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40 Items. 40 Days.

1 Mar

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Love, love, love this list.  Not just “stuff” but look at numbers 28-40.  Of course numbers 1-27 deserve some attention, especially from me in my 40 bags for 40 days quest…but it’s time to Declutter more than just “things”.

Your paperwork – Totally clogs up your life

Your email – I admire the people who only check their email a few times a day.  I am always extremely responsive.  I’ve always worn it as a badge of honor.  If I respond to an email within minutes, or perhaps 3 hours, it most likely will not change any outcomes.  Be forewarned…especially you hotels. 😉  Kidding, I will probably be as responsive as I’m able.

Your To Do List – I have one every day and it keeps me on track, otherwise I’d be on Pinterest all day or sneaking in extra episodes of Gilmore Girls.

Anything in your diary you don’t have to do – Cut out the extras.  Learn to say no.  I’m fairly clear at this point in my life whereas I choose not to do things I don’t want to do.  Call it maturity.  Call it being an adult.  Call it clarity.

Anything you can’t fit in your current schedule –  Being overly busy and overly committed does not make for a happy life.  There’s always tomorrow.  Or the next day.

Social events that don’t make you happy – You don’t have to go to every party.  You don’t have to meet a former friend or acquaintance for coffee.  You don’t have to catch up with people you don’t have genuine interest in.  You don’t have to go to every party you are invited to.  FOMO has no place in my life…and I’m truly much happier for it.

Excess travel to places – I love to travel especially with those I love or to see those I love.  That being said, I am extremely selective in regards to leaving my family.

Things that take up too much of your valuable time – Some say Social Media can do this.  Or popping on Pinterest and all of a sudden it’s 4 hours later.  Love that btw. 🙂  Find the time-suckers in your life and get rid of them!

Anything you are worrying about – Easier said than done, but gives you something to strive for.  I will never stop worrying about my children.

Any person who makes you feel low – I have said this often and for many, many years…Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the life out of you.

Negativity – Or negative people.  People have poked fun at me and my “Pollyanna” outlook on life.  Always rainbows and ribbons.  People I worked with would said I was like a ray of sunshine and happiness coming into a room.  You know what?  There are worse things people could say about me… and trust me, there have been. 🙂

Any I should be doing, thoughts – Live in the moment… I am desperately trying to work on this.

Regrets – Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda…Or perhaps just think, I did the best I could with what God has given me.  Works for me.

xoxo,

T.

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40 Days – Forty Items – Forty Bags

24 Feb

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Wednesday is the first day of Lent.  In lieu of “giving” something up for Lent, I love this idea instead.

Each day of Lent, remove one item from your house that you no longer wear or need and put it into a trash bag.  At the end of the forty days (Holy Saturday), donate these items to the charity of your choice.  This is a bit of a twist on the infographic above, but I’m loving this idea.  I’m also thinking of removing more than one item each day.  Perhaps I could do 40 Bags in 40 Days?  Just a thought.

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Here’s a little bit of inspiration:

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I believe in Karma.  Today when I was headed to help a friend clean out her closet, I checked my mail and in it was a card that said, “when cleaning out your closet, think of us” – The Cancer Federation.  See, the thing is my friend, whom I was going to help clean out her closet, is battling breast cancer.  I received the card in the mail the day I was going to help her clean out her closet.  I know, Unbelievable.  So I, shall donate my 40 Bags to the Cancer Federation, http://www.cftruck.org.  They will pick up the items from your home and you can schedule a pick-up, online. Easy.  You can choose the organization of your choice.  The best part is you clean out your home, you feel good, and you do good for others.  Win-Win!

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We start March 1st!  Who’s in?

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That time you go to see Flo Rida and he’s like 10 feet in front of you!  Well, 10 feet after you maneuver your way to the front. 🙂

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Best. Night. Ever.

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And the band will be back together this weekend!  Best. Weekend. Ever!!!

xoxo,

T.

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200 Things to throw away

4 Mar

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2016 is the year to De-Clutter.  At least for me.  I invite you to take this journey with me.  Now, 200 things may be a bit much for some. Not for me, but for some, so I’m including smaller lists and you can work up to 200!  I’m not going to go all crazy with these lists, but throughout the year (yes, best year ever) I will feather in organizing tips and lists.  Hoping to be much lighter (in body and soul) by the end of sweet year 2016.

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Let’s start with 11 Things

11 things you need to throw away

Working our way up to 50 Things

50 things to throw out now

50 things to throw out now

Here is a list of 200 Things to Throw Away. This list isn’t a list of things that I have gotten rid of myself, but a list I found from http://www.embracinghomemaking.net

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the high price of clutter



As you look ahead at this list I want you to remember two things:
1.) Remember you can sell, donate, recycle or throw away. Knowing that I’m allowing someone else to enjoy my things makes it easier for me to let them go. (Edited to add that the comments are full of great places to donate items. Schools were by far the most recommended location.)  In Chicago there is an organization, WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger),  which helps homeless women and children in the Northwest suburbs, that is looking for donations.  You can check out their Wish List here:  http://wingsprogram.com/tag/wings-wish-list/
2.) Keep things that make you feel good. If it doesn’t make you feel happy when you look at it, get rid of it quickly. Surround yourself with things you enjoy.

List courtesy of Embracing Homemaking
Now on to the list:
1. Old product boxes (Apple products, TV, etc.)
2. Hangers from the dry cleaners
3. Plastic hangers from the store
4. Expired make up
5. Half-finished projects…you know the one!
6. Magazines (Try a free month of online magazines and see how you like those!)
7. Old emery boards (buy a nice glass one and be done with those scratchy things!)
8. Old paint (Visit Earth911.com to find a place to dispose of it safely)
9. Ugly undergarments you hate to wear (You have those “just in case” pairs too, right?)
10. Bills, taxes, paperwork over 7 years old
11. Socks with holes or without mates…also those lonely socks that have holes too. 🙂
12. Extra cups and mugs – How many does your family use in a regular dishwasher load? Add a few more for company and be done with the rest.
13. Books you’ve never read or will never read again
14. Old technology (8 tracks, floppy discs, VHS tapes w/o a player, etc.)
15. Unloved toys
16. Cleaning rags – You only need a few before you’ll wash them again, right?
17. Tea light candles – Use them or lose them.
18. Take out menus you never look at
19. Old greeting cards (Save the super sentimental ones and recycle the rest)
20. Outdated over the counter drugs and vitamins
21. Old sneakers (Recycle through Nike)
22. Plastic cutlery
23. Old spices – Spices don’t actually spoil but they lose their potency. A good rule of thumb is 1-2 years for seasoning; 1-3 for herbs and ground spices; and up to 4 years for whole spices.
24. Duplicate power cords (USB, etc. We have 3 vTech ones for the kiddos’ toys but only need one)
25. Bobby pins
26. Games with missing pieces
27. Dried up nail polish bottles
28. Video games you’ll never play again
29. Recalled baby items (Car seats, cribs, etc.)
30. Jewelry you don’t wear
31. Expired food in your freezer/pantry
32. Rugs or home decor you haven’t used since you redecorated
33. Unused perfumes and cologne
34. Old towels that make you cringe when you look at them
35. Extension cords (Am I the only one who has a bazillion of these?)
36. Extra sets of bed linens – two per bed tops
37. Unused plastic containers – especially those without a lid and those old plastic containers. Avoid containers with recycle codes 3 or 7 as they may contain BPA.
38. Old bills (Switch to online banking and stop the clutter before it comes in your home)
39. Paychecks older than 2 years
40. Stretched out hair ties
41. Matches you never use (Maybe save a few in case of a power outage)
42. Old newspapers
43. Expired Rx meds (Visit fda.gov for proper ways to dispose of them)
44. Extra pillows
45. Ticket stubs (Sentimental like myself? Store in a scrapbook or fill a mug with old stubs)
46. Make up you’ll try “one day” If you’ve owned it for more than 2 weeks without trying it, toss it.
47. Clothes that are more than 2 sizes too small. Don’t give up on your weight loss dream but WHEN you do lose that weight go and buy new clothes to reward yourself.
48. Things you’ve bought and haven’t returned yet (Return them, sell, or donate them)
49. White-out bottles – You know you don’t need it!
50. Unneeded notebooks
51. Pens and pencils – Keep your favorites and let go of the rest
52. Little shampoo bottles from a hotel you went to 5 years ago
53. Knick knacks that don’t make you smile every time you see them
54. Cords that don’t belong to anything you currently own
55. Lose all those loose screws, nuts, bolts, etc. unless you happen to be a handy man who would actually reuse them one day
56. Kid’s old art projects (I have an upcoming post with loads of ideas on this so for now just set them aside)
57. Old party supplies
58. Old wedding favors (Keep a few, toss the rest)
59. Old Christmas cards of your family (Save a few, recycle the rest)
60. Holiday decor you never remember to set out (Thanksgiving turkey Aunt Sue gave you)
61. Holiday decor that you use once a year (ex. Easter deviled egg tray that collects dust 364 days of the year! Buy a lovely one that you can use for other holidays too.)
62. Cleaning supplies, laundry detergent, shampoo that you used once and didn’t like. Donate to a local shelter.
63. Flower pots. Plant a flower or toss the pot.
64. Watering cans if you don’t have flowers.
65. Too small kid’s clothing. Only save favorites if you’re saving for another child. Sell the rest while they’re still in style.
66. Extra buttons (If you don’t sew, toss them all. Reduce your supply if you will use a button in the next few months)
67. Old calendars
68. Unidentified frozen objects (Label ya’ll! Keep a Sharpie by the freezer for quick labeling)
69. Movies you’ll probably never watch again
70. Bags from the mall you might use one day (Keep only 1 if you must)
71. Multiple pair of scissors (One or two tops, right?)
72. More ear buds than you’ve got family members
73. Curling irons, crimpers (ha! flash back), or straighteners you don’t use
74. Highlighters unless you’ve used one in the past month, then save only that one
75. Travel mugs that leak, or are ugly, or that you don’t use because you have to hand wash it
76. Boxes – shoe boxes, diaper boxes, cereal boxes. Recycle and be free.
77. Samples of any kind – Use, donate, or trash.
78. Games you haven’t played in the last year
79. Tape measures – You know the rule, keep one and toss the rest.
80. Old phone covers, styluses, screen protectors, etc.
81. Misc. ribbons or string
82. Expired coupons
83. Organizers you bought to get organized that didn’t work
84. Belts that no longer fit, are worn, or are out of style
85. Duplicate kitchen utensils – Have you ever used three whisks at the same time before? Me neither.
86. Cookie cutters unless you’ve used them in the past year and foresee using them again
87. Rarely used cake pans (think Mickey Mouse head) – Our bakery supply store rents them for $2 a day. I no longer need to keep any on hand for those rare occasions I bake.
88. Old teeth whitening trays or strips. Use ’em up or toss ’em out.
89. Hard candy that you’re not sure where it came from or how long it’s been there
90. Unloved stuffed animals
91. Half used chap stick containers – Buy a new one! I LOVE my new EOS one with coconut milk.
92. Duplicate measuring cups and spoons
93. Old day planners (and current ones if you don’t use them!)
94. Candles – If it’s not lovely to look at and you’ll never burn it, let it go.
95. Mason jars (or baby food jars, spaghetti sauce jars, etc.) that you won’t use
96. Expired sunscreen
97. Staple remover – unless you can make a very compelling argument to keep yours.
98. Travel alarm clock – We have phones now.
99. Stress balls
100. Plug in air fresheners without a refill
Join our January Live With Less Challenge to Win $100!! Details are here.
101. Unloved dog toys
102. Extra USB flash drives – How many does one family need?
103. Promotional swag
104. Key chains you don’t use
105. Recipe books you don’t ever use
106. Push pins in the junk drawer just waiting for unsuspecting fingers
107. Keys that you don’t know what they go to
108. Lanyards, name tags, bags, etc. from previous conferences
109. Carabiners – Unless you rock climb, trust me, you won’t use them.
110. Lotions, face washes, serums that you don’t use
111. Random batteries you’re not sure where they came from
112. Multiple bookmarks – Unless you’re a bookworm…you know what to do, toss them.
113. Combination locks – Chances are slim you’ll use one again but if you do, they’re cheap to replace.
114. Paperweights
115. Near empty bottles of bubbles or little nubs of side-walk chalk
116. Completed coloring books
117. Markers without lids and lids without markers
118. Goodie bag toys from previous birthday party celebrations
119. Empty bottles of anything
120. Puzzles
121. Old invitations
122. Travel brochures
123. Tissue paper/gift bags
124. Unused sticky notes
125. Extra shoe laces
126. Stickers from a previous yard sale
127. Hair products you don’t use
128. Take out chopsticks – Buy a reusable pair if you use them a lot
129. Old prescription glasses – Great donation for the Lions Club.
130. Old sunglasses – The cat eye is coming back but definitely toss those purple hued ones.
131. Worn out flip flops.
132. Magnets – Unless they are lovely or useful, discard.
133. Posters you’ll never display again
134. Excess decks of cards
135. Phone books
136. Broken Christmas lights
137. Notes/gifts from old romances
138. Hats you don’t wear or that look like you shouldn’t
139. Extra bubble wrap (or am I the only one who has a supply?)
140. Twisty ties (another one that hits close to home!)
141. Chip clips
142. Craft supplies for a project that has already been completed
143. Paper plates – Use them up!
144. Loyalty cards – Use the key ring version or enter your number for even less clutter
145. Gift cards – Go and enjoy them!
146. Touristy knick knacks
147. Business cards – Keep an electronic record
148. Puzzle books you don’t use
149. Old textbooks
150. Unused vases
151. Stockings with runs in them
152. Fancy serving bowls you haven’t used in the last year – Use them or sell them.
153. CDs unless you use them regularly
154. Old boombox
155. Piles of “scrap paper”
156. Purses/dufflebags/old luggage you don’t use
157. Catalogs
158. Christmas ornaments that aren’t lovely or sentimental
159. Instruments you’ve given up on mastering years ago
160. Clothes that make you feel ugly
161. Instruction manuals – Most are online now.
162. Calculators – Phones have replaced these for most people.
163. Remotes that have no purpose
164. Emergency sewing kits – I own many and have never used one even once.
165. Dry erase markers without a board and a board without markers (or both if you don’t use it!)
166. Extra pencil sharpeners – Only one is needed
167. Rusty tools you’ll never use again
168. Lawn and garden pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers you won’t use
169. Fireworks that are unused (Am I the only one?) – They can be soaked in water overnight then disposed of in a plastic bag.
170. Dried up super glue (btw, this is my favorite super glue that has never dried out on me!)
171. Old and ugly t-shirts
172. Hair accessories you don’t use
173. One orphan earring
174. Dried flowers
175. Extra photo prints
176. Gifts you don’t love
177. Scarves you never wear
178. Damaged/stained clothing
179. Plastic children’s plates/cups that they’ve outgrown
180. Junk mail
181. Address labels – Do you ever really use them?
182. Extra folders, binders, labels, etc.
183. Old cell phones – Recycle!
184. Old fortune cookie fortunes (Someone else keeps the good ones too, don’t they?)
185. Used ink cartridges – Recycle them for a little money back
186. Use Unroll.me to rid yourself from pesky email subscriptions (It’s free but I would pay for this fabulous service!!)
187. Outdated computer software
188. Old wallets
189. Dull or duplicate pocket knives
190. Spare change lying around – Take it to the bank!
191. Unused picture frames
192. Old baby gear that you no longer need – Great donation item if you don’t want to sell it!
193. Kitchen knives no one uses
194. Old sports equipment from days gone by
195. Broken clocks
196. Coasters that go unused
197. Plants – Yes, plants that don’t brighten your spirits. Buy ones that do!
198. Hole punch you never use
199. Place mats, napkins, table cloths that never get displayed
200. Ruled notebook paper – I hate to throw it away but I never use it. Donate it!

happiness is

happiness

Song of the Day: Thunder Road by Bruce Springsteen – This came across my Facebook feed and I can’t get it out of my head! Reminds me of times ago, a bit less complicated.

Heaven’s waiting on down the tracks
Oh-oh come take my hand
We’re riding out tonight to case the promised land
Oh-oh Thunder Road oh Thunder Road
Lying out there like a killer in the sun
Hey I know it’s late we can make it if we run
Oh Thunder Road sit tight take hold
Thunder Road

What I’m Reading

Where'd you go Bernadette

Where’d you go Bernadette…a must, fun, quick read

Where’d You Go Bernadette – Did you ever read a book and feel like you could have written it?  This is that book for me.  I highly, highly recommend it.  Thank you, C for recommending it to me.

Joke of the Week:

What did the duck say to the bartender?

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Put it on my bill!  Nothing better than a duck joke!

Reunited

Reunited and it feels so good

Reunited and it feels so good!  So happy to be able to spend time with 3 of my very favorite people in the world at one of our favorite places in Dallas.  Make that 4, but Mary didn’t make this pic.

terry and mary

And so happy to spend time with my Mary!  Didn’t get a picture that is acceptable for publishing from our time together, but as I have been known to do, here we are, circa 2014.

It’s Friday!  I declare Shenanigans!

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xoxo,

T.

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Source:  http://embracinghomemaking.net/2015/04/200-things-to-throw-away/?hc_location=ufi

 

Rocking the White Shirt

21 Feb

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The Art of Wearing the White Shirt

Not only do I love a white shirt, but one could say I basically live in a white shirt.  At least I live in a white shirt 4 out of 7 days a week.  Not always  the same shirt, of course, as I have more than I can count, but some are very similar…So, I was delighted to hear that the real Fashionista’s (not just me pretending) are indicating that this Spring, the White Shirt is all the rage!  I am so ready for this spring trend!

This spring, the white shirt will be more than just a wardrobe staple.  The white shirt. A total classic, whether you are dressing for a business occasion or for the weekend, everyone needs to have one (or many) in their closet.  You can dress it up.  Dress it down. Wear it  for Business.  Wear it for a casual date with friends and family.  Wear it to an elegant affair.  The white shirt is where it’s at!

This recent article by Christina Binkley in Wall Street Journal, indicates such…(Excerpts from the article shown below in italics.  Full article is provided at link at end of blog):

Quite a few runway collections for spring included notable shirts with enough character to stand apart from the sea of white button-downs. Rather than playing a supporting role, these shirts stand as stars on their own.

Crisp and Cool | A slightly cropped length, smooth bib and long cuffs elevate Peter Som’s tuxedo shirt.

Simple and Sleeveless | At Hermès, a finely woven blouse is paired with a bright skirt for spring.

Evening Glamour | Carolina Herrera sent a sharply detailed white shirt down the runway with a floor-length skirt.

Clean-Cropped | Alexander Wang’s youthful take had voluminous sleeves and a cropped A-line shape.

White shirts have long been a wardrobe building block, ever since women first borrowed the look from the classic man’s shirt. But they often require dressing up with scarves, jackets, or jewelry. Many of the latest versions, by contrast, go well beyond their menswear origins and cross the tricky border from wardrobe essential into high fashion.

Shirts from the spring 2014 collections will begin showing up in stores in another month or so. On the runways last fall in New York and Europe, more than two dozen major collections included great, fashion-forward white shirts.

Many were inspired by menswear looks, but their designs took artful dodges this way and that. Bold enough to be the statement piece of an outfit, these shirts aren’t meant to disappear under a jacket. They should be worn untucked and easy, though of course nicely pressed.

Of course, you can’t have the magic of a white shirt without some extra care. Keeping a white shirt white is challenging. Most of these shirts require ironing (the crisp look is part of the appeal), and shirts that are washed and ironed at home are likely to have a longer life than those sent to a laundry or dry cleaner.

When caring for a good white blouse, less is more. Cotton should be laundered, not dry-cleaned, says Susan McManigal, owner of the century-old French Hand Laundry and Dry Cleaning in Pasadena, Calif. At home, use pure soap such as Ivory or Dreft, not detergents, which have harsh chemicals that can cause discoloration and damage fabrics. Ms. McManigal has her water softened and filtered with charcoal—at the laundry and at her home—to help the pure soaps work better.

The attraction of these is the gender-bending play between masculine and feminine. They are sexy clothes, but not overtly so, because they are loose, and cover up the skin.

“The crisp freshness of white cotton just adds a great note of modest formality,” says designer Rick Owens who brought his cool minimalism to tunics and dresses in the fabric. Mr. Owens wryly notes that a brilliant white shirt can make whites around it look dim. “You just have to be careful,” he says, that “you have beautifully colored teeth to wear it.”

Different Ways to Rock the White Shirt/Blouse

Work.  Fitted, the look is crisp, clean, and tucked in.  Can button a button down, all way to top.

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Flirty.  silk, looser, soft to touch.  Pair with skirt.

de57428831e13c87e783e283726cc4d5 Ethereal style

Cool, Casual it’s the Weekend.  Oversized, “half-tuck”, casual, cool and comfortable.  Pair with a clean skinny jean or shorts or shorter skirt.  Clearly my favorite look, as the plethora of pics will show.

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Special Occasion.  Tucked in neatly with elegant skirt.  Or paired with sequins.

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TIPS

1.  The biggest mistake women make with white is what they wear underneath it. When wearing white, it’s critical to wear lingerie that is as close as possible to the color of your skin. Don’t wear white undies because every line will show. Don’t wear colored undies unless you are trying to make a statement.

2.  Does white work for you? It works for many women, but not everyone. If you have a great tan or naturally dark skin, it’s beautiful. Warm skin tones go well with white. If it washes you out, forget about it.

3.  For the “Half Tuck” look, grab a few inches in front, tuck in, leave the rest loosely hanging out.

4.  The hottest way to wear white this season is head-to-toe. It can be really flattering if the proportions and the fit are just right. White jeans and a v-neck T-shirt or crisp button-down tailored shirt are great looks. A crisp white pencil skirt with a classic white top can be fabulous.  Be sure everything is slim but not tight. White can be unforgiving. As for jeans, make sure they are not cropped or they can make your legs look shorter.

5. When shopping for white clothes, opt for natural fibers, especially linen or cotton, which are beautiful in white. Avoid white satin or polyester. Ugh. They really look cheap.

6. Beware of cling when wearing white. White doesn’t take well to being too tight or showing bra or panty lines. Dresses that flow gently past the curves look best. Some flowing and billowing sundresses or flirty tops can be lovely in white as well, especially when paired with a narrow silhouette such as a skinny jean or leggings.

7. Avoid white for photos or TV. While it may look lovely in person, it can, sadly, add pounds when worn on TV or captured in photos.

8. When buying something white, especially a dress or pants, it’s important to make sure it’s opaque or solid and not too see-through. Try holding the dress up so the light shines through it. Put your hand behind or inside it. If you can see the form of your hand, you can be sure it will show everything. You will either need a full slip, pants liner or something layered under it to avoid a peep show.

9. White strappy sandals can be cute with a white outfit but never ever wear white pumps…any time, for any reason.

10. Metallic sandals and handbags look fabulous with white, as do brights such as coral or turquoise. A dark, heavy leather bag can bring down the look. A great look is a simple straw bag with a scarf tied around the handle. You can change the scarf to match your mood – and your outfit.

Blue Jeans, White Shirt 54bd0d6ad49a689a5eb8b9f4c29b85cf (1)

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Here are just some of the advantages of a nice white blouse/shirt

It gives you a clean crisp look.
It combines with every other color you have.
It is a perfect background for your fabulous accessories like jewelry and scarves.
It is perfect to wear with all the printed trousers that are so fashionable now.
You can wear them in so many different ways.
– Tuck them in.
– Wear with a belt
– Semi tuck
– Wear them lose over a singlet
– Tie a knot in front
– Wear to the Oscars with a formal long skirt (remember Sharon Stone!)

There are a few drawbacks as well

It can make you look a bit washed out (adding accessories can help with this)
They get dirty really quickly

Can make teeth that aren’t “pearly white” look beige or yellow.  😦

You need to properly know how to care for your shirt, to keep it looking crisp and white.

Laundry Know-How

Tip 1. With white cotton shirts – NEVER dryclean. There is essentially a coating on white poplin that keeps the white white. Drycleaning chemicals essential strip this finish from the fabric revealing the griege fabric underneath (greige is a raw fabric, ready to be dyed or finished). This dulls the white and makes it look sad. Instead, we recommend professional wet-wash. All GOOD drycleaners offer a wetwashing service which is basically when you are too lazy to hand wash your clothes or press 30 degrees on the washing machine. They will wash and iron the shirts properly for you. It is definitely recommended to get someone else to iron your shirts for you, as this is a very tedious process.

Tip 2. If you do have the desire to iron your own shirts, to minimize the amount of effort required, when the shirt is wet from the wash, put it straight onto a hanger and tug out the creases/wrinkles as much as possible. Cotton has a memory and if you leave the shirts in a heap or over a clothes dryer, all of the creases that are in the shirt from washing will be a pain to get out.

Tip 3. Always press your shirt when damp. This will make it much easier and will give a crisp result. If its not straight from the wash then use a spray bottle and mist it with water to dampen it slightly, making it more moist where creases are worse. Start with the cuff and sleeves, then the back yoke. Next the collar, then the back of the shirt and finally the two fronts – ending on the right hand side ,so that the top button-stand is the last thing pressed. (This is how to achieve the best results).  Use a little starch on the cuffs and collar 

Tip 4. When pressing a collar always do so from the underside of the collar, press from the outside tips towards the center, this keeps your collar balanced, as over pressing in the wrong direction will warp the collar over time.

Tip 5. If you travel and need a cost effective wrinkle releaser – mix a tsp of fabric conditioner with a cup of water in a light spritzer. Hang the shirt on a hanger and spritz the wrinkles. Tug and smooth over with your hand to release the wrinkles. It’s also a good tip to keep this spritzer mix in your office drawer as it is a quick way to smooth out wrinkles in your outfit before meetings.

Tip 6. While heavy steaming a shirt may get the wrinkles out, more often than not, the steam tightens the seams and leaves a slight puckering effect – always press without steam where possible, if you need additional help use a spritz bottle to dampen the fabric.

Great White Shirt Looks

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White Shirt Looks for Men

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To further my point, that I basically don’t go anywhere, without a white shirt/blouse…Here is a sampling of what I wore the past year…and while these blouses may look the similar, I try to pair them with or under different pieces.   Plus, when I find a white blouse that I absolutely love, I usually buy 2 of the same.  Most of these photos have already been featured in previous blogs, just going to show you that there aren’t that many pics of me floating around…and I do NOT do selfies, either!

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Back to reality after 6, was supposed to be 5, days out of town doing college visits (Patrick not I, but am thinking I may join him ;))  but due to bad weather in Chi-town, we got to spend another day in paradise…How lucky were we?  Incredibly so! And here, Paddy and I, are loving life in San Clemente (Thanks Jay for the great day) and I am wearing yet another White Blouse!  Again, it all comes full circle.  Rocking the best year ever in my favorite wardrobe staple…the white blouse! 🙂

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Song of the Day:  Bruce Hornsby, Valley Road…Heard this while lounging at the pool at the Beverly Hilton (honestly, not nearly as nice as one would think, and they don’t serve Stella…but had fabulous time anyway, and luckily Kevin and I were able to make due with a variety of other cocktails, pool-side) and could NOT get it out of my head. Hence, I immediately downloaded it onto my iPhone, and I’ve been listening to it, non-stop, ever since.  Because that’s how I roll. 😉

Best line of the Olympics.  Matt Lauer to Bob Costas:  “Bob, you taking the red eye home”?  Zing!  LOL!! 🙂

xoxo,

T.

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Sources:

40Plusstyle.com

Paularath.com

stylebubble.co

White Shirts go from supporting player to star

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More Tips and Tricks

30 Nov

I love  to find new tips and then think, “why didn’t I think of that before”!   I have found most of these tips on Pinterest, which I have been addicted to for just over a year now.  If you haven’t gotten on Pinterest yet, you no longer need an “invitation” to join.  You can find Me on Pinterest at  http://pinterest.com/Dressedtoat/

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TIPS AND TRICKS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE…or maybe just make it a wee bit easier or more efficient

Put on socks  and slip on your shoes.
Aim the hairdryer on the tight section for a few seconds (wiggle and stretch your feet inside the shoe for maximum benefit).
Keep the shoes on while they cool.
Remove the socks and test out shoes.
It should be stretched out, but if you need more room, then repeat the process.

I have done this and it truly works!

Try these Do It Yourself (DIY) Cleaning solutions

When packing liquids (shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, ect…) for your next trip, take the lid off, place a piece of plastic wrap over the opening and screw the lid back on. The plastic wrap will keep the liquid from spilling even if the lid pops open.

To find the original source of any photo open two windows one with Google home page and another with the photo you want to find. Click on the photo and drag it over to the Google search bar. Google will then come up with a list of searches that match that photo.

Use soda can tabs to keep your outfits together.

Why have we never known this?  I’m sure every college student knows this, but still fills the Vodka up to 12 ounces…and btw…since when did college students start drinking vodka?  Back in the olden days in the 80’s when I was in college, it was beer and wine and never in excess 🙂

Store your User Manuals in a 3-ring binder in page protectors.  Go through it annually and get rid of those you no longer use.  I also put the warranty cards in the sleeve with the user manuals.

Organize spare buttons

Use the same concept for spare buttons!

This great idea of storing bobby pins in a Tic Tac container has been floating around pinterest for a while now but did you know these Tic Tac containers could be used for so much more? Store a couple of buttons, needle and thread and stash in your purse for an emergency sewing kit.Keep an empty one in your purse to store small items and keep them from getting lost (i.e. earring you lost the back to, broken necklace chain, button that fell off your blouse. Replacement screws for your eyeglasses, sunglasses. Safety pins. Small hairbands (perfect for little girls who like to pull theirs out all the time). Pill container. Spare change. Toothpicks…

Submerge wet nails in cold water for 3 minutes. The polish will dry completely, and it gets rid of any that got onto your skin! This is life-changing, especially for me, since I am way too antsy to sit and let my nails dry…which is why I rarely have polished nails.  On the flip-side, I always have polished toe nails, since Pedicures come with a foot massage, and quite frankly, there’s nothing better than having someone rub your feet.  🙂

Stick your straw through a cupcake liner to keep bugs, dirt and other icky things from falling in your drink.  This certainly came in handy this summer while “taking a tan” and the wasps were swarming around me and Mer!

If you’re wearing a shirt with buttons and you notice a few loose or broken threads on one of the buttons, cover the threads with a coat of clear nail polish. The nail polish will keep the remaining threads together and keep your button from falling off. Although I have washed and worn a shirt several times after using this trick and the button remained in place, I would not suggest using it as a permanent fix since the polish can and will wear off.

Travel Tip: A throwaway shower cap (thank you Hilton, Starwood and Marriott) is the perfect “shoe bag” when traveling. The cap keeps the dirty soles off your clothes in the suitcase, yet takes up no additional room.

Use a staple remover to open key ring–finally an idea to save your nails!

Thread a star through your necklace while travelling to stop unwanted tangles.  I posted this a few months back on my Dressed to a T Facebook group page, and got many Thumbs Up from my members.

kleenex box great idea

Use an empty Kleenex box to hold the dirty kleenexes so you don’t leave them on a table or a couch (and you know who you are)!

Uses for Clear Nail Polish:

Keep an eyeglass screw in place. If your specs are a bit wobbly, tighten the screws and top them with a dollop of polish.

Secure buttons. Apply a thin layer of polish to the center of a button to keep the thread from coming loose.

Avoid rust stains in the bathroom.Coat the bottom of a shaving-cream can to fend off rings on the ledge of the tub.

Seal an envelope. When a flap won’t stay stuck, find closure with clear polish.

Extend the life of jewelry. Paint a thin coat onto a costume bauble to prevent it from losing its luster.

If you have any tips you’d like to share, I’d love to share on a future blog.

My dilemma of the week…I am invited to an Ugly Sweater Party next weekend, “Eat Drink and be Tacky”, (which is a Fabulous name for a party, but I’d expect nothing less from my friend Gina0… and left wondering, do I really want to go to a party in an ugly sweater?  Do I even own an ugly sweaters?  Does Kevin have any ugly sweaters?  Really makes me regret doing that major closet cleaning! 🙂

Upcoming blogs:  Holiday Gift Ideas:   Stocking Stuffer Ideas for different ages; Warm Woolen Mittens…the 4th Edition of my Favorite Things!!

Have a great weekend.  Looks to be 60 degrees in Chicago so that will be fabulous.  And, as always, Go Bears!

xoxo,

T.

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I’ve posted the above card numerous times, but there truly are many people out there that this applies to…if only they read my blog! 🙂

Disclaimer…I”m not sure Marilyn Monroe actually said this, as not sure a size “0” was being used in the 1950’s…but nevertheless, I love this quote!

Laundry Tips!

3 Aug

With the eminent return home from vacation and contemplating the Piles and Piles of laundry awaiting from a few weeks away, I thought this would be a darned timely and useful blog…so off to Google and Pinterest I went, and found that many others also are looking for some good laundry tips.  So, before I have to tackle that mountain of dirty clothes in the laundry room, I’d like to share what “Laundry Experts”  Lindsey and Gwen of  The Laundress share on how to deal with common laundry issues.

Dry Clean Only

It seems like every item I own is dry-clean only. Is it possible to freshen them up between cleanings? Is it necessary to take every item to the dry cleaners?

No, in fact almost all items can be laundered at home with the right products and procedures.  For those items that absolutely must be dry cleaned, you can freshen between cleanings with fabric fresh sprays.  When my white cotton t-shirts get stretched, I spray Febreeze or a lilac laundry spray on them, and pop them in the dryer for 10 mins…and their shape is back!

How To Hand Wash Delicate’s

What’s the proper way to hand-wash a garment?

This depends on the fabric but typically it is in cold or tepid water, soaking for 30 minutes, then lay flat to dry.

Hand Washing Recipe

  • To wash – submerge item(s) in a cool water bath with 2 cupfuls of a delicate wash or Woolite.
  • Use your hands to agitate the water and detergent.
  • Soak for ½ hour (do not soak silk for longer).
  • DO NOT PANIC if you see color in the water. This is normal and it is simply the yarn dye releasing color. You will not notice any loss of color at the end.
  • Rinse well, running room temperature water until soapy water is gone.
  • Do not wring; press the water out of the item instead.

How to Air Dry

How can I air-dry my clothes without stretching them out? Do I need a drying rack or a clothesline?

This depends on the fabric – all woolens/knits should always lay flat in a natural shape to dry.  Silks/delicates can hang to dry.  Here in the city, we typically use a drying rack, however outdoor clothes lines are great for that “fresh air” experience.  I put a clothes rack in my laundry room, and hang what I need on the racks, but lay the sweaters and knits on one of the counters on top of a towel.

Dye Transfer

I wore my white silk button-down with my dark skinny jeans and was dismayed to see that some of the denim dye transferred onto the bottom of the blouse. How can I remove the stain without ruining it?  This has happened to me when I wore a white summer cotton shirt with a red tank top.  Bad idea!  

We recommend a Stain Solution or Shout  for dye transfer. We see this a lot in our washing service.

Stain Removal Recipe

The Laundress Stain Solution is formulated specifically to target and break down stubborn stains such as red wine, sauce, chocolate, grass, coffee/tea, grease, blood, pit stains and more.

  1. Apply Stain Solution to the stain.
  2. Work the Solution into the stained area with our Stain Brush.
  3. Pour hot water from a height to be more effective and soak.*
  4. If stain has faded, but isn’t completely gone, repeat the process until satisfied.
  5. Launder as normal.
  • We recommended this process on durable fibers such as cotton, linen and some synthetic materials.
  • For stain removal on delicate fabrics such as silk and cashmere, use tepid water. Do not soak silk longer than 30 minutes at a time.
  • When treating stain from blood, always use cold water.

Keep Whites Bright

I own a zillion white shirts – from gauzy silk to paper-thin cotton. How do I prevent them from getting dingy?

This depends on the fabric.  White cotton/linen should be soaked in a hot water bath with our All Purpose Bleach Alternative, soak well.  Silk items can be pre-treated with stain solution and soak in a cool water bath with delicate wash for 30 minutes.

With a few simple items that you likely already have in your home, you can boost laundry items to help keep them looking new (and prevent fading too). Here are a few quick tips from Tip Nut.

To Prevent Fading or Keep Colors Bright:

Brighten Laundry With These Quick Tips

Brighten Laundry With These Quick Tips

  • Add 1/2 cup vinegar to a load of laundry during the wash cycle.
  • Color Protector: Soak new items in a straight solution of vinegar to protect dyes from running. You can also try soaking them in lightly salted water.
  • Soak new garments and items in a mixture of 1 tsp Epsom salts mixed with one gallon of water. Will help prevent fading and dyes running.
  • One-half cup of household ammonia added to rinse water will help brighten colored clothes. Do not use ammonia if bleach has been used.
  • Turn clothes inside out before washing to help prevent fading (especially helpful for black garments).
  • If line drying outdoors, colored items should be dried in the shade to prevent fading.
  • Pour two cups of strong tea in the rinse cycle to restore dark colors.

Tips For Whiter Whites:

  • Mild bleach: Add 1/4 cup of lemon juice and 1/4 cup baking soda to load along with your regular detergent and launder as usual.
  • Add 1 1/2 cups of vinegar to the rinse cycle to whiten clothes.
  • Restore Whites: Fill a large stock pot half full with water and 1 cup of vinegar, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add garments and let soak overnight. Launder as usual.
  • Add 1/2 cup of powdered dishwasher detergent to the washing machine, allow machine to fill with water to dissolve the powder. Add clothes when water level is about half-way and once the water has stopped filling, open the machine to stop it from running. Let clothes soak for 30 minutes before turning machine back on.
  • Dry on the line outdoors when the sun is hot and bright, the sun is nature’s bleach. You’ll also have fresh smelling laundry without any added chemicals!
  • To whiten laces, wash them in sour milk.
  • To brighten yellowed linens, try adding 2 teaspoons cream of tartar to a pail of water and soak items for a few hours before laundering as usual.
  • Soak clothes overnight in a mixture of 1/2 cup ReaLemon juice (or a sliced lemon) per 1 gallon of hot water. This is a great method for bringing dingy socks back to life.
  • Soak whites overnight in 1/2 cup 3% hydrogen peroxide per quart of cold water. You can also add 3/4 cup of 3% hydrogen peroxide to a load of laundry (dissolve in soapy water first before adding clothes) or try adding 1/2 cup to the rinse cycle.
  • Wash clothes with 1/2 cup Borax along with your favorite laundry detergent and then add 1/4 cup hydrogen peroxide to the rinse cycle.

REMOVE STAINS UNDER ARMS – 

I also own a zillion white shirts, as do my children, and under the arms one can get a “yellow” stain, that is hard to remove.

I found this on Pinterest…use equal amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide, Dawn Dish Soap and Baking Soda…rub it into the yellow spot, let sit for 1-2 hours, launder as usual.  Voila!  No more stain!!  Meredith actually told me I need to put this in here, because it “saved so many of her shirts”.  You are quite welcome, Mer Mer!!

How To Pack

After unpacking at my hotel on my last business trip, I discovered many of my blouses were horribly wrinkled. What’s the best way to eliminate wrinkles in delicate clothes? Can I prevent this from happening in the future?

We recommend our a crease release or Woolite Wrinkle Remover to remove wrinkles after unpacking.  I recommend the travel size, or buy the regular size or the jumbo size at Costco, and transfer it into a small travel bottle, and use a label maker to identify it.   To reduce creasing in delicate fabrics we always recommend steaming vs. ironing.  To prevent wrinkles while traveling, always fold delicate items neatly and wrap with tissue paper, this will help to reduce movement and creasing.  Also, as discussed in my previous blogs of how I am not a savvy packer, it’s also recommended to roll your clothes in your suitcase.   You can pack more and it helps alleviate wrinkles.

Eliminate the Smell of Smoke

I wore my favorite silk crepe cocktail dress to a party and someone there was smoking. How can I get the smoke smell out?

For odor removal we recommend soaking for 30 minutes in a cool water bath with 1 cup of Vinegar.

Prevent Shrinking & Fading

I’ve heard that washing your clothes in cold water will help them stay bright and prevent them from shrinking. Is that true?

Yes, when washing delicate fabrics always launder in cold water to prevent shrinking and keep colors bright.  However, fabrics such as cotton and linen can and should be laundered in hot water to clean effectively.  Most fading and shrinking occurs in the dryer – to avoid this, we recommend line drying.

The Essentials

What are the basics everyone needs in their laundry room?

A good drying rack, mesh washing bag, Stain Solution, Delicate Wash for “delicates”,  Detergent and Bleach Alternative.

This blog, styleexpert.com has their own products marketed as  “The Laundress”.  I’ve never tried them, but they look and are packaged quite lovely!

(Source:  http://styleexpert.wordpress.com )

And for those who start to read my blog, see how long it can be and then just look at the pictures , here’s something you can copy and print!

And since this is a “Style” blog…well, actually I believe I’ve settled on “Lifestyle” blog, I thought I would post some pictures of very pretty laundry rooms.  I mean, if you are going to spend more than an hour or two in a room, why not make it as lovely as possible?

And yes, in the above picture, that does indeed appear to be a Champagne Bar in the Laundry room…I like where this is going…I change my previous statement…to making a room as lovely as possibly, and perhaps providing a tasty libation!

And speaking of lovely…Mer Mer took this picture in Carlsbad of the beach, and did the “1970’s” app from Instagram.  I’m framing this and putting it in her bathroom!

And don’t let your pile of laundry, deter you from having the best summer of your life! 🙂

xoxo,

T.

In Case of Emergency…

5 Aug

 

In case of Emergency, a Wardrobe Emergency…one should have a Wardrobe Emergency Kit (and will need one after break dancing)! 

Wardrobe Malfunctions…and no, clearly this has not happened to me (aka Janet Jackson), however, I have spilled on my blouse, I’ve had my hem fall down, been given a White Napkin while wearing a black skirt, and had lint all over me, and been out wearing high heels and smiled through the blisters forming on my feet…So these, and other fashion tragedies, call for everyone to have their Own Wardrobe/Fashion  Emergency Kit…Now I’ve gotten one of these lists from my other bible…”The Everygirl’s Guide to”…so it’s geared more towards women (hence, ‘Everygirl’s Guide)’…actually, it’s totally geared towards women.  Perhaps I shall post a Man’s Emergency Kit in the next MANic Monday.  Afterall, I am an equal opportunity blogger, and what Man can’t use their own double-sided tape to keep their polo from flying open?

emergency-kit

In Case of a Wardrobe Emergency, Have these items on hand:

1. A full length mirror in a well-lit area. Obviously, a full length mirror will help you find out if something fits well, and a well-lit area will ensure that your dress/top/pants are not see through or that you need to change undergarments.  Sorry, but there was no other way in which to word this…But to be blunt…you do NOT want your underwear showing through your clothes. I really don’t care what the guys like.
2. A Lint Roller.  A quick swipe with a lint roller can fix almost any stains or things that are NOT supposed to be there. Another helpful hint: if you’re wearing dark-colored bottoms in a nicer restaurant with linen napkins, ask your hostess for a black napkin. They usually keep a bunch in stock, and it will ensure that you won’t spend the rest of your day or evening trying to pick lint balls off your legs!  Because we have white carpeting in our house (not a wise move, btw), I also use the lint roller to quickly pick up those little tiny specks of I don’t know what, and the carpet looks good as new, and alleviates the need to have to vacuum every day!
3. Fashion/Double-sided tape. If I’m wearing a button up top or blouse, I  put some fashion tape between those two buttons that always manage to gap open! Works like a charm…(though don’t always need it).   I’ve even used it to hold up a hem in a pinch.
4. Blister block. I’ve blogged about this little item, and now I got Meredith hooked!  This little gem has saved my feet from painful blisters more times than I care to admit.  And when I forget this little tip, I’m regretting it all night!   Swipe a little on the  areas of your feet that rub against the shoe and starts to cause a blister, and toss the little tube in your bag for touch ups later.  Or, in a pinch, you can use gel deodorant.  Though it’s harder to “throw that in your bag”
5. In keeping with the feet theme, Shoe Pads. These little lifesavers come in all kinds of shapes, brands, prices and sizes. You can pick up a pack at anywhere from Walgreens to Nordstrom.  Foot Petals are a popular brand, and Dr. Scholl’s has numerous types of foot pads and solutions to alleviate pain from the ball of your feet to the heel of your foot!

6. Nude/Metallic Pump or High Sandal – If you are ever at a loss as to what color shoe to wear, or cannot seem to find the correct shade of brown or red that matches…go with a Nude or Metallic Shoe.  They seriously go with anything from a LBD to a floral mini to skinny jeans and a white blouse.  I have metallic shoes in high heel sandals, and flats, and since I’m a savvy packer (;) ) I always travel with them.
7. A sewing kit. This may be the most obvious item on the list, but it’s probably also the most helpful. Keep some extra buttons, and make sure you have safety pins.  Always put one of the small sewing kits you get at hotels in your travel kit.
8. Dryer sheets. These aren’t just for throwing in the dryer! If you smear deodorant on your clothes, use a dry dryer sheet to rub it off.  These also help alleviate static cling!  Plus, after many summers watching little league, they can be used to keep away mosquitos!
9. A Tide to Go Pen or Shout Wipes. I am the clumsiest person ever…so not only do I trip and fall (on solid, dry ground, btw), but I’m always spilling.  These are super handy, and can help save your favorite blouse.  Be careful to only dab with the shout wipe, so you don’t end up with a wet stain on your shirt or pants….which the big wet stain on your pants can attract more attention than the speck of ketchup!

10. Well fitting undergarments. Because of my 5 male blog followers, and based on the fact that they are all always giving me a hard time with snarky comments, I shall not elaborate on this…but you girls know what I mean.  If not Private Message me and I shall elaborate.    Plus, based on “Mr. X’s”  comment from Monday’s blog on Men’s Summer Fashion Faux Pas, “I’m disappointed to hear that Speedo’s now classify as a fashion don’t.  I hope this is a new development on the fashion front since I was rocking that look in South Beach a few weeks ago.  I must say, I did get more than my fair share of attention.  Stuffing them with a potato may have been the reason for my popularity that day! “ …it would be Open Season on me and my little blog…so shall forego elaborating any further!  Oh, and Mr “X”…bring it on! 🙂

“I find it handy to keep all of these items together in my house (I store most of these in a hole in my shoe rack), and if you really want to be prepared, keep duplicates in your car or purse (a lot of these things have mini versions, too!) “ (Maria Menounos)

Keep these tiny tools on hand for those minor mishaps!

Mini Wardrobe Emergency Kit:

  • A small can of static guard can rescue you from the “creeping/clinging skirt” syndrome.  $2 at Drugstores.
  • Attach a tiny Swiss Army knife and a safety-pin to your key chain.These two tools are indispensable for speedy saves.  $20, swissarmy.com.
  • Wet Ones moist towelettes leave minimal water rings and work on most stains, even makeup, says costume designer Mona May. Put a towel under the stain to absorb the liquid, then pat; don’t rub.  $2.50 at drugstores.
  • This Mini Sewing Kit, packed with essentials, is about as big as a pack of gum.  $7, containerstore.com.
  • A tiny Evercare travel-size Lint Pic-Up Adhesive Roller is handy and smaller than your palm.  $1 at drugstores.

nye-beauty-survival-kit-products2

And to prove that size does Not matter…I received this fabulous small emergency kit from my friend Nancy:

Minimergency® Kit for Her
This Minimergency® Kit is an all-inclusive set designed to help women survive beauty, fashion, and personal care predicaments. Fix flyaways with a teeny-tiny hairspray. Stop runs in your hose with clear nail polish. Mend a fallen hem with double-sided tape. This kit does it all—and it comes in a cute gold metallic bag to boot.

This set contains:
– 0.017 oz Blistex® Lip Ointment
– Dental Floss
– Ice Drops Breath Freshener
– Emery Board
– 0.8 oz Clear Nail Polish
– 1 Nail Polish Remover Pad
– 0.1 oz Hair Spray
– Clear Elastics
– Earring Backs
– 1 Stain Remover Towelette
– Double-Sided Tape
– Mending Kit
– 1 Deodorant Towelette
– 1 Small Latex-Free Bandage
– 1 Regular Tampon
– 1 Packet of 2 Tablets of Advil®

The Only thing that separates us from the animals is our ability to accessorize! (Phyllis Coneset…though she may have heard it from Steel Magnolia’s, but I would like to credit Phyllis with this little nugget!)

May you always be Prepared and Exceptionally Accessorized!

xoxo,

T.