Monday, April 30, 2012

Olive Oil for Frizz?

I love listening to people whine about having thin hair. I have thick hair, and it drives me nuts. My hair is not only thick, but it is FRIZZY. On humid days I have trouble fitting through doorways. How can I solve this problem? To the internet! I have read quite a few articles saying that olive oil can be used to magically tame my hyperbole of hair! Could it be true? Could it really be that simple?!
This is what I look like on a normal day. Try to ignore the monkey pajamas. Just try. Right after this picture, I put a metric ton of olive oil in my hair. (Okay, it was actually a half cup, but it felt like a lot.) I warmed it first in the microwave (for about 45 seconds), then rubbed it liberally into my hair. I was slippery, soggy, and smelled DELICIOUS. I also looked like an idiot because I used a plastic bag to cover my hair before wrapping it in a warm towel. (Why make more laundry?)
I rock this look. Anyway, I was supposed to keep it in for 30 minutes, but I was actually able to sit and watch TV without being assaulted by my kids, so I left it in for 45 minutes.After a wash, my hair felt wonderful, and the rest of me felt seriously hungry (45 minutes smelling warm olive oil? It's a triumph that I didn't start licking my hair).
Much better, right? Well, it totally stayed that way...for about two hours after drying. Then it started to puff up again. Sad. Well, at least 24 hours later it is still super shiny.
Pardon the whole no-make-up-feeling-sick look. On a related note, does anyone have any home made cold/bronchitis remedy recipes I can try?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

On being "cheap"

My husband and I disagree. It's as close to a shared hobby as we have. Some couples bowl. We disagree. This time we disagree about the meaning of the meaning of "cheap". My husband is right when he says that this word has a traditionally negative connotation. However, when I refer to myself this way, I am indicating that I am proud to save a buck, and feel pretty clever and self-congratulatory when I do so. I'm not skimping on quality, nor am I going to go insane driving all over town in an attempt to save fifty more sense on a bottle of cough syrup. I am not going to put my desire to do things 'on the cheap' above the needs of my family. I just don't like spending wastefully. As we got into this discussion, he mentioned that I probably mean something more akin to "frugal". This is true, but I have "cheap" in the blog title because EVERY POSSIBLE BLOG TITLE CONTAINING THE WORD FRUGAL WAS TAKEN. Don't believe me? Go Google.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

The Saga of the Table

I spent a lot of time wanting a new kitchen table. I daydreamed about it. (Why yes, it IS sad when you hit your 30's and find yourself daydreaming about a table. Glad you asked.) Our old table was one we got from JC Penney when we were first married. It was a little circular pedestal table that fit four, but had side leaves to drop down to turn it into an adorable cafe table for two. It became shockingly less adorable as our family grew. The kids tried chin-ups on it, making it wobbly. Even a guest or two made eating crowded. More than two made it down right silly. I wanted a nice big table. It would be rectangular. It would fit six comfortably. It would be heavy, and solid, and never wobble. It would have a finished wood top with white legs. It would NOT be a pedestal table. In my head it was magnificent. In reality it was at least five hundred dollars. @#$%^*
One day on Craig's list I found the right table. It was structurally what I wanted, but with an abused top, marker and nail polish splotches, and legs painted a god-awful coral, with sky blue and black showing through the chipped spots. After negotiations, it cost me $90. In other materials, it cost me a $30 sander, $5 of sand paper, $15 of acrylic coating for the top,and a $15 bucket of paint. If I am thinking clearly enough to do math (always questionable), the whole project cost me $165. Through the magic of power tools, I started to rehab it. Working just an hour a day, it took almost two weeks.
Man, I love Craig's list. And power tools. Seriously love me some power tools.

Hey, look! It's a link party!

Spray Cleaner

My kids lick stuff. Everything goes into their mouths, or at the very least on to their hands THEN into their mouths. While using a Clorox spray cleaner on my kitchen table and fending off the toddler of doom with the other hand, I decided that there has to be a better way. TO THE INTERNET! About eleven bazillionty articles are available about making your own spray cleaner. Often these cleaners are based on a mix of white vinegar and water, with any one (or combination) of a number of other stuff thrown in. I experimented, using a very precise methodology of guesswork and luck, and discovered THIS!
I have no idea why it looks cloudy. Maybe it's just swirls of pure magical awesomeness. Who knows. Either way, it is WONDERFUL. It cleaned my jelly and syrup covered table! It cleaned the smears of pudding on the fridge! It cleaned...whatever...that was on the baseboards! It cleans glass without streaking! It even cleaned my toddler once or twice! (Don't judge me). It's not toxic at all! Here's the recipe.
You're welcome.

Sure it's cheap, but is it wise?

I am the mommy of two little boys. My husband and I are teachers. When you add these things together, you get a tight household budget. Being the research-oriented awesome woman that I am, I started looking all over the internet for ways to do things healthier, greener, better, but mainly cheaper. Man, the interwebz sure have a lot of people jabbering on about how incredibly superior their ways of doing stuff are! I have read a lot of articles and blogs with advice on living frugally, including everything from home made laundry soap to extreme couponing. Sure, there are lots of ways to do stuff on the cheap, but are they good ideas? My sister has assured me that her attempts at saving money have often resulted in having to spend "buckets of cash" to undo. I know that I am experimenting by trying these things. I have decided that if I am going to try this stuff, I might as well share the results of these potentially ill-advised experiments. Think of it as Consumer Reports for stuff you find on Pinterest. Maybe you folks can learn from my mistakes. Wish me luck!