Where to Donate?

When I go through my decluttering process one of the first things I do is usually take what I don’t want is going to goodwill. But recently a friend asked me where else is there to take things you don’t want? And it got me thinking where else can you donate your unwanted items to a better home?

So I started researching. And I came across a ton of new ideas and places. And below I’ll detail my top 5 new ideas/places.

  1. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore– ” are independently owned reuse stores operated by local Habitat for Humanity organizations that accept donations and sell home improvement items to the public at a fraction of the retail price.” Any proceeds from the stores are used to buildstrength, stability, self-reliance and shelter in local communities. I think this is a great option for unwanted funiture and home items you have. The items can find a new home and the proceeds can help those in need.
  2. For unwanted women’s professional attire look no further than Dress for Success. This organization helps to “empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life“. This organization works in over 150 cities and in 25 countries around the world. And beside donating professional attire you can volunteer or donate financially to help empower more women.
  3. Your local animal shelters are always looking for extra towels, blankets, and linens. Now you’ll need to check with your shelters if they are taking donations but most of the time they are and in need for them too. I think this is great option for any extra towels or blankets.
  4. The Salvation Army– offers a number of options for donating your gently, unwanted items. They have drop-off locations, free pick-ups, and you can even donate your car! The Salvation has been around since 1865 and offers a wide range of solutions to help those in need.
  5. Have unwanted shoes that deserve a good home- look for Soles4Souls to donate them. This organization began in 2006, and distributed over 35 million pairs of shoes in 127 countries this day. Their goal is to wear out poverty by providing short-term relief and long-term solutions. Soles4Souls provides a new pair of shoes for relief in many developing nations around the globe, in times of disaster, and to help bridge the economic gap in the United States and Canada.

I have linked most of the organization’s above and if you have any other ideas or suggestions I’d love to hear about them.

2020

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog. I hope everyone had a nice holiday break. I have been taking some time to reflect on what I want to do in the new year. I have been looking to friends/family/bloggers/etc. to get new ideas for this year. And hope to hear from you as well, on what you might like to see.

With that, I think one of the first things I would like to talk about is decluttering! I know it’s sort of cliché to talk about at the beginning of a new year. But I think it’s a big thing to do this time of year and I would love to share my tips for it.

  1. Focus on one room/area/drawer/etc. at a time. Don’t try to do it all at once. It can be overwhelming then. And you might actually not declutter anything if you try going through everything at once. I’m speaking from experience here, as well countless friends telling me this is their #1 piece of advice.
  2. Don’t feel like you have to declutter like everyone else – not everyone needs to do a huge purge, maybe you just need to clean out a drawer. Do what you feel is comfortable.
  3. BUT be honest if you use the item it or not- and if you don’t get rid of it.
  4. If you’re unsure of getting rid of something put it in spot, you’ll see it, and see if you use it- if you don’t, it’s time to go.
  5. Recycle/donate/resell/give to a friend -there are so many options to do with your things you are decluttering- don’t just throw them out. (POST TO FOLLOW ON BEST PLACES TO TAKE THINGS)
  6. If you need some help and inspiration look at decluttering shows like Marie Kondo’s or even YouTube. I find that watching something like this always helps me get inspired to declutter, as well as tips for tackling different areas.
  7. Seasonal items- pack them away when not using to help give you more room. Trying to keep everything out at once is overwhelming and you may forget you have certain items.
  8. Bins! So important to have to organize everything when decluttering. You want to be able to pack things away and store them properly.
  9. Label things- I have decided to purchase a label maker to help me keep track of what is in my bins. Even when I keep similar things together, I still forget what is in a bin and labeling it, I think will help with that.
  10. Have fun with it! Declutter with a friend/play your favorite music/dance while doing/drink wine/etc. Whatever you can to make it enjoyable. Make decluttering something you want to be doing instead of a chore.

Let me know what you think and if you have any more tips!

Holiday Gifting Advice

Today I thought I’d share my advice to find great gifts for those special people in your life. Enjoy!

Your mom:

I always struggle with finding a gift for my mom. I never know what to get her, but I think what I have found what works best. I always suggest getting her things you know she will like. Her favorite perfume or skin cream are examples. Next pamper you mom! Give her a pedicure, Manicure or both! What mom doesn’t love to get her nails done. Comfy things are always another great option. Slippers or robes that are nice and fuzzy and warm since, at least my mom, is always cold.

And finally, something simple, but classic. Like the Kate Spade– One in a million pendant. I bought this for my mom a few years ago and she gets a ton of wear out of it. I almost want to get one for myself, but matching with mom…..

Your Dad:

I usually go for a funny gift when it comes to my own father. One year I gave him Jelly of the month club, like in National Lampoon’s Christmas vacation. Every month on the 25th he received I jelly I had chosen. This ranged from Smucker’s Strawberry Jam, to a local jam maker and even a jelly packet you get at a restaurant. It was a lot of fun trying to find new flavors for him to try. And it turned into a yearly tradition. I’ve now done:

  • BBQ sauce
  • Mustard
  • Chocolate
  • Candy
  • Cheese
  • Hot Sauce
  • Beer

Your significant other:

My advice when trying to find something for your significant other is to keep a list of things they mention throughout the year on your phone. My bf actually taught me this. Our first Christmas together I unwrapped some tassel earrings I had wanted but completely forgot about it. He wrote it down in his phone and the site I mentioned they were on, went back and bought them a few months later. It was one of the best surprises! And very thoughtful!

I think another great option for your significant other is to do something cute and personalized. Maybe you create a book of all your favorite photos or you write down 52 things you love about them, one to read each week. Whatever it is taking the time to do something cute and personalized for them is always a great option.

Yourself:

Yes, you should give a gift to yourself. I know I have a lot going on in my life at times and may tend to focus on every but myself so I think around the holiday’s it’s important to treat yourself!

Maybe you buy those shoes you keep eyeing up, or pamper yourself with a massage. Whatever it is do a little something for yourself during this busy time of year.

Need more ideas for gifts, check out these links. They’re giving me ideas for everyone on my list this year.

1 Fish, 2 Fish, Red Lip, Red Lip

I’m working with one of my best friend’s today to see how we both style a red lip for date night. These are also great options for the holidays. Enjoy!

Peyton’s look:

Base: E.L.F Poreless Face Primer, Fenty Concealer in 110

Contour: Anastasia Beverly Hills and Fenty Maple

Highlighter: Fenty Trippin

Lip liner: Changel Paris Lip Liner in Scarlett

Lipstick: Chanel Paris Rogue Coco

Eyes: Anastasisa Beverly Hills contour (base), Fenty galaxy Pallet in Cosmic Ocean and Midnight Bolt for the shimmer, Maybelline liner in brownish black (liner), and L’Oreal Voluminous Mascara in black

Brows: Glossier Boy Brow

Peyton’s Tip: Use the same shade of lipstick for the blush when doing a red lip

The final look, isn’t she gorgeous?

Kitty’s Look:

Base: Tarte Face Tape Foundation in Light Sand, MAC’s Studio Fix 24-Hour Smooth Wear Concealer in NW22

Contour: Morphe’s Brontour in Celebutante

Highlighter: NYX Born to Glow! in Gleam

Blush: Wet N Wild’s makeup stick blush in Hustle and Glow

Lip Liner: NYX Suede Liner in Alabama

Lipstick: Colour Pop’s On Repeat

Eyes: treStique eye pencil in Morimoto Pink Pearl (under the brow), treStique eye pencil in Kona coffee (outer corner and liner), E.L.F. Mineral Masacara in black

Brows: NYX Tame and Frame in Black

Kitty’s tip: I always apply a red lip before I do my base, makes for an easier clean up if you mess up.

Mine finished look

Side by side comparison

Kitty’s look- has very subtle eye makeup and a brighter red lip color
Peyton’s look- adds more shimmer to the eye and a slighty dark red color to her lips

Are those leather pants?

Winter is upon us in the Midwest. Usually the snow holds off until mid November but this year it decided to come on Halloween. And most people were pretty bummed but the first snow always excites me. “Everything’s magical when its snows, everything looks pretty. The clothes are great. Coats, scarves, gloves, hats.” – Lorelai Gilmore

White sneakers are a perfect way to dress these down for an every day look.

That pretty much sums up my feelings on snow and like she said the clothes!! The first snow made me so excited for the opporunity to wear my new faux leather pants even more!

I found a pair at HM and unfortunately couldn’t find them on the website but I did find some other great options:

These pants are truly the warmest and comfiest pants I have ever owned. I have tried leather pants in the past but didn’t always love the fit and feel. Probably because they were more like a skinny pant style, but these… OMG SO PERFECT!! I love the jogger style because I can dress it up and down and really wear them for any occassion.

Here are a few examples of how I style my joggers for the winter season. Let me know what you think.

I love these pants with a classic, white button down shirt, a french tuck is a must!
Gold accessories look great with this look.
A cropped cardigan is another trend I am loving this season and it looks great with these pants!
Grey, crew neck cashmere sweater and these pants is perfect for any cold day.

Decoding your Makeup

Ever wonder what all those labels mean on your makeup bottle? I’m here to help. These are the labels I was curious about and started to research. In general, they’re meant to help us make the right choice when choosing a product. Below I’ve detailed 5 labels, what they mean, and why they’re important to me.

PAO symbol– which is a small jar with a number and “M” after it. This represents the products expiration once it’s opened. Some products may have a “6M” meaning it is good for 6 months after opening the product. I always check this to see how long the product is going to last. This ensures I get the most bang for my buck.

Cruelty Free– which is a leaping bunny or bunny face. This means the product is certified cruelty-free and is rigorously tested. This means the products are certified to not have been tested on animals which is a common practice. You can find this on makeup and even makeup brushes. I started seeing this on makeup over a year ago and now I keep finding it more and more on products. This is important to me because I don’t want my products to be tested on animals. Brands like Tarte, Too Faced, NYX, Urban Decay, E.L.F. and Wet n Wild are all non-cruelty brands.

Vegan– this is something I recently learned after thinking cruelty free products were also vegan but that is not always the case. Vegan means the product contains no animal products in the product. That means even beeswax. If you want a truly vegan product look for the Certified Vegan symbol. This ensures that the ingredients used in the product are all vegan. Brands like Cover Fix, Kat Von D Beauty, Glossier, Jeffree Star Cosmetics, E.L.F., and Milk offer vegan products.

Recycling arrow triangle– this is especially important for knowing how to properly dispose of your product. This symbol means the container is recyclable. Not all containers will be and it’s important to understand what you can actually recycle. Manufacturers also may include below the triangle which part of the container is recycle because all of it may not be, such as the cap. I’m trying to be much more conscience of what I am recycling and throwing out. Some brands are even starting their own recycling programs. MAC has their “Back to MAC Recycling Program”, which gives you a free lipstick if you return 6 primary packaging containers (the packaging that encases the product like a lipstick tube).

SPF– if you want sunscreen in your makeup look for SPF on the product. SPF products will help protect you from UVA and UVB rays which can prematurely age you skin and may lead to cancer. I always want SPF in my products.

For more information check out these links below:

What’s in my pantry:

I find I can make many different recipes with this list of goodies. From chicken parmesan to spicy honey chicken. This list gives me endless options to create exciting dishes. I’ll start sharing recipes using these ingredients, but I always think its’ nice to have a base of what to buy first.

  • Chicken broth
  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn starch
  • Eggs
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Chicken
  • Ground beef
  • Rice
  • Noodles
  • Ramen (I usually just use the noodles in the pack)
  • Chopped garlic- I either buy the jar you can get or the package of frozen minced garlic cubes, helps speed up the cooking process.
  • Soy sauce (low in sodium usually)
  • An array of condiments:
    • Mayo
    • Honey mustard
    • Regular mustard
    • Dijon mustard
    • Ketchup
    • BBQ sauce
  • Tomato sauce
    • Canned tomato sauce
    • Spaghetti sauce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Black beans
  • Cream of chicken soup
  • Almond milk
  • Heavy cream
  • Frozen veggies
  • Frozen fruit
  • Oatmeal
  • Honey
  • Olive oil
  • Spices:
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Red pepper flakes
    • Ground ginger
    • Cayenne pepper
    • Paprika
    • Cumin
    • Turmeric
    • Basil
    • Thyme
    • Garlic salt
    • Garlic powder
    • Oregano
    • Chili powder 

Let me know what you staples you keep in your pantry.

Welcome!

Hello and welcome to my blog! I’m so excited to be writing and sharing my interests in fashion, makeup, food, home decor, and many more. I love sharing my tips and tricks with my friends and family and this blog is a perfect way to share them with everyone else. A little about myself, I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, hence “The Good Land” in my blog name. To quote Alice Cooper in the 1992 Wayne’s World, “the name Milwaukee comes from the Algonquin word millioke, meaning “the good land.” The kitty part is a nickname that has stuck around since high school. And it perfectly embodies me. I am shy and cautious but also curious and spunky at times. I can also be just a little bit sassy like most cats are. And I’m always serving major cattitude. Yes, I said cattitude. It’s a feeling of prestige and sophistication without being conceited. Now back to the blog, I’m hoping to share information related to fashion, food, makeup, and home decor/organization I’ve always loved fashion and makeup and use it to express my personality and moods. I’m a huge foodie and come from a family that loves to cook. And my home is my sanctuary and I love for it to feel comfy and cozy. I’m also interested in how I can be more environmentally friendly in all these areas and allow for future generations to experience the good land. I’m hoping to share my tips for doing so and my journey to understand what more I can do. Welcome to my blog and I hope you all enjoy!