Friday, March 29, 2013

The Lovely Home in Motion

So last week, I had you plan out what you desire in an ideal home- the atmosphere, the elegance, furnishings, extravagances, stereo system, colors etc. Not what you usually settle for but what you truly long for.

I had you select an item that perhaps was of higher quality than normal and resist purchasing cheap things throughout the week to save up for that higher quality item.

Too often we purchase what we don't really love...perhaps because it is at walmart or on special. We buy what is on special here and there and when we put it all together, it looks awful. That is where planning is necessary. Plan out the colors. Select items ahead of time when it comes to decor not at the store at the moment when it is on sale. A great room takes great planning and now... when you perhaps don't have the money for the time to plan it.

Go to the store at some time this week and plan one room. Pick your paint swatch, the curtains, the color of couch etc... make it all coordinate. Take photos, jot down prices. paste all in your notebook for that particular room. You now have a plan and photos. No more purchasing things without a plan. NO more random purchases that don't match, don't fit the true look you desire and don't do anything but waste money and build clutter. It is my personal opinion that you can line up clutter but never make it lovely. A room without order and a color scheme just doesn't flow right. It ends up being too much work with not enough result.

The planning is as satisfying as impulse buying, trust me. Now attach an envelope to that page. Begin saving. Save and plan for that room and buy little bits at a time if you like or all at once. But plan it. Make it lovely. Make it like the pictures you adore in the magazines. Coordinate it so that all goes together and looks lovely. When your home is the dream you love, you will enjoy cleaning it more. For the first time, plan it the way you never allowed yourself to before. Enjoy making your home a place you can't wait to invite friends to.

We also dicussed cleaning last week. I had you make a weekly plan... selecting days to do this or that.
I advised the following:

Groom like you are going on a date to impress: bath, shave, tan, nails, lotion, pefume, face care, teeth care, lovely hair, clean outfit, neat and put together no sloppies.
set a timer for an hour for housework - no exceptions - continue to work on one room at a time.

Divide the following chores between your six days(ideally an hour on these as well). I want you to choose one to rest.
-vacuum/dust (arrange living areas)

-tackle the bathrooms shine them up, clean the towels and put out flowers or candles- plan your wardrobe for the week. any sewing or mending. arrange accordingly throw any laundry into pile for tomorrow

-wash sheets, do laundry and fluff pillows- something to make bedroom romantic

-kitchen- shine add fragrance or atmosphere desired in kitchen (a fancy centerpiece, elegant table decor etc - menu planning for the week

-errands and grocerys shopping (doc appts, library, post office, clutter to goodwill, hair salon, gifts, etc etc) When arriving home that night, sit down and go though your budget. Organize... look at long term needs, set aside money for. use envelopes etc.

-any outside work to make your yard/door lovely - perhaps a lovely wreath for the door, flowers, etc

Once you assign a day for each chore, I'd like you to expand. I had you make a master list. Write all the chores you wrote  based on frequency into the appropriate day. Make each day a page in your notebook with each task written down. If you've planned you room, make that plan on a coordinating page. It will be fun to clean dreaming of your future decor plans. For chores that need to be done seasonally or yearly, write them in and the date they are to be done.


Jot down birthdays/anniversaries etc and their dates on the page that has to do with gifts. Get it all organized in a way that works for you. As you think of things, adjust your page.

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Get into the habbit of sticking to your weekly plan. I've added baking to my kitchen day, I love freshly made bread and a pie or dessert in the home. Enjoy it. It's truly fun to make a home.

And this week, enjoy easter... do something festive. Put some fresh colorful flowers on the table, make delightful baskets, elegant eggs, plan a lovely meal. Have fun.

Much love until Sunday. I will be taking tomorrow off. :)


Thursday, March 28, 2013

Looking Killer on A Limited Budget and a Few 50's Tricks Thrown In

I don't think it even crossed my mind when I entered into money struggles a short time ago that I'd one day be able to use such experiences to help others. My vanity, however, kept me from every looking poor. Even when I was at my lowest...with literally nothing, I looked fabulous and was mistaken for being wealthy.

I knew what we all know... that if I truly let my hair, weight, makeup, grooming etc.. go, I'd look frightening.

I found a way. I made a way. I became the queen of cooking meals for nothing and grooming without a dime.

I've made one of my favorite dresses out of an old sheet (you can buy sheets at goodwill for $1 as fabric as well) and my nails that I do myself look better than most salons.

I color my own hair.... with peroxide 3%. less than a dollar a bottle. ;)
and I use pin curls in my hair at night to set it to avoid heat damage.

 My hair has grown sooo long doing this. The salons lie when they tell you you have to trim or use's just their way of making a profit. I do not let them trim my hair and I am so glad.

I'm going to take you through each area of the grooming budget today and tell you how I manage.
While yes, when doing my budget last week, it fun to imagine setting aside higher amounts in each area, it was foolish and silly of me. I am much better of staying in the low low budget I've learned to live in before.

Here are my grooming secrets and the amount I alot each month on the above. ;)

Lips - I truly love being a Mary Kay consultant because I can order samples. Samples come in sets of 6 for only a dollar. That allows me to change out my colors often and always look fabulous. Your welcome to sign up under me if this appeals to you. I also get most of my skin care...etc.etc.. through samples until I sell enough to get it for free. (When you order a certain amount you get a certain amount in free products) So literally, if you sell well, you pay nothing for your own skin care. This helps me tremendously. Contact me on my website if you are interested in signing up and I will be happy to give you further details. This is not an ad though so keep reading for more money saving tips.
For everyone else, my suggestions are as follows - Lips - find a color you like in the $ section of walmart. They always have brands that are very small or go to the dollar store directly and pick out there. Some dollar stores have limited selections so you will have to gauge if it's more ideal and cost saving to pay closer to $2 an item at walmart or $1 at the local dollar store.

Ideally you should be able to break down as follows:
Lips - $1
Nails - if you're not comfy painting yourself buy the press on that come with glue at the dollar store $1

Hair care - $1 brands
Face care - I love mk samples but you can also get this at the dollar store
Tootpaste/brushes etc etc even loofas  $1
Perfume - my pic - either mary kay samples or chanel 5 imitation at dollar tree.
fake tanner - either dollar store or... Tea. you can get a nice stain on your skin with two tea bags soaked in water.
Tanning lotion. I'm more for natural but a friend of mine used to have an amazing tan. She used crisco. her skin was soft and lovely. My old favorite makeup remover, skin moisturizer etc was coconut oil myself.

dresses - my new passion is sewing. Learning to alter, repair and fit clothes saves you SO much money. You can literally take friends hand me downs, go to garage sales for 10 cent items etc no matter the size and fit them to yourself. You throw away/give away etc so much less because you can fix every tear, etc. My skirt I'm wearing today has been restitched so many times it's funny. I just love it too much to give it away and it looks brand new. Once you do learn to sew.... keep everything mended and nice. You no longer have a good excuse to look frumpy. ;) My favorite sources of fabric.. sheets etc. Get creative. Even use old items of clothing for fabric. Not all items called for in sewing patterns are necessary. Decide what you truly need and have fun. I love that I can make a matching handbag, headband etc for each dress.


My other area of savings.... is in food.

We spend FAR too much money eating out buying pre made etc etc.
I have REALLY felt this and our budget has suffered terribly with me being sick.
I paid $6 last night for a Bertolli soup for my hubby to make me when honestly, I could have trusted him to throw a can of soup with 1/2 can water 1/2 can whipping cream, a little basil, some garlic salt and 1/4 cup splenda and had something that tasted better.
I also paid for breadsticks with cheese and it really would have been simpler to have him wrap a few mozzerella sticks with bisuits and lathered them with butter mixed with garlic salt and herbs.

When you cook for yourself, you control the taste, you control the calories. You control the cost.
When you buy packaged it not only costs you financially it may be affecting all of the above.

Have the following in your cupboard most of the time and can literally make just about anything.
Even if you have nothing.

Sugar or splenda
Salt or replacer
Butter or other
Onions - make everything taste better
baking powder
baking soda
Your favorite spices (secret... most spices in recipes aren't necessary have your favorite salty, sweet and hot ready and season to your liking. I do love garlic salt, splenda or sugar and hot sweet mustard and use them to season pretty much everything) oh and cinnamon and vanilla

Whipping cream (so much richer than milk for eggs and creamy soups, custards etc. Then you also have it when you need it for recipes which is often. I recently did atkins and cream is allowed where Milk isn't.... just a thought ;)
Cream cheese ( I always get fat free whichever is your preference
Cheddar cheese
mozzarella cheese
parmesan cheese

and if you like to bake
chocolate squares or chips
evaporated milk
sweetened condensed milk
powdered sugar
brown sugar

your favorite veggies (green beans etc) fresh green peppers, broccoli, etc.
Beans if you like - refried/black/baked etc
several cans of tomato or tomato sauce packets (just sweeten with sugar and salt for any pizza etc sauces)
Fruit cans or fresh  love to simply slice strawberries and mix with sugar and cinnamon for french toast etc. bananas fried in brown sugar, butter and cinnamon are to die for and cheap.. ;)
cornstarch - good to have on hand as well as cornmeal
I like to have yeast because once you've made bread.... it's hard to stop. You do have to set aside several hour for rising but the smell is heavenly. If you fear yeast recipes at least try a homemade biscuit recipe... no rising time required and it's lovely. I make my own tortillas even. It's so fun once you learn to go at it.

That's it. Pick you favorite meats and have fun. You have enough here to cook even without meats and it will cost you so much less to have the food you need to always cook than it does to go out for each meal and buy premade.

I can make a meal for less than a dollar versus the soup and breadsticks meal last night... $16!! Even with my hubby feeling so proud and beaming about how good it was.. the idea of
canned tomato .60
cream .30
perhaps some butter .20
homemade bread and a cheese stick $1

sounded sooooo much bettter in my head. I've gotten so used to making meals for nothing that it hit me hard this week. My pocket book isn't pretty. I'm cranky and honestly, so ready to be up feeling better. The fact that I can type so well today is progress. So hopefully within the next few days I'll be back and to my normal self.

I am so grateful to be self employed.I really did hate the feeling of being sick all week and knowing your boss may not be so understanding. This was definitely a hurt the relations with my boss kind of week.

So... the fun part... I hope you all picked an item that you normally wouldn't spend on and started your tallying where you were able to save here and there. I picked out a lovely new dish set for $50 and a silverware set for $20. So far I've been able to stop myself from buying a pattern $8, mc d's meal - $7.

That's $15 towards my goal. :) It's really quite fun to get control of your impulse spending. Pick your item and start disciplining yourself today.

Buy a stocked cupboard and an old cookbook.

Start cooking. It willl save you tremendously.

Much love Always

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What to Do When Ill?

The struggle with being in any position is what to do when ill.
Earlier this week when the bug struck me, I could still pull myself out of bed and get online and thought "this is so wonderful. I love being self employed. I can still get online without having to get up and go to the office."

Well today, just sitting up has me feeling so dreadful.
My ambitious plans to do work around the house, all but destroyed.
Unfortunately when the bug does hit. It hits. I could trust my husband to do work around the house, but honestly, that wouldn't be wise for me and I wouldn't be happy with the results.
You have to gauge you sickness. The first day I could stand up and wash a few dishes.
Yesterday I could work on a dress I was sewing... today... well. This is a chore.
I do believe the best thing you can do when sick is rest. The more you rest, the sooner you will feel better. It's a great time to do nails if you feel up to it, sew if you know how, I will be teaching those who don't as well as I can online crafting etc.
I do think it's great to keep your motivation. Work on something while down that will improve your home. Perhaps write up a few letters. Plan some improvements to the home. Read your favorite books on decorating etc. Drink lots of broth and tea with lemon.... take it easy and feel lovely in spite.
Yesterday as a joke I put on my tiara. It could be a pretty neglige. Let yourself still feel lovely. Pamper yourself in little ways as able. Don't let it destroy your motivation. Just rest it out and look forward to what you will be able to do when up feeling well again.

Make sure when you are up that you take the necessary precautions to avoid sickness again.... rest enough, get fruits and veggies in every meal, control stress etc. plan chores so you do a little a day instead of too much at once. Get in time with family, interests etc to feel balanced. Keep on top of your budget a major stress trigger, and keep your home lovely and in order.

I'm going to cut this short today due to feeling so rough.

Cooking will resume in a week,

Much love

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ahh... the 1950's...the charm, the elegance, the tiny waists

I'm going to let you in on a 50's fashion secret.

Their figures were not any lovlier than least not naturally.... begin that you are a size 12 or less. If you are more, begin to watch portions now. The minute I said that I realized the err in that statement. Women now a days do tend to eat far too much and let themselves go.

There is of course a reason for the thinner 50's waist.

Women then cooked the food. They may have gone out once a week for a meal that was extravagant.
But when you are in charge of watching a family budget.... and cooking everything you eat. Not to mention, including nutrition... well, you should have no issues with weight. Putting yourself on a food budget. Getting vegetables and fruits in every meal and refraining from any treats or meals out except once a week, you should be just fine as well.

What I am talking about is the GORGEOUS hour glass shape they had.
You could lose weight and be plain.... no curves evident... can stay healthy (under size 12 please) In fact no rolls allowed. Once you look lovely in a two piece than you are fine.
I am, however, suggesting to lose the idea of stick thin and return to the elegance of hourglass

They had a secret. It was in their underwear.
Women kept their waists tiny using waist cinching corsets....and the more they brought in the waist, the more lovely their feminine assets.
This is a secret that such figures as Kim Kardashian I believe has discovered today.
There was once a study that said a man's attraction to a woman was based on her waist/hip ratio. The larger the difference between your waist and hips, the more lovely and attractive. It also of course helps to go out in the bust as well.

You will feel far more lovely and be far more elegant in a feminine way if you have your curves. So yes continue to lose the absurd weight we tend to pack on now especially in America due to he ease of gaining food. Get yourself to a healthy weight and if you truly want to look 1950s, corset it up. Pull it in. It will improve your posture and curves. I will once again suggest lovely undergarments. If you are married, throw everything else out. You need to be lovely for your husband. Plus size models look just as lovely in corsets as to thin models.

There is a corset that would look nice on you. Purchase it. Quit allowing yourself to feel unattractive. Quit allowing yourself to feel like a failure or a hopeless cause. We ALL have the assets. EVERY female has the ability to have an amazing figure. We are all lovely and elegant. We can all do our faces up and our hair lovely. We can all delight in lovely jewelry and fragrances. So get up, get the lovely undies, retrain your waist if need be by purchasing a waist cinching corset. They have them for $20 an less all over the internet. Become the lovely woman you were created to be. Because believe me, you CAN.
Women just aren't shown so anymore. You can be lovely, you can learn to cook. You can learn to be elegant and feminine and keep a lovey fashionable home. I will teach you.
Get a handle on your budget. Set aside more money for clothing and lingere and less for snacks and impulse eating.  Eat out less. Cook more. I will have more on that tomorrow. And feel lovely again.

I am ill so I am going to sign off for today.With the coming of spring came snow and well...strept throat for me.

Since I am not feeling up to getting out and working today. Buy anything on my site from my other job and get a free gift from me as my thank you.

Much love Always,