Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Post Two

Hello and welcome to day two! How did cleaning out the kitchen go yesterday? I hope it went well and that you are feeling motivated to keep going. Like I said, we are going to organize our house to organize our lives! We WILL get it together and make 2019 an amazing year. If you missed day one, you can find it HERE.

Today’s task is to start cleaning out other areas of your house. Since I don’t live with you (bummer, right?) you’ll have to take some initiative here and really think about where you need to put in the work. Don’t worry though, I am totally here to help you!

Here are some of the main areas I work on in my house:

Here are two things in to keep in mind while doing the following areas/tasks.

  1. If anything can be recycled or thrown out, do it at this time.
  2. If anything is not being used or is no longer wanted, but still has use, choose a specific area to place these items. (Don’t worry, we’ll come back to them!)

Kitchen

Moving on from the food areas of the kitchen, go through each cupboard and sort through everything that is in there. How can you move things around and group them together to make it flow better? In our kitchen we have specific cupboards for: plates/bowls/mugs, glasses/cups/water bottles, pots/pans, tupperware/etc, baking (food) and baking utensils, party/event items, etc. (I will be doing some posts focused on a few of these areas complete with pictures this month.) As you will hear me say many times, group like items together, clean out what you don’t use or don’t need, place usable items in your specific area. Think about organization racks and bins!

The Game Cupboard/Closet

Oooh my goodness all, ours is under stair storage, which I love…until I open the door. I swear, I spend time cleaning it out and reorganizing it, and when I close the door, it’s like a magic spell goes off and all my work is undone. This area can be scary, but it actually won’t take as long as you think to get it done! As with the pantry, we’ll group like items together. Games, puzzles, crafts, etc. Within each category, stack like sized boxes together as well. Take this time to really look at the space and see if you’ll need any containers or bins. Would these help contain some of the mess? If so, take a mental note, that stage is coming soon.

Closets/Dressers

What clothes are you no longer wearing? Anything too small or too big? What clothes are your kids no longer wearing? Time for them to leave your space! Place any useable clothing with the items from the kitchen and game closet. If you have a younger sibling that can wear the older siblings clothing, place those in another area for now. While cleaning items out, take this time to hang like items together, and reorganize your dresser. Also, as always, take a mental note of any organizational items that you may need to make this area more useful.

Bathrooms

Yep, when ready move on to the bathroom, do the same things in these areas, toss or recycle anything that is no longer useful, think about how to place like items together and what organizing items you may need for this area. We can end up with a lot of clutter here, and it seems that while we spend time cleaning the bathroom, we often don’t always have the time to go through the clutter, so now is the perfect time!

Think about any other areas that you may need to clean out and get to it! (Basement? Attic?) Tomorrow we’ll start taking on organization and all that entails, my favorite!!

Let me know how you are doing in the comments below!

Organize Your House, Organize Your Life – Post One

Happy New Year!! Welcome to 2019, the year you will get your life together…come on, we have all been saying it, so now it is time to do it. This first week I am going to take you through some of the things I do to prepare my house and myself for the coming new year. I truly believe that if you organize your house, you organize your life. I’ll spread out the posts so I don’t overwhelm or stress you out. Now let’s get to our first task!

For many of us the first or second day of the new year means that we are taking down Christmas decor, which can nearly be an all day task. My husband and I decided to take it down a few days after Christmas this year, and I am so happy we did! It really freed up January 1st for me to start working on some of my projects.

The first thing I do on the first day of the new year is clean OUT my kitchen. If you are like the rest of us around the holidays; sweets, cookies, candies, etc. seem to congregate in our homes. While these things are okay in moderation, there is simply too much of them and they need to go. I package them all up in baggies, or whatever and put them into one big bag for my husband to take into his office. It not only gets them out of our house, but he has a lot of employees in his department, so they love finding treats!

Next, clean OUT your pantry! Let’s be honest, we’ve been busy and this area of the house has probably been neglected. Go through and clean out anything that you just aren’t eating; or that has been there for a while and you forgot you even purchased. If you are like me and have a school ager in the house, then inevitably you’ll probably have at least one box that is just empty. Throw out the food that has gone stale, and recycle the packaging. Use this chance to also start really looking at your pantry, put like items together. This is going to prepare you for our next projects.

Lastly, clean out the fridge. Who knows what is in there, am I right?! Toss out the old stuff, and load up that dishwasher with the containers. You can also take this time to fully take everything out and wipe down the shelves, it can get kind of icky in there. Make sure that when you put things back in, you put them back in an organized fashion. This will make it much easier for you to find and get to items. Most importantly, when you use an item, put it back where it belongs, don’t undo all of your hard work.

Alright, you did it, day one is done! Be sure to check back in tomorrow for what we are going to do next! I am excited to be helping you get organized! Please let me know if you have any questions, and let me know how you do with day one by commenting below!

Happy New Year!

 

2018 – Year In Review

It’s crazy to think that another year is just hours away from coming to a close. We made it through another 365 days, some were good, some were challenging. Today is definitely the day to look back on how we showed up for each day, and make a plan for how we are going face the next 365.

A few days ago I finally took a little bit of time for just me. I went to my local Barnes & Noble, sat in a comfy chair, and just read. It was the first time, in a very long time I have taken this kind of time for me.

It helped me to be able to reflect and think about how I wanted to approach the next year. I mostly found myself reflecting on the last few months of this year, and how they left me exhausted, stressed, irritable, and very down.

I have loved participating in The Last 90 Days by Rachel Hollis, and really think this helped me to survive the last few months of this year. It helped me to get more active, choose healthier food habits, and really up my water intake! I wasn’t perfect all 90 days, and these last couple of weeks have been a struggle, but I was doing my best.

So why was I so overwhelmed? I was finally completely honest with myself and knew that I had taken on way too much! Each year my husband and I throw two big parties, Halloween and Christmas. Which means all the planning, buying, prepping, set up, hosting, and clean up; and all very close together.

I used to love doing these parties, but something felt off this year. It was because I was trying to be a mom to two girls (which comes with a laundry list of tasks all it’s own), a wife who’s husband has a busy schedule, trying to do daily life, work on myself, had a list of “hobbies” I was trying to work on or start, and planning/hosting various other events. It was all too much, and I felt like I couldn’t say no when people asked for help.

The last 10 days before Christmas break this year, I had over 7 events, some days with multiple events; many of which I was planning, hosting, or for which I was providing items. I’m not sure I slept, or left my kitchen. Most importantly, I wasn’t enjoying it.

I have always been the type of person who, when commits to something, follows through and does her part. I also found myself thinking, “If I don’t do it, no one else will.”

And therein lies my moment. Why must it always be me? Who says I HAVE to do any of this? What does it matter if these parties don’t happen, if we don’t host every event? Why is it always up me to get people together?

So, in 2019, I’m not doing it anymore. It’s time I actually focus on ME, I’m going to cut back on what I commit to doing, focus on my health, and really think about what I really want to do with each day.

I’m currently reading High Performance Habits by Brandon Burchard and am loving the guidance I am already receiving, especially in the areas I really need it.

One thing he suggests is choosing three words to focus on for your year. Mine are: Happy, Motivated, Organized. I want to be a happier, more motivated, and highly organized person. I no longer want to feel stressed, over anxious, and worn down.

My family deserves the best version of me, but also equally important, I deserve the best version of me!

I want you to think about what you want for 2019. What are your words? Write them down, read the often, focus on them!

Thank you for reading, and for being here. I look forward to coming up with some great content for you these next twelve months! I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year!

MIA – Week Four

Here we are, week four, the final post in my MIA series. Thank you to all of those who have been reading and reaching out to me as I have gone on this little journey through the month.

I have been reflecting a lot on why I started, what I wanted to be doing with the website, and where I am currently at in all areas of life. In some ways, I have certainly come a long way, in others, I think I maybe just tried too hard.

I believe I wanted to “do it all”. Outfit posts, business/product sharing, inspirations, recipes, etc. Which is all great, and I can do all of those things; however, I was trying to do it all at once, and at times, in a matter of a post a day. It all started off really well. I was able to reach people and grow a small following. I was even invited to be a guest on Local Lifestyles, our local morning TV show, which lead me to do an amazing and very fun photo shoot with Christy Lively Photography; the picture above is from that session.

I was able to get outfits together, find great businesses to share (which can still be found on my Shops I Love page!), and whipped up some great smoothies. I have learned that I should have taken my time in sharing though! I stated to realize that I was struggling a little to find something to share, what would people like, what would work, what wouldn’t?  I have taken so much time these last couple of months and learned how to plan out all areas of my life better, including my website.

I allowed the pressure of it all to get to me, and to make me feel like I HAD to post everyday. But, I don’t, it’s my site. I can post and share when I want to, when I have time. I can plan out posts in advance more, and create more “series” to help me organize my thoughts and help others.

I have started working on myself physically as well, and am starting to feel “better in my own skin”. I am looking forward to starting back into some Outfit Inspiration posts. I am hoping to have some fun food inspirations as well!

I want to hear from YOU though! What are some of the things I have done that you have liked? Is there anything you want to see more of, or that I haven’t done that you would like me to do?

Thank you again for being here, your support is wonderful!

Easy Pumpkin Muffins

Looking for something quick and easy to take to Thanksgiving this week? These muffins are so good, easy to make, and are sure to be a crowd pleaser.

My dear friend, Natalie, told me about these a couple of months ago. I changed up a few things, and think she’ll be okay with them.

Ingredients:

1 Box Yellow Cake Mix

1 15oz Can Pumpkin

1 Tsp Vanilla

1 Tsp Cinnamon*

1/2 Tsp Ginger*

1/4 Tsp Nutmeg*

1/4 Tsp Cloves*

*All Ground

NOTE: You will NOT need the eggs, oil, or water listed on the back of the cake mix.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare mini-muffin tin pan with with mini cupcake papers, or with non-stick cooking spray. (I use cooking spray.)

In a small bowl, combine the ground spices, mix well.

In large mixing bowl, combine the spices and cake mix until well blended.

Add entire can of pumpkin, and vanilla. Mix throughly, scraping the bowl as needed.

Once mixed, transfer batter into a gallon sized Ziploc bag, snip off one of the corners of the bottom of the bag.

Squeeze batter into muffin pan filling almost to the top. You should have enough batter to make all 24 muffins.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of muffin comes out clean.

If preparing for an event, place muffins in towel lined basket and wrap to keep warm.

I also spread out matching napkins in a carrying basket to create a nice presentation.

Muffins can also be stored in a Tupperware container and stay very (yes, I’m going to use *that* word), moist,

Optional additions:

1/2 Cup Mini-Chocolate Chips, add to batter during the mixing process.

Serve muffins with whipped cream or cream cheese frosting.

Enjoy, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

MIA – Week Three

 

Week Three

As time continued on, I was happy that I was able to find my way out of the Postpartum Depression. I also began to feel little more like I had a some control on myself and the “new normal” of adding second child to our family. We were finding a rhythm to our day, as well as a good nap schedule!

Coming out of this fog was a really great feeling. Our oldest daughter was doing great in school, and loved being a big sister. Mark helped out at home where he could, and I am forever thankful for his support and understanding. 

In June of this year, we had the chance to go home to Oregon to visit my family and our friends. Traveling with a 10.5 month old is about as fun as it sounds at times, however, we all did great and managed wonderfully on the flights.

We were able to do so much while there, and see so many friends. We stayed with my parents so we had a lot of family time. We also got to spend a few days on the Oregon Coast, which is my favorite place. We got to relax a little and just enjoy being a family of four. 

It was during this time that I began to think a little differently about the blog and gave myself some grace regarding it. I was a new mom, I had a family and a life that wasn’t happening in a screen. It was okay for me to take this time for ME, my daughters, and my husband.

I can be completely open and share that I was certainly struggling with my “post-baby body” and it was natural not to feel like doing outfits posts. I had to remind myself that it was okay to take a step back from everything, focus on what truly matters in my life. I had found my love of reading again, even joined my local Barnes & Noble Book Club, and was enjoying life with two beautiful daughters and wonderful husband. It is a very freeing feeling when you decide to give yourself time and understanding, rather than beat yourself up over somethings that are out of your control. It is okay to allow yourself space, to not feel like you have to try to do it all. 

It may have taken awhile, and I still have a long way to go, but at least I am starting to navigate this new area of life, of understanding and patience for myself. No one can do it all, not even me. 

MIA – Week Two

Thank you to everyone who took the time to read Week One, I appreciate the support!

Week Two

Our daughter made her arrival toward the end of July 2017, and I am pretty sure we spent those first 48 hours in the hospital just staring happily at her. The day it was time to go home, I held her in my arms and cried on my husband’s shoulder. “She’s ours, she’s really ours, and we get to take her home.” I was so happy my heart burst open; it was the best feeling could have after all we had gone through. All of that waiting, those months of hoping we’d find out we were expecting, only to find out we weren’t, lead us to this wonderful amazing day, she was here, she was ours, we were going home.

My parents had come in from Oregon to help with our oldest daughter, and for a bit after we got home. Having them here for two weeks was so wonderful. They took Riley on great adventures, cooked meals, snuggled baby Tenley, and helped however they could. My husband also took that time off from work. He popped into the office from time to time, but otherwise he was home. Riley was at the end of her summer break, so my house was full of company and happiness. I felt like I was always surrounded by love.

Then it seemed as if I had the rug pulled out from under me. The two weeks was up. My parents had to go back to Oregon, my husband had to go back to work, and two days later our oldest started school started. After having two weeks of support and love all around, suddenly, I was alone, with a newborn.

Of course I knew it was going to be an adjustment. Adding a newborn always is as such. I now had to plan out our day to be ready to get Riley from school in the afternoons, amongst other things, all around feedings and numerous baby naps. I wasn’t going to figure it out day one, I knew that. What I didn’t see (or feel) at first, was slowly creeping in.

I was bummed out my parents had to go home, of course, I missed them and had days where I felt sad; but that wasn’t all that was going on. Everything soon began to feel like the biggest task. I felt heavy, and as if I couldn’t smile. About one month in to having a newborn, the Postpartum Depression had arrived. When I say nearly everything was hard, I mean it. Caring for Tenley seemed to be the only thing I could do.

Sometimes it comes in like a flood, other times it slowly rises and you can’t even fully tell it is happening. All you know is that something is wrong, off. One day in particular I just couldn’t even feel really anything. I have dealt with depression and anxiety for most of my life, however, PPD is a different beast. I did what I could to get through my day, but all I wanted to do was to disappear with my baby.

One evening, I basically did just that. I just couldn’t do anything anymore, even sitting in the living room was too much. My husband was making dinner, our oldest was hanging out in the dining/kitchen area. I had been nursing the baby on the couch and she started to doze off a little. Without saying anything, I just got up off the couch, went upstairs to our bedroom, gently laid her in her Rock N Play Sleeper (best thing ever for newborns), and just laid on my bed feeling numb.

The picture above was taken during that moment. She held my finger for a bit and that was everything to me, that seemed to be the only thing I could feel. My husband and oldest daughter hadn’t even noticed we had left the living room. After a little time had past, my husband came in and just held me for a little bit. I was so thankful that I didn’t need to say the words, he just knew. He left the baby and I to just be for a little while, until I felt ready to go back downstairs. That’s finally when I was able to release a little of my numbness, and I cried. The kind of cry where you make no noise and your tears just fall and fall.

Postpartum Depression is different for everyone who experiences it. Thankfully with the help of my therapist, and support from my husband, I was able to get through it. It took time, patience, and giving myself some grace. There was a lot of other things I dealt with during this time, and I honestly just don’t want to get into it all. Postpartum Depression is a highly personal journey, and I just hope that by sharing a little piece of mine, it helps another woman be able to find a way through hers.

If you are struggling with Postpartum Depression, depression, anxiety, or any other mental illness, I encourage you to find the help you need. Talk to your partner/spouse, a trusted family member or friend; find a good therapist. Remember that there is nothing wrong with you, and there are people to help guide you.

Stay strong, stay beautiful, stay kind.

MIA – Week One

Picture taken four days before her arrival!

I feel as if I have been mentally writing this post for over a year, yet am not fully sure exactly what I want to say. It’s not easy, and being honest is always difficult in our social media world these days. I really feel the need to share the journey of the last two years though, and shed some light on why I went MIA.

I started this blog in 2015, and have really enjoyed sharing various outfits, recipes, and fun products from small businesses. I loved watching the inspiration it gave to others and have had fun being able to connect with so many people!

I am sure if you follow me on Instagram you have seen posts and updates on my life and happenings. I just felt like I was finally ready to sit down and get back to blogging. While I am not fully sure where it will take me this time, I am looking forward to starting again.   Over the next few weeks I will be sharing various bits and pieces of my life; and hope that you enjoy reading along.

Week One

Two days before Thanksgiving 2016 I found out I was expecting with our second child, we’d find out in January we would be having another girl. My husband and I were over the moon, as we had been trying for a year and a half, and were close to thinking that God didn’t want it to happen for us again. What was even more fun was that we were leaving the next day to head to New York to spend Thanksgiving with his family. We were able to keep the secret all weekend, thank goodness!

I was trying to keep up with posts during the early stages of pregnancy. Unfortunately, I am one of the women who does not have a fun first trimester, at all. Unless I was sleeping, or trying to lay in the fetal position on the couch, I was incredibly nauseous. Like, right on the edge of losing my stomach…all day…but never did, kind of nauseous. (Trust me, it’s as bad as it sounds.) This was the first slow down of the blogging train.

As I moved into the second trimester, I was feeling better, my baby bump was growing, and I was only fitting into certain clothing. I am sure that many would say it would have been the perfect time for me to do some Maternity Fashion; sure it would have been. However, in all openness, I was not feeling that attractive, and was wearing the same few outfits. I felt a little like I had lost my touch, and the train slowed down even more.

Eventually I did find that the train pretty much stopped, and I just wasn’t posting anymore, and of course, it is easy to simply continue to NOT post, to not share. Why though? Well, preparing for a baby, with a school ager (or any age older child, our just any baby whether it be first, second, or fourth) is busy, and at times chaotic. Looking back, I should give myself some more grace for letting the website become “stale” for a bit. Family and time with our oldest daughter before adding our second, was much more important that spending time on my site.

In June of 2017, a little over one month before our second daughter was due, I took a full social media break, and I loved it. I had so much fun spending time with my husband and oldest daughter, creating so many fun memories. This was one of the healthiest things I have done and it helped to put a lot of things into perspective. Don’t get me wrong, I love many aspects of social media and connecting with others, but it simply doesn’t need to consume that much of my time.

Life isn’t happening inside of a screen, it’s happening right in front of us. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

Next week I look forward to sharing a bit about life after baby girl arrived! What was life like when you were adding a baby? Have you ever taken a social media break? I would love to hear your thoughts, comment below and let’s discuss.

Life Lessons You Need To Learn Before You Turn 30

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Life is a collection of lessons. We make mistakes. We surprise ourselves. We meet new people. We have new experiences. By the time you reach 30-years-old, there is no denying that you will have experienced a number of different life lessons. In this blog post, we are going to take a look at some of the most important lessons you should learn before you turn 30.

Career lessons

Let’s start with your career. By this point, you may have had a number of different jobs and you will understand what you really want from your career. You will have learnt a number of lessons to get to this point. In fact, inc.com have a great post on the important career lessons that most people learn too late in life. This includes the fact that becoming a leader actually has nothing to do with a formal leadership position. Furthermore, humility goes much further than bravado, your reputation is everything, and you are not going to get anywhere by trying to take shortcuts.

Health lessons

We often take our health for granted when we are younger. However, with every year that passes, we learn that we need to respect our body. If we treat it well, it will treat us well. You have no doubt also learnt that coffee is great, but too much is bad. Other lessons you should learn by the time you reach 30-years-old include the following: physical activity is critical to personal wellness, lack of sleep is never a good thing, and you will crash if you have too much sugar.

Financial lessons

You will have probably learnt a number of different lessons about your finances by the time you reach 30-years-old. A lot of people will have gotten to this stage and have already had to cope with debt and paid it off. You can find out more about this at debtconsolidation.loans. Of course, this is the sort of lesson we hope that not everyone has to experience, but it is a reality for most people today. Other people will have fallen into the trap of overspending or not having an emergency fund available. These are all lessons we have had to learn the hard way but they help us to realise the value of having a budget and planning ahead.

Relationship lessons

Last but not least, some people will have had more relationship lessons than others. After all, naturally, some of us are more unlucky in the love department than others. Nevertheless, some of the key lessons that everyone should learn include that a real relationship is built on vulnerability, trust is not built through words but rather through acts, relationships and friendships are collaborations, and the most important relationship you can have in life is the one that you have with yourself.

So there you have it: some of the lessons you need to learn before you turn 30. Have you learnt these lessons yet? The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to live life to the fullest and ensure hurdles do not get in your way.

Looking out for Your Health in Your Workplace

Workplaces might not be the most dangerous locations in the world, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to look after our own health in the workplace. For example, it’s important to look after your posture and try to keep your back relaxed so you don’t suffer an injury, but it’s also a good idea to take regular breaks from working at the computer so you don’t develop repetitive strain injury. Taking a break is also important to let your mind relax.

With so many stressful things to think about at work, it’s important to realize that we should be focusing on how to improve our health in the workplace. They don’t need to be big changes either. Rather, they can be small changes that will make a big difference in improving our health. To give you some ideas, here’s how you can look out for your health in your workplace.

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Look out for workplace dangers

Workplace dangers are everywhere. Be it exposed wiring, loose flooring or even The last thing you want is to be contacting an injury lawyer to deal with workplace dangers, so work to fix them quickly by getting in touch with senior staff, However, if you feel like you do need legal assistance, then consider www.dolmanlaw.com/aventura-personal-injury-lawyer/ or a similar service. Legal representation is an effective way to make changes in the workplace but should be considered a last resort if your employer isn’t willing to budge.

Rest your eyes

Eyestrain is becoming an increasing problem due to our reliance on computers. It’s a good idea to stay well away from your computer when not in use so that your eyes don’t hurt, and it’s also a good idea to stay at least an arm’s length away from your computer so that you’re not too close. If you experience regular headaches and find it hard to focus, then it could be an issue with eyestrain.

Rest your hands

In addition to resting your eyes, you also need to rest your hands. If you spend a lot of time working at a computer, typing and using smartphones, then your hands will be more susceptible to repetitive strain injury. If there’s tingling, pain or numbness in your hands when you type, then it’s a good idea to change your posture or the way you type in order to find a solution to your problem before it worsens over time. If you’d like to learn more about RSI, then this article from https://web.eecs.umich.edu/~cscott/rsi.html will be a great help.

Your body is the only one you get, so make sure you look after it. There’s no use in pushing yourself past your limits if it’s not sustainable, and it’s also important to ensure that you can continue working comfortably so that you don’t end up pushing yourself to a point where you can no longer work anymore. Take it easy, look out for your health and be smart about your work.