Monday, November 18, 2013

"Second Helpings: Rescue Food, Eliminate Waste"

"Here in the United States, we are very fortunate to have access to an abundant and low-cost food supply, thanks to the freedoms of our culture and the hardworking farmers that provide it. But have you ever had something you swore that you would use when you were in the store, but ended up tossing the entire package because you didn’t use it and it went bad? Or have you ever been to an event where they plated meals that ended up with empty seats and leftover meals?"

"Second Helpings is working to rescue food and eliminate food waste in Indianapolis!" 

- Chelsea Nord

The above is an excerpt from a post by my friend Chelsea Nord for her blog, The topic? Eliminating food waste!

Learn more here:

Thanks Chelsea!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Boilermakers Beware The Phony Purdue Alumni Bill!

Here's the best savings tip I will ever give you. Watch out for fake bills, especially coming from your alma mater. I worked on the Purdue Telefund Fundraising Team and it was a blast. I enjoyed talking with other Purdue Alumni to update them on what was going on at Purdue, listen to their stories about college, and occasionally obtain a generous donation on the schools behalf. I understand that they need donations now more than ever. But this is something I am pretty sure could be fraudulent.

I received a letter in the mail marked "urgent" from Purdue. It said, "MEMBERSHIP DUES NOTICE ENCLOSED" in big ominous capital letters with a red "URGENT" stamp on top.

First of all, I am not sure how Purdue obtained my forwarding address, but I graduated in 2010 and I have never paid a penny into the Purdue Alumni Association. I didn't see the benefits of it.

What makes this letter so concerning for me is this: beside the fact that it is marked "URGENT," it looks very much like a bill even more so because it has an "Amount Due" line as well as a due date of November 15th, 2013.

Purdue, you've sunk to an all time low with this stunt.

I am curious how many other Boilermakers have received this letter. Even with a college degree, this could be confusing to some people. So I will be filing this with the United States Postal Inspection Service as fraudulent mail. If you agree that it is deceptive, please share this link and file a claim as well. 

Here is the link where you can file a claim too:

"Loyalty lives here." Because nothing spells out loyalty quite like your alma mater attempting to commit fraud against you.

Boiler up, eh?

Edit: Update 10-31-13 Just to clarify, I understand this was not a bill, and I was mostly concerned about the elderly alumni who may find it confusing.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Top 10 Life Hacks For Summer

10. Make DIY ice cream sandwiches the easy way!

50 Hottest Summer Life Hacks

9. Pick a perfect avocado.
Visit Source Site: (Disclaimer: four letter word in title)

8. Stop a mosquito bite from stinging.
Bitten by mosquitoes?
"Dab a cotton ball in vinegar and hold it over the bite. This works best if you’ve just been stung. The itching and swelling should dissipate and NEVER COME BACK. Orajel works too." Thanks,

7. Freeze aloe vera to heal a sun burn.

"Freeze aloe vera for summer sun burn." Source:
6. Make the perfect iced coffee.
More stress free Ice Coffee

5. Pick the perfect bikini bottom.
When shopping for a bathing suit, make sure that the fabric is tight in the butt area.
"The fabric will stretch a half size bigger once you get in the water, resulting in that common but dreaded Saggy Butt Syndrome." Thanks,

4. Use baby powder to get the sand off.
9-Baby powder gets the sand off! add this to your beach bag!
3. Make natural bug repellent.
50 Hottest Summer Life Hacks
Lime and cloves- it actually smells good! Source:

2. Make a secret beach stash bottle for your valuables.
50 Hottest Summer Life Hacks
1. Make an instant slurpie.

These Life Hacks Will Get You Through This Disgustingly Hot Summer
"Shake up the soda while it’s still sealed and set it in the freezer for 3 hours and 15 minutes. Loosen the cap to let some of the pressure escape and turn it upside down. IT BECOMES A SLUSHY. But you really should watch the video [below] if you don’t want a soda explosion in your freezer." Thanks,

Do you have any summer life hack tips?

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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Wooooh whoooooo! A Free Book from my favorite author, Neil Gaiman! (THIS PROMOTION IS OVER)

You might know him as the guy who wrote Coraline and American Gods. 
Neil Gaiman, is quite possibly the best author of his generation. And right now, 
you can get book #1 of his graphic novel, Sandman for absolutely free! 
This deal is for this week only. 
The book is available for free digital download on as a Kindle Edition
 and Barnes and Noble for Nook.

Even if you don't pick up the book for free, I highly recommend buying anything by Gaiman and
reading it! His stories never let me down. They are always full of surprises and excitement! :)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Introducing Kindred Closets and the threads that connect!

On July 1st I launched my new blog, Kindred Closets. After I realized that I had friends all over the world connected together by the internet, I came up with the idea for this blog about people who are connected by some tiny thread across the globe.

Here's a screen shot of my first post! Check out for more posts!

The theme for Saving With Selena, though near and dear to my heart, severely limits my choices of blog topics. At Saving With Selena I focus on tips for simple ways to save money and be sustainable with a secondary life hacks/re-purposing theme. Kindred Closets will utilize my dreamier, artistic skills and will hopefully give me a chance to interview people I admire. 

Here are three exampled of my most recent inspirational images
I would love for you to subscribe to Kindred Closets and get one in your inbox every day! <3
While you are at it, I would love for you to subscribe to Saving With Selena as well, if you want to!

I will still be posting occasionally about sustainability,as well as sharing life hacks and money saving tips here on Saving With Selena.

Kindred Closets will feature art, travel, fashion, beauty tips, and more! Also I post an inspiring quote and sketch every day. You can check out the launch page and work your way through the posts to today, or you can go straight to today's post.
Check out my new blog at
Let me know what you think! 

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

Sometimes the best way to save money is to make more money, to reach for more responsibility, to work harder. That's why I love this speech given by Sheryl Sandberg.

Sandberg on the cover of Time Magazine

In this eye-opening TEDtalks event, Sandberg reveals a study that shows that like-ability and  success in women are reversely related, due to sociological patterns and viewpoints that continue the growth of career inequalities between men and women.

A few key quotes & paraphrases:

- Career choices for women are better than they were 50 years ago.

- "We still have a problem: women are not making it to the top of any profession anywhere in the world."

- "Of all the people in Parliament [level governmental jobs] in the world, only 13% are women."

- In the corporate sector, board level jobs for women "tops out at 5%- 16%."

- Because of social expectatons, women are stuck with harder choices to make between careers and personal fulfillment: "Of married Sr. Managers 2/3 of male Sr. Managers have children and only 1/3 of female Sr. Managers have children."

- "Women systematically underestimate their abilities & do not negotiate for themselves in the workplace."

- Men typically attribute their success to themselves. Women typically attribute their success to others who helped them along the way, to luck, etc.

- "Success and likeability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women." (watch the video to hear more about the famous study).

Sandberg's Tips:

1. Sit at the table.

2. Make your partner a real partner.

3. Don't leave before you leave.

You will need to watch the video to understand what she means by each of those. The video is about 15 minutes and is well worth the time. I highly recommend it!

VIDEO: Sheryl Sandberg: Why we have too few women leaders

This rings true for me especially because I am someone who cares about people and wants to be successful. I hope one day we can change perceptions so that women can also be successful and be liked for it as well.

How do we change this? How do we as individuals affect these numbers so that one day it becomes a 50/50 percentage of men and women in leadership roles? How do we encourage women to reach for success?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Save Lives: billboard produces potable water from humidity in the air

I am all about saving- saving money, time, and the Earth through green(er) living. But I don't believe in saving things just to save (otherwise you end up with a closet -er, garage- full of junk you don't need). What it boils down to is this. Saving money and time, and making things last longer helps us so we can use our time and money for enjoying and supporting our lives. And being greener is really about saving our future. This is why I absolutely loved this short video when I saw it. I am amazed by technology and all that we can accomplish simply because of ingenuity, a little determination, and hard work. What a great way to promote education, by supporting the local people at the level of their basic needs. Brilliant!

It sounds like magic, right? But it's not! Here's a basic outline of how it works:

This is a short video introducing the billboard water source! This could revolutionize the lives of people living in places with a clean water shortage. Please share!

 What are your thoughts on this?

I believe that doing the right thing, and helping people can in fact be profitable and save money and resources. How could these and other similar technologies be implemented in a business setting to be both financially stimulating and philanthropic without charging the people for water outright? 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Modern Day Leaf

Back when I was in high school, I decided my final GT Art project would be a dress made of soda pop bottles. I spent the entire semester saving up supplies and the whole school donated. I called it "The Modern Day Leaf." It was a statement about how we cover ourselves. Adam and Eve covered themselves with leaves, to cover their sins. One day, if we don't care care of our world, all we will have to cover ourselves is our trash.

I went on to make a few more recycled "couture" pieces- a dress made from packing material and office supplies, a bra/skirt set made from packing tape and discarded gift tissue, and another from food packaging.

 I decided to pay a little visit to memory lane and share these old images with you. I hope you enjoy them!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

TODAY ONLY- Super Deal: $5 Teen Vogue Magazine Subscription- TODAY ONLY

I've been resting a lot, since I have been sick. It would have been great to have a stack of magazines to ready while I recover. When I saw this in my email, I thought this deal was so good, I had to share it. It said $5 subscriptions. I thought, wow! Then I realized the length of the subscriptions were also shortened. The only "deal here is Teen Vogue- $5 for 10 isues. It's still shareworthy. One Day Only!

Now back to resting! Enjoy your magazines!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Save Some Energy If You Are Sick

I am writing this post sick in bed. I posted on my Facebook that I was sick. A few of my friends have kindly emailed me suggestions on how to get better faster for various types of sicknesses. So I thought I would share them with you.

Umcka Care

My friend at work, Kristie suggested Umcka Care, a homeopathic medicine that helps reduce the severity of colds, coughs, sore throats, etc. The pharmacist (and the box) said it is a traditional South African treatment made from daffodil extract, pelargonium sidoids 1x. Turns out, that what I have was not something this could help, but if you use it and like it, let me know. I'll keep it in mind for the next time I get a cold and let you know, either way. The pharmacist was super nice and also let me take photos of her cute shoes (I work in fashion, so even sick I could not resist).
The pharmacist's cute shoes!

 Garlic Cinnamon

My friend Claire suggests mixing cinnamon with garlic to help reduce a cough.

Red Wine Hot Toddie

I like to make a hot toddy of hot water, red wine, lemon juice, red pepper, and maple syrup. Boil everything up except for the red wine- add that last and don't let it boil or you will lose medicinal value. As for the amounts of what you should put into it- the old family saying goes if it taste good, its a cocktail, but if it doesn't taste good its medicine. Make it accordingly. The only drawback is this is not good for someone with acid reflux or stomach issues like an ulcer.

My friend Aidan suggested these tips:

If you have a throat infection: "Eat garlic cloves straight to coat your throat. It burns really bad for a few moments, but it provides long lasting relief. Garlic has anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
(Selena's Note: I did this before when I needed to and it burned pretty bad at first and made my stomach hurt a bit, but my throat started to feel better an hour later).
For sleep, take melatonin, which balances the circadian rhythm with a natural healthy boost to your immune system.
Drink meals of raw fruits and vegetables for the living enzymes they provide that rebuild and strengthen our bodies; drinkable meals save energy normally used on digestion.
There are some good CDs out that help you learn to easily adjust your brainwaves and fall asleep easier. You basically listen to light static noise or some other soothing sound while you fall asleep."
Of course there are prescriptions too and the above suggestions are only in addition to your doctors orders. Consult a doctor to make sure the above are safe for you.

Do you have any homeopathic or homemade remedies?

Related post:
I made decorations for Kristie's baby shower:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Happy Birthday to Our Returning Guest Blogger:Krystal! NSFW (Due to men with no shirts & funny language)

My name is not larry, but this was a cute one!

It's Krystal's birthday today!!

You may remember Krystal from our past guest posts. In honor of Krystal's birthday, I made this compilation of Youtube videos. Heads up: some videos are potentially not be safe for work, depending on your job.

You and the kids can dance to this one:

I know you aren't 20...

WTF? Just for the lulz

The intro is at least cute..

Give him a break.. he's too drunk to know your real name (or spelling)...

We already met, but what the heck...

This girl starts out looking like someone we would have been friends with in high school...

*Disclaimer: None of these videos were made for Krystal. All videos were made for someone else named Krystal. I find that Youtube videos are much more entertaining when viewed in a context they were not intentionally mean to be viewed.*

Check Out  Posts By Krystal:
 How to Be a Super Mom Part 1: What's For Dinner?:  DIY Chalkboard
 How to Be a Super Mom Part 2: Morning Routines: DIY Kids Chart To Check Each Morning Task
 How to Be a Super Mom Part 3: Growing, Growing, Grown DIY Growth Chart
 Here's some sound financial advice: How to Set Up a House Account

Check out Krystal's Blog: Quest Of A Crazy Mom

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blossoms in Bloom: An Interview with Jenn Z




An Interview with 

Jenn of Jenn Z Floral Designs 

The following is an interview I did with the very talented florist, my dear friend, Jenn Z of Jenn Z Floral Designs. I had hoped to post this around the holidays, however sometimes time just sweeps you away. Nonetheless, I think these tips are useful for any time of year, and the photos of her arrangements are beautiful! Now that it is SPRING in the Northern Hemisphere, I thought it would be a perfect time to post this. Thanks to Jenn for taking the time out to do the interview.

Jenn, center

Selena: How long have you been a floral artist?

Jenn Z: I started at a flower shop in 2005, but had taken floral arranging classes through 4H throughout childhood. I began my freelance business in the summer of 2009.

Selena: Do you have any basic tips for someone creating their own flower arrangements?

Jenn Z: When making a round arrangement, create triangles. Start out filling the bottom, then add the top flower, then fill in making smaller triangles. This will guarantee that you have a more balanced looking arrangement. Don't forget to space out color evenly too, unless you are purposely blocking colors in the arrangement.

"When making a round 

arrangement [start by] 

creating triangles." 

- Jenn Z 

Selena: What are some good, more affordable flower options? 

Jenn Z: White pom daisies are great for people on a tight budget who love flowers. Pom daisies are not expensive compared to roses and can last up to 3 weeks! Also since several blossoms come on a stem, you can really just trim, and put into a vase if you are intimidated by designing. Spray paint a glass jar red or silver and add a bunch of white pom daisies for a fun holiday arrangement!

"White pom daisies are 

great for people on a 

tight budget who

 love flowers.

 Just trim and put into

 a vase!"

- Jenn Z

Selena: What is a good way to get more bang for your buck when it comes to buying flowers? Are there any secrets?

Jenn Z: Many people are disappointed when they grab roses at the grocery store and they wilt the next day. You can tell if they are older by feeling the blossom or head of the rose. If it feels soft, it is older and will wilt quickly. If it feels firm, it is fresher. Some stores mix in bunches of newer flowers with older flowers to trick consumers into getting the older flowers. Also, rose stems should be cut at a diagonal for optimal hydration.

Selena: Any tips or warnings about certain flowers or flowers to avoid?

Jenn Z: Flowers that have browning edges are usually older, no matter what variety. Try to steer clear of flowers that look older.

Selena: Do you have any tips for decorating your holiday table using flowers?

Jenn Z: Keep table arrangements no taller than 14 in. so that people can see over the arrangements. You can use evergreens in floral arrangements for a holiday feel, you might be able to get free evergreen trimmings from places that sell fresh Christmas trees- it doesn't hurt to ask! Don't forget that jewel tones like dark pinks and purples are beautiful during the holidays, you don't have to just stick to red and green!

To hire Jenn in the Indianapolis, IN area contact her at: or visit her Facebook fan page.
P.S. In case you were curious about her beautiful photos, she's also a model! All photos courtesy of her Facebook business and personal pages.

Here's an arrangement idea that doesn't require flowers or water: How To Make A Wishing Tree

Check out another plant related blog here: Saving Money Saving Seeds

Working on a wedding? Try this: How To Make Cheap Shoes Look Expensive

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