7 Uses for Paper Towels

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This article is sponsored by Viva.

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I have three boys approaching their teens. I only THOUGHT I used a lot of paper towels cleaning up messes when they were little! Now that they are older, they are able to help clean up after themselves, so it’s important that I have quality materials on hand to get the job done. My former beloved brand wasn’t working out well. They were using almost half a roll on a smallish mess. So, we had to experiment to find a new brand that works well for this season of life. I am pleased to say that the Viva Vantage Paper Towel passed with flying colors. The boys only need 1-2 paper towels to clean up a standard mess in our home because the Viva Vantage Paper Towels are so absorbent! It really stretches to help with scrubbing power AND it doesn’t rip or tear while in use. I found this product at my local Walmart Supercenter.

7 Uses for Paper Towels:

  1. Cleaning – This one is obvious, you just spray some cleaner and wipe down surfaces.
  2. Faces – They are great for cleaning up messy faces after meals!
  3. Microwave – Use to cover a dish in the microwave to keep splatters from making a mess.
  4. Keep Herbs Fresh – Store herbs loosely wrapped in a paper towel, placed in a zip top bag in the refrigerator. The paper towels will help absorb excess moisture to keep herbs fresh longer.
  5. Soften Hard Brown Sugar – Place Damp paper towel on top of open container of brown sugar overnight. The next morning it should be soft again!
  6. Protect pans and skillets – Line insides of clean pans or skillets with paper towels before storing in cabinets. They will help absorb any remaining moisture to prevent rusting and keep surfaces from getting scratched by pans you stack on top.
  7. Strain Grease from meat – I place several paper towels inside a bowl, and put my small colander on top. I pour all the meat in my skillet inside the colander and the grease drains through to the paper towels. Lift the colander, shake remaining drips off, and pour meat back into skillet to continue cooking or add seasonings. Let the grease cool (not harden) and then toss the paper towels into the trash. Grease is gone :)

How do you use Paper Towels in your home? Have you given the Viva Vantage Paper Towels a try?


10 Dorm Room Essentials with Kleenex #KleenexStyle

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This article is sponsored by Kleenex + Walmart
10 Dorm Room Essentials with KleenexAs the Back To School Rush is approaching and many of us have children returning to school or even going off to college for the first time, it can seem very overwhelming trying to figure out just what is essential and not to be forgotten! I think back on my own dorm room experience fondly, and laugh with my former roommates about our first few days after moving in. Our dorm rooms were set up like mini apartments, and we all figured out quickly that we didn’t know much about cooking, cleaning, or caring for ourselves when we got sick :) Back in those days, computers and internet access was very limited, we weren’t fortunate to have a Walmart Store Locator to help us figure out where the closest store to the University was located! NONE of us were local, nor could we read a map very well, so we spent some time getting to know one another and the local roads while we searched for a store to purchase some necessities!

Fortunately, Walmart has everything you need to put together the 10 Dorm Room Essentials, and at affordable prices! Here are the essentials I think you need, and I’d love for you to share in the comments, what things you think are important!

  1.  Bedding: You will need sheets, pillows, comforters, and throw type pillows to lounge on while studying.
  2. Shower Kit: Depending on how the bathrooms are set up for your child’s dorm, they will likely need a carry case for their bathroom essentials. Most college dorm bathrooms aren’t large enough to leave things in there, students must carry them back and forth. Don’t forget Soap, Shampoo, Conditioner, Body Wash, Lotion, Razor, Shaving Cream, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Floss, Mouthwash.
  3. Socks and Underwear: There will be a time when they run out of clean undergarments. Buy them more than you think they need to help keep that to a minimum :)
  4. Laundry Kit: Quarters, Laundry Soap, Woolite, Fabric Softener, Bleach. Kids will have to find machines to use if they live to far from home to bring it for you to wash :) It takes A LOT of quarters! I used Woolite to wash delicates in the bathroom sink, and in a pinch it will come in handy! Bleach for sheets, towels, and undergarments that they may be tempted to use one too many times between washings. It’s college, they get busy and forget to do laundry. It happens.
  5. Sick Kit: Make sure they have plenty of Kleenex! They will likely catch a cold, and need to prevent the spread of germs. Make sure they have plenty of hand washing soap, fever/headache medication, cough syrup, cough drops, vitamins, tummy ailment medication, band aids, neosporin, chapstick, etc. You don’t want them to figure out how “easy” it can be to skip class because of a minor ailment. If they have items on hand, like Kleenex, to help prevent the spread of germs, that can keep it to a minimum. When they do get sick, if they have over the counter medications on hand, hopefully they can catch the issue early and avoid getting really sick.
  6. Healthy Snacks: Kids will have to learn new schedules, time management, etc. It can be challenging. Stock their dorm room with bottled water and healthy non-perishable snacks. They’ll have something handy when they get hungry and need to keep on studying, it’s less expensive  and healthier than running to the snack machine, and if they don’t have to leave their room for a snack, they’re less likely to get sidetracked by social opportunities to distract their studying.
  7. School Supplies: Make sure they have plenty of folders, pens, pencils, chargers for computer/phone, anything specific to their major or area of study. Buy early when they are on sale for a very low price over the summer to save money.
  8. Decor: Bring pictures of friends and family from home, favorite books or movies, things that give the comfort of home. Additionally, they won’t want their room to be bare bones like the picture below. Help them decorate. Kleenex has made a concerted effort to design stylish oval boxes to fit with so many different styles!
  9. Mini-Fridge/Microwave: So they can prepare their own food and store perishables.
  10. Small Lamp: They may want to study when a roommate is sleeping, or just not want the bright overhead light on all the time. A small desk lamp is very helpful to have on desks and nightstands!

*The Kleenex Expressions Oval Facial Tissue Chevron Designs can be found in the Back to School, Back to College, and/or tissue section of Walmart Supercenters for a LIMITED TIME only, so make sure to pick up enough for the entire semester on your next trip! My local store was out when I stopped by this week, but the manager expects to get more in this week. I ADORE the chevron design and can’t wait to have some in my home too :)

UPDATED to add these reader suggested essentials:

  • Shower Shoes or flip flops to protect your feet in community showers!

10 Dorm Room Essentials with Kleenex


NEW SHARK DETERRENT OFFERS $1,000,000 NO BITE GUARANTEE

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Shark DeterrentNEW SHARK DETERRENT OFFERS $1,000,000 NO BITE GUARANTEE

 Maui business launches crowdfunding campaign to bring to market the first wearable Sonic Camouflage shark deterrent 

MAUI–NoBite Technologies has created a long-range and easily understandable shark deterrent called the Ocean Recreation Comfort Apparatus. Using Sonic Camouflage technology, the O.R.C.A. emits sounds that keep sharks at a comfortable distance. NoBite has launched a crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter.com to raise $175,000 by August 17. The devices will come with a “No Bite Guarantee” of $1 million.

The O.R.C.A. was created following eight shark attacks on Maui in 2013. After realizing that many ocean-goers were reluctant to go back into the water, NoBite Technologies co-founder Brandon Martin invented the O.R.C.A. “Some of my friends were afraid to get back out there,” said Martin. “So we developed a solution based on evolutionary science. Shark culling and other mitigation programs are far too disruptive to be a viable option,” he adds.

On Friday, August 1, the O.R.C.A. was successfully tested by a group of six professional marathon swimmers on their 43-mile, 16-hour long swim from Santa Barbara Island to Catalina Island. The swimmers entered the water around midnight, surrounded by hundreds of sea lions engaged in a feeding frenzy, in an area known to be frequented by great white, tiger, and mako sharks. “I am considering the ORCA a complete success, since there were no sightings of sharks in a channel which has an abundance of sharks,” said Julian Rusinek, who swam the relay, officially observed by the Santa Barbara Channel Swimming Association (SBCSA).

“Since the 1970s, research has shown that killer whale calls and other sounds can cause some shark species to move away,” said Dr. Manue Martinez, PhD in Marine Biology and Head Researcher at Pacific Whale Foundation. “The O.R.C.A. brings existing science to a wearable device.” Western Australia has recently been testing this technology on a large scale at popular beaches. “As a result of extensive testing, we are so confident that you will not be bitten by a shark while wearing an O.R.C.A. that we are offering an industry first, No Bite Guarantee,” Martin adds.

The O.R.C.A. is a compact and stylish device worn on the wrist or ankle that is safe and easy to use, and harmless to the environment. Using a sophisticated computer and amplifier, the O.R.C.A has a range of up to 100 feet (30m). With the 12-hour battery life, users can enjoy the ocean with peace of mind all day. The O.R.C.A.’s bright LED display gives a clear indication of its charge status, turning red when recharging is necessary and green when fully charged. An included USB dongle allows for waterproof charging. The durable neoprene wrist strap integrates other shark counter measures. Additional technological features (such as smart phone integration) are planned once the minimum funding goal is reached.

The Kickstarter.com campaign will help NoBite Technologies get the O.R.C.A. on the market for international sales. Supporters of the campaign will receive perks ranging from a company t-shirt with a $27 contribution to a limited early bird special price for the O.R.C.A. device with a $71 contribution, or a package of four O.R.C.A. for $371.

About NoBite Technologies, LLC

Helping people feel more comfortable in nature without using chemical-based or disruptive products, NoBite Technologies’ products are created to keep animals a comfortable distance from humans. The company is committed to corporate sustainability and keeping a majority of the production process on Maui to help stimulate the local economy, create jobs, and be responsible members of the local community. The O.R.C.A. team is comprised of doctors of marine biology specializing in sharks and whales as well as advanced engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs– all of whom are ocean lovers.


Practical Frugality Giveaways

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Practical Frugality Giveaways
Apparently there is some corrupt code somewhere on my site, Practical Frugality. I got a message this morning (8/3/14) from Google Webmaster Tools that indicated it is from an old giveaway widget coding. I am going to go in and start deleting the code from expired giveaways today, and they will remove the warning from my site. In the meantime, I have TONS of events going on that I am helping to promote. So, I will paste in the code from each giveaway that is live HERE, and redirect the URL’s from those posts to this page, so you can continue to get your entries ;) I’ve never had this happen in 8 years of blogging, so hopefully it will only take a couple of days to correct it:/ If the giveaway you entered on the other site requires a comment, don’t worry, those will still be visible to me even though the page directs people here, and I can forward those to the person sponsoring the event for verification! If an event needs a Word Of the Day and the link is to my Practical Frugality site, just tell me something that made you happy today because you may not be able to access that page. Some of the Facebook Like this page entries and Pin entries are glitching too, so it’s ok to just hit enter and leave a note, I’ll be working on fixing that once the malware situation is resolved! This page isn’t wanting to show all the events so I pasted it here too: http://commoncentsability.com/practical-frugality-giveaways2/. I got tons of old code deleted from the other site and an updated sitemap submitted to Google, so hopefully they get me cleared ASAP and we can get back to normal :) Continue reading »


$100 Amazon GC #Giveaway #SmartKidsWin #MomBuzz {Ends 8/31} – 2 winners!!!

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Kids Academy buttonKid’s Academy is all about helping children learn verbal, writing and math skills in an easy and fun manner. Apps such as 123 Tracing and Bingo ABC have been top-50 educational apps in the App Store, and Kid’s Academy has also brought the well-known stories and nursery rhymes The Three Little Pigs and Five Little Monkeys to life with interactive apps. The simple interfaces of the apps allow children to take the reins and play on their own, but the sing-a-longs and other activities are perfect for parent or teacher engagement, as well. Research has shown that singing along with nursery rhymes has cognitive and physical benefits for children. Not only are children learning new words and the context in which to use them, but strengthening tongue and mouth muscles at an early age will help with pronunciation skills.
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Kids Academy is hosting an awesome giveaway!  Head over, download the app, and write a review in the App Store.  At the end of August, Kids Academy will randomly choose 2 lucky winners who will each win a $100 Amazon gift card!  Sweet!
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CONTEST RULES:
2. Write a short honest review on the iTunes App Store. If you have already reviewed this app, simply update your review and you will be entered!
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Good Luck!