Saturday, 29 June 2013

Lighten your travel load! Pack lightly to save time AND money!

Looking for a huge way to simplify your travel? Packing lightly really makes travel easier and more enjoyable! By decreasing the size and number of luggage and bags you travel with, you can save bother and money.  I for one hate lugging around too many athings while travelling.  I also can't stand pacing and unpacking things when we have multiple stops on a trip.  To minimize these annoyances and maximize travel enjoyment I've some up with an unorthodox way to travel light.

Before leaving for a trip:
  1. Take a good look in your closet for any clothes you haven't worn in a while, you've outgrown, aren't in style anymore, are worn out or stained.
  2. Look through your drawers for undergarments and socks that are worn out or have holes, etc.
  3. Check out your shoes. Are any worn out, out of style or you haven't worn in a while?
  4. For toiletry essentials like toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, razors, makeup - are there any of these that are at the "end of the tube"? Be sure to bring these ones along and throw them out along the way when they're finished.
  5. Bring along any magazines you have piling up that you haven't read yet. I subscribe to a few magazines and sometimes can't keep up with all of the reading.  Save money in the airport and instead of buying magazines or books there, bring ones from home!
The key to this strategy is not to load your luggage with items you won't use just because you want to get rid of them.  Only include essential clothing, accessories and reading you will need during the trip and feel comfortable with throwing away along the way.  
There are major benefits for following some or all of these tips:
  • You'll definitely have a lighter luggage on return which may save you money on extra heavy luggage charges that many airlines are now charging
  • You'll be clearing out clutter from your home
  • Save money on reading material in the airport, since you'll be bringing your own
  • Your luggage will be lighter to carry home, when you're exhausted from the great trip you had!
  • If you're making multiple trips to different cities on your vacation, the unpacking & repacking of the luggage will get easier as you throw things away
  • You'll be able to fill up the new space you get in your luggage from throwing things away - with souvenirs, etc.
  • Your final unpacking when you get home will be much easier and quicker
  • Your laundry will be lessened because of the clothes you threw out along the way

Friday, 7 June 2013

Create an quick & easy floral bouquet from your garden & shrubs!

I love flowers & would love to have bouquets of flowers throughout the house all the time.  I love the look, the scent & just how it cheers up the surroundings in general.  That's all well & good, but who can afford to buy bouquets of flowers from the store regularly?

Right now I'm just starting to build up a garden of perennials that will be great for cutting & arranging into a bouquet, but it takes time.  My garden is full of a number of beautiful flowering shrubs that the previous owner planted & that are thriving still.  So I thought, until I have a bunch of flowering perennials, why not make bouquets from the shrubs?

So here's what I did in 3 easy steps that shouldn't take you longer than 10 minutes to a beautiful, professional looking bouquet!

1. Survey your yard for any flowers or flowering shrubs that are freshly flowering & that you'd like to include in your bouquet.  Pick the freshest looking stems with some unopened flowers & cut each flower in varying lengths for visual interest in the bouquet.

2. Give the flowers a good shake! Why?  Shaking the flowers gets rid of any rain, dead blooms or any bugs that you don't want to bring in the house! Take a quick look at the flowers to make sure they look ok to bring in the house.  Successful shake, ok, next step!

3. Arrange the flowers in a vase that is tall enough & large enough depending on the type, length & number of flowers you picked.  Put in the tallest flowers first, then interesting ones that may hang over, etc.  Next fill in the bouquet with the rest.  At this point, take a look at it from afar & make any changes you think are required. Vary the colours of flowers beside each other & snip off any excess leaves to make the flowers centre stage!

Now set the vase in a place you pass in your house many times a day & see how much the flowers improve your mood!  You'll be picking flowers & making bouquets regularly I'm sure!