Five Things Friday: Staying Cool during the Summer

Can you believe that summer has barely started and it feels like it’s dragging on? So. Hot! So. Humid. Can’t breathe. Sun…too bright. Walls closing in.

Thank goodness there are things that I can do about this heat. Living on the top floor of an apartment with one small air conditioning unit is challenging. 85 degrees of “holy heck, how are we going to make it?!” There are ways, so easy and yet overlooked, that make the heat a lot more bearable.

Five Favorite Ways to Stay Cool During the Summer

1. Fans

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Close the curtains to keep the heat out, turn on the fans and create a nice cross-breeze.

2. Iced Drinks

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Water is obviously the best choice. Lemonade is also a summer favorite of mine.

3. Peppermint Oil

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I love to use peppermint oil on the back on my neck to help cool down.

4. Cooler Showers

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You’d be surprised how easily you adapt to taking cooler showers. It’s so good for you and helps to lower your body temperature.

5. Indoor Window Shopping

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Sometimes it’s just too hot and too much work to stay cool at home. That’s when I head out to the library, the grocery store, or have dinner out. I can enjoy their air conditioning while the sun goes down and the temperatures start to drop.

I see that ice-cream bars are on sale this week at the local grocery store. We’ll definitely use them this weekend!

-Kristina Wise

The Death of Chevron

I’ve seen this coming over the last few months, but it’s all but official now. The fad of Chevron is done. For the most part I’ve been in denial. I LOVE my teal and white chevron blog header, and I’ve even scooped up a few household items of the same color combination.

Now I have to come to terms with this.

A favorite website of mine, Apartment Therapy, just posted an article about trends specifically targeting chevron. Read it HERE.

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Thanks a LOT, Listerine! *Sarcasm.*

So, what’s the next popular pattern idea? Personally, I’ve had my eye on Moroccan Trellis patterns.

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In the meantime, I’m going to snuggle with my classically beautiful, not to mention homemade, chevron afghan.

-Kristina

Five Things Friday: Missing Retail

I’ve been trying to come up with five things that I miss about retail and it’s harder than I thought. That’s probably because my new job is going so well. The funniest part is that for every one thing I miss about retail, there’s three things that I don’t.

Things I hate about retail:
When a customer puts their money on the counter or belt.
Screaming children
Customers who decide at check-out that they don’t want half the stuff.
Friday means nothing
Random shifts, always different
People in pajamas
Christmas music
Complaints about prices
Customers mentioning the nice weather outside

Specific to my last job:
It was always hot inside
Some people would talk your ears off
The carpet was stained and gross to look at
I spent too much money

Now I’m working full-time. I have to get up at a respectable hour, put my big girl pants on, and head out the door with a coffee that’s not quite strong enough for the whole day. So far, I’m enjoying learning how to use new programs and problem solve issues that arise.

Five Things I Miss About Retail

1. Co-Workers

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I worked with a surprisingly decent amount of good people. Most didn’t talk to me much (I don’t mind, I’m interesting enough inside my own head.) When my co-workers did talk to me, at least they had something interesting to say. Sure, there was some drama, but I enjoy hearing about people’s lives in small doses. Going on for ten minutes about negative family drama: boo! A few minutes of planning your Disney vacation: TELL ME MORE!

2. Regular Customers

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It means a lot to me when other people understand certain quirks about retail. You hand me your money, awesome. You count out 24 pennies, not so much. You carefully empty the contents of your cart on the belt, cool. You place the basket on the belt and expect me to empty it, grr! You smile, ask about my day, say please and thank you, and I’m going to look forward to you coming back. Come in wearing pajamas, smell awful, and start demanding things, I’m not going to be motivated to helping you much. Be polite, people!

3. Knowing Where Products Are Located

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This is a refined skill that you have to learn at every new retail job. What does the store sell? Where is it? Of course, it doesn’t help if the product is moved around from display to different display twice a week. Bonus, it helps if you can tell people where they can find fidget spinners (no, the dollar store doesn’t have them.)

4. Clearance Items

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There was never a whole lot on clearance at the dollar store, but it’s something I’m always on the lookout for.

5. Limited Edition Items

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I remember when the store got in Jell-O Creations. Oh. My. Yummy! There were some things that would come in and they would cost so much more elsewhere. Star Wars micro machines for $1, but $5 at KMart. Sweet! I’ll miss seeing all the great things that came in and got snatched up right away.

All in all, I don’t miss working in retail as much as I thought I would.

-Kristina Wise

Five Things Friday: Fidgets and More

What a fun weekend this is and it’s hardly begun! It started with my dear friend visiting, garage sales, and watching my hamster zip around in her ball (you can’t buy that kind of entertainment). I’ve got a couple projects lined up, mostly cleaning and catching up on TV, but I’m trying to cherish my free time. Starting Tuesday I work full-time. I have to learn silly things like waking up early and staying awake 9-5 without a nap.

I’m doomed.

Maybe.

I’m also determined so there just might be hope.

Five Favorite Fidgety Things and More

1. Garage Sales!

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It’s that wonderful time of year when you can put a price tag on your old crap. I personally haven’t participated in a garage sale in a while because living in an apartment gives you little room for storage. So, all my stuff goes straight to the thrift stores. However, I love driving through the neighborhood to see what little gems I can find. The best thing I ever scored was a Darth Vader helmet.

2. This is sand App

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I stumbled across this in the Apple App Store the other day. It’s a creative way to create works of art with different colored sand. You don’t have to be artsy to make something beautiful.

3. Pusheen Coloring Book

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This was a recent gift from a dear friend of mine. I’m enjoying taking a break from the detailed adult coloring books and just having fun with this adorable cat.

4. Hamsters in a House

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My husband made the mistake of letting me go inside Toys R Us. 30 year old woman turned 10 year old squealing girl ensued. Did you know they sell American Girl dolls there now? Have you seen how big the Star Wars section is? Look at the awesome scooter! Oh, oh oh oh oh, look! HAMSTERS! I love hamsters, they’re so cute, I want them all, can I get one, oh please, oh please, oh PLEASE?!

I got one little hamster (Chubby), and all the other hamsters and accessories are on my wish/Christmas list.

5. Fidget Spinner Madness

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‘Nuff said. I love watching everyone on the internet go nuts about them.

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Look at that, fidget spinners in their natural environment.

 

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

-Kristina Wise

Throw Out 50 Things

Have you ever had a day when you finally notice how cluttered your house is? You open your closet and a couple of shoe boxes fall on you. Or you struggle to open the junk drawer in your kitchen. Maybe you’re looking for stamps in your desk and come across what feels like a billion pens.

Clutter is so frustrating!

It makes you wonder why you have so much stuff to begin with. For a second you may ponder ditching it all and taking up the minimalist lifestyle. Never fear, there is a sweet spot between too much stuff and owning next to nothing.

It’s my pleasure to introduce you to one of my favorite books:

Throw Out 50 Things

If you’re looking for a book with a detailed guide on how to organize, move along because this isn’t the book for you. However, if you want to de-clutter by means of letting things go, then BINGO, this book will help you do it.

The premise of the book is right there in the title, and that might sound easy until you get right down to it and realize all the rooms in your house to go through.

Bedroom – Bathroom – Kitchen – Living Room – Dining Room – Attic – Garage

Since I live in an apartment, I don’t have that many rooms, but let me share with you a space that I worked on. The linen closet. I don’t have that many linens, it’s just me and my husband, so we also store medicine, bath and beauty products in there.

BEFORE:

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Ouch, that hurts to look at. The sad part is that it looked even worse in person. There were so many lotions and unused/expired bath products. I couldn’t find the Aleve even though it was right up front, it was cluttered with the rest of the medicines. My favorite part was my hotel stash, I had four freezer bags full of them! Shampoo, conditioner, hand soap and body wash. If that wasn’t a cry for help, then surely saving a bunch of prescription bottles was.

Are you ready to see the results of the purge?

AFTER:

2017-04-06 Linen Closet After

Unbelievable, am I right? Where did everything go? Short answer, the trash. I took nearly everything out, looked it over, and decided if I’d use it in the next year, could I donate it, or was it better to be trashed? The answer was almost always trash. I had to confer with my husband on a few things, but he was surprised how quickly I slashed through this project. Also, there were two heavy trash bags to take out.

Let’s look at a smaller project.

I recently set up a vanity for myself. I don’t use much make-up (Google vanity and look and the images that come up, they can get HUGE), and the small space works perfectly. Except that it took no time at all to get cluttered.

BEFORE:

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Ugh, I don’t even want to talk about this mess. Seriously though, those socks were there for more than a few days. Gross, I know.

AFTER:

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Now this is something I can talk about! The mirrored base was free from a friend and sitting in the back of a shelf in the kitchen, it looks glam on the vanity. My favorite cereal bowl is chipped, so instead of tossing it, I’m using it as a catch-all. Only my daily necessities are on the vanity and the rest are in the closet.

The best part of clearing all that clutter is that you find what you really need, what matters, and discover that without extra stuff, there’s more room for life.

Throw Out 50 Things is written by Gail Blanke. Every time I read this book it inspires me to clear out a different part of my house. My advice is to start small. Instead of the whole kitchen, just tackle the refrigerator. That could mean getting the rotten and expired food out. Or you could even throw out old magnets for restaurants that went out of business.

Get cracking! You don’t have to wait until the weekend to start getting rid of that clutter.

-Kristina Wise