How to: Care for Every Item in Your Closet

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Fashion, How To, Life, Uncategorized

Did you know that they are different ways to care for every item in your closet? Most people believe if you just machine wash everything and care from them that they will last long, but there are other steps you can take that will help items last even longer. Style Caster has a blog of “101 Tips to Care for Every Item in Your Closet” and they touch base on care tips you never thought of before. I won’t bore everyone with writing out all 101 tips, but I will list a few tips per item that I feel everyone can relate to! I definitely learned some new things I never knew before from this article. For more care tips, click on the picture below to get forwarded to Style Casters site!

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SILK

  1. While dry-cleaning is fine for basic silk pieces, it is even better to hand wash them in order to keep them in good shape.
  2. Never wring out silk to dry! Instead roll the item up in a towel and gently press the water out.
  3. Always store silk in a dry dark place, and never keep it in plastic since the fabric needs to breath.

JEANS

  1. To zap odors: hang jeans in the bathroom before a shower (the damp steam will keep them fresh between washes), or freeze them in a plastic bag for two days.
  2. Add a 1/2 cup of white vinegar to the final rinse cycle while doing laundry to maintain the wash of your favorite pair of dark jeans.
  3. Fold jeans like a pro: lay jeans on a flat surface, fold in half from left to right. Grab the stacked jean legs and fold them in half so the hem of the jeans lines up with the waistband. Fold the jeans in half one more time.
  4. Always wash jeans inside out in cold water on the delicate cycle, or by hand with Woolite. (If you actually want denim to fade quickly, wash once in hot water)

CASHMERE

  1. Never hold up a wet cashmere sweater by the shoulders, it’ll stretch it out. In fact, keep your cashmere in a lump when you go to pick it up when wet.
  2. Always fold cashmere sweaters in thirds so you don’t get a fold line running down the front of the sweater.
  3. Always clean cashmere before storing it for the winter, as moths are attracted to our everyday scents, such as perfume, food, deodorant, and smoke.

COTTON

  1. When keeping cotton towels, robes, and washcloths fluffy, use half the amount of detergent and run them through an extra rinse cycle (detergent residue can diminish softness)
  2. For best results, machine wash cotton items in warm water on a normal wash cycle.

VISCOSE/RAYON

  1. Hang wet items totally wet (no wringing or twisting) as this will help remove creasing and ensure the garment doesn’t lost its shape.
  2. Viscose has a silky appearance and feel, it breaths like cotton, can be easily draped, and it’s lightweight. However, it wrinkles very easily, so it’s advised to use an iron’s medium setting with steam.

LEATHER JACKET

  1. Never use a hair blower to dry wet leather.
  2. Before wearing a leather jacket, treat it first with scotch guard or a similar spray to help prevent the ingress of water, stains or grime.
  3. Leather jackets are more prone to water stains when they’re not properly treated, and while you should avoid taking them out in rainy weather, it’s also important to hang your jacket in a dry, well-ventilated closet.

POLYESTER

  1. Polyester is easy to care for, but locks stains. To lift a stain, rub stain remover on the area and allow it to sit for 10-20 minutes before laundering.
  2. If the stained garment is white, consider soaking the fabric for 24 hours in a gallon of water and 1/3 cup of automatic dish washing soap before throwing it in the machine.

SWIMWEAR

  1. You never should use a washing machine for bathing suites, but there is one exception: at the end of summer or your vacation, you can wash swimwear in lingerie bags on the machine’s gentle cycle with a bit of Woolite, but only after many wears.
  2. While your swimsuit doesn’t need to be washed with detergent every time you wear it, it should be rinsed in cool tap water every time you take it off after swimming or sunning to remove most of the sunscreen, dirt, sweat, and chlorine.

DOWN COATS, VESTS, AND BLANKETS

  1. It’s key to use a front-loading washer, as a top-loading machine can damage the down item.
  2. Don’t add more detergent than necessary- residual soap prevents down items from getting fluffy.
  3. If your garment is really dirty, stop the machine mid-wash for an hour or so and simply let it soak.

DELICATE LINGERIE 

  1. Silk, satin and lace lingerie should always be hand-washed and left out to dry, as machines can damage small bits of high-quality fabric.
  2. For bras and camis, don’t throw them in a messy drawer- keep them organized and folded properly to maintain the cups.
  3. Try not to wear the same bra two days in a row, as it needs time to regain its shape after wear. (I am victim to this!!)
  4. For padded or under-wire bras, fold them in half with the straps tucked under the cups.

WORKOUT CLOTHES/SHOES

  1. After working out, always shake two or three tablespoons of baking soda into each sneaker, as this eats up excess moisture and odor.
  2. If your gear is super-sweaty, wash them immediately after wearing. If you don’t have a machine nearby, hand wash them to stop stains and smells from setting.
  3. For sports bras and clothes that still retain the scent of perspiration, soak them in the sink with either one part vinegar to four parts water, or a quarter cup of Borax mixed with water. Let them sit for an hour before running them through the wash.
  4. Air-drying spandex and lycra workout clothes maintains elasticity, but if you decide to use a dryer, make sure it’s on the lowest setting.

WOOL COATS, SWEATERS, AND PANTS

  1. Remove light stains on wool by blotting (not rubbing!) with cold water or club soda using absorbent cloths or paper towels.
  2. To actually hand wash, use a mild detergent and lukewarm water to let the item soak for 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing in cool water. To dry, gently squeeze the garment and lay it flat.
  3. Never use scolding hot water or bleach on wool items.
  4. Allow 24 hours between wearing your wool sweaters or pants after washing, as this allows wrinkles to dissipate and the elasticity of the fabric to bounce back.
  5. Wool coats should be dry cleaned at the beginning and at the end of the season.

DRESS SHOES

  1. Maintain the shape of soft leather or suede shoes by loosely packing them with clean tissues.
  2. Leather shoes should have a full day to dry out from natural foot perspiration between wearings.
  3. It pays to condition expensive leather boots and shoes before wearing (and every few months) to avoid drying, cracking, and water damage. Remember, leather is skin.

VELVET

  1. Never iron velvet, as the fibers will get crushed and the iron will leave an imprint.
  2. Never fold velvet when storing. Instead, gently stuff items with tissue paper and lay flat inside garment boxes.

BONUS TIPS AND TRICKS!!

  • Use white wine to remove red wine stains. (Every woman should know this trick!!)
  • Remove white deodorant marks from a garment by gently rubbing the protective foam used on hangers against the fabric.
  • The best at-home method to keep diamonds sparkling: liquid dishwasher detergent and an old toothbrush.
  • To stop angora or mohair from shedding, fold the garment and place it into a zip-top bag and freeze it for at least three hours.

 

Plan a Wedding on a Budget

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in DIY, How To, Life, Uncategorized

Everyone knows that planning a wedding takes not only time but also a lot of money. Bride’s-to-be dream of their perfect wedding day for years and years, but when it is actually time to start planning that special day, you have to be practical. Wedding’s can be extremely expensive, but if you are very determined to keep your special day within a certain budget, there are ways to easily cut down costs and get you that fairy tale wedding. Here are some ways to not only cut down for your wedding, but to actually make it that much more special with your own touch added to it! Click on the pictures for more ideas and instructions!

Choosing a location: If you want to save cost on a wedding location, think about what local options you have. Deciding to go with a friends barn or even your own backyard can save you a ton of money. Renting out a park for the day or even a reception hall in a church will be cheaper than a destination wedding or an upscale venue.

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Don’t plan your wedding for a Saturday: Even though Saturday is the most popular day to walk down the aisle, try doing a Friday or Sunday wedding instead. Since locations and venues are looking to fill up their calendars rather than have empty seats, you can normally get a discount rate.

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Shorten the guest list: If you want to cut down on the guest list, the best place to start is with the kids. You don’t have to invite your friends children, just invite the parents! Also if you cut the “plus-one” out of the invitations, you will save room for more people that you want to attend. If you’re clear on the invitations that there is no ”plus-one” everyone should respect that!

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Choose where you want to splurge: If you want a huge extravagant cake, then go for it! Just cut back on costs by making your own invitations or making your own table arrangements. Look on sites like Pinterest for cheap and tasteful arrangements and “Save the Date” ideas that you can do yourself. If you have a friend who is a great photographer or a DJ, hire him for the evening!

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Don’t spend a huge amount on your wedding dress: When you begin shopping for your wedding dress, try looking at local boutiques first. Shopping at a local store, like TT New York, will save you on the cost of doing a special order (which can be pricey). You can not only try on the dress you’re thinking of buying, but you can be assured that there won’t be hidden charges like rush fees or shipping fees. Most high end boutiques only carry sample sizes that you will have to special order and wait months to come in, but if you shop local you can buy off the rack! TT has everything from bridal gowns, bridesmaids dresses, and mother of the bride/groom dresses in stock. You won’t have to worry about special ordering and the stress of not knowing if the dress you ordered is exactly what you wanted. Some dress boutiques will have seamstresses on site (TT New York always has 2!!) who are both professionals and are use to working with the dresses in stock. You’ll save not only the trouble of having to find a seamstress that you can trust, but they will normally give you some kind of discount for getting alterations done through the store where you bought your dress.

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Borrow something: By borrowing your mothers or grandmothers wedding dress or veil, you will save a bunch of money. It is not only sentimental but classy to have a nice vintage look in your wedding! The saying is: Something Old, Something New; Something Borrowed, Something Blue

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There are many different ways to save money on your wedding day and those were just a few ideas. Remember, there are many little things you can do on your own to make it personal. For more ideas check out our Pinterest board and remember TT New York when you’re looking for that special wedding gown! TT New York also carries Mother of the Bride/Groom and Bridesmaids dresses with alterations available on site. Finish off the look with some of our shoes, purses and genuine Swarvowski crystal jewelry sets! TT is a one-stop shop! You can look at our collections on our website or come visit us at our Boulevard Mall and Fashion Outlets of Niagara Falls locations!!

How to: Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Food, How To, Life, Uncategorized

Its hard to not be drawn to shows like “Extreme Couponing” and watch people save big on everyday groceries. Who wouldn’t want to learn how to cut your grocery bill in half?! Everyone knows groceries are expensive, costing the average household about $6,000 a year,  that’s about 10% of the averages families income. But how does one learn how to coupon and save money like that? There are many different guides to help you get started but one I came across really peaked my interest. Her name is Ruth and she is an ordinary mother who has a simple yet effective way to save money through not only coupons and other easy to follow ways. She has a website called “Living Well Spending Less” that touches base on not only couponing, but also organization and household tips. (Clicking on the picture below will forward you to her website) Here are the tips from her article about “5 Tips Everyone Should Know” to save money on groceries.

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  1. It’s not about the coupons: ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS buy food when it is on sale. The bulk of your savings will come from in store sales, not from coupons. The bigger the promotion, the bigger the savings, so the first step in saving money on your grocery bill is to SHOP THE SALES
  2. Stockpile, Stockpile, Stockpile: In order to make sure you are always buying an item at its lowest price make sure you buy enough of that item to last you to the next sale, about 6-8 weeks. Things like pasta and cereal have a long shelf life, so these are the types of items to stock up on while they are on sale. Stockpiling will stop you from shopping more frequently thus saving you money long term.
  3. Eat Less Meat: Cutting back on meat a few times a month can cut a bill as much as $1,000 a year. When buying meat, remember to only buy what is on sale, and stock up if it is a great sale!
  4. Change the way you Meal Plan: Instead of planning last minute dinners and having to run out to the store to grab food, plan your meals ahead of time and use things you’ve stockpiled!  If meat is one of the items in your meal plan, but is not on sale, save money by limiting yourself to only one or two days cooking with meat. Look at your grocery stores weekly ad’s for sales to better plan for that weeks meals. Once you start making meal plans, it will better prepare you for what you need to buy on your next grocery trip.
  5. Learn to Match Coupons to Store Sales: Coupons normally come out before the weekend, so when you are planning your next big stop to the grocery store, make sure to look at not only the coupons but also the in-store sales. Learning how to stockpile with coupons only every 6-8 weeks could save you up to $75 a week. Coupons don’t normally expire for a few months, so gather up a small amount before you venture to the grocery store. Items that have long shelve lives like toothpaste, pasta, toilet paper, paper towels etc, you can normally get at a extremely low cost if you plan accordingly. Stores will normally offer a “Buy one, Get one” sale and by combining that sale with a coupon, you can get more for close to nothing. If you look at Ruth’s website, she has a “Beginner’s Guide to Cutting Coupons” with easy to follow instructions on how to get started!

Saving money is easy and anybody can learn how. Starting with just these few steps you will see your bill start to decrease and you will be more organized when it comes to grocery shopping.  To learn about more ways to help save money, check out Ruth’s website! www.livingwellspendingless.com

How to Stay Fashionable in the Winter

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Fashion, How To, Uncategorized

Even though the snow is falling and it is slushy and gloomy outside, you can still dress fashionable and comfortable with the low temperatures. I am always looking for ways I can keep my outfits up to date while still keeping me warm as I am out running errands or at work. Glamour Magazine has a whole section on how to stay fashionable in the winter, so here are a few looks!

One look that is very professional as well as an everyday look is to layer a simple button up shirt under a cashmere sweater. Pair the layers with a pair of black dress pants and heels and you’re ready for the office, or style the look with some jeans and you are ready for dinner or just for running around. A look that I love is bright colored coats; it adds a touch of color to make a simple outfit more extravagant. Even if it is winter, a beautiful royal blue or coral colored pea-coat would turn heads instead of the typical black or grey color. Wear it over a dress while you’re enjoying a night out or just over some leggings for a more casual look.

Another great look, that can also be paired with a pea-coat, is knee high boots or boots that hit just below the knee. They are a great everyday look that you can wear for any occasion. If you’re like me and normally only wear skinny jeans, theses boots are the perfect shoe to wear. They keep you warm and you can easily layer leg warmers under them if they are baggier on your thigh. A good pair of leather boots will last you throughout the winter and they are also perfect for fall weather too. If you have a fancy dinner to go out to and decide to get a little daring, a knit dress is another style must-have. Wear black tights and booty heels to turn the dress into a night time outfit or just a scarf and leather boots to make the look more winter friendly.

The last look, which I do about every day in the winter, is to accessorize with printed or colored scarfs. I just love them! If you’re wearing jeans and a plain shirt, throw on a funky scarf or a bright color. Not only are the fashionable, but they keep you warm! The knitted ones are especially my favorite and you can wear them with basically any look. Pair a leopard scarf with a little black dress and a red lipstick and you just created a fun and flirty look. Though all this nasty weather makes everyone want to bundle up in blankets and not move from our warm houses, there are ways to make sure you stay warm and fashionable during the flurries!

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(Weblink to Glamour article: http://www.glamour.com/fashion/2009/10/how-to-stay-warm-while-still-looking-cool#slide=9)