Healthy Lunches Made Easy

Packing a healthy lunch not only keeps you fit but it saves you money.  A lunch out can cost up to $15 a day.  If you pack your own lunch just a few times a week, you could save hundreds of dollars a month. That’s money you can put into savings or take a vacation with!  I wanted to break down some healthy eating options for you to show you that packing and taking your lunch is easier (and more delicious) than you think.

Healthy Lunches Made EAsy

Safe Catch Tuna is the ONLY canned tuna that tests every single can for mercury.  It has no GMOs, it’s BPA free and it’s recommended by the Environmental Working Group.  It’s easy to prepare (just open the can) and because it’s JUST tuna inside, it tastes amazing.  Tuna is low in fat and high in protein so it naturally makes a great meal.  I love to add a dollop of garlic aioli and a little relish to a can of this.  Mix it up and voila, an amazing lunch that’s super healthy and will fuel the rest of my day.

My husband has a hard time taking vitamins.  It’s a bit like getting a kid to take medicine.  Along comes Smarty Pants Vitamins and solves my issues.   These vitamins are full of everything you need to balance our a healthy diet. They taste like candy and are pretty darn cute too.  They are made in the USA and non GMO.  All around, you’re not going to find a tastier way to get your vitamins and nutrients every day…or to convince your husband to get his!  Why am I including this in my healthy lunch post?  They are super easy to pack in your lunch box and eat on the go!

If you’re a healthy eater, you know that sometimes snacking is hard.  It’s expensive to try new things and you can very quickly get stuck in a rut.  Love With Food offers a monthly box filled with unique, delicious and healthy snack options.  I’m a long time health nut and I even found some great things in this box!  Snacking is way more fun with variety!  Gift yourself with this to inspire you to stay healthy!

Staying hydrated is of the utmost importance.  You know it’s true.  However, drinking water is often forgotten during a busy day. Contigo’s newest water bottle, the 24 ounce Autospout Ashland Water Bottle is leak proof and allows you to drink one handed.  It’s “adult straw” means you don’t spill on yourself and the water stays inside the bottle until you want it to. The 24 ounce size is plenty of water so you’re not always hopping up for a refill.  I love this bottle for everything from sitting at my desk to hot yoga class.  You can easily clip the handle onto your bag and even throw it in the dishwasher (top shelf).  It’s BPA free as well.

Taking a healthy lunch is easier with PackIt’s Freezable Carry All Lunch Bag.   The bag folds up and fits into the freezer.  Once you let it sit over night, pack it in the morning.   The bag is large enough to fit in all of your snacks, containers and even utensils.  It’s made of PVC, BPA and phtalate free materials and it wipes clean easily. I love the shoulder strap to free up my hands.  It’s pretty darn adorable too!

I don’t know about you, but I love a good cup of ice coffee in the afternoon.  (Or the morning…ok, I love them all the time).  Zoku’s Iced Coffee Maker is unlike any other mug you’ve ever had.  Turn piping hot coffee or tea into a delicious chilled beverage in as little as five minutes. Don’t let ice dilute your favorite flavor, just store your stainless steel mug in your freezer, add it to the insulating sleeve, pour your beverage and snap the lid on tight. This travel mug is spill resistant with a sipping straw that makes it ideal for drinking on the go.

A big part of healthy eating is keeping track of what you eat, when you eat it and how active you are.  Chronicle Book’s new journal, aptly entitled eat drink move sleep, is exactly what you need to make positive changes.  It’s not dated so you can start the journal any week of the year.  Every day has space for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, sleep, water, exercise, and stress relief.  There are also pages every week for a self check in; how you’re feeling, your goals and what accomplishments you’ve made.  I love that it’s large enough to give you plenty of writing space, but small enough to easily fit into your purse.

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Top Tips for A Stress-Free Move

We at Dot & Bo understand that the stress of a big move can sometimes feel like the weight of an entire house sitting on your shoulders. Luckily, there are ways to get through the moving process without losing your mind–or your stuff. All you’ll need is sharpie, a go-get-em attitude, and maybe a glass of wine or four. Let’s get packin’.

Moving Boxes

Before the Move:

  1. Thin out your possessions.  As soon as you know for sure that you’re moving, start going through your stuff. Getting rid of things that you don’t really love will help to minimize packing and unpacking time. As a rule, if you haven’t looked at something–say that old bean bag chair you stuffed into your closet–let alone USED it in the last year, it’s probably safe to get rid of it.
  2. Scout out some free boxes.There’s no need to spend the big bucks on a big box. Instead, find out if your office will let you take some of their old, empty boxes home with you. Pro tip: if work’s not an option, convenience stores almost always have extra delivery boxes on hand. Ask nicely and you may get all the boxes you will ever need. Don’t forget the calming coconut water while you’re there!
  3. Label all of your boxes.Seriously, go crazy with the sharpie. And try to get as specific as possible. For example, Bedroom Box 1: Brass Bowl, World Clock, and Super Soft Blanket. (Ok, maybe you can leave out the adjectives…) This will make unpacking a million times easier – and of course, more organized.
  4. Keep your eye on the prize: redecorating.When you start feeling like you’re living in a Leaning Tower of Pisa made out of boxes, take a deep breath, step away from the sharpie, and go scroll through your favorite interior design blog. After all, moving may be a pain, but at the end of it you get to create a whole new home that’s exactly the way you want it to be. It doesn’t get much better than that.
  5. Plan out your new space before you even begin the move.Go measure the rooms in your Moving Boxes new house so you can begin plotting out which rooms will become your bedroom, your living room, and your wine-drinking, erm… dining room.

During the Move:

  1. Set aside your essentials. This means putting things like your toothbrush and PJs in an overnight bag so that you don’t have to dig through boxes on the first night in your new home. All the time you save looking for your stuff can instead be spent popping champagne and dancing around in your new digs.
  2. Let a moving company do the heavy lifting for you. This will save you a lot of time and will help to stave off the tears of frustration that come from trying to get your giant dresser down your front steps. Trust us on this one. But make sure to call ahead and schedule the movers for the day you want your things to arrive, otherwise you might be camping out in your big, beautiful house for a couple of nights. Also, check out this articleon how to avoid moving company scams.
  3. Take some deep breaths. During the day of the move, things might get a little overwhelming at times–you’re saying goodbye to your old place, and getting used to your new one all at once. It’s ok to feel a little emotional. Just step back, take a couple of breaths, and allow yourself a minute to think about all the good times you’ve had–and the amazing times yet to come. If you’re really feeling stressed, consider taking a break and going to a yoga class. Sometimes distancing yourself from the situation is all you need to find the energy to tackle it again.
  4. Make sure your contacts have your new address. We don’t just mean your friends; we mean any part of your network that you correspond with on a fairly regular basis. Contact the post office, bank, and even your work. Subscribe to a magazine? Give ‘em your new address. Ok, maybe you don’t have to let your in-laws know…if you don’t want to.

After the Move:

  1. Make an unpacking plan.Which rooms will you need to use first? (Hint: probably your bedroom and bathroom–Chinese takeout can fill in for breakfast, lunch, and dinner until your kitchen is unpacked). To avoid certain chaos, put each labeled box in the room it belongs in so that you don’t accidentally unpack your cutlery in the guest bathroom.
  2. Do a little clean up.Give the house a once over so that your fresh start really is fresh. You may also find that your furniture has gotten a little dirty in the move so spot clean as you go.
  3. Arrange your big stuff before unpacking the little things.You know that great bed frame you had delivered? You’re going to want to put it together before you unpack your bedding. While your impulse may be to want to put all of your things away, it will be much harder to move items like your bookshelf if it already has a bunch of books on it.
  4. Pamper yourself when the move-in is over.When that final box has been unloaded and dumped in the recycling bin, it’s time to kick back and unwind. Hightail it for the spa, schedule a mani-pedi, or enjoy your new space by throwing on Netflix and camping out on the couch–just do something that will help you to relax. And don’t forget our invite.
  5. Have your friends over to celebrate the move.This is an exciting occasion after all. Prepare a light weekend brunch or host a casual after-work happy hour. And the house-warming bubbly your friends bring won’t hurt either. Cheers!
  6. Wine on boxesAre you planning a big move, or have recently claimed victory over one? Share YOUR moving tips with us in the comments.Dot & Bo is a guided shopping service helping people to discover great style for their homes. Based in the heart of San Francisco’s Design District, the company helps people uncover creative ideas and unique items for their homes through curated furniture collections, personalized suggestions, and a daily guide to stylish living.​
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Feeding My Craft Obsession

You all know I love to craft.  I’ve done tons of crafts on the blog and I almost always try to order my supplies online.  I try to order EVERYTHING online.  I mean, it takes a LOT for me to saddle up and leave the house to go shopping.  SO, when I found out there are craft supply subscriptions, I nearly fell over with excitement.  As I like to do, I set out to try these out for you.  That way, you get the best of the best with no frustration or disappointment.  Here are my favorites.

Feeding my Craft Obession

Please note I received samples of some of these items in order to be able to write this review.  My opinions are my own and were not influenced in any way.  I only bring you things I love.

Creative Retreat KitCreative Retreat Kits give you so much bang for your buck, the box hardly contains it. Subscriptions are $19.99 per month and you can purchase one kit for $24.99.  Each kit is filled with embellishments.  This means stickers, paper items, decorations, do-dads….you name it.  The items are so cute and sweet you’ll coo over them.  They are unique too.  I’ve done a lot of crafting over the years and some of these items were new to me.  This is a great way to stay inspired to create new items.  Some boxes even include digital products you can download.  How awesome is that?

I previously told you about Pipsticks, a sticker subscription service.  They’ve outdone themselves and come up with a new product, their Pro Pack.  The pro pack is designed for adults.  The stickers are geared towards scrapbooking, crafting and planner designing.  They are more sophisticated, and in my opinion, a little more fun.  You’ll get stickers to use on letters and cards, your calendar and even the notes you write to yourself.  Stickers are a great way to organize and color code and they make even the most jam packed day seem a little more fun.  Who doesn’t love stickers?  Treat yourself to a little whimsy and a smile!

Pipsticks Pro

Freckled Fawn wins the award for cutest packaging.  Their monthly kit comes in the cutest reusable pouch.Freckled Fawn Use the pouch for travel, cosmetics, office supplies, first aid…you name it.  Use the enclosed embellishments for scrapbooking, cards, school supplies or planners.  They are themed and oh so sweet.  I did a happy dance when I opened the pouch and I’ve been using these items to decorate notebooks, my planner pages and other office supplies.  They add a little happy to every day.

Studio 29 DesignsOkay, I have to tell you, I did a happy dance when my kit from Studio 29 Designs arrived.  This kit had more fun embellishments, stickers and goodies than I could imagine.  The items were super unique and fun too. These weren’t things I would be able to find at my local craft store and they inspired my creativity.  The items were high quality and it was so much more than paper.  I LOVED the button stickers and the wooden embellishments most of all.  There were even some adorable paper clips included.  If you want to get a kit to start you crafting, this is amazing!

Mason Jar LidKeeping all these craft items in order can be tough.  I love to use mason jars for my small Decorative Lidembellishments. They are see through so I know what’s inside.  They come in various sizes and can be easily stacked.  You can also buy custom lids for them to maximize their versatility.  Check out this ribbon organizer topper from Mason Jar Lifestyle.  I also love their decorative lids with glass knobs.  I’m warning you, their selection is awesome…you’re going to want it all!

Posted in crafting, Reviews | 1 Response

8 Things to Do Before Bed (That You’ll Thank Yourself For Tomorrow)

Despite being tired and ready to hit the pillow, there are some very meaningful things you can do at night that will make your morning (and all of tomorrow) go more smoothly tomorrow.    I promise you will thank yourself.  If everyone in the family gets involved and you ALL prepare the day ahead, think of the amazing things that will happen!
1.  Start a load of laundry.  Most families have to do a load of laundry every day.  If you feel comfortable doing it, start a load before you go to bed.  Let the washing machine work while you’re sleeping.  When you get up in the morning, all you have to do is throw the items into the dryer and when you get home, you’ll have done a whole load.  If you can, have your family members bring their clothes to the laundry room (as part of their 8 things) and this is an even quicker process.Untitled design
2.  Put your keys by the door.  One of the biggest complaints people have in the mornings is they can’t find their keys.  If you’re going for the gold, put your bags, backpacks and coats by the door too!
3.  Lay out your clothes.  While this sounds extreme to some, it avoids debate and time consuming decision making in the morning.  Check the weather on your phone and lay out one or two options.  Don’t forget to include socks, undergarments, and shoes.
4.  Load and run the dishwasher.  Waking up to a clean sink rocks.  After dinner rinse the dishes and put them in the dishwasher.  Set it up to run so it works while you’re asleep.
5.  Get the coffee pot ready to go.  If you use a Keurig, put out your travel mug and get the kcups ready.  If you use grounds, fill the unit with water and put the grounds in so all you have to do is hit the on button.  It’s a glorious feeling!
6.  Ask your kids what they need for the next day.  Go through the list of after school sports, bake sales, parties,  or extra curricular activities.  Sometimes just asking is enough to jog their memory and avoid a last minute trip to the store.
7.  Pack the workout gear.  If yo have to come home from work, change and then head back out, your chances of finding the motivation are small.  Pack your gym bag the night before so you have the clothes, shoes or equipment ready to go.
8.  Find the time to decompress.  A good night’s sleep is a great start to any day.  Make sure you give yourself time to take a warm shower, read a little, light a candle, meditate or do whatever else relaxes you before bed.

 

Posted in Home Organizing Tips, Kids | Leave a comment

Free Printable Daily To Do List

You take care of a lot of things every single day.  Balancing everything can be difficult.  Having a place to keep track of your health, errands, phone calls and tasks can help you make the most of every minute of your day.  Print this free daily to do list out as large or as small as you’d like.  Print lots and put them in a binder and then take them with you for a successful day, every day.

Our free printable can be printed, shared and used over and over again.  Please pass it on!

To Do List

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Plot Twist!

Plot Twist

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New Blog Schedule

New Blog Schedule

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Car Seat Cover Giveaway from VersaVia

If you have kids, pets, or carry stuff in your car…(Who doesn’t)….listen up…We’re giving away a VersaVia cart seat cover!

Car Seat Cover

  • WHY NOT PROTECT YOUR ENTIRE BACK SEAT? Our heavy duty, durable covers mean no more damage to your vehicle from car seats, cheerios, goldfish, spilled sippy cups, and happy meals. Avoid seat tears, upholstery punctures, and leather scrapes from your child’s carseat. Our SECURE, NONSLIP BACKING and custom seat anchors make sure the cover does not budge.
  • “LIFE-PROOF” MATERIAL – You never know what kind of mess is going to happen in the backseat. Our custom material holds all dirt and moisture on the cover without soaking in. It’s the perfect solution for transporting your kids and dogs to the park, pool, soccer or wherever life takes you. If your passengers are wet, dirty and sweaty, you’ll be thanking us for the “life-proof” material!
  • FITS MOST VEHICLES – This cover has a fitted skirt that wraps all the way around the bottom and sides of the seat. It does not have a hammock option. Our Regular Size is 54 inches wide = allowing it to fit most cars, SUVs, and small trucks. EASY TO CLEAN – Most messes clean easily with a damp cloth, vacuums easily without removing the cover from the car, or throw the entire seat cover in the washing machine for those really big messes!
  • Pending PATENTED DESIGN – Our luxurious seat cover is made of quality material which gives it a classy look and feel that will blend seamlessly with the interior of your vehicle. Quilted material provides a comfortable ride with a high-end feel. Velcro openings allow access to seat belts but can be left closed when not in use to avoid debris falling between the cracks. EASY TO INSTALL – From opening the package to being ready to ride, our covers install in under 40 seconds.
  • LIFETIME WARRANTY – If our car seat cover doesn’t serve your needs or meet your standards in any way, just contact us. It’s that simple. That might be why so many people have left such glowing feedback for our products. We want happy customers!! If you have ANY issues please CONTACT US right way – regardless of when you purchased your cover.
  • You can grab one on Amazon here.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Our Newest Podcast!

I was lucky enough to be a guest on Organize Mindfully recently.  We talk about all the ways that getting organized can help you accomplish more, each and every day. It’s free to listen and it’s a great way to gain ideas and find your motivation!

Organize Mindfully Podcast

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Ten Tips to Get Your Closet ORGANIZED!

Read on for our best tips in how to organize your closet in a few easy steps!

The goal of closet organization is simple… Get your clothing, shoes, and accessories in order so that you can get dressed quickly and easily, wearing outfits that you love!  For most people, figuring out what steps to take is difficult.  Take a peek at our ten easy steps designed to get even the most disorganized closet in order!

Closet Organization

  1. Start by trying on everything in your closet.  This is tedious, however, it is the only way you will really know what fits, what looks great, and is still in good condition.
  2. Face all of the hangers in your closet in one direction.  As you wear items, have them laundered, and return them to your closet, turn them and face them the other way.  This is a great way to separate the clothes you wear from the one’s you don’t.
  3. Ask yourself the following questions about a garment before deciding to keep it?
    1. Do I love it?
    2. Is it in good condition?
    3. Does it make me feel great about myself?
    4. It is in style?
    5. It is comfortable?
    6. Could someone else use it more than me?
  4. Take a look to find any wasted space in your closet, and try to maximize it.  Consider adding another hanging bar, or shelves close to the top or bottom of the closet.  These changes are quick, inexpensive and can add a lot of space to your closet.
  5. An easy way to make a big difference in your closet is to change the type of hangers you use.  I love wooden hangers.  However, you can use any type of hanger you wish.  As long as they are all of the same type.  This creates a uniform appearance in your closet.  The goal is to have all of your garments hanging at one height, on a hanger that is uniform in width.  This way you will never lose clothes by not being able to see them.
  6. Add some light to your closet.  Unless you have a large walk in closet with an overhead light, chances are you have trouble seeing things in your closet.  Add some stick on LED lights to the walls to make things easier to see.
  7. The insides of closets often get dingy and dirty.  Paint the inside of your closet a fun color to brighten and freshen things up.  Home improvement stores will often have cast off paint gallons for $5 or less so check there before you buy.
  8. Use your door space.  By adding an organizational tool, like an over the door shoe rack, you can add a significant amount or storage space to your closet.  Keep in mind these are also great for scarves, belts, etc.
  9. Just like you would sort through your clothes, its important to sort through your shoes.  Shoes that are not worn frequently, such as occasion shoes, can be stored in a small plastic box on a shelf in the closet.  This keeps them out of the way and also prevents them from getting dusty and beaten up.  Again, ask yourself the questions above in Number 3, and make decisions about what shoes to keep.
  10. Organize your closet how it works for you. Some organizers suggest grouping by genre, other suggest grouping by color, and some by outfit.  It’s not important how to group items, just make sure it works for you.

 

Posted in Closet Organization Tips, Home Organizing Tips | 16 Responses



The Joyful Organizer

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Quick Tips

There is a saying, “What gets written down gets attended to, and what gets attended to gets done.” 

Write down your organizing goals and hold yourself accountable for completing them. 

I know it seems like a big chore, but you’ll be glad you did it once you’re done!


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