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Low-Waste Kitchen Hacks for Busy People

Living a fast-paced lifestyle is a convenience we have grown increasingly comfortable in, but like everything else, such comfort comes at a cost. The price we are paying for convenience is a considerable one.

Our convenient lifestyle that accommodates our need always to be on-the-go comes at the cost of the environment, which is why, I wanted to share with you some simple methods that I try to use, to keep with my eco-friendly values while maintaining that sense of convenience daily.

I live a lifestyle vibrant with entropy. No two days ever look the same. I need a structure in place to help me function properly, even to be able to perform the most basic of tasks like, eat, or maintain some level of sanity. I am sharing with you today just a few of the things that really help me and hopefully help you as well.

Make your own drink!
Who doesn’t love a warm/cold drink in the morning? Having tea or coffee every morning is something we all look forward, too, it gets our day going. Unfortunately, on the busiest of days we can be tempted to get one at a shop, but making your own, at-home drink could make all the difference for the environment since most of these shop cups are not recyclable or compostable. Every day millions of us around the world buy these cups and dispose of them. When a single person buys one cup of coffee every day, it builds up the numbers landing in the trash.

Try to make your own, help the environment and of course, hence, help yourself!

I’m a big believer that your morning routine starts the evening before. Every night I set out my coffee needs (cup and top) and have the water ready in the fridge. I have my coffee already ground and store it for use in the morning. When the morning arises, I can quickly put it together while I am getting ready. I then put it in my thermos, and I am prepared to go. It’s quick, and it’s easy, and you don’t have to think about it.

I stopped going out for coffee in the morning when I realized it just wasn’t any faster. You’re probably not saving any time by making a 20-minute trip and waiting in line to get a coffee. It’s that extra step that will help you maintain your convenient lifestyle without having to give up your eco-friendly values.

Freezing prep for your meals
I love freezer meals. I measure it out so that one mason jar is enough food for one person. I can layer the rice on top of the beans and then add a sauce or vegetables. You can let them thaw overnight, and then you can throw it in your bag on your way to out or for a convenient meal.

You can heat the glass, but you have to remove the lid off the mason jar and put it in the microwave.

You can also save most of your glass jars and use them for this purpose. When you freeze something in a glass jar, make sure there is enough space between the liquid and the top since liquids expand on solidifying. When you heat up your to go meal, make sure to let it thaw and defrost naturally or the glass will be shattered and can cause harm, not to mention it is a pain to clean!

Yes, I know this from experience!

You can freeze individual serving sizes of things like hummus in little containers and just let them thaw in your bag when you head out. By the time you are ready to eat it, it is prepared!

Please remember, if you have plastic containers, it’s OK to use them to freeze. Just make sure that they are safe to be microwaved. Some plastics leak toxins into your food and your body.

Mason Jackets!
The condensation on the outside of the glass was causing a mess in my bag. The jar also can be sweltering and hard to touch with your hands if it is heated. I’ve been grateful for how convenient jackets are for my needs!

I love them, and they’re brilliant. The jackets come in a variety of different materials like silicone or cloth. You wrap them around your mason jars, they protect them from getting broken, and they protect your hands when you hold it.

It takes away a little bit of the stress during the day because I don’t have to worry about these small, simple things. I can go about my day without having to worry if the mason jar’s broken and caused a disaster in my bag.

Pre-chopped frozen veggies
Chop those vegetables up, put them in a container and fill it with water then pop them in the fridge. Not only do your veggies remain fresh and crispy, you always have a healthy snack at hand. Just think of eating crisper carrots and celery with your thawed hummus throughout the day. It’s like you went to the store on days you don’t have time to stop, and it requires less packaging.

It works wonders. The best part is that you could do this with almost any product, It’s comfortable, convenient, and helping maintain a cleaner Earth.

The multipurpose ice-cube tray
You can use the ice trays as measuring devices to measure the individual sizes of things like lemon juice or vegetable broth. You can put them in the ice tray, and then after they’re frozen, you put them in a jar, You’ll end up with frozen individual-sized servings in bulk quantities.

You could do the same with silicone muffin or cupcake pans for more significant portions.

You can also use your ice-cube tray to make homemade candy and other treats! One easy recipe is, buy chocolate chips, melt them down, put a little in the bottom of the tray and then add nut butter or fruit, top with a bit more chocolate, and you have package-free butter cups and bonbons.

Be creative
Instead of buying unique products that are marketed with “eco-friendly” agenda, you can use those everyday things lying around your house. For instance, instead of putting the leftover in zip locks or unique wraps or containers, just put the food in a bowl and close it with a plate. Alternatively, cut old fuzzy socks for jar jackets or you could even a knit or crochet. It’s effortless to make one of those jar sleeves and a great way to use up scrap yarn and recycle old clothing.

BONUS HACKS:
Here are a few simple tips that could help you along the way:

  • Prep your food for the week on Sunday nights, you could be watching Netflix or listening to some music.
  • Also, try storing herbs, green onions, celery, etc. upright in a few inches of water to retain its crispness.
  • Lastly, the plastic bins with screw-on lids are GREAT to reuse for things you buy in bulk and for art supplies like crayons or markers.

I hope these tips and hacks prove useful to you. They are effortless to execute and efficient. However, this might not work for all of you. You may need to be slightly altered your practices from time to time as life gets in the way. Just remember to be a little creative and find different styles and structures to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle.

Let me know some tips that have helped you spare more time in the morning or in life, just leave a comment below.

Also, check out my Amazon Associate Store if you need some inspiration for your journey. Here it is: https://amzn.to/2YJdfbn

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31-Day Challenge: Great Journaling Prompts for Self Love and Self Care

In today’s mostly digital, paperless reality, the thought of the journal might evoke ideas of hidden young crushes or something that you “used to do.”

However, why keep a journal?

As you get older, the benefits of maintaining the journal become stronger. The journal will be valuable — documenting what you did and where you were. Examples include cases, where you want to remember what you thought on a particular day or event. Not to mention, it will help with critical thinking and your anxiety. It has helped mine.

So, in July, I will write one prompt each day. I will ask Siri to pick a number from 1 to 31 and then write about the prompt related to the number that she has announced. It is reasonably straight forward. I hope you join me on my journey. I would love you hear what you have to say. So please, send me your blog link relating to this challenge.

Below are the challenge’s writing prompts for July.

  1. How have you grown this year?
  2. What’s holding you back?
  3. Describe a scene from your day.
  4. How can you give yourself a break today?
  5. List & draw things that make you happy.
  6. When in your life, did you feel your best?
  7. What habits & actions did you do to feel amazing?
  8. Where was your headspace right now?
  9. What’s on my to-do list today?
  10. What’s one positive change I can make in my daily life?
  11. What good habit do you want to begin this month?
  12. Going forward, how can you commit to loving yourself every day?
  13. What would your life be like if you didn’t have stress?
  14. How would you describe yourself, affectionately, to a stranger?
  15. What things make you feel bad, but you find yourself doing them anyway?
  16. Make a list of 10 things that make you smile.
  17. What are your 10 worst habits, and how do they impact your life?
  18. When was the last time you indulged yourself and how?
  19. Write about something you do well.
  20. What’s something that you need to get rid of?
  21. Whom would you invite to an imaginary luncheon, and why?
  22. What do you love right now and how it makes you feel.
  23. Where do you want to travel?
  24. Who is someone you admire, and what are their qualities?
  25. Take a selfie just as you are. Write a description of your face using loving words.
  26. What are your ten best talents?
  27. What friendship that you’ve had was the most meaningful?
  28. What is the unique thing about you? Do you like to hide it or let it show?
  29. What is your superpower?
  30. What is one thing that you regret and why?
  31. Write a bucket list.
Have you loved yourself today?

This challenge is cheap and is great for your mental health and can easily be added to your daily routine. Try to add it into your morning or evening practice so you can start to make it a habit. I usually keep this list by my bed. I’ll use a prompt and write in my journal each morning when I wake up.

Writing for a few minutes every day doesn’t sound so scary, does it?

The trick is that all of this adds up and promote healthy well-being.

I hope you found this journal prompts for self-care useful.

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Plastic Straws, What’s the Hype and Why?

Starbucks says by 2020 it will eliminate plastic straws, turning to biodegradable straws and a newly designed lid. These new lids are made from polypropylene that can be recycled. The issue I see is would this not produce more plastic into the environment? Like the idea of reducing plastic straws, it is a thought, it is an action, it is a conversation to the bigger picture of conserving our environment.

So why are plastic straws bad for the environment?

Society has an over-reliance on single-use plastics, and the fact is that a lot of the stuff is ending up in our marine environment.

In one 2017 international coastal cleanup, 643,000 plastic straws were picked up around beaches and waterways all over the world. Straws only make up a fraction of our plastic waste. However, it is the easiest thing we can change now. It opens the door to understanding the impact of plastic, and it impacts on the environment.

All plastics ultimately sort of break down and fracture into smaller and smaller bits of plastic as a result of being tossed around by the waves, and the sunlight basically makes the plastic brittle. It creates what we call microplastics.

Microplastics are found on everything from the forage fish that are at the base of the food web up through the kinds of fish that we end up putting on our dinner plate.

Americans use an average of 1.6 straws per person per day that translates into 7.5 billion straws year. By the year 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean. It takes 500 years for a single straw to decompose. In that time the plastic could potentially leak pollutants into the soil and water. Every year an estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic go into our oceans, and it’s harming wildlife.

We need to be more thoughtful about how we use plastic. For starters pay closer attention to your personal practices. Get into the habit of carrying your own cup, fork, bag, and straw. That’s what I have in my bag at all times.

Decisions to make environmental friendly items or not use environmentally harmful pieces can make a positive impact. So, though the one straw may not make a real impact, the decision you make to not to use straws will change the awareness to the environment and how much a carbon footprint you leave behind.

Resources:
Business Insider, “Why Plastic Sucks,” https://www.businessinsider.com/why-plastic-straws-suck-ocean-pollution-sea-turtle-starbucks-2018-7

Ocean Conservatory: https://oceanconservancy.org/trash-free-seas/international-coastal-cleanup/volunteer/

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30 Day Declutter Challenge – Week 3 – Kind of?

I decided to do the 30-day decluttered challenge. In this challenge, you have 30 days to declutter items from your home. In this challenge, the day of the challenge pairs with the number of items you have to get rid of, so one day 1, you pick one item to get rid of and on day 30, you get rid of thirty pieces. So, in total, you will be getting rid of 460 things.

It has been a journey for me to downsize my material possessions. I’ve been doing it for over two years and still have a lot to go. What I want in my home are items that bring me joy and less work.

I am still sticking with the theme of the “30-Day Challenge,” but really my goal is to get rid of 460 items. It sounds like a cheat, but I don’t think so because it’s my things and my journey.

I am trying to be thoughtful in this journey because the worse thing I can do it totally get rid of my stuff and then it ends up in the dump. I don’t want to me that person. I have found some places on the internet and on Brooklyn that recycle your items or actually use the items you donate. I have also been known to give a homeless person a pair of shoes or a sweatshirt or two if they need it. There is always a way not to waste. At least, that is what I hope for in this process.

So, below are the items that I am decarding this week. I hope some of these things will be helpful to others. Some of the items are things that I really need to get rid of because they are old or empty. Let me know if you are on a similar journey, and I would love to see what you are decluttering too.

Also to remind you that you should have fun with the challenge. If you truly love an item, don’t throw it out for the sake of the challenge or the status quo. This exercise intends to make your home a representation of you and your family.

#minimalist #minimalistic #minimalists #minimalistzen #minimalistlifestyle #minimalistliving #minimalistlife #30daychallenge #home #staystrong #family#declutter #declutterchallenge #2019 #30daychallenge #30daychallengeabs #30daychallenges #30daychallenge #30daydeclutterchallenge

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30 Day Declutter Challenge – Week 2 – Kind of?

For January, I decided to do the 30-day decluttered challenge. In this challenge, you have 30 days to declutter items from your home. In this challenge, the day of the challenge pairs with the number of items you have to get rid of, so one day 1, you pick one item to get rid of and on day 30, you get rid of thirty pieces. So, in total, you will be getting rid of 460 things.

It has been a journey for me to downsize my material possessions. I’ve been doing it for over two years and still have a lot to go. What I want in my home are items that bring me joy and less work.

The idea was for me to be mindful each week to declutter things that I didn’t need… THIS DID NOT HAPPEN!

I found myself not having a lot of things to discard. It was a real struggle. I practice the one in/one out rule almost intuitively. I had to push myself back and be in the moment of what I was throwing away or donating.

I didn’t give up, but I modified the challenge to fit my requirements and needs. This means for me being mindful of what I discard but also making an effort to set time out of my busy schedule for this challenge.

I did not give up.

Instead, I became the turtle in the race. I am taking my time to finish rather than quickly make decisions that could affect me, in the long run, both emotionally and financially.

So as I had said in the first post, remember to repurpose, donate, sell or recycle your items. The worse thing to do is throw them out because they will end up in a landfill and then it becomes everyone’s problem.

Here are the next seven days of decluttering my apartment:

Day 9:

Declutter Food

Day 10:

Random Items for Declutter

Day 11:

Day 12:

Day 13:

Day 14:

For the most part, the items that I discard are going to be recycled or sold. However, it’s important to note that when you are doing to this type of challenge, that it is also a mindful practice. Please remember that there are many options to get healthily rid of your stuff. You may have a friend who needs a sweater or a homeless person who needs shoes. You may want to sell your favorite dress that you paid way too much money, and you can’t seem to part with it. Maybe the dress will be sold to someone who wants to look good for their big day. It is a much better use of the item rather than sitting in your closet.

Also to remind you that you should have fun with the challenge. If you truly love an item, don’t throw it out for the sake of the challenge or the status quo. This exercise intends to make your home a representation of you and your family.

#minimalist #minimalistic #minimalista #minimalistics #minimaliststyle #minimalistdesign #minimalistart #minimaliste #minimalistwallet #minimalistphotography #minimalists #minimalistzen #minimalisticdesign #minimalistlifestyle #minimalistliving #minimalistlife #30daychallenge #home #staystrong #family #step1 #2019 #30daychallenge #30daychallengeabs #30daychallenges #30daychallenge #30daydeclutterchallenge

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Self-Love & Meditation: Improving Mental Health in Daily Routines

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle had articulated this excellent quote with only 15 words, for a long time of my life, I didn’t believe him.

I struggled for having good habits in my daily life because I wanted to have my own rules of being not of others. I tried to create my world to live, my kingdom to be queen to myself.

Skipping the self-fulfilling activities such as exercising, meditating, yoga and making gratitude lists—we may disadvantage ourselves from the vitality that these unusual pleasant activities give to my mind and body.

Why Create a Routine?
Creating a positive daily routine is both a self-investment and a way to do your best for the rest of the world. It also provides additional benefits, such as giving you structure, building forward-moving habits, and creating momentum that will carry you on the days when you feel like you don’t have the strength to love yourself.

Don’t be afraid to try new habits and see how they work for you. If they leave you feeling energized and inspired, keep doing them…if they don’t, keep trying new ones until you find ones that do.

Optimize Your Mind

Get positive: Start the day with a mantra. Positive thinking helps manage stress and even improves your health.

“Today is going to be the best day ever!”

I start every single day saying that simple sentence (out loud) as soon as I get out of bed. And yes, I even tell myself this on mornings that have followed nights that were too short or mornings that I wake up feeling like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

Be proactive: Don’t check your email first!
When you wake up in the morning, do you immediately check your email or social media accounts? If so, you’re starting your day off in reactive mode instead of proactive.

Start your days focused on YOU, and you will be in a much better state-of-mind to help others and get more accomplished all day.

Be Mentally Prepare: Visualize your success
Jack Canfield, the co-author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series, recommended that practice visualization 10 minutes a day to “harness the power of your subconscious mind.”

Just close your eyes and imagine yourself excelling and being the best you. Put yourself in situations where you shine, visualizing the best possible outcome.

Read a book
Reading can boost your intelligence, increase your brainpower. You may find it hard to find the time to read an entire book. You can just read only one chapter each day of a book of your choice.

Writing: A way to creativity
Spending time writing every day helps you become a better communicator, improves your ability to recall relevant information, and it also enhances your creativity. Write in a diary format, and you also have the added benefit of greater self-understanding.

Ways to Boost Your Body
Drink 9-13 cups of water a day
Exercise (MOVE!)

Even you can take a 10-20 minute walk. Do yoga, stretches, or dance
around your living room.
Get enough sleep: No less than 7 hours

Optimize your Spirit
Practice meditation: If the idea of “meditating” can be a turn-off, then think about it as spending some daily quiet time alone. Engaging in this daily practice has a lot of positive benefits. As a greater focus, better decision making and problem-solving skills improved memory, and an easier time managing hyperactivity or attention deficit disorder. Meditation also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression according to Harvard University studies, which are even more reasons to give it a try if you haven’t before.

Practice gratitude: Write what you’re thankful for in your life
If you woke up tomorrow and only had the things you were grateful for
Today, what would you have? Expressing gratitude at the end of the day for all of the blessings in your life, you do two things. First, you recognize that even though things may not be as you’d like, you are fortunate to have what you do. Second, the more blessings you are thankful for, the more you draw in or attract. It’s like they multiply.

Give to others
There is something extremely sense of satisfaction when you help those around you. It is not necessary to do huge acts of service/virtue. It can be even something as simple as opening the door for someone or giving a stranger (or loved one) a genuine compliment can make a significant impact on their day…and yours.

Once habits slowly start to take root into your daily life, you have the freedom to do so much more. You are not thinking of the small things but the greater picture. It’s important to find a routine that maximizes your inner strength and beauty. Sometimes there is a lot of trails and errors, but you have every moment of every day to try to pick yourself up and start again.

I hope you found this article helpful. Let me know if you have a habit that helps you and promotes self-love. Please comment below.

#healthyhabits #healthyhabitsstartnow #healthyhabitsforlife #healthy #selflove #healthyhabitsstartyoung habit #meditation #healthyhabitsareback #Healthyhabits4busymoms #healthyhabits2019 #sleep #routine #loveyourself

30 Day Declutter Challenge – Week 1

For January, I decided to do the 30-day decluttered challenge. In this challenge, you have 30 days to declutter items from your home. In this challenge, the day of the challenge pairs with the number of items you have to get rid of, so one day 1, you pick one item to get rid of and on day 30, you get rid of thirty pieces. So, in total, you will be getting rid of 460 things.

It has been a journey for me to downsize my material possessions. I’ve been doing it for over two years and still have a lot to go. What I want in my home are items that bring me joy and less work. So, I hope that this challenge will help me appreciate the things and also recognize the things that I don’t need. Each week, I will post pictures of the items that I will be getting rid of in my home.

For the most part, the items that I discard are going to be recycled or sold. However, it’s important to note that when you are doing to this type of challenge, that it is also a mindful practice. Please remember that there are many options to get healthily rid of your stuff. You may have a friend who needs a sweater or a homeless person who needs shoes. You may want to sell your favorite dress that you paid way too much money, and you can’t seem to part with it. Maybe the dress will be sold to someone who wants to look good for their big day. It is a much better use of the item rather than sitting in your closet.

So, remember to repurpose, donate, sell or recycle your items. The worse thing to do is throw them out because they will end up in a landfill and then it becomes everyone’s problem.

Finally, try to have fun with the challenge. If you truly love an item, don’t throw it out for the sake of the challenge or the status quo. This exercise intends to make your home a representation of you and your family.

The first week was pretty easy for me. Generally, I know the stuff I need to get rid of that has been sitting around my home.

Below are the items that I am getting rid for the first week of the challenge, most of these items are going to be donated or sold. The coat with my going to the NYCares Coat organization.


Day One


Day Two


Day Three


Day Four


Day Five


Day Six


Day Seven


So, that is it for the week. What items can you get rid of in your home? Are you happy with what you have in your home? Please let me know if you are doing something similar or are interested in the challenge. Just leave a comment below, follow or like this post.

Cheers!

#minimalist #minimalistic #minimalista #minimalistics #minimaliststyle #minimalistdesign #minimalistart #minimaliste #minimalistwallet #minimalistphotography #minimalists #minimalistzen #minimalisticdesign #minimalistlifestyle #minimalistliving #minimalistlife #30daychallenge #home #staystrong #family #step1 #2019 #30daychallenge #30daychallengeabs #30daychallenges #30daychallenge #30daydeclutterchallenge