Monthly Archives: October 2012

My Broke Halloween

Happy Halloween, my fellow broke people!

Sometimes, when funds are low, you need to take a more DIY approach to your All Hallows Eve garb!  These ladies have some pretty awesome ideas for those of us who are tired of paying top dollar for cheaply made “sexy” costumes that never seem to actually look sexy on anyone (a sexy watermelon?  Seriously?).

I took costume inspiration from this lady for my Halloween parties!

It’s none other than Little Edie Beale, star of the 1975 documentary, Grey Gardens!

All it took was, a couple of sweaters (one for my head and one for a skirt), a little black dress, a white slip, a gold brooch, fishnets, a pair of heels, and some red lipstick…all things I already had on hand!

Huzzah for this year’s Halloween costume being a freebie!  :)

Bruce Campbell thinks it’s pretty swell, too!

Here’s a few more fun pics:

More DIY awesomeness! :)

Hey, Clark! :)

Cheers!

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DIY Keratin Treatment (and why you probably shouldn’t do it yourself)

Pretty much everyone I see has better hair than mine, and that makes me sad.  Not sad enough to stop frying my hair with cheap boxed hair dye or grilling it with a flat iron on the daily — Just enough to passive-aggressively resent the hell out of all those cute coeds with their perfect, shiny strands.

You marvelous, beautiful bitch.

I’ve wanted to see how a Keratin treatment would work on my coarse, wavy tresses, but as you know…I’m broke.  I can’t very well flippin’ afford a $300 hair treatment.

Dyed & Fried! :(

So,  I did what any fearless loser would do.  I bought a bottle of the professional-grade stuff from Amazon.   Now…don’t get me wrong.  Just because I did this, doesn’t mean that you should.  In fact, you probably shouldn’t.   Buying this online means that I have no way to know if this stuff is the original product, diluted, an inferior product, or rabbit skin glue.  Seriously…I’m probably an idiot for attempting this.  But, the bottle cost about $80, which is enough for about 4 treatments (This would be $1,200 in salon visits!).

I gathered my tools…

Yup…that’s a Country Crock container and a paintbrush. I’m not proud!

The bottle has detailed directions on how to administer the treatment, as well as “For Professional Use Only” written on it (I obviously ignored that last bit).  I had to wash my hair 3 times with a special sodium-free shampoo and blow it dry.

Then, I painted my locks with what I desperately hoped wasn’t horse semen…

“Hey Ladeez!”

See? It doesn’t look like semen at all! :)

I put a shower cap on my head and waited for 30 minutes…

So far, so good! :)

Then I blew my hair dry again, and began straightening it.  It took forever   (partially due to my taking several wine breaks)!  You have to straighten 1/2″ sections 10 times per section with a 450 degree flat iron.

The whole process ended up taking about 3 hours.

Aaaaand….here’s what it looks like after!  :)

Note to self: Duckface is for D-bags. :/

My Verdict:  Keratin CAN be administered at home successfully (we’ll see if it lasts).  BUT…you’re taking a HUGE risk here, ladies.  If you have a fear of losing your hair or any sense of pride in your appearance (I’m seriously lacking in both of these areas), you shouldn’t risk it.  BUT…if your daring is matched only by your stupidity, give it a go and save some $$$!  :)

Cheers!

My Broke Weekend

I’m still recovering from what was most certainly an awesome weekend!  Not only was it really fun, I also managed to spend only a teensy bit of money…huzzah!  :)

For starters, Friday night my fella and I ventured off to the Midlands Tech Harbison Theatre to catch Chapin Community Theatre’s production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.  Tickets for this show cost $15 a pop for non-students, but since I’m a theatre reviewer for Jasper Magazine, we got to see the show for free, in exchange for my review.  Sweet!  $30 saved!

My ensemble for the evening was also pretty flippin’ inexpensive.

Not too shabby for $14.50!

The dress is by Phillip Lim, but was given to me because it had a split seam.  I just sewed that sucker up, and now I have a dress that probably sells for about $400 retail.  I made the obi belt I’m wearing from a pair of men’s trousers I bought for 50 cents at a thrift store.  The sweet patent leather clutch I’m carrying only cost $1 (thrifted), and those gorgeous wedges were bought new online for $13, including free shipping.

Ooh la la!

Happy Theatre-Goers!

So, that was a fun & thrifty date night, but what about the rest of my weekend?

At 6am Saturday morning, I met up with a few friends at the Colonial Life Arena for the Color Me Rad 5k.  The entry fee for the run was $40 (which seems like a lot for a 5k…jus’ sayin’!), but you could volunteer your services as a color bomber, and still participate in the event for free!  Some of the profits for this event benefitted the Happy Wheels charity, so I was happy to do my part!  :)

…which is precisely what we did! :)

Little did we know we’d be shuttled to our post for the event in a Ryder Van.  “I know it seems creepy,” one of the event organizers said completely non-reassuringly.  Seriously?  Toting people around in a MOVING TRUCK?  While this would be the perfect ruse for a human trafficking organization, we all hopped in like the foolish suckers we are.  :/

Holding on for dear life!

Trying to not roll out of the death truck!

Death Truck aside, the early scary morning was well worth it!

As the 6,000 runners raced by, we had the special joy of pelting them with handfuls of color!!!  :D

Color us Rad! :)

My Saturday was only getting started, folks!  I rushed home to shower, then met up with friends at the SC Pride Parade and Festival.  The festival itself is a free event, but as usual, drinks (alcoholic or non) are expensive.  Not to worry!  I came prepared!

Bring your own bottle! :)

Some festivals don’t allow you to bring in any outside beverages (and will even search your bag), so check on this before you try to BYOB.  :)

While I saved tons on drinkage, I still ended up with a $3 slice of leathery pizza.  Whatever…hunger calls!

No…you don’t need to get your eyes checked. That’s a pink puppy! :)

After having fun at the festival, we headed off to watch the USC Game.  I had a couple of beers and an inexpensive appetizer, so my tab was less than $15…not too bad.

Fast forward to Sunday!  I spent the day with my fella and his son.  We hit up the Mark Rothko exhibit at the Columbia Museum of Art.

Ready for some Rothko! :)

From Monday-Saturday, admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students.  But on Sundays, admission is free (thanks to Blue Cross Blue Sheild)!  So, we saved $25 while getting our culture on!   :)

Kids dig abstract expressionism.

I also wore another cheapo outfit.  :)

Dress: Free (given to me from roomie)
Pants: $1 (thrifted)
Leather Bag: $1 (thrifted)
Scarf: I’ve had it forever
Shoes: $13 (on sale w/ free shipping from 6pm.com)

So, this was a super-fun and super-cheap weekend!  What made it such a thrifty success?  :)

  • I bartered my writing skills & expertise!
  • I saved $$$ on clothes by making, mending, & thrifting!
  • I volunteered for an event,  instead of paying a hefty fee!
  • I went to a free event, and planned ahead to BYOB!
  • I took advantage of a “free day” at the museum!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to be just as thrifty next weekend!  :)

DIY Laundry Detergent

By now you’ve probably figured out that I’m fairly friggin frugal.  :)  I came to the decision to start making and remaking my own clothes when I walked by an expensive dress shop and thought, “Hey…I can do that!”  Since then, I’ve been looking at other things I think I pay too much for that I could probably make for myself.

One of these things is Laundry Detergent.   I used to pay just under $10 for a bottle of Tide about every few weeks (I used to do a LOT of laundry when I was living with my now-ex).  This is silly!  I don’t need to be tossing my hard-earned dough out the door!

I’ts just not working out.  :/

As an avid couponer (ah yes…there is no end to my cheap-assedness!), I can tell you, there really aren’t that many great deals on laundry soap out there.  :/  Plus, I didn’t have space to stockpile the stuff.

What’s a gal to do?!

I started researching different ways to make my own.  I opted out of making a liquid detergent.  All that soap boiling and slime making didn’t sound that fun.  Plus, I’d have to find a place to put FIVE GALLONS of the stuff!  I decided to go with the easier powder detergent recipe that could make a smaller batch.

Here’s what you need.

You’re looking at:

1 box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda

1 box of Biz Stain Fighting Enzyme Cleaner

1 bar of Dial Soap

If you’re doing this at home, make sure you get washing soda, not baking soda.   Washing soda has a higher alkaline content.  Make sure you don’t get the Biz detergent, but the stain fighter.  Here’s where I deviated from most recipes: I used Biz instead of Borax, because I thought it would be less harsh on my clothes, but still fight any stains (Since first making this, I’ve used borax as well, and have been just as happy). I used a bar of Dial soap instead of Fels Naptha laundry soap because I liked the smell better (Mmmmm!  Springtime Fresh!).  The only thing you’ll want to remember is if you’re substituting soaps, don’t use the kind with moisturizers in it, as you don’t want to lotion your clothes!  :)

So now what?

The first step in this process is to grate the bar of soap.  I used my awesome food processor, so this took about 5 seconds.  Here’s what it will look like when you’re done.

Mmmmm! Looks like shredded Mozzarella!

Next, add 1 cup of Washing Soda and 1 cup of Biz to the shredded soap in your food processor (or blender, if you don’t have a processor) until all the bits of soap have been ground into powder.

It will look like this:

Powder!

That’s it!  You now have your own laundry detergent!

You’ll want to use less of this soap than what you’re used to.

Small Loads:  1 Tablespoon

Medium Loads:  2 Tablespoons

Large Loads:  3 Tablespoons

If you’re like me, you’ll want to peer in your machine to see how your new detergent is working.  Don’t worry when you don’t see any suds.  This detergent is sulfate-free (it’s the sulfate that makes the suds in the store-bought stuff), so you won’t see any.  Don’t fret!  Your duds don’t need suds to get clean!  :)

So…How does it work, you ask?  Great!  I did a big load of darks to test my new soap, and they came out super-clean and smelling great!  I wash everything with cold water, and there was absolutely no residue on anything.  I would definitely say it works just as well as the expensive stuff.

Broke losers don’t get to have fancy packaging.  :(

I’m really excited about how well this worked and how easy it was.  For $6 in supplies, I have enough detergent to last for months and months!  AND it doesn’t have as many additives as store-bought detergent.  :)

What fun things have you learned to do for yourself lately?