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Tools Every Crafter Needs: Stock Up Just In Case!

When I started crafting, I often found myself stuck at night without something necessary to move on. A good pair of scissors. Tape. Pompoms. Glue. Oh, the number of times I’ve been without glue!

Now, I try to keep track of what I use on a regular basis and keep it stocked up. Sometimes I still have to wait until I can go out and buy what I need, but it happens much less often now!

What do you need to avoid stalling when you’re making something awesome? Here’s my suggestions for crafter staples that you need to keep in your house at all times.

Scissors

Nearly every craft I can think of requires cutting. Sewing, quilting, embroidery, scrapbooking, bullet journaling… the list goes on.

So save yourself the trouble and keep various kinds of scissors. Small scissors for embroidery, large scissors or paper or sewing, and maybe even safety scissors for kids.

Remember not to use fabric scissors on paper! Fabric scissors are a prized possession and must be kept in tip-top shape.

To keep your scissors sharp, follow these tips:

  • Avoid moisture.
  • Cut only the material those scissors are intended for. Kitchen scissors for food, paper scissors for paper, and fabric scissors for fabric.
  • Have a spare pair.
  • Invest in a good pair of scissors, even if they’re more expensive. They’ll last longer and save you money in the end.
  • Avoid cutting onto pins.
  • Don’t drop them!
  • Keep your scissors in a case.
  • Sharpen your scissors regularly, or have it done by a professional.
  • Wipe your scissors clean after use.

Tape

Tape is useful for keeping things together, but it can be decorative too! Here are some varieties of tape you may want to stock up on:

Glue

Using the right kind of glue can be the difference between a strong hold and a sticky mess. Choose the right glue for your project:

  • Super glue.
  • Mod podge.
  • Hot glue gun glue.
  • E6000.
  • Craft glue.
  • Fabric glue.

When you’re not sure what you need, you can always check the handy website This To That, which tells you how to “glue things to other things”.

Sewing supplies

They’re not just useful for sewing! It’s worthwhile to keep these supplies around even if you don’t do any sewing or embroidery.

What should you have?

Felt

I love felt and keep it around to make toys for my toddler. There are other crafty uses for this fabric, though! Here are some unexpected uses for felt:

  • Make felt boards.
  • Kids crafts.
  • Add padded to vases, plaques, picture frames and more.
  • Use felt to erase chalkboard when an eraser isn’t available.
  • Put on chair feet for silent movement and to protect your floor from scratches.
  • DIY Christmas tree skirts.
  • DIY cat toys.
  • Dampen sound and vibration.

Paper

Paper is useful for sketching, drawing, making plans and to do lists, and for a whole host of crafts. What can you do with different kinds of paper?

  • Origami
  • DIY party favors and decorations
  • Make framable art
  • Paint on it
  • Make DIY journals
  • Paper lanterns
  • DIY gift tags
  • Paper wreaths
  • DIY holiday cards
  • Tissue paper flowers
  • Origami cootie catchers

So what kind of paper should you stock up on?

Glitter

Sure, it gets everywhere and it’s impossible to clean up. But some crafts just need glitter! Ignoring the mysterious industrial uses for glitter (is glitter in our food? Is it in our soap and shampoo? Can glitter be found in our money?), there are the crafty uses for glitter:

  • Add glitter to candles
  • Add glitter to your DIY holiday cards
  • Make cute kids crafts
  • Add glitter to your DIY manicure
  • Mix glitter into slime
  • Decorate your mason jars
  • Make sparkly easter eggs
  • Make DIY baby shower or birthday party decorations

Ribbon and twine

Ribbon and twine is useful for holding things together for multiple occasions. Ribbon looks great when used in a wreath, as well. And jute burlap ribbon is very popular for cottage chic weddings!

Pens, pencils and markers

I’m a pen collector, but then I think most people are. I don’t mean that I seek out and find fine selections of pens that I curate and care for. I mean that I collect random pens bought, found, and gifted in case I need it later.

And we always need a pen later.

You should keep these writing tools around for your crafts:

Velcro

Velcro is so useful for so many different reasons. I wrote a blog post about velcro here.

Paint

Keeping paintbrushes and acrylic paint around will allow you to personalize and customize things at a moment’s notice. It’s good for kids crafts, too.

Here’s what I like to keep on hand:

  • Cups I don’t mind using for washing brushes
  • Paintbrushes
  • Acrylic paint – I like to have at least the primary colors to work with plus black and white

Pliers

Pliers are useful for a million different things. Especially if you make jewelry, you need some to close those findings!

Rulers

Every now and then, you need precise measurements, especially if you are sewing. I recommend having at least a sturdy stainless steel ruler and a measuring tape.

Supplies for your specific craft

You have things you need that I don’t. If you make jewelry, you need findings, chains, beads, etc. If you sculpt, you need clay. It’s best if you make a list of everything you use regularly and keep them on hand!

So, what do you keep around for your crafts? And what do you find you don’t need as much?

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Instagram Is Rolling Out A Pinterest Copycat: A New Collections Feature

Pinterest does a lot of things right that other social media does wrong. Among those things is being able to collect images that other users post and use them to market your own work.

Instagram is trying to crib Pinterest’s style with a new public collections feature. There’s no news on when this feature will be available to the public, but there is some information about what it will be like, and how useful it may be for those of us that run businesses.

One interesting feature is that you’ll be able to add contributors to your collections to help fill them out. Though we should also hope there will be a way to report abusive collections. These can be powerful tools for both good and bad actors online.

This new feature was found by Jane Manchun Wong in some hidden code inside of public collections. Perhaps most interesting about this is that they seem to have started working on this new public collections feature the same day that Pinterest filed an IPO. Instagram has already “defeated” Snapchat. So is Pinterest the next target on their radar?

There currently isn’t any mention of following collections so that they’ll show up on your timeline, but it’s surely just a matter of time.

So, why is Instagram doing this now? They’ve made it clear that shopping is a core part of its strategy to make money. Public collections with multiple contributors can help with this, allowing brands to launch virtual stores and collaborative stores.

Instagram has a much larger user base (1 billion active monthly users as compared to 250 million). The closer they get to all of Pinterest’s best features, the more likely they are to overtake Pinterest as the place to go to find products to buy.

The biggest issue, though, is that Pinterest still beats them as a search engine. I’m not sure Instagram is even interested in doing that, but I’m sure Pinterest execs are eyeing this change to collections and wondering what their next move should be.

Do you already use collections? How do you see yourself using this new feature when it rolls out?

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Guests are on the way! Quick, what should you clean?

In an ideal world, we would all keep our houses clean 24/7. In an ideal world, we would all have a live-in maid, too. This isn’t an ideal world, folks!

Sometimes, we get a phone call and learn that a friend is 15 minutes away and heading to your house, and let’s be honest: we all panic. The house is a mess! Surely if your friend sees how you really live, they’ll call child protective services and then call the loony bin to come pick you up!

It’s time to prioritize and clean only the things that your guests will notice. Here’s your plan of attack:

The Toilet

Get this one done ASAP! No one wants to see crusty hair behind the toilet seat and smell what your husband left behind when he missed the bowl at 4am.

Put on your gloves, grab some wipes or paper towels, and clean your toilet from cleanest to grossest. The tank gets cleaned first, then the flush handle. Follow up with the toilet seat cover, and then the rest can basically go in any order.

Finish up with some bleach or vinegar in the bowl and a swish with the toilet brush. Ah, that’s better! Take a sigh of relief.

The Kitchen Sink

Get the dishes done! No one wants to wash their hands over the food you ate for breakfast and lunch.

Once the dishes are done, clean out the drain trap and then clean the sink itself. The sink can harbor more bacteria than your toilet, so you need to disinfect this baby. Including the faucet!

The Trash Can

This is the one that gets me every time. I always forget to take out the trash before my guests arrive, and it always seems to be overflowing no matter how much I try to be zero waste!

So take out the trash. It’ll get rid of some of the stink that your nose has gotten used to, and will make a huge difference in how your house looks.

General Smells

Now is the time to remove anything that stinks and maybe light up a candle or start some essential oils on a warmer. Don’t assume that just because you don’t smell anything, no one else does. Nose blindness is a thing, and the smells you live in are invisible to you!

Declutter

Last but not least, use the last few minutes before your guests arrive to declutter what you can. Just hide it for now, you can really clean it up after your guests leave.

I like to have a big wicker basket to hold clutter until I’m ready to put it where it belongs. It’s easier to deal with things in a portable basket than to run back and forth between rooms.

Tips

  • Do you still have a few seconds before your guests arrive? Change your hand towels in the kitchen and bathroom. You don’t want to accidentally get your guests sick by neglecting this!
  • Put away the shoes. At our house, shoes accumulate by the front door no matter what kind of solution I use to hide them, so do a sweep to make sure all shoes are put away and hopefully not stinking up the place as your guests arrive.
  • Prioritize what you clean. What that means will be different for everyone. I would be really embarrassed if my guests saw my kitchen with dishes overflowing and the island covered with random crap, so that’s the first thing I tackle.
  • Close doors to rooms that won’t be used. Your guests don’t need to see your bedroom or office, so shut those doors and worry about cleaning those rooms another day!

We live in a world where we are too busy and too tired to clean the whole house every day. That’s why it’s important to prioritize what you’ll be cleaning and how much it will get cleaned before guests arrive!

What do you clean when guests are on their way?

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Stop wasting food with these must-have tools

Save money by wasting less food

Tools to stop food waste

If you’re anything like me, you’re kind of obsessed with food waste. Around one third of the food produced in the world gets lost of wasted. That’s a huge deal, and no doubt it has a big environmental impact. It also has an impact on our wallets.

I hate wasting food, and I try my best to use everything I can. There are a few tools that I have that make that easier, and I thought I would share them!

Some of these tools are more expensive, but they’re a good investment. This is one of those “spend money to save money” situations. But don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good! Start small, because even small steps help.

A big freezer

This is my biggest tip, and definitely the most expensive. If I was relying only on my fridge’s freezer, I’d be wasting a lot of money and a lot of food.

With this big freezer, I’m able to buy up Thanksgiving turkeys when they’re on deep discount and save them for when I want to make them. I can buy huge hunks of beef when that’s on sale, too.

My biggest tip for the freezer, though? Process your food before you feed it.

For beef, that means making burger patties, cooking it for pasta sauce or tacos, or stuffing it into muffin tins for mini meat loaf muffins.

For poultry, that means cutting up that whole chicken and portioning it out for meals. Make sure you save the carcass for broth, too!

Good food containers

I’m a huge fan of my glass containers from Ikea. It lasts forever and can go into the oven or the microwave to cook whatever is inside with minimal prep!

Plastic tupperware is fine, too, and definitely lighter and therefore more portable.

With good, airtight storage, your food will last longer in the fridge and freezer!

Recipes

If you want to use up those leftovers or scraps from a meal, you need a good recipe. Those crusts from bread that your kid had you cut off would be GREAT to use for french toast sticks. And those potato skins make for yummy oven fries.

Plastic freezer bags

I use these to store scraps that I’m going to use for broth, like celery leaves, potato skins, carrot shavings, and onion skin. I also use these for bones that we get throughout the week. When we eat chicken thighs, I have my family throw their bones in a bag in the freezer instead of the trash.

Extra ice cube trays

This goes along with my tip to process your food as soon as you buy it.

It must be something in my house, but I just can’t keep citrus from rotting within a few days. So instead of waiting for that to happen, I juice every lemon I bring into my home immediately, and freeze the juice and pulp. Once frozen, I throw them into… you guessed it! Another freezer bag!

The added bonus is that those ice cubes require no extra work to make a refreshing drink with electrolytes after a hard workout. Just pop an ice cube in!

Food dehydrator

I don’t have one of these yet, but I wish I did! You can make so many things with a food dehydrator, from dried apple slices to fruit leather, and don’t forget beef jerky!

Those dried foods will last considerably longer, so you’re less likely to have it go to waste before you can eat it.

Canning supplies

A few Ball jars, a canning bath, and some water are all you need to save the fresh produce you get at the peak of its freshness. Once canned, those foods will last for ages and will taste delicious almost forever!

And even if you don’t want to can, these jars can be used and reused almost forever to store dry goods and truly keep insects out of them.

Clips

Useful for closing up any kind of bag, clips are a necessity for every kitchen. I use standard binder clips because they close more tightly than chip clips, but use whatever works for you. You can get quite a few binder clips for a dollar at the Dollar Tree.

I use these clips to keep my flour tightly closed to keep bugs out, to close frozen fruit and veggie bags so they don’t get freezer burned, and yes, for chips.

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Frozen meat loaf muffins (frugal meals)

My family of 3 adults and 1 toddler is currently working on getting rid of all of our debt. My husband and I live with my father to help consolidate bills and save us all money.

Because of our goal to be debt free, we keep to a budget for our groceries. Everyone’s budget is going to vary base on their own income and where they live, but for us we aim to stay around $70 a week.

That’s $70 for 7 lunches and 7 dinners, plus snacks and breakfast for my son.

To help do this, we use the chest freezer I bought when I was pregnant a lot. We buy our meat in bulk when it’s on sale, and package it up for different meals before freezing it.

Trust me, you don’t want to take one of those huge 5 pounds of beef rolls and just throw it in the freezer like that. It’ll take forever to thaw and then you’ll have to use all 5 pounds super quick!

One of the ways that we do this is by making frozen mini meat loaf muffins. We freeze them raw so they’re ready to bake, but you can freeze them after being cooked and cooled too!

I want to be clear that any recipe will work with this. Seriously. If you have grandma’s recipe written down, it’ll work. Just shove that recipe into a muffin tin and freeze away. You’ll have to check on them to take them out once they’re 160*f, but once you make these muffins once you’ll be able to write down how long you need to cook them for and it’s super simple after that.

Here’s my recipe:

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion, chopped to your preferred size
  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten lightly
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dried plain bread crumbs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your preferred sauce for meat loaf

INSTRUCTIONS

  • If you’re baking these before freezing them, preheat the oven to 350*f. Otherwise, line your tins with plastic wrap. This will make it easier to get the frozen raw meatloaf out of the muffin tin.
  • Melt the butter and add the chopped onions. Cook them until they’re soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool so they don’t cook the beef.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the beef, egg, milk, onions, and bread crumbs with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • If you’re baking the muffins now, brush your muffin tin with vegetable oil or olive oil.
  • Divide the meat loaf mix into the muffin tin holes. Lightly pat them into each of the tins.

IF YOU’RE BAKING NOW:

  • Get your preferred meat loaf sauce ready.
  • Make your meat loaf muffins for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and add your meat loaf sauce. Bake for 10 to 15 more minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 160*.
  • Let stand for a few minutes, then serve and enjoy! Or let them cool, wrap them up, throw them into a freezer bag, and warm them up later in the microwave.

IF YOU’RE FREEZING RAW:

  • Cover the tins with plastic wrap. Freeze until the meat is set and won’t deform. Pop the meat loaf muffins out, wrap them up, and throw them into a freezer bag.
  • When you’re ready to cook them, bake at 350* for 20 to 25 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 160*.
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Toddler Meal Plan (Week of February 17, 2019)

I’m a bad mom.

I try my best most days. I play with my son, I take him outside even on really cold and snowy days. I dance with him. I read to him. I feed him.

But do I feed him well?

To be honest with you, no. I don’t.

I just don’t even know where to start when it comes to feeding him. He hates so many of the things I love, and will only eat so many foods.

But I decided that I’m not going to let his pickiness, and my pickiness, get in the way of him eating healthy and delicious food anymore. I’m going to break out the toaster oven, the food processor, the blender! And I’m going to cook good, wholesome food for my son.

So how am I going to start doing that? By meal planning! This is my plan for this week:

Monday

Breakfast

Oatmeal and yogurt

I’ll be eating a bagel or some eggs and drinking coffee.

Lunch

Toast with peanut butter

I’ll be eating the same thing, or maybe another bagel if I’m craving one.

Dinner

Alfredo noodles and mixed veggies

We will be eating alfredo noodles with vegetables as well.

Snacks

Bananas or frozen berries

Tuesday

Breakfast

Bagels and cream cheese

I’ll have a bagel or eggs.

Lunch

Taco meat and broccoli

I’ll be having a beef quesadilla with that taco meat and some broccoli too.

Dinner

Chicken breasts with ranch and macaroni and cheese

We will be eating the same as our son (without the ranch!)

Snacks

Bananas or yogurt

Wednesday

Breakfast

Cereal

I’ll have a bagel, eggs, or cereal.

Lunch

Toast with peanut butter

I’ll be having some beef stew that I have in the freezer.

Dinner

We go out with one of the grandmas for dinner on Wednesdays, so I’m off the hook!

Snacks

Bananas or frozen berries

Thursday

Breakfast

Oatmeal

I’ll be having a bagel or eggs again!

Lunch

Spaghetti and ground beef

I’ll probably have some spaghetti, too. Spaghetti is my son’s favorite meal so you can expect to see this a lot in my meal plans!

Dinner

Taco meat and rice

Burritos for the whole family!

Snacks

Granola bar or yogurt

Friday

Breakfast

Pancakes and eggs

I’ll be having some pancakes too. Yum!

Lunch

Bagel and cream cheese

I’ll have a bagel too.

Dinner

Spaghetti and ground beef

We’ll all have spaghetti and ground beef.

Snacks

Bananas or frozen berries

The weekend

My son spends the weekend with his grandparents, so I’m off the hook for those meals.

So what will you be feeding your kids this week? And do you struggle with figuring out meals for them?


If you haven’t yet, check out the spring collection of jewelry that I’m working on! There are some beautiful and feminine designs, from sakura blossoms to butterflies.

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Bedtime Routines Can Save Your Life

Bedtime routines and rituals for better sleep

Why you need a bedtime routine

Life can be so hectic sometimes.

Especially as a stay at home mom, you can essentially feel like you’re always running around.

But if you’re running on empty because you don’t get enough good sleep, it becomes even harder to get it all done.

As a society, sleep is less important to us and regarded as more of a burden than a blissful and necessary part of life. There are a million reasons why this might be the case, but what really matters is that we just aren’t getting enough sleep, and that drive to never rest extends outside of the office and boardroom and into our homes.

Yep, that’s right. Even if you are a stay at home mom who has never worked outside of the home, you probably feel the pressure to always be working on something too.

But how can you make your home a welcoming and peaceful place when you feel chaotic and tired?

That’s why a bedtime routine is important.I know, it can feel infantalizing to put yourself on a schedule. As adults, we like to think we can take care of ourselves instinctively, but if we’re tired more often than not, then that’s clearly not true.

So what is to be done about this? What kind of bedtime schedule can make us better homemakers while also not taking up too much time or energy and stressing us out?

What is a bedtime routine

A bedtime routine is what you do before you hop into bed and fall asleep. You can have a healthy bedtime routine… or an unhealthy one. And if you haven’t taken the time to really examine your routine, chances are you’re doing some unhealthy things that lead to worse sleep.

There are some huge benefits to having a bedtime routine:

  • You get more sleep, and it’s higher quality too!
  • You wake up in a better mood
  • It helps to be more productive throughout the day
  • Your brain will be sharper
  • Creativity is increased with better sleep

Do what works for you

First and foremost, you need to do what works for you. No one else can tell you exactly what bedtime ritual will work for you to get you into bed on time and ready for sleep. All we can do is give suggestions based on science and personal experience.

For instance, I know that the usual advice is to turn off all devices and read a physical book, but that doesn’t work for me. Sure, I turn on a blue light filter on my phone, but I like to unwind with a game on my phone before bed. Sometimes it’s solitaire, sometimes it’s a word search or something else, but often the last thing I see is my phone screen before I sleep.

But if you can’t trust yourself to put the phone down when it’s time to sleep, then you should rely on low tech options like physical books and paper word searches.

Experiment and find out what works for you!

End the day clean

What this means will depend on what you care about, but the basics are to brush your teeth, wash your face, and maybe tidy up the dishes or living room.

Do what you need to do to feel like you’re not leaving yourself and the house a mess. That’s all this step essentially boils down to.

If you know you’re going to be stressed out by the dishes in the sink, well, that stress is going to make sleeping a lot harder. So why let yourself be worked up all night when a few minutes of work will make your sleep that much better?

For me, I can’t sleep until I’ve picked up the living room. My son is a master at destroying the room with toys, and I know if I want to have a chance to vacuum before he destroys it all again, I’ll need to pick it up at night so I can vacuum first thing in the morning.

Make sure the bedroom is pitch black

Okay so this one is something you’ll probably do well before bed time. But if you know you want to sleep after the sun comes up, you need to get that room dark.

I mean REALLY dark.

Like, you think it might still be 3am when you wake up kind of dark.

This is something I learned from my son. Once we got his room pitch black, he started sleeping 15 hours a day… and still does most days, even at a year and a half.

And if you don’t have the money for proper blackout curtains, have no fear! We didn’t either, so we went to the Dollar Tree and bought some of those thick poster boards. We got the black ones and just taped them over the windows. It required some cutting and taping together to get them to the perfect size, but it looks fine from the outside and on the inside it does the job.

Step away from the screens

I know, I know. I said that I use my phone before bed.

But it is true that phones, TVs, and computers disturb our sleep. So as much as you can, you should step away from these devices and focus on other things. Taking up a non-digital hobby is a great idea to keep you busy before bed without relying on that blue light that will keep you up.

Some hobbies you could try include:

  • Knitting
  • Sewing
  • Painting
  • Playing the guitar
  • Wargame model painting
  • Bullet journaling
  • Reading the Bible
  • Reading in general

Reflect on your day

Before bed is a great time to pull out a journal and reflect on what happened. Consider what you’re grateful for, what you wish you could have changed, and what made you happy.

All of these things are an important part of what make up you and your life. Taking the time to really focus and contemplate them helps to put your life into perspective.

You can also use that journal to plan out tomorrow’s schedule! Get a head start on planning. And remember, if you can get it down on paper, your brain doesn’t have to work hard to try and remember it. So if you know you’ll obsess over what needs to get done, this is a must-do step. Write it down so your brain can let it go.

Do some stretching

Yoga or stretching before bed activates the system in your body that triggers relaxation. Stretch your back, arms, shoulders, and especially your glutes before bed!

Here are some other tips to get better sleep:

Stop drinking caffeine as early in the day as possible. Even 6 hours after drinking a coffee, it can reduce your sleep by one hour. If you’re serious about getting some sleep, you need to stop consuming caffeine as early in the day as you can.

Drink as much water as you need. The amount of water you need varies, and is individual to you. You can find some good guidelines to calculate how much you need based on your body weight. The catch, though, is to not drink much before bed so that you’re not up in the night to pee!

Avoid alcohol. Yeah, alcohol can make you drowsy but it won’t get you good sleep. If you do have some alcohol, try to consume it at least 2 hours before bed.

Don’t overeat before bed. It’s a myth that eating before bed will make you fatter than eating at any other time, but eating before bed can disturb your sleep. Eating raises your body temperature, for instance, which will make it harder for you to sleep and will cause you to wake up in a puddle of sweat. It can also cause or worsen indigestion and heartburn.

Prepare for the next day. Get your clothes, makeup, and bathroom ready for what lies ahead. This is especially important for people that lay awake at night making to do lists for the next day!

Take time for yourself. Do some self care, whatever that means for you. Like I said before, I play a game on my phone before I go to sleep. You might watch your favorite TV show, or read a magazine. Do what works for you and helps you to feel relaxed.

Stick to your routine

This is the hardest part, and it’s where I fail every time.

If I let myself slip up even once, I know I’m screwed. And trust me, when I’m dead tired after chasing my toddler around all day, it seems so easy to just say, “I’ll do it tomorrow!”

But if you want to stay on track and really make this routine stick, you have to have discipline.

Have a plan

Decide what your night routine is going to be and write it down. This is a good time to start your bullet journal!

Make your plan as clear and simple as you can. The better you write this down, the better your chance of really following this plan.

Set up reminders

These can be sticky notes on the fridge or alarms on your phone.

Remember what I said about your brain obsessing over things it needs to remember? When you make your brain work to remember your entire bedtime routine, you create a new stress point that will only make falling asleep harder.

Take a few minutes to put up the reminders you need, and your brain will be able to relax… and you’ll be able to get some more sleep.

Over time, you won’t need these reminders, but as you start out they are definitely necessary.

Start small

You don’t need to do everything at once. Start with a bed time, and making sure your teeth are brushed and face washed. After a week, you can add the yoga or stretching. A week after that, cut out the screen time before bed.

Each step you take will help, and taking it more slowly will help you to really stick to it. It gives you the time to work out any kinks that might arise from any specific step, instead of a million issues that might pop up if you do everything at once.

Sleep tight!

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I don’t want to cry.

I don’t want to cry when I see a baby on TV.

I don’t want to cry when friends show love for one another.

I don’t want to cry at weddings.

I don’t want to cry when I read harsh words in support of abortion.

Before I had my son, I never cried. I thought of myself as strong, though it was obviously largely because of the numbness that masks depression.

Ever since the flood of pregnancy and birth hormones, ever since my sweet little boy entered my life, wanting to cry has become a familiar feeling for me. I hold back tears every day, or let them stream down when no one is watching.

I’m sure it’s good for me to release my emotions, but is it so wrong to miss that numbness? It’s embarassing to cry so easily.

When I was in first grade, my teacher had a meeting with my mom and told her I was too sensitive. I cried too easily. And from that day, I did everything I could to train myself not to cry.

But maybe I never should have been chastised for it. Maybe I should have been allowed to cry when I needed to. Maybe forbidding myself from crying in front of others is part of the equation that adds up to depression.

All I know is that I don’t want to cry, but I’m going to give myself permission to do so.

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10 Cleaning Hacks In Pictures

Run lemon, lime, or orange peels in the garbage disposal to freshen it up.

Remove build up from hard water on glasses with white vinegar

Unclog your shower head by mixing 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in a sandwich bag. Tie the bag around the shower head so that the holes are immersed in the solution.

Unclog your shower head by mixing 1 part water and 1 part vinegar in a sandwich bag. Tie the bag around the shower head so that the holes are immersed in the solution.

Sanitize your phone, game controllers, and TV remote with an alcohol wipe

Sanitize your phone, game controllers, and TV remote with an alcohol wipe

Clean even the toughest soap scum off your tub with a mix of blue dawn and white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Clean even the toughest soap scum off your tub with a mix of blue dawn and white vinegar in a spray bottle.

Wash shower curtains in the washing machine with bleach or laundry detergent.

Wash shower curtains in the washing machine with bleach or laundry detergent.

Get leftover wax out of a candle holder by rinsing it with steaming hot water, scooping out the wax residue with a paper towel

Get leftover wax out of a candle holder by rinsing it with steaming hot water, scooping out the wax residue with a paper towel

Remove carpet stains with vodka.

Remove carpet stains with vodka.

Get rid of build up that could be making your coffee taste bad by filling the reservoir with 1 part water and 1 part vinegar and letting it brew. Run plain water through after.

Get rid of build up that could be making your coffee taste bad by filling the reservoir with 1 part water and 1 part vinegar and letting it brew. Run plain water through after.

Clean greasy dust in the kitchen by rubbing it off with olive oil. Follow with soap and water to remove excess oil.

Clean greasy dust in the kitchen by rubbing it off with olive oil. Follow with soap and water to remove excess oil.

Run lemon, lime, or orange peels in the garbage disposal to freshen it up.

Run lemon, lime, or orange peels in the garbage disposal to freshen it up.

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DIY Emergen-C Drink Mix

DIY vitamin C powder to boost your immune system and fight off colds and flus

I don’t know about you, but I love vitamin C drinks when I’m feeling sick. Sure, they might not work to stop a cold or flu, but they definitely make me feel better. And the placebo effect is good enough for me!

Let me guess. Your nose is runny, your chest feels tight, and your whole body aches?

Brand name mixes can be really expensive, though, and you never really know what’s in those things. And isn’t that one of the reasons we get into DIY stuff? To avoid those huge markups that brands think they can get away with?

And I like to take these every day if I can, and when these packets can cost up to a dollar per peck, that adds up pretty darn fast.

I hate chewables and I already take enough pills every day. And I love citrus fruit, but sometimes a girl has to give her teeth a break from that acid and sugar, right?

These packets don’t only help with immunity. They can make your skin glow and vitamin C is known to protect against cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, eye disease, and wrinkles. Wow!

Taken down to the basics, these packs are just a few things: vitamins, sweetener, flavoring, and a foaming agent.

But first: Is Emergen-C just a placebo?

There are a lot of products that rely on the placebo effect. It’s important to remember that even if it’s just a placebo, it is still helping you. Placebos are useful medicine, too, and shouldn’t be immediately written off.

For vitamin C drinks, the research is still pretty limited as to their effectiveness. The most relevant studies show that while vitamin C drinks don’t necessarily stop colds, they do act as adaptogens that can help you fight off colds during stressful times. So if you’re going into finals week, it may be worth it to drink some of the powder you’re about to make!

Research has also found that taking drinks like Emergen-C does shorten the duration of colds.

This is one of those cases where there is very little harm and a lot of possible good you can get from these drinks. So why not try it?

So what do you need?

  • Vitamin C powder
  • True Lemon or another brand of real lemon powder

Making this is simple. Measure a 1:1 ratio, and keep it in a mason jar. A serving size is 1tbs of the mix.

Store it in a dry and dark place. Vitamin C is unstable and oxidizes when exposed to air, light and heat.

And you can add any number of things to make this vitamin C powder taste better. I’m going to try it with some green tea in a day or two.

It won’t foam like the brand name, but you’re saving a ton of money and you get to make it taste exactly how you want. And even better, there’s less paper and plastic waste!

Other uses for your vitamin c powder

  • Emergen-C can be used to preserve your hair color. Apply it to your hair for 5 minutes to dissolve the iron and alkaline deposits your hair gets from hard water.
  • Vitamin C powder can be added to your moisturizer for beautiful skin. Just skip the True Lemon.