IT’S NATIONAL SIMPLIFY YOUR LIFE WEEK
WATCH MY #TossItTuesday PLAYLIST FOR INSPO TO SIMPLIFY!
You guys! Did you know that it’s National Simplify Your Life Week? I am slightly embarrassed to say that, despite my passion for simplifying life, I had no idea this week existed! A friend of mine told me about it yesterday and I think I had a simultaneous reaction of my mouth dropping open in shock and bouncing in my seat with excitement! Who knew we could celebrate such a fabulous mission for a week?
Okay, but seriously… given my love for simplifying life… I really can’t pass up the opportunity to give a shout out to this special week that observes such a positive mission. So in honor of my new favorite week of the year, I’m doing a #throwback on this Thursday to my #TossItTuesday playlist on my YouTube channel. ? If you aren’t familiar with what #TossItTuesday is, please take a few moments to watch my video above, which explains one of my favorite days of the week. Then, continue to watch the other videos from over the past year to inspire your mission to simplify your life, as well as give you a little chuckle!
Exciting news! I’ve partnered with Springpad to create a free digital Holiday Party Planner. I’ve included some tips and checklists to get you started, and there’s plenty of room for you to save ideas and create your plan for gifts, gatherings, and whatever else is on your plate this season. It’s easy, intuitive and (dare I say?) fun to use. The best part is, you can conveniently access it from your computer, tablet, or phone. Learn more here and get the notebook here.
Thanksgiving is only nine days away. Let’s just repeat that for effect: Thanksgiving is only nine days away. And if you’re like any other living, breathing, working, person out there, there is still so much to do to make sure you are ready for the big day. Never fear! Breathe, relax, get those shoulders down from your ears, because I’ve outlined 3 simple to-do’s to make sure your kitchen is ready for one incredible feast!
Plan + Confirm – Take a moment to review your menu (or put it together if you haven’t yet). Make sure you have enough food for the number of guests expected and don’t forget to take into consideration any food allergies your guests may have. Be sure you are working with recipes that allow for some advanced preparation. The last thing you want is to spend the holiday festivities stuck in the kitchen, or stressed out about not having enough time to get everything done. While offering great food is of the utmost importance, you want to be sure that you get to enjoy time with your guests and share in the fun. And, if you don’t know your way around the kitchen very well, keep it simple. It will make the entire process much less stressful, and I promise your guests will be just as delighted with what you serve.
Take inventory + Stock Up – Once you’ve confirmed your menu and determined all your needed ingredients, take inventory of your pantry to make sure you don’t run out of any staples. Make a trip to the supermarket to stock up on all these non-perishable essentials ahead of time to avoid elbowing your way through the crazy crowds next week.
Tools – Don’t forget to check your cooking tools and serving essentials – this is an often overlooked area when prepping for the holiday. Do you need a new meat thermometer? Maybe a turkey baster or twine. Does your carving knife need to be sharpened? Take a moment to make sure everything is in working order and that you have everything you need for Turkey Time. The last thing you want is to go cook your Turkey and discover your roasting pan is missing in action.
Taking a little time to plan in advance will help you feel in control of your party, rather than at the mercy of gravy boats and green bean casserole. Above all, remember that the whole purpose of the day is to come together with family and friends to enjoy a beautiful meal. Stress does not get a seat at the table!
Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Weddings, Housewarmings… no matter what the occasion, when a gift is needed, my mind goes blank. Somewhere in the corner of my mind is the perfect gift, something I had seen months before, something that the harder I try to remember, the more elusive it becomes. To help me break that cycle and beat these black-out moments, I began using a sanity-saving gift app called mGifts – Gift List Manager.
Yes, this app serves the same purpose as a pen and paper, but those little lists go missing so easily, and can never be found when you need them most. This easy-to-use app allows you to make notes instantly as you are out shopping, browsing online, reading a magazine or envying a friend’s new toy. You can file away gift ideas by topic, share them with friends, back them up to a cloud server, sync them across multiple devices, and even password protect your ideas to keep everything hush-hush.
With mGifts you can sort your list by store, by person, by holiday—even by the current status of your gift (e.g. purchased, wrapped, shipped, etc.)! It also allows you to archive your lists so that you can keep track of what you’ve already purchased for friends and family. This app is an easy way to keep your gift list on track no matter where you are, leaving you confident and stress-free so you can focus on some of your other holiday tasks.
With tax time around the corner, many of us will be sorting through papers and throwing away documents that could list sensitive information such as bank numbers, addresses, full names and social security numbers. As I mentioned in my recent newsletter, identity theft affects millions of people every year and it is not an issue that should be taken lightly. While some people actively try to prevent identify theft by shredding all their documents, many still do not. Their reasoning for not shredding documents can range from not liking the noise of a shredder to child safety. Whatever the reasoning may be, I have recently discovered a simple alternative – the Guard Your ID Stamp.
Sold everywhere from the Container Store to QVC, the Guard Your ID Stamp, is a quick and easy way to prevent your sensitive information from landing in the wrong hands. All you need to do is stamp the information you want blocked and the Guard Your ID Stamp’s unique pattern completely masks your information. Even when holding it up to the light or changing the angle of the light, nothing comes through! Plus, since most waste management companies will not recycle shredded paper (shredding weakens fibers and makes sorting nearly impossible), the Guard Your ID Stamp is the greener solution to your identity protection.
While I still recommend using a shredder or shredding service for large amounts of sensitive information, the Guard Your ID Stamp is perfect for managing everyday mail and small projects.
Twice a year, at the beginning and end of daylight savings, I take the time to do those certain household chores that we either don’t think about throughout the year, or we put off doing for various reasons. Today, after you have changed all your clocks and watches, take some time to do these chores to make sure your home is in tip-top shape for the next several months. If you don’t have time today, set a date for the next two weeks to have these items checked off your to-do list.
Mattress – Depending on the type of mattress you have, it is important to flip and/or rotate it 180 degrees to help extend its life and maintain its comfort. Check the care instructions to see if this is advised for your mattress.
Safety – Change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace any smoke detectors older than 10 years and carbon monoxide detectors older than five to seven years.
Pantry – Remove any expired items from your pantry and make a list of the items that need to be replaced to ensure you are never short ingredients.
First Aid – Sort through your first aid kit and medicine cabinet, and make a list of items that need to be replaced due to low quantities or expiration dates.
Storm Supplies – Check your emergency preparedness kits to ensure that all items remain fully stocked, that batteries have not expired or leaked, and that all radios and flashlights are in proper working order. If there are any items missing or items that were partially used during a recent storm, be sure to add them to your shopping list and replace them immediately. If you do not yet have an emergency kit, here are some helpful resources from the American Red Cross and FEMA to build your own.
Wardrobe – Edit your wardrobe to remove any unwanted items and to make room for the new pieces you will be purchasing for the coming season or that you may be rotating out of seasonal storage.