We’ve all been there, so don’t despair. Whether you’re fueled by enthusiasm or trembling with trepidation, these can-do tips will start you on your way.
- “I really paid a lot for that.”
- “I just haven’t gotten around to wearing that yet.”
- “That just needs altering.”
- “I’ll fit back into that one of these days.”
- “Fashions always come back around.”
Sound familiar? We all have things we hold on to. Note the reasons that pop into your head, because once you know your reasons for holding on to those things, you’ll be better able to move forward and make room — literally and figuratively.
Start by getting rid of 10 items (or five — just pick a number that isn’t zero). In one quick sweep, you might be surprised what you can toss without a struggle. If you’re afraid of biting off more than you can chew, be assured that you can accomplish a great deal nibble by nibble, drawer by drawer, row by row.
When your days are filled to the brim, it can be hard to find time to get to all of the decorating and organizing projects you want to finish. But what if you didn’t have to carve out an entire morning to tick something off your list? The truth is, we can accomplish quite a lot in a short amount of time with the right focus. You can fit these 15 bite-size projects into spare pockets of time — so the next time you are on hold or waiting for clothes to come out of the dryer, you can probably complete one of these projects and make your home a neater, more beautiful place to be.
1. Arrange a bunch of flowers. Make that little bouquet you treated yourself to at the market go further by divvying it up among several small containers. Try Moroccan tea glasses, stemless wineglasses or teacups — just cut the stems short and plunk them in. Cluster at least three small vases together for the best effect.
2. Create a collection. Take a spin through your house, grabbing like items to create a quick collection — look for items all in the same color and cluster them on a shelf or on your mantel.
Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long, I’ve been away.
New posts coming soon, I promise!
I stumbled upon another amazing Etsy seller, Peggy from Seattle. She owns the shop Letter Perfect Designs, and makes the cutest things with buttons! I would use them in a nursery or a kids bedroom. Here are a few samples:
This seems like something anyone can DIY if they had enough time and patience, the ones sold at this shop is quite pricey. The idea is adorable though!
When you have friends or relatives coming to stay from out of town, make their visit a pleasure by thinking ahead and offering the same courtesies you would like to be shown. Elaborate fruit baskets and floral arrangements are not necessary, just a bit of common sense and good planning. The following 10 steps will walk you through what you need to know to make your next hosting experience a great one for everyone.
1. Check off guest room essentials.
You don’t need to be outfitted like a five-star hotel, but certain basics should be in place to make your visitor comfortable. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget something fundamental (like towels!), so check the lists below before your guests arrive.
The essentials: fresh sheets and blankets on the bed, a working light(if the guest are there for Shabbos, a Kosher Lamp), bath towels, a wastebasket, an extra blanket and a cleared shelf or drawer.
Bonus items: A fan, clock, snacks, mini toiletries and an extra charger.
2. Double check dates.
Again, so simple, but … just do it. Miscommunication about when your guests are arriving or leaving can start their visit off on the wrong foot. If you are picking them up at the airport or train station, make sure you have all of their travel info, and agree on a place to meet.
3. Ask ahead of time about key issues.
If your guests have food allergies or follow a specific diet, knowing in advance will give you time to prepare. If you are not sure what to get, ask them to list a few favorite foods that you can pick up before they arrive. That said, don’t drive yourself nuts tracking down crazy ingredients you would never normally buy. The important thing is to make an effort and have something in the fridge your guests can eat.
If your guests have kids, it is kind to see if they would like you to track down any baby gear to borrow for their stay (such as a Pack N Play, toys, extra bottles), and ask about any favorite foods to have on hand for the little ones.
4. Let your guests know what you have planned.
If you have activities in mind, be sure to tell your guests in advance so they can pack appropriately. This would also be a good time to check in and see if there is anything they would like to do or see while they are in town.
5. Save your best parking spot.
If parking in your neighborhood is limited, be sure to reserve your off-street spot for your guests, if they are driving. Go out ahead of time and track down an elusive street spot if you need to — just don’t make your guests spend their first hour at your place looking for a spot.
6. Offer a snack and beverage.
Again, this advice applies no matter the time of day or night. Traveling makes you hungry! Folks traveling from a different time zone may be feeling way off — a pot of hot water for tea or coffee, plus a selection of cold drinks and a few little nibbles, should cover all the bases.
7. Show them to their room and help carry bags.
Bring your guests to their room and give a little tour of the space. Point out where the extra blankets and pillows are kept, which shelf or drawer they can use to put their things, and where extra toiletries are in case they have forgotten something.
8. Explain any of your home’s quirks before they need to ask!
After living in your place for years, you may have forgotten how difficult it was to work the shower that first time or flush the toilet so it doesn’t run all night — save your guests the agony and show them clearly how everything works.
9. Empower guests to help themselves.
Guests can feel awkward having to ask every time they need something. Make things easier — on you and them — by giving a little self-help tour early on in their stay.
At the minimum show your guest where the coffee- and tea-making supplies, snacks, drinks and dishes are kept. Show them where your garbage and recycling cans are, and where to put what. If they will be staying longer, provide a small laundry basket and show them how to work things in the laundry room.
10. Here are a few printables to make your guest basket pop!
(Thanks to Darling Doodle Designs for the Printables, and Houzz!)
As you all know, traveling can be really stressful. But when you add a toddler to the mix, just thinking of it can make your head explode! I booked tickets for my family way way back in December. We’re flying to Israel with a 12 hour stop over in Amsterdam on the way there. I know, what was I thinking? Ever since then, the thought of flying with my adorable (now 12 month old) little girl is harrowing. She’ll be 15 months by the time the trip rolls around and I can only imagine she’ll be even more curious and restless. So I’ve been doing some research on how to make the trip the easiest, most relaxing and stress-free trip possible. So heres a list of tips that I’ve compiled. I hope it helps!
- Start your preparations well before your travel day. Traveling with children is twice as busy as traveling alone, and organization is the key to an easy trip. Begin by making a list of things to do, about a week before the trip, and make sections for things to buy and things to pack. Make sure all the laundry is done, prescriptions filled, and papers copied. Make an effort to pack only what you really need, especially when it comes to the carry-on luggage. Remember that you will have a little one to care for as you make your way through the airport, and carrying an over-loaded bag will make it more difficult. Try to have everything ready two days before the flight so that on the last day you will be free from the hassle of last-minute chores.
- Pack 2 outfits for your child in your carry-on bag (luggage gets lost and accidents happen). When packing clothes for your child, more is better. Consider the weather at your destination, but pack for the unexpected. When it comes to underwear and socks, take more than you think you will need. Always pack a blanket, wet wipes, and a pair of slippers.
- Spend a few minutes with your child packing some favorite toys to take along. Put some in the checked luggage and some in the carry-on bag. Pack a small toy as a surprise in your handbag, and hand it to your child as a distraction when things get noisy.
- Take some dry, low-sugar cereal as a snack. Crackers or raisins are also a good choice. Consult the airline if you can request a child meal. If you have a picky eater, bring a home-made meal your child is sure to eat. Liquids are under tight restrictions so don’t bring any drinks from home, as they may be confiscated. You can always buy a bottle of water or juice after you pass the security checkpoint.
- Sugary juices and carbonated drinks will make your child go to the bathroom frequently so they should be avoided, or you will spend a lot of time in airplane lavatories. Try to get your child used to water.
- If your child is still wearing diapers, it makes sense to buy the premium, extra absorbent kind to use during the flight. It will save you a lot of trouble and inconvenience. Take the time for a diaper change just before boarding. Don’t forget a plastic bag to put away the soiled diaper, and take a cloth diaper or disposable changing pads to cover the baby-changing tray that sits over the toilet in the lavatory.
- Pack a few precut paper towels to soak up spills, and carrying a small packet of wet wipes.
- A tired toddler is more prone to tantrums and irritability. For transatlantic flights, try flying through the night, children will sleep and you’ll be on the ground before you know it. Some airplanes are equipped with sky cots or baby bassinets that can hold children under a certain weight, usually 24 pounds (11 kg). Ask the staff at the ticket counter to assign you one when you check-in if your child meets the required weight limit. Being able to lay your child down for sleeping can make all the difference during a long journey, for you and your little one. Sky cots are assigned on a first-come first-serve basis, so get there early. Remember that the equipment rests a couple of feet up the wall and off the floor of the plane, so always keep an eye on your child. Always book a separate seat for your toddler if you can afford it, even if the airline allows you to share a seat. Carrying your child on your lap may be feasible during a short flight, but if you have several hours of flying time, it is far too tiring and uncomfortable. Don’t count on empty seats; chances are there won’t be any. This is an instance in which the money spent will be well worth it, so make adjustments somewhere else if you must.
- Dress your child in an outfit suitable for the flight. Nothing too fancy, constricting or uncomfortable for the pressurized, air-conditioned cabin of an airplane. Pants and longer shirts are best. A shirt that leaves the tummy exposed may make your child feel cold.
- Get there early. Give yourself enough time to reach the airport even if you find yourself dealing with unexpected delays, like traffic jams or road construction. Remember that security screening takes time, and gates close well before departure times.
- Have something ready to give your child to chew during take-off and landing, as it will help relieve pressure in their ears. Chewing gum is the obvious choice, and even if you do not approve of it, consider making an exception and allowing its use on this occasion, as nothing else serves the purpose half so well.
- If your child likes to throw toys on the floor, consider taking only a soft stuffed animal. You don’t want to have an irate neighbor who just got a plastic toy thrown at his head.
- Take a funny, entertaining picture book to combat boredom. At home, try to keep the book away from your child for a few days so it becomes new again the day of the flight.
- If a tantrum is looming, take evasive action. Get up and take your child for a walk around the airplane.
- If your journey is long and you will have a connecting flight before you reach your destination, a change of clothes will refresh your child, so make use of the spare outfit you packed in your overnight bag.
- Be calm and don’t lose your temper. Pass along some good vibes to your child and make use of your sense of humor. Flying can be a fun experience for young children. Keep in mind that small bodies feel tired more quickly, so be understanding if your child cries and feels cranky.
- Take along a mini makeup case with all the essentials. You want to come off the plane feeling refreshed.
- If they’re old enough, let your kid take their very own backpack, it’ll make them feel all grown up, and you get the extra storage!
- Stroller (can be brought right up to the plane)
- Diaper Bag (Holds it all, and super organized)
- Diapers (extra absorbent, also keep in mind how long you’ll be on the flight and connections)
- Diaper Cream (Smaller than 3.4 oz)
- Disposable changing pads
- Change of clothes for baby (or 2)
- Ziplock bag (gallon size for soiled diapers)
- Formula (premeasured in sectional containers)
- Pacifiers (with clip)
- Snacks in no-spill containers
- Sippy Cup
- Bib (plastic can be wiped down easiest)
- Food (Sandwiches, cut up veggies, hard boiled egg, pasta, etc.)
- Motrin or Tylenol, and thermometer (just in case)
- Tablet or DVD player, a few books, coloring book with a few crayons
- Favorite toys
- Favorite blanky or stuffed animal
- Chap-Stick (planes always give me chapped lips)
Special thanks to TravelMamas and No.1 Mouse Place!
Who says Mamas can’t be fabulous? With these stylish baby bags, its so easy to look put together. When shopping for your diaper bag, you need to keep 3 things in mind: Style, Function, and Budget. These Mother’s Helpers can range from $50 to $350 so you really need to set a budget before you start your search. Also, do you plan on using this for more than one kid? Do you want it to be gender neutral or it doesn’t matter? There are so many things to consider. Hopefully this guide will take a bit of the pressure off.
1- Timi Leslie Messenger Bag – $48 This sweet graphic diaper bag is great if dad will be doing some of the shlepping. Its a cross-body bag and has many pockets. It’s also the least expensive bag on this list.
2- Skip Hop Jonathan Adler Light and Luxe Tote – $70 In a collaboration with the King of Pattern, Mr. Jonathan Adler, Skip Hop has created a playful punchy tote, with just the right amount of storage. And for a very reasonable price!
3- LeSportsac Ryan Baby Bag – $138 The metallic color of this bag gives it a hint of glamour, while the nylon makes it easy to rock anywhere! This spacious bag is the perfect mix of glam and practicality.
4- Oilily Fantasy Floral Shoulder Baby Bag – $101 Loving this floral moment from Oilily! The Dutch brand, famous or their eclectic style, has hit it out of the park with this gorgeous roomy bag. You definitely won’t be ‘just another mom’ with this beauty.
5- Kate Spade New York Flatiron Nylon Sophia Grace Baby Bag – $298 Minimalism at it’s finest. Yes, it’s a bit pricey but just look at it!
6- Petunia Picklebottom Chenille Boxy Backpack – $179 With the increasing popularity of this brand, the designs just get cuter and cuter! Made of plush chenille fabric, this can be worn as a backpack or a messenger. How cute is that?
7- Vera Bradley Baby Bottle Caddy – $18 I know, I know. This isn’t even a diaper bag. But I thought this was too cute to hold back.
8- Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Nylon Eliz-a-Baby – $298 I have this diaper bag (in the adorable limited pink heart print) and I can say that after months of research, this bag came out on top. Between price, practicality, and yes, I’ll admit it was my weakness for all things MJ, this was a clear winner!
9- Kate Spade Nylon Harmony Baby Bag – $318 For the ultimate city girl, this diaper bag is chic and best of all, looks nothing like a diaper bag… on the outside. The inside, though, has many pockets and so much space.
10- Vera Bradley Baby Bag – $99 With the sweetest feminine print, this big bag will hold it all! Made of quilted patterned cotton fabric.
11- Timi & Leslie Diaper Bags Charlie II – $160 The diaper bag for those who hate diaper bags. This stylish bag, leather look and all, looks nothing like the typical baby tote.
So, I hope this makes your search slightly easier.
Here’s a list of 10 summer beauty products I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT! And they’re all from the drugstore, so no worries about breaking the bank!
1- Revlon ColorStay Ultimate Suede – $7.99 I. Am. Obsessed. This amazing new long lasting lipstick stays on forever! I use it for Shabbos and I can honestly say it lasts till the last minute. It feels great too, I put on just one layer and theres no clumping and sticking like the old ColorStays use to.
2- L’Oreal Colour Riche Caresse Wet Shine Stain – $9.99 Another really great long lasting lip color. This one, however, is more of a gloss/stain. It goes on like a gloss but stains your lips after a while, so while the shine may be gone, the color stays strong! I recommend this for everyday wear. It doesn’t really last for more than 8 hours.
3- Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen – $7.99 No one likes sunburn. Nuff said.
4- Jergens Natural Glow Firming Daily Moisturizer – $8.49 No need to worry about fitting in with those Perpetually-Tanned-Pool-Loungers. This self tanning moisturizer will speed things up so you look amazing in your swimsuit! Just use as your daily moisturizer and you’ll see a difference in days!
5-Revlon Age Defying DNA Advantage Concealer – $9.99 For those almost-perfect skin days, where theres really no need for makeup, just pop some of this age defying concealer on your problem spots, and head out the door! (PS, its never to early to worry about wrinkles)
6- CoverGirl LashBlast Fusion Mascara – $7.99 Ummm…. BEST MASCARA EVER! For some time I had been changing mascaras like socks until I chanced upon this beauty right here. It has been my staple for over a year now, and I doubt that’ll change any time soon. It goes on like a dream! No clumps. No smudging. No smearing.
7- Clearasil Ultra On The Go Rapid Action Wipes – $4.96 A must have, in my opinion. There is nothing more important that going to sleep with a clean face. And these come in a handy on-the-go pack!
8- eos Smooth Lip Balm Sphere – $2.99 LOve these! These adorable little lip balms are too cute! They come in a yummy variety of flavors and colors and glide on so deliciously. So summery 🙂
9- Maybelline Dream Fresh BB Cream – $12 BB Cream is the perfect answer to summer’s “I don’t want to be bare faced but I don’t want heavy coverage either” problem. This lightweight formula is amazing and it includes tinted moisturizer, SPF 30, blemish blurring, and no oils or heavy ingredients.
10- Maybelline Lasting Drama by EyeStudio Gel Eyeliner – $9.99 Theres nothing like gel eyeliner in the summer. Its the only formula that wont smudge or disappear when you’re wet. Specifically Maybelline’s liner (which comes with the brush).
So there you have it, my top 10 summer drugstore beauty products!
Leave a comment if you have these or have other suggestions!