Hot dog blog!🐕❤

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20160921_112553.jpgOkay, so I had to laugh this morning when I realized I missed posting a blog this week.  Let me update my loyal blog followers on my recent life changes…..We are now the very proud owners of an 11 week old American Cocker Spaniel puppy!  Yay!  We are loving him and our new puppydome, but it has brought back all the memories of when my girls were babies and toddlers!

I have realized that having a puppy is very similar to having a baby. They sleep and play, and poop and pee a lot, but they are also like those toddlers who get into EVERYTHING and ANYTHING they can.  They love to explore and are so curious about new things.  The one change is the chewing and teething behaviours.  Unlike human babies, puppies seem to think that any part of you, your clothing, the house, the yard, etc., etc., is their personal teething toy!  Man and are their teeth sharp! Yowzers!  They are like needles!  So, that being said, we have quite an array of “redirection toys” kicking around everywhere to distract him with. These do work, but persistence, perseverance and patience are key.img_20160925_203534.jpg Continue reading

Spring into Action

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wpid-moldiv_1431128630664.jpgWhat does spring mean to you?  To me, three things come to mind, a new start, and green!  Green grass, leaves on trees, flowers and plants budding in the gardens! It’s that time of year where all of a sudden neighbours are reunited and you see people walking around outside (more) happily. ….rather than quickly getting to their car, house, or work as fast as they can without freezing! This is the time to try something new and why not enlist a friend? Many people would be interested and motivated because they wouldn’t want to let you down! 😆

I love all of our seasons in Canada,  but I am always excited about the change from one to another. Personally I just get sick of one wardrobe and get excited about the prospect of bringing out my next season’s wardrobe!  Why not use this excitement while bringing in the new wardrobe by sorting through, organizing, and donating clothing items?

With the change of season upon us, why not take this opportunity to create a new healthy habit! Try parking further from work so you are forced to walk longer to get there? Try going for a walk on your lunch break 1-3 times a week? Why not introduce a new vegetable every week into your household? Register for a new class? Commit with a friend to exercise?  When you are at a dance competiton  (which is where my family spends spring weekends! !) take the stairs whenever you can? Getting up and racing to get your child changed and ready for the next number is also good exercise!

This spring try “springing ” into action and create a new, positive habit that will help you be an even better you! If that’s even possible! 😆

Your Simply Susan tip of the day! 😆

 

Positive attitude, Open mind, Moving forward

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Getting off to a new start this year can be both inspiring and challenging.   The thought of change for some people is too much and they stop right there and never get going on their new ideas simply because  they are overwhelmed with the idea of change.  Before they even really try, many people just give up.

This year, try tackling tasks with a new and improved attitude.  A positive attitude can be the one thing you change that will make things work this time!  Trust me, it’s never too late to try something new.  Whether it’s a new exercise program or an organization project in your home.  This new attitude could impact your life in such a way you’ll wonder why it took you so long to try it in the first place!

Let’s first think about areas in your life that need to change for the well-being of everyone!  Your hoarding, your inactivity or lack of exercise,  your time spent online, t.v. watching, shopping or eating? These are problems I hear about every day and things people seem to have difficulty changing.   Your first step is to identify it as a problem.   If you can’t do this you’re not ready to move past this step.  However, if this isn’t an issue for you,  you’re ready to get help and ideas of how to tackle this issue.

From here you need to figure out if it is an issue you can handle on your own, or if you need to confide in someone in order to help yourself. If you need to seek help, now is the time. Make a call, go online, find the help you need today. Putting it off will not help you! Dealing with it today will get the ball rolling and you’ll be glad you made the effort to change in a way you have not been able to in the past.

I am a great believer in seeking out new, more efficient,  better ways to do things and believe we should all keep an open mind and realize and accept when things aren’t being done right.  Change is change, but it doesn’t have to be negative.  You truly can teach an old dog new tricks!!😄😄

Be open, be positive,  and let’s start this new year with a new inspired attitude.

Your first Simply Susan tip for 2016!  Smile on my friends😆

Organized space = Family Time

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This is likely the room where you and your family spend most of your time.  The room where you are likely to read, watch t.v., and just spend time with each other; hence the name “family room”.

Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep this room neat and tidy, but if you have less “stuff” there is less to clutter your space!  Ideally you have chairs, couches, end tables, a coffee table and/or ottoman, and shelving.  Stick to the basics and don’t add unnecessary items, this just adds more stuff to keep tidy, and bang into.

A general rule here is to keep “like” items together.  Keep all your papers, magazines, and books in a basket.  Keep all remote controls grouped together in one location, such as on the coffee table or in a stand or pouch designed for them.  If you get in the habit of doing this, they won’t get lost!  At the end of the night, make sure they are all in their spot together.

Fold blankets and put them either in an ottoman/box, or on the back of chairs, or couches.

 

DSCF2179Keep your entertainment centre organized by grouping similar items together.  If you have a lot of DVD’s, or electronic games, invest in decorative boxes and group them accordingly.  Keep DVD’s in boxes under your DVD player, keep (e.g.) Wii games in a box under your Wii. It is also useful to store your extra wires and cords you may need in your entertainment unit.

All in all, this space should be family-friendly, and most of all comfortable for you all.  By changing your habits and starting to keep things in designated places, there will be less wasted time arguing, and looking for lost or misplaced items, and more time spent enjoying family time or just relaxing!

Maintaining order in the kitchen

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2015-04-26_16.28.29Aside from sleeping in my bedroom, the kitchen is the second most used room in my house.

I am very particular about the organization and cleanliness of my kitchen and believe it should be a priority for everyone, seeing as this is where we prep, store, and serve food.  If a kitchen is cluttered and dirty, you are less likely to use it and more likely to eat out.  Please don’t, it’s better for you to make your own meals  and eat at home!

First, some quick tips for cleaning.  I clean/disinfect my kitchen once a week.  I basically just wipe down all surfaces with  an all-purpose cleaner (I use vinegar and water).  If you commit to doing this once a week, it takes way less time than if you have to thoroughly clean it once a month.  ***Maintenance is key.  It saves time and energy***

I, for one, need to have organized, clear work spaces regardless of the size of the kitchen.  In my opinion, only keep the appliances and tools in your kitchen you use regularly.

If you have limited counter space, only keep out what you use daily.  This keeps things looking less cluttered and this will be less overwhelming for you when you want to make meals.  This also applies to drawer and cupboard spaces.   There is no need for you to have drawers and cupboards filled with items that you have to dig through and almost knock down to get to those priority items.

Quick tip…..Get a box and go through your kitchen cupboards and drawers one day.   All the items that you think you could do without, put them in this box and put it aside. If you need an item from this box take it out. After 6-8 months, donate or throw out items that are still in the box.

I also like to make sure my kitchen is tidied before I go to bed each night.  If you make meals, try cleaning the dishes as you go!  This is what I do, and it saves a lot of time after cooking.  Less clean-up is always a plus.

After meals, if there are others in your household, enlist them in daily kitchen duties so everyone has a part in taking pride in the kitchen space.  If you take it upon yourself to do it alone, you will feel resentful, and this helps noone! 🙂

I know, we’re all tired after dinner and want to just get away from the kitchen and relax, but, trust me, the few minutes that it takes when you enlist others to help do their part, and doing it quickly after each meal is worth it.   It doesn’t have to take a long time!  Procrastinating and putting it off until later will just double your tasks, and effort required to do them! 

“Mooooommm, where’s the cereal?” Sound familiar?

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2015-01-24_15.22.33I like a good sale item as much as the next person, so when it comes to my regularly used/consumed items, I like to buy these in bulk when they are on sale.  This does mean though that I need a good, organized place to keep these items.

First of all, I believe it is a good idea to organize your shelves logically.  For example, keep most frequently used items at eye level.  This way when you go to get something from your pantry and have already forgotten what it is you were looking for, it will likely be right in front of you!  Also, put large items such as cereal boxes on a lower shelf.

Group like items.  For example, put all breakfast items on one shelf, baking items on another, canned items grouped by type, pasta together etc.

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Here are examples of two of my organized shelves.  I have grouped canned goods together, soups on one side, pasta sauce on the other.

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I like to keep all my baking supplies grouped together and in bins that I could bring up to the kitchen to bake, then return to the pantry when I’m done with them.

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If you have children, you may like to keep a “treat bin” with readily available snacks just in case.  In some households, this may need to be placed out of view, but having the individual items ready to go is great for a quick grab anytime you may need it.

If you take the time to keep your shelves sorted, less time will be spent searching for needed items, and less food will go to waste.  For some, you could even go the extra step and label your shelves so you and others in your household will know where items are kept.

Another important tip is to go through your pantry items every 3-4 months and throw out expired items. (Remember that “best before” dates don’t always mean not good after…be wise and not wasteful.)  Also, as soon as an item is running low or as I use the last of it, I add it to my grocery list on my phone.

Believe me, it truly is easy to maintain after you have organized it in a way that works for you.

There you have it, an organized pantry, now if only your kitchen was just as organized. …………stay tuned  😉

Organizing keeps me sane

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I for one love to keep all spaces in my house organized and neat.  Without this I can’t function.  I need to have order before I can cause chaos! 🙂

I am going to dedicate many blogs over the next while to help motivate you all to start organizing each room in your house.

If your house is in dire need of organizing, don’t panic, instead, put it into perspective and make a prioritized list of what needs to be done.

Walk through your house with a pen and notebook (or make notes on your phone) and list rooms that you want to organize.  You could even use your phone and snap pictures of each room.  After you have the list and/or pictures, sit down and think seriously about which rooms need it the most, and which can wait the longest.

Next, prioritize your list and list the rooms you want to tackle in order of importance.  From here, look at the first room and set yourself an attainable goal/completion date.

That is as good a start as any!   So, now you have officially started the process and are on your way!

The next step takes longer and that’s because it means you have to get down and dirty and deal with your clutter and mess!  Please don’t get overwhelmed!  It can be done, but it will take time.  When you are setting up a completion date, be realistic.  You have to think about how much time per week you are going to spend on the room and go from there.

From here, you just have to start because often times that is the hardest part!

I’ll leave it there for now, and if you can get this done be happy!  We’ll continue more on this later.

Inbox me if you need any direct help or ideas, and please share this blog with friends and family!

Hope you enjoyed your Simply Susan tip of the day!

Keep calm and organize on😆