Category Archives: Helpful Tips

New Year, New You – Resolution Number 3

Greetings my lovelies!  How are your new habits coming along?  Are we still drinking enough water and incorporating movement into our days?  If not, then be kind to yourselves and be forgiving.  Start where you are and make better choices today than you did yesterday.

I have continued drinking water and am now to the point where I get thirsty and that is my reminder to stay hydrated.  If you need a nudge to remember hydration, then set a timer on your phone to remind you.  

The same goes for movement.  Set a reminder on your phone to get up and move around during your day.  Today is the start of Daylight Savings time for most of us which means it will stay light longer.  Go for more walks – enoy the outdoors!  I have been taking my hot yoga classes faithfully – usually 3 times a week – and catching walks with Hubby whenever I can.

So now I am ready to share my new habit with you – be mindful of what you eat!  Do not eat and watch TV or eat at your desk.  When you eat, only eat.  Pay attention to the flavors and how the food tastes.  Is it spicy?  Is it smooth?  Is it comfort food?  Really enjoy what you eat and pay attention.When we partake in other activities while we eat, we can quickly overeat as we are not paying attention to our body’s signals that we are satisfied and it is time to stop eating. 

Also notice how the food makes you feel.  Did it give you indegestion?  Then maybe the food was too spicy and you should avoid eating this item in the future. Were you hungry again a few hours later? Perhaps you need to incorporate more protein into your meals.  Pay attention to your body and its signals to you.  

Try, if you can, to make your noon meal your largest meal.  Your body has more time to digest a large midday meal.  Eating a large meal a few hours before going to bed means your body will store these calories longer. During sleep you do not burn as many calories as during waking hours where you are moving about more.  If you follow my blog then you know I cook alot.  My suggestion is to  cook dinner, eat a smaller portion, and then take the rest for lunch the next day for your larger midday meal.

I have incoporated this and am seeing results.  I feel better and I am naturally eating less as I pay attention to my body.  In addition, I am enjoying my meals more.  Try not to focus on weightloss here.  Just focus on eating healthier and mindfully. 

I hope you find this post helpful.  I would love to hear how you are doing.  Remember this is your journey – enjoy it!

Hugs to you all,

Margareta

New Year, New Habits, New You – resolution #2 – Movement

Greetings all!!! We are now well on our way into February and I just wanted to check in with you to see how your “resolutions” were coming.  Have you incorporated a new habit in the month of January?

My new habit was to drink more water.  I am happy to report that I have kept up with this and pretty much – except for 1 or 2 days drank my entire mason jar full of water.  I am at the point now that if I don’t have my water, I really do miss it.  I am also surprised that at times I reach for more water only to find that I am already finished with  my jar of water – and so I just make more!  Give your body what it needs and you will feel much better.

For February I am incorporating the habit of movement.  We all know we need more exercise in our lives, but labeling it exercise makes it sound so much like work.  Did you know that gardening and housework count as movement?  Even dancing is movement.  If you find something you truly enjoy it is much easier to stick with the movement.

I really enjoyed the Hot Yoga studio when I first joined last year.  Then life gets busy, we get lazy, and you know the rest…  I went back to the Yoga studio and plan on attending at least one day a week.  I go on Mondays for sure and if time allows on Friday as well.  During the week, I do a little housework daily = movement, and now that it is staying light a wee bit longer – will add a mid week walk after dinner.

My movement entails – something I enjoy (Hot Yoga), something I do anyway (housework -maybe a little dancing as I flit around doing my cleaning) and an after dinner walk with my hubby (smile – a time for us to catch up and chat).  I can do this!!!

Are you with me?  What moves you?  How can you incorporate more movement in your day?

Let me know your plans – and I will check back in with you next month!

Margareta

 

 

 

New Year, New Habits, New You – 2017!

Welcome to 2017!!!!  We all start the year with good intentions; we will eat healthier, we will excercise more, we will lose weight, we will finally get organized, (aka: New Years Resolutions) the list goes on and on.  By about the end of the month we start to slip back into old routines and old habits creep back in.  We are then left with a feeling of failure and negative self talk.  You see we are by nature creatures of habit.  A dramatic change is hard to maintain.  It would be like trying to quickly make a direction change in the Titanic – a ship that size needs time to change course – and so do we.

Did you know that it takes about three months for a new habit to start to take root and even longer for it to become automatic?  This is just one habit – when we start with such a long list of resolutions then it is no wonder we set ourselves up for failure.  Negative self talk can often snowball into the all or nothing effect.  “If I can’t manage to stick to my diet today then why even bother excercising or for that matter trying to diet at all.”  Does this sound familiar?  Instead of starting off the New Year with a list of resolutions – pick one.  One that is attainable.  Success breeds success.  Start with something easy.  

I know I need to drink more water.  I also know I don’t particularly like plain water.  I do not want to add any artificial flavorings – such as Crystal Light.  I have decided to try “infused” waters – but not the expensive store variety, self made instead.  There are so many options available; lemon and cucumber, lemon and mint, berries, apples and a cinammon stick, sliced orange and vanilla, to name a few.  Pinterest is a great source for inspirations.  I fill a large 2 quart mason jar at night and put it in the refrigerator and drink it the next day.  My goal is to drink one of these jars per day.  Drinking water has many healthy beneifts – it keeps us hydrated, aids in digestion, helps the body to eliminate toxins, etc.  This goal is attainable for me and a great start.  At the end of January I will be well on my way to solidifying this new habit and will be ready to start thinking of my next goal.

If I can keep up this pace by the end of 2017 I will have developed 12 new habits.  Not to bad!  If I wrote 12 resolutions on a list I can guarantee I would not have achieved even one.  If at the end of 2017 I only manage 6 or even 3 new changes – I would still be very pleased.  

I do hope this post provides you with some food for thought and guide you to rethink your “all or nothing” mentality.  Remember that you do not need to wait until a new year to start making small changes.  Each month has a new beginning, as does each week and each day.  Embrace each new beginning and celebrate your milestones and successes along the way.  Love yourself where you are – turn off the negative self talk (if you wouldn’t say it to a friend, don’t say it to yourself). 

Hope you join me on the way to new beginnings, new habits, new you!

Happy New Year!!!!

Margareta

An Easy Way to Clean Your Shower

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There is nothing nicer than a hot shower.  Having your shower nice and clean at the time makes the hot shower that much better.  So how do you achieve this nice, clean shower?

I have tried many different cleaning solutions and methods and after much searching have found that the following method is the best. In addition, if you are like me, your shower is so big that the best way to get all the nooks, crannies and corners are when you are IN the shower!  (Don’t worry, I spared you from having to view those photos!)

So here is my method –

The Tools:

Vinegar

Dawn dish soap

Fillable Brush with sponge top

supplies

Since the vinegar is a thin liquid it wants to run out of the brush so I fill the brush up about half way with the Dawn first (Be sure to use Dawn as it cuts through the grease and grime build up) and then fill the remainder up with white vinegar.

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After your brush is filled, give it a good shake to mix everything up.

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You can tell I have been using this brush for a while.  I will need to replace it soon.  I store this brush, filled, in the shower in a large plastic cup.  That way it is always ready for me to use and I can use the cup to rinse the shower walls as well.

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I give my shower a good scrubbing at least once a week, sometimes more.  I start by scrubbing the built in shelves, then the walls, the shower doors, and then the shower floor.  I then use the cup filled with the shower water to rinse everything off.  I keep a squeegee in the shower and squeegee the walls and doors before I leave the shower daily.  The photo taken above is taken with the shower doors closed so you can see how clean and clear the doors become using this process.

squigy

Every now and again I give the shower a squirt with the following product to keep any mold that may want to build up at bay.  Maybe once every two or three months.

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Be sure not to mix cleansers.  When I use the bleach I don’t usually clean the shower with the Dawn/Vinegar mixture.

Here is another photo of my clean shower and you can see where I keep my cup and brush.

shower-photo-with-storage

Hope this post provides you with some helpful tips.

Margareta

 

 

Empty Toilet Paper Roll – A Very Useful Object!

Yesterday I posted about the lint Roller and how it can be used in housecleaning. Today I am letting you know what do to with all of these…

They are very useful in wrapping up cords, extention cords, etc.  Who knew that with something you were going to throw away you could go from this – 

To this – 

I love tidy and neat don’t you?  Now I am wondering why I have so many cords…. Maybe because it was easier to buy a new one than to dig through that mess.  

Hope you enjoy the tip!

Lint Roller as an awesome cleaning tool!

I know you are wondering how a Lint Roller can help with house cleaning…well I am here to tell you.  

As you can see from the photo, we have hardwood floors.  In order to not scratch the floors by sliding chairs in and out, we attached those little felt thingys. (Not sure what they are really called but I am sure you all have a visual right now about what I mean.) In addition to protecting our floors, they are magnets for dust.

This is where the magic happens…. Lint Roller meet dusty chair thingy!

It takes less than 5 minutes to go over all the legs and we have 6 chairs. I do this every time it looks like my chairs are getting furry feet – about every 2 months. I assume you would need to do this more often if you had pets.

Lint Roller tip #2 (incase you were not impressed with tip #1)  The Lint Roller can be used to dust cloth lampshades.  Just roll over the shade and presto – clean, clean, clean!

  

Knitting on the go – update…

I have finished crocheting all the flowers for the throw rug and am in the process of sewing them together.  (See photo for my progress)  I am using the ends to sew the rosettes together. Win-win situation…. ends woven in whilst sewing them together.  It is a bit tedious so my goal it to do a row or two each weekend. 

Now that I have finished crocheting the rosettes I have a new project on the go.

This is a free sweater pattern from Lion Brand.  I usually take the colors for one granny square with me on the go.  I need to crochet 6 of each square pattern color combo.  I also take a needle with me to weave in the ends as I complete a six pack of squares. 

I have been trying to use up my stash. This project, as well as the rug are putting a big dent in using up my yarn on hand which makes me smile. 

The big freezer cleanout!

We have been purchasing most of our meat and other freezer type items from Costco.  We find it more price efficient to purchase in bulk and then vacuum pack smaller portions at home. I do find that having a freezer like mine makes it hard to see what you really have in stock so occasionally everything comes out and gets reviewed. Today was the day.

Here is what was in my freezer…

I was lucky this time as I only had a few unidentifiable items.  I am usually pretty good about labeling but sometimes one or two items slip by me.

Upon further inventory I was able to determine what I had on hand, what I needed to restock, and even found some wonderful treasures long forgotten. (hatch chili sauce my hubby made last year)

So now I have a clean freezer, a Costco list and something defrosting for dinner! Fruits of my labor.

Nothing says Summer like…

Nothing says Summer like laundry on the clothes line. I love the feel of the crispness of the towels after they line dry and the scent is wonderful. I was so happy to have found Persil  (German brand laundry soap) at Walmart.  Besides this is a win-win situation…line dry laundry saves me from having to heat up the house with the dryer and then having to run the AC to cool it back down. 

Plums, plums and more plums

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This is the third year of our plum tree and we are having quit the harvest. The branches are so heavy they almost touch the ground. I have picked several batches for Mom and Dad, have consumed several at our house and offered some to the neighbors as well.
The hardest part is keeping the squirrels away.

We decided to try and preserve some plums by using the dehydrator. So we picked a huge haul.  Here is hubby washing just about 1/3 of what we picked.

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Then we sliced them up and layered them in the dehydrator. (Yes there are 5 trays of plums in there)

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After about 30 hours they looked like this.  (I wish the blog had a smell feature because as these plums were dehydrating it smelled like pie in my house.)

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In an effort to preserve them even more we vacuum packed them in small batches.

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We laughed as we thought about how they must have done a similar process back in the early days so they could continue to have fruits during the winter months. At the same time we realized how fortunate we were to be able to use the dehydrator and vacuum packer!