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.

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.