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Monthly Archives: October 2012

DIY-DIY Dry Cleaning

DIY-DIY Dry Cleaning

# 6 of 10 Ways I Save Money is doing my own dry cleaning.

First of all, who has time to drive to the dry cleaners to drop off AND to pick up?

Aside from saving time, I just discovered this option after deciding I didn’t want to pay for the service, and be exposed to chemicals like perchloroethylene. (FYI that is a dangerous chemical!)

Here is what I came up with to clean suits and more after a little research. (Modified to “suit” my needs. I crack myself up!)

  1. Check the garment for spots. Most can be lifted with a damp washcloth, others will need something to cut grease. You know what to do. Just take care not to scrub too hard and ruin the shape (shoulder contours, etc.) which is typically the main reason for “dry” clean.
  2. Throw the garment into a damp pillow case with a few drops of essential oils. Close the case (tight knot or zipper shut). Dry on low/no heat for 20 minutes.
  3. Hang immediately. Steam or press if needed.
  4. Check buttons for mending.

This seriously sums up what your clothes go through at the dry cleaners. I choose essential oils instead of whatever perfume is used (Allergies, anyone!?).

With this success I decided to also preserve my wedding dress (yes, it was still hanging up after almost six years. I’m sorry. Finally got my round tuit.) After cleaning the dress I wrapped it in acid-free tissue paper, tucked it in a plastic box with a couple lavendar sachets (to keep bugs away), and labeled the box clearly. A few hundred dollars still in my pocket, and I am OK with that. Really, I am. (If preserving your wedding dress be sure to check if yours needs special care. All fabrics are different.)

Anyone still up for paying for dry cleaning?

afore-mentioned recycled gift bags…

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Go green!

Slowing down long enough to create a recycled gift bag was fun. I also like making my own gift bag instead of paying out $2-$3 at the store! At Christmas time store-bought gift bags would add up to around $30 for me.

What items are sitting around your storage area waiting to be turned into something artful and useful?

10 Ways I Save Money

10 Ways I Save Money

Kind of catchy, huh? Everyone I know is either going through financial struggles or working hard to meet some financial goals. In our case we are working to buy a house. 🙂 Yay!

In honor of our shared desire to save money, you and I are going to chat about how to get sneaky with the budget. I have decided to share my various tips and tricks over the next few posts. Some are obvious, some are very, VERY strange. (Be forewarned.)

Today’s tips:

  1. Recycled Vinyl Record Sleeve Gift Bags: Basically, you get crafty with a charming old (but worthless) vinyl record sleeve. Make sure the opening is at the top instead of the side (using colorful tape, or however you want to do it); attach handles; a “to & from” card; tissue paper; glam it up however else you choose; and voila– you have a unique gift bag for the price of a few minutes spent doing a craft. Look around… What do you have that can be recycled into something new?
  2. Menu Plan: This one is kind of obvious but we all might need to be reminded. I know what we will eat for the next week, and have planned my grocery shopping accordingly.  Leftovers go in the freezer in individual servings for my husband to take to work. Almost every day for lunch we eat either leftovers from dinner or a quick sandwich. Writing down my menus ahead of time has saved me a lot of time and money! When I forget–that is when I find myself running to the store for a tub of sour cream and come home bearing a dozen impulse items because I shopped on an empty stomach.
  3. Finish your food: My girls can be pretty picky eaters. I have had it. If they don’t eat it for breakfast, I will cover it and save it for their lunch. No sense in letting wholesome food go to waste. Most of us spend many hundreds of dollars in food every month–why should we let it go in the trash?
  4. Men, (Beware this warning will be in caps. I am serious.) PLEASE LEAVE THE CONVERSATION AND COME BACK TOMORROW. THIS TIP IS NOT FOR YOU. I SAY THIS TO PROTECT YOUR FEELINGS. In the future my tips will be friendly for all ears but this one pertains to a monthly occurence which applies only to us ladies. OK I think I can proceed now. Diva Cup: Yes, I said that. It is kind to the environment, very comfortable (spoken like a true veteran) and more reliable than most tampons and napkin, and inexpensive.  about $22 plus shipping, this is a steal compared to what most of us pay for disposable female products. In the past I experimented with recycled flannel/jersey “things”–which work just fine for a lot of women. Since it is already recycled (from an old sheet, t-shirt) etc. one can feel better about either washing or throwing it away. Either way it is kinder to the environment, health, and budget than the usual disposables. After trying cloth for a while I decided I wanted something lower maintenance with less chance of, errr, spillage. The Diva Cup is easy to use (simply rinse and re-insert every 12 hours) which is more my style.  See risks for conventional feminine hygiene here   The point is, spending around $60 per year on disposable feminine products is neither ideal nor necessary.
  5. Hankies:I don’t know if you are still listening, or if totally shocked you with that last tip. but this one is real and can be very kind to a raw nose when getting over a cold. Who needs to spend $10 or so on a multi-pack of tissues that feel scratchy anyway? Not to mention unkind to the environment. I recently took some 100% cotton flannel and cut it up into hankies. A little stich on the edges with the sewing machine to prevent fray, and I have over a hundred reuseable hankies for under $11. So soft. Do I need over a hundred hankies for my family? Certainly not. What was I thinking? (another tip: buying too much flannel is not a way to save money.) 😛

That was 5 out of 10 Ways to Save. I will continue to share both my strange and common money-saving strategies.  Please also let me in on your tips.


Western Woman

Prayer and Zumba

Prayer and Zumba

How do we feed the spirit?

When I listen to Christian music, I can be fed spiritually. I often sing heartfelt worship, or just listen to KTIS in the background. I might even enter into worship in the process. But how much have I actually conversed with God? i.e. on-your-knees, sincere, face-to-face talking with God?

Listening to praise and worship is essential to prayer! Let me compare prayer time with another activity which frequents my life: Zumba, baby!

As a newly certified Zumba instructor, I spend a lot of time listening to my dance music. I need to know it backwards and forwards, inside and out so that I can properly teach a class. If I miss a step due to not knowing my music, the whole class loses part of their workout. So, listening to good music is extremely beneficial, BUT simply listening and even singing along with good music is neither a dance nor a workout.

Our time is short. We don’t have a lot of time to impact our world. The days are coming when simply claiming to love God will mean death. We know this is foretold, and we see it throughout the world even now. This is not a time to mess around with a lukewarm relationship with the Lord.

My husband often says, ‘The only place success comes before training is in the dictionary.”

  • We train on our knees.
  • We learn how to talk to an unsaved co-worker by first reading John 3:16, 1 John 1:9, Isaiah 41.10, etc.
  • We exude contagious happiness that makes people want what we have by spending time in God’s presence, worshiping; and getting an IV infusion of constant joy. (Incidentally, my eldest’s middle names are Constance Joy :P)

Worship, listen to good music, drink in Scripture, and pray.

Are we grooving, or do we need to draw pictures?