The Average Girl's "How To" Guide

Advice on how to live a well-balanced lifestyle

Category: Being Thrifty

How To: Survive After a Long Weekend Road Trip

by Rachel

Just eat all the leftover car snacks you bought and didn’t eat. Who needs groceries?

How To: Ruin Clothes

by Rachel

I am an inexperienced expert  at this guys. Just take scissors to any piece of clothing in hopes of making it better, and it will probably get worse! Cut your jorts too short, cut off sleeves with too big of arm holes, and take scissors to a chiffon skirt, and I guarantee you, you will never wear that piece of clothing again.

Save your scissors… For crafts and cutting and pasting, because you will probably ruin your clothes.

How To: Make Ugly Things Pretty

by Rachel

I did it. This hideous hideous table is now one of the most beautiful tables I have ever seen.

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Super cool table right? Super uncool colours and materials.
So… We did this!

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TABLETOP: entirely replaced with pine. Go to a local furniture maker and they can whip up a new table top for ya! This one was $70. Do multiple coats of Minwax Polycrylic for a glossy protected finish.
LEGS: spray painted gold. Gold is the best.
CHAIRS: stripped of the flesh coloured paint (what a bitch!) And repainted with a beautiful Aqua blue. Coated with Minwax Polycrylic for durability.
SEATS: easily recovered right over top of the old.

It was a fair bit of work and time consuming but 110% worth it!

How To: Not Spend Too Much Money on a Night Out

by Rachel

Last night Shannon and I KILLED it at the bar… Without spending a buttload of money. Here’s the tricks:
-Take a set amount of money, we only took $20 each
-Seek out bars that have no cover
-Drink whatever’s on special (we got lucky since a pint of Rickard’s was $5)
-Don’t tip too much… Maybe just leave a tooney at the end of the night (sounds cheap but really? A buck a drink is a lot)
-Barter!
-Prep yourself some snacks so that they are ready and go straight home after the bar… Food really adds up and in a drunken state you will not think about what you are spending

Then go to sleep and wake up the next morning feeling good that you didn’t spend too much and didn’t drink too much!

How To: Sew an Old Fur Coat

by Rachel

DON’T! Just use hot glue.

How To: Have a Great NYC Experience

by Rachel

Don’t
-lose your 7-day Metro pass on the first day
-waste time shopping
-plan too much (but not too little either)
-fully rely on subways, not all of them run at all times and of course maintenance considerations
-arrive at the airport half an hour before your flight… That’s a whole other kind of stressful

Do
-ask people questions… Everyone is SO nice in New York!
-take cabs, they are never as expensive as you expect they will be
-give yourself longer to get places than you think, because it almost ALWAYS takes longer than you think
– plan your route to the fullest, from start to finish. Saves finding a map or pulling it out of your backpack at every stop which wastes a surprising amount of time
-get a map! For the love of traveling… Get a map.
-consider a compass, but in fashion form, like a necklace
– make local friends… Preferably with a rooftop patio with BBQs so you can have a homey Sunday night dinner cooking on the rooftop with a killer view

Go to the following places:
-Comedy Cellar: you will laugh until it hurts and you can’t breathe. Make reservations and get there 30-45 minutes to wait in line for a front row seat
-Brooklyn Bowl: bowling, concerts, dancing, DJ’s, restaurant all in one? Fantastic fun to be had.
-Greenwich Village: so much action you will always find something to do
-Central Park: need I say more?

My favourite city so far, the shirts are right: I love New York.

How To: Make Hipster Cutoffs

by Rachel

Hipsters can sometimes have covetable style. I am a huge fan of cutoffs and am loving the high waist rolled cuff right now. Instead of spending 20 or 30 bucks at the store, you can make your own!

1. Go to Value Village and purchase old jeans, best if they predate 1998.

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2. If you can find button fly you’re golden (although I will regret this on a summer night of beers).

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3. Cut them off with enough length that you can roll the cuff a couple times. If you don’t like the cuffs cut them shorter for the frayed hem.

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4. Wash them to fray the hem a bit and get the thrift store stink out (might have to do that twice… See my How To: Thrift Shop – Clothing Edition)

5. Um, I guess that’s it actually. So easy!

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Pair with oversized sweater cardigans, crop tops, wide brim hats etc. for the whole look.

How To: Redo Furniture for Cheap

by Rachel

I just bought a sewing chair in a bit of rough shape.

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But this is like my bread and butter… I love to refurbish shit furniture because old stuff has so much more character/one of a kindness compared to the generic stuff made today. It can get expensive though, so to save money I design the pieces based on what I already have.

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See above the finished the product. The paint I used was leftover from our bedroom paint, and the fabric was leftover from another chair I refurbished (actually the whole seat is from that old chair, the frame broke and the seat was perfect size!).
All in all it took about a day and a half and only cost me $20.
Its just so satisfying.

How To: Start An Etsy Store

by Shannon

For once in my sorry blogging experience, this is an actual “how to.”

Starting an Etsy store – and if you’re not familiar with Etsy, stop reading this and just click the link already – is pretty easy.

I started my own store last night – Mulligan’s Curiosities – where I’m selling some vintage-y items I’ve picked up at garage sales, thrift stores, have had handed down to me. I basically have too much stuff for our 630 square foot condo, and am trying to make good use of them.

Quite rare!

Quite rare!

These busts are bigger than mine.

These busts are bigger than mine.

The site has a pretty easy walk-through of everything, which is nice. At no point did I need to Google further directions, you just follow the steps and go to town. Write your descriptions, upload your super hipster, white background, high contrast photos, add your pricing, and away you go.

I super hope my items sell, both because it’s fun to make money that I can then spend on other things, like Rachel and I’s trip to New York, or to be honest, more vintage finds, but also because I like doing other stuff. I’m forever starting projects (and occasionally finishing them) because I always like to have something on the go, and I have very little patience to wait and see if it’s actually an idea.

So basically, I’m just hoping this doesn’t somehow blow up in my face.

How To: Really Frustrate Yourself

by Shannon

Try and book accommodations via Air BnB or a hostel in a foreign city.

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