Sorry to burst your bubble, but you're not going to save by drinking vodka! However, the liquor actually has a couple of household uses that will come in handy. Not to mention, you won't be splashing unnecessary money on products, and you'll be doing the environment some good because it's less toxic. Invest in a bottle of cheap vodka to stretch your dollar in these ways:
- Remove a bandaid: Dab vodka onto a bandaid with a cotton swab, and you'll be able to remove it in no time.
- Clean your clothes: First, do a spot test on the piece of clothing just to be on the safe side. If the material stays in the same condition, spray vodka on the outfit. It'll keep your clothes fresh in between laundry loads and kill any lingering odors. The liquor is also a good stain remover, so dab some on stubborn stains before throwing your clothes into the washer.
- Get rid of mold: Spray it on the mold in your bathroom, and after letting it soak in for a good while, wipe it clean. The alcohol will kill the mold.
- DIY deodorant: Make your own natural deodorant with this recipe, which includes vodka, water, and essential oils.
- Prevent flowers from wilting: Add a few drops of vodka into your flower vase to preserve your lovely bouquet. Vodka lengthens the life of the blooms because it inhibits ethylene production, which is what helps the plant mature, according to the Scientific American.
- Repel insects: Use vodka as an ingredient for a bug repellent. DIYlife.com recommends to mix it with apple cider vinegar and drops of citronella or eucalyptus essential oil. Spray it on yourself or areas you don't want bugs to come crawling, such as your patio furniture.
- Linen spray: Make this easy and effective linen spray with vodka.
- Polish and shine: Take a piece of cloth, wet it with vodka, and clean your eyeglasses with it. Alternatively, you can also mix it with some water, then spray the liquid on windows and mirrors to make them shine. So long, Windex!
- Glue remover: Remove the sticky residue left from peeling the label off jars by rubbing the leftover glue with a soft cloth soaked in vodka. You can also use this to dissolve the sticky residue that Band-Aids leave on your skin.
- Preserve razor blades: After shaving, leave your blades in vodka for a while to disinfect and prevent them from rusting.
- Soothe stings: Pour vodka on stings ranging from poison ivy to jellyfish.
- Treat dandruff: Mix one cup vodka with two teaspoons crushed rosemary, then strain the mixture through a coffee cup filter and let it sit for two days before applying it to your head and letting the solution dry.
- Air freshener: Make air freshener with vodka as the base. Start spraying away to get rid of any odor in the room.
Remember, getting an inexpensive brand is key — you don't want to shill out big bucks and waste money on something you'll be wiping your windows with!
- Buy some white cups or mugs. You can find them in superstores, thrift stores, dollar stores, and online.
- Pick a sharpie. For long-lasting results, choose oil-based paint sharpie markers. Regular sharpie ink can come off even after baking. Pick a color to use on your mug. You can stay simple and choose one color, or be more ambitious and use multiple. If you're sticking to one color, then black is usually a good choice, given its striking contrast to the white background of the mug.
- Start drawing. Decide what you want to put on the cup, and maybe practice drawing it on a piece of paper before drawing on the mug. Pick a meaningful quote or a cute graphic to decorate the mug with, and get inspired by mugs being sold on Etsy or by googling examples of sharpie mug projects online.
- Dry it out. Let your mug dry for a few hours or overnight before placing it into the oven. You can also draw over it again if you'd like to make sure the pattern doesn't come off in the wash. If you draw over it again, be sure to leave it out to dry again before baking.
- Bake it. Bake the mug in the oven for 30 minutes at 350°F. Remember to place the mug in the oven before it heats up and leave it in until the oven cools completely so there won't be any cracks. You can choose to bake the mugs twice to really set in the sharpie drawings.
- Care and wash. Hand wash the mug gently instead of throwing it in the dishwasher, as a machine washer may ruin the design.
Some sharpie mug DIY-ers may advise you to spray the mug with acrylic sealing spray to make sure the sharpie etchings doesn't rub off. I personally didn't want to do that because the spray can be toxic. However, if you decide to go that route, be sure to avoid spraying near the top and on the inside of the mug. You can cover those areas with masking tape to protect them before you spray.
Right about this time of year is when the requests start flowing in. Family and friends make plans to stay with you for the holidays, and before you know it, your place is totally booked until 2014. As stressful as it can be, playing hostess is a pretty special job. You don't just want them to have a good experience though — you want them to have a fabulous one that rivals the vibe of the Ritz. Ahead, check out tips on how to go that extra mile and win the "best hostess ever" award. Just be warned that once the word gets out, you may have even more visitors knocking at your door!
- Come up with a solid preplan: Hosting starts before your guests even arrive! Stock your fridge with snacks they'll enjoy, buy their favorite bottle of wine, ask if they have any allergies to scents or fabrics, and make reservations at your favorite restaurant before it's booked up. Don't forget to give them detailed directions on how to get to your place if you can't pick them up.
- Impress 'em with the details: Whether they're staying in a guest bedroom or on an air mattress, treat the experience as if your grandma were staying with you. Provide clean linens, extra towels, hangers, and essential toiletries. Even more importantly: write down the WiFi password. Another tip is to set aside some space where they can store all their stuff.
- Play concierge: If they want to explore while you're at work, come up with a plan they can follow on their own. Share your favorite restaurants, give them a calendar of events, tell them about all the local attractions — and don't forget a weather report!
- Make them feel at home: Take steps to make them feel welcome, always. Give them enough privacy, and never act like they're imposing (even if they are). Be happy when they're around, and even if something bothers you (like their belongings start taking over your living room), keep in mind that the visit will come to an end sooner than you realize. Especially with foreign guests, understand that their cultures and habits may be different than what you're used to, and that's totally OK.
Above all, enjoy the time you have with your visitors, because it may just be a once-a-year event!
If you enjoy making cups of coffee for yourself at home, then you'll find yourself with an endless supply of old coffee grounds. It's best to not let them all go to waste. Here are a couple things you can do to recycle used coffee grounds:
Since coffee is a good deodorizer, it makes sense to have it as an ingredient in soap — particularly if you're fond of the scent. Make your own coffee soap with this recipe.
2. Beauty scrub
Mix honey with coffee grounds to create a scrub that you can use for your face or body to keep your skin feeling smooth and to help it glow. The scrub is also said to reduce cellulite on your body.
3. Hair mask
Rub the grounds into your hair before shampooing and conditioning. Leave them in for a while before washing them out, and your hair will be glossy and shiny. You might want to avoid using this mask on light-colored hair.
Add the coffee grounds to soil, and they will act as fertilizer. You can also mix warm water with the grounds then use the mixture as a fertilizing spray or feed for some of your house plants. Coffee grounds will be a good addition to compost, as well, since they are very rich in nutrients.
Put coffee grounds in a bowl, and place it in a room in your house or your refrigerator when there's a lingering odor you want to get rid of. You can even rub your hands with the grounds to get rid of any smell on your skin, or you can dump some in your trash can to minimize the smell of the garbage.
The frenzy of Halloween indulgence has come and gone, and between office-party punch and sweet treats, you're nursing one huge sugar hangover. One thing's for sure: leftover Halloween candy has got to go! If that candy corn and those Snickers were originally destined for the garbage, then consider some other uses that won't make you feel as though you're sending your money along with it. Here are nine better ways to use up uneaten candy that won't make you feel ghoulish.
Source: Etsy seller KnotTheOrdinary
Scrimping and saving was a necessity during the Great Depression, when unemployment in the US skyrocketed to 25 percent. Although we are seeing better times, we can always take a page from that era and practice some of those thrifty habits. Restart these frugal practices, and your wallet will thank you!
- Making your own: There are plenty of items we can DIY and don't have to buy, such as certain foods and cleaning supplies. Not only will making some of these items on your own save you money, but it's also better for your health. There are fewer chemicals in homemade cleaning supplies and food.
- Using it up: Use everything to the last drop before you toss it. This includes everything from bath supplies to cooking ingredients.
- Going to the library: We often forget our friendly neighborhood library has plenty of awesome freebies in store for us, from ebooks to DVDs. Don't forget: the library is also a great quiet spot to enjoy free WiFi without the obligation of buying a cup of coffee.
- Mending it: Instead of throwing away your items or handing them off to a professional, fix them yourself. Thankfully, we have plenty of online tutorials that can take us through the steps without us blindly figuring it out on your own. Check out these home repair projects you should tackle on your own.
- Using less: Not only do we need to use everything to the last drop, but we also have to remember to use less of what we have. For example, you can always dilute your hand soap and shampoo with water. And you can use less detergent for your wash.
- Acapulco: Free two-item combo if you sign up for its eclub.
- American Eagle Outfitters: Sign up for membership to get 15 percent off during your birthday month.
- AMF: Free bowling for your birthday if you sign up for its eclub.
- Anthropologie: Enroll in ANTHRO to get a birthday discount.
- Applebee's: Sign up for its email club to get a birthday treat.
- Arby's: Get a birthday treat when you sign up for Arby's club.
- Auntie Annie's: Free pretzel when you sign up for the pretzel perks program.
- A&W: Free root beer float when you register for the freebie (scroll to the bottom of the page).
- Aveda: Be a member of Aveda.com, and receive a free offer on your birthday.
- Au Bon Pain: Join the Au Bon Pain eClub and you'll get a free Birthday Sandwich or Salad.
- Aubuelo's: Free birthday treat when you sign up for its eClub.
- Baskin Robbins: Get a free scoop on your birthday if you join the Baskin Robbins birthday club.
- Backyard Burgers: Free burger when you sign up for the eclub.
- Baja Fresh: Free burrito on your birthday when you join Club Baja.
- Barnes and Noble: Free cupcake for kids on their birthdays from the cafes. Must be a member of its kids club. Free to join.
- Benefit: Free brow service on your birthday. Ends December 2013.