Modest Bargain

October 21, 2009

With a Temple marriage comes new definitions for things.  One of those things for me was modesty.  I have always been a huge HUGE advocate of modesty.  It was quite a struggle to agree to play volleyball for me because of the uniforms.  And throughout my high school years I made a lot of clothes, with my mother’s help of course, including all of my formal dresses because of my obsession with the idea of keeping covered what should be covered.  I believe my body is a gift from God and I do all that is in my power to keep it clean and free from anything that defiles it.  I also know that all God’s children are beautiful, and I do not need to make sure other people can see all of my beautiful parts to feel beautiful.

Anyway, although I already had these foundations in place that lead me to only buy shirts with sleeves and shorts that went to the knee, it seems to have still fallen short of the modesty lines drawn by the church (if you get my drift).  So I have been searching for ways to extend my wardrobe’s life as well as new clothes to add that are full modest in and of themselves. I feel that both routes are necessary, especially because I do not want to get rid of my lovely dresses that I stitched myself in high school that still fit!

My first attempt at increasing the length/life of my wardrobe was undershirts.  Nice ones that have enough coverage on the arms and chest and mid-drift that they can cover any piece of clothing’s “short-comings”.  The shirts I get are from Down East Basics.  I love these shirts.  They are too tight, for me personally, to wear by themselves but I just adore their perfect cap-sleeve length and perfect neckline.  I buy both the wonder-tee and the crew-neck tee.  The wonder-tee is just a bit more dressier, but pinches more under the arm (on occasion).  I buy the maternity kind for the length, and this lets me wear absolutely ANY of my shirts with jeans.  Being a tall-torsoed woman means I loose a lot of coverage especially with nice blouses, but who cares as long as there is an undershirt there instead of your skin or underwear.  And the length also give the option of layering, instead of tucking in, for a nice modern look.

But the origin of this post idea was my awesome bargain find!  I’m always looking at their site, well every couple of weeks recently I’ve been looking for deals and beautiful items.  And not long ago they had a sale: the shirts I love were half-priced!  Jacob found me a coupon and got an additional 30% off!  So with shipping the normal shirt of $10 plus shipping were each $5.25 even.  Oh my gosh I wish they had had more than 5 colors in my size, I would have bought them all!  But it’s probably good that I was able to spend less that $30.

Haircut: Hers

July 21, 2009

I have cut Jacob’s hair many times.  I love the ease that our flowbee delivers (even if it does seem so very cheaply constructed, grr).  But I did not always use that aide.  The very first time I attempted to trim him up I did it free-hand.  What did this mean for Jacob: fear, pure fear.  It didn’t turn out too bad, thankfully we had a trip planned to my parents soon, and we used their flowbee.

Last night, I learned the meaning of the saying: turnabout is fair play.  I have been needing a hair cut for a while, and have most recently been contemplating donating to locks of love. But after measuring, I decided I would prefer a trim.  So Jacob grabbed our hair scissors and I brushed my hair and now my hair is quite a bit shorter.  He had to cut off more than I asked because there was so many dead ends, eek.   But I’d say he cut of around 4 to 5 inches and I’m so much happier.  I have no idea what he did.   I told him to cut a curve, but he rebelled and say straight would be easier for him.  Well, whatever he did was loads better than my hair was.  And no one has even noticed, which I’m taking as a good sign.

Maybe this isn’t the economy to be trying to do everything from home, but I have never been one to allow (meaning: pay) someone else to do something I am able to do myself.  That is how I was raised and I am happy to have a home where I can have room to make my own curtains and dinners and to cut our own hair.  I love doing things myself.  At Sam’s on Saturday Jacob and I had a discussion (meaning: disagreement) about rotisserie chicken.  I am against it on principle: I don’t want to be charged extra for some man hours they must put into it.  But Jacob had a good point in that recently I haven’t really had time to cook a chicken, or bake bread, which means that buying it, even at elevated costs, could prove necessary (bread, not chicken, I’ll find something, anything else to eat).   And I, maybe wrongly, believe that there are plenty of people still getting highlights, layers, and swept bangs that my sense of “duty” to the community is quite diminished.

Now for what you have all been waiting for:



After Haircut

It is still long enough for my knot I love to wear, but waking up with Jacob on it and not being able to move is, I hope, a thing of the past.

I wonder what things other families are taking on the responsibility of in their homes that they used to go out for, or delegate to others.  I know one prevalent change I’ve seen wide-spread is eating.  Food and families have been brought together, sit down dinners are not just for the 1950’s any more.  Families are growing closer and getting back to the basics, by learning cooking (if not gardening as well).  What a beautiful thing, conversation, work and creativity rather than a hurried drive-thru.

D-I-Y: Haircut

March 16, 2009

For the first year of our dating, my now-husband complained about every single hair cut he ever got.  It was uneven.  It was too short.  The neck was done wrong.  He got to hating getting haircuts so much he would have dreams about hairdressers lopping off parts of his ear.

I decided to take matters into my own hands.  The first time Jacob let me cut his hair he was scared to death.  Ok, I would have been too.  I had never used scissors on a head of hair, unless you count that time I was sent home from school, but that boy’s hair just walked into my scissors!

Since that scary first-try, we have bought a Flowbee.  I grew up on a flowbee.  My sister was the only one in the family with hair that did not fit in the flowbee, so we all got hair cuts from home.  It really is a miracle machine.  It gives such a consistent cut.  You can just write down the entire family’s length and give them the same hair cut every time.  And for Jacob we just leave on the length he likes; the only time we change it is when I put on the angle trimmer.

What I really love is that the flowbee takes the guesswork out of the hair cut.  This also means that it can be done in a reasonable amount of time with absolutely no training on my part.  I can handle neck trimming and treating around the ears, and I’m learning sideburns (but I like them way longer than he does…darn).  So the little snips are easy enough.

I start with the flowbee, and before I used a flowbee, the goal is to get the entire head of hair the same length.  Once this is accomplished I trim around the ears.  I never touch his bangs, that length seems to work, but Jacob hates hair in his ears, or touching his ears.  I connect the trimmed ears around the neck and follow his neckline to see where it lies well.  I can trim his neck pretty high with it still looking good.

The last thing that is just personal to him, I assume, is what he calls his “wings.”  This term incompasses several problems he finds with his hair, all residing around his temples and above his ear.  Sometimes it can be extra poofy here and I need to thin it out.  And it also refers to extra hair falling into his face, he likes a sharp line around his face.

Cutting hair at home can be an adventure.  It can build trust.  It saves us a lot of money.  Yes there is an initial investment of flowbee and electric trimmer kit, but we enjoy not throwing our money to some person who does a job we aren’t even satisfied with anyway.  I really love how patient my Jacob is with me and my learning process, it is key to our enjoying this activity.

Our next goal is to have Jacob try to cut my hair, just a little trim to keep the split ends to a minimum.  I have a lot of hair, so a lot of fudge-room, but that way we could both be removed from salon process.

Sam’s Club Membership

March 14, 2009

Jacob has always been set on getting a membership to one of the nearby HUGE stores.  I really feel they have no other name, they are huge, everything they sell is huge, you get the picture.  So early in our marriage, before school started, I went shopping, price shopping.  I walked all over both Sam’s and CostCo, we have both in the same main shopping area 30 minutes away, and wrote down the prices of the things we could possibly want. This is a very important part, you cannot forget to do this at the store you normally shop at as well, which for our non-fresh food happens to be walmart.

After price comparing, and having a bad experience at Costco, we bought our Sam’s club membership.  Online we saw they had a wonderful reward for students wanting a membership: $15 gift card.  Sweet.  That made the price the same for a CostCo or Sam’s membership and I feel more comfortable at Sam’s, and they sell cheap gas there for Jacob.  But when we bought the membership the lady claimed they just stopped doing the student membership.  We bought it anyway, but Jacob complained to corporate because their website was then wrong.  And they said just go back in and we will fix it.  We got our gift card from Sam’s for being a student, and they had another, newer offer and gave us the money for both of them.  Therefore, we only had to save about $10 this year to pay for the extra membership expense.

We really love our membership.  Jacob stops there on the way home from work for gas.  I love buying my meat, cheese, milk, and cereal there.  Those are our best finds.

We eat a lot of meat for two people so this was an important thing to look at, Sams for some reason has the most reasonable meat.  Ground Lean Beef (90/10), which is the kind we perfer, is found there cheaper than the Walmart 85/15.  And as we have found out on another trip we can get about-to-expire meat even cheaper at Sam’s too.

Dairy is something else we fly through.  We eat cold cereal nearly every morning for breakfast, sometimes I switch it up for Jacob and make him eggs.  We discovered the name brand milk (2% is around $2.30) for a whole dollar cheaper than the Walmart brand, and sometimes milk is found closer to four dollars! We also lover our cheddar.  They sell the big 2 lb blocks for a fraction of the unit price found elsewhere.  And with cheddar you can make it last longer in the freezer, if you don’t think you can use the entire block soon.

Cereal can be up to 10 cents less per oz.  One draw back is you have to buy two bags at once of any given cereal.  But we go through cereal so fast we do not mind.  Frosted Mini Wheats, Life, and Honey Nut Cheerios are some of our favorites.  And you just rotate which one you use, unless it is life which both bags get used before a different kind is opened!

We manage to find other ways to save money, buying a huge 25 lbs bag of flour for the price of only two 5 lbs bags.  Or buying spaghetti sauce in three packs to save a few cents per unit as well as stock up on some food storage.

A few words of warning that we have run into:

  • Check the use by date, always! Can you really eat 12 packages of saltines in 2 months?  Some items have great dates, but it really depends on your situation and affinity for the product.
  • Some things are not a deal.  This is especially true if you are an avid coupon clipper.  Fruit in winter is not very cheap at Sam’s and can usually be found cheaper elsewhere.  In general, check your prices on a regular basis, or at least a seasonal basis.
  • Here today, gone tomorrow.  Do not depend on what the store will have in stock.  Each Sam’s get different deals and they all have rotating inventory.  And every time I’ve been in there I’ve heard at least 2 people say to their spouse/shopping buddy, “They move stuff around every time I come here, I can never find anything.”  I haven’t personally had that problem, but apparently others have.

Maybe a membership could be right for you, it truely depends on your circumstances, it might make more sense if you have 4 kids than if it is just the two of you.  But I love not having to go meat shopping every week, because we keep a month’s supply in the freezer.  It is definitely worth a look.


March 3, 2009

Welcome.  I suppose that is a statement both for you and for me.  I got very exited about several things that Jacob, my dear husband, and I have been doing with our new apartment.  From food storage to decorating, meal planning to finding time for homework, my life has been turned upside down since we were married this past January 2nd.  I have loved every minute of my new life.  Here lies a record of this new life and the things I’m learning as we go.