10 Quick And Easy Organizing Projects

New Year, new you? OK – well maybe you aren’t on the whole resolution band wagon but you can still use the new year as a jump start to get rid of clutter. Why? Because it’ll make you feel lighter. I promise. I’ve been making simple suggestions on Facebook over the past couple of weeks on easy ways to eliminate clutter and organize your life, one area at a time.

Ready, set, you’ve got this, now go —————>

  1. Tackle your inbox. How many emails do you get that you just delete without reading? Take some time and unsubscribe to those. I did this and my inbox is so much less cluttered and it feels so good!
  2. Clean out your car. Once the junk is cleared, vacuum it out. If you are struggling to keep stuff corraled then grab a storage bin and utilize it to catch the ‘extra’ stuff like your reusable grocery bags and that yoga mat {wait, I just described my own car}.
  3. Clean out the refrigerator. Take EVERYTHING out, toss the old and expired stuff, wipe down the shelves and voila, it’s like a whole new fridge. Oh, make a list of the basics that you need to restock while you are at it.
  4. Call and schedule any appointments you’ve been putting off. I did this today. It took a whole 5 minutes to handle 3 appointments. Why did I put that off?
  5. Find 3 new recipes to try this month. Maybe they will become favorites and you can add them into your weekly meal rotation.
  6. Clean out the pantry. Get rid of things that have expired or that you will seriously never eat {Halloween candy anyone?}
  7. Purge the utensil drawers. You’d be surprised how some of those gadgets really aren’t all that useful. Don’t wait for that ‘someday’ when you think you might use them.
  8. Tackle the shoes. Yes, shoes. I have growing children and a lot of too small or just plain worn out shoes around my house. Toss what is beyond repair or doesn’t fit and donate any that are too small but in good shape. A lot of our shoe ‘rejects’ end up in our garage.
  9. Organize one junk drawer. Who knows, it might inspire you to clean another and another {yes, I have more than one ‘junk drawer’}.
  10. Go through your cleaning supplies. Dispose of the old stuff and make a list of needed items. I just signed up with Grove Collaborative. They use affordable and effective cleaners such as Mrs. Meyers and Method. You can sign up and have them delivered to your doorstep. Talk about convenient.

Are you a natural organizer or do you need a little help in this department? Let me know if you have certain areas you need help with, I’d love to offer some suggestions.

Top 5 Favorite Dinner Recipes

Pinterest is my cookbook. I have oodles of recipes from years past saved in binders and a fair amount of cookbooks {although I’ve donated several in my attempt to simplify and cut clutter}. Pinterest came around and it became this game-changing way to keep track of the things I love whether it be fashion ideas, home decor, organizing tips, ways to save money or of course, saving recipes! I have various boards for food ranging from easy – hard & healthy – sweet and everything in-between. Here are a few tried and true recipes that are in my rotation. In order to be added to my rotation of dinner recipes, it has to pass my quality control department aka my family. 🙂

ravoli-2-682x1024Ravioli Bake by Budget Savvy Diva

Salsa-Verde-Honey-Lime-Pepper-Jack-Chicken-Enchiladas12-1-682x1024Salsa Verde Honey Lime Pepper Jack Chicken Enchiladas by Carlsbad Cravings

Green Chicken ChiliCrockpot Green Chili Chicken by Chelsea’s Messy Apron

Sheet-Pan-Shrimp-Fajitas_-6One Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas by No 2 Pencil

artichoke chicken bake

Tomato Basil Artichoke Baked Chicken by Julia’s Album

Do you have go-to meals or recipes to share? I’d love to hear them! I love reading comments from my readers.

What Feeds Your Soul?

Many years ago a friend {who had the enviable energy of the Energizer Bunny} said to me, “energy breeds energy”. This little tidbit has stuck with me for over 20 years. Recently it has repeatedly popped into my head as I am finding things that feed my soul and feeling how that energy grows and grows based on the excitement and fire within me. It’s like this perpetual effect. It’s pretty amazing really.

goodenergy

Today I had coffee with a friend. We met to talk about the 21-Day Fix as she is starting her first challenge on Monday. I have done two challenges in the past year with the same coach that she signed up with. I knew there were some things that I could tell her to make her start an easier one. This coffee date had nothing to do with me but I left feeling so rejuvenated. Now, let me just say that I always feel refreshed after hanging out with friends. Today was a little different. My friend told me how awesome I was and how much I helped her. She said that I could be a coach. What? Me? Why? By sharing what I know. How I cope. What motivates me. What brings me joy. By lifting her up and offering encouragement. I think we all can scoop up energy and little life lessons from others. As women, we definitely lean on each other for support. A lot.

So what advice did I give her? To take care of herself. Yes. Seems basic, right? But it’s so much harder than you’d think. We as grown-ups – as women – as moms – as wives – give and give and do and do and we aren’t overly good at saying no because oh the guilt. Guess what? If your tank is empty, what good can you do? You can’t continue to give without fuel in your own tank.

Last February I challenged myself to be active every day for the whole month. I named the challenge, “Fit in February”. This meant that I needed some kind of physical activity every single day. Some days I got a walk in, other days I did a workout video but I moved my body every.single.day. How did I feel at the end of the month? Recharged. It was so mentally empowering that I stuck to something but it was also so good for my emotional well-being. I’ve learned that moving my body is a must. I have stayed pretty on track with the exception of summer {which entailed so much running around and travel in general that I wasn’t stagnant by any means} but I picked it back up consistently in August and I feel good. Do I look like a super model? Nope. Do I feel good? Yep.

So what feeds my soul?

  • Moving my body. I love walking. I aim for 2-4 miles a day. I’ve also dabbled in yoga over the years. I have recently added that back into my schedule. I sweat like I never have before, I move my body and challenge myself. I leave a class feeling like I am a whole new person. In really sweaty clothes.
  • Date days with my husband. He is a firefighter so his schedule is a bit more open. Date days when we are both off of work are easier than night dates when the kids are home. Reconnecting is huge.
  • Family dinners, game night and vacations. I really enjoy my family and the times when all 4 of us can just be together are rare. Time is fleeting and I am very aware of how much longer I might have my boys at home for. I really try and take advantage of my time with them.
  • Time with friends. I really love girlfriend time. Dinners and coffee are the norm. We’ve laughed and cried together. The amount of support and girl power is priceless. I love my village.
  • Seeing my kids happy. I encourage happiness.
  • An organized home. Yes, really. Something about this really makes me happy and content.

Doing all of the above things fill my tank. Some days are busier than others and we live in a very over scheduled world but try. Try to carve out some time for you. Do some of the things that fill you up. You don’t have time for a 30-minute workout, do 10. Walk around the block. Tackle one thing on your to-do list. Meet up with a friend for coffee. Little things can be a game changer. Take care of yourself. See how you feel. I promise, feeding your own soul will breed energy which is what you need to take care of those around you in the best way possible.

Feed your soul and watch how it changes the ability of what you can give others.

Proudest Moment

Day 11 of the 31-day blog challenge. Tonight, my baby sister was laying on my couch and I was feeling her belly cause she’s got twins in there. I am all about feeling baby bellies. Some people love this attention and I have spent many moments touching my friends and families bellies to feel the babies. Seriously. My sister in law and I have sat side by side for what seemed like hours just so I could feel my nephew move. I am so completely amazed at how we as women can grow a little person in our bodies. Like, from scratch. What? My sister is growing two. Double wow. Just amazing. I was only able to feel ‘righty’ move. Lefty was playing hard to get. Anyway, the purpose of my belly rant brings me to my proudest moment. Being pregnant was seriously amazing. It’s hard work on the body but it is such a miracle and guess what? I did that!  Twice. The moment I felt my boys move in my belly, I was so aware of the little life growing inside me. The moment each of them was born were the proudest moments of my life. I am a little kinder to myself after carrying and delivering my two boys. They made me feel like a rockstar, a warrior, a hero. They made me feel alive. Now I get to watch them grow. Nothing makes me prouder than being a mom.

If I Won The Lottery

I mean, why not dream? Day 12 of the 31-day blog challenge {yes, I’ve skipped a couple of days. Life happens and some of the topics didn’t rope me in}. Day 12 is asking what I would do if I won the lottery. Well, first of all, I rarely play the lottery. When I have, it’s typically when I have been roped into a big group buy in. I do daydream about what I would do with an endless supply of money. It’s kinda my zone out topic when I can’t fall asleep at night or when I am out on a walk. I think about the things I would do if money wasn’t an option. Those daydreams include buying a new truck for my husband, a new trailer for our family, paying off my car and our house, remodeling our home, putting in a killer backyard with a pool and hot-tub, buying a vacation home in Tahoe, traveling and paying for future college education for my boys. I mean really, how fun to dream, right? I’d also like to donate money to local animal rescues. So with all of that being said, I have a want vs. need list. We have enough of everything we need to be happy so I don’t need more. Plus I don’t pay the lottery so I can’t really win, now can I? 😉 Do you pay the lottery?

The Power of Pen to Paper

I am a big believer in greeting cards. The real ones made out of card stock with pretty fonts and colors. The ones that you buy at a store, not via a website to send electronically. Don’t get me wrong, that method works well for a lot of people but for me personally, nothing beats a real, hold it in your hands, greeting card. Some people think that they are a waste of money but personally, I am a big fan. There is something about finding the perfect card for that special someone. Maybe it’s for a birthday, maybe it’s a get well wish for a sick friend, congrats on your wedding or new baby. Sometimes I send cards just to let people know that I love them. Cards come in all kinds of styles. The funny. The sentimental. The short but sweet.

A few of my favorite resources for cards:

funny-card

  • World Market – they have a really nice stationary section. I really like these assorted boxed cards

mixed-cards

  • Marshalls – I find great cards here at a $1.99 price point
  • Home Goods – same as Marshalls, pretty cards at a great price
  • Target – especially great for seasonal and thank you cards. I am especially loving these pretty floral ones.

mum-thank-you

Do you still send cards? Put pen to paper and add a stamp. Just do it, you’ll make someone’s day. I promise.

Piercings and Tattoos

Did I catch your attention? Sorry, you might be a bit disappointed by this post 😉 Blog challenge day 9 asks if I have tattoos or piercings. My ears are pierced once. I think I have actually had them done twice. Once when I was younger and then they closed up and I had them redone. I don’t have a huge memory of this other than being scared of the piercing gun and it not being too bad. I do not have tattoos although I have contemplated them over the years. Now at the age of 42, I am over the idea of it. Once upon a time I considered getting a small flower on my foot and then many moons later, I considered have the word breathe done on my inner wrist to remind me to do just that, breathe. These days, I’d rather have a new pair of shoes or a nice dinner out with my husband over spending the money on tattoos.

10 Favorite Foods

Day 7 of the 31 days blog challenge asks me to share my 10 favorite foods. Oh man, I do love food. Mmmm mmmm mmmm. Get in my belly is kinda my motto. Ha ha. I’d say appetizers are one of my favorite ‘meals’. I do enjoy sweets but if you were to ask me what my favorite sweet is, I say something more like tiramisu or cheesecake. I don’t gravitate towards cake or ice cream although I think Coldstone is delish.

MY TOP 10 FAVORITE FOODS

 

  • chips and salsa
  • cheese and crackers
  • avocado
  • shrimp
  • cherry tomatoes
  • my friend Lisa’s Nicoise salad
  • edamame
  • apples
  • eggs — any kind of eggs really
  • movie theater popcorn

Can we be besties? Do you like any of my top 10 foods? Do tell 🙂 I also enjoy wine and a good G&T alongside some of my favorite foods.

3 Personality Traits I Am Proud Of

Day #6 of the 31 day blog challenge asks what 3 personality traits I am proud of. Well being a highly emotional person also gives me a lot of compassion. So I’d say compassion is #1, followed by honesty and being thoughtful. I have strong opinions but I really try and be objective and give people grace. Hurting feelings is something I really try to avoid as it makes me sad to see someone sad. I want to build people up.

Do you have a personality trait that you feel extra awesome about?

My Guilty Pleasure

iced-coffee

source

 

Day #5 of the 31 day blog challenge asks what my guilty pleasure is. Hmmmm, I mean really I could go in so many directions but I will keep it simple. I jump start every day with an iced coffee. I used to drink iced coffee with 1/2 whole milk but now I have made the switch to 1/2 almond milk with a teeny splash of half and half. I also have to have vanilla although I am trying to cut back on the amount of vanilla that I add. Sometimes I make these at home with my Keurig and other times I pick one up at Starbucks, Peet’s or Nugget. I really love visiting random coffee shops while on vacation and doing a comparison. My favorite iced coffee is from a little place in Amador City called Andrae’s. They make their own vanilla milk. Say what? Yeah, it’s worth the drive every now and again for the splurge.

Do you have a guilty splurge?