Let’s Get Fruity

Kung Hei Fat Choi! It’s Chinese New Year! The Chinese tradition in welcoming the New Year is to have eight round fruits on the dining table because this number is a symbol of good luck.

But what do you do with all the fruits once the celebration is over?  Here are cute ways to serve fruit!  Perfect for a mom like me whose daughter needs a bit more coaxing when it comes to eating them.

Why not create a fruit cone?  This looks so yummy!

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Or serve them in skewers.  I’m calling this fruit-e-que!

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You can also serve them using a muffin or cupcake pan!

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www.muffintinmom.com

Or cut them up and put in individual bag or containers for a mini fruit snack station.  With this, you can just grab your fruits and go!

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www.laurieyogi.com/nothing-in-the-fridge

Have a fruitilicious New Year!

JARonimo!

I’m a big fan of upcycling. So I like keeping used coffee, sandwich spread and candy jars.  When you have the time, there are lots of things you can do with them… from a cute container to a house accessory.  I compiled a list of things I plan to do with my jars.

School Supply Organization Project.  I only need chalkboard labels for this one!

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How about a bathroom organizer?  Here I’ll need to prepare a wooden board, picture frame hangers and pipe clamps.

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I love this idea! All I need to do is paint the lid, poke a hole and add a straw.  All done!

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www.andeverythingsweet.blogspot.com

Here I need to brush the inside of the jars with some glue and water.  Then I need to add some glitter to the inside of the jars, roll the jar until the glitter nicely coats the sides then add a tea light when it dries! Lovely!

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 www.andeverythingsweet.blogspot.com

Here, I just need to add sand or rice to the bottom for a romantic dinner set up!

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How about a terrarium?  Ooooh this definitely goes to my summertime bucket list!

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Oh, just words of caution before you start jar-hoarding… Make sure that you have a proper storage place for your jars.  If not, they will dominate the bottom of your kitchen sink!  And just keep enough.  If you think you have too much, just recycle the rest and keep 2-3 of your favorite ones (I choose mine based on shape and size!).  Good luck!

BAG IT!

Sale season is here!  And whether you are a shopaholic or not, every purchase means you come home with a paper or plastic bag.  If you are not that careful, these bags just might take over your kitchen drawers and cabinets!

Here are some storage ideas to keep your paper and plastic bag clutter under control.

Mount a used tissue box using velcro stickers to the back of your cabinet door for an instant plastic bag dispenser!

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Another way to make your own plastic dispenser is by recycling an old cardboard tube and cutting out some plastic holes in them.

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If you are any good with sewing, you can use old tea towels to create a pretty plastic dispenser to be hung on any door or hook!

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Why not use a paper filer for your paper bags, just like this one?

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How about mounting an old paper tray to the wall and knotting across some bungee cords to keep your paper bags in place?

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You can also use a tension rod with shower hooks to hang all your paper bags nicely.

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A magazine file will also keep all your paper bags neatly stored under your sink.

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http://www.wepurpose.wordpress.com

Whatever you do, don’t throw that plastic or paper bag without re-using it.  It’s a small step we can all do to help save the environment.

DIY RIBBON DISPENSER

How many times have you wound up errant ribbons, only to have them tangle up with each other all over again? There is a way to get over that tornado of ribbons lying in a drawer or box in your home.
My solution… create a ribbon dispenser!
 
1. Look for a basket full of holes.
 
 

 

 

 
 
2. Fix the ribbons inside the basket and keep them aligned and upright by pulling a stick or straw through them.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
3. Get inside the basket and keep them aligned and upright by pulling a stick or straw through them.
 

CHRISTMAS CLEAN UP

It’s really over and I’ve held on to you as long as I possibly could…

But it’s just so hard to let you go…

Okay, you probably all think I’ve gone crazy. I’m not talking about anyone in particular.

I’m talking about my Christmas decor! Some of you may have been putting off packing away your holiday trimmings (like I did!). If you’re planning to pack them up this weekend, check out some of my tips in this video!

WHAT’S FOR DINNER?

This is simple question that can create a lot of stress if you have to think about it every single morning alongside the daily morning rush.  It’s also equally stressful when you have to dash to the grocery at 6:00pm after a harrowing day of emails and clients, just so you have the right ingredients for a dish.

But did you know that it will only take 15 minutes a week to create a weekly menu?   I do this every Sunday morning, right before I set out to go to the grocery or the market.  I sit down, grab my favorite recipe book, log on to a few recipe sites, open my phone’s recipe app, and I’m all set!

This 15 minute of strategizing helps me spend less time and LESS MONEY at the grocery.  Best of all, it keeps my family healthy as it lessens our need to eat take out or fast food.

When you’re done planning, hang it up in the kitchen so that you can easily refer to it during meal preparation and so that you’ll never have to answer that age-old question again!

Create a chalkboard menu with chalkboard paint.

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Write out your meal plan on a large framed glass.  Don’t forget to use only whiteboard pens on these!

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You can use a picture frame and a blank menu. I love this idea!

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How about using a cork board?

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Creating a meal plan takes a little time but ultimately saves time and stress!

MAIL

How do you organize the mail that is piling up on top of your foyer table or at the unused edge of your dining table?  You need to choose a system that will work best for you.

 

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Whatever system you choose, make sure that it helps you categorize and take control of your mail. 

BE TICKLER FOR TIME

Many of us have this for our new year’s resolution: “This year I promise to be more efficient with my time”.  Well as most of us know, this is easier said than done!  Time management can be gruelling for working parents!  So here’s how to organize yourself so that maybe, just maybe, we will be able to achieve this particular resolution THIS year.

1. PLAN FOR YOUR PLANNER

Decide on which planner suits you best.  I personally like using the digital calendar that came with my phone for future events and birthday reminders.  I categorize events into work related or personal.  I also like this because I can easily search for daily, weekly, monthly and yearly plans this way.

 

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But I also own an old school planner which I use to jot down all the activities and events that happened during the day.  This way I can easily remember which day I was able to finish a project, was absent at work, or had my last dental check-up.  I even paste pictures of past events just to remind myself what happened that day.

 

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2. CREATE WEEKLY-TO-DO LISTS VERSUS DAILY ONES

Instead of daily to-do-lists, try making a weekly one instead then divide them into 1/ Personal, 2/ Work, 3/ Family or you can add your own categories if you like.  The point here is to divide the tasks by category and that way you can prioritize.  Family and personal health for me always comes first and during work time, I only focus on work tasks.

 

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I try to train my daughter as early as now by letting her have her own cute to-do list and letting her put check marks or stickers on chores she was able to do.  I am also trying to potty train her this way.

 

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3. DELETE OR CHECK

Once a task is done, I suggest you delete it (if digital) or check it off.  This way, the clutter on your to-do list is minimized on a daily basis and you won’t feel as stressed when looking at your task list.

Enter Please!

 

When you come home, do you open the door to a tidy entryway or do you face a cluttered space that feels stressful and may make any guest feel unwelcome?

It’s time to organize your entryway or foyer!  This is the space in your home that, if organized well, can save you time when you rush out every morning.

1. WEATHER ESSENTIALS

Have a designated spot to collect items such as umbrellas and jackets. When choosing an umbrella stand, you can DIY it but make sure that the container is heavy enough to stand upright with several umbrellas in different sizes inside it.

Source: marthastewart.com

2. ON-THE-GO MUSTS

Have another designated spot for things that you need to grab right before you leave every day.  You can use a bowl for spare change, a bin for receipts and several hooks for keys.

When hanging keys, make sure that each is labelled properly to save you time trying to guess which is which!

Source: toriejayne.blogspot.com

3. SLIPPER STATION

Say no to grimy shoes entering your home!  Keep rubber shoes or boots on a tray right by the door and a container of slippers to change into.  This way, you also feel relaxed right away the moment you come home.

Source: marthastewart.com

4. PERFUME BASKET

I almost always forget to put perfume on.  So why not put perfume bottles on display on display the foyer table!  Not only does it make the space look attractive, you will also never leave the house again without any perfume on.

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5. PET SUPPLIES

If you are an animal lover like me, then you will also need to designate a spot at the entryway for your pet’s leash, treats, dog bags and travel water bowl.

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