TRY IT ON

I’ve been a member of missussmartypants.com for a few years and she has saved me tons of money. She emphasizes buying the basics and getting the best you can afford.

She tells us to ignore the sizes and try each item on. The sizes vary from company to company and from style to style in each company.

She has been sending us articles on shopping at resale shops, i.e. Good Will, Salvation Army, and I am so glad I listened.

I blogged about looking for a trench coat, http://wp.me/pK67X-Vc on http://www.thisyearsbiblereadingguide.com.

I was amazed when I walked into a Good Will and saw a red London Fog trench coat. I couldn’t find the size or the price. I tried it on, and except for the sleeves needing lengthened, it fit.

My "new" red trench coat with a detachable liner.

My “new” red trench coat with a detachable liner.

I took it to the counter to find the price. It was there I noticed the size, 6 Reg. If I had found the size first, I never would have tried it on!

I was floored when told the price was $5.88. I priced a similar coat in another color and on clearance it was $164.24!!!

I bought it. I was pleased when I took the sleeves apart to find a generous hem.

There is a generous hem with plenty of material to lengthen the sleeves.

There is a generous hem with plenty of material to lengthen the sleeves.

Wait and see how I personalize it!

WRAP IT TWICE

I finally found some black tie backs that I love, but they were too long. They hung way too low on the drape and I didn’t like the effect.
I wrapped them around the drape twice, which put the tassel at the back, not the front, but I like it much better. I did not have to buy new ones.
The tassel was getting in the way of the blind anyway!

Tie back wrapped twice around drape.

Tie back wrapped twice around drape.

AN OFFICE BUILT FOR TWO

We rearranged our office to line both desks up on the east wall a few months back. We kept backing into each other in the last arrangement. We both wanted an L-shaped desk area, but ended up piling our stuff on the desk used by the other person.

We also had a problem with the area around the computer being too small for files and the checkbook.

We ended up switching several things around. First we switched the computer to the larger desk and I made the smaller desk my reading area.

Then we switched the smaller filing cabinet for a larger one that had been holding my music. The music fit in the smaller unit and now the files are not jammed together so tightly. We also have room to add many files if needed. I am currently storing extra reams of paper in the back of it.

The final thing we added was a TV tray. That took the place of the extension we both desired. I keep my Day-Timer on it and he piles papers on it when I am not using the office. During those times that we both need to be working, like when we were preparing for our income tax appointment, we got out another TV tray to have two extensions.

I am amazed how much more efficiently this office works by just switching around the items we already had in the house.

Our rearranged office with a TV tray to serve as a desk extension.

Our rearranged office with a TV tray to serve as a desk extension.

FROTH THE MILK; HEAT THE CUP

I’m down to one cup of coffee a day. If you could see how quickly I am writing this you would understand why!

With the length of time that I have been on Prednisone, that second cup of coffee can be the difference between 4 hours of sleep and 6-8 hours.

To say that cup is important to me is an understatement! I decided if I only get one cup, I would use real cream, but the cream went bad before I could use it up.

My prudent parent, from whom I inherited the frugal gene, suggested that I use Ready Whip, the aerosol cream. It lasts longer and looks pretty in the cup.

But the Ready Whip tastes like coconut to me and I am not a fan of Coconut. Mom, on the other hand, likes it.

In a perfect world, I would just get a Caribou coffee every day; but no one lives in a perfect world. My son works at Caribou and I pick his brain for ways to improve my lowly homemade cup.

The problem is they have machines that use much hotter water and milk in their drinks. You just can’t duplicate it with a Mr. Coffee machine.

My coffee gets cold so quickly, and I’ve tried a few things to deter that:

  1. Fill the cup with hot water and let it sit a moment or two to warm the cup.
  2. Wrap a coffee cozy around the cup, see http://wp.me/pKNzn-lD.
  3. Cover the cup with a saucer.

All of these actions helped, but when I added the cream it cooled considerably.

Then I cracked open my April, 2014 Good Housekeeping magazine and saw a small blurb about “Frothed milk.”

They suggested putting the milk into a small jar, shaking it for 30 seconds and zapping it in the microwave for 30 seconds.

I did one better. I shake the milk in a small Tupperware container for 30 seconds, pour it into my coffee cup and heat both at the same time.

I add coffee and sugar to the heated cup of milk and stir. It’s hot….or at least warm…to the last drop.

The bonus is I no longer need to buy cream or creamers and my waist-line will benefit, too.

My coffee with frothed milk.

My coffee with frothed milk.

 

 

FOR LADIES ONLY

The most difficult, frustrating, and sometimes expensive item you are forced to purchase is a bra.

Companies cannot agree on standard size measurements and the same size in two different styles may have different measurements.

Even worse, when you go to purchase one, they measure you and give you the size of bra they have in stock. If you need a 34F, (or DDD), and they don’t stock the larger cup sizes in a smaller band size, they will try to sell you a 36E, (or DD), or a 38D.

Since 80% of the support comes from the band, those two options will just ride up in the back or pull away in the front when you bend over. Those with sensitive skin, who need cotton material, have an even more difficult time finding one.

When you find a bra that actually fits, you wear it until the elastic wears out! You move into the tightest hooks, and tighten the straps up as far as they can go.

T-shirt bras, with molded cups, will start to roll out and down as they wear. They no longer lie flat and the outline can be seen through your t-shirt.

To correct this, I take a “belly band,” see http://wp.me/pKNzn-tG, “Belly Band for a Camiband,” and wear it over my bra. It helps the cup to lie flat, and smooths out any lines. It buys me time to search for a new bra.

I shop for cotton bras, in smaller band sizes, with larger cups at www.figleaves.com. They are based in England, and you can talk with a representative if you are unsure of your correct size.

I was in between two band sizes and none seemed to fit. A representative talked with me on the phone for a half hour, asking me questions concerning fit until she determined which size would provide me the best support and comfort.

Listening to her lovely, British accent was just a bonus!

My "Belly Band" that I wear as a "Camiband."

My “Belly Band” that I wear as a “Camiband.”

 

 

TAKE IT TO THE EDGE

I was frustrated with my coffee pot…or my husband, who makes the coffee. When filling the pot, he many times spilled the water on the counter.

(I don’t know what it is with “Mr. Coffee Carafes,” but they are not the easiest pot to pour liquid from. If you know the secret, please tell me!)

I was tired of cleaning the hard water stains off of the counter under the coffee pot. I finally just slid the entire machine over to the edge of the sink. He still spills, but the water goes directly down the drain.

Sometimes, we can solve a minor frustration just by moving something over two inches.

And I will keep the man who makes sure I have a fresh pot of coffee when I wake up each morning.

I moved the coffee pot to the edge of the sink.

I moved the coffee pot to the edge of the sink.

IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE FLOWERS

I was decorating for St. Patrick’s Day and wanted something to put inside the green bowl on my kitchen table. I would have loved a floral arrangement, but I cannot use them due to allergies. I still wanted something natural.

Then I remembered that many Irish families immigrated to America after “The Great Potato Famine.” I decided to use potatoes.

Potatoes substitute for flowers.

(I had to change my menu for dinner tonight because I have friends coming over and I don’t want to ruin my centerpiece!)

In my dining room, I filled the bowl with pine cones. It will double as the centerpiece for my oldest son’s birthday. He likes John Deere Tractors and the Packers Football Team. It will not be hard to spruce it up for his dinner.

Pine cones fill the bowl in my dining room.