5 Ways to De-Clutter in the New Year

The holidays have come and gone once again and it’s time to put away the decor and organize our homes. Feeling overwhelmed with the tasks of getting things cleaned and organized? Try these ten tips…

 

1 – Move all of your holiday decor to one spot. Take it down and put it on your kitchen table (for example). You’ll see everything you have and be able to decide if you want to purge anything before packing it away for next year.

 

2 – Get lots of clothes for Christmas? Now is the time to clean out your closet and donate old clothes before hanging up the new ones.

 

3 – Kids tend to get lots of toys for the holidays and when you mix their new toys with old ones it can create a big mess. Now is the time to purge old toys! Donate ones that are gently-used and make room for the new toys.

 

4 – A lot of people want to eat cleaner when January rolls around. If that sounds like you, now is the time to declutter your fridge and pantry. Pull everything out and toss anything that is expired. Start fresh with healthier foods in a clean and organized space. Don’t put the food away until you’ve wiped down and sanitized all the surfaces.

 

5 – Don’t forget about your car when de-cluttering. Now is the time to clean out those consoles and cup holders and vacuum the interior. When you’re done cleaning make sure you have all of the safety essentials in place for winter (i.e., a scraper, brush, sand and all fluids topped off.)

5 Tips for Hosting a Great Friendsgiving

Hosting a separate Thanksgiving with friends is a tradition that is gaining popularity over the last several years. Whether you host yours before the big day or serve leftovers after it, here are some tips to make your Friendsgiving fun and memorable!

 

1 – Make it an annual thing. Create some invitations (paper or use online sites like evite.com) and let your friends know they can look forward to Friendsgiving every year.

 

2 – Serve options other than turkey. Some people are “turkeyed-out” by the time Thanksgiving is over. Try serving some dishes that you wouldn’t see at a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

 

3 – Ask your guests to bring something. If everyone pitches in and brings a casserole or finger food appetizer the work-load will be easier and less stressful.

 

4 – Start some unique traditions. Play board games, toast with a special drink, create a photo album of photos from every year. Traditions are fun (especially around the holidays). Your guests will know what to look forward to next year.

 

5 – Don’t force a timeline. Let your friends pop in and visit for as long as they’d like. If you have a strict dinner time set some people may not be able to attend.

5 Ways to Improve Your Morning Routine

It’s fall….school is in full swing, schedules are back on track and we’re all waking up earlier. Still having a hard time adjusting to a morning routine? Try these tips and start feeling more like a morning person in no time.

1  – Make your bed immediately after getting out of it. That will decrease your chances of jumping back in after you’ve gotten up for the day. You’ll also feel tidier and more organized right away.

 

2 – Don’t waste time looking at your phone. If you lay in bed looking at your phone you’ll waste time you could have used to get yourself ready for the day. Leave the phone off or on silent until you’re ready to walk out the door.

 

3 – Have a coffee maker? Try adding your water and coffee to your machine the night before so all you have to do is press the start button after waking up. The smell of coffee will give you a much-needed boost of energy.

 

4 – Give yourself enough time. Instead of snoozing your alarm, make sure to give yourself enough time to not feel rushed. Read the newspaper or watch the news on TV before walking out the door. You’ll feel informed, relaxed and ready to start the day.

 

5 – Do a little cleanup. Put your dishes away, tidy the living room and clean the laundry off the floor. You’ll feel much better leaving a clean home than a messy one (that you’ll have to come home to later.)

5 Easy Slow Cooker Recipes for Fall

It’s below 90 today (phew) and we’re ready to start thinking all things fall! If you’re like us and love to prepare dinner in a slow cooker when the weather get’s cooler you’re in luck! Here are five delicious and easy recipes you can throw in your crock pot this week.

 

1 – Potato Soup  (Recipe Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven)

 

2 – Nacho Soup (Recipe Courtesy of Baked by Rachel)

 

3 – Apple Pie Oatmeal (Recipe Courtesy of Five Heart Home)

 

4 – Tater Tot Casserole (Recipe Courtesy of Damn Delicious)

 

5 – Chicken and Apple Cider Chili (Recipe Courtesy of Foxes Love Lemons)

10 Things To Do Before Summer is Over

If you’ve visited a department store recently you’ve probably noticed that school supplies and backpacks have taken the place of bathing suits and pool toys. July is almost over so now is the time to make sure you’ve crossed a few items off your summer bucket list before it’s too late. If you’re looking for some summer-themed activities to make the most of your last week’s of summer keep reading….

1 – Visit a beach at sunset

2 – Go to a water park or splash pad

3 – Go strawberry and blueberry picking

4 – Host a barbecue

5 – Go to an outdoor concert

6 – Take a boat ride

7 – Make homemade popsicles

8 – Drink lemonade

9 – Sit by an outdoor fire

10 – Dine al fresco at a restaurant

7 Summer Salad Recipes

In a summer time dinner rut? When it’s hot outside the last thing we feel like doing is turning on the oven and cooking a large meal. Mix things up by trying one of these delicious and refreshing summer salads tonight!

 

1 – Honey Mustard Chicken Avocado Salad

2 – Mexican Chopped Salad

 

3 – Cucumber Tomato Salad

 

4 – Spicy Peach and Avocado Salad

 

5 – Creamy Dilled Cucumber Salad

 

6 – Honey Lime Rainbow Salad

 

7 – Avocado Strawberry Spinach Salad 

5 Garden Plants that Keep Mosquitoes Away

Summer brings longer days and evenings outdoors. There’s nothing that can ruin a summer cookout more than the itching and scratching of mosquito bites! If you’re planning to spend time outside after dusk, try putting these plants in your garden to keep the bugs away…

1 – Lavender – Not only does it look beautiful, it smells great too! Another thing that lavender does is hinder a mosquito’s ability to smell. The leaves of this plant have natural oils that will keep your garden smelling fresh and the pesky bugs away.

 

2 – Marigolds – These annuals add beautiful color to your garden and they also deter mosquitoes, aphids, white flies, and squash bugs.

 

3 – Citronella Grass – Most people have heard of citronella candles but did you know that you can plant citronella grass directly in your garden? This plant is known as the most effective at repelling pests and is low maintenance. A must-have for your outdoor space!

 

4 – Rosemary – Rosemary is an herb that many of us are very familiar with, especially with cooking. Rosemary’s woody scent is what keeps mosquitoes as well as some moths and flies away.

 

5 – Basil – Another herb we use in our cooking, basil is also great at keeping mosquitoes and other bugs away. The pungent smell of any type of basil is powerful to keep mosquitoes from entering your space. Try planting some in pots on your patio and you can also use some for preparing dinner!

5 Tips for Refinishing Old Furniture

Not only is refinishing old furniture a great way to save some money, it’s also a fun hobby! Before you purchase a new table or bureau for your apartment try refinishing some old pieces to freshen them up with these tips!

1 – Check to see if the furniture has been painted. If a piece is painted, there’s usually a reason for it. A previous owner may have painted the furniture to cover up dents, scratches or other imperfections.

2 – Before you start working, check on the piece’s value. If it’s really old, it may be valuable in it’s current condition. Consult an antique shop for answers to your questions.

3 – Get inspiration. Check Pinterest for some photos of how other pieces look in certain colors before you get started.

4 – Don’t rush the sanding process. If you’ve decided to sand and re-stain the piece, make sure you have taken enough time to sand thoroughly. It will make a huge impact on the final product.

5 – Don’t forget the photos! Snap a before picture before you get started and don’t forget to snap the after for comparison. You’ll love seeing the difference in your new and improved furniture pieces.