We Tried It

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    As new moms, we deserve to spend a million dollars on ourselves. We carried a baby for almost 10 months, gave birth, and continue to lose nights of sleep -- and even our hair! -- for months after delivery. But the reality is that diapers and baby gear (not to mention college tuition) are pretty darn expensive, so we don't quite have that luxury.

    Okay. So maybe this isn't the ideal time to buy the Gucci bag that makes your heart sing. Doesn't mean you can't stock up on some new mom necessities that won't break the bank and WILL keep you looking and feeling fantastic when you're running on 20 minutes of sleep.

    More From The Stir: 7 Expensive Hairstyling Tools That Are Really Worth the Money

    You're pressed for time, going through all kinds of hormonal nonsense, and strapped for cash. We know. And we've got you covered. Here are 10 "splurges" under $35 that are tailor-made for new mommies.

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    Summertime. Fresh, slightly charred corn on the cob, tomatoes so fresh and ripe that even tomato-haters can’t resist a bite, and watermelon so sweet, no one will miss ice cream. Well, that’s not entirely true -- ice cream during the summer is still pretty much the best.

    But all of these late-spring and summer treats can come at a premium price. Luckily, one of the best things about summer is also one of the most cost-effective -- farmers' markets!

    Save your coupons for the sunblock and bug spray! Here’s how to save a bundle and get the freshest produce and treats -- all while shopping locally. 

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    Ladies, I have accomplished the nearly impossible: I have downsized from a humongous, stuffed-to-the-gills handbag to a wee purse nearly the size of my palm. And I feel so light and free now! After years of lugging around a 2-ton bag and suffering back and shoulder pain -- not to mention, never being able to find anything in it, ever, I have culled my cargo to the bare essentials. I got sick of watching guys run around with nary by their pockets to keep their essentials in and finally thought, why not me, too?

    "But what about all your STUFF?" you may be wondering. I was carrying this baby around with me (see below), and it weighs about 5 pounds empty. Well, I'll tell you --here's how I took care of the STUFF issue and made carrying a tiny purse work for me. 

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    Moustaches are so hot right now. Seriously, they are all the rage. The people who love them do so with ferocity. The people who dislike like them do so with intensity. And because of this, moustaches are SO HOT RIGHT NOW.

    I get wooed in by trends. I like hair. I like to shop. But I can't grow a moustache. I'm a woman. Though talk to me about a slight peach fuzzy lady beard and we may have something. 7-11 created something just for me. Not specifically me really since if they are going to do that they have to change their watermelon slurpee formula, but they made moustache straws that fit into pretty mason jars just for your slurping enjoyment. And of course people are hating all over them calling them some sad attempt at getting the hipsters excited, accusing them of jumping on the moustache bandwagon, rolling their eyes at this marketing attempt. As for me? I think it's the best thing 7-11's done in a long time. I went. Purchased mine, and here are the results.

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    Getting laser treatments on my lip was, quite possibly, the best beauty decision I've ever made.

    I am just not the kind of girl that likes to sit in a salon for hours a week. Who has time for that? I work. I have two kids. Manicures mostly get done at home out of sheer necessity. But the one thing I could not do myself was safely, painlessly, and efficiently remove the hair from my lip. Come on, people with dark hair -- I know you feel me on this one. I tried waxing but it burned my skin. I tried threading but it hurt like hell. I tried shaving and, well, that was a joy! But I risked in-grown hairs and there was just something about not wanting my daughter to see me shave that pushed me forward to finding a more permanent solution. Hallelujah for laser treatments.

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    Every May is Treat. Yo. Self. month for me, thanks to Mother's Day, my birthday, and the sheer relief of winter being over. That means I celebrate! With lots of cheese and macarons and wine and ... toward the end of the month, all my clothes were fitting a little tight. Oops. Party's over! When you start getting seam imprints on your belly from your jeans, you know it's time for a health reboot. I don't do cleanses, but I keep hearing about how magical drinking hot lemon water first thing in the morning is supposed to be. So I decided to give it a try for a week.

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    There’s more to your phone than just a way to keep your kids busy in the grocery store! By now you’ve likely heard about extreme couponing, and you may even print coupons online or from the newspaper and save a few bucks. But saving money while grocery shopping or at the drugstore can be much easier with paperless coupons -- right from your phone. You don’t even really have to plan ahead -- you can do a lot of your saving while you are shopping! Here's how:

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    Doesn't this look cool? It's an egg that was scrambled in its shell before boiling, and now it's a lovely golden color through and through. Amazing, isn't it? It's especially nice if you, or your child, doesn't like eating the yolk on its own. Supposedly all you have to do is rapidly spin an egg a bazillion times in a sleeve or tights, and the force will cause the egg to scramble. Here's how it works in 5 steps.

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    So! You've been admiring your neighbors' beautiful gardens for years and decided this is the year: You're going to take up gardening. Hooray, you're going to love it! I hope? I love gardening, anyway. Your green-thumb happiness level depends on what kind of start you get, though. First thing to keep in mind is to start small your first year. You can get more ambitious each year as your build your expertise and confidence. Let's get you going with some simple guidelines that will hopefully minimize frustration and maximize your efforts.

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    Sigh. Stale bread. It's the bane of my kitchen. I don't know whether the stuff is in league with the milk, but between those two items, nothing seems to go bad faster once I bring it home from the grocery store. It hurts my heart AND my wallet every time I have to throw a loaf of stale bread away. To that end, I'm forever looking for ways to use that bread. You know, ways that won't make me look like one of those trash-eating Extreme Cheapskates from T.V. -- that's not cute.

    In my adventures in stale-bread-using, I've learned something quite surprising: Some things actually taste BETTER when you use stale bread to make them! It's true though! Some of my fave dishes just wouldn't be the same if I had to use fresh stuff just baked and resting on the rack. Whether or not you choose to tell people you're getting rid of bad bread and penny-pinching is up to you. With these 5 recipes using stale bread, I can guarantee that nobody will be any the wiser should you choose to stay mum! 

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