Hey y’all, so I think it’s been drilled into us enough that healthy eating is super important. The more junk food you eat, the “junkier” you feel, whereas healthier foods will give you energy and nutrients, and help keep you from getting sick. However, we all know, junk food tastes really good sometimes. We are in football season, which means football parties and football food, not to mention we have Halloween and Christmas and Thanksgiving coming up in a few months. All of these things generally mean there are some unhealthy food options in there. Luckily, there are ways to swap out unhealthy foods for healthy foods, and it won’t even be that painful!
Moderation is always what I use when it comes to healthy eating. I’m not big on dieting or diet foods, and I think the instant you cut something out of your diet completely, the more you crave it, or at least, that’s how it has always worked for me. So, rather than do that, it’s better to find a nice healthy balance. With these tips, you can hopefully do just that while enjoying everything the upcoming seasons have to offer.
- Try non-dairy milk options instead. If you’re noticing that you are having some stomach issues after drinking milk or you just want to try to get away from dairy in general, try almond, coconut, or oat milk. I’ve had all of the above, and since I can no longer have dairy in my diet really, I’ve found that all of the above make great substitutions and in my opinion, taste better than real milk anyway.
- Lessen the sugar in recipes. I know it may seem like it’ll be a huge deal to start changing recipes, but this is something I did last year for Christmas cookies, and they tasted the exact same, and were healthier with less sugar. Talk about a win-win!
- Try a lean white meat instead of as much red meat. Again, this is moderation, so don’t cut it completely from your diet, but definitely try swapping it out here and there. White meat is notoriously better for you than red meat, so see how you like it. An easy way to do this is to use ground turkey instead of ground beef in recipes. This is another thing that I think tastes better, so I try to swap it out as often as I can.
- Get your veggies in your smoothie. I used to be someone who had a strawberry banana smoothie with chocolate in it. Tastes delicious, but I definitely lost the health factor. Now, each morning I have a tropical smoothie with protein powder and some greens like spinach and/or kale. It still tastes delicious as the protein powder gives it an extra sweetness, and I can feel good each time I make one knowing I’m fueling my body rather than putting extra junk in it.
- Try different fruits for desserts. Let me explain. So instead of a banana split with ice cream, try a banana split with yogurt. Top it with fruit and nuts and even coconut flakes. It’s much healthier, and will still get that sweet tooth satisfied. If you’re craving a different dessert, try cut up bananas with honey and some cinnamon. Again, you’ll satisfy the sweet tooth without having too much added sugar.
- If you aren’t a huge fan of vegetables, find ways to sneak them in. One way is to have pasta filled with vegetables or even spiralized veggies instead of pasta. For example, I tried a butternut squash stuffed shell recipe this year, and it was delicious. I’ve made it several times, and absolutely love it. If you’re more daring, cook up spiralized zucchini and squash and put some tomato sauce on it. You may not even notice that you’re eating veggies instead of pasta. I can attest, it tastes delicious.
- Eat baked chips instead of regular. This way, you’ll still get your chips, but they’re a smidge healthier when they’re baked.
I hope these tips help, and that you find something here that helps you to have some healthier options in the future. Let me know if you have any tips you’d like to share!
Hey ya’ll, so it’s been a hectic past couple of weeks, and that’s because I have been preparing a house to sell. If you’ve never done this process before, you may not realize just how much goes into it, which is why I’m here to share this information. To warn you, so you know just how much time and effort is going to go into this, I have some tips on preparing a house to sell. Some of it you can do yourself, others you should definitely hire out, because it is just so much work on your own.
- Clean the outside of your house. That’s right, you either need to repaint your house or have it cleaned in some way. I figured that wasn’t a huge thing, but my realtor assured me that was incorrect, and it definitely needed a cleaning. Now, I decided that was something I could do myself, so I took out the pressure washer, and started pressure washing. It took hours, not to mention, I had to be very careful not to actually chip off the paint, because then I would have to repaint the house which I was trying to avoid. This is where a company like ZAP Cleaning comes into play. They offer a service called Soft Washing. For those who didn’t know, like me, soft washing is a different way to get the same sparkling results from pressure washing a house, but without the potential damage to the paint! This method of cleaning is a great way to get mold, mildew, grime, all of that nasty stuff off your house, without potential damage. If you happen to be in the Sarasota area, you are in luck, since ZAP Cleaning will be able to do this for you. There are several service areas they offer, including Sarasota, Venice, Southgate, Osprey, Bee Ridge, Fruitville, Naples, Siesta Key, and more. Check out the full list of service areas and see if they are near you!
ZAP Cleaning is well-known for providing wonderful customer service and they believe that customer satisfaction is number one. Not only do they offer soft washing cleaning options, they also do pressure washing, window cleaning, and roof cleaning. These services are offered for residential and commercial buildings, so you can easily get this cleaning done whether for your personal home or for your office building. Consider this an investment in your home or business, as you’ll bring in more people. I know it worked well for my house 😊
- Pressure wash your driveway. Again, this is something I’d highly recommend you hire someone to do, I wound up with a lovely sunburn on my shoulders, sweat at least 10 pounds out, and had to drink gallons of water to stay alive out in the Florida heat. I spent hours working on it, and while my driveway now glows and looks beautiful, it was a very tough job. That’s one thing that while it seems relatively easy, it definitely is harder than it seems, especially in 100 degree weather. So my suggestions: either do it yourself in the winter or hire someone else to do it during summer hours.
- Repaint doorframes. This is an indoor task that is easy enough, just takes a little bit of time, and is completely worth it. I did the door frames, as well as the baseboards, and it looks so much better than it did. Even if you don’t notice it, the paint does fade as time goes on, and they definitely need to be freshened up for a sale. This can also help cover up any potential scuffs or marks that occurred during your time living there.
- Grout cleaning. Again, this is one of those tasks that you probably don’t think about too much, but definitely needs to be done before selling your house. It’s not something we think about in the day to day cleaning and going about with our lives, and if you regularly mop your floors and keep up with things, you may think that you are good without doing this step, but it makes a huge difference. There are different types of cleaners you can get at different stores, the one I used is an acid base, and it brought up grime that the mop didn’t get.
- Clean the windows and mirrors. You may clean the mirrors every time that you clean your bathroom, but you likely don’t clean your windows on a weekly basis. If you do, good for you, send me that motivation! I had to go through and clean the inside and outside of the windows, and again, not something I initially thought of, but all of it goes into creating a beautiful, desirable home that people will want to buy.
There is definitely much more to it than just clearing out the clutter, and doing the traditional cleaning. Make sure you’re aware of the amount of time this will take and plan accordingly. I’ve been rushing around quite a bit, and wish I had started some of these tasks ahead of time, so I could have gotten a head start on the whole process. However, I’m glad I know it now, and am happy to share this with you. Happy cleaning! 😊
If you have mahogany furniture that’s gotten a little wear and tear, use a walnut to fill in the wood scratches.
Hosting the perfect indoor/outdoor party can be a little difficult, but not when you follow our tips. These types of parties are perfect for taking advantage of the beautiful spring nights, as well as work well for smaller spaces in that your guests can be more spread out rather than crammed into one small space. I’m a huge fan of them in the fact that I can get some fresh air if needed, while also enjoying a beautiful night and my friends’ company.
Indoor/Outdoor Party Tips
- Twinkle lights will go a long way. If you have a porch or deck or patio area, add some twinkle lights around the perimeter. They’ll add a wonderful ambiance, while also allowing you light to see, but without those harsh floodlights.
- Prepare a summery spread. This means you can choose light options like different salads, charcuterie boards, fruits and vegetables, antipasto options, and this gives your guests a variety of foods to choose from to munch on all night long.
- Keep mosquitos away naturally with citronella plants. Not only are they wonderful, leafy green plants, but they are natural mosquito repellants. Place some around the patio border for decoration and bug control. You can also light some citronella candles around the border to help with the pest control.
- Set up the food inside. Let your guests wander outside with their drinks, but keep the food inside to keep bugs, pollen, and other gross things out of the food. If you have a large dining table, set up your spread there or on the kitchen counters in a buffet style so everyone can just grab a plate and then move the party outdoors.
- Use melamine plates. They won’t shatter if someone drops them, but they also won’t create waste in the same way that paper plates and cups do. They also are easy to wash and store, are fairly cheap, and come in fun colors and prints.
- Have a rain plan. It’s spring, so those spring showers could come at any point. If you have a covered patio or screen porch, your guests will be covered even if it rains. If not, have a rain plan and a secondary area for your guests to mingle.
- Remember to turn the AC off. Odds are you will have doors and windows left open, which means you’ll want to make sure you aren’t trying to cool the outside world.
- Use a variety of outdoor chairs, pillows, and cushions for seating. Some of your guests will likely wander around and prefer to stand, but for those who don’t, offer a variety of outdoor seating. This way, everyone can have a seat if they want it, and the different layers will look wonderful.
Hopefully some of these indoor/outdoor party tips will help you throw the party of your dreams. These can be great for graduation, birthdays, and even just because.
Whether you live by yourself or with others, you’ll want to invest in a security system. Tis the season for break-ins, so be prepared and know exactly what is going on in your house at all times with some cameras. You can find some for decent prices, and easily set them up.
Make a batch of dough before bed, and put it in the fridge for the next day. Then, when you come home from work, school, life, you can easily get those cookies baked and have a sweet treat in no time.
While talking with one of my credit card companies, the woman was kind enough to inform me that you get better credit if you pay your bills early, rather than waiting until the due date, even if it’s not a full payment.
For all my cat owners, y’all need to get a self cleaning cat box. It will save your life, and with so many versions on the market, you can find one that works for your budget. Your cat will be happier, and hopefully you’ll have less messes around the house.
For all the tough choices in life, make yourself a pro/con list. It’ll give you clarity, and help you have a visual of each side of a decision.
Every few months you need to go through and refresh your closet. Go through it, see what doesn’t fit, and either sell it or give it away.