The Average Girl's "How To" Guide

Advice on how to live a well-balanced lifestyle

Month: August, 2013

How To: Realize You Are Too Invested In Justin Bieber

by Shannon

You find yourself listening to his CD on repeat. All day. And you’re a 27-year-old professional working woman.

(Who just can’t get enough of JB’s amazing beats, apparently. Plus, he features both Drake and Ludacris. Come on.)

All I need, is a beauty and a beat. – Justin Bieber

What’s Yo’ Beef Friday #1

by Shannon

Hey friends. You might have noticed that this is the first post to shake off the “How To” theme. And well, that’s because ain’t nobody gotta tell you how to share yo’ beef.

What’s Yo’ Beef came about one morning after Rachel and her husband came up to stay. When Liam, my husband, gets super hungover, he somehow goes into robo-hilarity mode and is manic and silly and annoying to everyone else with headaches and puke vibes. However, it’s really funny. Anyway, that morning we were all complainy except for him, so he kept asking us all what our beefs were, and we all had to share them whenever he pointed at us. It was more fun than it should have been. So, in light of this great moment in history, we introduce you to…



My beef, is when you’re trying to buy a house in downtown Toronto, and you want it really big, and really nice, and lots of bedrooms, and parking for your friends, and a yard, and a finished basement, and a nice kitchen, and maybe a third floor, and not in Mimico, and other people keep outbidding you and you don’t have a house. COME ON!


When you get a revenue report that isn’t accurate, so you try to simply straighten it out with the boss, and it turns into a day long of emails between multiple administrative people and just becomes entirely more complicated than it should have been in the first place. COME ON!

So, what’s yo’ beef?


How To: Realize You Might Be a Blue Jays Fan

by Rachel

The players start popping into your dreams. Which isn’t surprising considering they might be the best looking team in the Major Leagues.

Example: I had a dream last night that Brett Lawrie; #13, third basemen for the Toronto Blue Jays, asked me to marry him. We had only been dating for a couple weeks! Then he hopped on a bus for a road trip with the Jays… And then I went hunting with my real life husband (I think that was unrelated).

What a dream!

OK! (ok), Blue Jays! (blue jays) Let’s – Get – Married!


How To: Publicly Thank Your BFF

by Shannon

Thank you, Rachel, for letting Liam and I borrow your car yesterday. Our empties pile is now at a reasonable level that does not make us look like the alcoholics we probably are.

How To: Make That Thrift Store Furniture Look Good!

by Rachel

I have a couple of examples of how I’ve made ugly outdated stuff look pretty good!


The Green Desk:

In college I traded an old crappy Ikea desk for this one. Now the legs were wobbly and it had been stained (over glossy veneer so it was very streaky and globby). When we moved to our house it was in the garage for almost a year when I realized I need a make up table! I stripped the paint (easy to do with paint stripper and scraper). The legs had been lost but I got new ones and some mounts at Home Depot and screwed them on. I bought glossy paint with primer in it so that eliminates a step and works well! Then, I just used a craft glaze for the surface which makes it nice and hard and gets rid of the tackiness. And Voila! I have a stellar new make up table.

The Blue Media Centre:

I went through a similar process with this one. No stripping involved but I just gave it a good wash (since I found it on the side of the road!) and a light sanding. I got the same glossy primer and paint in one paint and painted away! My husband cut a shelf to fit flat in place of the top drawer for out pvr and dvd player and I just had to buy new hardware, which is extremely easy to replace. This was my first major furniture project and It is one of my favourite pieces!

Blue Chair:

With a simple chair like this it is very easy to update. The seat just popped out of the frame. With a seat like this you just wrap it like a present with new fabric and staple the heck out of it. I put some baking soda and lavender linen spray just to help get rid of any thrift store smell before wrapping. This one I did need some help from my husband because it was a bit wobbly. Just needed some extra glue and screws. I gave it a good sand, then used spray primer and spray paint since it wasn’t such a big project.

As long as you have some time and motivation, you can customize any old piece of furniture for a one of a kind piece to suit your style!

I like smiling… smiling’s my favourite

How To: Realize You Are Getting Older

by Shannon

You wake up at 8:30 on a Saturday morning and are all Wow, what a great time to wake up, I think I shall be productive!

You can’t help getting older, but you can help being gross and boring.

How To: Put Yourself Into a Good Mood

by Rachel

No matter what!

Make a playlist of all the songs that you love listening to. It never fails. Here’s my list!

  1. In Your Arms – Kina Grannis
  2. Let Your Love Flow – Bellamy Brothers
  3. The Longest Time – Billy Joel
  4. Walkin’ a Line – Foo Fighters
  5. In My Life – The Beatles
  6. It’s Like That – Run DMC vs. Jason Nevins
  7. Trusted – Ben Folds
  8. Extraordinary – Joel Plaskett
  9. Kids – MGMT
  10. Naveed – Our Lady Peace
  11. Don’t Stop Me Now – Queen
  12. Strange Overtones – David Byrne
  13. Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robot – Flaming Lips
  14. Creep – Radiohead
  15. Maps – Yeah Yeah Yeah’s
  16. Santeria – Sublime
  17. Lean On Me – Bill Withers
  18. Satisfaction – Benny Benassi
  19. Big Poppa – Notorious B.I.G.
  20. Come Out and Play – The Offspring
  21. The Message – Grand Master Flash
  22. Chicken Ain’t Nothin’ But a Bird – Cab Calloway

As I type it out I realize how incredibly random it is… little bit of hip hop, techno, rock, folk, country, jazz? and girly stuff! But man I always feel great when I listen to this playlist.

I love it when you call me Big Poppa…

How To: Care For Curly Hair

by Shannon

I originally meant this to be a snarky post, all like, “If you find out, tell me, because I have severe difficulties.” But then I thought, you know what, my hair isn’t that brutal errrrrryday, so, I will take a note from my new blog friend (OMG) Jess and explain my daily routine.

This all started because a co-worker of mine couldn’t believe I didn’t wash my hair. As in, I haven’t touched a bottle of shampoo in about two years. My hair just doesn’t shampoo well. It gets dry and feels weird and just doesn’t feel like hair anymore to me. The oils and shiz that build up on straight-hair and make you look sick and gross and weird happen to help weigh my hair down to a somewhat manageable volume.

I also don’t brush my hair. It’s impossible. Sometimes I let my mom do it when I go home to visit my parents, but that’s more for the excellent scalp vibe (you know what I’m talking about, don’t lie and be weird) than the brushing itself. Brushing is instant death to curly hair. It rips the curl, it blows it up, and then it just vomits all over it. If you have curly hair, and you have issues with it, FOR THE LOVE OF KEANU REEVES STOP BRUSHING YOUR HAIR.

Man, that took a lot out of me. Forget things to do, just don’t do the above and I’ll get to other tips later, yo.

In the meantime, my curly hair is still far from perfect, so if you do have great tips, send ’em through!

And God said, Let there be curls

How To: Infuriate People

by Shannon

Get a hangnail and then don’t stop whining about it.

How To: Thrift Shop – Furniture Edition

by Rachel

Last one! I think with this last post on thrifting, it should cover everything.

Furniture. It’s expensive as heck, and when you are buying a new house and starting fresh (as I did just over a year ago), you can’t really afford to go to a furniture store and buy all your stuff. 60% of the furniture in my house has been thrifted, and the rest has been given to me by family members. I have never bought and paid for something brand new (not too shabby!) but I think my house looks pretty darn good! So, when I am shopping for furniture, this is what I look for,

  • Things made solidly out of wood. Not plywood covered in a veneer. If it’s real wood it will be good and sturdy.
  • If it is real wood, and covered in veneer but it looks pretty good, look around the feet of the furniture, and there is usually a lot of chips, just make sure it’s nothing that’s going to bother you in future. Sometimes, keep in mind, you can take the veneer off then finish the wood underneath
  • There’s a lot of ugly stuff out there, but with a little imagination you can turn it into something awesome. Similar to chotchkies, if it has a cool shape but hideous colour or finish, you can refurbish it. All you might need is some paint/stain stripper and some new paint or stain! I often paint my furniture bright colours, always use a high gloss paint and try to find a nice glaze finish so it isn’t tacky. I also like to paint the inside of some furniture pieces too, so if it looks like crap on the inside, keep that in mind!
  • Knobs and pulls are REEEAAAALLLLY easy to switch out, and affordable. Always keep this in mind.
  • Don’t buy IKEA furniture second hand… its just not good enough quality.
  • Remember that Home Depot and stores like it sell legs and mounts for furniture and castors among other things. If you find something but it doesn’t have legs like you want, or the legs/castors are broken, you can buy them separately and add them yourself. Totally worth it.

It also helps if you’re husband used to work for his brothers furniture shop and knows a nice piece of furniture when he see’s one… but it’s not necessary.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it… cut it up, take it home, and make some furniture!

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