shopping tips

Make Sure that Vintage Fits!

Shopping for vintage clothing? Here are some tips on how to make sure that vintage fits:70s red floral pleated wrap dress

Try it on. The best way to make sure that the vintage clothing comfortably fits is by trying it on. Most thrift shops have small fitting areas where customers can try on the clothes. This is why it is recommended to wear tight fitting clothes such as tights, leggings, or tank tops so you can do fittings more conveniently.  Read on…

This post is republished on: The Fashion Cat Diaries

photo: 60s kelly green dress & 70s floral dress by Old Age Vintage

 

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Moving House Tips

Are you moving to another city or State?  If yes, here are some moving house tips for you:

Investigate.  If you plan to get help from a moving company, be ready to do some research.  It’s a good idea to ask friends or relatives if they can recommend a specific company based from experience.  It’s important to understand how much the service would cost you right from the beginning.

Price isn’t everything. Sure you want to compare prices and go with a reasonable one, however, keep in mind that a cheap service isn’t necessarily the best choice.  Some moving companies may offer a low service charge in exchange for a low quality service.  When deciding which company to hire, don’t forget to check the company’s track record or find out what customers have to say about it.

Be organized.  Organization is the key to a less stressful moving experience.  Pack your things according to categories and be sure to label each box correctly.  Make a list of your belongings as you pack them up to make sure that you will not misplace anything.  It is also a good idea to list down the boxes that you plan to unpack first on your new place.
Ask for help.  Moving house can be easier and more fun if you have friends to help out.  Be sure to invite friends or family members at least a week or two in advance so they can have time to organize their schedule.  Write down the specific tasks where you need a hand to avoid confusion, particularly if you will hire a moving company at the same time.
Enjoy the move.  Packing and unpacking things can be a tiresome task but if you take the time to enjoy the process, it can help relieve much of the stress.  Give yourself enough time to pack up to avoid rushing.  Instead of seeing the move as an ordeal, treat as an opportunity for you and your friends to bond together.
Billy.com has more practical moving house tips that you can check out.  The website also offers a tool that can help you find a professional mover in your city.  If you’re moving to CA or moving to San Francisco or if you’re looking for Fresno moving companies, just enter the zip code to get a free quote.
vegetarian pasta grilled pasta and olives

Top 10 Tips to Stretch Your Budget

On a limited budget? You’re not alone. Here are practical tips on how you can stretch that budget to the fullest:

vegetarian pasta grilled eggplant and olives1. Cook your meals. You can save a great deal of money by cooking your meals and preparing packed lunches or snacks you and your family can bring to work or school. Not only will it save you money, you can also assure that the meals are healthy and clean.  (Try this: Vegetarian Pasta: Grilled Eggplant and Olives)

You can also prepare dishes that can last for a week so you can cook a whole pot in advance and save the other half for the succeeding days. When it’s time to serve it, take it out a few hours before meal time to allow it to defrost and then reheat it.

Just make sure that you store them in a sealed container and place it in a freezer. Put a label on the container with a “Best Before” date so you can be sure to serve it at its best. Post a meal plan on your refrigerator door so you’ll know which dishes to serve each day.

2. Buy what’s in season. Fruits and vegetables in season are cheaper so you would want to take advantage of it. Look for different recipes that use what’s abundant in your local market so you don’t have to spend more on produce that are hard to find.

garden.It’s a great idea to grow herbs and vegetables that you often use in your cooking. You can grow them even in pots. Examples are tomatoes, lemon grass, basil, parsley, rosemary, mint, oregano, etc. Growing a garden is not just cost effective, it is also an enjoyable and relaxing hobby.

4. Put it in a jar.You don’t have to spend big bucks on bread spreads as you can make your own sweet preserves like jams and marmalade. Check your local market for fruits that are in season so you can buy in bulk for a low price. Making preserves is easy as you only need to cook the fruits in sugar in a very low heat until reduced. Afterwards, store them in sterilized jars and seal the lids tightly. Put the jars in a cool, dry place. These preserves can last for months and are delicious bread spreads and desert toppings.

5. Go with the basics. When it comes to your wardrobe, you don’t have to spend huge bucks just to stay fashionable. You can go a long way if you have the basic items of clothing. Invest on a good pair of shoes – flats, heels and boots. You can use your flats for casual events, the pair with heels for business or formal functions. A stylish pair of boots is a must for winter and fall.  You’ll also want to invest on a pair of comfortable sneakers for exercising and running errands.

For clothing, basic pieces that you want to start with are: a classic cut of slacks, a pair of jeans, a knee-length skirt, blazer and a little black dress. Go for plain and neutral colors so you can match them with anything and you can wear them frequently without being obvious.

Add colors and spice up your look with the right accessories such as bags, belts, neck tie or scarves in prints and bright hues.

6. Unsubscribe from unnecessary expenses.Check your subscriptions. Do you really need to all those magazines or do they pile up in a corner without being read?  If you need information, you can easily search the internet and print as you need it.

Are you subscribed to a more expensive cable plan when the only time you get to watch television is when you get home in the evenings? Maybe you can cancel out or subscribe to a lower plan.  Or may you’ve just been subscribed to a service for a long time that you never bothered to cancel.

7. Buy in bulk.This is obvious as wholesalers sell goods at a lesser price. Just be wise when you purchase items in bulk. Make sure the products will not expire for at least within the year. You’ll also want to keep stock only items that are important and that you use frequently. Otherwise, you may only be spending more on unnecessary things. Items such as detergents, soap bars, dish washers, dish sponges, toothbrush, toothpaste, and the like are great wholesale buys.

8. Use coupons. Don’t underestimate the value of coupons. You can find them from magazines or from online coupon sites.  Choose from a list of merchants and print out the ones you need. Coupons.com is a site that offers free printable coupons for  grocery items and other products and services.

*Tip: Double your savings by using coupons on items that are already on sale.
Warning: Don’t sacrifice quality for savings. Make sure that it’s something worth buying. Don’t forget to check the expiration date before you bring it home.

9. Learn DIY skills. Stretch your budget even more by learning basic skills so you don’t need to hire a handyman all the time. For instance, learning basic PC troubleshooting, sewing, or painting can cost you hundreds of dollars in a year.
10. Turn it off. Don’t take for granted what you can save from your electricity bills. Turn off lights and electrical devices when not in use. Unplug your TV and computer from the power source if you’re not going to use it for long hours.   The few cents you save from your energy consumption each day can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a year.
photo:

Budget-Friendly Bathroom Renovation Tips

Divide your space.  Use a shower enclosure to create a division, maximize a small bathroom space and keep the floor dry at all times.
Choose good lighting.  Shower lights and wall sconces are great.  Installing the right lighting fixtures is cheap way to recreate your bathroom.

Paint it up. Repaint the walls and ceilings of your bathroom to give it a fresh, clean look.  Light and neutral colors are perfect especially for smaller spaces.

Accessorize.  Replace old and rusty shower knob, faucet, and hinges to give your bathroom a new look.
Mirror, mirror on the wall.  An elegant mirror can make an instant difference in a bathroom.   You can buy a minimalist mirror straight from a home furnishing shop.  Or buy a frameless mirror from a hardware store and find an old frame from flea markets that you can use to create your own DIY bathroom mirror.

Squeeky clean.  Bring out your toilet cleaner, bathroom cleaner, and brush.   Get ready to eliminate molds, mildew, germs and dirt from the walls, floors, and ceiling.

Decorate your bathing space.  Place one or two framed paintings on the wall.  Add a non-slippery foot rug with a great design.  Place a vase of flower or scented candles on top of the vanity cabinet.

Do’s and Dont’s of Regifting

In response to the recent economic slump, people are finding more creative ways (buying online, debt consolidation, credit counseling) to save money, stretch their budget, and avoid bad credit.  What about re-gifting?

Have you thought of “re-gifting” a gift that was given to you?  Maybe it’s something that does not really suit your style or something that you already received twice, will you “regift” if you were tight on the budget?

I haven’t tried re-gifting but I wouldn’t mind being given a “regift” as long as the person giving it to me gave it lots of thoughts to make sure that I will like it, and has given the extra effort to wrap it nicely and with love.

Consider these do’s and don’ts of re-gifting:

Don’t mention it.  The other person does not need to know it.

Don’t re-gift a used item.  It doesn’t matter if you have only used it or worn it once.  If you want to give someone something that you already used, then don’t disguise it as a gift.

Don’t make it obvious.  Some things must never be re-gifted – items that are undeniably unwanted, cheap, old (has been in your closet for a  year) or obsolete.

Remember who gave it.  Make sure that you are not giving it to the person who gave it to you.  Also, make sure that you will not give it to someone who KNOWS the person who gave it to you.

Wrap it nice.  Please don’t use the old box or wrapping paper even if it still looks new.

Re-gift something of value.  A bottle of champagne for instance will always be a welcome gift even though it has been sitting on someone else’s bar for years.

Make sure that the next person will like it.  If you want to regift, see to it that the person you will give it to will sincerely like it, if not love it.

Top Fashion Trend for the Skiing Holidays

Skiing holidays is almost here and fashion designers are gearing up in time for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games (to be held in Vancouver).   Top trend forecast for skiers include longer and baggier jackets, zippers, plaids, and of course loud colors.
And just because you are not an athlete or a skier doesn’t mean you can’t follow the trend.  Ski jackets is a must to beat the cold weather in style and Ralph Lauren has a really cool ski gear collection such as the Racer Jacket in red, blue, black and yellow.
 
Marks and Spencer introduces a breatheable vest that uses the Merino wool thermal base layer system.  This natural elastic wool is odour- and perspiration-resistant and offers mobility and comfort.

Don’t forget these essential gears:  wool sweater, turtleneck, ski socks, thermal ong johns, neckwarmer, gloves, wool hat, boots and goggles.  Before buying your gear, make sure that you are comfortable to wear it and that it can provide you with sufficient warmth and protection on the slopes.

Sports apparel and gear that are made out of eco-friendly materials are also in for 2010.  From boots to ski suits, choose the ones that are environmentally-friendly and you’ll never go wrong.

6 Savvy Ways to Save Money From Your Next Online Purchase

This post is now published on: The Fashion Cat Diaries

Shopping online is said to be the “cheaper” way to shop. Here are 6 tips so you can save even more from your next online purchase:

Use vouchers and coupons. There are websites give away vouchers and coupons you can use at different shops online. Enjoy great savings simply entering the discount code on your check out.

Use the correct code. To avail of the discount, you will be required to type in the exact code indicated in the coupon or voucher before you check out. A code can be a combination of numbers and letters so be sure that you will be entering the right characters. Also, discounts do expire so don’t forget to check the Expiration Date to make sure that it’s valid.  Read on. . .