Home Hacks to Improve Your Life
Your home should ideally be a peaceful haven you can look forward to returning to, a place where you can unwind, relax and let the stress of the day melt away. Creating a more Zen-like environment reflects harmony, balance and relaxation, often linked to simplicity and minimalism. That kind of atmosphere can offset the stresses of your day-to-day routine and even improve your overall well-being.
Research has shown that there is a link between clutter, high stress levels and depression. If you’re living in a house filled with clutter, all of those “things” are most likely taking joy out of your life without you even realizing it.
You may find your perfect home among Phoenix real estate offerings, and the opportunity to start anew. But no matter how determined you are not to fill it up with junk, before you know it, you’ve got a ton of things again. It’s human nature as the brain gets an immediate boost of joy from buying an object, but it’s only fleeting, which means you end up buying more and more to try and feel satisfied, but it never happens.
That added stress negatively impacts life in multiple ways, such as making you feel fatigued more often, increasing appetite due to higher cortisol levels, and potentially gaining weight. A study conducted by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine discovered that people who go to bed in cluttered rooms and are at a higher risk for developing hoarding issues, and are more likely to have sleep disturbances, difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep.
By utilizing these home hacks, it can help you declutter and improve your life in many ways.
Clear Things Out a Step at a Time
If you have a lot of clutter, just thinking about it can seem so overwhelming that you give up before you even get started. Don’t try and do it all at once. Instead, start small by working on one area at a time, such as a drawer or a closet. Committing just 20 minutes a day for decluttering can make a big difference over time. If you’re having difficult tossing things out, one good rule of thumb is to get rid of anything you haven’t used in more than a year.
Find a Spot For Every Possession
After clearing out a space and deciding what you do and don’t want, when you put items back, make sure each one has its own ideal spot where it can be easily accessed. If you have clothing or other items that may need altering or repairs, don’t put them back. Instead, place them in a box or basket where they can be dealt with. If you don’t think you’ll ever get around to it, you may want to donate or toss them out.
Change the Mood with Color
Once you’ve cleared out the clutter, think about changing up the mood of a room, or rooms, by using color. Warm colors are said to evoke feelings of happiness and optimism. Yellow is great for a hall, kitchen or dining room, frequently associated with joy and sunshine, while green can be ideal for a main color scheme as it’s calming, helping one to relax and relieve stress. Blue is a serene hue as well, it can lower high blood pressure and slow heart rate and respiration, making it a good color to use in a bedroom.
Once your home is organized, you’ll have to make the effort to keep it that way. Setting aside a little time every day or once a week, to clear out any clutter is a lot easier than having to do it all at once after it’s been allowed to pile up. An hour a week is really all that it should take to maintain a clutter-free, organized home.
There’s something about a clean & organized home that makes me feel at peace. Of course with three kids my house is not always clean. In fact, it’s rarely clean! But following these “hacks” has helped me maintain the mess a lot easier.
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28 Things Small Business Owners Can Relate To
When you run a small business you are usually the one that does it all, from handling e-mails, social media, marketing, inventory, etc. The struggle is real!
1. When you wake up ready to hustle and sell some shit.
2. When you have a million e-mails to respond to, orders to fulfill, a family to raise, and a house to clean.
3. When your turn-around-time is 2-3 weeks and a customer e-mails you 5 minutes after placing their order & asks why it hasn’t shipped yet.
4. When you have a really good sales day.
5. When you have a really bad sales day (or week. or month):
6. When you find out someone is copying your work:
7. When people refer to your business as a hobby:
8. When you’re catching up on e-mails:
9. When a customer asks to return an item they received 5 months ago and already used multiple times:
10. When people ask you if you ever sleep:
11. When you’re feeling uninspired and you’re having a creative block:
12. When you spend hours working on something that you end up hating:
13. When you come up with a genius idea:
14. Trying to figure out Facebook Ads & Instagram’s new algorithm like:
15. When you’re participating in a loop giveaway and the host gives the 5 minute warning:
16. When it’s 60 seconds into said loop and it’s not looping, so you have to figure out who needs to be skipped, and everyone is trying to figure out who hasn’t posted, and everyone is commenting in the DM:
17. And when the loop is finally looped :
18. When you think you have an original idea, and then research it only to find out that someone else is doing it:
19. When you’re in an online group made up of other makers and there’s drama:
20. When you have way too much on your plate:
21. When someone comments on one of your products & says they can get it cheaper somewhere else or make it themselves:
22. When someone messages you trying to figure out all your secrets & who all your resources are:
23. When you get a really good review on your product or business:
24. Remembering that owning a business is hard work, and the fact that anyone likes what you’re putting out there is something to be very proud of:
25. When a customer is testing your patience:
26. That feeling when you realize you effed up on something:
27. When a customer is very kind and understanding about a something that you messed up on:
28. When people assume that you have a ton of free time since you own your own business:
I’m sure this list could go on and on and on and on.
Yesterday my family met up with Karlie, who is going to start renting out dresses for photoshoots & events. She needed some photos done in this beautiful grey Jenny Yoo dress, and I happily volunteered to model it! She suggested we do a family shoot, which I was so excited about because we haven’t had a family photoshoot done in forever!
I am so obsessed with how these turned out. Thank you again, Karlie! If you are in the Phoenix area be sure to check her out!
Follow her beautiful feed here:
Mom-life tees have become a very popular fashion trend among new mamas. There definitely isn’t a lack of designs or styles out there to choose from. Dad tees, on the other hand, are a little bit harder to find. My husband is pretty stylish, if I do say so myself. He has a “rocker-vibe”, and has tattoos from his chest, down to his feet. Finding dad-tees that he will actually wear is tough, as he’s pretty picky about his t-shirts.
With that said, I have found a few that he really likes.
I wanted to share some of his favorites with you today!
Logan’s Favorite Dad-Life Tees
Father-Hood: Takin’ Care Of Business by Root Avenue
This is Logan’s all time favorite because, well, he helped design it! He has wanted a TCB dad-shirt for a long time. I actually made a design over a year ago & had one printed just for him and it became one of his favorite shirts. I wasn’t completely happy with the design & kept messing with it until I finally perfected it. It’s now his favorite tee!
Daddin’ Ain’t Easy by Little Hooligans Co.
Logan likes the simple design of this t-shirt and the fit of the garment. It seems like every time he wears this he gets a funny comment from someone about it. Plus, it’s true, ya know…daddin’ really ain’t easy.
DAD by The Blue Envelope
This is actually one of my favorite “dad-tees” that Logan has. This is one of The Blue-Envelope’s signature descriptive word designs. Each letter is filled with words that describe a dad. This garment is really soft and fits Logan perfectly.
Livin’ The Dad Life by Hazzard Lane Clothing
First off, let me say that this was one of Logan’s favorite tees but he gained a little weight over the summer and it doesn’t seem to fit him as well as it used to haha! Logan likes this shirt’s design, color, & style. There aren’t a lot of v-neck options for dudes, so it’s nice to be able to switch it up a little bit from his regular, black, crew neck tees.
Trouble Maker by Root Avenue
Logan’s second favorite Root Avenue tee is the Trouble Maker tee. He wears this one at least once a week. It really is the perfect tee for him to wear, while Cash wears his matching “Trouble” tee. This design is on a few different garments. Logan’s favorites are this black one, and the charcoal grey one.
We love to shop small and support small businesses. Make sure to browse the websites all of the shop’s mentioned in this post. They all have some great items for moms & kids as well!
I rarely have my photo taken with my babies, and when I do, it seems like they all turn out terrible!
Today we planned to go out and get some photos taken of Logan in some small shop tees. I decided to do my hair, makeup, put on my favorite romper & make sure Logan took some photos of me also.
Cash isn’t the most cooperative when it comes to pictures. (Or most things!) So I only managed to get some of Sawyer & I. I love how they turned out. This is rare for me…ha!
I love this babe. Sawyer is 10 months old, just started walking (she hasn’t perfected it yet), loves her mama so much, & will not let anyone hold her besides myself or Logan. This is such a fun, and exhausting age.
Our brand shoot featuring small shops will be up shortly.
My family is always looking for fun indoor actives here in Arizona, since it’s usually too hot to do anything outdoors about 6 months out of the year. The Children’s Museum Of Phoenix is one of our favorite places to take the kids. It’s perfect for both Cash & Sawyer, which is hard to find! Sawyer is 9 months old and hasn’t started walking yet, so it’s difficult for us to find places that I’m able to set her down to play. They have assigned “Baby Areas” all through-out the museum, which makes it so easy to keep an eye on both kids. The building consists of 3 levels, each full of fun and educational activities. When you enter the museum you are greeted by the front desk associates, and behind them is the gift shop which is full of kid’s stuff, of course. After you pay, you walk into the first room which has their amazing jungle gym. This is NOT your typical jungle gym, it looks like a piece of art! And it’s pretty intense for parents to maneuver through (lots of crouching!). I attempted it once, and ended up turning around!
Some of Cash’s (age 2) favorites on the upper two levels are the foam noodles, which he likes to run through, and the drums. We love taking them in the baby room which is for ages 0-4 (Or 3, I can’t remember!). Cash likes the slide and pretend kitchen in there, while Sawyer likes the “kid-cave” as I like to call it, which has little pictures, & buttons for the kids to push.
I really like the dark room behind the foam noodles, it plays eerie music that reminds me of a Disney ride, and there’s books with cozy areas to sit and relax.
There’s also a little nursing room for mom’s which is always great, but of course you can nurse anywhere in the museum.
They also offer different classes, such as art, which is something we haven’t done yet since Cash is probably a little too young to enjoy it.
I definitely recommend the Children’s Museum Of Phoenix to anyone with kiddos between the ages of 0-10!
Make sure to check their calendar before you go, I try to avoid field trip days.
Also check Groupon to see if they have any deals!
Wear cozy shoes with socks, if you plan on going in the baby room you’ll have to take your shoes off.
There’s a kitchen on the second floor, with a pretty large variety of options. You can also bring your own food, you just have to eat it in the dining area.
Here’s a little video of our trip today. Enjoy!
Shirts are from etsy.com/shop/rootavenue
I remember when I was near the end of my first pregnancy I had so many questions about what items I truly NEEDED for a newborn.
Now, of course, there are the obvious necessities:
* NB & Size 1 diapers. (Don’t stock up on NB, full term babies won’t stay in them long!)
* If breastfeeding you will want a breast pump, which *should* be covered by your insurance.
* Formula (if not breastfeeding)
* A few good bottles (I personally liked the bottles that came with my Madela breast-pump.)
* Onesies. (with a zipper OR bottom snaps!!)
* Car seat – brand new, rear-facing.
Those are obvious necessities, but here are my 5 must-have recommendations:
5. Back Pack
I highly suggest a backpack as a baby bag, over a typical diaper bag, for many reasons.
A few reasons I suggest it are because; it’s so much easier to carry your baby or baby-wear, dads usually prefer wearing a backpack over a diaper bag, and it’s all around more comfortable! There are a lot of diaper-backpack options available, one of my favorites is from Fawn Design, which can actually be worn a few different ways. A little pricey, but amazing quality.
Some might say this belongs under “obvious necessities”, which I’m sure people know to have blankets and such, but my absolute FAVORITE are muslin swaddles. They are super breathable, the perfect size, and can be used for many other things besides swaddling. I really like the patterns that Modern Burlap has to offer. (I’m a fan of B+W) Aiden & Anis is another great brand, sold at many retail stores.
3. Baby Carrier
There are plenty of reasons why baby carrying is so great and, on top of that, there are tons of awesome carriers on the market. With that said, it can be tough choosing which one is best for you. I have tried quite a few, and my absolute favorite is the Solly Baby Wrap. It’s perfect for newborns, very light-weight, and comes in a handful of stylish colors/patterns. It takes some practice getting used to, but once you get it down you’ll absolutely love it. I also recommend the Tula, which can be used up until your kiddo is 45 lbs!! However, babies under 15 lbs will need the infant insert. Watch some videos on YouTube and do some research on how to carry correctly.
2. Video Monitor
I could not live without my video monitors. Now that I have 2 babies I have a split screen monitor, but with Cash I just had a regular one. This is SO worth the investment in my opinion. I love being able to see them while they sleep, not only for peace of mind but many other reasons! Sometimes you think you hear a sound, or think your baby has woken up, when really they are just dreaming or moving around. I used it from the time they were just infants, to watch & see if they’re breathing (typical mom of a newborn thing to do!) & I’m still using it to watch even my oldest who is 2 1/2. I can also speak into the mic & talk to him & tell him to go to sleep when he’s playing around at nap time. Seriously- GET A VIDEO MONITOR!
THIS was my first monitor that I had with Cash. I really liked it! I only got a new one because this one doesn’t offer the split-screen feature.
THISbv is the monitor I got when I had Sawyer. It works well, I do wish it had some of the features that my first monitor had (such as beeping when the battery is dying & a room-temperature notification) but it has still been great.
1. Rock N Play
This is 100% my biggest & best recommendation for new mamas. My babies slept in this from the time they were just born up until 5 or 6 months! It’s great for babies with reflux because of how it’s angled, it’s super lightweight & easy to move around, and it packs up easily. Trust me, you will not be disappointed! Neither of my babies slept in a bassinet. They went straight from the Rock-N-Play to their crib at around 6 months. (Along with co-sleeping.)
I’m sure everyone has their own “favorites” but these are mine and I know so many people that will agree that these are absolute amazing products for a new mama/baby!
Let me know what your must-have baby items are!
Cash is going on 2 1/2 and Sawyer is 7 months old. There were times before I got pregnant with Sawyer that Logan would suggest not having any more kids. I always said I wanted to have three or four babies…so just one definitely wasn’t an option for me. I also wanted Cash to have a sibling. I wanted him to be able to have someone to play with, someone to get excited with on Christmas morning, someone to vent to when “mom & dad are being harsh”, and, of course, someone to share his toys with! 😉
Bringing home Sawyer & introducing her to Cash was one of the most emotional things I’ve ever experienced. Seeing my new baby with my big baby made my heart fill with joy, and I just so badly wanted him to love her. Cash wasn’t even 2 yet when Sawyer was born, so he didn’t quite get the concept of a baby sister at first. I was eager to see their connection as they both got older. It actually happened sooner than I thought. Cash truly does love her. He gets worried when she cries, and gets excited when she wakes up from a nap. He gives her hugs and kisses & asks to hold her. Sawyer is easily amused by Cash and always smiles as she watches him play and talk. It’s adorable.
Sawyer is already so active. She wants to play with EVERYTHING that big brother is playing with, which annoys him, which is funny to me. I just giggle as I watch them start to learn to play with each other.
I took some photos yesterday, as they played together in their kitchen. I can’t wait to see them grow up together. I pray that they will always love & protect each other.
So, I have loved making videos & editing since I was really young. There’s tons of embarrassing videos on a YouTube account I had from High School. It’s full of improv skits with my friends & I. I did all the editing and uploaded them, and still go back and watch them on occasion. I love being able to have those to look back on, it definitely makes me super nostalgic, and I am SO happy I can easily go and watch them whenever I want.
I recently stumbled upon some family “vloggers” on YouTube, and it really made me want to start a channel for my family. I mentioned it to my husband and he agreed to help me make it happen. Well, we tried a few times to get some good footage but it just kept getting put on the back burner. I finally motivated myself to get it done. Logan did most of the editing, I just added and took away a few things and then FINALLY hit the “UPLOAD” button. I am so excited to start this “vlogging” journey.
I love the fact that I will be able to look back on these over time, and my family that doesn’t get to see us often will still be able to watch my children grow.
Even if no one watches, I think the memories that these videos will hold will make it so worth it!
Here is our first video blog…don’t judge our amateur video/editing skills…we’re still learning! 😉
Toddlers are so easy to cook for. They eat just about everything. – Said no one ever.
My son Cash is 2 1/2 and, like most toddlers, he is a very picky eater. Coming up with new lunch and snack ideas, that were healthy, became more and more difficult as he got older.
I decided to give food art a whirl after seeing some cute ideas on Pinterest. I would say it has helped a little, it doesn’t always work, but it has also helped me be creative & offer him more options at once. I’ve noticed that the more options, the better chance that he’ll eat at least one thing on his plate.
I made an Instagram page to document my food art so that I could use it as reference in the future, and because it’s just too cute not to document!
Here are a few of my favorites that I have made recently. For more photos check out my Instagram page @hellohappyplate
Follow along HERE
Food Art has not only been beneficial for Cash, it’s also been enjoyable for me! While I’m *hoping* that Sawyer (who just recently started eating solids) isn’t a picky eater, I am now prepared if she is!
Would love to hear if this post encouraged you to make food art for your babes!