What I’ve learned by de-cluttering my home

I’ve really only just begun, but I already feel so much lighter by moving out some of the stuff we don’t need or use. I’ve sold stuff (our inflatable kayak), donated, and given some stuff to others. Our 1000sq ft apartment was starting to feel real cramped. I still feel like we have a lot of clutter and stuff everywhere, but it’s a process, and I’m embracing it! Here’s what I’ve learned so far:

  1. It’s amazing all the stuff we’ve lived with, that we don’t use or need. Last weekend I dropped off 5 boxes and 1 bag of items we didn’t need. That is a lot of stuff we just lived with, but didn’t interact with. We moved around it, pushed it aside, but didn’t even think about it.
  2. It’s so easy to part with a lot of the items. I really had no problem getting rid of a lot of the stuff that I did give away. Most of this first batch of items I had no emotional connection to (clothing that didn’t fit, old scrap booking supplies, kitchen items, hand-me-downs). For me it was quicker and easier to donate these items, rather then taking the time to try to sell them.
  3. Other items are a lot harder to get rid of. I have clothing in my closet I will probably never wear again (the dress I wore to my wedding shower) that are a lot harder to part with. I decided I may hang onto these items a little longer and see how I feel about them later (possibly whenever we move again).
  4. It’s a little bit harder with a partner. There is another persons thoughts, feelings, and memories to take into consideration. I can’t just toss his items because I don’t have a connection to them, this is where compromise comes in my friends! He is very willing to help though, which does make the processes easier.
  5. Clutter = stress. Sometimes I get overwhelmed when we have a lot of stuff laying around, and clearing some of that extra stuff helps, and makes it easier to relax at home.
  6. They call it ‘spring cleaning’ for a reason. It is easier to take stuff out of the house when the weather is warmer and dryer. Anyone else feel personally victimized by this last winter? I hardly wanted to leave the house, it was so miserable outside. Once the weather warmed out I was excited to get started with this project.
  7. It’s an ongoing process. I have a box in my living room that I am constantly adding to, when I come across something I don’t use or need anymore. Once the box is full, out it goes. Some things in my closet I’m hanging on to, to see if I will wear them this season or not.
  8. I think before I buy. I haven’t had any impulse buys since I started this. I haven’t shopped on Amazon just because I just got paid and I want to buy something. I consider if I need it and I have a space for it. I keep a list of things I “need” on my phone and try to find these things at an inexpensive cost (door mats, baskets, a bird feeder).

Happy de-cluttering season my friends – do you enjoy this time of the year? what is your process of getting rid of unwanted items?

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Just another burrito bowl

Happy Monday! I had another busy weekend so I made something quick and easy for lunches this week. I had Saturday off work (which is pretty rare) and my dad brought me my bike and helped me take The Beard’s up to the bike shop to get the tires fixed, I’m so excited to be able to bike again! Our cars are too small to transport them, since we don’t have a bike rack, so it was really nice if him to help out. We also grabbed some breakfast and we grocery shopped while we waited, so we had a nice afternoon! When I still lived at home my dad and I used to go grocery shopping together every weekend, so it was nice doing that together again.

Sunday we took an extra long walk to get out of the house (a little more than 6 miles) and I had dinner with my family and a Mexican restaurant that we have been going to for years (bean tacos for me)

Since I felt short on time I figured something that didn’t require any cooking would be the way to go. I’ve made this one before and it’s really tasty!

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The key with mason jar salads is the layers, as you don’t want anything to get soggy or squished

Mild salsa

Pinto Beans

Romaine lettuce

Cheese on the side (so it doesn’t get wet)

Santa Fe tortilla strips

If I had any other veggies going into the salad I would have put them between the beans and the lettuce. This would probably be good with a grain in there as well (brown rice, quinoa) but I didn’t feel like cooking any.

For lunch I will have peanut butter and jelly with a side of veggies again, quick and cheap! And for snacks I have an absurdly large container of strawberries for one person.

Goals for the week/weekend: work out 3-4 times, only stop at the store 1-2 times during the week (we have to go today already), start a new scarf (one more until my goal of 7), take the bike out for a spin (still need to pump up my tires)

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine (hopefully you have some too)

Meal prep: Veggie Spaghetti

Hey guys! Anyone else feel like the weekend went really fast? Mother’s Day was Sunday, so I had to move my meal prep routine around quite a bit. I grocery shopped Friday (which I hate, and it was raining!), prepped most of the food Saturday after work, and finished up after our Mother’s Day festivities on Sunday.

So a quick belated Happy Mother’s Day to the two Lisas: These mommas mean the world to me

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A little throw-back to our wedding shower

We did brunch with my mom and lunch with The Beard’s mom, we had a great time! For brunch we cooked hash browns, omelets, muffins, and sausages. Breakfast is my most favorite meal of the day, but I have never been able to cook omelets – or anything more complicated than scrambled. My dad spoiled me with his short order breakfast skills and I never managed to learn how to do it on my own. For lunch we went to PF Chang’s (our first time there) and I got the most delicious California Roll. Everyone’s food looked really delicious and I’m sure we will find ourselves back there again!

Since I was short on time I whipped up a quick pasta for my meal prep, and it came out great!

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Roasted yellow squash $0.56, zucchini $.30, sautéed mushrooms $2.19, pasta sauce $2.99, penne pasta $0.00 (I had a coupon where I got the pasta free with the sauce) $6.04 for 5 helpings!

For lunch I will be doing PB & J sandwiches (or possibly tuna, if I run out of peanut butter) with some veggies as a side

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The veggies I had left over from last week, as well as the peanut butter and jelly, so the only thing I purchased this week as the bread ($1.88) and the tuna I purchased on sale a few weeks ago.

I sort of dropped the ball with my breakfasts this week, so I may try to wrangle together something after work tonight, possibly some egg muffins or overnight oats will work! The chia pudding was a fail for me, I couldn’t get past the consistency.

Highlights of last week:

Going to my first food truck rally with my bff Liz

Seeing my sister

Spending time with my family and The Beard’s family

The Mandarin Orange Muffins I made for Mother’s Day brunch

Sushi for lunch

What I’m looking forward to this week:

Late Mother’s Day dinner with my extended family (including my grandparents) on Sunday. Possibly seeing my nephews here as well, but I’m not sure if they will be attending or not

Getting the day off on Saturday!

Reading more of my book, War Brides

More walks with The Beard

What are you most looking forward to this week?

Meal prep: Breakfast for dinner

Happy Monday everyone! We had a great weekend so I thought I would give some highlights

  1. I took a half day on Friday and went to the Secretary of State (boo) to renew my drivers license and my tabs BUT I got to spend the rest of the evening with my parents and two nephews. I don’t get to see them too often and I had a blast playing with the older one (he’s two) and cuddling with the baby (a few months old).
  2. We did another 5k on Saturday morning and the weather was beautiful! The Beard finished in 5th place, which is really exciting!img_20180505_0855314321873965375.jpg
  3. My mother-in-law took me home after the race and then we popped into a new home goods store and went grocery shopping, we had a ton of fun!
  4. The Beard and I saw the new Avengers movie, it was really funny and nice to get out for a bit. Plus we got a free small popcorn with our movie rewards (score!)
  5. It’s finally dandelion season! I know 99% of people consider these weeds, but I just love when they come out in the spring img_20180507_133546916463308412.jpg

 

Now on to the food! I whipped up a quick veggie fritta for dinner this week.

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Sautéed spinach, garlic, steamed broccoli, roasted sweet potatoes, corn, eggs, almond milk, shredded cheddar – boom! I started with the spinach and broccoli and added the other veggies when I had extra from cooking up other meals on Sunday. I made three large portions with this, as eggs can sometimes leave me still hungry after eating. I had purchased some strawberries to have on the side, but most of them were bruised.

I also used some of the non-bruised strawberries to make chia pudding – though the verdict is still out on that one. I forgot to take a picture of that one, but I made a couple of them up for breakfast this week. I think the goopy-ness of the chia seeds will take some getting used to, but the flavor is pretty good (vanilla, cinnamon/sugar, strawberries, plain almond milk, chia seeds, honey)

Things to look forward to this week/weekend

  1. The weather is going to be beautiful most of the week (see a reoccurring theme? I love spring/summertime)
  2. Mother’s Day this weekend
  3. My sister will be home this weekend

 

What are you most looking forward to this week? How do you plan to celebrate Mother’s Day?

Meal Prep: quick couscous edamame salad

Another busy weekend means another quick meal prep! Saturday I drove down to Detroit with my coworker to pick up our race numbers and t-shirts, and Sunday was the actual 5k. This left me very little time to shop, prep, and cook everything for the week.

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The Beard finished in 23:55, but us ladies walked the course. It was a bit chilly out, but at least the sun was shining! Also, check out the hat my uncle knitted for me, he has some mad skills.

Once we got back, it was time to meal prep. I went with a quick simple salad for dinners this week. The only thing that needed to be cooked was the couscous, which I’m still working through from my pantry. A little bit goes a long way! So this meal was quick, easy, and inexpensive!

1 cup pearl couscous ($0 – pantry item)

1 bag frozen corn ($1)

1 bag frozen edamame ($1.99)

1/2 bunch green onions ($0.49)

1/2 bunch cilantro ($0.49)

Dish of red wine vinegar

The only bummer is that this only made three meals, but I do still have soup in my freezer so I will not need to buy anything extra this week. I will also have PB&J or tuna sandwiches for lunch this week. This is the first time I’ve eaten edamame, so I’m pretty excited to dig into these!

What did you prep this week?

Friday Favorites #5

Hey, number 5 already! (but check out Friday favorites, Friday Favorites #2, Friday Favorites #3, & Friday Favorites #4)

  1. Favorite thing I’m eating: Cheez-It Extra Toasty. These things are the bomb.com. Capture
  2. Favorite thing I’m excited about: Spring weather, finally!
  3. Favorite thing I’m eyeballing: This top from Amazon I’ve had this in my wish list a couple of weeks and keep coming back to look at it. I have one velvet skirt I wear for work, and I just love the soft feeling. I’ll probably stare at it a few weeks longer until I buy it (I’m trying to be good) Capture
  4. Favorite thing I’m doing: I’m a little bit of an old lady at heart and am trying my hand at crocheting. I’m working through my goal of 7 scarves with some of the extra yarn my mom had laying around. I believe this is scarf number 5. img_20180423_204742_654340033094.jpg
  5. Favorite thing I’m watching: The new Queer Eye on Netflix, it is so good! If you want to shed some happy tears, give it a shot. Also, my other favorite, Guys Grocery Games.

 

A few other updates: I’m still working my way through my de-clutter challenge, but it stopped being so organized! I now have boxes and bags laying around, waiting to be dropped off. We now have a total of one bag of clothing and 4 boxes of household items ready to go out the door, plus a few items I set aside for a coworker to look at.

This weekend: We are doing a 5k! The Beard is running, I am walking. It’s through the city of Detroit, and I’m hoping for a warm morning. It’s called ‘ I Ran the D’ and the proceeds go to Detroit Tiger’s Foundation. And how cute is this shirt?

CaptureWhat are you plans for this weekend? Do you finally have spring weather?

Meal Prep: Breakfast style

So as I’ve mentioned before, I literally prep breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks every week. It’s a huge job, but it works for me. Here are some breakfast ideas to get you started. This post contains affiliated links, please see my disclosure here.

Overnight Oats. I make these for my husband every week, and I also dabble for myself when the mood strikes me. I’ve had some real hits and misses with store bought oatmeal packets, and making these homemade lets you control what goes in them. You can also add it goodies such as chia or flax seeds. Mason jars work great for these, they are the perfect size and have measurements on the side to make it easier to fill.

The possibilities with these are really endless, but I usually make mine with fresh fruit and cinnamon. For The Beard I use 1/2 cup of oats, chocolate protein powder, and raisins.

Egg muffins. Again, the possibilities are endless! Which is really great, because you can just toss in your extra veggies/meats for these.

Personally, I love broccoli and cheese together, but you can mix and match – even within a single batch for the week. Just toss in whatever veggies/seasonings you have on hand. I like to use these silicone muffin liners since they are reusable (and cute)

Fruit and yogurt parfaits. I usually eat these for “second breakfast” around 10 am, but they could work for anytime (maybe paired with eggs for a full breakfast)

Just layer your fruit and yogurt, top with granola if you have it. (still looking for the perfect recipe) These can me made in advance, or made up real quick in the morning.

Waffles. I haven’t made any lately since I already do so much in the kitchen, but homemade waffles are pretty awesome. I usually just buy muffin mix from the grocery store and make waffles out of that. But you can make healthy ones or protein waffles. They freeze great and defrost quickly in the toaster. I use the mini waffle maker my husband got me for Christmas. It makes the most perfect sized waffles.

My skill level does not translate to pancakes, but I’m sure those would work just as well!

Frittata: Like egg muffins, but bigger!

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Similar to the egg muffins, its mostly just eggs, veggies (meat, if you eat it), and cheese. I’ve never been able to make omelets, so this comes pretty close!

What do you prep for breakfast? Do you have a favorite overnight oat recipe?