Removing Those Annoying Stains While at the Office

What happens when you get to the office and see you have a stain on you, or you end up getting a stain on you from your lunch? Most of us would like to run home to get a new outfit on. Most days that isn’t possible, so we walk around with a stain on us, trying to cover it up with a folder or hiding behind the computer, so that others don’t notice. Well you can’t hide behind the computer all day, so how do you get these stains out while at work with the limited resources that are in the bathroom or break-room? Here are some ideas to try next time you’re stuck at the office with a stain:

Coffee Stains – If you do spill, act quick! Simply grab some peroxide from your office’s first aid kit as well as cotton balls. A large fist full of toilet paper or paper towels works fine too. Grab a bottle water and head to the bathroom. Take a large portion of your paper and apply it firmly to the top of the stain. Press the peroxide bottle against the inside of the clothing and tilt the bottle to dowse the stain thoroughly, you want to push the stain out the way it came not further through the fabric. Allow peroxide to sit for a minute then repeat the process with the bottled water to rinse. If you don’t have a bottle of water to rinse with, use some of your paper towels to blot the inside of the stain thoroughly. Use the remainder of the paper towels to blot the stain dry.

Dog Slobber – You should use a light soap and warm water and lightly dab at the stain with a wet rag. The sooner you treat it, the easier and more effectively it will come out.

Dirt Stains – Weather your dog jumped up on you or you accidentally rubbed up against the car, treat dirt or red clay on clothes immediately with some liquid dish soap.

Ink Stains – Spray a little hairspray on a spot and blot, don’t rub, with the paper towel. The hairspray should start dissolving the ink and the paper towel will absorb it. Start at the outside of the spot and work your way in. Keep spraying hairspray on a little at a time.

Food – Food never spills down your front unless you are out in public where it quickly makes a mockery of your front side. Should, that happen, head to the closest restroom. Gently dab a bit of liquid soap on the spot and resist the temptation to rub. Let the soap set. It may look funny until you get home, but the food stain comes right out.

Do you have any stain removal tips that could be used at the office? Please share your ideas or tips with us.

Find $1,000 by the Holidays

The title caught me off guard and made me want to read the article. I found this at Kiplinger.com and was impressed by the ideas she had. I am willing to put some of these ideas in effect in my life to see what I can save. Its been a tough few months for most everyone and we could all use some extra money for the holidays. Her idea is to start this through the months of October and November and since its mid October I figure I might not have the full $1,000 but even half that would help.

From the article: It’s not an unrealistic goal. I’ve collected six simple ideas to illustrate how easy it can be to find extra money in your budget to avoid debt this holiday season. (And you won’t have to eat Ramen noodles by candlelight for the next two months, either.) Employ these tricks for the months of October and November, and you could have $1,000 saved by December:

1. Adjust your tax withholding. This one wont work for me due to the fact that my husband is self employed, so I need to have as much taken out as possible to counter act those taxes.

2. Take fewer trips to the grocery store. I am a huge impulse buyer so this would help me save money. I would just have to calculate it so that I could see the savings.

3. Kick a habit. The coffee would have to go. I think I can do this, making coffee at home would really save me money.

4. Eat out one less time per month. My family has already started eating out less due to the high price of food and it has saved us some money.

5. Put on a sweater. This is another one of those ones that I have already started implementing and I am sure we will see a difference in the bill when we get it.

6. Examine your phone and cable use. We already have the cheapest cable possible, we only have it so we can get good reception. And no home phone since we have cell phones, so this wont save us any money.

Looking through these six money savers, I have four that will save my family money. I am excited to see how well I do with these simple money saving tips. For the complete article click here.

If you have some money saving tips for the holidays, please share them. Or if you plan to try these, please let us know how much money you have saved.


How To Avoid Paying Your Student Loans

If you’re like me, you’ve finished the bulk of your post high-school education and are thankful for your degree, but now looking at the looming prospect of paying off those loans you accumulated while at the institution of your choice.

While everyone prepares you for your step into the ‘real world’ after high school and college, they don’t always tell you that you won’t get your dream job right after you graduate. That leaves you with a beginning job and not enough money to always pay the bills and pay your student loans.

So if you’re like me and looking for ways to extend or defer that loan payment cycle just a little bit longer until that job that you’ve been hoping for comes around the corner, here are a few options you have to defer your loans.

According to Stafford Loan, loans can be deferred for the following reasons:

Stafford and Perkins Loans:

Principal and interest payments may be deferred while the borrower is:

  • Attending school at least halftime.
  • Unemployed (up to three years).
  • Studying in an approved graduate fellowship or rehabilitation program for the disabled.
  • Experiencing economic hardship (up to three years).

If you are not eligible for a deferment of your loans, you may still be eligible for ‘Forbearance’ of your loans.

Forbearance is a way to temporarily postpone or reduce payments for a set period of time. This typically takes place because the borrower is experiencing financial difficulty, but can occur for any of the following reasons:

  • Unemployment
  • Partial Disability
  • Other documented hardship

If your student loans are through Direct Loans, you can access the deferment forms page for more information and applications for deferment and forbearance.

While I am an advocate of living debt free and paying off your school loans as soon as possible, I also understand there are some of us that are ‘just getting started’, living abroad, or going to graduate school (or all three) and need the extra help for the time being.

Struggling with student loans or have questions? Leave a comment below.

Save Money with these Party Food Substitutions

With the holidays well on there way, many of us will be having holiday parties, family gatherings and friends over for dinner. Here are some great ways to save money on your favorite appetizers and party food.

Instead of Guacamole – Try black bean dip with chopped avocado on top. Avocados are expensive and guacamole takes about 3-4 avocados, black bean dip only uses one.

Instead of Smoked Salmon Slices – Try smoked salmon spread. Smoked salmon’s strong flavor penetrates cream cheese so you don’t need much.

Instead of sliced Ham or Prosciutto – Try Wrapping meats around veggie sticks, cut them into bite size pieces. This requires less meat, and is more filling.

Instead of an Antipasto Platter of Olives and Marinated Veggies – Try Bruschetta with Olive and Veggie topping, serve with sliced bread. Uses less olives and the bread is filling.

Instead of Mini Crab Cakes – Try Crab dip with bread. Same great crab flavor but less crab used.

Instead of Champagne – Try Cava, Prosecco or Champagne Cocktails. Spain and Italy’s sparkling wines are often a better price, or stretch the bubbly in cocktails.

Even though you are scaling down on the more expensive items, the flavor is still there. Your guests will never know the difference. Enjoy the holidays as they were originally intended, spending time with the ones you love.

Eating For A Better Mood

In an article by Joy Bauer, she suggests that eating certain foods and how long you wait between meals directly affects your mood.

The next time you feel blue or irritable, you may want to take a look at what’s in your fridge. Researchers who study the food-mood connection have found that certain vitamins and other compounds in food can change brain chemistry. Foods influence the activity of neurotransmitters, the chemicals that convey information from one neuron to the next. Anything that affects these chemical messengers affects your mood—making food a pretty powerful “drug” when it comes to how you feel and act.

A hungry brain is an unhappy brain. Try eating every four to five hours and see how much better you feel.

Click for the full article.

10 Solutions For A Bad Hair Cut

Oops You did it again, you cut your own hair. Now this can work if you are a professional and cut hair for a living but even then you can’t always get the right angle. But for those that have not been skilled in the ways of the scissors, you should never attempt a home haircut.

So what do you do when you have stepped over the line and cut the hair on your head?

1.  Go hat shopping. This is not only a fashion statement but a great cover up.
2.  Go Punk! Gel your hair into a new design, no one will know what you did.
3.  Wear a headband. Put the thick headband part over the short hair to cover.
4.  Wear a paper bag over your head and hope no one notices.
5.  Wear a wig. It sounds over the top but a nice wig for a few months can do the trick.
6.  Go 60’s and wear a scarf, now talk about sexy.
7.  Accessorize with some pretty hair clips.
8.  Grow a beard or wear big earrings. It will avert the attention away from your hideous hair cut.
9.  Run to the salon or barbershop for a fix.
10.  And if all else fails don’t look in the mirror.

Fall Cleaning Tips – How to Unload Your Crap

Summer has sadly slipped into that past and we are now into the cooler fall weather. Right now is the perfect time to do some fall cleaning. This is not like “Spring Cleaning”, I’m talking about cleaning out your closet and dresser draws when the season changes.

When you start to pack your summer clothes away, make sure and go through everything you are about to pack away and get rid of anything you haven’t wore at least once over the summer. The same with when you pull out your fall and winter clothes, if you don’t remember the last time you wore it, than get rid of it.

Tips for unloading your crap and making a little dough at the same time:

1. Ebay– Try your hand at putting your clothes on Ebay. Some well known brands sell very well. Make sure and include photos and a detailed description with the items you sell.

2. Craigslist – Sell your old clothes in lots on Craigslist. Make sure and be honest if there is anything wrong with it. Again photos are very helpful.

3. Consignment Shop – Check out your local consignment shop. They will usually only take items that are for the upcoming season and after the item sells they will take a percentage of what it sold for.

If you are suffering from the same clothes addiction I am and have clothes falling out every time you open the closet doors than unloading some of that crap will do you some good. So lets get cleaning!

Reasons Why You Should Split Food When Eating Out

The beginning of the new month heralds new commitments: a new budget and new eating habits. And so, with a fun day at the beach planned with my wife (but a desire to stick to our newly formed budget) we sat at one of the best restaurants in our area on a sunny afternoon deciding what to order.

Now one thing you should know about me…I love to eat! My metabolism has been able to keep me at a relatively reasonable weight, as well as five months in China eating rice and vegetables, but I usually order something off the menu for myself and my wife orders something for herself, eats half and then takes the rest home and sometimes she eats it the next day and sometimes it sits there for weeks until it stinks so bad we have to throw it out and deep clean the refrigerator. I labor through my food and sometimes enjoy it, but most of the time am so goal-oriented in my eating that I forget to remember what it tastes like.

But as we decided what to order we both chose the same thing…the “Royal Bleu Burger”. We had an epiphany! Why not share? We had just talked about eating better and saving money, what a better way to start this great new leaf than to turn it over and share a hamburger on it? So that’s exactly what we did, we split our meal and it was a revolutionary new concept in our four years of marriage. Here are some reasons why you should consider it as well.

1. You Eat Less–The natural law of mathematics applies here: When you split something, there is less of it to eat…erego, you eat less! Split meals with your spouse, friend, or the guy at the next table and you’ll eat less. America seems to be out of control with our portion sizes anyway, so you really only need half a meal to get full. Eat slow and savor each bite…you’ll appreciate your food more and get fulller, faster.

2. You Will Save Money–Another basic mathematical principle that some friends of our have understood ever since we’ve known them. They ALWAYS split their meals when we go out to eat together. Why haven’t we thought of this before? We should give our friends the Nobel Peace Prize! Instead of buying two meals yesterday, each approximately $8 and spending $16-$20 with tip, we only spent $10 on our meal! Not only did we split our food in half, but we split our budget in half. Splitting a meal will save you money in the long run. Splitters Beware: Some restaurants will charge you for splitting a meal or charge you for an extra plate. While I think this is extremely tacky, I guess it makes sense. To circumvent, just have one of you order food, then split it manually. How hard can it be?

3. Its Romantic–As we shared our Royal Bleu Burger yesterday my hand glanced hers in between bites and we enjoyed the romantic connection of sharing food together. Food has a special power of bringing people together and if you’re on a date with your spouse or significant other and want to get close, share a meal together. There is no more romantic picture than two people with two straws in one milkshake. If you’re with a non-romantic friend, laugh about how you’re not going to be romantic. If you’re on a first date, let her order her own meal or she’ll think you’re cheap.

We left the restaurant with a firm commitment to split our meals from henceforward. That was, until, we got really hungry and went to Olive Garden that night and ordered our own plates. Somehow our hunger controlled and overturned our determined minds. Yet in the end, we walked out with a grocery bag full of leftovers and the reminder that splitting food just makes sense.

Halloween Help ~ How To… Make A Glow Stick

Halloween is just around the corner and as the little ghosts and goblins get ready to go out trick-or-treating, glow sticks really come in handy. But don’t let your little ones be the master scientist and put these together, the adult is always the best person to do jobs like this.

I found this article in WIRED magazine: How to….Make A GlowStick.

What you need to get started:

  • 2 liter distilled water
  • 50 milliliters hydrogen peroxide(3% concentration)
  • 0.2 gram luminol
  • 4 grams sodium carbonate
  • 0.4 gram copper sulfate pentahydrate
  • 0.5 gram ammonium cargonate

You can order the chemicals online at Science Stuff.In a medium-size mixing bowl add the hydrogen peroxide to 1 liter of water. In another bowl, dissolve the luminol, sodium carbonate, copper sulfate, and ammonium carbonate in the second liter of water.

Lay out a few sealable, clear containers – test tubes with stoppers or Nalgene bottles are good.

Pour in equal measures of each solution and watch with glee as it lights up. The hydrogen peroxide solution oxidizes the luminol, producing 3-aminophthalic acid. As its electrons settle to a more sedate quantum state, they emit photons at wavelengths between 430 and 470 nanometers – purplish blue.

7 Ways To Use The Books That are Laying About the House

If you are like me, everywhere you look you see stacks of books. This is not a strange phenomenon but a sick obsession my husband has with books. My sweet hubby has gone back to school and each book he buys, whether he needs it for class or not, he feels he has to keep because some day he may need it again. I say “lets scale it down” but right now that is not an option so I have found ways to deal with these trillions of books that lay around my house taunting me.

1. End Table – Depending on the size of the books, you can stack them to a nice height for setting coffee mugs on at the end of a couch or next to an overstuffed chair.

2. Table Stabilizer – Because books come in so many great sizes and thicknesses, they work wonders on tables or dressers that aren’t completely level. And if the book is needed you can just grab another to replace that one.

3. Decoration – Stack and display some of the more interesting books on a book shelf for decoration.

4. Coffee Table Legs – Stack four sets of smaller books for the legs of a table at equal heights and put a funky old door or large piece of glass over them for a nice coffee table. This can be done in many different ways with three bigger stacks of books instead of four or just two large stacks. Whatever you desire. Shopaholicsdaily.com shows an example. Daily Danny also had a brilliant idea of how to use books as a side table.

5. Step Ladder – If you have some tall cupboards in the kitchen or other area in the home and no step ladder, stack some larger books together and Vuala you have your very own step ladder.

6. Washer and Dryer Lift – If your tired of bending over to get into your front loaders, try this, 1.) Get the amount of books you need for the height you need, 2.) Wrap them up with a brown paper bag or other sturdy material, 3.) Tape them together so they don’t come apart when the washer or dryer is doing its job 4.) set them under the front loaders.

7. Centerpiece – Chances are you already have them on the dining table anyhow so arrange them nicely in the middle and stick a candle or some flowers on them or wrap a pretty ribbon around them. Ideas – New York Social Diary Nina Griscom.

I know there are many more ideas out there on how to use books that are laying about the house so please if you have any that I missed, leave me a comment. I would love to hear some of your ideas and try something new. Cause the great Lord above knows we have more books coming!