Summer Activities to do in Buffalo!

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Life, Uncategorized

Since this cold doesn’t seem to be going anywhere for awhile, I figured I would write something that will make people think about the warmth and summer. Even though Buffalo doesn’t seem like it has a lot going on in the summer, there are a ton of different activities to do! Here are some of my favorite things to do during the summer that not only make you love Buffalo that much more, but are truly enjoyable!! xoxo

Artpark/ Harbor/ First Niagara Center/ Darien Lake Concerts- Buffalo has so many different concert venues to go and see shows at,  it is hard not to spend you’re entire summer going to a ton of different concerts. Some shows down at the Buffalo Harbor are usually free and open to all ages!! Nothing is better than enjoying the sunshine down by the waterfront and listening to music. Darien Lake is a short 20 minute or so drive outside of Buffalo and is my favorite place to watch shows. You get to roam around the venue the entire show and socialize, as well as enjoy the beautiful summer nights outdoors. The First Niagara Center usually holds the more popular concerts because of its large size. Shows at the First Niagara Center are always amazing but sitting for an entire concert can get boring, that is why I love Darien Lake because you’re able to walk around and dance!

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Erie County Fair- Ever since i was a little girl, my family has gone to the Erie County Fair every year. Besides the fact that there are a ton of fun rides, the food is so mouth watering good that you can’t help but sample everything! There is nothing quite like walking around on a beautiful summer day with some fried dough and fresh squeezed lemonade in your hands. They also have live concerts, carriage rides, carnival games/rides and a demolition derby! It is a fun filled day for all age groups with so many different activities to do while the fair is in town!

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Chicken Wing Festival- Hosted at Dunn Tire Park, it is a two day event where over 30 different restaurants from all over Buffalo get together to compete for the best chicken wings. You get to sample all of the different restaurants recipes for their own specialty chicken wings!  This is one of the best events during the summer (normally takes place at the end of August) because who doesn’t love trying free chicken wings all day!? They also have live music, a chicken wing eating contest, and the Miss Buffalo Wing Pageant. Only $5 to get in and children 8 and under are free!

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Whirlpool Jet Boats- Probably one of the best things I’ve done in a really long time! You take a Jet Boat down the 7 mile gorge made from the strong currents of Niagara Falls. You go through rapids and get drenched by the waves mixed with the current from the falls! It is an amazing experience where you get to see a different view of the Falls and also the beauty of the Devil’s Hole Rapids. If you have ever walked down by the Devil’s Hole Rapid and seen the intensity of the current, just imagine flying down it in a Jet Boat! If you want to experience the ride without getting soaked from head to toe, they also have a Jet Boat that is completely covered by all glass so you still get to experience the amazing views.

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3 Ways to Avoid Buyer’s Remorse

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

Every woman is guilty of purchasing items that are “spur of the moment” buys that will probably never end up being worn. There will always be those designer shoes or designer bag that you just “have to have” but ask yourself, is it really worth it? Or are you going to be regretting spending a whole weeks paycheck on something you may never wear. Well I am going to give you my tips on how to avoid buyers remorse and to ensure you get your dream pieces without completely emptying your pockets.

  1. Take Inventory: Firstly, take a good look at your closet. What’s hanging front and center? These are probably the everyday things you wear the most, which means you have a good stock. (Translation: you don’t need another one) Your plan of attack: Pull out the 10 things you wear the most (shoes and bags included) and examine them. Is your favorite blouse getting yellowed under the arm pit? Then maybe it’s time to replace it. Are your skinny jeans finally broken in and you wish you could wear them everyday? Then you don’t need another pair! Keep this going for all 10 items, which will provide you with a basis from which to decide what you really need this season.
  2. Look for promotions and sales: If you know you are in the market for a new pair of shoes or say maybe even a dress for a special occasion coming up, think about when would be a good time to start shopping based off of when certain stores have their biggest blow out sales. Besides Black Friday, stores will also hold blow out sales usually at the end of every season , President’s Day, right around Easter, Christmas time, and so on. Your plan of attack: Stock up on coupons that don’t have an expiration dates so you can use them when you actually have an occasion to shop for. There isn’t anything more satisfying then saving money!
  3. Splurge on the important things: Say you are planning a wedding and you want that really beautiful yet expensive wedding gown, or you are going on a trip in the summer and you need a brand new wardrobe, well then its time to save your money. If you don’t waste your money by buying small unnecessary items, you will be able to splurge on the important things when the time comes. Your plan of attack: If you know you are going to need brand new shorts for summer, don’t buy 2 pairs of flip flops that are exactly the same but in different colors. Buy one pair and save your money to use towards needed items. If you have prom coming up at the end of the school year, stop spending your money on nick-knacks  and make yourself a savings jar so you can get that special dress you dreamed of.

So next time you are thinking about taking a trip to the mall, follow these tips to not only ensure you can get exactly what you want at an affordable cost without spending money on unnecessary things! Once you become a smart shopper, you will not only see in increase in your bank account, but also in your closet! Xoxo

St. Patty’s Day Treats!!

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

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up and if you are extremely Irish like I am, then you are bound to have a green filled weekend!! I love this time of year because it is an excuse to dye your food green and not be completely grossed out by it! From Shamrock shakes at McDonalds to green bagels at Tim Hortons, the green food is everywhere!  Here are some fun and easy ideas for some green treats that you can whip up in a giffy! xoxo

  1. Green Pancakes- add some green food coloring to your batter during preparation to have green pancakes for breakfast!! Add some whipped cream and chocolate fudge on top to make it that much more mouth watering. 9f8bce7ac9b41be7d319b5a0ba57922e
  2. Shamrock Cupcakes- Before you add the batter into the cupcake holders, add marbles to turn the cupcake holders into shamrock shapes (See picture below).  Add the batter and cook according to normal instructions. Add some green food coloring and green icing to turn them into green shamrocks!! e368198a180ecc2a181a753f55e99c79
  3. Shamrock Shake- Combine 2 cups of vanilla ice cream, 1 1/4 cup of 2% milk, 1/4 mint extract, and 8 drops of green food coloring into a blender and blend together on high speed until smooth. Pour into cups and enjoy a minty green shake!!57437623d48447bf429c5fd01d723f10
  4. Pretzel Bites- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.  Put a piece of foil on a cookie sheet and lay out however many pretzels you want to make. Put a piece of chocolate on each pretzel, then put them in the oven.  Baking time will vary based on your oven and what type of chocolate you use. Usually it takes around a minute to cook or until the chocolate is soft. Once you think the chocolate is soft enough, take the pan out of the oven and place a green M&M on top of the melted chocolate. Let cool and enjoy! snacks-for-st-patricks-day--500x500

 

 

Easy to Learn: Yoga Poses

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

Let’s all face it, everyone has tried yoga at least once in their life, and you’ve either stuck with it or ended up realizing you just aren’t that flexible. It is one of those activities that looks fun but once you actually start to take the classes, you realize how much strength you actually need! I have attempted yoga on more than one occasion and I always end up looking like a pretzel or realizing I have no body strength. Well I am going to share with you 11 Beginner’s Yoga Poses that are simple and anyone can complete! Buzzfeed.com has step by step instructions to help you get comfortable with these beginner poses. Try these out and maybe you’ll find a fancy for yoga like I did! 

 

  1. Mountain Pose- Stand feet hip-width apart, weight spread evenly between both your legs, with your arms at your sides. Then breathe slowly and deeply at an even pace, keeping your neck aligned with the rest of your spine. You can move your hands and arms as you focus, some people take a prayer position (hands folded in front of their chest) or reach up to the sky for a stretch. mountain-pose-400x400
  2. Downward Facing Dog- Get on all fours so that your hands are in-front of your feet, with hands and knees shoulder-and-hips-width apart. Walk your hands forward as much as your can and spread your fingers wide for stability. Curl your toes under and carefully press your hips forward so your body looks like a inverted V with your knees slightly bent. You can get a stronger stretch by keeping your heels on the floor.correct-down-dog-2
  3. Warrior Pose- Stand with your legs three to four feet apart. Turn out your right foot 90 degrees and your left foot in slightly. Keeping your shoulders down, extend your arms to the sides with your palms down. Lunge into your right knee 90 degrees; keep your knee over your foot and don’t let it go past your toes. Aim your focus over your hand for as long as you like then switch sides. enhanced-buzz-5129-1373377363-48
  4. Tree Pose- Take mountain pose (#1). Then shift your weight onto your left leg. Keeping your hips facing forward, place the sole of your right foot inside the left thigh and find your balance. When you’re there, take a prayer position with your hands. To kick it up a notch, reach your arms up as you would in mountain pose. Be sure to repeat on the other side. tree-pose
  5. Bridge Pose- Lie on the floor with your arms at your sides. With your knees bent, press your feet into the floor as you lift your hips. Then clasp your hands under your lower back and press your arms down for support. Lift your hips until they are parallel to the floor as you bring your chest to your chin. Rookie mode: try pillows under your head and/or hips. Bridge-Pose-505x336
  6. Triangle Pose- Take warrior pose on your right side without lunging into your knee. Then touch the inside of your right foot with the outside of your right hand. Reach up to the ceiling with your left hand. Turn your gaze towards and past your left hand to stretch your back. Don’t forget to repeat it on the other side.triangle
  7. Seated Twist- Sit on the floor and extend your legs. Cross your right foot over the outside of your left thigh. Bend your left knee keeping your right knee pointed towards the ceiling. Keep your right hand on the floor behind you to stay stable and place your left elbow to the outside of your right knee. Twist to the right as far as you can, moving from your abdomen. Be sure to keep both sides of your butt on the floor. Do this to both sides. Ardha-Matsyendrasana1
  8. Upward Facing Dog- Lie face down on the floor with your thumbs under your shoulders, legs extended with the tops of your feet on the floor. Tuck your hips downward as you squeeze your glutes. Keeping your shoulders down, push up and lift your chest off the ground. Relax and repeat. enhanced-buzz-25387-1373379773-14
  9. Pigeon Pose- Start in a push-up position, your palms under your shoulders. Place your left knee on the floor near your shoulders with your left heel by your right hip. Press your hands to the floor and sit back with your chest lifted. You can also lower your chest closer to the floor for a stretch. Try it on the other side. enhanced-buzz-16111-1373380712-0
  10. Crow Pose- Get into downward facing dog position. Then walk your feet forward until your knees touch your arms. Carefully, bend your elbows and life your knees off the floor. Rest your knees against the outside of your upper arms. Keep your abs engaged and legs pressed against your arms. You can leave your toes on the floor or if you’re a pro, life them off and hover. To do this, try to keep tucked tight, with your heels close to your butt. When you’re ready, push your upper arms against your shins and draw your inner groins deep into the pelvis to help you with the lift. enhanced-buzz-27565-1373381035-12
  11. Child’s Pose- Sit upright comfortably on your heels. Roll your torso forward and bring your forehead to rest on the ground in front of you. Extending your arms forward, lower your chest to your knees as close as you comfortably can. Hold the pose and breathe into your torso. Exhale and release to get deeper into your fold. enhanced-buzz-27711-1373381225-22

 

Coolest Places to Get Married in the USA

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Life, Uncategorized, Wedding

Are you planning a wedding and want it to be unique and unforgettable? Anyone can have the traditional wedding at a church with a reception at a hall or ballroom somewhere near by, but what about tying the knot in an unusual place. Not everyone can afford to travel to an exotic island and have all their loved ones travel there as well, so why not find a place just as amazing in the United States! BuzzFeed DIY researched all of the coolest places to get married in the USA and put it together in one article names “22 of the Coolest Places to Get Married in the USA”. Some of these places look like they are out of a movie and you would never know they even existed. I am only going to share my absolute favorite 11 with you because I love the exotic and one of a kind venues! Check out the article for the other beautiful venues and maybe some of them are even in your area and you had no idea about! 

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  1. Union Hill Inn: Sonora, California- Getting married in a castle like setting is such a romantic feeling. Every girl wants to feel like a princess on her wedding day after all! The grounds include pavilions, gazebo, foot bridge, various ponds, and barns.  The Union Hill Inn is one of the best hotels as well as bed n breakfast facilities in Sonora and Columbia. union hill inn
  2. Thorncrown Chapel: Eureka Springs, Arkansas- Nestled in the Ozark Mountains near Eureka Springs, Arkansas. With 48 feet tall and 425 windows all over 6,000 square feet of glass. Chosen 4th on the AIA’s top designs of the 20th century. You will feel like you are hidden away from the world in this magical all glass structure. thorncrown
  3. Cafe Brauer: Chicago, Illinois- If you are having a larger wedding, I highly recommend the Cafe Brauer. The Great Hall demonstrates classic Chicago architecture with beautiful high ceilings and a sunroof stretching the whole ceiling. While set in beautiful landscapes, the structure resides in an urban environment with unique skyline views of Chicago. cafe brauer
  4. Sodo Park: Seattle, Washington- This one-of-a-kind venue blends historical significance with modern day elegance for an ambient charm that can be dressed up or down for any event. Housed in a re-purposed century-old factory, Sodo Park’s urban loft design features 7,500 square feet of floor space, vaulted ceilings, exposed beams and mill work.sodo
  5. The Barr Mansion & Artisan Ballroom: Austin, Texas- Both venues are ecologically advances, energy efficient, consciously designed, and sustainable. The Artisan Ballroom was destroyed in a fire in 2010 and was rebuilt to be bigger and better. With massive 1000 pound metal doors and copper leaves around the cedar posts and door handles. The entry was inspired by a Parisian entry and a tiara, and utilized the charred timbers of the original ballroom’s frame. artisan ballroom
  6. The Franklin Park Conservatory: Columbus, Ohio- The conservatory is situated in the 88-acre Franklin Park just two miles east of downtown Columbus. Featuring indoor gardens filled with exotic plant life and artwork, including a collection of glass works by artist Dale Chihuly, the Conservatory offers enjoyment of the natural world any time of the day or year. Outdoors, botanical gardens, art sculptures, open green space and a one-mile walking loop offer respite from everyday life. You’ll feel like you’re on a tropical island!!franklin park
  7. Big Daddy’s Antiques: San Francisco & Los Angeles, California- If you love antiques then this is the perfect spot for you! Big Daddy’s Antiques is a retailer of one-of-a-kind antiques and reproductions from European, Asian, and North American markets. With nearly 20 years of expertise in the interior decorating and landscaping design fields, their scope reaches beyond simply selling antiques. Each of their showrooms provide a truly unique atmosphere for event and photo-shoot space rental. big daddys
  8. The Indianapolis Artsgarden: Indianapolis, Indiana- The seven-story-tall, glass enclosed structure offers a spectacular view of the city. Formed of painted steel, limestone and tinted glass, the Arts garden was created in 1995.  With such an amazing view and venue, it will make your wedding night that much more magical. artsgarden
  9. Treehouse Point: Issaquah, Washington- Just 30 minutes from Seattle, located in a beautiful forest besides the Raging River. Your wedding includes exclusive use of the entire 4 acres for 22 hours, as well as overnight accommodations for up to 16 people. You can take outrageous weddings photos on the bridge to your own personal treehouse.  You will feel like your getting married in a jungle! treehouse
  10. McNamara Alumni Center: Minneapolis, Minnesota- With its copper and wood walls and a capacity of 400 people, the McNamara Alumni Center is a beautiful venue for your special day. The inside is both unique and breath taking. The inside of the building makes you feel like you’re on the street looking at amazing architecture. main_rotate_1
  11. Under St. John’s Bridge: Portland, Oregon – A beautiful steel suspension bridge that spans the Willamette River in Portland. The adjacent park and neighborhood of Cathedral Park are named after the Gothic Cathedral-like appearance of the bridge towers. It is a popular wedding destination in Portland for its gorgeous views and architecture. With the waterfront in the distance, you will get some beautiful wedding photos.  grid-cell-20773-1367862965-8

Make a Bucket List!

Written by Nicole Garrity on . Posted in Life, Uncategorized

You constantly hear people sharing their dreams and passions and what they want to do before their time expires on Earth, but do any of them try and accomplish these things? Since my senior year in high school I started creating yearling bucket lists, but then I decided, why not make one for my entire life. It is exciting to sit down and write all your wishes down on a piece of paper. Even if it is just for a year (maybe its the year you’re graduations high school/college or your first year as a married couple) it is exciting to push yourself to new extremes and live your life to the fullest. I will share with you some of my dreams on my bucket list, maybe then you will get encouraged to create your own!!

Travel the world and see wildlife: I have always been that child growing up who said I would be a Marine Biologist, and it is still a passion of mine to this day. When my mother was in college she decided to take a leap of faith and go to Ecuador for a month to live and study in the jungle. Hearing stories about how she got to experience this whole other world made me want to walk in her footsteps. She always told me it was the best thing she ever did and would do it again if able. I am not the female who wants to travel to Paris or Rome, I want to travel to South America or Africa to see the wildlife. Last year I decided that I would take a month out of my life and volunteer at a wildlife reserve in Africa and fulfill my life long dream. Since then I have been saving up my money and counting down the days until I can actually go. (Fun Fact: I have a necklace with a diamond shaped country of Africa that I wear as determination to follow my dream)

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Live in a different state: If you are around me on a daily basis, you will hear me express how I think I was born in the wrong state. Don’t get me wrong, I love Buffalo and would miss my chicken wings like crazy if I ever moved away, but being down south is where I feel at home. For the past 10 years or so, my family and I have been vacationing down in North Carolina. Being there I never wanted to come home, it was not only peaceful but everything I wanted in a home town. I love warmer weather (anyone who lives in Buffalo does) but I couldn’t imagine living in a state like Florida where the humidity can get so high you can’t leave the house. That is why I would love nothing more than to move to North Carolina. Even if it is for a year and then I move back home, at least I can check it off my bucket list! I am a southern belle at heart who would rather live on a ranch then in a loft in NYC.

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Have a big family: With each side of my parent’s family, I get to experience a different family style. My mom’s side of the family is small with only one sister (who moved to Pennsylvania), who then only had one son. My cousin is 10 years older than me and lived in Texas basically my entire life, so I never saw much of my cousin or my aunt. At most gatherings on my mom side, there would only be five of us: My grandparents, mother, sister and myself. It was rather boring not having any play mates growing up. Now, on my dads side of the family he is the middle child of five. I have 10 girl cousins on my dad’s side all ranging in age but I am fifth oldest. Getting my entire family together is always a big party considering there is about 25 of us put together. Being that I had only girl cousins (besides the one male on my moms side) we were and still remain extremely close. That being said, I want to have a big family when I decide the time is right. I would love nothing more than to see my children grow up with their siblings and extended family and just be lavished in love.1486707_10201738974250316_1454041371_n
Become a business woman: I have always been independent and kept myself busy with working. I love to feel like I worked hard to accomplish something. That is why when I am older I would love to continue on my work path and hold a stable and meaningful job. I am not the type of person who wants to stay at home, I like to know that I am working hard to support my family and myself.

Bucket lists are not only fun to make, but even more rewarding when you can actually check something off your list. Even if it is minor stuff like cliff diving, or learning a foreign language. Why not set some goals and achievements for yourself!!

Superbowl Sunday Snacks

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

Superbowl Sunday is only a few days away, and even if you are not a football fan you will probably still end up watching the game. If you are hosting a Superbowl party or  attending one where you are required to bring a snack, today is your lucky day!  Today, I am going to share with you some of my favorite quick and easy snacks that are perfect for a Superbowl party. You can never have too much snack food at a football party!

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Chicken Wing Dip (my simple and easy way!): A few years back I attended a Superbowl party and while snacks were running low I offered to help whip up some last minute munchies. One of the other house guests began making the easiest chicken wing dip I have ever seen. You only need three ingredients and it takes only minutes to make!

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  • Ingredients: Cream cheese (the whipped kind is easier to spread), shredded cheese (cheddar is the best), and hot sauce (my favorite is Franks Buffalo Hot Sauce)
  1. Take cream cheese and spread a layer on the bottom of the bowl or pan you are using (I like to make about a 1/4 inch layer)
  2. Pour hot sauce over cream cheese and spread until it covers the cream cheese
  3. Add a layer of shredded cheese on top until you can’t see the hot sauce and cream cheese
  4. Microwave on high for about 1 1/2 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted
  5. Eat as is or mix up ingredients and wah-la!! You have the worlds easiest chicken wing dip

Bacon Beer Cheese Dip: (Only two quick steps!!!) This mouth watering dip is a must-have at any football party. It is not only delicious, but different than the regular every day dips. Serve with soft pretzel bites or pretzel sticks to get the best flavor!

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  • Ingredients: 2 cups cheddar blend cheese, 1 8oz. block of cream cheese, 1/2 cup crumbled bacon, 1 tps. dry ground mustard, 3/4 cup beer.
  1. In a medium sauce pan over medium heat warm up the  beer, stir in cream cheese and stir until melted, add in bacon pieces, dry mustard,  and shredded cheddar.
  2. Stir frequently until melted and smooth.

Pepperoni Rolls: Delicious little bite sized snacks that aren’t messy and everyone will love! Heat up some pizza sauce for the perfect dipping sauce! Quicker and different than just an ordinary pizza.

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  • Ingredients: 3 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuits (10 biscuits per can), 56 pepperoni slices, block of cheese, 1 beaten egg, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, 1 jar pizza sauce.
  1. Cut the block of cheese into at least 28 squares.
  2. Flatten a biscuit out and stack pepperoni and cheese on top.
  3. Gather up the edges of the biscuit.
  4. Line the rolls up (seam side down) in a greased 9×13 in. pan.
  5. Brush with beaten egg.
  6. Sprinkle with Parmesan, Italian seasoning and Garlic powder.
  7. Bake at 425 degrees F for 18-20 minutes.
  8. Serve the rolls with warm pizza sauce for dipping.

 

I hope everyone has a happy Superbowl Sunday!! Remember you can never have too many snacks and munchies to eat during the game. Pinterest has some amazing and delicious ideas that are effortless!! Try the simple recipes I gave you or try some of your own! Xoxo

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