Friday, October 20, 2006

Americans Admit to Re-gifting

Wrapping up that unwanted picture frame from last Christmas and giving it to someone else as a gift might not be as taboo as it once was. A survey found that over half of the respondents admitted to "re-gifting" with passing on gifts becoming a far more common and acceptable phenomenon.

78 percent of consumers who were polled felt that it was acceptable to re-gift some or most of the time. According to the survey, the mostly commonly re-gifted items were decorative household items, such as vases, paintings, picture frames and other trinkets.

77 percent of respondents said they re-gifted because the item was perfectly suited to the new recipient. The study showed that 9 percent of people admitted they re-gifted out of laziness to purchase a new gift and 4 percent confessed that they re- gifted out of dislike for the recipient.

Source: Reuters News

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Be Glamorous Without Big Bucks

From WikiHow.com

You look at other women and wonder how do they put it all together? They must spend a fortune to look that way. . . the beautiful clothes, shoes, and make-up. Well the secret to looking gorgeous without breaking the bank is quite simple. It might take a little time, but it is worth it.

How-to Steps

1. Piece your outfits together correctly. You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on the latest trends that are going to be out of style in a couple of months anyway. There are three staples in a women's wardrobe: black pants, crisp white shirt, and the little black dress. They can carry you for years. Black pants can be topped off with beautiful dress shirts for a more glamourous look, or with a simple v-neck for a more casual look. Buy classic pieces.

2. Use your imagination. For example, right now embellishment is the big thing for summer. Instead of going into a boutique and paying $50.00, $70.00, or who knows how much more, instead go into your local fabric store. Check for lace, sequins, or anything you can think of. Take a tank top and glitz it up for the fraction of the price, top it off with a pair of jeans and you're good to go. Look through your current wardrobe and try to make it look different. Take a regular solid colored skirt and add a ribbon bow. Imagination is the key.

3. Go thrift shopping. No, it's not a bad word. You would be really surprised what you can find. Purses, dresses, skirts. It may take a little time, but look through the racks, you never know the gem that's waiting for you. If you really don't feel it's for you, buy specials. Clearance sales are good, and buy at the end of every season, the price is marked down quite considerably. But don't just buy something because it's on sale. Try it on and see if you like the way the garment fits.

4. Pluck or wax your eyebrows. This looks clean and gives you an instant new look.

5. Remember that costume jewelry is a frugal girl's best friend. This can change the whole look of an outfit. Remember that simple black dress. Well the right jewelry can take it from office day to fun evening.

6. Know that a little make-up goes a long way. Glamorous women often do not appear to have make-up on, but they do. Being glamourous is looking like you rolled out of the bed looking fabulous. Avoid too much make-up and overly done hair.

7. Get some soft waves or curls for a natural look. If your hair is very straight go with it and have some interesting layers cut so you really can roll out of bed with it.

Tips

* Fashion does not have to break the bank. Swap clothes with friends.
* Learn to sew you will save a lot of money.
* Fashion is what suits you, not the model in the magazine. While it is okay to get ideas from a magazine, only fashion victims follow it to the letter. Be an individual.
* Get fit and healthy.
* Be confident, not arrogant.

Warnings

* Try not to be too trendy. Remember, fashion should be fun. Don't be a slave to it.

Monday, October 9, 2006

Saving Money, Saving Energy

Here are five easy things you can do suggested by Consumer Reports:

1. Turn down the heat during winter. Lower the thermostat 5 to 10 degrees when you're sleeping or out of the house; a 10 degree decrease can cut your heating bill by as much as 20 percent.

2. Let the dishwasher do the work. Don't bother pre-rinsing dishes. Consumer Reports has found that this added step can waste 20 gallons of heated water each day.

3. Put your PC to sleep. Keeping your computer and monitor in sleep mode can cut your energy use by as much as 80 percent. To find out how to put a PC with Windows XP to sleep, click here (for other versions of Windows, click on the link and search the site for that version); to put an Apple computer to sleep, click here.

4. Set your water heater to 120 degrees. It can save up to 10 percent in water-heating costs compared to a 140 degree setting.

5. Don't overdry your laundry. Clothes will need less ironing and hold up better if you remove them when they're just a bit damp. Or better yet, consider using a clothesline or drying rack. Hanging even some of your clothing items can help you save energy.

Source: Consumer Reports Greener Choices - Great website and free newsletter.
"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28