over again and find their new place.  It can be quite overwhelming!

Thankfully, we had so much help on our moving day.  Friends, family, and a big box truck showed up to help us move all our things in only 2 trips.  They stayed the day and helped unpack, rebuild, and settle us in, at least a little bit.

So much change is good, and even welcome, but it is overwhelming.  The sheer time it takes to feel settled again can be daunting, especially for someone like me who likes to know what to expect, how to plan for it, how long it's going to take, etc., etc., etc....  Change requires a degree of grace with yourself, the kind of grace you hope others will extend to you when you need it, the grace that you usually do receive.  Grace can be much harder to give to yourself, but it is an important lesson to learn, to embrace the messiness and change that is inevitably a part of real life.

I'm thankful for having to learn, change, and rethink our space.  We already love the home-y-ness of our new place, its much more open layout, and the chance to get rid of a lot of clutter we had accumulated in our closets, shelves, and in the nooks and crannies.  I would almost move just for the satisfaction of getting rid of the unnecessary and starting again with the revised list of what you want to live on.

I ask you, readers, to have grace with me as I try to balance moving in, resettling, schoolwork, and intermittent blogging.  I'm going to try to have that same grace with myself.

Pictures to come soon!