Household Items You Should Toss

Thank you Real Simple for today’s post….

Fall is time for seasonal cleaning, right?  I grew up on when homes were deep cleaned at least every season – spring, summer, winter and fall.  We sorted through clothes, moved furniture and got things ready for the next season (decorating, changing curtains, etc).  In the hectic world we live in, I’m not so sure it happens anymore but there are definitely some things which should be tossed on a periodic basis….if you hang onto these household staples longer than you should, and you risk spreading germs, dirt, or dust around your entire home. YUK!  The good news: replacing these household essentials shouldn’t take long at all and cost very little.  So, tack this onto your weekend to-do list and avoid all of the icky consequences of keeping these items around.

Kitchen Sponges

I’m sure you know this and if you didn’t, I’m sure you can SMELL when these get nasty.  The reality is porous kitchen sponges are the ultimate breeding ground for germs. New research shows the old cleaning-sponges-in-the-microwave trick doesn’t really work, the only solution is to replace your sponge more often. You’ll avoid spreading E. coli and salmonella to every dish you think you’re washing—making it well-worth stocking up on this cleaning essential.How often should you replace it? It is recommended at least once a week. Or consider an alternative sponge, like Norwex’s Envirosponge (one of my favorites)  The soft EnviroCloth microfiber side also has the ability to remove up to 99% of bacteria from a surface when following the proper
care and use instructions.  The best part, it can be used repeatedly; use, wash and use again, no need to continually reach for a new sponge or dispose of old one

Bed Pillows

Research shows after two years of use (how long have you had your pillows?), more than one-third the weight of the pillow is actually comprised of dust mites (both living and dead) and dead skin. If this doesn’t make you want to toss your pillow out the window immediately, we don’t know what will.
How often should you replace them? A synthetic pillow you have never washed, plan to replace it about every 6 months. If you wash your synthetic or down pillows at least twice a year (here’s the best method), they should last up to 3 years.

Shower Loofah

A loofah is basically your shower’s equivalent of the kitchen sponge. YUK!!! Luckily, it doesn’t need to be clean enough to eat off of, but its crevices do harbor bacteria, which the moist environment of the shower helps to grow.
How often should you replace it? Replace a plastic loofah about every two months. Besides spreading bacteria, they will also tend to lose their shape, which defeats their exfoliating abilities.  An alternative is Norwex’s Body Scrub Mitt. This product will help you to uncover fresh, new and glowing skin as it removes dead skin cells, revealing beautiful, smoother skin with just one hand.  Best part, you can wash and use it again.

Water Filter

If you have a refrigerator with a built-in water filter, chances are you don’t replace the filter as often as you should. When it isn’t replaced often enough, the filter can’t do its job of separating out impurities from your family’s drinking water. Even if you don’t notice a difference in taste, mineral buildup could be slowing down the flow of water.  Maybe you don’t have one of these and you have a Brita filter system…. the ones where you put water in the top, it filters out the junk and you keep it in the fridge so you have cold fresh water all the time.  Do you replace this filter as often as it says on the box?  Probably not.  How often should you replace them? Check the guidelines for your refrigerator model, but many brands recommend replacing the filter every 6 months or so.  If you use a Brita, I think it is at least once a month!

Old Plastic Containers

When shopping for plastic food storage containers nowadays, you’ll probably notice a little sticker or note assuring you they are “BPA-free.” But BPA, a plastics chemical some believe can affect development, was once common in such containers. While the FDA reports exposure to low levels of BPA is safe, if you’re still concerned, you might want to toss out those containers you’ve had stashed for decades.  If you have “old” tupperware containers, time to trade them in for some of the new ones….Throw away older plastic containers, and invest in BPA-free options or these stylish glass alternatives.

Need some help finding some awesome “clean products”… Check out Meredyth’s Norwex website.  Never heard of Norwex???  Their mission is to “improve the quality of life by radically reducing chemicals in our homes.”  I use A LOT of their products and they do really work….

Have a blessed day!

How To Get Organized

Is one of your New Year’s Resolutions to “declutter” or “get organized”? I take baby steps every year but never seem to get very far. Does that sound like you? Do you seem to take one step forward and two back? Starting in February, Club members will come together to help each other get organized.

I know you are wondering how, right? I found this an amazing book which is also a Netflix series and it is AMAZING! This system may not be right for you BUT there will be some great tips and tricks along the way to help you get organized in as little as 10 minutes at a time.  YES, it can be done.

From February through July, we will work on organizing different parts of our home. Will it be the only focus? Of course we will talk about all kinds of things but I will also be sure to add ways for you to organize a part of your home. How does that sound?

Do you LOVE everything in the catalog and have a wish list longer than your budget?

What if you could shop from the comfort of your home? I know the internet is full of things, right? What if I could help you with organizing and gift giving ideas to eliminate some of the stress in your life? I know, what’s the catch, right?

Have seen those “surprise box” clubs where you subscribe and you never know what you are going to get? Guess what? YOU will get to pick exactly what you want each month. Of course, you will always get a “surprise gift”‘ from me!

What is a Hostess of the Month Club?
You join a group of 6 ladies who agree to purchase (or gather from a friend) a $35 order by the 13th of every month from February  thru July..

Once during the “club” period – YOU will get to earn the hostess benefits. You can decide to do NOTHING and just collect the $25 in FREE product, 1 half price item and 1 hostess exclusive. OR you can have a party – home, Facebook, online, or fundraiser. When you combine one of these with the club member orders, your benefits JUMP! Every month, I will offer tips and tricks for each room in your house. In return, you will agree to spend a minimum of $35 per month.

What are the perks?

  1. You get a gift box on your doorstep with all your catalogs, order forms, and everything you need to get started!  There were be TWO new seasonal guides as well as a NEW catalog during this time period.
  2. You get a special gift just my way of saying THANK YOU
  3. One of the months you will be the Hostess for your group and earn all hostess benefits
  4. You will get VIP access to all Thirty-One information, specials, sales, and much more! You’ll know the goods before anyone else!

Here’s one of the FUN HOTM box!

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Are you ready to get started?
Send me a message and you’ll be on your way!  I will send you a WELCOME party package to get you started.

Not interested in being part of the club… that’s okay. Join me in my VIP customer group on Facebook. CLICK HERE!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

Getting Organized: Bedroom

I don’t know about you but our bedroom (and even the spare room) becomes a haven for collecting “stuff”.  I mean it is usually a secluded part of the house and is unseen by guests unless of course they are overnight guests.  LOL.
I have found when our bedroom is organized it makes a HUGE impact on my life – I don’t have as much brain fog and I see to be more focused.  The bedroom is the foundation of where you begin every day, an organized bedroom helps you wake up with the mindset to conquer the day’s challenges and enable you to get each day started on the right foot.

Here are a few ways to organize (easy and cost-free):

  • Give away or toss what you don’t use.
  • Sort out off-season clothes for separate storage.
  • Move non-bedroom items out and store them in other parts of the house.
  • Make your bed daily – it’s a quick and easy way to declutter the look of your room.

Once you’ve cleaned out some of the clutter,  you will have a better idea of what you need to store what’s left.  To save money, you want to find ways to use your current storage as efficiently as possible and invest in items which will help round out your bedroom set and expand your storage space.

Next step….

Drawer organizers – socks and underwear drawers are usually the messiest, right?  I toss mine in baskets to make it easy.  How about organizing your drawers with drawer dividers or honeycomb-style organizers to keep things moving on busy mornings.  You can pick some of these up in the dollar store.

Closet systems – We have two SMALL bedroom closets.  So for mine, we added an extra rack which helps to keep my clothes organized with long items on one side of the closet shirts and tops are on also on the top rack with pants on the bottom row.

I put the things don’t use often on the top shelf in a Thirty One Your Way Cube. The clear window lets me see what is in there in case I forget!  I store off-season clothing and extra linens in Thirty One’s large utility totes with lids.

Shoe rack, shoe tree or shoe ladder – keep your shoes in their best shape and easy to find with a shoe organizer. Double the space at the bottom of your closet with a couple of shoe shelves.

Another Option is to Add Storage………

Look at your bedroom pieces and add missing items which offer extra storage including a dresser stack, nightstands, chest of drawer, storage bed, storage bench and media stand. Storage beds and headboards – bed frames can boast the bed to product under-bed storage making the most of unused space.  It is also a great place to store extra linens and off-season clothing. Headboards with built in bookshelves and compartments offer valuable space to keep books, clocks and bedside necessities handy and organized.

Swap out your night table for something biggernight tables keep a few things handy, but they don’t help you stay organized. Choose a two drawer nightstand instead or if you need more storage space, upgrade to a small dresser.

Dresser stack – add a couple of extra storage drawers with a dresser stack, attaching to the top of a matching dresser many offer a contemporary asymmetric look.

Bedroom chest – a chest, chest of drawers, bureau or gentleman’s chest typically have a profile that is taller and more narrow than a dresser. This is great if you are tight on floor space because it increases storage space with a vertical stance.

Accessories and Extra Pieces

Look for extra pieces that might not be part typical bedroom sets to add extra storage and utility to your room. When shopping for these pieces you can choose to match similar wood tones to the furnishings you have already or choose contrasting finishes to create an accent in your room.

Bookshelves – are not just for living rooms and home offices, bookcases can help you keep things organized, utilize baskets and boxes on lower shelves to conceal clutter.  I have one in our bedroom.

Storage bench – placed at the foot of your bed (ours is off to the side), offers the perfect place to keep throw pillows and extra blankets handy while doubling as a handy spot sit when you lace up your shoes.

Hall tree – the one in our bedroom was made by my grandfather MANY years ago.  It is  place to hang tomorrow’s outfit or keep last minute wardrobe changes off of the floor.

Today’s tips are courtesy of Furniture.com.. be sure to check out their bedroom sets and other home furnishings at a store near you.  I did not receive any compensation for sharing their information in this blog post.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Halloween Party Fun

 

Boo! It’s the time of year, when the ghosts and goblins appear and an added bonus is Thirty-One comes out with some adorable Halloween-themed printables!  So whether you are a room mom, a home schooler, or  just like to have some plan old fun with your kids…. you are going to LOVE these Halloween fun and festive decorations inspired by Thirty One’s fall-exclusive Littles Carry-All Caddies and Icon-Its!

Gather your supplies….

  • Printer
  • Scissors
  • Hole punch
  • Ribbon, twine, yarn or string
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Tape
  • Pen or marker
  • Optional: glue or glue stick
  • Optional: stapler

First up is a Trick-or-Treat (or just some fun holiday decorations) banner…..  Thank you Thirty One for these great ideas…

Choose the printable banner to match your space! Use bats for a crisp, black-and-white color scheme, or go for monsters for your little one’s Halloween celebration with friends! You can also spice up your banner with other phrases like “Boo” or “Happy Halloween” by drawing and cutting out your own letters!  My favorite is the little monster….What about you?

Directions: Print and cut out the letters and enough bats, skeletons or monsters to span your space. Use a hole punch on each printable where marked and thread your letters and characters on twine, yarn or ribbon. To make sure the printables don’t slide around on the string, reinforce holes with tape or staples.

Tip:  Let your little ones choose their favorite character and make a mini-banner to hang over their bedroom door during October.

Are you a make your own costume kind of gal?  I made all of Belinda’s costumes for years.  I remember when funds were tight (the early years of recovery), we were all DUCKS!  Yup!  Yellow sweatshirts & sweatpants with masks made of craft foam.  It was a fun year…  Here are some Lil’ Monster masks (and more!)

So, if you are not a big costume person and want to have some fun with your kids.  You may  enjoy “wearing” this easy and casual look!  Match a bat mask with an all-black outfit or the monster with a cute green shirt for a Halloween “costume” you can easily flip on and off.  I”m thinking of doing one of these for my vendor events in October, which one would you pick?

Directions: Print and cut out your choice of masks. Cut out holes where marked (eyes, mouth, etc.). Then use glue or tape to attach the top portion of the popsicle stick to the side of the mask where marked for your handle.

Tip:  If you’re looking to go the extra mile and keep your hands free all night, or you know the kids will end up needing both hands to grab twice the candy, punch holes on either side of the mask and attach string instead of a popsicle stick. Tie it on and trick or treat away!

I will admit, I am not must on decorating anymore…. what about you?  Do you go all out for Halloween or do you just put the light on to hand out candy?  Here are some easy candle or cup wraps to add a holiday touch to what is already on display at your home.

Cup wraps are a great way to jazz up plain party cups for a Halloween-themed bash! Go with bats for a classic black and white look, or spice things up with colorful monsters and skeletons.

Directions: Print out wraps. For candles, cut along the outside of the rectangle. Wrap around your candle and tape into place. For cups, cut along the dotted lines. Wrap around your cup with the longer edge near the top of the cup and tape into place.

Tip:  Go for candle wraps to create a unique and festive table centerpiece. Add pumpkins, fake spiderwebs or candy for a fun and spooky look that your guests are sure to love.

Are you a mom business owner (even if you are n to a mom, these are fun) Why not hand out some candy bags (with your business card) to the parents as they walk around with the kids.

Whether you are looking to give out something a little different than the same old candy this year or you what to share your business with some parents, why not try these fun tags.  These tags add a little something extra for trick-or-treaters or party goers! These easy printables can help you make sure even the smallest details of your Halloween celebration are special and spooky.

Directions: Print out tags. Use scissors to cut tags out and then hole punch where marked. Use ribbon, twine, yarn, string or a stapler to attach the tags to gift bags of candy. Or, tape an individual piece of candy to each tag.

Tip:  Besides fun decorations, these tags are also useful for categorizing your candy! Use a bat tag to denote nut-free goody bags or a monster to label treats without milk or eggs. This will make it easier for your trick or treaters and their parents to have a sweet night!
Can’t wait to see how you use these AWESOME printables……
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!
Printable templates:

Tips for a Successful Sports Season

Back to School means back to sports for many of parents.  The two often go hand-in-hand, and many times, the sports season begins even before the school year does! While the coach usually provides a list of necessary gear, like helmets, rackets, cleats, etc., they don’t always mention the other important items you’ll want to have on hand for a successful season.  I actually looked forward to the fall – the start of Belinda’s sports seasons (gymnastics, then field hockey then all-star cheerleading).  It was a crazy busy time but so much fun.

Here are a few products you and your sports star will be glad you have:

Water bottles. Being hydrated isn’t something moms just nag about. Kids who play sports expend tons of energy. Each drop of sweat is fluid lost from their body. It’s important they have a good water bottle to help keep them cool in warmer weather. Even in the coldest winter months they’re still running and sweating and need to keep the fluids coming.

Healthy snacks.  Whether or not they play sports, it’s important for growing bodies to receive proper nutrition. Sports kids need even more to fuel their bodies. Some easy snacks are things like fruits, veggies, and protein-packed yogurt and cheese. To keep the snacks fresh, use Thirty One’s Around-The-Clock Thermal.  When practices and games fall within meal times, this thermal will allow you to pack enough to keep everyone fueled up. It holds up to 15 lbs. and is generously sized to fit water bottles, sandwiches, and snacks.Back-to-Sports Gear: Tips for a Successful Season

Quality backpacks are also an important thing for sports kids to have. I love the Sling Back Pack. If you’ve got a kid who flings their bag of gear over their shoulder, a sling back pack is a good solution. It’s easy to carry, stylish, and holds everything they need. It’s the perfect pack for in school use, sports games, and for weekend trips as well.

Duffle bags. Our Thirty-One All-Packed duffle bag holds everything from tablets to laptops to knee pads, football helmets and snacks. One of my favorite features of this bag is the separate compartment for shoes, so the rest of the gear doesn’t get dirty. The bag also does double duty if we travel, holding enough clothes for a few days away from home. This is an especially attractive and versatile bag that will really work for anyone.

Thirty-One also offers personalization options, allowing you to customize items with your name, your team’s name, etc. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful it is to have your child’s name on their bag when there are 30 of them laying on the ground after a game! You can also personalize using icons like soccer balls and cheerleading megaphones. Sports mom lesson #1: Label everything!

Another thing I’ve learned over the years is wipes are necessary long after the child is out of diapers. Whether they’re 5 or 15, they still spill things and/or get them on their clothes. And your car’s seats too! Wipes make short work of little messes. Sports gear gets a little messier, as you can imagine, and for that we use antibacterial wipes. Cleaning the equipment after use helps keep kids healthy. Wiping things down immediately also makes for easier deep cleaning later. Mud comes off a football helmet with less effort before it gets dried on!

How about keeping a plastic bag or laundry bag inside the kids’ bags. It makes it much easier to collect dirty uniforms after events. Most kids can’t seem to find the laundry basket if their life depends on it, so by providing the laundry bag inside their bags, You have a much better chance of washing those socks before they can stand on their own. Grab the bag and throw the stuff in the wash.

It should also be said sports gear isn’t something you should skimp on when it comes to quality. If you purchase a lower quality item at your local discount store, you’ll likely end up doing that two or three times throughout the year. Usually this happens at 9pm when your child says something like “Hey mom, I forgot to tell you there’s a big hole in this thing needed for 6am practice tomorrow.” It just makes more sense financially and from a convenience standpoint to buy the higher quality items the first time.

Sports seasons can get crazy, but it is likely the most fun that you’ll have while your kids are in school. There’s nothing quite as exciting as sitting on the sidelines cheering them on as they play hard and work as a team toward a goal. Being a sports mom is one of the most rewarding experiences ever, and with a little pre-planning and the right gear, you’re in for an awesome season.

Are you a sports mom? Do you have tips to share?

Have a ThirtyOne-deful day!