Moving Hacks

Moving isn't fun. It's a lot of work, time consuming, expensive, borderline dangerous, and very stressful. However, the internet is a powerful place full of great (and terrible) ideas, and suggestions to make this process smoother, easier, and a lot less of a headache.

(olympicmovers)

Top 10 Moving Hacks

10. Prep.

There's no such thing as being too prepared. Consider what you can do to make your transition easier. If you can, clean your new bathroom(s) and kitchen before moving in. That way they are ready to use by the time all of your stuff arrives to make it dirty again--but at least it's you that's making it dirty. Prep meals and food. When you're moving, you're not going to throw things away that you can still use. If you have canned items, or food that you want to bring with you that can withstand the move, pack it! For your first couple of weeks living in your new place, you might be taking some time to settle in. Make ahead some meals you can stash in the refrigerator or freezer. Moving in, but haven't got a fridge yet? Make sure you are stocked with snacks and food items that you can eat without all of the bells and whistles. Sometimes PB & J is the best kind of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Don't feel obligated to take every single thing you have ever owned in your life with you. Sometimes you don't need four hair dryers, or seven pairs of jeans you haven't worn since 2012. When you're packing up your stuff, make a pile/box designated for donation or sale. This way, you thin out what needs to be moved, and you might be able to make some money in the process. Last, but certainly not least, CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS. Do your change of address on all of the important stuff (post office, bank, etc.) at least one week before you move, that way you're not scrambling for it once you have already moved in. Also, if you're moving out of state, having as much mail as possible with your address on it will make your life easier when it comes to getting a new ID and driver's license. 

9. Reuse. Recycle. Repurpose.

When it comes to packing, consider what you are packing your stuff up in and with. Do you really want to go to Home Depot and spend $40 on boxes and packing peanuts? Probably not. Check around your place for boxes first, and then you can check out grocery stores, and other retailers for gently used boxes that they were just going to throw away anyway. When it comes to packing filler, old magazines, papers, and junk mail work wonders. Even if you don't have any, your friends and family do! Have super important valuables? Wrap them up with clothes you are packing to keep them safe and concealed. Utilize suitcases for moving your heavy items--they have wheels! You really can use anything as a box if you put your mind to it.

8. Label everything.

Come up with a system that works for you and utilize it. If you are going to write the name of the room on your boxes, make sure to do it on the side of the box, not on the top so that when you stack the boxes you can still see the labels. You can also come up with a color coding system, sectioning them off a certain way when you pack the boxes into the moving vehicle, etc. Figure out what works the best for you, and do it!

(IG: majorlmove)

7. Keep your plugs with your electronics.

Don't have a box just for wires. You'll never be able to find the HDMI cable for your television ever again. When you are packing up your electronics, make sure you pack them up with the wires--or again, find a labeling system.

(storageandglee)

6. Pack a "Must Have Box", and keep it with you.

I recently moved back to Los Angeles to start my big girl, adult life. I was without my belongings for the first five days of being in town--and it was awfully annoying. I moved out on Friday, started my new job on Monday, and I didn't have any of my stuff--clothes, hair brushes, make up, perfume, etc--until THURSDAY when FedEx finally decided to get my two day shipping to town (shipped the previous Monday btw). I had to buy a lot of stuff at Target over the weekend that I knew was going to be arriving at the house soon, but had no choice because I was in such a rush and I didn't think ahead. Don't put yourself in this situation. It's such a waste of money, energy and stress. Make sure you pack a box or a bag of stuff that you can use the first week that you move just in case. What is it that you need on a daily basis? Make sure you have it with you and keep it with you. If your stuff gets delayed in the move, or the boxes get moved in, but you just don't have time to unpack immediately, at least you still have all of your essentials for your first week. Even after my stuff arrived, I didn't get to touch any of it until Saturday because of work. BE READY.

5. Research.

I know this could probably fall into the "prep" section, but there's so much that goes into research that I wanted to give it its own number on the list. Research is important. There's a ton of research that you can do in order to prepare yourself for your move, or right after your move to help you settle in--so do it. It's maybe a half hour of your life on your computer that you're spending on Buzzfeed anyway, so make it useful. Research other moving hacks and tips. Find out what kind of apps you can utilize to help with the move. Research your new neighborhood. Find a new route to work from your new place that works the best for you. Research new furniture, DIY projects, etc. Make your house/apartment/hovel a home. Check out these links for other moving hacks:
Top 50 Moving Hacks and Tips: Ideas to Make Your Move Easier
Top 50 Moving Hacks of All Time
24 Ingenious Moving Hacks That Make Packing Painless
20 Smart Tips to Make Moving a Breeze

4. Schedule your actual "move in day."

Schedule out the moving in. Start the day at 8am with packing up the transport vehicles (or do this the night before), arrive at the moving site at 9am, 9:15am designate boxes to specific rooms, 10:00am break for breakfast, 11:00am unpack kitchen and bathroom, 1:00pm break for lunch, etc. Make sure you stock up on water bottles and little, easy snacks to keep yourself fueled for a day of lifting, moving, organizing and yelling.

(clutterinterrupted)

3. Rent the damn moving van/truck.

Yes, it goes against everything a "hacks" list stands for by telling you to spend money on something, but at the end of the day this will save you so much time, money, and aggravation. If you're not moving a lot of stuff and you happen to own a large enough vehicle, awesome. However, if you're moving a house load's worth of stuff, just rent the truck and make one trip. This is so much easier than making multiple trips, risking things being broken, and making the drive a lot more dangerous by making your car one big blindspot full of laundry and your favorite lamp.

(MatthewJJackson, flickr)

2. Use any hack you can to make sure you don't get locked out.

Whether it's the old rubber band around the doorknob hack, keeping your keys on a lanyard around your neck, or making sure there is always someone inside of the house during the move, just make sure you don't get locked out. 

(awesomeinventions)

1. Assemble a task force of capable pals. 

Don't move alone if you can help it. Start contacting people a couple of weeks in advance for help. No one wants to help anyone move--no one wants to move themselves, but at the end of the day you have family and friends that will be willing to help in any capacity. Assemble your team. Prepare. Come up with a plan. And move!

(newgenerationmovers)

Spring Cleaning Do's and Don'ts

It's spring time! Spring is the season of transition. It's time to get tidy, healthy, and ready for summer. The weather is improving, the birds are chirping, and it's time to get CLEANING.

When it comes to Spring Cleaning, it's not just about your living space (home, apartment, bedroom, etc.), but it's an opportunity to make some changes in your living as well to "clean yourself up a bit." Let's break Spring Cleaning down to three major areas:

The Home

The home is literally your home. Whether you live in a house, apartment, dorm or whatever you find yourself sleeping and eating in these days, this is your opportunity to spruce the place up.

The Tech

Believe it or not, your tech gets just as dirty and unmanageable as your closet or toilet bowl can. Clean out your computer, phone, and other tech spaces in order to keep your devices safe, secure, and working properly.

The You

Time to reflect on yourself. I'm not one for believing in any kind of self help or new age-y crap, but at the end of the day it can be good to do some self sprucing. Whether it's setting fitness goals, changing up your diet, learning a new skill, etc, give yourself the chance to cleanse yourself for a season of opportunities.

The Home

DO: Come up with a game plan.
It's important to know what you want to get done and what you need to get done. Cleaning can get crazy pretty fast. Come up with a plan for what you need to do. For example, you can break up the cleaning by room, or by specific tasks that you want to get done.

DON'T: Go overboard.
I know there shouldn't be such a thing as "too clean," but there is a line that should be drawn in the muck. Sometimes people can overwhelm themselves with cleaning tasks, or perhaps even clean things that didn't need cleaning (which can get costly if you end up breaking the thing by accident. Don't try to get it all done at once. Pace yourself.

DO: Change out air filters.
During the winter, air filters can get pretty gunked up. This is a good time to give them a good cleaning/replacing. You don't need to do this on a monthly basis contrary to popular belief. It should be a seasonal task, bi-monthly at the most.

DON'T: Clean when you feel like it.
Nobody wants to clean. No one wakes up in the morning, "Ahhh, you know what I'm going to do? Vacuum, clean the gutters, scrub the baseboards and then for a treat clean out and scrub the fridge!" However, if you hold yourself accountable to a set time and date, there's a higher chance you will get the cleaning done. If you pace yourself for a month of spring cleaning, set every Saturday as a cleaning day with a specific section of the house. You'll get it done.

DO: Yard Sale, Let-Go, auction, etc.
Most of the stuff cluttering up your home can't just be Windexed or wiped or swept away--it's actually stuff. However, some of that stuff has value, so make some money back with your cleaning! Host a yard sale, post on selling apps such as Let-Go, or bring your stuff to auction. If you don't feel like selling stuff, or if you have stuff you can't seem to get rid of, drop the items off at your local Goodwill. Not only will you be cleaning house, but you're not being wasteful--and you might make some money too, which is always rad.

DON'T: Use too much cleaning product.
You'd think this one would be a no brainer, but more often than not people use way too much cleaning product when trying to get the job done. Utilize and make the most out of your cleaning products.

DO: Read the cleaning products label, and use the correct product for the job.
Please don't use Pledge to clean your windows. Figure out the products that are best for you, and are best for the job at hand.

DON'T: Mop/Swiffer the floor before you vacuum it.
Again, you'd think this would be a given, but many people--including myself, I'm sad to admit--in an attempt to just get it done, try and skip the initial step. Vacuuming and sweeping/dusting the floor is crucial to the success of a clean floor. If you try to mop/swiffer initially, then you're going to run into the annoying problem of having wet, gross dust and muck all over the floor.

DO: Clean where your food is!
Pantry, bread drawer, cereal cabinet, spice cabinet, refrigerator give them all a cleaning. Throw food out that's expired. Wipe shelves down.

DON'T: Forget the overlooked spots of your house.
It's a given that you're going to scrub down your toilet, and vacuum the rugs, but what parts of the house do you normally look over when it comes to cleaning? Baseboards, walls, door frames, etc.

The Tech

DO: Buy back ups.
Before you start cleaning out your tech, make sure that you have a hardrive or a couple of USB thumbdrives to store information on. When you're cleaning out your computer, you probably don't need your tax files from 2009 on your computer, but having them on a special drive you can store in a safe, allows you to always have the information, without it taking up any room on your computer. Back everything up!

DON'T: Download apps you don't need.

DO: Uninstall programs that you don't use.

DON'T: Forget other tech tune ups.
Don't forget there's a lot more tech in your life than there has been before. Make sure all of the tech in your life is up to date and speed from your phone to your washing machine to your cable box.

DO: Update your tech.
Update your laptop, phone, etc. If it has an operating system that needs an update, update it!

The You

DO: Set goals.
Set goals for yourself. It'll keep you motivated, and in a constant state of improvement.

DON'T: Try to change yourself.
There's a difference between trying to be more positive, and completely altering your personality in order to fit what a specific set of people would consider you being more positive would be. Think of ways to improve yourself, not change.

DO: Journal.
Write down what you want to improve, or what's happening in your life. It's interesting to see how you are prioritizing or spending your time. It also allows you to work through stuff much easier, and with more of a plan because you have to work through it on paper.

DON'T: Give up.
You can do this.

Happy Spring!

(pinterest)

 

 

 

DIY Do's and Don'ts

Let's face it, you probably have a Pinterest board full of fun DIY projects that you want to tackle in 2017. Here are some important Do It Yourself Do's and Don'ts that you should know about before you take on any type of project: home improvement, gifts, wedding, etc.

DO: Research your project.

It always looks easier than it really is. Make sure you do the research your project requires. Know the in's and out's of the project from the project itself, to the space in which you are doing the project. Make sure you know everything you need to know before you get started, and that you have the resources you need just in case if you need more information in the middle of the project.

DON'T: Spend more money on a DIY hack than the original thing.

It is absolutely amazing how expensive Do It Yourself projects can be. Once you buy all of the supplies, and put all of the time into it, you could have just saved yourself a nice chunk of change and a headache if you had just bought the thing. For example, if you want to make a mason jar chandelier--it's going to cost you around $100 and you have to figure out the electrical work. Or you could drop $49.99 at Target.com for one that is already put together.

DO: Make mistakes in order to learn from them.

I can see how this is kind of counterintuitive, but it's important. Sometimes you need to screw up and do a "don't" in order to learn how to never do it again. When you make mistakes, learn from them. It's really the only way to get better at something.

DON'T: Take on a project that you're not qualified for.

There's a difference between making a mistake and using the wrong kind of glue, and electrocuting yourself because you decided to do the electrical in your DIY kitchen remodel instead of getting a professional to do it. There are parts of certain do it yourself projects that unfortunately, you cannot do yourself--so don't attempt to.

DO: Get all of the right measurements...twice.

If you're doing a fabric project, make sure you know EXACTLY what you need. Never cut fabric unless you have laid it over whatever it is you might be doing upholstery for, or if you know exactly what the measurements have to be. When you are cutting--it's always better to leave a little more on, than take too much off.

DON'T: Close the glue bottle until you know you are done with the glue.

Fun fact, when you screw the cap closed on a glue bottle, all of the glue gets sucked into the cap. This is what causes bottles to clog up. Keep the bottle open until you are sure you are done the project to prevent clogs!

DO: Cover an area to designate to paint.

Whether you are hand painting or spray painting, it's a good idea to have a designated spot for it. If you're covering the area in newspaper, be mindful to tape the paper down for it might blow away during a spray paint session, or use blue painter's tape.

DON'T: Keep a stencil on for too long.

When you are painting, don't forget to remove the stencil as soon as you are done--or else the stencil will get stuck to your project!

DO: Work with people on projects.

Find people that are also interested in DIY projects, or perhaps do a DIY project with a friend, family member or a significant other. Sometimes it can be not only fun to work with someone, but helpful.

DON'T: Panic.

People do DIY projects for plenty of reasons: being creative, financial restrictions, aesthetic, for fun, etc. However, no matter what your reason for doing it yourself, you shouldn't panic. Every project has its problems, but you will figure out how to make it a success. You have plenty of tools and resources available to you no matter what.

Snack Like A Southerner: Hasselback Tomato Caprese

Hasselback Tomato Caprese from tablespoon.com
(tablespoon)

Ingredients:
4 Roma tomatoes
1 pre-sliced log of mozzarella cheese
10 large basil leaves, cut up
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1tbsp olive oil
1 pinch coarse salt
1 pinch pepper

Step One:
Slice tomatoes, but not all of the way through.

Step Two:
Slice the mozzarella discs in half in order to fit them into the tomato slits. Stick the mozzarella into the slits of the tomatoes.

Step Three:
Layer a piece of basil with each mozzarella slice.

Step Four:
On the stove, bring the vinegar to a boil until it becomes thick (about four minutes). Drizzle the vinegar and olive oil over the tomatoes. Top with salt and pepper.

Thanksgiving for One, Two and Across the Miles

Ah the holidays. They're the best for a lot of reasons: family, celebration, great food, gifts, decorations, light heartedness, and an excuse to have endless amounts of fun. However, the holidays can be a bit of a pain. They're expensive, sometimes complicated, and some people don't like their families, or can't be with them during the holidays. No matter what gravy boat you seem to find yourself in, this is a little tutorial guide as to how you can celebrate Thanksgiving all by yourself, with one special someone, or when you're far away from your family.

-Utilize allrecipe's serving size function.

(allrecipes)

This allows you to adjust recipes to fit the serving size you want! It's such a pain to follow and shop for a recipe that will make enough to feed a small village, when you really only need enough for yourself.

-Surf the internet for perfect recipes that fit your taste (and budget).

Make sure you cover all your bases from Pinterest to Buzzfeed for fun ideas for recipes from turkey, stuffing, desserts to drinks. Personalizing your dinner will be key to making cooking worth it.

-Just buy it.

Seriously. Just buy the food at your local grocery store or restaurant. If you're doing dinner for one or two, don't sweat the details too much. Buy a dinner that you know you will enjoy gorging yourself with. A rotisserie chicken from the grocery store and some instant mashed potatoes, and a premade pie from the bakery. Boom!

-Share and swap traditions and recipes

If you and your SO or best friend or roommate are spending the holiday just the two of you; or you're traveling and will be away from your family, trade recipes and traditions. This will allow for a touch of familiarity at your little dinner and make you and your dining partner feel at home.

-Make lists

Lists are incredibly important. List everything out to make life easier. Start with a menu. What do you want at your dinner? (Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, vegetables, pie, etc.) When you're done making that list, consult (parents, dining partner, the internet) for which items to scrap, improve, or hack for an easier and yummier dinner. Make a shopping list! Grocery stores are absolute hell holes the last two weeks of November. Please be careful and plan accordingly. Finally, make a list of how you want the day to play out in order to keep yourself on schedule.

-Keep it simple.

Keep everything as simple as possible. Last year I had my first Thanksgiving on my own. My fiancé and I had just started living together and we were across the country from both of our families. We kept the budget at $50 and dishes to a minimum (both food and clean up wise). Make things disposable. The clean up was super easy because all we had to do was throw stuff out--much easier to clean up on a full stomach when all the clean up is is garbage!

-Take lots of photos

Document the day to share with the family and friends you won't get to see this year.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! 

DIY: Fall Mason Jars

Fall Mason Jar Display
(sincerelyjean)

Step One:
Gather your materials-
-Four mason jars of the same size
-White and brown acrylic paint
-Foam paint brush
-Twine
-Vinyl letters
-Sandpaper
-"Wheat"

Step Two: "Paint the front of the jars brown and let them dry completely."

Step Three: "Place the vinyl letters over the brown paint. " 

fall rustic mason jars(sincerelyjean)

Step Four: "Paint the entire outside of the jars white using the the acrylic or chalk paint and let them dry completely."

fall rustic mason jars(sincerelyjean)

Step Five: "Peel off the vinyl letters."

Step Six: "Use sandpaper to sand evenly around the entire jar.  This is what gives the jars that rustic look." 

Step Seven: "Tie the twine around the top of the jar with a knot."

Step Eight: "Place the wheat inside.  We used 13-15 stalks per jar."

 

This super awesome project is brought to you by sincerelyjean! 

DIY: Leather Hair Clips

Leather Hair Clips
(beautifulness)

Step One:
Gather your materials-
-Leather (faux leather or vinyl works too)
-Ruler
-Scissors
-Base clip
-Hot glue or Tacky Glue

(abeautifulmess)
Step Two: "Cut a rectangle of leather that is two inches tall and three inches wide."

Step Three: "Cut another thin strip of leather that will serve as the middle of your bow and set aside."

Step Four: "Accordion fold the leather rectangle lengthwise so that you have two folds showing on the front of your bow, and use the thin leather strip and Tacky Glue to secure the middle of the bow tightly in place."

Step Five: "Glue the bow on to your base, and you’re done!"

September 09, 2016 by Lexx Fusco

A Season of Challenges

Summer is coming to a close. It's pretty much over. Pack up your beach towels, sunscreen and bikinis; and trade them in for cardigans, pumpkin spice practically everything, and feeling the pressure of the holidays. 

However, now that this new season is upon us, there is time for change and improvement! Here is a list of challenges to try this fall to better yourself, health, wardrobe, relationships, budget, etc.

Prepared Meals For A Month

Okay, so I know I'm not alone in this, but I find myself on campus getting a Diet Dr. Pepper and a bag of Cheddar Chex Mix nearly every day. Now, in Philly, that costs $6.00. $6.00 a day x 5 days = $42 that a broke college student like myself can't actually afford to spend. Plus, let's be honest, a diet consisting solely of 30th Street Station snacks is not exactly good one. 
Goal: Create healthier eating habits, budget money
Rules: For the entire month, all meals and snacks will be prepped at home, no food will be purchased outside of the two designated shopping days in the month. The two shopping trips will not exceed $100 each--creating a $200 food budget. These prepared meals can be anything from frozen prepped meals, to salads, to simple snacks. Here's a Pinterest board I created: Prepped Food Challenge with recipes, prep tips, and more.

The Get and Give

You probably have a lot of clothes that you don't wear, like, or still have the tags on but lost the receipt for. That's fine, but there are clothes that you will want to buy this fall, and you'll definitely get more around the holidays. So here's a solution to do some good with those old clothes, while rewarding yourself with something more than just good will.
Goal: Clear out and organize clothes, give back to the community 
Rules: Go to your closet, the stack of boxes in the basement full of clothes you haven't seen since the eighth grade, the garage, wherever you have clothes and go through it. For every ten articles of clothing you can donate, equals one article of clothing you can purchase on a shopping spree. You can donate clothes to clothing drives, Goodwill, Salvation Army, consignment shops, yard sale, and even shop your clothes to your friends and family members.

Fall Photo Challenge

Photos are fun and creative. Taking photos can be fun and creative as well. Doing creative projects is actually helpful in continuing to be productive. Some of the worst procrastination you can find yourself doing is unproductive, but if you procrastinate something important, with something productive, you are more likely to continue being productive and get things done.
Goal: be creative, share photos and ideas with people
Rules: Find a photo challenge list, write a photo challenge list, etc. Start as soon as you can. Take photos on your phone, with your camera, even draw if you want to. Share the photo that day, and pass the challenge onto someone else. At the end of the designated time (Depending on personal preference or challenge selected) you will have a whole bunch of amazing photos and experiences.

31 Days of Halloween

This is another fun creative idea. This challenge allows you to get your spook on as well as help someone else spread his or her creative wings. 
Goal: Complete 31 writing pieces, get someone else to complete 31 writing pieces, improve as a storyteller/writer
Rules: From October 1st and ending on November 1st, you and a partner will write scary stories based off of prompts you give one another. You will give the prompt on one day, both you and your partner will write that prompt. Then the next day, your partner will come up with the prompt. After the day is over, you swap the stories that night and give each other feedback. You set up parameters, word/page counts, story mediums, etc. 

Days of DIY

Do you have things in your house or apartment that could use some fixing up, sprucing up or simply you just want something new in your place? Probably. Well, Pinterest projects are really pretty and everyone wants to be as great as those projects, but sometimes they are more expensive than just buying the thing you want to DIY, and they can end up a disaster. Attack projects you need to do and know that you can do, as well as give yourself a challenge!
Goal: complete at least 10 DIY projects, stay under budget, try something new
Rules: This is a weekly challenge. Find at least 10 DIY projects that you can do--either online or basic projects around your house you know you need done. Create a budget for your projects--try not to go over $100 for your 10 week budget. Don't forget to ask for help! Keep a calendar so you know when you need to get stuff done by.

Rainy Day Fund

Have a major issue saving money? Same. This challenge is super simple and a challenge that you can do for however long you want. You can even set a goal in mind, or an end date. You can create a fund for something specific as well.
Goal: save money, raise money, budget money
Rules: At the beginning of the month, write down how much money you have in your account. Budget the money for the month (groceries, bills, gas, fun). Then take is a step further and budget that money for daily use. Use cash. Any change you get from these interactions (coins), put away in a rainy day fund.

Try Something New

Goal: trying new things
Rules: Try something new every day. It can be something small or big, but try something new. If you think the new thing was positive, write down it was positive. If it wasn't all that and a bag of chips, mark it with an X. At the end of the month, look at your calendar and see if trying new things was a positive experience for you.

Fall Fit Fun

Exercising is hard and it's not fun for a lot of people. The biggest challenge for people when it comes to exercising is keeping at it. So, here's a challenge that makes it simple and you'll hopefully feel like you're accomplishing a goal.
Goals: feel healthier, exercise, find a routine
Rules: Get a calendar for the month you want to do the challenge. Label every day with an exercise. Do that exercise. Mark off the days as you go along. See if you can challenge yourself further as the month goes on, but as long as you complete your daily goal, you have accomplished something. Now, here's where the "for everyone and anyone" part comes into play. These fitness goals can be in tandem with exercises. For example, take the stairs everywhere. Exercises can be crunches, push ups, running up and down the stairs, walking around with bags of flour on your shoulders, etc. Get fit when you can, however you can.

Replace and Refresh

New is never a good thing for me unless it's a new episode of Elementary on CBS. However, I have found copycat recipes, and even replacements for some of my favorite foods and activities have helped me be healthier and more productive.
Goal: create healthier habits, find alternatives for habits.
Rules: Make a list of 50-100 things that you eat all of the time, or habits that you do a lot that you can cut down on by sharing that with something else. For example, instead of rice and pasta, try quinoa and cauliflower. Or instead of writing on the computer, write in a notebook. Instead of watching TV, spend an hour reading or walking. Wheat bread for your grilled cheese instead of wheat bread. Sleep with just a sheet instead of blasting the AC. Work at the kitchen table instead of in bed.

SMILE

Your dentist will lose it after this month's challenge. This challenge is for dental health. Now, this might sound odd to some people--but not everyone flosses. This is a fact. This will help improve your smile.
Goal: improve dental health, boost confidence when smiling
Rules: Brush your teeth twice a day. Floss twice a day. Whiten your teeth using an at home kit. Take a photo every day of your smile and see if these habits improve your smile at the end of the 30 days.

Check out these other challenges for more inspirations and ideas!
52 Fun Things: Try a New One Each Week of the Year
100 30 Day Challenges Ideas
30 Day Challenge Ideas to Turn Your Life Around
30 Challenges for 30 Days

 

Blushing Belle: Top 10 Wedding on a Budget Tips

Weddings are incredibly special, beautiful, fun, tedious and EXPENSIVE. It's your special day, and a fairy tale moment. So, how can you have your perfect wedding without breaking the bank? Here are a few tips that will hopefully help soften the budget!

1. DIY

You can spend 12 minutes on Pinterest and find hundreds of amazing DIY ideas from wedding decor, invitations, recipes, recycling, etc. Doing projects yourself instead of shelling out the cash for wedding favors, decorations or what have you, it can be much cheaper to buy supplies in bulk in order to craft the items yourself. This not only is fiscally responsible, but it really adds a personal touch to your special day.
(buzzfeed
Invest in a Cricut. Seriously. These things are magical and can do ANYTHING. You can do all of your decorations, thank you cards, invitations, name cards and more with this device. 

2. Write up a budget. Start planning early. 

After you're done replying to all of the Facebook comments, texts and carrier pigeons sending congratulations on the engagement, start planning. When it comes to your budget (I recommend Microsoft Excel, but I'm a nerd. There are a ton of apps you can use specifically for wedding costs if you're more into that!), outline your dream wedding first. If you could have everything you wanted from guests to cake to decorations to location, what is that you want and what is it that you're looking for? After you get that out of your system, start downsizing to realistic expectations. After that, decide on the number that you would wish to spend (we'll go with $5,000-$10,000.) Once that number has been selected, assign an amount to an item (for example: $2,500 to venue, $1,000 to dress, $1,500 to bridesmaid dresses, $2,000 food and drink, etc.) Keep track of your spending and prioritize. Also, the earlier you start the easier it is to book cheaper venues and other things.
Wedding Cost Estimator
(swankywedding) 

3. Something borrowed.

Whether you can rifle around in your grandma's attic or a Goodwill, sometimes borrowed is better. You can recycle anything from dresses, jewelry, or decorations. Save on costs by seeing what you already have available to you.
(weddinglovely)
(weddingtonway) 

4. Shop online.

Shop online for deals, sales, and items you may not be able to find in stores. Shameless plug here, but Redneck Couture has beautiful, handmade jewelry for brides and bridesmaids that won't take a massive chunk out of your budget and shipping is FREE. They make for excellent accessories for the bridal party or for a gift!

Recycle Your Wedding 
29 Places to Shop for Your Wedding Online

5. Printables!

Some people make it their duty in life to create fantastic printables for any and every occasion from place mats, name tags, invitations, to activities, game boards and more! Printables can range from being free to $3.00, but are worth it instead of blowing hundreds of dollars on invitations, thank you cards and other stationary and decoration needs.
(everythingetsy)
31 Free Wedding Printables

6. Bridesmaids and Groomsmen get to dress themselves.

Spending money on bridesmaids' dresses and suits for the groomsmen can be stressful for anyone that's spending money on it. Select a color that you're into and instruct your bridal party to get a dress of any kind in that color. That way they can spend whatever they want on a bridesmaid dress and it won't cost you a dime. You can perhaps invest in an accessory that unifies all of the bridesmaids (perhaps Boot Bling, necklaces, little clutches, a DIY piece of jewelry, etc.), but ultimately you can let them select and worry about their own outfits. 
(pinterest)
(chicvintagebrides)
4 Things to Remember If You Let Your Bridesmaids Pick Their Own Dresses
Why Letting Your Bridesmaids Pick Their Own Dresses Can Work
3 Things You Can Let Your Bridesmaids Choose

7. Non traditional gifts.

"Thanks for the solar powered shower head, Aunt Deborah!" said no one ever. Going the traditional wedding registry route is a good idea (get everyone else to buy you dishes, kitchen appliances and that fancy quilt from Bed, Bath and Beyond); however, sometimes people will try to get you something similar to the things you ask for and you end up with stuff you don't need or already have. Asking for help with wedding costs, or sometimes just cold hard cash money may be a nice alternative to consider.
(sheahomes

8. Food and Drink.

Explore and keep your options open. Almost all budgets take the biggest hits when it comes to venues and the food and drink options. Buffets are a nice way to save on food costs. Making your own appetizers are a good idea as well, for most places gouge for that. Come up with a signature drink for the bar instead of having an expensive open bar. You can also do a BYOB or pot luck wedding.
(ashleysbrideguide) 

9. Plan for the honeymoon in advanced.

Start a honeymoon fund (a jar in the kitchen or perhaps even a honeyfund) or invest in a credit card to use for all of your wedding costs that can reward you with miles or rewards for travel such as car rentals, resorts, hotels, etc.
(forevermoreevents)

10. Ask for help.

Whether you want to hire an expert (most of which will try his/her best to save you as much money as possible so that you can pay him/her more), ask Mom/Dad, your best friend, or even just the internet. Seek out help for costs, funds, money, ideas, and ways to make your wedding planning easier or less stressful. Take all of the time you need. 
26 Ways to Save on Your Dream Wedding
Cheap Wedding Ideas
21 Clever Tricks to Make Any Wedding So Much Easier
47 Ways to Have an Almost Free Wedding
17 Useful Wedding Cheat Sheets


 

 

Summer Wishlist 2016

Here are some rad activities, goals, foods, and ideas to add to your Summer Wishlist for 2016. 

ACTIVITIES:

  • Blow bubbles
  • Swim in a pool, lake, ocean or river
  • Catch fireflies
  • Shopping trip (treat yo' self!)
  • Dine at a fancy restaurant
  • See three movies in theaters
  • Water gun or water balloon fight
  • Jump rope
  • Play with sidewalk chalk (the possibilities are endless)
  • Construct a blanket fort
  • Shoot at the local gun range
  • Tailgate
  • Tubing
  • Picnic
  • Stargaze
  • Fishing
  • Camping
  • Horseback riding
  • Watch the sunset
  • DIY projects
  • Fruit picking
  • Tanning
  • Mudding
  • Hammock naps
  • Mini-Golfing
  • Get a new tattoo or piercing
  • Make a playlist for any summer occasion (summer jams, workout, party, etc.)
  • Watch a parade
  • Learn something new!
  • Do something creative every day (art project, write, etc.)
  • Go for a run
  • Take lots of pictures (go on an adventure, vacation, come up with a photo set, etc.)
  • Break in your new boots (go line dancing!)
  • Build a sand castle
  • Enjoy the sunrise and sunset
  • Hiking
  • Volunteer
  • Adopt a pet
  • Decorate your house/apartment/room
  • Travel
  • Summer clean up (clean out your car, house, closet, laptop, etc and start fresh!)
  • Host a Yard Sale
  • Canoeing or kayaking
  • Get a full makeover (hair cut, makeup, new sexy outfit, etc.)
  • Bonfire
  • Plant a garden (flowers, veggies, fruits, etc.)
  • Make a new friend
  • Write a letter
  • Rollerblade or rollerskate
  • Go down a Zip-Line
  • Host a party
  • Explore a town/city
  • Slip 'n' Slide
  • Play boardgames
  • Ride a roller coaster
  • Roadtrip
  • Try new food (eat, drink and be merry!)
  • Cook/Bake
  • Random acts of kindness
  • Visit an old friend/family members you haven't seen in a while
DESTINATIONS:
  • Beach
  • Boardwalk
  • Zoo
  • Aquarium
  • Parks (local, state, national)
  • A city you've always dreamed of going to (New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Nashville, Austin, Miami, Boston, London, Berlin, Boise, etc.)
  • A resort
  • Amusement Park or Water Park
  • Carnival
  • County Fair
  • Concert or music festival
  • Campground
  • Wilderness
  • "Tourist Traps" (Statue of Liberty, the Hollywood Sign, Disney World, etc.)

IDEAS:

  • Learn a new language
  • Fall in love
  • Budget your money
  • Purge your Social Media accounts
  • Find a Pinterest activity
  • Be healthier

FOODS TO EAT AND DRINKS TO SLURP:

  • Ice cream (try something new or fancy!)
  • Watermelon
  • Strawberries
  • Pineapple
  • Tomatoes
  • Something deep fried (chicken, Oreos, etc.)
  • Funnel cake
  • Caramel popcorn
  • Hotdogs
  • Delicious Frozen Treats
  • Salads (there are millions and millions to try)
  • Fresh fish (catch it yourself)
  • Cotton candy
  • Popsicles
  • Smoothies
  • Sweet Tea
  • Bourbon
  • Big Batch Cocktails
  • Lemonade (try frozen or different flavors such as strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry)

PARTY IDEAS:

  • Parties People Should Totally Be Throwing
  • 4th of July Spectacular (fireworks, sparklers, red white and blue)
  • Pool Party (Pool required)
  • Splish Splash Party (Pool not required. This is for water gun and water balloon fights, slip 'n' slides, sprinklers, kiddie pools, etc.)
  • Luau (here are some fun ideas
  • Slumber Party
  • Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties (it's wedding season after all!)
  • Fancy Dinner Party

Here are some other lists to check out for some more summer inspirations:

101 Fun Things to Do With Kids This Summer
50 Fun Summer Activities Checklist
100 Fun Summer Ideas for the Whole Family
60 Days of Summer Fun