Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Christmas Edition of Random Reuses

If you've read this blog for a while, you may know that I'm always on the lookout for ways to reuse items around my house, even if it's just once, before it goes to the trash. It's been a while since I've done one of these Random Reuse posts, so I thought I'd share a few reuses to help during the Christmas season!

Rolls of wrapping paper can turn into a big, wrinkled mess in no time (especially with kids wanting to wrap their own homemade gifts). One way to keep your rolls of wrapping paper a little more tidy is to keep them rolled with this handy-dandy cuff made from a toilet paper roll. I saw this idea years ago on Pinterest and it works really well. All you have to do is cut in a line down a toilet paper tube so it opens up and then put it around the roll of paper. Easy peasy!

While I'm on the topic of wrapping gifts, one thing I always do is reuse the boxes from cereal and crackers for gift boxes. My mom did this all the time when I was a kid. I mean, why spend the money on gift boxes for family gifts when they're going to be torn apart? This is a good thing to do if you have someone that tries to peek under the wrapping before Christmas, because all they'll see is a cereal box. I like using the cereal boxes because it makes things a little more confusing, adds an extra level of mystery because the shape gives nothing away. Plus, there's the inevitable joking (at least it happened with my family growing up and now) when you open presents Christmas morning -- "I've always wanted a box of Cheerios!".

Maybe this is a super-obvious tip (I never know with these reuses. Am I clever or are these common sense? Oh well.), but if you need a hook for an ornament you can always use a stretched out paper clip. Personally, I think they hang better than those flimsy ornament hooks that get tangled up in the box. 

I'm sure I'm not the only who does a lot of baking during the Christmas season (have you tried my recipe for the BEST gingerbread cookies ever? Because if you haven't, you should). One thing I've been doing is saving my butter wrappers when I've used up a stick of butter. When it's time to bake a batch of cookies, I use the little remnants of butter on the wrapper to grease my cookie sheet. 

Finally, what list of Christmas reuses would be complete without the wrapping paper tube-turned-sword? Having grown up in a house full of boys and now currently being outnumbered by boys again, I know all too well that paper tube sword fights are an inevitability around Christmastime. And, let's be honest, they're one of the best (and most fun) reuses out there. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Classic Wet Shaving: The New Old-Fashioned (and eco-friendly) Way to Shave

My husband hated shaving. He avoided it. He looked forward to camping and vacations partly just because it meant he wouldn't have to shave. I think avoiding shaving was a main part of his motivation to grow a beard in the wintertime.

However, I've always liked it better when he's clean-shaven. The smell, the smoothness -- all good things. But then I found out why he disliked shaving so much. The various creams and gels on the market really irritated his skin. The razors tugged on his skin, especially on his neck, and left a bunch of little, red bumps on his lower jaw and neck. He would also get ingrown hairs from time to time. Shaving was uncomfortable and unpleasant, but he did it anyway. I could understand why he didn't like doing it.

But this all changed over four years ago. Now he doesn't mind shaving at all. He even looks forward to it a little because he says it's relaxing.

What changed? He learned about traditional wet shaving. Not only does he greatly prefer it, but it also happens to be a frugal and eco-friendly way to shave. Talk about a win-win-win situation (or would that be four wins because I get a cleanly shaven husband more often...)

Now that the holiday season is in full-swing, I thought I'd write a post about the many benefits of classic wet shaving because new (and better) shaving tools would make a great gift for the guys on your shopping list!

You can read the rest of my post about the health, frugal, and eco-friendly aspects to wet shaving at my monthly post at here.  (You can also find my past posts on the topic of wet shaving in my archives here and here.) 
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