1. Consignment Shops
We have several really adorable consignment shops in our area. My favorite one for the kids recently closed and it made me a little sad, but I have discovered a couple others that, while they don't have the same homey feel, they are still really great to browse. AND the best part is they have Facebook pages, so I can let my fingers do the shopping (even if just window shopping). Consignment stores are like treasure chests for me. I love going in and never knowing exactly what I'm going to find. There's one particular one that I love for me. The layout is easy to navigate and the ladies who work there are so nice. I will admit to being a brand-snob; not the kind that only wears something expensive, but I'm picky. I love Target brand clothing just as much as Banana Republic, but there are some on both ends I just am not a fan of. Consignment shops tend to be a bit pricier than your average thrift store or garage sale, but I don't have to sift through the garbage because clothing and accessories are always in excellent condition. Now, don't get me wrong - I love thrift stores and garage sales as well, but when I'm looking for something in particular, I always head straight to the consignment shop first.
2. ACV and Baking Soda
I have discovered two great uses for these bad boys. Toilet bowl cleaner and shampoo/conditioner combo. Yes, those seem to be on opposite ends and it kind of sounds gross that I put those two uses in the same phrase, but they truly are great for both (and cheap!). My favorite apple cider vinegar (ACV) is Braggs, but really, it's only because I haven't really tried any others (once, I tried Whole Foods' 365 brand and it seemed to work well too).
Toilet bowl cleaner recipe: 1/2 cup baking soda (add in first all around) and 1 cup of ACV. Scrub and flush. Voila! And I love the reaction that comes from combining the two.
Shampoo/conditioner: Roughly 2 tbsp of baking soda - mix with equal parts warm water. Soak and scrub in base of scalp all over. Rinse thoroughly. 1/4 cup of ACV with 1 cup of warm water. Start at ends of hair and work your way up. Leave the ACV in a couple of minutes and rinse. Soft, beautiful hair!
3. Hawthorne Threads
When I'm unable to shop my local fabric shops (because taking 3 kids anywhere is an adventure, and not always of the fun variety), I love to hop online to Hawthorne Threads to make my fabric purchases. They have a wide range of choices and some great ways to search/browse fabrics, plus some adorable patterns! They also offer discounts, the more yardage you buy. I heart them. A lot. (I can't put a < with a 3 on this blog apparently. It freaks out on me.)
Betty Duffy linked two things that have been on my mind over the last week. Thanks to Relevant Radio for their interview with Elizabeth Scalia on her new book and the fact that my smallish apartment seems to be never-endingly overflowing with STUFF and voila! Perfect post for me. Seriously. Go over and read it. You won't be sorry. :)
5. Fertility Friend app
I must say that I'm not a terribly great NFPer. Well, Mr. ADM and I aren't. And by "not terribly great" I mean, we're pretty lazy. And by that I mean, we use the sympto-thermal method, but I never temp...as in, I've temped maybe 5 times in the last 2 years. Yeah. But, I am thankful because I do have regular cycles (I know - more than you EVER wanted to know about me), so it's easy to use Fertility Friend without recording many of my NFP signs (if you don't know what this is and aren't afraid of TMI, ask away! It's totally interesting and a great tool for getting to know your body and NFP is a great tool to strengthen your marriage!) and still be right on the ball as to the whens of my monthly cycles.