I'm not really great about printing photos and making photo albums. There's a saying in Spanish that goes "Casa de herrero, cuchillo de palo," which roughly translates into "In the blacksmith's house the knives are wooden." Basically, where something should be abundant (like printed photos in a photographer's house), they aren't.
But a few weeks ago, I decided I was going to stop saying "one day I'll make the album," and I actually did it. It seems like such a daunting task, right? And while it definitely took me a few hours to organize everything, it wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated.
For me, digital organization is something I've struggled with for a while. I used to have pictures all over the place, but in the last few years I've started to organize myself much better. Cell phone photos still live on my phone and in the cloud, but they are pretty easy to organize there! Photos that come off my camera are generally a more tedious process, but I finally have a system in place and I have been making sure to organize all my photos for the last year. So last week, when I saw that Artifact Uprising was having a sale, I went ahead and took advantage. The quality of products from there is excellent, and I love how sleek and timeless their products look. The other thing I like is that layouts are simple. You don't have to include words, but you can if you want to. I didn't include writing in most of the pages, but I definitely felt like 2020 needed some explanation for the future!
I went ahead and made the hardcover photo book, and it came in this week. I'm really really glad I ended up doing it, and I'm going to try to work backwards in years so I can fill in some of those missing years. I'm also thinking of doing big vacations in separate albums (like our trip to Europe in 2019/2020).
So how did I get organized? Here's how!
I'm not going to say this was a quick or even really easy process, but it definitely wasn't the arduous thing I had built up in my head. My biggest tip is to enjoy the steps! And if you have any questions, definitely don't hesitate to ask!
Last week, I shared about easy ways to live a greener lifestyle by making a few simple swaps on everyday items. One of the items I mentioned was making your own cleaning spray. This cleaning spray is disinfecting and makes the house smell great. I keep it on the kitchen counter for easy access (and since it's in a pretty bottle I don't mind having it there). With only 3 ingredients (one of which is water, and the other is vinegar, an inexpensive household staple), it's a breeze to make, reduces waste and is an economical option.
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I would never claim to be totally eco-conscious or constantly aware of the environment, but there are a few small changes I've made around the house that make me feel better about what I am consuming and the impact I am making on our world. Here are 10 small things we do to make sure we are being more eco-friendly. If it seems like a lot, just try one thing at a time. By making a lot of small changes, over time you can make a huge impact. Plus, you are teaching your children and setting a good example for them as well.
1. Switch to a menstrual cup. Think about the waste that accumulates after years of using pads and tampons. A menstrual cup can really help cut down on that.
2. Reusable snack bags. We go through Ziplock bags like crazy, and this is one change I've been debating for a little bit, but I'm going to make it, this week.
3. Reusable makeup remover pads. I have been using a cloth to remove my makeup for a long time and I have found it to be useful, less abrasive than wipes, and again, much less wasteful than makeup remover wipes.
4. Reusable face pads. These are great for applying toner and anything you don't want to use your hands for. They come with a little satchel so you can throw them in the wash and not lose them.
5. Silicone dish sponges and brushes. I was skeptical about these, but they are great! I also feel like they don't harbor as much bacteria as a traditional dish sponge, so win-win!
6. Cleaning Cloths vs paper towels. I am guilty of relying on paper towels way too much. But a few years ago I started using these cloths for cleaning and not only do I feel less wasteful using them, but they also clean better and don't leave fibers behind!
7. Make your own cleaning spray. I recently made an all-purpose cleaning spray with some essential oils and some products I already had at home. I've already re-filled it four times and I spend pennies on the dollar each time I refill it! Plus, no throwing away bottles of cleaning products constantly.
8. Diffuse essential oils instead of burning candles. I love candles, but they produce more waste and they aren't really all that great for us to breathe in constantly.
9. Use real dishes, cups, and cutlery. I figure this is an easy one. I'd rather run my dishwasher once a day to cut down on the consumption of paper goods, and it's something that adds up over time. This also includes water bottles! Buy yourself a good refillable one and take it everywhere!
10. Use reusable straws. The kids use straws pretty often, and reusable straws really help to cut down on waste. I'm also not a fan of paper straws, because the kids always manage to rip them up, so reusable ones in plastic, metal, or silicone are helpful!
What are some things you do to be more conscious of the environment? Let me know in the comments!
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
I absolutely adore shopping at my neighborhood Publix, and if I can get rewarded for it, I enjoy it even more! I’ve talked about Publix’s Stocking Spree program before, and while it is a program that goes on all year, a couple times a year some of the featured products are on sale, making the savings even bigger. And when the savings include some of the staples in our house like coffee, oats, and macaroni and cheese, you know I am going to be stocking up on that! Sometimes I’ll even sneak in something like OREO Cookies - although those don’t last very long in our house!
With Publix, you can earn rewards for buying the things you need (or want) anyway. So I headed to Publix and picked up some of the products that I know I can be rewarded for purchasing!
Publix Stocking Spree is a program where you can be rewarded JUST for buying the products we already know and love. All year long, you can receive a $10 Publix gift card every time* you purchase $50 of participating Stocking Spree products (*Up to 12 gift cards per household per year). Plus you can save even more at Publix with special offers on select Stocking Spree 365 products during the sale week from 4/8-4/14 (Some markets 4/7 – 4/13).
Taking part in the program is easy - the list of products is available on www.stockingspree.com, so you can check out the participating products before you head to Publix. Make your list, purchase $50 worth of participating products. When you get home, take a photo of your receipt, log into the site and upload the photo of your receipt - I did it in under 5 minutes! Once your receipt is reviewed, you will be able to claim your $10 Publix gift card. You can opt for a physical gift card, which will be mailed to you, or a digital gift card that will be applied to your Publix Digital Wallet.
See StockingSpree.com for a full list of participating products and to upload your receipts. Don’t miss out on this awesome chance to be rewarded for your Publix purchases!
Can you believe Valentine's Day is this Sunday already? Eddie and I seldom go out on Valentine's Day, and this year we have even less reason to. Because this year presents different challenges than usual, and because it's a Sunday, we'll likely be celebrating with the kids at home. I'm dropping a few ideas here that you can adapt to your situation and still enjoy Valentine's Day!
1. Valentine's Day Brunch
Set your table, make a beautiful breakfast board, and let everyone dig in. Don't forget the mimosas for the parents! There are also a few restaurants doing special Valentine Brunch specials, so look them up and help support your local small businesses!
2. A Valentine Pizza Party
They've got a "pizza" your heart, so show them with this adorable pizza setup! You can also buy all the ingredients and make it an activity by making the pizzas together!
3. Family Movie Night
One of Caleb's favorite things to do is have family movie night. This is a great option! Some movies to consider: Beauty & the Beast, Gnomeo & Juliet, The Little Rascals, Disney/Pixar's UP, The Princess Diaries, Trolls, The Little Prince (Netflix), Princess & The Frog, Over the Moon (Netflix). Set up a snack board, pop some popcorn, and snuggle up on the sofa!
Pack up a picnic and head to a park or the beach or your yard! If you're somewhere where that isn't really possible, set up in your living room! Eddie and I love picking up stone crabs and a few sides from the deli counter. Pack some sparkling cider for the kids and some wine for yourself, and make an afternoon out of it. Pick up some Pudding Parlor Red Velvet Pudding, Bakey Key Lime Pies, or a smash cake from Divine Sweets & Vicky Bakery.
5. Have a fancy dinner at home
Order in and plate your food, cook yourselves, set your table, turn off the TV, and turn on some smooth music. Give yourselves the full restaurant experience without having to leave the house! Bonus points if you can send the kids to the grandparents house - if not, eat once they go to bed! Check out my table setting below - the placemats are from Chic Tables, the napkin rings are from Plume.
6. Take an online class together
Look up a tutorial on making a cocktail, or making a craft. Sign up for a virtual class to paint at home, do a workout together, or make a meal you've never made before! Virtual wine tastings can be lots of fun, too. Make it a group activity and get some friends to sign up with you.
More Ideas from Readers
I asked for ideas on Instagram and you delivered!
I hope this helps you come up with a fun idea for Valentine's Day this year! If you have more ideas, send them in and I'll add it above!
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