I love reading routine posts from other bloggers and successful people. I love seeing what people do every morning and night in order to have a great, successful day. I find it so interesting and inspiring. This article is especially interesting because it shares evening routines of successful people.
A twist on the evening routine, I thought I would share 9 things I do every night. These aren’t in any particular order but thought it would be fun to share. It helps me realize that I need to put more effort into making a nightly routine and figure out what will work best for me.
I’d love to hear what you do every night that relaxes you, helps you fall asleep or prepares you for the next day. Leave me a comment below!
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What do you do every night before falling asleep?
There’s something about August that makes me want a fresh start, probably because it used to be the start of a new school year. And a new school year means new pens, a planner, new notebooks, new clothes, and new goals for the future. In the spirit of a fresh start, I am using this month to get better organized and create a space with less clutter.
I absolutely love having a clean, organized home and believe these 5 products really help me stay on top of it. Now, I just need to find some way to organize all the beer Vinn buys.
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I am obsessed with glass jars. I have four in the kitchen. They are great for storing baking ingredients and Nespresso pods. I love that they are nice to display but also great for storage. I also love that these are relatively inexpensive, come in a variety of different sizes and can be used in many areas of the house. I even have a pretty large one to hold wine corks. These jars on Amazon are absolutely perfect.
Acrylic Mail Sorter
The amount of mail we receive has drastically increased now that we live in Germany. Most of it is junk mail but we do receive several bills on paper. I have a system on my desk as a way to organize all the paper thanks to an acrylic mail organizer (similar here). The first slot is for things that need to be dealt with (like bills), the second for cards or gift cards and the back two are for small papers that don’t really have any other place.
Pineapple Key Holder
Having a designated area for our keys makes it extra quick to leave the house because we aren’t searching for our keys in pockets or purses. I love pineapples because Vinn proposed at the pineapple fountain in Charleston and love having different pineapples around the house. I think the one I have is supposed to be nailed to the wall, but I love it as a key holder.
This is a super small thing, but I love having a wine rack. It’s great for knowing what and how much wine we have on hand, as well as for a cute display. We have one from Crate & Barrel that can hold up to 8 bottles of wine. We usually have 6 bottles of wine at home at a time and this works perfectly.
Like glass jars, baskets are great for storing Copley’s toys, my hair products and makeup. I know this isn’t groundbreaking, but I used to use those big see through containers to store everything. While these worked well, they didn’t look pretty. Now with baskets, I have everything contained in a nice way, while still looking great.
These are my five favorite organization products that help keep my home neat and tidy. I would have all of my kitchen countertops covered in jars if I could. I would love to know your favorite ways to stay organized at home, at work or even on your phone!
Seriously, it’s almost August. I cannot believe it. Pretty soon there’s going to be pumpkins and Santas everywhere. But, for now, I’m enjoying the pleasantly mild weather we’ve been having here in Germany and I’m looking forward to one more long, summer weekend. Since it’s the end of a month, today I am going to share some of my favs from July.
In case you’re new, My Favs is where I share some of my favorite products, new finds that make daily life a little bit better and any fun things I’ve been watching, reading or listening to lately.
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This month I finished reading Lauren Graham’s book from my 7 books to read this summer list. It was a relatively quick read and is definitely a must-read if you’re a Gilmore Girls fan. I did find the book to be a little boring before getting to the Lorelei Gilmore phase of her life but overall, it makes for a perfect beach read. Now I’m reading Truly Madly Guilty and am having a hard time getting into it. It’s a lot like Big Little Lies in that there are several different characters and you get their perspectives on the same event. I have yet to get to the “big event” or the hook and I’m really looking forward to it. My goal this August is to finish this book and one more, maybe Option B.
We had several vacations this past month, which were amazing. We flew twice with Copley to Nice and Croatia. She does really well on airplanes and I think it’s all thanks to this lavender spray. I spray all over her bag (we use this one and never had a problem with any airline) right before we are about to board and I really believe that it calms her down and makes her feel more safe. The spray is made by the same company that makes Thunder Shirts and is said to mimic the mother’s pheromones, which is why it is relaxing for dogs.
On the what I’m watching front, Vinn and I totally binge watched Friends from College last week. It’s a Netflix original show with Fred Savage, Colbie Smuders from How I Met Your Mother, and Keegan-Michael Key. The show hasn’t been so well received on sites like Rotten Tomatoes, but we thought it was really funny! It’s about how a group of friends from college all still hang out twenty years later and still haven’t really grown up. They all allegedly went to Harvard, have real jobs and are trying to navigate life as an adult, while still acting like college kids. It’s laugh out loud funny and Fred Savage is my favorite! I wish he was the new host on Live with Kelly.
About three times a week this entire month I ate a snack of a Granny Smith apple with Gruyere cheese. I know I’ve mentioned this many times on the blog already, but it definitely deserves a spot on the monthly favs. I don’t know what it is about this snack that I love so much but I just do. I think it’s because the apple is tart and sweet and then the cheese is so soft. It’s a great snack because it has healthy fat, sugar and protein from the cheese. The one negative is that Gruyere cheese is on the expensive side, so I may have to cut back a little.
And, last but not least, a cute picture of Copley from our trip to Split. I just seriously love this dog with my whole heart. I can’t go too long without a cute puppy picture!
What did you love this July?
I love to cook. My mom is a fantastic cook, so I think it’s in my genes to know how to prepare delicious meals. I didn’t really get into cooking until I graduated from college and was living on my own. I quickly learned that eating out was too expensive and too unhealthy, so I started to cook my own meals.
Once Vinn and I got married, I really stepped up my cooking game. Not only was I now cooking for myself, but for another person. I wanted him to love the food I made, too. Everything changed, though, when Vinn and I moved to Germany. We couldn’t bring a lot of our kitchen tools with us since the outlets are different and I did not know what to expect from our kitchen.
Now that it’s been almost a year and a half (!) we’ve settled into our lives in Germany, including our cooking routine. There are three main kitchen tools that I used all the time in Michigan that I don’t use at all in Germany. One because of the outlets and two because they are too expensive to buy in Germany when we’re only living here for a short period of time. I do miss all of these kitchen tools (or small appliances) but have learned to live without them.
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1. KitchenAid Mixer
My aunt bought us a KitchenAid mixer as a wedding present for us. To say I love it is a total understatement. I used the mixer to make cookies, brownies, muffins, one failed attempt at bread and even pasta thanks to these really cool attachments. This kitchen item was too precious to bring to Germany regardless, it’s actually with my parents because I didn’t want it to be stored in Michigan!
2. Food Processor
I initially didn’t want a food processor because I thought it would just be another thing that took up a lot of space in the kitchen cabinets. Well, once we got one (again as a wedding gift) I can’t believe I lived without it! I would use my food processor to make date balls (this recipe is delicious), salsa, spinach dip, anything.
I did not replace or buy a food processor at all when we moved. And, you know what? I find myself finding all kinds of recipes that require a food processor and wishing I had one. I could buy a smaller version of what we had but I can’t justify the price and we don’t have any more space in our kitchen for one. I just have to buy date balls at the grocery store, even though they are expensive. (To see a tour of our kitchen and the rest of our apartment, check out this post).
It is pretty normal not to have a microwave in Germany. It uses a lot of energy and is surprisingly expensive to buy one here. I would use a microwave in the States probably three to four times a week for popcorn alone (say what you want about Bethenny Frankel, but the Skinnygirl popcorn is amazing!) and then again to reheat pretty much anything else.
I have been without a microwave since our move. Honestly, I don’t really miss it! Would it be nice to have one, yes, but I’ve learned to use the oven to reheat. I did miss popcorn for a while, but then a friend made us popcorn kernels from the stove and it has been a game changer! Now I have popcorn at least once a week. I put some butter oil in the saucepan first and then add some rose sea salt, delicious.
It is crazy to think that our time in Germany is almost half way finished and that we’ve lived without these kitchen items for the same amount of time. I can’t believe, also, that I don’t really miss some of them. I guess that goes to show you that you don’t need all this “stuff” to cook or to be happy. I will be really happy when I can use my mixer again, though!
What have you gone without, kitchen related or not? Any tips on how to make date balls without a food processor?
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I really enjoy reading but often fall into a rut where I don’t read for months at a time. One of my goals this summer is to spend time reading while on our trips and on our balcony. Sunshine and warm temperatures won’t be around forever, so I want to take advantage of it.
This summer I am committing to reading 7 books. I still have to finish reading my current book (which is terrifying because it’s about how a group of billionaires are controlling our government and public education, no it’s not fiction) but once I’m finished, I’m going to dive into these more beach friendly reads. I will share my thoughts on them either in one big post or as individual book reviews, depending on how much I like them!
Truly Madly Deeply <— From the woman who brought us Big Little Lies, Liane Moriarty brings her intense writing to a new book about how sometimes we don’t appreciate how wonderful life is until it’s too late. I love her books because she always has so many different characters (this one follows three different families). I love being able to see different perspectives of a situation.
Into the Water <— I have seen this one all over Instagram and other blogs lately, so it is definitely popular. It’s another book written by an author I love, Paula Hawkins of Gone Girl fame. So I have high hopes for this suspenseful novel about a single mother who turns up dead, leaving behind a teenage daughter. The plot has lots of twists and turns (according to reviews) about how the daughter copes after moving in with her aunt. I love suspense books (and movies and tv shows) because I always want to see if I can figure out the end. I wonder if I’ll be able to figure out this one!
Small Hours <— This book just came out like days ago and already has 17 reviews on Amazon. The story is told hour by hour over the course of one day where a husband and wife try to run away from their secrets. I can feel my heart racing just thinking about an entire book written about one day. It’s like that show 24.
Option B <— Shout out to my mother-in-law, Karen, for giving me this book. One, it’s a physical book, which makes me excited and two, it’s written by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of bestselling book, Lean In. Option B is co-written by Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, and is all about how to move forward after life’s unexpected events. We all go through rough patches in life and I just love Ms. Sandberg’s positive outlook on life.
Rich People Problems <— The title alone has me hooked on this book. The story surrounds a family obsessed with fortune and how they go about inheriting the riches. It has 4.5 stars on Amazon and, according to reviews, talks a lot about fashion, home design and the luxuries of life. Perhaps this is the book version of my beloved Housewives? I am pumped for this read, perhaps on the beach in Croatia.
Talking as Fast as I Can <— Any Gilmore Girls fans here? If you even remotely loved that show or Lauren Graham’s other show, Parenthood, this is a must-read. Lauren Graham, the actress who played Lorelei Gilmore, reflects on her time in Hollywood, what it was like on the set of her two successful shows, including the Netflix remake episodes, and some other fun experiences. I think this will be the perfect read for those rainy, summer nights when I feel like gabbing a girlfriend. It is already downloaded on my iPad.
The Sunshine Sisters <— This is a family tale by Jane Green and is the story of three sisters who all come together after their mother reveals an illness and try to rebuild their relationships that were once torn because of jealousy and secrets. Maybe I can talk my sister into reading this book at the same time so we can share our thoughts.
What are you going to read? Or any favorite beach reads to share? Would you want to read any reviews of these books?