Posted on | March 12, 2012
As we all Spring forward we are regularly reminded that this is a great time to change the batteries in the smoke detectors. It also is a great time to clean out your make-up bag and clean your brushes. Though some recommend you clean your brushes weekly, I doubt many of you actually follow this advice. At minimum let the twice annual time change be a reminder to not just clean your brushes but clean all your make-up as well.
The excess make-up and dirt on your make-up products can be transferred to your skin when you apply your make-up which makes cleaning your make-up a regular must-do. Though some products last longer than their “shelf-life” may indicate remember mascara should be used right away and if you have any that’s been sitting around, throw it out as it can dry out and become an irritant for your eyes.
Go thru each article of make-up you have and determine if you should keep it or toss it. If you decide to keep it, be sure to clean it out and wipe away any dust or excess make-up residue, Keep a pad of paper and pen handy so you can write down anything you need to purchase next time you are out shopping at Sephora, Neiman Marcus, CVS or where ever you purchase your beauty favorites. If you have staple products you use quickly be sure to check online sales and gift with purchase events to make the most of your beauty dollars.
Posted on | March 10, 2012
Tonight’s the night to set your clocks forward. Yes, we lose a whole hour. The good news? We get an extra hour of light for the next six months. So if you have clocks and watches that don’t update themselves, add “change clocks” to today’s “to-do” list (or at the latest tomorrow) or you’ll be real sad Monday when you roll into work an hour late.
Posted on | March 9, 2012
Thought I would share a quick trick I learned from my grandmother yesterday. It’s amazing what a wealth of information our elders are and what we can learn when we take the time to listen. I was going to make my Aunt Kay’s garlic potato recipe [see below] and asked my grandma where she kept her garlic. She replied by opening the freezer.
Much to my surprise she handed me a pill bottle [which I admit I had wondered what type of medicine needed freezing] and said the garlic was inside. Upon opening the bottle I discovered the individual cloves had been separated and put inside for fresh keeping. They were not frozen solid but somehow soft and ready to use. Some of you may have heard of this technique but since I hadn’t, I thought I would share. What a great way to keep garlic fresh.
I will put this down as my W.I.L.T. for the day “What I Learned Today.” What did you learn today?
Aunt Kay’s Garlic Potatoes
4 Potatoes [peeled and cubed]
4 Cloves of Garlic [peeled and minced]
2 Tablespoons Oil [I prefer olive oil but in a pinch use vegetable oil]
1 Tablespoon black pepper [I prefer freshly ground but any pepper is fine]
Mix all ingredients in a microwave safe bowl
Cover and cook for 15 minutes
Salt as desired
This can easily be adjusted up or down based on the number of people you are feeding. Not an exact science so don’t worry if you put a little more or less, it will still taste yummy.
Posted on | March 7, 2012
I remember as a child [back in the pre-cell phone, pre-internet, pre-anything era] going to the airport to pick up some family friends at LAX only to discover their flight was hours late. Since the traffic in LA was horrific, even then, we decided to wait it out. I made it my goal to collect as many of those Smart Carte’s as I could because back then for each one you returned you got a quarter. Though I must have collected nearly 100 carts the amount of money I collected was under $20. I hadn’t had to pay for the cart to begin with (and was only about eight) so the refund was pure profit but for the people who paid a $3.00 rental the $0.25 wasn’t a great return. In fact, I don’t think they even do the return refund anymore. For the company though allowing people to rent their carts is a revenue source that just keeps on giving. With the increase in suitcases with wheels and people packing lighter to avoid “checked bag” fees it looks like Smart Carte has come up with another great product to meet travelers needs, rental chargers.
Is your phone dying? Laptop need a boost? The company that brought you the Smart Carte brings you “The Charge Carte” Rapid Charger. A great product for a reasonable price and even more an excellent example of how a long trusted company is keeping up with the times, using a replicable business model to increase revenue.
Posted on | March 4, 2012
As I clicked on my new Kindle and began the re-sync process it prompted me to name it “Valerie’s 2nd Kindle.” The last time I had to replace my Kindle I thought this was very intuitive but this time I was a little disappointed it didn’t know that this was in fact my THIRD Kindle.
How had I come to replace “Valerie’s 2nd Kindle?” Well it was all after being inspired to “Let Go and Move On” by @TheSingleWoman. As I read thru an especially inspiring line of @TheSingleWoman tweets on Wednesday I saw a link to purchase her book on Amazon “The Single Woman’s Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On.”
“Letting go and moving on” has been a theme in my life this past year. In conjunction with “getting things done so I don’t have to think (read: worry) about them anymore.” I am often inspired by Tweets from @TheSingleWoman. I often find myself smiling and nodding while reading her tweets and though I haven’t been single for years I find her quotes to be quite inspiring. Though the brand is promoted as “The Single Woman” the message she presents is something that can reach not only women of any marital status but men as well.
One of the many hats I wear is that of “professional organizer.” I often find clients have trouble moving on until they are ready to let go of the past. In my business it is typically items of clothing that are being clung to but the memories behind those items are the driving factor in their current problems. Have you ever thought “I don’t wear this (fill in piece of clothing here) ever but gosh I really “invested” so much money in it I could never let it go.” How many items do you have in your wardrobe like that? How many people, activities or problems do you have in your life that can be described the same way? Often we find ourselves staying in a job, staying with a boyfriend or holding on to a friendship because “we’ve invested so much in it already.” Well I have to say some of the best things in my life have happened AFTER I have let go of something I had tied myself to. Letting go of the past truly does allow you to excel in your future.
I have to remind myself regularly to “cleanse” my life of unwanted clothes, items, draining responsibilities and untrue friends. I also look for ongoing encouragement in maintaining a “cleansed” life. I have found @TheSingleWoman tweets to bring regular encouragement and inspiration to simplify my life and pursue happiness rather than excess every day. In fact, it was this idea of “Letting Go and Moving On” that brought about the purchase of “Valerie’s 1st Kindle.” Last year when I purchased my first Kindle I was able to let go of hundreds of hard copy books taking up space in my house. I had so many I had enjoyed that I was keeping “just in case I wanted to read them again.” Knowing that I now could download them at any point on my Kindle allowed me to let them go, clearing out rows and rows of storage space.
I let go of old books and downloaded new books…that were very lightweight and easy to travel with. And surprise, surprise??? I have yet to download a single one of those books I was holding on to for years. What I have done? I’ve been able to carry 50 or more books at a time with me in my purse, I have been able to download new books while relaxing on the beach in Cannes, I have been able to access books at my fingertips from my iphone, computer, ipad or Kindle and recently I discovered the ability to “loan” books electronically to friends. A great example of how “letting go” allowed me to “move on” to even better things.
So back to the story of my third Kindle and “The Single Woman’s Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On.” Though the title does reference the single woman the book has been billed as a great guide for anyone looking to “let go and move on.” I (like I am sure many of her followers have been) was inspired to go and download the book.
I picked up my Kindle, which I had neglected for the last few weeks and attempted to turn it on. The screen had a picture on it but nothing happened. I plugged it in, thinking it might need a bit of a charge. After an hour or so I was thrilled to see my book list come back to life. I unplugged it and attempted to go to the Kindle store to buy the book. Uh oh. The “charging” (aka plugged in) icon was still displayed but the device was no longer plugged in. The screen was frozen and after many reboot attempts deemed dead. Again.
This was not my first Kindle to die. In fact the first time my Kindle died I implemented part 2 of my “letting go and moving on”…. “getting things done so I don’t have to think (read: worry) about them anymore.” Anytime I have an electronic item die I apply my “now I know” theory and assume any future version has the potential for problems as well. In an effort to not procrastinate but rather address the current and potentially future issue(s) head on I “fixed” the Kindle issue the first time. I called Amazon to implement the warrant and they offered to replace it at no charge but it was projected to take more than a week and I was leaving for Europe. Though it annoyed me to have to pay the restocking fee I thought the chance of this happening again would be great and given my travel schedule the likelihood of it happening before a planned trip was even greater. I decided to take the 10% loss on restocking (though it went against everything in me) and went to Best Buy, bought a replacement same day AND paid for a $24.99 immediate replacement fee.
Though there was a minimal financial outlay that probably wasn’t “fair” (given the first Kindle was only four months old) the assurance it gave me to resolve a future problem was worth the investment. I was able to have the new Kindle for my trip to Europe and if I hadn’t purchase the new one from Best Buy, and bought the replacement warranty, I would once again be waiting for my replacement and wouldn’t have a new one for my next three weeks on the road. I made a decision that I enjoy reading and it was important to me to have my Kindle available, especially when I am be travelling. This week I face the replacement issue again and didn’t have to stress over at all. The $24.99 was well worth the investment as I stopped by the store Friday to replace it. It took a few minutes of searching area store to find the exact one I had but with just a short wait my exchange was done and I had a new Kindle with another year warranty. I also have reduced my daily schedule down so I have time for the unexpected. For instance I was able to stop by Best Buy and pick up my new Kindle an errand I certainly wasn’t planning on.
What does this whole experience have to do with moving on? So many things. Letting go and moving on means making space in your life for your future rather than cluttering up your life with your past. One of the biggest things I have learned in recent years in to not procrastinate, to plan for the future, to protect the things valuable to me and make time in my life for the unexpected. This scenario was the epitome of all of these things. Though your situation is most likely different you can apply this same lesson in your life? Are there things that are important to you that you aren’t making time for, or taking care of or planning for, for the future?
One of my favorite quotes from @TheSingleWoman? “Figure out what makes you happy- then hold a yard sale for everything that doesn’t.” What should you send to the “yard sale” in your life??? Need some inspiration? Follow @TheSingleWoman on Twitter or download her book, “The Single Woman’s Sassy Survival Guide: Letting Go and Moving On” on Amazon. That’s what I’m about to do.
Posted on | March 1, 2012
Wasn’t it nice to have an extra day in the month yesterday? Every four years, for some very confusing reason, we get an extra day in our year. For most people an extra day in the month is quite a blessing. Nearly every day I wish I had just another few minutes or another few hours every week but an extra day— every month— that would be a Godsend.
So if I could give you an extra day every month, would you be interested? I spoke at a conference this past weekend about “Making the Most of Mom” and one of the topics I addressed was the importance of moms opening up time in their schedule so they had time for themselves but truly mother or not we all should incorporate these ideas into our lives.
How do you end up with an extra day in the month, every month? You start with minutes, work towards hours, capture the day. Ideas on where to cut time???
Does it take 20 minutes to dry your hair? Do you do it three times a week? Skip it. First of all, you should always dry your hair at night. The added stress of waiting for your hair to dry in the morning is something you never need. Wash and towel dry your hair at night, let it air dry and voila you’ll wake up with dry hair. And there you have an hour. Other bonuses? The less heat you put on your hair the healthier it’ll be.
Feel like the laundry is a never-ending pile. Don’t schedule your day to “do laundry” that is a waste. Instead pop a load in first thing when you wake up, move it to the dryer before leaving for work. Move the second load to the dryer while you make dinner and then fold the two loads while watching a favorite TV show. Passes the time and folding laundry is so mindless you certainly can concentrate on something else. Be it Gossip Girl, Mentalist or even Storage Wars. Save more time? Did you know most pre-schoolers can fold laundry. Spend 20 minutes to teach your little one and not only have you saved yourself 60 minutes a week. You’ve saved yourself 60 minutes, a week, for the next 14 years.
Speaking of delegating…do it daily, any time you can. Save money (and time) by stocking up on quick, easy to make meal fixings. If you can make it with less than 20 minutes prep time it is quicker and easier than going out for dinner. Ideas? Tacos, Burritos, Pot Pies, Roast in the Crock-Pot, Grilled Cheese and tomato soup…So many ideas, so little time.
Three everyone can use??? 1) Don’t waste time worrying, it doesn’t do anyone any good 2) Don’t waste time (in general)…yes I am talking to you and this is directed at whatever your specific time waste is 3) Don’t procrastinate, everything is easier when you have more time.
How will you save time today? This month? This year?
Posted on | February 29, 2012
Sometimes you wake up in the morning and have no idea what the day has in store for you. No matter your planning sometimes things change. This last year I have worked very hard to make room in my days for unexpected opportunities. A hard earned change that paid off today.
For the past year the growth of the food truck business in Dallas has been phenomenal and I like many others have followed a number of the popular trucks on Twitter. For months now I have been religiously watching The Butcher’s Son truck feed and haven’t found the right opportunity to work a visit into my day. Until today, that is.
As I scrolled thru my Twitter feed this AM, I was just passing their AM announcement tweet when the street name jumped out at me. That is REALLY close I thought. I should go by and get some lunch. As the morning drug on I got busy and then out of nowhere the fire alarm started sounding in the building and the announcement came on to evacuate. By the time I got my shoes, jacket and purse together the emergency was deemed a false alarm. But there I was, ready to go. I looked out the window and what was right in my line of sight? The Butcher’s Son food truck.
If I didn’t go now, I was never going to go. I mean the only thing better would be if they brought it up the elevator but with the beautiful weather I knew I quick little walk would do me some good.
A crowd was gathered in front of the truck when I arrived but everyone there had already placed their orders and were just waiting on their goodies. I didn’t even bother to scan the menu as I have known for months what I wanted to try. The “Johnsonville’s Famous Double Brat” sandwich.
Less than five minutes later I was on my way with a delicious sandwich and most importantly, the knowledge that I had just incorporated a completely impromptu opportunity into my day. What a great feeling!
Posted on | September 16, 2011
Tired of the heat yet? With Dallas recording more than 100 days at temperatures of more than 100 degrees and I have to say I’m giving a little credence to the whole “Global Warming” thing. Are we possibly bringing the heat upon ourselves by polluting the earth?
What more inspiration do you need to start looking for ways to incorporate organic, earth friendly living into your daily lifestyle? Read more