May 19, 2014

Bridal Survival Kit

It’s wedding season!  All brides want to be married on a day with beautiful weather, and for most that means spring.  First thoughts of spring are beautiful flowers in bloom, grass growing, and trees budding.  Spring is a beautiful time of year when it’s not raining. 

The truth is, when picking your wedding day it’s IMPOSSIBLE to pick “the perfect day”.  That should be the first thing told to a newly engaged woman.  When she’s fretting over what day to have her big day someone should sit her down and tell her “you might as well throw a dart because weather is a crap-shoot.” I originally planned my wedding for October 3, 2009 but moved it up to August 15, 2009 because I decided I just didn't want to wait until October.  On October 3rd Brad and I sat in our first apartment looking out at the dark grey sky and listening to the cold rain pound against our windows.  We joked about how lovely the weather was on our August 15th wedding and how upset I would have been had I kept the October 3rd date.  Weather is unpredictable but a bride fretting over things she cannot control, that is something anyone can easily predict.

Me and Elisabeth on my wedding day

Fortunately, I had an amazing friend and bridesmaid, Elisabeth, who put together a Bridal Survival Kit for all of those unpredictable (and some predictable) wedding day moments.  Since then, I've put together dozens of Bridal Survival Kits for friends to use on their wedding day.
The thing to remember when putting together a Bridal Survival Kit: It doesn't matter if all the contents gets used, what matters is that it might be needed. (It was unlikely that I’d step in a wad of gum and then on my wedding dress but it didn't stop me from doing it.) All the items left after the wedding doubles as a “Honey Moon Survival Kit” which is where I used most of the items in my own kit.

Our groomsman Ryan pulling the gum off my dress.

Suggested Bridal Survival Kit Contents:
(may not be pictured)

  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Umbrella
  • Hair brush / comb
  • Hair pins
  • Hair ties
  • Hairspray
  • Aspirin
  • Antacids
  • Safety pins
  • Tooth brush / paste
  • Deodorant
  • Lip balm
  • Lotion
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Q-tips
  • Razor
  • Scissors
  • Mini sewing kit
  • Clear nail polish
  • Nail clippers / file
  • Nail polish remover
  • Tweezers
  • Tissues
  • Tide pen / Shout wipes
  • Lint roller
  • Baby powder
  • Wet Ones
  • Mini first aid kits / band-aides
  • Oil blotters
  • Tampons / Panty liners
  • Water
  • Snack (i.e. granola bar)
  • Cash

*Bridal Survival Kit contents may be altered to suit you (or the bride you’re giving this to.)
**Items can be changed out at your discretion (i.e. tooth brush / paste can instead be mints, gum, or mouthwash).
***Use travel size items when available, the list of items can be long and no one wants to be carrying around full bottles of lotion and cans of hairspray all day

Did I miss something?  
What item did you desperately need on your wedding day?

May 7, 2014

Garbage Disposal Freshener

Every time I hear the phrase “Spring Cleaning” I immediately think about the episode of Full House (maybe I’m showing my age here) where Danny is ridiculously excited about spring cleaning but, try as he might, can’t seem to get anyone else on board.  I can’t explain why this is the first thing that pops into my mind but it is.

 I don’t really understand the term “Spring Cleaning”, so what, you leave your house filthy for the rest of the year? Maybe these people are on to something, doing just one incredibly tough day of housework for the entire year.  Think of all the Saturdays I could spend lounging around doing nothing, what a sucker I must be.

Let me be honest though, I get in my fair share of Saturday lounging regardless of how much cleaning there is to be done.  As long as the clutter is picked up and it smells fresh I have no problem letting the vacuuming go for an extra week or two. 

The problem is the smell in the kitchen - the garbage disposal to be exact.  It’s horrendous, and often manages to make the entire first floor of the house stink.  Lucky for me (and anyone who enters my home), I found instructions to make my own garbage disposal freshening tablets!

They are CHEAP
They are EASY,
and best of all they WORK!

 Here’s what you need:

3/4 Cup Baking Soda
- 1/2 Cup Salt
- 1/2 Teaspoon Liquid Dish Soap (any kind)
- 1 Lemon (and grater)
- Small spoon or scoop (I used a Tablespoon measuring spoon)

The directions I found here also call for a sheet pan, parchment paper and a sealable glass jar.  I found these items are suggested but not necessarily needed.  What you need is somewhere to let the refreshers dry overnight (possibly on a parchment covered sheet pan) as well as a sealed container to store them (i.e. a sealable glass jar).

  • Combine baking soda and salt in a small bowl.
  • Add dish soap and grate entire lemon peel into the baking soda / salt mixture
  • Slice lemon in half and squeeze lemon juice into mixture (the baking soda my fizz)
  • Combine all ingredients until it forms a sand-like mixture. (I found it easiest just get my hands in there, rather than stir with a spoon)
  • Pack the sandy mixture into a small spoon / scoop (like I said I used a Tablespoon measuring spoon).  Then lightly tap the “refresher” out of the spoon onto the surface you plan to dry them on (ie sheet pan, parchment covered sheet pan, parchment covered table, etc.)
  • Let the freshing tablets sit out overnight to dry.
  • Once dry they are good to use and storing for future use as needed. 

The next time your disposal starts smelling funky, throw a few freshing tablets in and turn it on! 
It may not be “spring cleaning” but it does smell lemony fresh.