Wednesday, December 11, 2013

DIY polish jewelry (and more on day 3 of the challenge)

When I started this challenge, it was knowing that it would involve me breaking out of several very bad habits. The worst of these being my diet solely composed of fast food. I am happy to report that I have not ordered food through a drive through since posting that first entry. It's been 3 days and I honestly think that these have been the first three days I've gone without fast food in over 3 years!

Now when it comes to DIY food, I am going to need some help. I like to cook, and I'm not bad at it, but it does confuse me how people get dinner on the table by 6 when they work until 5. When I cook, it's usually at all hours of the night, and then I have leftovers at normal meal hours. Is there some secret stash of recipes that are both delicious and quick to make out there somewhere?

But this is a whole lifestyle DIY challenge and I feel that I'm getting caught up talking about food.

In other news, this week I made my first DIY cleaner! So here's the story that goes with it...

The only Christmas presents that I had left to get were for my fiancé and for my boss. I meant to get them last weekend, but Oklahoma City was hit with a snowstorm and businesses all over (including mine) were closed. On Monday after the storms the roads were still incredibly icy, but I had a mission to get Andy's present so no amount of sliding down 23rd in my beat up old pick-up was going to stop me.

I had decided to get him a pocket watch. It was a perfect idea because every time we went out shopping together we had to stop and look at the watches in the jewelry store. Also he was always talking about needing a watch, and he got incredibly excited once when he saw a little kid's plastic pocket watch. So with not much money in my budget I traveled to 7 different pawn shops before I found --the one--. Not only did it still work, but it was within my price range! The only thing wrong was it was a little grungy.

Resisting my urge to hit up the cleaning aisle at Wal-Mart I traveled back home and decided to use everyday items instead to make the watch sparkle!

I mixed together in a small bowl, water, baking soda, salt, and dish soap. With a rag I used the mixture to polish the outside of the watch, and soaked the chain in the bowl for a few minutes. It actually worked! The watch sparkles and I did it without breaking the bank! Here's a pic of the finished product

Now my Boss's present I really took my time getting... mainly because I couldn't decide if I should get her anything. In the end I looked back at all the things she's done for me and taught me over the last year and how she's done everything she can to prepare me for running my own store (which thanks to her I might be getting in a few months) and decided not only that I needed to get her something, but it needed to be something personal.
So one of the things I know for sure about my boss is that like the rest of Oklahoma she is a die-hard OKC Thunder fan. I am not, but that's because I prefer NFL to NBA. I decided to make her a wreath for her front door that she could leave up even after Christmas, and naturally I picked out OKC Thunder colors to go on it. I wrapped the colored wire mesh onto a wire wreath frame, ironed her last name onto a piece of fabric, hemmed it, sewed it, added some ribbon, and TAH-DAH!
I hope she likes it. I'm going to wait until a day that I close the store and she opens the next morning to leave it in our office. I love giving gifts, but I hate to do it publicly and I'm thinking that this will be the most appropriate way to surprise her anyway.
By the way, neither my fiancĂ© nor my boss know that I even have a blog so don't worry about them figuring out their gifts before Christmas!
Again if anyone has any ideas for ways that I can DIY my life post a comment and I'll try to give it a whirl! Also if anyone has any good squash recipes... After the ice storm last weekend the market by my house was sold out of every other veggie, so I stocked up, but I have no idea how to cook the darn things.
Until next time!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Everyone has a bucket list. Whether you've written yours out in so many words or not, you probably have at least a mental list of things you would like to do with your life, things you would like to accomplish, places you want to go. I am the same way. My name is Audrey, and I'm a single, 25 year old who is about to not be so single. There are a lot of things I would like to change about myself, but since I started making my wedding plans and dreaming about our future, it seems that financial security is at the top of my list. I named my blog the DIY challenge, because I find myself spending most of my money on things that would be so much simpler to just make myself. The DIY challenge is a personal challenge that I am making for myself to see how well I can survive frugally. I am also extending an invitation to any readers that I may have to accompany me on my voyage.

So this is how it works...

Fast food is out! From this point to my wedding day (hopefully late May, early June) there will be no fast food! This is more of a challenge for me than most people realize because I LIVE on fast food! As a retail manager and full time student it is hard to find time to eat anything else! So to DIY my diet I'm going to have to start cooking, and preparing to-go meals ahead of time. Recipe posts to follow!

Homemade Cleaning Supplies. For anyone who searches DIY on Pinterest, you know that there are a ton of ways to make all kinds of cleaners, from laundry detergent to furniture polish. As a sufferer of self-diagnosed OCD, what little free time I have often gets spent scrubbing the grout in my kitchen until it is sparkling white. Honestly I think a large portion of my income goes to restocking the cleaning cabinet, so I'm making an effort to stay out of that aisle at Walmart (it really is my favorite aisle) and try the recipes for dishwashing soap and windex that they have on Pinterest. Anything I find that works will be talked about further, and if anyone has any suggestions then please leave comments!

The Wedding. I'm a girl, and I want everything to be perfect on my wedding day, but I do not believe that everything has to be store bought. For instance, I plan to stay away from David's Bridal, and make my own wedding gown. The same for the bridesmaids gowns, and possibly the same for the groom's attire (he wants to wear a kilt). My first mission is to make the kilt, it is actually going to be one of my future hubbie's Christmas presents. I also want to make the floral arrangements myself by using the DIY version of wax flowers. More on that when I get to it...

So if anyone has any suggestions to add to the DIY Challenge please please please post them!