Apartment Hacks

Living in an apartment can sometimes be nice! But when you have roommates, significant others, or even children, it can get very squishy and your once spacious living situation can become smaller and smaller. Here are a few ways to find the space that you need in a smaller living area.

  1. Command Strip EVERYTHING!

Now while I don’t command strip everything, I do live by command strips especially when you aren’t allowed to put holes in your walls. But this is a good way to remove items from your floor and open up your hallways. I like to put hooks for coats or shelves for knick knacks or plates and bowls if your apartment doesn’t have cupboards. I also found that hanging pictures are a lot easier than finding counter space for the thousands of picture frames with the thousands of pictures of family and friends (thanks Mom!). By keeping everything off the floor, there is more room for you and your roomies!

2. Bookshelf What you Can’t Command Strip

What I can’t command strip to the walls, I buy a bookshelf or a shelving unit for. I am going to let you in on a personal secret…. I love snow globes! I actually have a collection of over 35 snow globes. And while they are very beautiful, they take up a lot of space. I bought a bookshelf just for them because I didn’t have enough counter or dresser space to show them off. I also have a bookshelf for all of my books and movies that I have gotten over the years. There are cheap shelving units at Walmart that also work great in the bathroom for towels, hand towels, toilet paper storage, or for those chemicals you can’t keep under the sink because of little ones. Again, the more you can vertically store in your apartment the less you will have to horizontally store.

3. Totes on Totes on Totes

Now if you have to have storage, like me, I like to use totes. Totes are easy to stack, easy to access, and can fit many different items in one bin. I have a LOT of clothes, and my dresser (or two dressers and closet *sigh*) doesn’t fit all of my shirts, pants, sweaters, dresses, undergarments, tank tops, tshirts, long sleeve shirts, work clothes… okay you get the idea. So I keep what I am not wearing in totes. Usually I swap out winter clothes and summer clothes, but living in Wisconsin you keep a few sweatshirts and sweatpants out in the summer time as well.

This also works really well with children’s toys. Instead of a large toy box, find some fun colored totes that easily stack. You can have fun with the kids to color or decorate the outside of the tote to make it their own fun toy box. I luckily have an outdoor storage space connected to my apartment, but many people I know use their garage to store their totes. If you don’t have a garage, find some space in the back of the closet.

Treat Yo’ Self!

If you know the TV show “Parks and Recreation” then you know this saying. If you DON’T know the show, I highly recommend it. But regardless of the show, everyone needs to treat themselves every once in a while.

Now while the show talks about spending so much money that you basically cry the next day looking at your bank account, there are other ways you can treat yourself and feel good about spending a little on yourself. Here are 10 different ways to Treat Yo’ Self:

  1. Going out to eat if you don’t usually do.
  2. Buying that one thing at the grocery store you always tell yourself you don’t need (you know what I’m talking about).
  3. Buying an outfit that you think makes you look ravishing!
  4. Setting aside a day to spend time with the people that make you happy.
  5. Finding time to binge watch that show you have always wanted to watch.
  6. Spending a little too much at the bar (but drink responsibly and DO NOT DRIVE!)
  7. Buy that one item that you wished you got for a birthday/christmas/anniversary/special occasion present just for yourself.
  8. If you have the funds, book a flight or a mini vacation for yourself.
  9. Find a quiet place to be alone, read a book, and relax.
  10. Do one thing you have always wanted to do but were never able to.

The main idea behind “Treat Yo’ Self” Day is to allow yourself to be happy and to find something that makes you feel alive! We all need just one day to remind ourselves that we are important. We matter, and we need to take care of ourselves. Even if that means splurging on ourselves for once!


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I have three words lovelies. Treat Yo’ Self!!!!

Sniffle and Sneeze, Huff and Puff

As a teacher, flu season is a very important and sometimes a scary time. I think I went through about 4 boxes of tissues, 5 bottles of hand sanitizer, and 4 containers of disinfectant wipes in the past 4 months!

Here are some helpful tips to staying healthy and surviving all year long.


Photo by Jennifer Murray from Pexels

1. Wash Your Hands

I know you’ve heard this a million times, but think about it! Your hands touch MILLIONS of things a day! Papers, pets, doorknobs, toilets, keyboards, computer screens! These are only a few and THEN we go and touch other things like our faces, food, children, hug friends and family and share each others germs from the day.

Moms and dads, think about everything your child touches and then, for some children, put in their mouths! Germs do not die or disappear like the snap of a finger, but washing your hands as often as possible is extremely important.

If you aren’t close to a bathroom or a sink, hand sanitizer is a great alternative. You can buy small little travel sizes that can easily fit in a purse or a pocket. Me personally, I don’t like the smell of hand sanitizer, but there are different kinds with good smells. I have one for my classroom, and every time I use it I always get asked what smells so good! Food for thought.

2. COVER YOUR COUGH!!!

I understand that many children don’t know how to do this at first, but teaching them to cough into their elbow is very important. What could be just a cough to one child could be life threatening to another.

Adults, this goes for you too! Coughing into the air is a no go! We are all unique and this includes our immune systems as well. Especially when you are in a public place with many people around, the respectful and courteous thing to do would be to cover your cough.


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3. Get your Flu Shot

This may be controversial for many, but it is very important to stay safe. Something as simple as getting a flu shot may be the difference between a day off of work, to spending a week or two in the hospital. Keeping you and your family safe is quick and easy.

Your local hospital should be able to get you and your family free or low cost flu shots. Many stores with pharmacies also give flu shots as well for low prices or even for free.

4. Clean Your Home or Space

At school, I make it a priority to clean the tables, chairs, counters, and cubbies that the students and I use every day. I like to use disinfectant wipes on my counter tops but there are other products that are safe for children and the environment. Removing the germs and flu bacteria from everything the students and myself handle makes it easier to keep the sickness at bay.

Using these same products at home can kill the germ more and allow you and everyone at home to have more healthy days. Cleaning the bathroom, kitchen, and tables where food and you handle most things in your home is a great place to start.

What are other ways to keep yourself and your loved ones healthy and safe. Share below in the comments section!

Guilty Pleasures: Homemade Chocolate

Men may have their dogs, some women have their diamonds, but my best friend is chocolate. Here is a quick 5 ingredient, easy, and boyfriend-approved recipe to get your chocolate fix!

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup coconut oil (you can also use cocoa butter, vegetable shortening, or copha)
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

  1. Boil a cup of water in a saucepan and place a large bowl over top of the saucepan not allowing it to touch the water.

2. Melt the coconut oil on medium in the large bowl.

3. Add powdered sugar to melted oil.

4. Add cocoa powder to the mix.

5. Add milk powder to the mix as well.

6. Add vanilla extract and mix together.

7. Mix well until it is smooth and there are no bumps.

8. Pour the mix into molds. If you don’t have molds like I did, you can use an ice cube tray to make them into smaller pieces.

9. Tap or shake the tray gently to let the air out of the chocolates.

10. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until molds are solid.

11. Serve and enjoy!! Powdered sugar sprinkled on top is optional. Refrigerated leftovers should last up to 4 months!

Let me know what you did to your chocolates. How did you make them unique? Comment pictures below!

Recipe from: https://hebbarskitchen.com/homemade-chocolate-recipe-milk-chocolate/

Yummy for the Tummy: Sushi Style!

Yesterday, I went to a sushi bar for the first time to try actually sushi. I have been to places that sell sushi before but every time I went, I ended up getting bento boxes with at most a California roll. I decided to be adventurous and try it out with one of my friends!

My Order

I ordered a Bahamas roll which had crab and mango as well as avocado with a crunchy top. This roll is on the left side in the picture below. I also ordered a Paradise roll which had shrimp tempura, lobster salad, salmon, and avocado with special sauce on top. This roll is on the right side in the picture below.

I tried to order different types of sushi with different meats to add variety and see what I would like. The textures were different for these two with the Bahamas roll being more soft and chewy while the Paradise roll had more of a crunch to it.

Health Benefits

Sushi has many different health benefits. Here are only a few to list:

  • helps manage weight loss
  • helps prevent cancer
  • sushi is rich in omega 3 and fatty acids
  • great source for calcium to build strong bones
  • source for iron in your blood
  • helps slow down the aging process of your skin
  • as well as a great source for protein

You can read more about these benefits more in depth on the article “11 Amazing Health Benefits of Sushi” at the link below.

 

Overall, my first experience with sushi was nothing that I ever imagined it to be. It was above and beyond! Researching the benefits that it gives also makes it exciting to try sushi and hopefully try more.

What were some of your experiences with sushi? Comment below!

“11 Amazing Health Benefits of Sushi”: https://www.naturalfoodseries.com/11-benefits-sushi/

The ‘I Can Barely Walk the Next Day’ Workout

As a new member of a gym, I was given two opportunities to have a free session with a trainer. He asked me what I was looking for in my workouts and which types of workouts I enjoy. I responded that I was hoping to slim down and be more in shape to keep up with those kiddos at school. I love cardio but the trainer showed me a way to get my cardio without touching the treadmill or bikes.

Working out on your legs is a great way to kill two birds with one stone; working on your legs as well as getting a great cardio session in. Here are a few different exercises to try to get those toned legs and heart beating fast.

Kettlebell Lunges

Lunges are a great way to combine the cardio in a leg workout. Using a kettlebell is a great way to add weight to the workout. Of course know your limit and starting small is always a great idea.

Squats

Squats are a large part of a leg workout. I use a box step to squat and “sit”. You can squat using a high bar or with nothing at all. Here, again, they used kettlebells for these squats adding a weight and he is on a few steps to allow him to squat lower.

Above and Beyond

Creating your own workout and combinations of squats, lunges, box jumps is all up to you. Here is one guys workout to try.

Even though these gym beasts have high intensity leg workouts, there are always ways to modify them to fit where you are at fitness-wise at the moment (which I will definately be doing!). The only one that knows how fast, hard, and how much weight to use is you.

Add your leg workouts below for others to try! Have fun lovelies!