m o m e n t s.

March 7, 2013

"I love U"


Never underestimate the meaningfulness of simple gestures. I found this note on a “just like any other” kind of day, left by my fiancee in the late hours of the morning when I had finally rolled out of bed. It was a sweet surprise to smile at something – anything – in the morning as one who, on a normal day, usually despises every moment between pillow and coffee. Small moments can leave lasting impressions; love makes every day a good one.


Save the Date (front)




After a long, tedious, hair-pulling search for simple personalized postcard Save the Dates that would fit our real-world budget, it occurred to me that any google search for any “wedding” related product would almost always result in a higher price than something without the “wedding” label. To put that theory to the test, I simply typed into google “personalized postcard template.” Who would have thought! The Staples website offers just the same, and, due to a current special offer, I paid $25 for an astounding 250 postcards. Another leading printing company charged $1.72 per Save the Date postcard. I’ll take the $.10 card, thanks! Insert photo, insert text; mission Save-the-Date accomplished!




t e e t h .

February 24, 2013

Pepsodent Toothpaste (clean)

Baking Soda (whiten)

Hydrogen Peroxide (3% solution) (whiten)


1. Mix 2 parts baking soda to 1 part hydrogen peroxide. I usually do about 1/4 tsp. baking soda and 1/8 tsp. hydrogen peroxide for one use.

2. Lather the mixture generously on toothbrush, rubbing gently onto teeth for up to 30 seconds, depending on gum sensitivity. This will cause an unpleasant taste, but after a couple of uses I barely noticed it at all.

3. Rinse well with water. Follow with normal teeth brushing routine, with toothpaste of choice.



 As far as toothpaste goes, brand and type will always be a matter of personal opinion. I’ve been using Pepsodent toothpaste for years, with only positive results. Its best quality being its affordability, this toothpaste has also been around for over a century which speaks for itself as far as customer satisfaction.
Baking soda has been used by many as a teeth whitening agent. Most either mix baking soda with water, or apply a small amount to toothbrush with toothpaste during the normal teeth cleaning routine. Though baking soda is a great abrasive agent, scrubbing away at the components that cause discoloration, when mixed with Hydrogen Peroxide the effectiveness of the whitening process is enhanced greatly. The exfoliation of the baking soda mixed together with the deep cleansing (and enamel-safe) properties of hydrogen peroxide create noticeable whiter and brighter teeth in as few as 3 days, as it happened in my experience. Depending on the sensitivity of your gums, you can practice this whitening routine 1-2 times a day, every day. Once you have achieved a level of white that suits you, repeat this routine once every 1-2 weeks. I am a regular coffee drinker so I choose to whiten more often. Happy whitening!

e a r s .

February 17, 2013

Hydrogen Peroxide rinse (As needed; 5 minutes per ear)

NOTES:Eliminate q-tips! This alternative isn’t a hugely significant money saver, but it has proven better results and avoids the potential damage that comes with using q-tips.Though the most healthy solution for cleaning your ears is a gentle botanical solution (claimed acceptable for ear-cleaning), used only as needed (infrequently) and for a proper amount of time (no more than 5 minutes), this product has proved overall beneficial. Keep in mind, healthy ears shouldn’t need any regular cleansing treatment. Only preform the HP rinse when necessary.



b o d y .

February 17, 2013

Ivory bar soap (wash)

Olive oil (moisturize)

NOTES: Ivory bar soap, in its pure nature, doesn’t irritate most skins. It is basic in its essence and is very affordable ($3.76 for a pack of 10, at Walmart). I’ve always preferred bar soap, mainly because of its long-lasting nature, and therefore, significant affordability (when compared to other forms of body wash). Not only do we tend to use a larger amount than needed when using liquid soap, but the difference is astounding when comparing face value of the two products. For $3.76 at Walmart, you can purchase a pack of 10 bars of soap (4.5 oz./bar), adding up to a total of 45 ounces for $3.76. For $5.47 at Walmart, you might just as easily grab a bottle of Dove “Deep Moisture Nourishing Body Wash” (24 oz/bottle), a total of 24 ounces for $5.47. Little would you know, you’d be paying an additional $1.71 for only half of what you would be getting if you went with bar soap! I’ll take simplicity and affordability.

On that note, who needs a specialized “deep moisture nourishing” body wash, when you have an excellent moisturizer which, combined with the affordable bar soap, will save you a significant amount of money and leave you with amazing skin? I paid $4.99 for a bottle of Crisco Extra Virgin Olive Oil at Target. Because of the small amount necessary for soft, healthy, moisturized skin, I am estimating that this bottle of olive oil will last me a good 6 months. That is less than $5 for half a year’s worth of moisturizer. I used to buy a bottle of moisturizing lotion every three months. One bottle of the most basic Aveeno moisturizing lotion at Target is $9.99. That is an estimated $20 spent for moisturizer over a period of six months, compared to the $5 I spent on olive oil for the same.






f a c e .

February 17, 2013


wipe (to remove foundation)

3 minute cleanse/exfoliation with ivory bar soap, baking soda

Weekly honey mask (10 minutes)

NOTES: As far as face wipes, my only advice (thus far) is the cheaper the better. Find a wipe that will successfully remove the bulk of face makeup without irritation, and for a low price. I use Johnson’s Baby Hands and Face Wipes, sold for $3 for a pack of 25 wipes at Target. I use these wipes because they are very mild, “as sensitive as pure water to the skin and eyes.” They are also alcohol-free. Minimal is better; look for very short ingredient lists.

Over the years, I have been very committed to ivory bar soap for face, hands, and body.”For more than a century, Ivory Bar Soap has been known for its purity, versatility, and ability to float.” Again, simplicity is better. I would also suggest shopping locally for soap. Research small business owners in your area, scout out your local market. Many soaps (especially hand soaps) are made with alcohol and other chemicals that may fight germs, but are  actually doing more harm than good to your skin. Doing your research and shopping locally gives you the opportunity to know what is in the cleanser, and the resulting risks and benefits.

Honey is increasingly being recognized for its amazing health benefits, one of which is healthier skin. Some benefits include its moisturizing, redness/blemish fighting, and healing quality. A honey mask leaves the skin soft, moisturized, and more evenly toned.




b r i d a l b o u q u e t .

February 17, 2013


Silver glitter-covered preserved Baby’s Breath alongside three white ostrich feathers: both of which will be utilized somehow in my bridal bouquet.





l a u n d r y .

February 17, 2013


1 cup of Borax

1 cup of Arm & Hammer washing soda

1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap

(optional) 1 tablespoon of Oxy Clean

Note: All of these ingredients should be found in the detergent isle of your local grocery store, or any Walmart.


1. Shave the bar of soap using either a food processor or a hand-held grater.

2. Mix together all ingredients, including bar soap shavings, in a medium sized bucket.

3. For extra clean results, add a small amount of Oxy Clean to mixture.

4. Transfer mixture into glass jar (found in kitchen isle) or similar storage container.

5. For additional scents, add laundry crystals to each load, found in the detergent isle.

6. Use 1 tablespoon of detergent per load. This isn’t your store-bought detergent, it is concentrated and only needs a small amount to be effective.




h a i r .

February 17, 2013




vinegar or apple cider vinegar (before wash): [long hair] 1/2 tablespoon [short hair] 1 teaspoon

cocoa butter (after wash): dime-size to nickel-size


Massage vinegar near roots and comb through. Vinegar helps to counteract the negative effects of the chemicals in shampoos and conditioners. It also helps to condition, and to enhance natural hair color. A vinegar rinse ushers hair back to its most natural state. For thick, unruly hair, focus distribution of cocoa butter throughout the body and ends of your hair. Try to steer clear of roots, to avoid a greasy look. A minimal amount is best; play with the exact measurement as it works with your hair. I’ve found cocoa butter a very efficient after-shower product for my hair (which could win an award for its otherwise unruly nature). Cocoa butter enhances the natural shape of your hair, whether it is characterized by thick waves or buoyant curls.




Cinnamon Pancake

August 28, 2012


I eat one cinnamon pancake for breakfast every morning. This morning, I ran out of pancake mix, which reminded me that I have to go to the store, which reminded me that this is only my second time going shopping for groceries since I moved into this apartment over three months ago… I am never at home. Or at least, haven’t been until recently. I’ve forced myself to slow down and to start being here, enjoying the things I used to enjoy and breathing a little slower. This morning after running out of pancake mix, planning a trip to the store and breathing a little slower, I was reminded of how important it is for me to be writing. I love to write. So here I am, fingertips to keyboard, thoughts to words, all because of one cinnamon pancake.