When de-cluttering your closet, you might find many shirts that either don’t fit you or simply aren’t wearable anymore, and cutting them from your wardrobe is definitely a way to clear up more space. But don’t throw them away just yet!

There’s more that you can do with old shirts without having to turn them into piles and piles of discarded textile waste. In fact, you’ve just found the perfect excuse to get started or continue your hobby of sewing and crocheting.

Here are a few ways to make use of the many shirts you no longer wear – and brush up on your sewing skills to boot:

1.  Make a yarn basket

Cutting shirts into strips and weaving them into baskets can give you a new use out of old shirts as well as clearing them out from you closet. These new adorable containers aren’t just practical – they can be adorable gifts to give friends and family on any occasion.

2.  Make a tote bag

Another way to repurpose those shirts and tank tops you have lying around is by making them into tote bags. Simply cut off the sleeves, turn them inside out, sew the bottom closed, and then turn them outside-in again – and voila! – easy bag!

3.  Make braided bracelets

Old cotton shirts can be cut into thin strips and woven together with rattail cord to make braided braceletsthat you can pair with your new casual wardrobe as new accessories.

4.  Make chew toys for pets

Love your little mutt but hate having bite marks on your footwear at home? The good news is you don’t have to spend as much effort anymore – simply take your old shirts and weave them into new dog chew toys. The best part is they’re totally washable.

5.  Make stuffed toys

With a few shirts and a little bit of creativity, you can make stuffed animals to give your kids or give as gifts to your friends for any occasion. Just grab your stuffing and your sewing kit and you basically have everything you need to get started.

6.  Make an apron

The bottom half of your old button-down polo can be repurposed into an apron, and a few extra scraps of patterned fabric can easily be sewn into it to give it just a little bit of color coordination that you’ll want to be wearing while cooking.

7.  Make upcycled pillows

Shirts with faded prints are especially great for making into adorable pillows that add plenty of personality in any room or area they happen to be in. You can even make as many as you want because of how easy they are to make.

There’s no denying that sleep is essential, but busy schedules often mean that you need to stay awake longer to finish tasks. One all-nighter isn’t too bad once in a while, but one too many and you might be at risk without even knowing it.

In fact, a habit of getting too little sleep forces your body and mind to adapt to this cycle. While this looks like a good thing at first, it’s actually not. This can lead to all kinds of health problems, like heart problems and weight gain.

This is what’s known as sleep deprivation, or “sleep debt”, and its costs on physical and mental health can be mounting over time the more time you stay awake and the less time you have for rest.

How to Know if You Have Sleep Debt

If you think you’re not getting enough sleep, try watching out for these signs that you have a significant amount of sleep debt:

  • Caffeine – Keep track of how many cups of coffee you need to take throughout the day to feel functional. The more cups of coffee you drink, the more likely you’ll have trouble sleeping at night.
  • Sugar/high carbohydrate food cravings – Just like the caffeine, sleep deprivation leads to cravings for foods that are high in sugar and carbohydrates.
  • Moodiness – It’s hard to focus on anything when you’re fuzzy-headed or irritable, and being prone to mood swings is a big sign that you’re missing out on the sleep you need. This is especially true if you’re constantly feeling groggy during the day, only to still be working until the late hours.

Repaying Your Sleep Debt

Now that you know the signs and effects of being sleep-deprived, here’s what you can do to repay your sleep debt:  

  • Limit your naps – Napping during the day will make it difficult for you to sleep at night, but taking an hour or two in the afternoon to nap can supplement the lost hours of sleep for night shift workers.
  • Avoid taking sleeping pills – Unless your doctor has specifically prescribed sleeping pills due to any underlying medical condition, avoid taking them as much as possible.
  • Sleep earlier than you normally would – Remember what time you would usually go to bed at night and set your normal sleep schedule back by about fifteen minutes.
  • Prevent distractions – Turn off all screens and lights before going to sleep to allow your body to return to its natural circadian rhythm.

Keep in mind that booting your sleep cycle is a process. Sleeping in on one night or over the weekend isn’t going to bring you back to your normal sleeping schedule, but it’s a constant work in progress to improve the quality of your sleep.

As a rookie parent you might be surprised to know that there are different types of cloth baby diapers available at stores. How do you pick the right one for your baby?

Let’s check out each type of diaper.

• All-In-One. Sometimes labeled AIO, all-in-one cloth diapers are easy to use because they have inserts where absorbent material can be fastened. It’s like putting on a diaper cover at the same time with no hassle.

• Pocket. The name pocket comes from the feature between the cover of the cloth diaper and the layer that makes contact with baby’s skin. The absorbent material can be placed inside this pocket for easy use.

• Flat and Prefolded. You might see this type of cloth diaper among your mother’s old pile of baby clothes. As the name implies, this type of diaper is flat and prefolded to create several absorbent layers.

• Newborn. A newborn’s skin is very sensitive and not all of them are of the same size. A newborn cloth diaper can have any of the features listed in other types of diapers to make sure that it will fit properly without harming the umbilical cord stump.

• Fitted. Also called contoured diapers, fitted cloth diapers are ideal for parents who want an option that is easy to use. They look like disposable diapers and have a variety of absorbent materials and fabrics to choose from.

• Hybrid. A hybrid baby diaper is a combination of both a cloth and disposable diaper to make the most of the design and convenience of each. It has a reusable cloth cover and either a disposable or reusable/washable insert.

• Swim. This cloth diaper has a waterproof cover to protect the lining inside, although most of these do not have an absorbent insert. It can be worn by your baby at the pool or at the beach.

• Trainer. This type of cloth diaper can be used when potty training your child. Some styles look like regular underwear, but there are also trainer cloth diapers that are waterproof, padded, and others that are designed for heavy wetters or for overnight use.

• Disposable. This type of diaper is the most convenient to use because you don’t need to wash the cloth anymore, however, it can also be a waste of money. When looking for a disposable baby diaper, pick materials that will fit properly, have high absorbency, and is comfortable to wear. Check the parts of the diaper, such as the closure, waterproof outer layer, inner layer, and the absorbent core. If you’re worried about the super absorbent polymer (SAP) in the core, studies show that it is safe and non-toxic to babies.

When choosing between cloth and disposable diapers, it’s better to enjoy the best of both worlds. Make sure, however, that the diapers fit properly, and the diapers are effective at preventing leaks.

There are many reasons to cut back on dumping leftovers from Christmas dinners and using them for future meals. Not only is it wasteful to dump perfectly good food that you can freeze and reheat, but you also have an instant trove of food ingredients that you can cook in different ways.

Here are a few quick and easy ways you can use them up or save them for later meals:

1. Mix the leftovers into rice.
Fried rice is the standard go-to for chopped leftover meats and vegetables from last night’s Christmas dinner, but you can also mix up the recipe by adding cheese sauce and baking the mixture in the oven.

There are many recipe guides online that you can refer to for different ways on how to spice up fried rice post-Christmas dinner, which you can even have fun experimenting with.

2. Wrap and store them in the freezer.
While this may be the first thing to come to your mind with leftover food, a lot of people underestimate the power of a tightly sealed container and a refrigerator. When kept well, leftovers can actually last you for the rest of the year and can save you a lot of time and effort in cooking because you can simply reheat them.

A simple test to determine if your leftovers are still edible goes: sight, smell, touch, and taste. If it looks (i.e. presence of mold) and smells bad, throw the leftovers out immediately.

3. Embrace the stock pot.
Ham bones, roast turkey, beef, or even chicken can be made into stock that you can use for future dishes, especially when left for a few hours to simmer. While the meat does end up flavorless, all the juices are absorbed into a delicious, flavorful broth.

You can also use the stock pot and leftovers to make the stew of your liking, as well as reheat large chunks of previous dishes with added spices to taste. Once that’s done, you have a free meal that takes very little effort to cook, and it can even last you for one to two days.

The trick to using the stock pot effectively is to keep the ingredients simple and to allow the water and heat to work its magic to produce the symphony of flavors you usually wouldn’t associate with leftover foods.

However, a stock pot can also be made for many things, including cooking beans, lentils, and even blanching vegetables before adding in with other leftovers. Its versatility in the kitchen makes it indispensable for anyone looking to do other things than feed a crowd of people.

(Disclaimer: This list is compiled in no particular order.)

While it’s known that getting clothes that properly fit you will solve almost all of your problems with style, jeans haven’t been looked at as much compared to shirts or jackets.

Because not all jeans are one-size-fits-all, it’s important to look at the different styles and cuts that denim and khaki jeans come in as well as the waist sizes and the types of rise.

Here are a few guidelines you can follow when it comes to choosing jeans that properly fit:

Fit and Cut
Ideally, your jeans should be slim in the thigh, and tapered downwards from the knee, and should fit the waist without you having to wear a belt. Going with a small taper in the leg will keep you from having to put up with a bell-bottom look.

As much as possible, avoid the boot-cut – your best go-to option is either straight-leg or slimmer. You want a good pair that hugs your legs and seat but doesn’t keep you from sitting down or standing up comfortably.

Waist
Casual pants should fasten easily and without any difficulty at all, while at the same time tight enough that it doesn’t simply fall off your hips.

Keep in mind that your size may not always be your true size. Depending on the brand you’re buying, the size of the pants you’re wearing may either be a little too tight or too loose. The best way to know your true size is by measuring your waist with a tailor’s tape.

Length and Leg Opening
The length and break of your jeans depends on your preference – whether you want your jeans a little shorter or long enough that you don’t want other people to see your socks is up to you.

When it comes to the leg opening, the style will usually determine it. “Straight fit” casual jeans will often have one width measurement from the knee down, while tapered fit jeans will have pant legs that taper from the knee down.

You can have your pants tailored to slim the legs down to your size, but doing so might be more expensive for you than buying a new pair.

Rise
The rise is essentially the measurement starting from the seam of the crotch to the top of the waistband and is often the biggest factor that determines how comfortable your pants are when you put them on. Keep in mind that the front rise is different from the back rise.

While body shapes differ from person to person, there are three general types of rise: low-rise, which sits a few inches below your belly button, mid-rise, which has a front-rise measurement of about eight to twelve inches, and high-rise, which hits your belly button or simply covers it completely.

Leukemia is one of the most common childhood cancers that causes production of abnormal white blood cells. There are various types of leukemia, however, and they are not only limited to children.

Leukemia Basics
Leukemia is essentially a type of cancer that affects the blood or blood cells. Unfortunately, there is no known cause of leukemia, although researchers point out factors that will increase the risk of developing the illness such as genes and exposure to chemicals or radiation. Leukemia affects either the myelocytes or the lymphocytes in the blood, and can occur suddenly or develop slowly over time. There is no way to prevent leukemia and the chance or recovery will depend on the type, the severity of the illness, and the age of the person.

Some symptoms of leukemia may include swollen lymph nodes, bone and joint pain, night sweats, fever, fatigue, weight loss, bruising, bleeding, frequent infections, abdominal swelling and pain (because of an enlarged liver or spleen), red spots on the skin, and purple patches on the skin.

There are various types of leukemia based on the development of the illness and the types of blood cells that are affected.

Types of Leukemia
There are four categories of leukemia to date, such as the following:

The lymphoblastic types of leukemia primarily affect the immature white blood cells or lymphoblasts, while the word myelocyte refers to the bone marrow cells such as white blood cells, red blood cells, and megakaryocytes. Myelocytic leukemia therefore begins in the bone marrow where the new blood cells are formed.

Acute leukemia is characterized by the presence of immature blood cells that grow and divide fast, while chronic leukemia affects mature but abnormal cells. These cells cannot fight off infections and the person will not feel the effects for a long time.

Childhood Leukemia
Although not all leukemia cases are hereditary, a child will most likely develop it if he/she has an inherited disorder, immune system disorder or suppression, and has been exposed to high levels of chemicals or radiation.

Some of the symptoms include fatigue, frequent infections and fever, bleeding, bruising, shortness of breath, joint or bone pain, swollen parts of the body specifically the collarbone, weight loss, gum problems, headaches, seizures, and vision problems.

Before any treatment can be given, a proper diagnosis must determine the type of leukemia a child has. Some test may include blood tests, biopsy or aspiration of the bone marrow, and spinal tap.

Treatments for Leukemia
To treat acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the following may be recommended: chemotherapy, corticosteroids, stem cell transplant, radiation therapy, and tyrosine kinase inhibitor.

For acute myelogenous leukemia, the following are recommended: chemotherapy, stem cells transplant, and other medications.

For chronic lymphocytic leukemia, the following may be advised: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, antibiotics, and medication for infections or complications.

For chronic myelogenous leukemia, the following are recommended: stem cell transplant, targeted therapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and tyrosine kinase inhibitor.