Monday, November 24, 2014

11 Ways to Prepare For Winter


Tis the season! 

I am not talking about the holiday season, but the frigid winter season that we are now embarking on. It doesn't matter where you live in the United States; at some point, you will probably experience some unusual weather for your area. Whether that means snow for the first time in years or feet of snow that has you stuck in your home for days. Before you know it (if you haven't already), you will experience extreme weather. 

It is easy to procrastinate until the very last minute when it comes to preparing for winter. I speak from personal experience! We were bombarded in Minnesota with a significant snow storm November 9, 10, and 11. Snow in November is not that out of the ordinary, but 10 inches worth, was a bit more than I think we all expected and were prepared for. We were looking to get new tires before we traveled home for Thanksgiving, but we did not plan on getting an actual snow storm before then. The temperatures started to drop, so we did take care of all of our leaves, cleaned our gutters out, winterized our fishing boat, and boxed up our rose bushes. Needless to say though, we could have done more to prepare! We realized we only have one scraper/brush for 2 vehicles and we still have our boat parked in our garage, meaning our vehicle takes the winter blast pretty hard. 

We should have been more prepared.

How do you prevent being caught off guard with winter? It actually is very simple - it just takes some extra preparation, planning, and time, but will save you much frustration in the end! 

Here are a few ideas:
1. Turn on your heat before you need to, making sure it works. Change the filter.

2. Clean out your gutters, rake leaves, and burn, bag, or bring to town brush pile. This prevents leaves getting caught in your snowblower when the time comes!

3. Make sure your snowblower is ready to go - oil changed, spark plugs cleaned out, and gas tank filled.

4. Check battery supply - make sure you have enough for your flashlights!

5. Check your tires - the treads, need air, or changed to your snow tires?

6. Create a small car emergency kit - blankets, jumper cables, tow strap, sand/rock salt, flashlight, food (granola bars), water, and first aid kit.

7. Stock an area of your cupboards with food that you can eat if the electricity goes out, such as food that needs minimal preparation.

8. Keep an eye on the weather. With our most recent snow storm, I did not know that it was coming until 2 days before because I was not keeping an eye on the weather.

9. Stock sand and/or rock salt in your garage and car for those "stuck" moments.

10. Make sure you have a shovel that can handle any type of snow - the light and fluffy, but also the heavy and wet, without breaking your back.

11. Check the clothing inventory for your family. Coats, gloves, mittens, hats, and boots. Make sure sure to check to see if they still fit, before that first snow comes.

It is never to early to prepare - especially when it comes to winter weather! If you haven't already, start working through the list above so that you will not be caught in the storm unprepared!

If you did not win a United Solutions Hands-Free Tote, you can head on over to Amazon and purchase one TODAY!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Decorating With A Personal Touch

This post is sponsored by Wayfair, but all of these opinions are completely my own. I received these products for review in exchange for this post. Know that I only review products I personally use in my home.





Accessorizing.
That is one part of decorating that I struggle with. Finding the "right" piece to compliment; especially when it comes to our home! We recently bought new furniture, actually a set that included a couch, loveseat, 2 lamps, 2 end tables, coffee table, and rug. We couldn't pass up the deal, since our furniture at the time, was literally falling apart. Ah, the joys of having new furniture!

Then came the task of accessorizing. Enter Wayfair, and enter all the options I would ever need, to liven up our living room. As I perused through the various options, I realized I could narrow it down by color, which helped tremendously, as there were 100s of options. You see, our rug has specific colors in it, so I wanted coordinate with that. I personally enjoy a subtle style, not one that screams trends. That is when I discovered these amazing pillows:

Stayclean Polyester Microfiber Water and Stain Resistant Decorative Pillow, 2 Pack (Green pillows)


Not only have they spruced up a predominately brown room, but they also did so by not breaking our budget. Quality pillows, without having to pay full price! That is why I absolutely love Wayfair. For example, the Stayclean pillows offer a decorative flair, are water and stain resistant, and are extremely soft! They can withstand any wear and use! Plus, not only do you get 1, but 2, which adds to the symmetrical look of a couch, which with this couch, a look I was going for. 
Then to add one more accessorizing touch, I decided to also purchase the Pillow Perfect Donetta Throw Pillow (brown pillow). What sold me was the fabric and also the fill, which is made out of 100% recycled virgin polyester. The design on this pillow only accentuates the look and colors of the other pillows. This is why Wayfair is a go-to website for me. The options are endless, without having to pay the manufactured suggested retail price. 
Get the designer look on the cheap, while not having to sacrifice quality for the look that you want!


If you are wanting to get that certain look, Wayfair is offering Organizing Life With Less readers 15% off ANY Pillow, Pouf or Throw
The code is: WFPTP15 (offer good from November 20 - 24)


Whether you are looking to spruce up a room, add an accessory, or add your own personal touch, check out Wayfair's pillows, poufs, and throws


Monday, November 17, 2014

Organizing With A Hands Free Tote + Giveaway


Have you ever had a full laundry load of clothes in a basket, having to carry it down the stairs to the laundry room, and about drop it 5 times while trying to just get it TO the actual washer? Or maybe you need to try and fit through a doorway, but have a hard time squeezing through without dropping it?

Imagine carrying a tote or laundry basket with NO HANDS! Having your hands free to open doors, open the washer door, and maybe even hands free to eat a snack on the way?



When I had the opportunity to review the United Solutions Hands Free Tote, I jumped on it because I have been in the situations above, WAY too many times!

The new Hands Free Tote is suitable for anyone! You can carry laundry, toys, blankets, you name it. Here are some perks:
  • adjustable strap
  • carry loads over your shoulder, instead of of your hip and losing ability to use your arms
  • conveniently placed handles
  • can store, sort, and tote almost anything around (up to 25 lbs.)
  • each tote has a keyhole lock and go, making this tote sturdy and mobile
If you are looking for that perfect tote to carry along to the beach with all of your beach toys, a container to store all of your recyclables in, a place to store all of your gardening tools, or maybe even a simple place to store all of your lights and darks, the Hands Free Tote is a practical solution!


You can purchase this tote on Amazon!



United Solutions has offered FIVE (5) Organizing Life With Less readers the chance to win a FREE Hands Free Tote!
  • Giveaway starts Monday, November 17, 2014 and ends Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 11:59pm.
  • One winner will be chose via Rafflecopter.com
  • Open to U.S. residents only and must by 18 years or older
  • Organizing Life With Less will email the winners and the winner has 1 week to confirm.
  • Winner will be shipped ONE Hands Free Tote, free of charge.
  • Please enter below! You have a GREAT chance of winning!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is sponsored by United Solutions, but all of these opinions are completely my own. I received these products for review in exchange for this post. Know that I only review products I personally use in my home.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Why I Can't Do My Dishes Without THIS Item!

You may wonder: is there REALLY an item out there that I CAN'T do without? Okay, maybe I could live without it, but I would have a hard time going back to my old ways. I am known to take it immediately out of the washer, not let it dry, and use it again, just so that I don't have to use anything else.



Yes, a simple dish cloth. Why is this one so special?  Well, I made umpteen dish cloths the old fashioned way - knitting and crocheting them. Granted, I will always enjoy doing this, but I admit I have not used them in quite awhile for doing dishes, and now use them for other purposes - not my dishes. 

The Norwex Dish Cloth is a white nylon netted cloth, that dries extremely quickly and does not absorb smells or grease. Yes, this is TRUE. Whenever I cook bacon, I get rid of as much grease as I can obviously, but then use the dish cloth to wash the rest of the fried grease mess. With my old dish cloths, they would get so stained, smelly, and disgusting, that even washing them, wouldn't do the job. I would end throwing them away eventually because they continued to smell and look nasty, no matter how hard I tried to clean them.

Another thing I love about the Norwex dish cloth is that you can use it to clean up flour dough from your counter and mixing bowls, with ease. It may take rubbing it together or a washing to remove all of the dough (of course depending on how much you have on your counters) and it removes ALL of the dough. I am speaking from experience! 

You can also use this cloth to remove sticky messes off your counters, soap scum in your shower, bugs off of windows and even to clean your vegetables. It is not too abrasive where it damages your dishes (be aware though of delicate surfaces, just to be safe), but I use it on my non-stick pans, stainless steal, everyday dishes, glass, etc., and no residue or marks are left.

I literally will wait to do the dishes until I can use my dish cloth, if I am washing it. I wash it once a week (and no, it does not smell, even then...), but figure that I should wash it at some point. It has been worth EVERY PENNY because I know I will have this cloth for years to come! 

I have come to the point where I can't do my dishes without this item and there is no turning back!

If you are interested in trying out this cloth (and you might be surprised at how cheap it is), you can check it out HERE or click on any of the links above.

Also, let me know if you have any questions about this product or any other Norwex products!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Pleasures in Decorating


 Today I am sharing a guest post from Monica! Monica Kroos is a social media manager for Glass and Mirror ProsThe best part about her job is finding new interior design ideas related to wonderful glass products. She enjoys decorating her home in unique ways and sharing wonderful ideas with others through blogging. For more interesting glass ideas check out Facebook or Pinterest!

There are two ways to go about motherhood. You can enjoy it, watch your children grow, take pleasure in making meals for your hubby and bake cookies or you could stress out about sleep deprivation, getting dinner ready by supper time and having to keep the house neat. I personally prefer the former; if you organize yourself you could even find time for yourself and do things like this - share designing tips on blogs.

What I would like to share with you now are my recent ideas on interior design involving glass. Most people think of interior design in basic terms like buying lamps, furniture or ornaments. Not me. I think outside the box and consider my style a little different. What I realized long ago was that glass was shapeable and that the scope of its potential designs is infinite which is great for an interior design enthusiast like me. What they do is basically use heat to melt the glass and then use molds or blowing techniques to shape it. I find this art form absolutely fascinating and it has produced some of which I consider the finest pieces that I own.


You could shape glass into vases, sculptures even door panels. That’s what I love about it, how versatile it is. The best part is that you get to play not only with shapes but colors also. I think when you get to a point where you really make your home stand out from the pack and reflect your personality well… that’s when you really turn your house into your very own space, representing your touch and taste becoming therefore the biggest pleasure in decorating. People that come over to visit always compliment my glass decorations and I always let them in on the secret. Glass art designs are not very typical since not all people find it interesting or appealing. I know I do and I invite you to explore some other images than the ones in this entry to find some inspiration and help you pick your own style. Have fun!


Tiny Prints 10 Free Holiday Cards

Friday, November 7, 2014

How To Organize Your Home Office

Today I am excited to share a post from Jelena on how to organize your home office! 
Photo Credit: Home Office Made Easy

With the spread of teleworking, especially the use of internet, cell phones, messaging services and apps and videoconferencing, there is a new range of possibilities and motivations for people to work from anywhere. Some of the benefits that you will get by working from home are spending more time with family, saving the costs of commuting, gas expenses and wear and tear of your vehicle, avoiding traffic, less distractions, work and home balance, better health and improved productivity. But there is one thing necessary for all this - a well-organized home office. So how do you do it?

Furniture organization

The essentials of a home office are: desk, chair, filing cabinet and a bookshelf. While you should have comfortable and appealing furniture, how you position them in your office is very important. If possible,

  • Place the desk so it faces the door. However, if it is a small room use a corner desk and place it near the window to have a view of the surroundings. 
  • For the filing cabinet and the bookshelf, label all the files and organize the books in alphabetical order on the basis of their titles or name of authors. 
  • Organize the drawers according to how much you need the tools inside them. This way you will reach the tools that you need quickly.

Grow your space and storage

Regardless of the amount of space in your home, you are going to need more because of the anticipated expansion and increase in the amount of office items and supplies. Hence, there is a need for you to create extra space and storage, store the items logically and always take time to put things in order every day, to save the time you will use finding them. Therefore, make everything in the home office serve more than a single purpose, including furniture, bookshelves and drawers. Make your cabinet to hold supplies and divide your drawers with dividers and store items in them in a logical way. Furthermore, store extra supplies, products and stationery on the shelves and bookcases in the office. There is a place for everything, hence place everything in the office where they best fit.

 
Photo Credit: Flickr

Office lighting

Essentially, make use of ambient lighting as well as task lighting. If there is natural light hitting your home office - great. It reduces eyestrain caused by glare as well as distortion on the computer screens and books. Also, make sure you position the lights in a proper manner to ensure that there is no glare on the computer monitor.


Get rid of the superfluous

When working from home, there is a risk of unnecessary items and things getting into your home office, things that have nothing to do with your work. Hence, get rid of such things on a regular basis and always shut down and clear off when you finish the work. It is essential that you define what you need and what you don’t need in your home office. Remove pens that no longer work and useless writing materials. Decluttering your home office helps you have more space and only contains the things that can inspire you.

An organized person working in an organized office tends to be more productive than a person working in a cluttered home office. It's as simple as that. Organizing your office requires time, thought and creativity, but it will be worth it in the end!



Inoventions has offered to do a Duo Binder GIVEAWAY for FIVE (yes, 5) Organizing Life With Less Readers! You can now organize YOUR paper clutter with this 2-in-1 organizer!


  • Giveaway starts Monday, November 3, 2014 and ends Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 11:59pm.
  • Five winnesr will be chosen via Rafflecopter.com
  • Open to U.S. residents only and must by 18 years or older
  • Organizing Life With Less will email the 5 winners and the winners has 1 week to confirm.
  • Winners will be shipped ONE Inovations Duo Binder, free of charge.
  • Please enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tiny Prints 10 Free Holiday Cards

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Update On Our Personal Life...

I just wanted to give a personal update on what has been happening in our life!

As you may know (or may not know), my husband and I are expecting our first child! We are still beyond excited to have the opportunity to have our own, as it was a long journey to get to this point, which you can read more about here. We feel so blessed and each day we are in awe of the opportunity to watch this child grow. 

I am now 21 weeks along and yes, time is flying. It is sometimes hard to believe that back in July, we were first "introduced" to this little one, and now we sit more than halfway through! But to be honest, we feel it has not gone by too fast. We have tried to embrace every moment, as this has been something we have been praying for, for years. Each day, we talk about how much the baby has grown, what it might be doing inside, and have numerous conversations with and about this lil one. 

I am so thankful and humbled that the pregnancy is going so well! We had a bit of a scare at week 7 (doctors thought I had miscarried), but an ultrasound revealed that our little baby had a healthy beating heart and that all was well. I have not had any complications since. My morning sickness is completely gone, I can function as I normally would on a daily basis, and to say the least, I sleep very well at night. My heart is adjusting very well to pregnancy thus far, which was the biggest concern in me getting pregnant. God is good! At my heart appointment in September, my doctor felt that I could be in the clear of specialized heart appointments until 1 1/2 months before I Lord-willing, deliver. Another blessing. We are firm believers in the power of prayer and know that God is hearing every one of them, as this little miracle continues to grow within. 

I do sometimes wonder why "regular" clothes can't be as comfy as maternity clothes, so to say the least, I am loving the maternity wear! We are starting to envision what our home will look like with a little baby and we are realizing that we will have to be a little creative when it comes to the big ticketed baby items, such as a high chair, walkers/swings, etc. In a way we are thankful that we have limited space because that allows us then to HAVE and SET limits. We are also realizing that there are some items out there that I wouldn't think to register for, yet am realizing, why not?

So...

I want to ask you! 

  • What are the "must-haves" that you recommend? 
  • What is one item (or items) you suggest registering for, but wouldn't necessarily be a common item to put on a registry? 

We are soon going to be jumping into the registry process, which we are honestly eager to do, so we are open to any thoughts and suggestions! We figure why reinvent the wheel, when there are 1000s who have gone through this process before us! 
____________________________________________________________________________


Inoventions has offered to do a Duo Binder GIVEAWAY for FIVE (yes, 5) Organizing Life With Less Readers! You can now organize YOUR paper clutter with this 2-in-1 organizer!


  • Giveaway starts Monday, November 3, 2014 and ends Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 11:59pm.
  • Five winnesr will be chosen via Rafflecopter.com
  • Open to U.S. residents only and must by 18 years or older
  • Organizing Life With Less will email the 5 winners and the winners has 1 week to confirm.
  • Winners will be shipped ONE Inovations Duo Binder, free of charge.
  • Please enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway