3 Apps You Should Try Today

Make your phone work for you! Try these three apps to make your life a little easier.

Headspace (on-the-go): Clear your head with this app, learn how to meditate with these daily meditation sessions. Carve out 10 minutes of your day for mental peace. I love listening to this on the train. Bonus: It’s also very pretty.

Viggle: Earn points and rewards for watching your favorite shows!

Charity Miles: I wrote about this awesome app before but it deserves repeating. Get off of the couch, get healthy, and raise money for your favorite charity. Nothing makes you go the extra mile like helping those in need!


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7 Ways to Set Up The Morning for Success

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

photo credit: Alan Cleaver via photopin cc

Rise and shine! I recently learned (the hard way) how important it is to set your day set up for success, you only learn this by failing to do so and feeling in a frantic panic all week. Here are 7 things to do at night to make the morning easier and the day less hectic.

  1. Make Breakfast – Not all of the way of course, but start breakfast. Put out bowls, oatmeal or fruit. Whatever is needed for breakfast prep. When I make oatmeal I like to mix up all of the dry ingredients and just add hot water. If you’re making an omelet, crack the eggs in a bowl and chop veggies the night before (or when you’re prepping dinner) store everything in the fridge so it’s handy.
  2. Pack Tomorrow’s Lunch – Assemble your lunch and snack for the next day. Brown bagging it will save so much money during the week instead of buying.  I often find that I eat much healthier foods when I pack my own lunch as opposed to buying it.
  3. Clean Out Bags – Go through all of the bags: a purse, work bag, book bag, gym bag, etc. Remove trash, gum wrappers, and receipts. Check for keys, cash, train pass, metro card, work ID, everything you’ll need to get through the next day. Put a new magazine or book in the bag for downtime.
  4. Straighten Up – It’s amazing how putting a few things back where they belong will make things run so much smoother. It’s even easier to tackle out of place items as you go from room to room. I love coming home to a neat house, I feel relaxed.
  5. Pick Workout Clothes – Nothing gets my day off to a great start like a good workout. I know this but actually getting up and getting the workout in before showering takes dedication. Set yourself up for success by picking the clothes you want to wear, put them where you’ll see them complete with socks, shoes and hair ties. This way there are no excuses! Go one set further and put the DVD in the player queued up to the beginning or your iPod ready to play for your run. In connection with this tip, set out your clothes you want to wear during the day as well.
  6. Make Coffee or Tea – Put coffee in the filter and water in the machine. Set the timer, if you have one. If you drink tea, set out the tea bag and mug you want to use.
  7. Slow Cook Dinner– Have dinner when you walk through the door with a slow cooker. I love mine. I make everything from chili, black beans, lentil stew, to apple butter in my slow cooker. It’s a super time saver and very rewarding to have dinner ready. Prep it the night before and toss everything in the morning. Easy to do and worth the effort.

Finally, set everything in one place, by the door is great or at a little station in the kitchen.  Grab it and walk out the door!

What do you do to get ready for the next day? Do you wish that you’d have less chaos in the morning? I hope these tips provide an opportunity to sit down and enjoy a mug of coffee and a peaceful moment before the day begins.

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Grow Your Own Flowers Without Spending A Penny

Grow Your Own Flowers Without Spending A Penny

I found myself singing “You gotta reduce, reuse, recycle” when I was starting flowers for my garden. I love doing things myself, saving money, and waste. So here’s how to start flowers for your garden for free. Of course you can also use this to start herbs or vegetables.

It takes a little time to save up all of your supplies but it’s something we all have on hand. If you need to, you can purchase the seeds at your local nursery or store but I saved mine from last year’s flowers. Impatiens are especially fun to collect, you have to get the seeds in the bag before it explodes!

What you’ll need:

  • Empty Toilet Paper or Paper Towel Rolls
  • An empty lettuce or spinach box
  • Potting Soil, or regular old soil
  • Seeds

How to:

  1. Cut toilet paper rolls in half or paper towel rolls in quarters.
  2. Place the flat side down in your empty lettuce box, arrange rolls so that they all stand upright. I ended up using 16.
  3. Fill each roll with soil. Don’t worry about spilling into the gaps, this is going to happen anyway so don’t drive yourself crazy.
  4. Fill tubes with seeds. I used a pinch of impatien seeds to each roll. I lightly pressed the seed down and covered it with a bit of soil.
  5. Water the seeds. I used a measuring cup with a spout to direct the water into each compartment. Be aware that this set up does not have a drainage system. We want to avoid a muddy mess so go easy on the watering. If you aren’t keeping these inside, you can poke holes in the bottom of the lettuce box to drain excess water. I am keeping mine in my upstairs window and need to keep things clean.
  6. Place box in a sunny place and regularly water.
  7. Soon you will have little plants to put in your yard.

I think Jack Johnson would be proud!

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How to Keep Fresh Food in the Refrigerator

Write the Date You Opened the Jar to Keep Fresh Food in the Refrigerator.


This is a handy tip I love to use to keep only fresh foods in the refrigerator. It’s a challenge to know when food is still good or has been sitting in the refrigerator for a month. You don’t want to waste food.

Keep track of  food by writing the date that you open the package with a marker. Put older foods on the top shelf to remind yourself to use them first.

It’s that easy. This is best for pasta sauce. Somehow we collect sauce and I never know when they were opened. This really helps us keep track of food.

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10 Tips to Save at the Grocery Store

I love saving money on things I could easily pay full price for, I feel like I’m in on some secret that the rest of the shoppers don’t know.  Of course these are not secrets but something every shopper should use and know.

  1. Create a Menu – Know what you’re buying, get the week’s meals straight.
  2. Create a Shopping List – Make your list from things you need for the week’s menu.
  3. Check Online – Head to Coupons.com and to Target’s Coupon site and print coupons you will need. Also check the manufacturer’s website for coupons. Use them at a store that will double coupons for extra savings.
  4. Check the Newspaper – Check coupons in your local newspaper as well and compare coupons to store sales.
  5. Keep Store Coupons – Most stores will give you a long strip of store coupon based on what you’ve bought. Keep these handy for your next trip.
  6. Look for Manager’s Specials – This is a gold mine! When produce is ripe, the produce manager will sell it at a discounted rate. At my most recent trip to the store, I found four ORGANIC bell peppers for $1.82. All because they were getting ripe. It’s also a great place to get brown bananas for 99 cents to make into banana bread.
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