Sharing what I've learned that makes "Cents"

Life is challenging as we all know. These days, it's harder than ever to make ends meet and to let go of stress. So, I find good ways to stretch a dollar, as well as, enjoy life! I find daily ways to live happier and to thrive in a world that can often be challenging. Its always been very important to me that I help others along the way. After all, isn't that what life is about?

Keeping tabs on ways to afford the things that you need, and have a little left for those things you simply "want", is my mission. At the same time, I still leave room for spending quality time with the people and things I love, plus spreading joy when possible.

Hope I can help you in some way, as many others have done for me! Remember...try to always "pay it forward"!

Friday, February 14, 2014

Best At-Home Haircolor!!

So, believe it or not, I have been coloring my hair since I was in my mid-twenties. This was actually to cover gray, and not just because I wanted to change my hue! Guess it runs in my family. So, I have tried many at-home kits. Revlon Color Silk, Loreal Excellence, Loreal Preference, Clairol Nice & Easy, Garnier Nutrisse, etc. I have always tried to stay as close to my natural color as possible. I have also preferred an Ash base as I do not like red in my hair. Now that I am reaching a "golden age milestone" Agh!!!, My hair needs to be colored every 2-3 weeks. I can't imagine if I had to pay someone to do it. I would be in the poorhouse!

I have been very loyal to L'Oreal and found it to be one of the best products out there...until now. I just found the one for me, and hopefully it will stick around for a while as it is a new product. It is called "Age Beautiful". Now, I don't love the name, but, I do LOVE the product!! I was turned onto it by my local Sally Beauty Supply. It is specifically designed for aging hair and meant to leave it in beautiful condition. Well, of course I am a skeptic until I try things on my own. I am happy to say that I am a skeptic no more! I used the 4A formula which is Dark Ash Brown. I purchased the developer creme made by them as well. It mixes in equal parts which is 2 ounces each. I mixed them in a plastic color bowl, put on my gloves, grabbed my applicator brush and started. It mixed easily and was a great consistency. I parted my hair as I went and started with my roots, then finished with the ends. My hair is thick, and it is below my shoulders. I was pleased that it was enough to cover it all.

One week later and it looks so beautiful!! I am so pleased and my hair truly looks so healthy and shiny. I don't see any grays at the roots which often does happen within 1 week with the other color products I have used. It advertises that it is designed to "fight all 5 signs of aging". You can read more about it here. I will continue to see how it goes, but so far, it is far better than any others I have used!

On a similar note, I recently discovered Bigen Haircolor.
I wanted something that was ammonia and peroxide free for in between full colorings. This little dynamo has worked wonderfully for touching up the grays! It is a powder in a tiny bottle that is almost laughable. However, you don't need much, and it does a phenomenal job! I bought it at Sally Beauty, but I have seen it in Walmart too. It is in the Ethnic Hair section. Well, whatever section it's in, it is a great product. I often worry about long term effects of the things we put in our hair and on our bodies. At least I can feel a little better knowing that this is more gentle.

Try both of these for yourself. They are extremely affordable and very user-friendly!! Happy coloring!

Feb 28th-(Just completed week 3 and it is time to color once again. However, it has performed far better than my previous color choices and I am so pleased)!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Yes! You can wash a COACH Bag :-)

So, I purchased a lovely Coach bag recently on eBay (exactly like the one pictured). I researched the seller and also checked the serial number, and yes, the bag was authentic. I opened the package to see a bag that looked like new and I was thrilled! However, as I got closer to it, I could smell a very profound musty odor. It is the kind you smell when you walk into a thrift shop and it is not nice, agh! I contacted the seller and she admitted that it had been left in the basement for quite some time, thus, it stunk! She offered to pay for drycleaning it, and that was fine with me.

I started to research local cleaners as I felt sure one would offer this service. To my surprise, I could not find one at all. In fact, the closest one was 2 hours away. I then started looking for other ways to clean it myself. After reading other blogs of folks who had actually stuck their beloved bags in the washing machine, I was horrified! I couldn't believe that this could actually work without damaging the leather or the hardware. And, I do believe that Coach advises against this. Yet, I loved the bag and though I had tried to carry it one day without cleaning it, the smell was unbearable. So, I figured I would give it a shot!

The bag is a signature tote with the classic jacquard print in black and gray. I removed the leather handles that could be removed, as well as, the leather Coach key-fob. I wrapped the entire bag into a bath size white towel, and placed it all inside a mesh bag used for delicates with just a small amount of baby detergent. I then set the washer to the delicate/handwash cycle with cold water and no-spin and pressed the start button with fingers crossed! I watched in fear as the water started flowing onto it.

45 minutes later I came back to see what the result was. Thankfully, the bag still looked perfect! I gently squeezed any excess water from it, towel dried the leather and hardware, and hung it on a pant hanger to dry fully. Well, I would like to say that one wash took care of the smell...wrong! After a few days, the smell of the bag was still not pleasant. So, I washed it again :-)! This time I added white vinegar and baking soda to the cycle. That was all it took. The bag not only came out looking beautiful again, but this time, it smelled wonderful. I even let it air dry for about an hour in indirect sunlight and that made it even better.

So, I am happy to say that this worked. I am not sure that every Coach bag would respond this well, and I would hate to recommend it being done without knowing for sure. Definitely a "try it at your own risk" type of thing. However, if it comes down to not being able to use the bag because of odors or stains, you may as well give it a shot! I love COACH. They are timeless, elegant and made with such high quality. I am so pleased with my results!