Organizational Tips To Make Your Life Easier

Cubicle wall 682x1024 Organizational Tips To Make Your Life EasierThere’s always something going on, somewhere you need to be, someone you need to meet. Instead of freaking out all the time about being late and thinking about everything you have to do, try some or all of these tips and you’ll feel much better about your day!

Keep a planner
The phone calendar and notes app are helpful and useful but not when it comes to planning everything out. It’s more practical to have everything you need in one place. You can buy a monthly or weekly planner and right down all your appointments and to do lists in one spot!

Make “To Do” lists
It might sound silly because you think you can juggle it all in your head but you’re bound to forget something and it might be something important one day. Instead, make a To Do list! Making one each day with the various items you need to do will be much less overwhelming than making one of everything you have to get done by the end of the week. The added bonus: there’s immense satisfaction when you cross an item off.

Plan your meals
This is especially helpful for going grocery shopping. Before you head to the store, sit down and make a menu for each day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks. It will give you a clear idea of what you need to buy and you won’t have to come up with ideas throughout the week. Hanging up a black board menu board in your kitchen will also add kitchen decor!

Mail slots
You receive mail everyday yet you never have time to read through it so you eventually throw it away. Make an mail organizer! Slots for save the dates, bills, coupons, magazines. This will allow you quickly find that toothpaste coupon just when you need it!

Family calendar
Typically, family members always have something going on. Whether it’s soccer, piano practice, family activities, there’s always something and you’re probably the only one that knows what’s ever going on at a give time. It can be frustrating! Make a giant wall calendar on a white board and color code each family members activity. No more asking who’s going to what next!

Clean everyday
I don’t mean clean your entire house every single day, dusting, vaccuming etc. That would be insane. However, I do mean tidy up your house everyday. Take 15 mins before going to bed to pick up the living room and kitchen that way when you do have a cleaning day it won’t seem so overwhelming.

How do you stay organized in your hectic life?
Check out our post next Tuesday on Easter Weekend Home Decor!

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3 Crafty Wall Pieces To DIY

75405967 683x1024 3 Crafty Wall Pieces To DIYThere comes a time in everyone’s home decor life when you realize you need to add a little something to your walls. Whether it’s the bathroom, kitchen, or bedroom, walls need decorations to bring some pizzaz to your house. Try one or all three of these DIYs to do exactly that!

Yarn Outlined Canvas
Materials:
-Yarn (any color)
-Canvas
-Nails
-Paint (any color)
-Paint brush
-Hammer

Craft on:
You can make the shape whatever you’d like! A heart, an animal, a flower, anything that can have a noticeable outline works! Paint the canvas any color of your preference of you can keep it white as well. Once the paint has dried, trace out your chosen shape onto the canvas then hammer in nails over it. Make them close enough so you can fit a lot it but not so close you can’t wrap the yarn around them. After you hammered in all the nails, begin stringing from one nail to another nail across from it. You may also string the yarn in any direction if you don’t want it to look uniform.

Book Cover Wall
Materials:
-Penguin classic book covers
-Large poster board
-Modge Podge
-Sponge brush
-Scissors
-Glue

Craft on:
Now this DIY is definitely more for those who enjoy books and who don’t mind cutting them up! You can probably go to a secondhand bookstore to pick up some Penguin classics if you’re not willing to use yours (totally understandable). Once you’ve reached a desirable amount of books, cut the book covers from the book and glue them to the poster board so that they neatly cover up the whole board and line up perfectly. Finally, Modge Podge the entirety of the poster board so that the covers are protected.

Framed Maps
Materials:
-Atlas
-Clear adhesive spray
-Scissors
-Red marker
-Frame

Craft on:
Simply cut out the various states you’ve lived in or just your favorite maybe. Draw a red heart in the city or cities you lived in. Take the back of the frame out. Glue the maps down onto the glass and let dry. You can do this with different countries you’ve visited as a way to remember to!

Share with us some of your favorite wall art projects in the comments below!

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Spring Has Arrived With Daylight Savings And So Has Spring Decor

TipToe Through the Tulips iStock 000005917590Medium 1 1024x682 Spring Has Arrived With Daylight Savings And So Has Spring DecorOkay maybe it’s not spring just yet but we believe it’s finally time to break out that spring decor because daylight savings is close enough to the first official day of spring! Prepare your home for a fun 2015 spring season with these amazing home decor ideas and pieces.

Headboard
Change up your headboard! This is a quick and easy thing you can without having to paint your bedroom or buy a new duvet. A bright colored headboard will lighten up the room and bring new life to your bed.

Wallpaper
I know, wallpaper can be a scary thing because of all the work and the commitment it takes but choosing a floral pattern or something that represents spring can completely transform a room. You can even just do an accent wall if you think the whole room would be overpowering.

Dishes
Buying new dishes for every new season is a bit extreme and can be quite expensive but investing in a nice set for the spring can even translate over to summer. Lettuce dishes, pastel dishes, there are so many options!

Dried Flowers
This can be a tedious task but an extremely rewarding one. Pick up some flowers that you think would look great dried and pressed on a canvas or in a shadow box then do the necessary steps to make that happen! Sprinkling flowers on your walls throughout the house will remind you it’s spring without being obnoxious.

Curtains
Switching out your winter heavy winter curtains for ones that are slightly see-through and brighter colors will easily bring in the spring season. Don’t shy away from patterns either!

Grass Box
It might sound weird… but find a distressed box and glue down some faux grass. It will lighten up the room the vibrant color and make you feel like your not missing out on the nice weather!

Front Door Wreath
We’ve said it before, wreaths are everything for your outdoor appearance. Welcome your family and friends into your home with a new spring wreath! Sunflowers and ribbon instead of pinecones and burlap will make a notable difference when it comes to the seasons.

Decorated Pots
If you only have boring reddish/brownish flower and plant pots then embellish them with some fun fabrics! If you don’t think you can handle a floral pattern on a pot of flowers then choose one of the pantone colors we talked about in an earlier post.

How are you embracing spring 2015?

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St. Patties Day Kids Crafts

Gold Coins 3654477 3650x2427 680x1024 St. Patties Day Kids CraftsIf you have kids in school, they’re most likely on spring break right now which means you need ways to entertain them. What better way to do that than by having them make St. Patties Day crafts? Check out these awesome tutorials for a fun filled day with the kids!

Leprechaun Faces
Materials:
Green paper
Orange paper
Black paper
Yellow paper
String
Glue
Scissors

Craft on:
Cut out the green paper in the shape of a top hat. You can either find a template online for this or freehand it. Cut a thick strip of black paper to glue above the brim of the hat. Cut out a yellow square and a smaller black square then glue the black in the middle of the yellow and the yellow in the middle of the black strip. Cut the orange paper so that it forms a large rounded beard that you can glue to either sides of the brim so that the child’s face can protrude through. Poke holes on either sides of the top hat, above the brim and tie the string so that it stays on the child’s head.

Rainbow Cauldron
Materials:
Paper plate
Paint (all the rainbow colors)
Paint brush
Black and yellow paper
Scissors
Glue

Craft on:
Paint a stripe of each color onto the plate. It doesn’t have to be straight. Let it dry then flip it and do the same thing on the back side. Once the plate is dry, cut it while turning the plate so that it forms a spiral. Make a cauldron full of gold with the black and yellow paper then glue it to the bottom of the spiral.

Gold Coins
Materials:
Flat rocks
Gold paint
Paint brush
Gold sparkles

Craft on:
This one is extremely easy but you might also hate it because of the sparkles. All the children have to do is is paint the rocks with the gold paint then sprinkle the gold sparkles on before it dries. Then let the rocks completely dry before handling.

All of these crafts amount to a wonderful scavenger hunt! hang up the rainbow cauldron somewhere the kids won’t see and place the gold coins around the house or yard and a big pile of them at the base of the rainbow cauldron. Have the kids put their leprechaun masks on then go on the hunt for the gold! Whoever wins, gets some fun St. Patties Day treats like the ones from our previous post.

What St. Patties Day crafts will your children be doing?
Look for our upcoming post on spring decor!

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St. Patrick’s Day Recipes For Your Party

Veer Shamrocks 1649487 XL 1024x1024 St. Patricks Day Recipes For Your PartySt. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner therefore it’s an excuse to have a party! Of course everything you have at your house has to be green because you’re not doing it right if it’s not. Check out these awesome recipes and ways to have green food!

Green Puppy Chow (from galonamission.com)
Ingredients
5 cups rice chex cereal
1 bag green candy melts
1 drop young living spearmint essential oil
2 cups powdered sugar

Instructions
1. Add the rice chex cereal to a large mixing bowl.
2. Pour the candy melts into a bowl and microwave until melted. Make sure you stir the candy melts every now and then.
3. Stir in the spearmint oil.
4. Pour the melted candy melts onto the rice chex cereal and gently stir until completely mixed.
5. Put the mixture into a zipblock bag then add the powdered sugar and shake until mixed.

Lucky Rice Krsipie Treats (from classycutter.net)
Ingredients
1/4 cup butter
4 cups soft marshmallows
5 cups Rice Krispie cereal
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Green food coloring
3/4 cup Lucky Charm’s marshmallows

Instructions
1. Melt butter then gradually add soft marshmallows and stir often to avoid burning.
2. Add the vanilla and green food coloring to the mixture then removing from heat and stir well.
3. Stir in the Rice Krispie cereal then the Lucky Charm’s marshmallows.
4. Store in a container and put in the fridge if you want them to harden more quickly.

Spinach Dip (from recipes.com)
Ingredients
1 pkg Knorr vegetable soup mix
1 cup light mayo
2 cups sour cream
1 small can sliced water chestnust
3 tbsp chopped red onions
1 garlic clove
1 10oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed and dried

Instructions
1. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.
2. Pour into a food container.
3. Store in the fridge for at least 2 hours then serve.

Of course there are plenty of other recipes you can use that incorporate green foods that automatically make the food green. However, you can also just add green food coloring to anything and it will make it the right color! Just beware of the amount you put in, sometimes adding too much coloring can alter the taste of the food even though it’s technically not supposed too.

What are some of your recipes for St. Patrick’s Day?
Check out our post on Tuesday for some great St. Patties Day kids crafts!

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How To Make The Perfect Hosewarming Gift

147731604 682x1024 How To Make The Perfect Hosewarming GiftWhen you’re invited to a friends house, you typically bring a bottle of wine or some flowers. If you’re inviting to a friends housewarming party it can be a little more difficult to figure out the right gift because you don’t know what they have and you don’t know what other people are bringing. No worries, we have put together a list of gifts that your host will actually want as well as some DIYs that will outshine everyone!

Modern house numbers
Materials:
White shadow box
Electric drill
Large metal numbers
Screws
Fake grass
Glue

Craft on:
Glue the fake grass to the inside bottom of the shadow bow then drill the metal letters into the grass. If you cannot find a shadow box that you like, you can build your own out of wood then paint it white. You may also choose completely different colors and materials if you’d like. The main thing is that you see the numbers in the grass.

Chalk cheese plate
Materials:
Chalk paint (preferably black)
White rectangular plate
Chalk
Paint brush
Cheeses
Cheese knife

Instructions:
Simply paint the plate with the black chalk paint and let it dry completely. Lay the various cheeses out of the plate then write, with the chalk, the names of the cheeses below them. If the plate is large enough, you can add some fancy crackers as well. Place the the cheese knife on the cheese plate and leave in the fridge till you’re ready to go.

Tiki torch bottles
Materials:
Liquor bottles (such as Jack Daniels, Jim Bean etc.)
Tiki torch fluid
Tiki torch wicks
Matches

Instructions:
Empty out the bottles of alcohol if they’re already not empty, I’d recommend putting the liquid in another container so you can enjoy it. Rinse the bottles out then fill them up with tiki torch fluid but leave an inch and a half to two inches from the opening. Place the tiki torch wicks into the opening and make sure they don’t fall in. You can buy various sizes and it might depend on the liquor bottle as well. Once it’s all done, light the wicks with the match and enjoy the evening!

What have you given as a housewarming gift?

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How To Put Avocado In Everything

An avocado is that fruit you always see at the store, you know it’s good for you but you don’t know what to do with it except make guacamole. Time to overthrow that mindset and embrace the healthy fats of avocados by making it your new favorite ingredient! Here are a few recipes that use avocados followed by some quick and easy tips to incorporate them into your everyday snacks and meals!

Avocado and Spinach Pasta (from jocooks.com)
Ingredients:
10 oz spaghetti or fettucine
1 clove garlic
1 avocado
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 pecans
1/4 cup basil
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
3/4 to 1 cup past water
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the package.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients to a blender and blend them until they turn into a smooth sauce.
3. Toss the pasta with the sauce in a bowl then add some Parmesan as you’d like. This is best served the day of since the avocados typically turn a brownish color after a while.

Avocado Mac and Cheese (from joanne-eatswellwithothers.com)
Ingredients:
10 oz elbow macaroni
2 cloves garlic
2 avocados
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
1 cup milk
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:
1. Cook the macaroni then set aside.
2. Combine the garlic, avocados, lime juice, and cilantro in a food processor until smooth and creamy.
3. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat then add the flour and stir into the butter.
4. Whisk in the milk until smooth then add the cheese and heat until melted.
5. Place the macaroni in a large bowl and add both sauces until completely blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Snacks
-Deviled eggs with guacamole: instead of mixing the yolk with some mayonnaise, replace it all together with some guacamole.
-Avocado and egg toast: it’s exactly how it sounds. Make some toast, scramble some eggs and mash up the avocado then spread the two on the toast.
-Grilled avocado and cheese: once again, super easy. Just make your regular grilled cheese sandwich but add slices of avocado between the slices of cheese.
-Bacon wrapped avocado slices: wrap slices of avocado with a strip or two of bacon then bake in the oven until crispy.

What do you cook with avocados?

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At-Home Clay And Cork

You know those fun canvas and cork events that so many people are doing? Well, we have a different version: clay and cork. Make this modeling clay from scratch, have your girlfriends bring a bottle of wine, and start molding some beautiful pottery pieces. It’s a great way to switch up your weekend night or if you’re looking for an idea for a bridal party event!

Ingredients:
2 cups baking soda
1 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 cups cold water

Instructions:
This recipe makes about 2 pounds of clay so half it or double it depending on how many people you have coming. The baking soda and cornstarch are what make the clay pliable. Place all the ingredients in a pan and stir until smooth. Set the pan over medium heat until it begins to boil, make sure you keep stirring. Get out all the lumps and cook it until it’s the consistency of mashed potatoes. Once done, place on a plate and cover with a damp kitchen towel and let cool. When you’re prepared to start using the clay, sprinkle some cornstarch onto your work surface so it doesn’t stick.

The clay will be white unless you add food coloring to it. You could also mold all the bowls, figurines, or anything you want prior to the event and bake them then have your friends paint them instead! It will still make for a fun time and that way they can take their artwork home as soon as it’s dry as opposed to leaving it to bake.

When you’re ready to heat up the clay to finalize it, put it somewhere to dry out overnight or event a couple of days depending on the thickness. Set the oven on 350 degrees and wait for it to reach that temperature then place the piece of pottery in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes or until it’s completely hard and dry. It may take up to an hour if it’s a bigger piece, regardless, check the clay every 15 minutes to make sure it doesn’t crack. Once it’s done baking, remove from the oven and let it cool down completely before painting.

Ideas for the non-creative:
If you’re worried about your artistic abilities and think your pottery piece will look like something a four-year-old made then try one of these! They’re fast, easy, and functional.

-Bowl (big or large, with or without handles)
-Mug
-Pieces for a wind-chime
-Heart (ornament or standalone)
-Jewelry dish

Share with us your at-home clay pieces!

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Polka Dots Are The New Chevron

HiRes 1024x1024 Polka Dots Are The New ChevronRemember when chevron was the new big thing and it was everything? Well now it’s time for polka dots to make a long overdue comeback, which is obviously not a new pattern but it’s one that’s typically overlooked or considered childish. Switch up that mentality and embrace them!

Decor
If you don’t want to take the plunge and place polka dots all over your walls then take a more subtle approach and incorporate them into your home decor. An easy way to do this is by decorating a vase or a lamp, especially those bulbous ones that have a lot of surface. Coasters are extremely easy to do as well and a great touch to add to various tables around your home.

Main House
If you are feeling adventurous, which you all should be since it’s almost spring and we want to experience new things, you should decorate your walls and doors! Yes, I said walls AND doors. Don’t be scared to show off that hot red front door of yours by adding fun little polka dots or paint your back door blue with gold polka dots to make the back of your house stand out. An office space or your daughters room could be a great place for polka dots as well.

Kitchenware
I know it’s probably scary to think about kitchenware such as dishes and spatulas having polka dots on them but just think how much less boring they would be! The pattern might even make your kids more excited to try new foods, who knows. White plates are ideal for this, just make sure you use the proper paint that won’t wash off in the dish washer. They’re also adorable on mugs!

Miscellaneous
Now it’s time for the extremely adventurous ones. Washer and dryer. That’s right, I want you to polka dot your appliances. This would be so cute in a single girl’s apartment and a great way to decorate if you’re not allowed to paint the walls. Polka dotting the back of shelves can bring new life to some old books and trinkets or polka dotting a canvas and hanging it up is a great way to decorate as well.

Do you have any polka dotted ideas?

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Salads Can Be Tasty Too

iStock 000043023282Small Salads Can Be Tasty TooI know it can be quite difficult to eat salad because they tend to be bland. It’s also difficult to get your family to eat them so we’ve compiled multiple salad recipes for you to try. They’re practically a full meal!

Steak Tortellini Salad with Pesto Dressing (from Lilluna)
Ingredients:
1 pkg tortellini
Sirloin
Romaine lettuce, chopped

For the dressing:
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp pesto

Instructions:
Cook tortellini according to package instructions. Cut and grill your sirloin how you like it then slice it into small pieces. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl. Add the tortellini to the Romain lettuce then top with steak and dressing.

Strawberry Bacon Salad (from Lilluna)
Ingredients:
1/2 head of Romain lettuce
4 cups spinach
1/2 cup toasted almonds
8-10 slices of cooked bacon
2 cups sliced strawberries

Instructions:
Wash, dry and place lettuce pieces into a bowl. Mix in almonds and bacon together then add the strawberries. This is best served with Poppyseed dressing.

Apple, Bacon and Pecan Salad with Garlic Balsamic Dressing (from Lauren’s Latest)
For the salad:
6 cups red leaf lettuce, washed and torn
1 fuji apple, washed and diced
4 slices hickory smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
4 tbsp toasted and chopped pecans
1 small grilled chicken breast

For the dressing:
1 garlic clove, grated
2 tsp dijon mustard
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
3-4 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Instructions:
Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and whisk all the dressing ingredients together in another. Once ready, toss dressing with the salad.

Chicken Taco Salad (from the Pioneer Woman)
For the salad:
1 head green leaf lettuce, shredded thin
3 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup grated Pepper Jack cheese
2 ears corn, shucked
2 avocados, diced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
Tortilla chips of your choice, slightly crushed

For the dressing:
3/4 cups ranch dressing
1/4 cup salsa
3 tbsp finely minced cilantro

For the chicken:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tbsp taco seasoning

Instructions:
Mix all the dressing ingredients in a bowl then cover and refrigerate. Then make the chicken by generously seasoning both sides and cooking how you would usually. Once the chicken is cooked, cut into cubes. Grill the corn so it has that roasted flavor then slice off the kernels. To assemble the salad, pile the shredded lettuce, chicken, tomatoes, cheese, corn, avocado, green onion, cilantro, and crushed chips on a big platter then drizzle the dressing over it.

Share with us some of your salad recipes!

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