Friday, April 15, 2016

A Tub Would Feel Nice About Now

We've taken on several projects since we moved to this house a couple years ago.  We took down the wallpaper in the dining room and repainted most of the downstairs.  We ripped out the carpet in the family room, living room, and dining room and put hardwood floors down.  On a side note - have you ever wondered why in the world people put carpet in the dining room?  Or put an area rug down under the table if they've got hardwood or tile in the dining room?  I'm of a mind that if food gets dropped on the floor, the hard surface is a lot easier to clean than a rug.

Another project that we think about is re-doing our bathroom.  Unfortunately, we haven't figured out how we would make that work yet.  The master bath was the one thing that worried Jeffrey when he looked at this house.  The rest of it was perfect - except for those things we wanted to change - but the master bath is quite small.  We'd looked at houses with larger bathrooms, with the double-bowl sinks that Jeffrey has always wanted, and some with large whirlpool tubs that would be so nice to soak in after a day like today.  I mowed the yard, and the warm jetted water would be great for my tired muscles.

But, for now we make do with a single sink and just a shower - no tub.  One suggestion for a small bathroom is to get a corner tub, but we don't have even that much room.  Of course, you can search by style and size online to pick the perfect one, so maybe I should go measure...

Our shower does have two shower heads, and both can be set to massage, so that's something.  Eventually we want to find a whirlpool tub we can put outside on the patio, where we have plenty of room.  It's not quite the same as having a luxurious bathroom, but it will be nice.

Do you have a whirlpool tub in your bathroom?  Do you like it and use it often?

Monday, April 11, 2016

A Bit of Luxury for Your Pooch

When we went on vacation, we used to take our dog to a nice little boarding facility just up the road from home.  It was run by a nice couple who had dogs of their own and treated our dog, and the other dogs that boarded there, practically like part of the family.  Our dog didn't get to stay in the house and sit on the furniture, but she did get more attention and time to run around in the yard than she would have at a regular kennel.Week 1/52 - 10 weeks She still missed us, but she was much happier there than she would have been otherwise.

Nowadays you can get luxury dog boarding for your favorite pet.  These facilities aren't just for vacation, either.  Some people drop their dogs off for "doggie daycare" while they are at work so their dog doesn't have to be bored at home.  Dogs are given snacks and naps and play time and socialization with others of their own size, or extra attention by the staff, which could even include a massage.  Extra time outside?  A game of fetch?  They will make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible.

Dogs are given plush beds, the best food, and sometimes even televisions.  Some facilities even have someone to read a story to the dogs before bed and tuck them in.  They get all the comforts of home, and then some!  And, if you want to check in on your dog during the day or while you're away, there is usually a video system that will enable you to do just that.

The only question I have is - will a dog want to go home after all that pampering?

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Homemade Hairspray

In my last post I mentioned that a good way to save money is to make your own beauty supplies.  Here's one that I found on Pinterest and just recently started making and using.  It's a very inexpensive and easy-to-make hairspray.  I am very pleased with how well it works.  I really wasn't sure what to expect the first time I made it.
Homemade Alcohol-Free Hairspray
found on whole new mom

  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 4 tsp. sugar
  • 5-6 drops essential oils (I used a combination orange and peppermint oils)
  1. Heat water to boiling
  2. Remove from heat and stir in sugar until dissolved
  3. Allow to cool and use a funnel to pour it into an empty hairspray bottle.  Add essential oils, screw lid on and shake well to combine.
  4. Use as you'd normally use hairspray.

That's it!  Simple, cheap, and I'm hoping that no longer using hairspray full of alcohol will be much better for my hair.  I'm not sure about that yet; I just made my second batch of this, and I'm still using regular shampoo and gel in my hair, so I know that's a factor.  I do have a couple recipes for hair gel pinned, but I haven't gotten around to trying them yet.

I'm really liking the scent of the orange and peppermint oils, but you can use the essential oils you like.  The scent is subtle but nice, and a huge improvement over the overpowering scents of most hairsprays you can buy, unless you buy the unscented.  Why do the people who make hairsprays, shampoos, conditioners and the like think they need to have a strong annoying scent? 

Ideally, this should also be stored in a glass bottle instead of any old hairspray bottle, but I am currently using what I had on hand.  Good thing I don't always throw empty bottles into the recycle bin because I 'might need them' someday!  If I continue to make this - and I see no reason not to - I will probably look for a glass spray bottle to use.

Are there any DIY beauty products you make and use?  Do they work as well or better than the products you used to buy?

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Frugal Living Tips For Improving Your Financial Situation Fast

It's not easy nowadays to be where you want to be financially. It seems there are always debts to pay, making it feel impossible to achieve your goals. However, there are several simple things that can be done to improve your situation considerably.  If you're willing to invest a little of your time to follow the tips mentioned below, you'll soon find you'll have more money than before.  With the same cash inflow. Save Money
  1. Start putting some money out of your reach
    It’s a proven fact that when you have easily accessible cash in your pocket or in the bank, you tend to spend more on unnecessary things. So it's high time you start putting some money in an account that you can access in case of emergency, but which would require you to jump through hoops to withdraw any. This will help you spend money only when absolutely necessary.
  2. Use Coupons
    Almost all businesses use coupons as a part of their marketing strategy. So, why not check for a coupon in the newspapers or on the Internet before you make your next purchase? Be it groceries, transportation, apparel, furniture or services like doctor’s appointment and electronics repair, coupons are available for anything nowadays. Just take a look at and all the deals for such popular stores as Nordstrom or Target. If you are lucky enough, you might just hit the right coupon at the right time.  Combine a coupon with a sale price, and you're really saving money!
  3. Do It Yourself
    Start doing some simple things yourself, instead of paying others to do it. You can bake your own bread (here's one of my favorite recipes), grow some of your own food in a backyard garden, eat meals at home, and brew your own coffee instead of paying for that fancy coffee place. You can even make your own DIY beauty products! The possibilities are endless, as anyone who has ever visited Pinterest can tell you, and you'll be surprised how fast the savings add up.
  4. Join a Customer Rewards Program (or several)
    If you happen to shop fairly regularly at any one particular store, don't forget to sign up for their loyalty rewards program. They keep on giving back in the form of credits and promo codes, which help you in cutting down the costs on your future purchases. Whenever there's an opportunity you need to take advantage of it.
There are many other little things that you can do to improve your financial condition, like replacing light bulbs with CFLs or LEDs or adjusting your thermostat by a few degrees to save on energy costs, reviewing your insurance policies, using the library more often instead of buying new books, having your devices serviced on time, and the list goes on.

Helping Your Money Last... After Your Last Paycheck
It all boils down to this -
Whenever you spend, ask yourself if there’s an alternative which costs you less and provides the same benefits.  And then save that difference in cost or apply it to your debt, and you will soon see an improvement in your financial situation.  Just by doing these few simple things!