If you are like me you enjoy the get-togethers friends; it can’t be compared to too many things. Being with those you care about and having a great time doing it can be an excellent way of releasing the stresses of the week and just letting loose. Nights out on the town usually start at a restaurant, travel through a movie, and then end up at a fancy bar/club to enjoy a few drinks and laughs. The only problem with this weekly venture with friends is the cost. We all love our friends but we also prefer not being broke throughout the week. Times are getting tougher and money is getting tighter and this equals to a necessity of saving money.
The great part of saving is the potential of using your creativity to revamp the usual good-times into a cheaper version of the same great times. Planning on a budget friendly alternative to your usual nights-out are a great option (unless you are lucky enough to have one special friend who has more money than everyone combined and can float all of you, every weekend, for the remainder of the year). Activities at home are always less expensive than going out and by doing this you are saving money that you can use towards the meals, beverages, and other evening activities. A game of charades, a bottle (or two) of some great wine, and a group of your best friends can make for a night that you’ll remember for a long time. Use your imagination and creativity to come up with some good ideas for weather-appropriate activities. Ask around the group to see who has an updated Wii system, see if anyone has a transferable volleyball net, have your BFF bring her folding ping-pong table for a sweet all-night tournament; the options can get really sweet once you start recognizing all of the items and options that you have on hand.
You do not have to make a point to advertise the reason for bringing the hang-outs to your pad, just initiate the first gathering, make the date and set it at your pad, ask around for some entertainment gear (ex: mini karaoke machine), put together a beverage ‘fund’ or make it a BYOB get-together, buy some dollar-store streamers, have your BFF help you whip up some cheap dishes and finger-foods and then have a sweet night with friends. This initiation may provoke the next friend to offer the next weekend of activities at their pad, and so on and so on. Saving money can be a blast; and being people you care about is always a win-win situation.
Wouldn’t we all like to have a spa-quality experience every week without the cost and expense of a luxury spa price? Yes. So what better than creating homemade products that will bring the same quality results at home? Nothing! So let’s get going. With a few simple, easy to use products, you can create this easy product that will allow you to pamper yourself, and maybe even make enough to give some to others.
You could keep it all to yourself and leave everyone guessing as to how you look so pampered! The best part is that many of us already have the ingredients available in the home. No muss, no fuss, just cheap, effective beauty at your finger tips. For less than a cup of coffee you can beautify yourself each day.
This first recipe is for a decadent hair-removing body sugar (2 cups). You will need: 2 cups sugar, ¼ cup lemon juice, ¼ cup water, 1 tbsp almond oil, cornstarch, and muslin cut into about 40 2”x4” strips. Now you will need to stir together sugar, lemon juice, and water into a pot. Cook on medium heat until it is boiling. You want to allow to boil for 15 minutes; mixture will bubble up and will need to be removed from heat for a moment to prevent over-flow.
When the mix has turned to a warm, caramel color, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool shortly. Oil a cold, non-porous surface (marble or baking sheet) with the almond oil and pour mixture onto surface. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring toward the center of mix with wooden spoon. Pour mix into aluminum bowl and allow cooling to continue until a paste consistency has been reached. Lightly dust the area to be used with the cornstarch, then use wooden spoon to lay out sugar 1/8” to ¼” thick.
Lay muslin strips over the sugar to collect a reasonable amount of mixture for use. Stroke the strip firmly down in the direction of the hair growth. Remove the strip away from the direction of your hair growth, this will allow the strips to work twice as well then pulling strips in the direction of the growth. Store the left-over mixture in your refrigerator, and re-heat the container in a bowl of hot water by allowing it to sit for several minutes. It will be perfectly adequate for a second use.