From small acts of kindness, a ripple effect grows. – Anonymous


Falling into a New Rhythm

Fall is coming! It is more than pumpkin spiced lattes for me. But not judging if you are a PSL person. It’s cool! While it might not be the same as New Year’s Day to start new habits, I am taking the Fall Equinox as a new start. Over the past two weekends I have worked on my fall to do list with no feelings of torture. Yet I am still enjoying the warmer weather, getting outside, and enjoying nature.

With these changes, I have decided to write a single weekly blog post with different sections.

  • Best Podcast of the Week
  • What’s Cooking
  • New Hobby
  • What am I reading?
  • House Hack
  • Random Stuff

Best Podcasts of the Week!

It was totally a tie this week. Conscious parenting (you need to listen regardless if you have children). Trust me! And did you know there are secondhand websites for house items that ship to you and you don’t have to go to garage sales?

Check out Spark Joy with Kristyn Ivey and Karin Socci Ep 101 | Conscious Parenting 101 with Tia Fagan. “Tia Fagan introduces us to Conscious Parenting, a philosophy that encourages parents to wake up so to speak and ask themselves ‘why are they trying so desperately to control their child’s destiny?’ ” Thinking back to my childhood, I was taught to be strong and independent but it got very confusing when I couldn’t be the real me at home.

On the Sustainable Minimalist Podcast with Stephanie Sefarian Episode 89 DITCH WAYFAIR + IKEA! 5 ECO-FRIENDLY HOME DECOR IDEAS. “Furniture is an awful lot like fashion. The sustainable stuff – the stuff you want to keep for decades – is expensive. The cheap stuff is trendy. It doesn’t stand the test of time, either, due to poor materials + shoddy craftsmanship.

So what’s an environmentally-conscious home dweller to do?” Stephanie links to some great online secondhand stores that I will be watching for a “new” lamp.

Check out these podcasts! What was your favorite podcast this week?

What’s cooking?

Smoked paprika. Have you ever heard about it? Or use it? It is a game changer! If you love smoked food but hate the idea or stress of learning to smoke your own food, try smoked paprika. Is it exactly the same? No. It is pretty darn close and tasty? Yes!

“Smoked” Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs

  1. Sprinkle chicken thighs with smoked paprika. No need to be stingy. Feel free to add some garlic powder or other spices.
  2. Drizzle with honey.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees.

Don’t ask me about exact time. I go with 60+ minutes. I love these thighs with a baked sweet potato as a side.

New Hobby

Daily puppy walks continue to happen. I love the physical stop of chores and errands to take our little guy for a walk. Hardest choice is where to go each day. We are all sleeping better too.

What am I reading?

When Life Gives You Lululemons (The Devil Wears Prada #3) by Lauren Weisberger

Hilarious and lighthearted read with three main ladies. One from the suburbs, one out of LA, and one from D.C. The friendship is totally unexpected but it works!

Get Your Sh*t Together: How to Stop Worrying About What You Should Do So You Can Finish What You Need to Do and Start Doing What You Want to Do (A No F*cks Given Guide) by Sarah Knight

“Also, unlike many traditional self-help authors, I am going to use the word sh_t 332 times (including several shitmanteaus of my own invention), so please do not go on Amazon saying you were expecting sunshine and kittens and got shitstorms and shittens.” Often times I feel myself fall back into people pleasing. This was a great book to refocus myself on what really matters to me.

Currently Reading:

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck: How to Stop Spending Time You Don’t Have with People You Don’t Like Doing Things You Don’t Want to Do by Sarah Knight

House Hack:

Want privacy but really don’t want to deal with the hassle of curtains? Enter privacy window clings! When I say this was easy to apply, I mean it was a piece of cake. Here are literally all of the steps taken to go from dust/spider web filled curtains on sagging rods to crisp and clean windows.

Before you judge, this space was in our garage. There are two large windows on both sides of garage that are at ground level. So in a pinch, I picked up some tension curtain rods and reused some curtains from my old apartment. For years they worked while collecting dust and spider webs. Inspired by the book Get Your Sh*t Together, I measured the windows and ordered the window clings last weekend.

  1. Measure windows.
  2. Order clings. Make sure you order a roll wide enough for your widest window and long enough to cover every window you want. I totally forgot to double all of the measurements to cover the top and bottom. But who is judging?
  3. Clean the windows. If you need to, vacuum the dust, dirt, and spider webs. You must use Windex or your version and clean the windows until they are literally spotless. Heck clean them twice! The clings will not stick if there is dirt.
  4. Re-measure and cut the window cling. It can be a little larger if you plan on using a razor to clean up the edges.
  5. Mix water with some dish soap in a spray bottle.
  6. Peel the back off the window cling.
  7. Spray the window with the stuff from step #5 until your window is dripping with water. Think of chocolate chip cookies, the more the better on this step.
  8. Take a plastic spatula or something similar to push out the air bubbles.
  9. Trim the sides if necessary with a razor and wipe up the excess water.

Nailed it! Best part is that you could remove these window clings, reapply, re-position them anytime! There is not sticky stuff that will be left behind.

Random Stuff:

Noticing more spider webs out this time of year. They look beautiful with the fresh morning dew.

Smelling foggy, cool mornings. Ahhh the beauty in a smell!

Finding more diversity in my area. I love that a warm smile translates into all languages!

Minimize: Fall To Do Lists

Personally I find it easy to over do things. This year I tried to carefully curate a list of fall to do items. Some are basically necessary and others are lingering tasks that I always think about doing. But basically these tasks that take between 30 seconds and 30 minutes. I refuse to ruin a whole day doing chores when the weather is literally perfect outside.

Mandatory items prevent fires and help minimize allergens:

  • Clean out the dry vents.
  • Wash windows, blinds and curtains.
  • Schedule carpet cleaning.
  • Wipe down ceiling fans and light fixtures.
  • Clean under fridge and oven.
  • Redo bathtub caulking. Ordered online for in-store pick up at Lowe’s through Mr. Rebates.
  • Clean fridge and freezer. Check out the Lazy Genius Podcast.
  • Clean microwave vents.

For all of the cleaning items above, I used my homemade spray.

  1. 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol
  2. 3 drops of Dawn dish soap
  3. 14 ounces water

Should do:

  • Wipe down doors.
  • Measure and order window privacy cling.

What is on your list? How do you prepare for the next season of life?

Current Obsession: AM Puppy Walks

The last two weekends in August turned into long weekends. I am lucky to have vacation time that allows me to have leisure time.

The old me would have over scheduled both weekends with nonsense. Ok maybe at the time it wouldn’t have been nonsense, but looking back would I really remember going to the dentist at 7am on my day off. No probably not. But would I remember this?

Absolutely! Five days in a row with a simple morning schedule of breakfast and puppy walk. Perfect.

Best part is the fact that my pup isn’t judging me. He doesn’t care where we walk. He doesn’t care how long we go for. He just wants to stick his head out of the car window and sniff around the park.

Minimize: Allergies are the Best

Allergies are the best. Stay with me. My allergies forced me to find alternatives for many things.  In finding the alternatives, let’s just say I saved money too!

  • Room air freshener – White vinegar in a glass mason jar. It literally cleans that lingering puppy fart smell.   Another fun option is a mason jar with fresh coffee grounds. 
  • Weed killer – Vinegar in a spray bottle.  Found it works the best if the ground as already moist.  
  • Facial Toner – 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water.
  • Mouthwash – mix hydrogen peroxide with water, swish, and then swish with just water.
  • Clothes –  Need to remove a stain or brighten light colors?  Add hydrogen peroxide.   Have that stinky gym/practice smell?  Add vinegar. 

Some other tips regardless of you have allergies:

  • Wash your vacuum –  Not all parts are washable but for those that are, wash them!  The parts that cannot be washed, wipe them down.  Not only will it help with allergies but the vacuum will work better. 
  • Move your furniture –  Literally move your furniture at least twice a year to clean underneath it.  If the thought of moving that much stuff freaks you out, consider decluttering first.   If moving the furniture is too hard all by yourself, think about breaking the furniture down.  Can drawers be removed?  Can the bed be taken apart layer by layer?