Archive for January, 2013

De-clutter Your Life This Year!

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

 

Just as your skin needs exfoliation to slough off the old and reveal the new, our homes could use some de-cluttering! Haven’t seen your counter in weeks…possibly months? It happens to the best of us! Read on for some organizing tips we found for you!

  • You wash your face daily, right? Same goes with this tip – do one small organizational task daily, no matter how small. Clean out one drawer or the top tier of the spice rack.  Just think: After a month, you’ll have checked off 30 things and it wasn’t done all at once!
  • Hang two canvas totes, labeled REPAIR and DONATE, from hooks in the laundry room.  Toss too-small, worn-out, and snagged clothes into the bags as soon as they come out of the dryer to keep from stumbling across these mini-projects all the time.
  • Get a clutter buddy. You’re a better editor of someone else’s stuff.  Help a friend clean out her closet and ask for her to repay the favor. Insist that you will allow each other to point out even the good intention clothes that need to find a new home. You know the “when-I-lose-five-pounds” skirt…yes, that one.
  • Employ one system to help organize your favorite recipes.  Recipe Nest (www.reciperelish.com) is a binder with six tabbed dividers that you can customize with your own categories, such as Grandma’s Secrets or Entertaining Menus. It’s nearly two inches deep, so there’s plenty of room for you to add your collection.
  • Make yourself a YNK (you never know) box.  Empty the contents of a drawer (a junk drawer or the kitchen utensil drawer) into a box. Then, every time you need one of the items, remove it from the box and return it to the drawer after you use it.  After two months, whatever is still left in the box should be donated.
  • Clean house like you were moving.  Keep only those things you’d take if you relocated.
  • Corral clutter where it lands. Keep containers near mess hot spots, such as the front door, the bedroom dresser, and the kitchen counter.  Then empty them once in a while (or when they get full), put the items away, and start over.

We hope this inspires you to make some positive changes! We’d love to hear about your ideas or what has or has not worked for you in the past!

 

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Need an Energy Boost in the New Year?

Friday, January 4th, 2013

This is your year! You’re ready to burst into the new year with fresh resolutions, you’re going to make it all happen, you’re going to…you’re…y a a a w w w n…TIRED! Mentally, you may be ready to tackle the new year with gusto, but what do you do when you feel physically drained? Boost your energy with these ideas:

  • Stick to low-fat meals and snacks: High-fat foods are likely to make you moodier and more tired by midafternoon than lower-fat meals are, according to a British study. Digesting fat releases a hormone called cholecystokinin, which seems to provoke a brain drain.
  • Consider magnesium deficiency: Magnesium is a crucial, but frequently overlooked, part of a balanced diet. It’s crucial in more than 300 bodily functions – many of which relate to energy. Get your daily dose of this fatigue-fighting mineral by eating 5 servings of these magnesium-rich foods a day: almonds/cashews, sunflower seeds, dried herbs, bran like rice/wheat/oat, and the last one is really going to be difficult – cocoa powder. Yep, as in dark chocolate!
  • Make time for tea: Black, green, and white teas all contain the energizing amino acid L-theanine. Brits given L-theanine plus caffeine equivalent to several cups of tea and a cup of coffee increased their speed on word and number problems and felt less tired than when they got either substance alone. (Nope, there’s no L-theanine in coffee.)
  • Keep Hydrated: Getting to the point where you’re just starting to feel thirsty — a mere 2.6% drop in hydration levels — can double your feelings of fatigue. It made study volunteers work twice as hard on a set of brain-teasing puzzles.

Wishing you energy-filled days to accomplish all of your goals for 2013!

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