How to Protect Your Clothes from Stains

1018485_49471728Are you one of those people that walk in from lunch daily with a stain on your shirt or pants? Do your colleagues count on seeing you wearing some of your food on your clothes? Do friends point out stains to you that you didn’t know were there?

Here are 7 ways to protect your clothes from stains:

1. Avoid eating red sauce, such as spaghetti, when wearing white or cream colored shirts.

2. Think about prevention – always use a napkin when eating and use an apron when you are cooking.

3. Try to always sit at a table when eating. If you have no table make sure and lean over your food when you are eating and make sure there is a napkin beneath your plate to catch anything you miss.

4. Make sure your clothes are durable and machine washable for when you do get a stain on them.

5. Eat slowly. Don’t be in a race when you are eating. Slow down and take small bites.

6. Avoid activities that can distract while eating. Keep your attention on your meal and the food will go in your mouth not on your clothes.

7. When eating soup fill your spoon by moving it away from you, that way if you have an accident, the food will spill on the table and not on your lap.

Lose 10 Pounds Fast!

While going to physical therapy I learned that your core strength is very important. I was learning that while walking, running, and doing any kind of exercising you need to keep your abs tight. It goes right along with what I was reading the other day in Family Circle magazine about how to lose 10 pounds fast.

Experts have found that if you stand up straight when you walk, you’ll burn more calories, flatten your belly and look thinner. And really thats the goal, isn’t it? To look thinner and flatten your belly?

The simple trick to helping yourself become an ab-conscious walker is:

Before going out for a fitness walk, place a belt around the thinnest part of your waist(not through any belt loops). Make it snug, but not too tight. As you move, pull your abs up and your shoulders back so that the belt begins to feel almost loose. Wear the belt every time you go walking and in about 3 weeks you’ll automatically start tightening your abs.

Heres the workout plan designed by Brooke Siler –

  • 2 Minutes – Walk with your hands clasped on top of your head. This causes the heart to pump blood upward, increasing the cardio benefit and jump-starting the calorie burn.
  • 5 Minutes – Focus on your belt and the ab-conscious walking described above.
  • 2 Minutes – Make an effort to push harder off of your back foot and feel how that changes the dynamic of your gait.
  • 5 Minutes – Continue ab-conscious walking at a brisk pace.
  • 3 Minutes – Pump your arms, keeping elbows in (no chicken arms) and your fists moving in an arc from chin to hip level.
  • 5 Minutes – Return to a brisk ab-conscious walk.
  • 3 Minutes – Add large arm circles to engage your obliques and further elongate the waist. Circle forward and then backward.
  • 3 Minutes – Try one more burst of the ab-conscious brisk walking.
  • 2 Minutes – Slow it down to reduce your heart rate.

Back To School Budget Tips

back-to-schoolA new school year is just around the corner and many parents are crunching the summer budget to try and find supplies for their kids. Here are a few budget tips for when you do your school supply shopping:

1. Find your child’s school supply list at local department stores and only buy what’s on the list. Your kids can survive a year without all of the ‘extras’ they see on TV.

2. When it comes to glue, always but Elmer’s and never spend more than thirty cents a bottle.

3. As for crayons, markers and colored pencils, Crayola is the only brand worth buying. Don’t be tempted by the cheaper prices on Rose Art supplies, you get what you pay for. Their crayons are waxy and the color’s are barely visible on paper and that’s just the start of the trouble. Spend a little more and get Crayola. Some teachers and schools even require it.

4. Go through your house and look for items on your child’s list that they could reuse or recycle. Find the pens and the pencils that are laying about from the previous year.

5. When it comes to big ticket items like backpacks, this is where you shop around. Check discount stores, grocery stores, office supply stores. Look wherever you shop. You never know where you might find a great deal. Backpacks come in a variety of qualities, and the price doesn’t necessarily mean a better bag. Regardless of the color, design or character your child might want, what you are looking for in a backpack should be a black bottom in a dense fabric.

Additional tips can be found at Helium. Good Luck!

Tips for Cooking in Regular Cookware

531931_83735513If you haven’t heard, non-stick cookware, also known as teflon, emits chemicals when over-heated that have adverse effects on human and animal life causing the EPA to classify it as a likely carcinogen and has urged companies to eliminate it by 2015.

I know that non-stick is easy to use and clean but for your health it should not be used. So what can you do to make it easier to cook in regular cookware?

Here are a few slick tips:

Start with a good pan. Flimsy pans don’t distribute heat well and have hot spots that cause burning and sticking. Invest in some cookware that will last.

Hot pan, cold oil. Place the pan on the burner until you can feel the heat when you hold your palm open a few inches away. Then add your cooking fat, wait until you see it rippling or shimmering, and add your food.

Resist flipping and poking the food. When you are sauteing, meat and fish will stick to the pan at first. But wait a minute or two before you start flipping or poking it and you’ll find it releases quite nicely and has a good, even browning too.

Dry food won’t stick. Pat meat and seafood off with paper towels before cooking. This will also minimize spatters and enhance browning.

Don’t crowd the pan. Give your foods a little breathing room to keep them from steaming and make them easier to flip.

Turn the heat as you go. Start the pan over medium-high or high heat, then turn it down after a few minutes once the pan starts retaining heat.

Soak, then scrub. In the event of a messy pan, soak for 10 minutes or so before scrubbing.

10 Ways to Save More and Waste Less

994012_25815042Spending wisely on everyday living is the key to save more in this economy. It doesn’t hurt to be a little environmentally friendly while saving money too. Below are some easy ways to stretch your dollars, save time and conserve nature’s resources.

  1. Cut Down on Paper Towel Purchases. Keep washcloths on hand in the kitchen to mop up spills, wipe faces, etc. It not only saves you money, its very green too.
  2. Dine at Home. Be creative with recipes and table settings, and you won’t feel like you’re missing a thing.
  3. Use Smart Products. Arm & Hammer Essentials Detergent cleans with plant-based soaps and baking soda and costs up to 50% less per load than the leading detergent.
  4. Bulk Up. Larger sizes mean lower unit costs. Divide into smaller portions, freezing perishable items as necessary.
  5. Thirsty? Make water your drink of choice.  A very green option is to carry a stainless steel water bottle for refills.
  6. Before Grocery Shopping. Search online for printable coupons. Spend time with the store’s website or circular, and plan meals around sale items.
  7. Transfer Shampoo and Conditioner into Pump Bottles. Use just one squirt per application, its all you really need anyway.
  8. Choose Products that Multi-Task. Try Arm & Hammer Total 2-in-1 Moist Dryer Cloths to get the best of a fabric softener and a dryer sheet in one money saving moist cloth.
  9. Spend Less on Skin Care. Look for tinted moisturizers and body lotion with built-in sunscreen.
  10. Whiten Teeth for Less. Buying toothpaste with whitener in it or add whitening booster to your toothpaste, works just as good as whitening strips but much cheaper.

Adapted from Family Circle Magazine.

Alternative Uses for Common Household Products

926720_76229931Plastic Bottles – Use for keeping things cool in your cooler. Fill 3/4 full and stick in your freezer and pull out when you need it for your cooler.

Steel Cans – Remove label and replace with your own fun label or construction paper. Decorate and use for your own office supply holder.

Old Suitcase – Use to store wrapping paper, tissues, bows and all your wrapping paraphernalia so you can easily pull it out when you need to wrap gifts.

Old Socks – Pull over hands to dust crevices of lampshades, furniture, blinds and any hard to reach place.

Glass Jars – Clean and use to store screws, nails, pens, pencils, rocks, sea shells or just about anything.  Use the original lid, cork or decorative fabric.

Cardboard Tubes – Wrap extension cords or a string of lights around them for tangle-free storage.

Toothbrush – Use for cleaning auto parts or grooves between the tiles in your bathroom.

Greeting Cards – Make into gift tags by cutting with pinking shears and punching hole in the corner.

Shower Curtain – Use to cover your table while the kids are painting or doing a craft.

Film Canisters – Fill with aspirin, change or lotion for purse or backpack.

How to Save Money at the Bar – Drinking your way Through the Recession

860700_56793699Some days its nice to just get out with friends and enjoy conversation over a few drinks. And there is nothing wrong with going out to your local bar for a drink or two with your buddies, but if your not careful you can find yourself blowing your whole budget on one single night on the town. We all could use some help on saving money at the bar.

Here’s some helpful tips on how to drink like a king on a pauper’s budget:

  • Ask the Price – Bars do not show prices because they know if you realize how much you’re paying, you are much more likely to order less expensive drinks and order fewer drinks. Before ordering a drink, ask how much it’s going to be, and see if they have a price list available so you can get something that you can afford.
  • Don’t Buy a Round – In some social circles, it’s a custom for everyone to buy one round for the group. Just keep silent and don’t offer to buy a round.
  • Know Your Drinks – Get the most bang for your buck by ordering the drinks with the most alcohol. Long Island Ice Teas are your best bet.
  • Attend Happy Hour – Usually at happy hour you can get some beers and wines at cheaper prices than normal.
  • Avoid Cover Charges – Make sure you hit bars that do not have a cover charge.
  • Skip the Food – Unless they have a happy hour menu, otherwise the food at a bar is expensive for the small portions you get.

Eating Out on a Budget

1105305_37239518I love food, love it! But I as my checking account dwindles I am finding that I really need to slow down on eating out. I love to eat out, try new restaurants and spend time with friends but now I have started looking for ways to make my favorite past time a bit of a cheaper enjoyment than it previously has been.

Here are some ways to eat out on a budget:

Always check the restaurant website for a happy hour menu. Try making your meals out early in the evening to enjoy the cheaper eats. Happy hour most of times has some of the same options as the regular menu without the high price tag.

Look around for coupons. A lot of local restaurants have coupons in the paper or ads that come once a month in the mail. If you find coupons for a restaurant you frequent, keep them handy(in your purse or wallet) for those surprise meals out. Another great place to find coupons is in the Entertainment Book, they offer a lot of 50% off or 2-for-1 meals. Also it doesn’t hurt to check the restaurant website to see if they have any coupons online.

Stay away from drinks. Simply order water and you will save a lot of money on a family of four.

If you have kids, check out restaurants where kids eat free with the purchase of an adult meal.

Share a meal. This morning I shared a meal with my sis at a local restaurant that offers a lower price in the morning for their special of the day and our total with drinks came to under $9.00.

10 Simple Ways to Relax

1191285_80138577Hard day at work? Kids driving you nuts at home? Need to find a way to relax and unwind? Here are 10 simple ways to relax.

  1. Rent a funny, happy movie, Laughter releases tension and helps put life back in perspective.
  2. Get moving! Pop in your favorite CD or turn to your favorite radio station and dance for a few songs. This will revitalize your body and mind and you’ll be ready to face anything.
  3. Have you ever heard of the phrase “take 5?” Set aside 5 or 10 minutes to have “you” time. Try waking up a little bit earlier than the rest of the house and enjoy the quiet alone (or with a nice cup of tea).
  4. Buy yourself a notebook or start a computer journal. Every night jot down happenings, thoughts and things accomplished that day, or even your frustrations. When your mind is “cleaned up,” it is easier to relax and fall asleep.
  5. Light a candle. Lavender, vanilla, sandalwood and spearmint are soothing scents to look for when purchasing special candles. The simple act of lighting a candle creates a soothing environment for you to relax in.
  6. Do yoga. If you don’t have time to join a yoga class at least once a week, then purchase a yoga video. Make time to do at least 15 minutes of yoga most days. This will help stretch and relax your muscles.
  7. Take a bubble bath. Put on some soft music, light a candle and enjoy a nice warm bubble bath. If you don’t want music, you can always take a book or magazine with you.
  8. Deep Breathe. Inhale deeply through your nostrils then exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat several times until you begin to feel calm. Using this simple deep breathing technique can be helpful when you’re stuck in traffic with loud kids in the back seat.
  9. Use your imagination. Close your eyes and think about some place or thing that makes you feel calm. Hold that picture in your mind as you practice deep breathing. You might also try using imagery to relax while your scented candles burn and soothing music plays in the background.
  10. Read a book. Escape into a different world with a good book. The fictional world can be a great way to escape from the pressures of motherhood for half an hour or so.


The Skinny Jeans Workout

1075458_20766913I was reading CNN news online and came across this article ‘Skinny jeans’ class aims to aid your zip. Having never heard of this workout before I was interested to find out more about it. Jessica Ordona, a retail specialist with a commercial real estate firm in Bethesda, Maryland, says “It’s different than your typical workout class, it’s not high-impact cardio, but you’re sweating the whole time because you’re working every muscle group.”

The Skinny Jeans Workout concentrates on core muscles, balance and posture. A cross between ballet, butt-burning stretches and light weight lifting, the workout involves the entire body. Participants of the Skinny Jeans Workout class are encouraged to go barefoot during the class. Instructors say it increases the balance, and forces the body to be smarter. The class is held two days a week and each session is only a hour. Regulars at the class, swear that they have dropped several jean sizes ever since enrolling in the class months ago.

We have all worried about how we look in jeans and having a workout dedicated strictly to wearing jeans is attractive to most women and maybe even some men.

Another site, yourtotalhealth.ivillage.com, has written an article with 7 exercises you can try at home for whatever specific issue you are dealing with.

If you want to buy the DVD, your best price is Best Buy – Lisa G’s Skinny Jeans Workout DVD.