Category: Food & Home

Getting Rid of Paper Clutter

Posted on Oct 22, 2014 by No Comments

Oh my gosh, I hate clutter. It messes with my brain, makes me depressed, and I get really irritable when surfaces are stacked up. Need I say that my husband and kids are stackers? Nope, I didn’t think so.

Clutter is bad for the environment, not just the earth, but your personal environment! The more cluttered your home or office becomes the more difficult it can be to think about work. It’s depressing and saps your energy.

Piles of junk mail come into our homes daily. Piles of bills come into our homes daily. Just sorting through all the myriad of papers that the postman delivers takes the average American about 8 hours per year, or the equivalent to a good night’s sleep.

I could use some extra sleep.

It is bad for the earth because of the various processes it takes to get that paper into your trash can and ultimately to the landfill.

Trees must be cut and hauled to mills. Equipment must be run, then the resulting paper must be transported numerous times before the molecules of the original tree get to your mailbox. Tons of pollutants released in the atmosphere to let you know about a carpet cleaning special you can’t use because you have bamboo floors anyway.

A full 40% of the solid mass that makes up the average landfill is made of paper. Of that paper a high percentage is the junk mail that we toss out without opening it. Plus, 100 million trees are used every year to make that unnecessary junk mail. There has to be a better way.

The Better Way

The best way to deal with all of that is to simply put a stop to it. There are numerous agencies you can contact to end your junk mail paper trail.

Catalog Choice

Catalog Choice is a free service company that allows you to choose which catalogs you receive in the mail. You open a free account with them and list anything you are currently getting that you would prefer not to and they send the list to the various companies to have your name removed.

Simple. Effective. AND endorsed by such green companies as The National Wildlife Federation and Natural Resources Defense Counsel.

Opt-Out Prescreen

This site allows you to opt out of prescreened credit card offers and insurance offers. This is helpful to both the tendency to clutter and the tendency to have way too many credit cards.

Direct Mail

This is a free and easy way to get your name off of literally thousands of direct mail mailing lists.

To remove your name from national sweepstakes contact the following:

  • Publishers Clearinghouse, 101 Channel Drive, Port Washington, NY 11050 Phone: (800) 645-9242
  • Readers Digest, Readers Digest Road, Pleasantville, NY 10570 Phone: (800) 234-9000
  • American Family Publishers, PO Box 62000, Tampa, FL 33662 Phone: (800) 237-2400

Here are some more tips for cutting the level of junk mail you receive:

  • When you subscribe to magazines, specify that you do not want your name sold to mailing lists
  • Product warranty cards are primarily for gathering names for mailing lists. Names are worth up to 20 cents each. You are covered under the warranty whether you send the card in or not under most circumstances.
  • Do not list your phone number on your voter registration form. It will often be sold to telemarketers.
  • Use paperless billing and banking whenever possible.

What are some things you do to cut down on paper clutter? Comment and let me know — I could use the ideas.

photo credit: theogeo via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Easy Meals, Halloween Cookies, Spider Earring DIY, and More

Posted on Oct 21, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has easy meals, cute Halloween cookies, spider earrings, and more.

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to make PVC napkin rings.

Mind Body Green shared six one-pan meals to make this week.

Hungry Happenings made some cute backside black cat cookies and shared the recipe.

link ru pumpkin mac and cheese

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a recipe for pumpkin mac and cheese.

Jewelry Making Journal taught us how to make creepy crawly spider earrings.

Life a Little Brighter asked, “Are you stressing your kid out?”

Play Dates on Fridays shared five excuses for mean girls that have got to go.

Photo credit: Muslin and Merlot and Chocolate Covered Katie

Choosing Paint Color without Losing Your Mind

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 by No Comments

How do you decide which colors to get to pull your room together?

My favorite way to do this is to choose a wallpaper border or an upholstery fabric and match the wall color to one of the colors in the design. Choosing a paint color can be difficult because you have to narrow it down from so many but choosing a wall paper border is usually a matter of choosing between two or three of your favorite designs.

Once you have chosen a border you’ll need to cut a good sized piece from it to take to your favorite paint store. The piece should be big enough to be a good representation of the design.

Choose several paint chips that you like and that seem to match the border well. Now choose chips that are in the same color families but are darker or lighter than the ones that match exactly.

Take them home and unroll the border in your room.  Lay the chips on the border.  Which ones do you immediately dislike? Remove them.

Look at the ones you like the best. Sometimes one will stand out more than the others and the choice will be easy. Other times you may find that you are having a hard time choosing between two or three.

If this is the case try taking the chips over to your sofa, curtains, or other fabric to see how it matches with these.

If you are still trying to choose between a couple, go back to the paint store and buy a small amount of each. Paint one foot square of each of the colors on your wall, close to each other but with space between them so they don’t reflect on each other. By looking at them on the wall for a few days you should be able to quickly decide what you like best.

photo credit: Phil Roeder via photopin cc

Link Round-up: Superheroes, Churro Bites, Date Ideas, and More

Posted on Oct 16, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has date night ideas, churro bites, a cute Superman and Batman craft, and more.

About Family Crafts showed us how to make duct tape bracelets.

A writer at Mind Body Green shared how she found the clarity to leave her unhappy marriage.

Tone It Up shared fun date night ideas you can do with your significant other or girlfriends.

link ru two scarvs

Muslin and Merlot showed us how to style two scarves at once.

Living Well Spending Less kicked off a challenge—31 day to a clutter-free life.

Around My Family Table taught us how to make churro bites.

Crafts by Amanda shared some comic book craft ideas.

Photo credit: About Family Crafts and Muslin and Merlot

Link Round-up: Halloween Projects, Fall Inspiration, and More

Posted on Oct 14, 2014 by 2 Comments

Today’s link round-up has easy fall and Halloween-inspired projects and more.

About Family Crafts showed us how to make an apple bunting.

Bombshell Bling taught us how to make ghost candles quickly and easily.

Club Chica Circle shared a DIY birthday cake in a can idea.

Organized 31 showed us how to make recycled book Halloween decorations.

link ru pumpkin spice sugar scrub

Uncommon Designs Online taught us how to make a pumpkin spice sugar scrub.

Dollar Store Crafts taught us how to make ghost pudding cups.

DIY Inspired showed us how to upcycle milk bottles and turn them into little turkeys.

Photo credit: About Family Crafts and Uncommon Designs Online

Link Round-up: Pumpkin Pudding Cake, Caramel Apple Pudding Cups, a Bronzer, and More

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has caramel apple pudding cups, a bronzer review, Halloween projects and food, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie showed us how to make gooey pumpkin pudding cake.

Makeup and Beauty Blog reviewed The Balm’s Bahama Mama bronzer.

Crafty Journal showed us how to create a cute mini Halloween pocket book.

link ru caramel apple pudding

Kenarry shared a recipe for caramel apple pudding cups.

Frugal Coupon Living showed us how to create Halloween mummy hot dogs.

Crafts by Amanda showed us yarn crafts you can do even if you don’t know how to knit or crochet.

Cupcakes and Cashmere showed us six rooms that will make you want to use wallpaper.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and Kenarry

Link Round-up: Makeup, Burlap Wreaths, an October Outfit, and More

Posted on Oct 7, 2014 by 1 Comment

Today’s link round-up has a makeup review, burlap wreath projects, a cute outfit idea for October, and more.

Crafts by Amanda taught us how to make Batman wrist cuffs.

Makeup and Beauty Blog reviewed the Brooke Shields Gravitas palette from MAC.

Crafty Journal taught us how to make an arachnophobia wreath.

Frugal Coupon Living showed us a cute October outfit idea.

link ru burlap wreaths

Kenarry showed us 3 different fall burlap wreaths to make.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared a recipe for Tuscan kale and pumpkin seed risotto.

A Beautiful Mess taught us three ways to create a cute leather bracelet.

Photo credit: Crafts by Amanda and Kenarry

Is a Smart Bed with Interactive Computer Right for Me?

Posted on Oct 3, 2014 by No Comments

I’m in the market for a new bed. One of the challenges for married people is finding a mattress you both like.

In my search for beds that might work I came across the Balluga Smart Bed. It’s equipped with an interactive onboard computer. It really addresses every issue but one for me.

Adjustable Firmness and Temperature Control

Adjustable firmness levels: It supports you and your partner with an advanced air-filled ball support system. I’ve never seen the likes of it before. It conforms to your body shape individually and can be adjusted with a simple touch of a button.

Plus this modular ball system is allergen and infestation free, so none of those little invisible mites crawling around. As a bonus, it can also provide a relaxing massage!

The firmness issue is a big one, but another thing about this smart bed is that it offers climate control. It keeps you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. In my case it could keep me cool year round and I would sleep better.

It keeps each person comfortable. Right now I try to accomplish that with the ceiling fan and an extra blanket on my husband’s side of the bed.

Interactive Sleep Aids

Other benefits of this bed include low lighting just above the drawers that comes on with night-level lighting if you have to get up during the night. These light panels can also be used to create ambient colored light synchronized to music to aid sleep.

It also has an optional system that can be connected to a tablet or smart phone. It lets you lay on your back to read, watch TV, or enjoy a movie. You can even project what you’re viewing onto the wall. When you fall asleep, the bed knows it and automatically retracts the console.

Balluga Smart Bed

Projects movies on the wall.

That addresses all the sleeping-related issues on my list. It also has under-bed storage, which my current bed has. So with all these positives, what are the negatives?

For one, you open the drawers under the bed remotely. You adjust the temperature and firmness remotely. After all it is a smart bed. My concern is when the remote stops working what am I left with?

The bed itself runs around $1600. How much does it cost to replace the remote? Sorry but visions of the $5,000 batteries for electric cars comes to mind. My concern is personal. Without a remote, the bed would just be…well dumb.  Could I afford to make it smart again?

Photo credits: Balluga

Link Round-up: Jean Repair, Hair Tutorials, Creamy Coconut Hummus, and More

Posted on Oct 2, 2014 by No Comments

Today’s link round-up has hair tutorials, oatmeal, jean repair, and more.

Chocolate Covered Katie shared a yummy baked oatmeal recipe.

Mind Body Green shared a recipe for a vegan salad bowl with creamy coconut hummus.

Cupcakes and Cashmere shared 11 enlightening facts you never knew about bedding.

link ru hair tutorials

A Beautiful Mess shared 32 of their favorite hair tutorials.

Create Craft Love provided some Thanksgiving dinner cheats.

Make It or Fix It showed us how to repair a favorite pair of jeans that has holes in it.

DIY Inspired showed us how to make a cute hanging fall wreath.

Photo credit: Chocolate Covered Katie and A Beautiful Mess