Top 5 Habits of Organized People

Top 5 Habits of Organized People

Have you found it to be harder to stay organized these days? I used to think I was an organized person. I developed a plan and worked the plan to accomplish my goal. But lately, I find that I’ve been falling into habits that sabotage my efforts to get things done efficiently.

Ever wondered how some people stay a lot more organized than others? Well, the secret is habits!

Those who appear to have it all together tend to follow the same habits day after day. They aren’t born super-organized, it’s a skill that can be learned by absolutely anyone. So, what are these habits you should be doing to make your life more organized?

Keep reading to discover the top 5 habits of organized people you can adopt today.

  1. Write everything down

In order to be organized, you either need to have an extremely good memory, or you need to start writing things down!

You’ll notice one of the main traits of an organized person, is that they appear to remember everything. They never miss sending out greeting cards on time, they’re always early and they know exactly what needs to be done and when it needs to be done. So, do these people just have a better memory than you? No! They simply make sure they write everything down.

I have notebooks for everything! I’m almost embarrassed to admit how much I write down. I have a performance planner for my business that directs what I plan to do each day. It also keeps me motivated by helping me realize how much I have accomplished and how to feel good about it.

My everyday notebook is where I “dump” everything – things I need to remember to do, bright ideas of projects to develop later, or household tasks I need to do. Then at a time when I have some time, I go back through the day’s entries and do something with them, such as move to a specific list for taking action later or take action now.  

So, start making lists for your shopping and always mark down important times and dates. It’s also better to write them down physically, rather than saving them as a note on your smartphone or tablet. While it may be more convenient to digitally make a note of things, it’s actually not as effective as having physical notes.

  1. They have a set routine

Another habit organized people have is a set routine. If you’re a parent, you’ll know just how important routine is when it comes to setting good habits for your kids. It’s exactly the same with adults too.

Just because we’re older, it doesn’t mean we don’t need a regular routine to keep ourselves happy and healthy. Organized people know this, and they use it to their advantage. They have a routine for everything, not just for bedtime or exercise. For example, they’ll also set aside 10 minutes each day to carry out specific chores or tasks.

One of the good things about setting routines is that you don’t have to exert energy making decisions about what to do. Setting a morning and evening routine can help set the tone for your day and help you end it relaxed for a good night’s sleep.

For example, my morning starts with what I call a “vitamin cocktail”, a blend of water and orange juice with polyphenols, flaxseed oil, vitamin B12, curcumin and vitamin C. It actually tastes very good! Then I have a quiet time of meditation. I read a passage in the Bible daily and listen to soothing audio tracks. Then, I map out my day and what I need to accomplish.

So, if you’re looking to become more organized, getting into a routine is going to prove crucial to your success. Developing habits of organization help you accomplish your goals.

  1. They create schedules and goals

Those who are organized don’t waste any time at all. They schedule their time and set goals to work towards. What’s more, they don’t stop until they achieve them.

When you have a schedule, you know exactly what you need to do and when it needs to be done by. This reduces the risk you’ll miss anything important. It’s important to remember that when you are making goals, you’ll need to make them as short as possible to ensure they’re achievable.

For example, you want to become more organized, so that’s your main goal. However, there’s a lot of smaller goals you need to reach before you can achieve the overall goal. So, start by writing your main goals, then work on splitting them down so you have a clear idea of the smaller tasks you need to work on in order to achieve them.

  1. They don’t put anything off

Do you tend to put things off for as long as possible? Organized people don’t! To an organized person, their motto is “Why put off something until tomorrow when it can be done today”. This simple rule can help you to become so much more organized.

Sometimes when I find myself putting something off, it’s because I don’t see a way to address the issue. If I simply stop and quietly think about what needs to be done and how to do it, a plan emerges that can efficiently get it done.

If you want your life to be much less stressful, getting things done as quickly as possible is sure to help. So, stop procrastinating and start getting things done.

  1. They know when to seek help

Finally, out of the many habits organized people have, knowing when to ask for help is a crucial one.

These days, it’s common to feel like you need to do everything by yourself. Social media has played a large role in making people feel like they need to be super human. You should be able to easily juggle your work, family, financial and social life without any help from anyone else. It’s a myth! Organized people know when to ask for help in order to maximize their time.

This is probably the hardest habit for me to develop. I’ve always relied on myself to do everything. I grew up thinking self-sufficiency was a most admirable goal. However, I am learning that people are very willing to share what they know with you. It feels good to help someone else. So, give people a chance to help you and let them feel good about themselves.

These are just 5 habits organized people have. While there are many more, if you focus on developing these habits, you’re going to become a lot more organized.

5 Ways to Boost Your Inner Peace

5 Ways to Boost Your Inner Peace

I don’t know about you, but my inner peace has been a bit shaky lately. It’s as if I’m living in some kind of Twilight Zone. It’s difficult to have inner peace when everything around you and the world is in chaos. But there are things we can do to nurture our inner peace amid the lack of outer peace.

Inner peace means being fully present in the now, not the past or the future. While it may be hard to come by in this day and age of uncertainty, conflict and fear, there are ways to obtain a state of serenity. Below are five solid ways to boost your inner peace. Like most things, they won’t work unless you apply them to your life. Maybe only one is what you need to strengthen your inner peace. But taken and applied in combination multiplies the effects on your sense of well-being.

  1. Exercise

Inner peace is the absence of stress and anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise in almost any form can act as a stress reliever.

 Exercise is one of the best ways to change your mental state to one of positivity. You don’t have to run a marathon to reap the benefits of physical activity either! Any type of movement will provide you with a greater sense of peace.

This can include practicing yoga and the breathing techniques that accompany the poses, going for a walk in nature and appreciating the smell of the flowers and the hum of insects and birds, or the waves crashing on the sand at the beach. However, you may enjoy a more vigorous workout as well, such as a spin class or running sprints.

I have to admit this is not been my choice for restoring inner peace. I am aware of the fact that any movement done on a regular basis can help you in so many ways. I do ride my incumbent bike daily, but I am motivated more by preparing my knees for a quicker recovery from upcoming knee replacement surgery.

  1. Set Healthy Boundaries

Boundaries help us take care of ourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Healthy boundaries help us maintain a positive sense of self, trusting who we are and not allowing others to define us.

These are difficult times for setting and abiding by boundaries. The current necessity of social distancing makes this tip probably the most difficult to manage. According to news reports, we as a nation are indulging in mindless eating of junk foods, as if we will have no tomorrow for which we are accountable. According to reported shortages of flour in grocery stores, we must be baking bread as if we will be unable to purchase it. And projected meat shortages make this the perfect time to add more plant-based protein to our diets.

But letting the current life situation define our daily existence makes it all the more important for us to think about the healthiest ways to live through the pandemic crisis and to employ personal boundaries to make that happen for us.

  1. Socialize and Connect With Others

A Harvard study done by Dr. Robert Waldinger suggests that “meaningful relationships are a prescription for better emotional, mental and physical health.” 

 There has been over eight decades of research, among 700 men who were teenagers in 1930s (and over 60 men who are still participating in their 90’s) which shows that:

  • social connections appear to be good for health
  • loneliness appears to be toxic
  • relationship quality matters
  • good relationships appear to protect our brains 

There are a number of ways to strengthen connections to others, such as making new friends (by volunteering or joining a club, for example) and working to improve existing relationships with family and friends.

However, this way to inner peace has been denied to us in many ways. Social distancing is the current norm. And we long for the social contact that feeds our souls. Being apart from my family is excruciating and I’m sure it is for many others. We are forced to find less than satisfying ways to remain connected.

  1. Journal

Daily writing can help with organizing and processing your thoughts, clearing your mind and facilitating problem-solving. According to an article published by Michigan State University, journaling can act as an emotional release/escape and help you obtain clarity and rid you of negative thoughts.

I have been keeping a daily gratitude journal for over a year now. At the end of each day, I write five things I am grateful for, starting each sentence with “I am grateful for”. This has probably been the single most impactful way I’ve been able to cope with trying times. Simply recognizing my blessings invites more peaceful sleep and a feeling that everything will be all right at some point.

  1. Meditate (which may include more traditional meditation methods or calling on one’s faith to sustain us through prayer)

According to, “a simple technique practiced for as few as 10 minutes per day can help you control stress, decrease anxiety, improve cardiovascular health, and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation”. Meditation produces a state of deep internal relaxation, regardless of what is going on externally.

My daily devotional time in the morning is of indeterminable value to me. If I miss a day, I feel as though I’ve lost something more valuable than the short time involved. 

Establishing inner peace can also have a positive ripple effect, spreading peace to others. When we are acting from a place of serenity, we are kind, generous, patient, and compassionate. We are less quick to judge and take offense.

We find joy in connecting with others and in turn, others act in a similar way. When we find inner peace, we help contribute to a better world! “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin in me.”

Roots: Chapter 1

In a previous post entitled Roots and Wings, I spoke of Henry Ward Beecher’s beautiful quote, “there are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots…the other wings”. The roots of my childhood made me who I am today. This post addresses those roots and how they are reflected in my current home.

I have many tangible examples of those roots throughout my home. I really did not realize how much my home was filled with these items until I began to list and take note of them. Some have been updated to fit in my personal style. Others are displayed as sentimental reminders of special family members on both sides of our families.

As I chronicle the expression of my personal roots through items in my home, I will be revealing them categorically by the room in which they are found. In this post, I am sharing general items that reflect my (and sometimes my husband’s) roots, which include doors, items in hallway and porch posts.

Welcome to me and

my home as you enter

through the front door.

Welcome to me and my home as you enter through the front door. Even as a child, I thought the exterior doors of our home were especially beautiful. They were finished with an almost black tar-like substance, which also covered many of the pieces of furniture. I did not realize how pervasive this finish was until I began to refinish the doors. 

The front door of my current home was also the front door of my childhood home. From what I know about my grandparents and when they were married, I assume my childhood home was built in the early 1900s. Therefore, I imagine this door was made prior to 1920.

I love the detail and design of the door. The outside has raised carvings and a small ledge just below the glass. I wish I could remember when I refinished it, but I’m sure it was long before we built my current home. My guess is that would be approximately 50 years ago, probably just before or soon after my wedding.

I do remember it took hours of scraping off the tar-like finish. It took many coats of paint remover and hour upon hour of sanding, which was all done by hand. The wood turned out to be a reddish-brown color, most likely permanently stained by the original finish that had been applied to it. So, I left it the color that emerged and simply applied some type of oil to protect the wood. I’m not sure what I originally used, but now I occasionally wipe it down with Danish or teak oil.

This door became the front door of my home in the mid-’90s during the first remodel of our home. I commissioned a local artist who created stained glass items to design, create and install a new glass insert. We also installed a lock. None of the doors in my childhood home had locks. We never even thought about locking a door. The porch doors had a simple latch that was used mainly to keep the screen doors from blowing open by the wind. But we seldom secured them.

When we built our home, our front door was a double door. When we changed to this single front door, we installed sidelights to fill the remaining space. The local artist also created matching glass inserts for the sidelights.

I love the imperfection

in those doors…

a reminder of the

imperfection in all

of us.

These double doors are the entrance to the study. In my childhood home, they were exterior doors near my parent’s bedroom, opening onto the left side of the large wrap-around porch. They also were finished with the black tar-like substance on the exterior side of the doors.

However, unlike the front door, I paid a furniture refinisher to remove the original finishes. An interesting fact I discovered afterward was that one of the doors was originally installed backward. If you look closely in the picture, you can see that the molding on the panels of one of the doors is raised and it is inset on the other door. Apparently, when they were first hung, one of them was installed backward! I don’t think my parents or grandparents ever recognized that fact. And I don’t think I would have recognized it had it not been for the removal of the original finish, exposing the wood in its natural state. But I love the imperfection in those doors, making them all the more dear to me – a reminder of the imperfection in all of us.

 I commissioned the same artist who created the glass insert for the front door to create matching glass inserts for these doors to replace the original plain glass.

You had to go


through this door


onto the porch


to get to the kitchen.

The above door was an interior door in my childhood home. It opened from the hallway that connected the front entrance with the back porch. You had to go through this door onto the porch to get to the kitchen. In the wintertime, it was a very cold trek through this door onto the porch and to the kitchen. But the hallways were also unheated, so there was a lot of rushing to get from one heated room to another!

This door needed a lot less work to refinish. Since it was an interior door, it did not have the tar-like finish on either side. However, it was not tall enough to fit the exterior door opening in my home (from study to the side of the wrap-around porch). So, my contractor, who was my next-door neighbor, added about 6 inches of wood to the bottom, which I stained to match the door and had covered with a brass kickplate on both sides. Unless you examined the door very closely, you would never know it had been altered from its original state.

I requested that

particular post be 

placed at the front 

entrance and the 

words of  its origin

kept unpainted.

The above picture illustrates something I really treasure. When my childhood home was torn down, my father saved the front porch posts. When we remodeled the exterior of my home in the mid-’90s, we added a wrap-around porch and used those original posts. As we examined the posts to pick out the least damaged ones, we found an inscription on one of them where the paint had worn off. It read “Lilley Bros. Williamston, NC”. Those porch posts and I assume all the lumber and doors in my childhood home, had been cut at a sawmill owned and operated by three brothers, one of which was my great-grandfather! What an exciting find!

 When the posts were added to my new front porch, I requested that particular post be placed at the front entrance and the words of its origin kept unpainted.

 Also, the porch posts were too short for my porch, so we had to add a block of wood at the bottom, which we hid with molding. As with the side exterior door, you would never know the entire post was not original.





The shelves were

originally one long

board that was

13.5″ wide and 

almost 2″ thick.

The above bookshelf needs a detailed explanation, partly because I want to record what I can remember about its origin and partly because I want my children and grandchildren to know the story.

 There were many barns on our farm, and they were named according to their use. The Mule Barn, of course, was home to our mules. I can remember having seven mules. I can only remember the names of two of them, Molly and Big Red. During the day, they roamed and grazed in the “lot”, which was fenced off behind the house and barns. There was no fence on the back side of the lot, because it was naturally fenced by a creek.

In the evening, my grandfather would open the gate to allow the mules to go into their stalls in the barn. They would first stop at the water trough, which was the front of the pump house (this housed the water pump for the entire home). My grandfather and I would stand between the water trough and the road to direct the mules into their stalls. But each mule knew where to go, and they would obediently enter their assigned stall after a long drink of water.

My grandfather and I would then lock the doors of the stalls and climb the stairs to the upper loft of the barn where peanut hay was stored in bales. We opened the bales and dropped the hay into holes in the floor. The mules then ate it from triangular-shaped, slatted bins in their own stalls. In the morning, we would reverse the process by opening the gate and then the stall doors and the mules stopped by the water trough on the way to the lot for the day.

Now, to get back to the bookshelf in the picture. In the first stall on the left side of the barn was a long trough at the front of the stall. Although the details are a bit fuzzy in my mind, I think we put additional hay in it for the mules.

So, many years later, my husband and I removed the thick heavy board that was the front of that mule trough. It was so thick and heavy that we needed a chainsaw to cut it out.

We made this bookshelf from that piece of wood. The shelves were originally one long board that was 13.5 inches wide and almost 2 inches thick. Although I sanded and sanded the board, it never got completely smooth, because I assume it was rough-hewn. So, I’m guessing that particular piece of lumber was cut in the early days of the brother’s sawmill.

We used black industrial pipe and flange fittings to create the unit. Although we are happy with the results, especially being able to save that historic piece of lumber, it was not as easy as we thought it might be!



It was originally

the stair railing

of the home

in which my

father-in-law grew up.

When we built our home, we had this special stair railing installed. It was originally the stair railing of the home in which my father-in-law grew up. I love how smooth it feels to run my hand down it as I descend the stairs. And it means a lot to know our home has historic roots for my husband as well as me.

I realize this was a long post, but I wrote it for myself and my children and grandchildren. The My Home page of my blog is where I chronicle my story starting with my historical roots and going through the planning and building of my home and the many changes I’ve made to it to its current status.

Your 10-Minute Morning Mindset

Your 10-Minute Morning Mindset

In only ten minutes, you can create a morning routine that will put you in the right mindset to conquer your day. Jumpstart your day with these simple routines to prepare your mind.

Minute 1 – Mind Set

As your feet hit the floor every morning, say to yourself “It’s gonna be a great day!” I have this phrase on my bedside table to remind me that if you start your day in a positive mindset, it propels you through the day in a positive manner.

Minute 1 – Drink the Water

Start keeping a large glass of water beside your bed. Before you even get out of bed, drink the water. Your body is dehydrated after a long night of repairing itself, and you need to replenish that. Drinking water will also help reduce the morning fog and grog that follows so many into their workday despite multiple cups of coffee.

Minutes 2-3 – Do the Breathing

Now that your body is rehydrating take a few minutes to do simple breathing exercises. This is as easy as timing your breaths to take six to ten deep breaths through one minute. Timing your breaths will force you to focus on your breathing and your body. Helping you to wake up and calm yourself for your day.

Minutes 3-6 – Stretch the Body

Gentle stretching will get your blood flowing and your body energized. This will also help to ease you into the process of getting ready and the day ahead. Stretching has long-term health benefits as well including better circulation and flexibility overall.

Minutes 6-9 – Give Thanks

Take a few moments to reflect on what you are thankful for. You don’t have to write these down or keep a record on your phone. Just take a few moments to single in on aspects of your life you are thankful for and why. This will put a positive spin on your day and keep you present through the difficult moments.

Minute 10 – Visualize the Success

Visualizing the successes you wish to have through the day will cement them in your mind and boost your confidence level. They don’t have to be big successes. Just see yourself completing daily tasks with ease to secure the outcome you desire.

You may not have hours to devote to morning routines, but you can spare ten minutes of your morning to starting off on the right foot (or mindset). Your personal morning mindset may take even less than ten minutes, but the benefits can last all day. Consistently devoting your time to these few minutes can change your life – for the better.

Need more help with setting your mind on your personal success journey.

Try my new course, Designing Your New Normal Mindset. It’s a great way to set your life course and it’s easier than you think. Designing your mindset is the prerequisite for designing your life. Check it out HERE. Then let me know how you benefitted.

Here’s to the peace and joy of your new morning mindset!


Vacation vs. Staycation

Vacation vs. Staycation

“The idea of having a staycation instead of vacation isn’t something new. However, in the post-Covid-19 era, families might need to rethink what kind of vacation plans will be more suitable.”

The way that the Covid-19 pandemic shifted the routine dynamics of our lives is still unbelievable and sometimes even horrifying.

Take for example the case of staycation vs vacation.

While many things now are slowly and gradually advancing towards their normal routine, the post-covid-19 recovery phase is still in trial mode.

As such, if you are considering the options of having a vacation as opposed to a staycation this summer season 2021, let's discuss the best option for you.

So, let’s begin finding out everything necessary about staycation vs vacation and help you experience the best from the one you stick to.

Staycation vs Vacation – The all-you-need-to-know guide

What is a staycation?

The word ‘Staycation’ can be broken into two words, ‘stay’ and ‘cation’ derived from the word ‘vacation’. Staycation has two slightly different definitions.

One describes it as time spent in your home country while engaging in domestic traveling.

The other description suggests staying at home but involving visits to local sightseeing and attractions.

What is a vacation?

Vacations, as opposed to staycations, usually involve visiting someplace outside of your home, state, or country.

Difference between a staycation and vacation

The following set of key factors briefly explain the main differences between a staycation and a vacation.


  • They are comparatively much cheaper.
  • No need to formally plan everything. Plans are mostly spontaneous and depend on your mood.
  • No new kind of travel-related stress. You already know what to expect while riding towards your destination.
  • Very few chances of getting disappointed if you didn’t achieve what you had in mind initially. There is always a chance to redo everything.
  • No need to carry any luggage even if you plan to spend a night or two.
  • Freedom to carry your pets with you.

Vacation or traveling

  • Depending on how many members of your family are planning to travel and your destination, vacations remain an expensive thing no matter how basic your package is.
  • An average travel or vacation plan will at least take a month to plan and arrange everything. In some cases, more time might be needed. This is because there is much to research about especially when it’s your first visit to a destination, looking after your vacation budgets, arranging someone to look after your stuff, etc.
  • For some reason, if you didn’t find your vacation to be as good as you imagined, you may find yourself in great disappointment, especially considering the time, money, and energy spent on it.
  • Requires carrying enough luggage to last an entire trip. In some cases, you might have to even buy extra things just for the trip, which under normal circumstances you would never need.
  • You experience jet-lag issues. Some people are okay with it, but others might need a few hours to adapt.
  • Currency issues. There may be local and foreign currency carrying limits to adhere to while passing the immigration counter at an airport.

Benefits of choosing a staycation instead of a vacation in the post-Covid-19 era

While the concept of a staycation isn’t anything new, it is expected that more and more people in the early days of the post-pandemic or post-Covid-19 era, are likely to prefer it rather than going on a vacation.

Consider the following benefits of a staycation.

Start right from where you are

As soon as the clock ticks and your working hours for the last day of work before the staycation end, you have already begun. You know what to do, where to head, who to call, etc.

No time spent on planning or quarantine

Since you aren’t traveling abroad, you won’t need to spend any time in quarantine.

There isn’t any need to formally plan or ask everyone’s opinion before going out and indulging in an activity. Just start with what seems appropriate at that time and then subsequently each family member can get to decide something from their staycation bucket list.

You remain well-prepared for the unexpected

Since it isn’t somewhere new you are visiting, you already know what could ruin a perfect outing during your staycation. Therefore, you have less to worry about any unexpected events. 

You never get exhausted

One of the prime reasons for a staycation is to rest and refresh your mind and body. This isn’t normally possible during a vacation as you have limited time and a bucket load of things to do.

But while on a staycation, there isn’t any need to hurry and you can fully rest and enjoy anytime you want.

While the concept of a staycation isn’t anything new, due to health concerns, it is bound to get major traction in the post-Covid-19 era. And really, staycations shouldn’t only be preferred for avoiding exposure to any health risks.

It is a great way to help revive your country’s economy in the post-pandemic period. So, staying local and spending local should also be a priority after Covid-19.


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The #1 Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Life

The #1 Thing You Can Do to Improve Your Life

“See yourself living in abundance and you will attract it. It always works, it works every time, with every person.” – Bob Proctor

You probably don’t constantly think about how your mindset affects your life. You may have always thought this way, either because of how you were raised or through your experiences. Your mindset in fact not only affects your life, but it also directs your life. Changing how you think is the single most important thing you can do to improve your life.

It’s not easy to do. I know. I’ve been working on mindset shifts to improve my life for a long time.

Abundance mindset, scarcity mindset, fear mindset, fixed mindset, growth mindset, confident mindset and many others are all different types of mindsets we have. Do any of these mindsets sound like you? Each unconscious and conscious belief affects our lives every moment.

According to the research of Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck, the power of our beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, is far greater than we imagine and changing even the simplest of them can have profound impact on nearly every aspect of our lives.

The world has changed dramatically in the last few years, especially in the last year. The pandemic has affected all of us in some way and has been devastating to many. There is speculation among leading experts that many people will not make the shift to new thinking and action until COVID-19 affects us personally. The impact of the virus will not become real for us until someone we know contracts the virus or dies from it.

The world has moved into what has been described as a “new normal”. But what that means is open to discussion. What some may see as limiting and disruptive may be seen by others as an opportunity – an opportunity to emerge in ways you define. Change has occurred rapidly and definitively. Are you moving around by the winds of change or defining your own change and how you can take control of your life?

The first step is becoming aware of our mindset and consciously choosing to develop a mindset that will help us move forward with creating our intentional life. If we allow ourselves to remain stuck in the flow of things, we are abdicating our choices to circumstances. All the advice in the world about how to get the most out of life is worthless if we don’t take responsibility for the choices we make, or we allow those choices to be made for us.

For us to emerge from these experiences and thrive, not just exist, we need to think about and plan for who we are now and who we want to be in the future. We can start by practicing mindfulness and reframing our mindset.

If you are totally happy with yourself and your ability to navigate the new normal, I suggest you stop reading here. But before you go, describe your strategies for being in control of your life and what makes you feel secure in your abilities to move forward with confidence.

If you’re still reading, here are five ways changing your mindset to an abundance or growth mindset can improve your life.

  1. You aren’t afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Changing your mindset to one of growth allows you to see the many different paths available to you in whatever you are seeking, whether it is job advancement, creative outlets, or something more personal. This allows you to move forward rather than being stuck in the same place.
  2. You become comfortable sharing ideas without feeling threatened or intimidated, which leads to better choices, environments, and relationships.
  3. Changing your mindset to one of growth helps you build better personal and romantic relationships. You realize people will always have differences. You learn that a relationship involves learning about and from each other.
  4. You’ll begin to judge yourself and others less. You won’t have time to waste on judging others are saying or doing. Instead, you’ll be able to focus on making progress in your life.
  5. The change to a growth mindset allows you to accept constructive criticism for what it is and use it for personal growth. You become more confident because you won’t need validation to reassure you that you’re doing it right.

You can change your mindset. And it will improve your life. Your skills can be cultivated, learned, practiced, and grown.  You no longer worry about what will happen. Instead, you will commit to the process of taking action and learning along the way.

Changing your mindset helps you to step out of your comfort zone to go after what you want and believe you will get it.

Is your mindset helping or hindering you at this point in your life?

My new course, “Designing Your New Normal Mindset”, is a great place to start to examine your mindset and define ways to change it to benefit you. It’s easier than you think. This course provides the guidance to help you enter the next phase of your life with awareness and confidence. If you're interested, click on the Contact Me page of HER Life Hacks and request a coupon code, and I'll send you a 50% off coupon code just for you!

Try on “Designing Your Normal Mindset” for size! Then let me know what worked for you and how you applied the course in your life.

Here’s to the peace and joy of your new normal mindset!

Is Your Clutter Creating and Perpetuating Overwhelm?

Is Your Clutter Creating and Perpetuating Overwhelm?

Two kinds of clutter can create chaos in your life – physical and emotional clutter. Both can derail you from achieving the kind of life you want and need. Clutter can create and perpetuate overwhelm in your home and in your mind.

A cluttered home can emotionally overwhelm you, making it harder to tackle the issue. And for me, clutter also makes me cranky! I’m going to be decluttering and organizing my home and sharing my process with you, including before and after pictures. See my featured image above? I didn’t get it from online sources of photos. It is an embarrassing true-life photo of my craft room! So – stay tuned!

There are a number of ways clutter can play with your emotions. Here, we’ll look at some of the most common emotional challenges that can keep you from de-cluttering the home and how you can overcome them.

Sentimental Value is Hard to Relinquish

By far one of the hardest challenges of de-cluttering the home, is letting go of items we don’t need. Just because we don’t necessarily need them, doesn’t mean it’s easy to let them go. This is especially true if the items hold some form of sentimental value.

Consider whether you really do need to hold onto the items with sentimental value. If not, don’t think about it, just let them go. If you’re still struggling, think about selecting just a few sentimental items, the ones that have the most meaning for you. As for the remaining items, maybe they would bring joy or comfort to someone else, which in turn could provide joy and comfort to you. Then the items you selected to keep would have even deeper meaning to you.

Clutter Can Provides Comfort

Although clutter does make the home look messy, it can actually provide some level of comfort. Some people unknowingly use the clutter to fill a void.

Whether you have difficulty letting go of items or find that shopping fills a void, the kind of comfort you find in either scenario is unlikely to be enough.

If you do find yourself buying new things to fill a void, list other ways that would comfort you. Ask yourself whether the items you’re buying are actually useful and how often you’ll use them. Do they bring you joy? If not, ask yourself whether you’re just using them for comfort, and find a replacement activity on your new list.

Find other things that bring you comfort, such as reading, doing yoga, listening to music or cooking a nice meal and add them to your list.

It’s Just Too Much

When there’s a lot of clutter to contend with, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Where do you start when absolutely everywhere needs to be de-cluttered?

If you often just look at the clutter and feel overwhelmed, you’re definitely not alone. However, the common thing to do is to put it off for another day. Then, when you attempt to go back to it, you’re met with the same overwhelming feelings that stopped you doing it in the first place.

When there is just too much to do, it can really help to start small. Break down the tasks into manageable chunks, focusing on things which take just a few minutes at first. Or set a timer for 15-30 minutes at a time. You’ll often find taking care of the smaller tasks boosts your motivation to continue with the larger ones.

Emotional Overwhelm is Real, but Can Be Overcome

If you find yourself becoming emotionally overwhelmed, there are some tricks you can use to calm the mind.

Taking a step back and utilizing deep breathing exercises is a great start. You can also remind yourself you’re in control of your mind and you will tackle the clutter. It doesn’t have to be all at once, and it doesn’t have to be today.

Ensuring you de-stress as much as possible is also going to help. So, take time out for yourself every day to relax the mind and deal with any outside stress you’re facing. The more relaxed you are, the less likely you’ll become overwhelmed emotionally by clutter.

It’s common to get overwhelmed when you start to remove the clutter from the home. However, think through which strategies will work for you, and start there. As your home begins to look clean and tidy again, that alone will boost your spirit and help you continue the process.

Need a jumpstart? One of my favorite new series in recent years was “Get Organized with the Home Edit” on Netflix. Now you can get “The Home Edit Workbook” to help you work through your own chaos of clutter! You can get it HERE!

What’s holding you back from getting control of your stuff? If you have control of your stuff, share your best organization tips in the comments below.

9 Ways to Find Extra Time in Your Life

9 Ways to Find Extra Time in Your Life

We’ve all heard it again and again – everyone has the same number of hours in the day. It’s all a matter of how you manage your time. You may have tried some of these time management techniques yourself. And maybe they worked for you for a while. But if you did not make the necessary changes to keep them going, you may have slipped back into old, and perhaps destructive ways.

I am on a mission; a mission to provide the right tools for the right people to learn to live simpler by having fewer decisions to make on a daily basis. And those fewer decisions translate into making the mundane and repetitive daily tasks automated. Making daily tasks automated means you create and implement systems that work for you, on their own and with little supervision so you will have more time to live your life the way you want. That means more time to do the things that give you joy and energize you.

Here are 9 strategies that can help you find extra time in your life, so you can spend it doing things you love. Embracing and implementing just one of these strategies can make a huge difference in your life.

I’ve already mentioned what I consider to be the number one strategy to manage your life in time-saving ways – create systems.

1. Create Systems

Anything that you do regularly needs a system. Whether that’s paying bills, bookkeeping, or taking a bath, it all happens regularly.

Setting up systems that use a combination of technology, delegation, and habit creation will help you organize and automate your life.

In fact, this number one strategy is an umbrella strategy that encompasses the remaining eight strategies. If you recognize and embrace the value of creating life systems – simple life systems, that mindset will make implementing strategies two through nine much easier.

2. Set Up Your Computer Properly

Your computer can maintain itself with the right additions of software. Set up your computer so that it automatically updates, automatically checks for viruses, and keeps the computer clean.

Whether you have a Mac or a PC, there are options for you to learn about. And many of these options are free. You just need to do a little research – Google it!

And managing your online files with a system that works for you will save you tremendous time, especially as you continue to add new files. Even with the system I use for filing documents and videos, I sometimes have difficulty finding specific files.

Whatever system you choose to keep up with digital files, it is a good idea to use an intuitive system that will be easy to retrieve later. You could start file names with a date or use keywords that describe what is in the file. It needs to be a system that works for you.

3. Pay Your Bills Via Your Bank’s Bill Payment System

Most credit cards and bills let you set up automatic payment options directly through them. You can also set up payments via your bank’s system. This works well because all your information is in one place, thereby saving you time accessing the data.

You can also automate the payment process, either through websites of your credit cards and bills or through your bank’s process. This is a great way to never forget to pay a bill, which could negatively affect your credit score.

4. Automate Meal Planning with a Meal Delivery Service

If you find that meal planning and shopping take too much time, you can automate much of this by signing up for a meal delivery service. Although this can be an expensive alternative to cooking at home, setting up your subscription to deliver a few meals weekly can free up some time when you need it most.

There are so many choices of meal delivery services now that you will need to do some research to find one that meets your needs. You can usually find very good coupons for first time subscribers.

Ordering groceries online is another option to save time, and you may be able to have groceries delivered or at least pick them up quicker than shopping in the store.  If you use certain products on a regular basis and know when they will need to be replaced, online subscription services will deliver them to you regularly.

5. Go Paperless

If you have a lot of paperwork you’re always going through, try to find a way to go paperless. Paperless files are easier to find with a search than other types of files.

Simple phone scanning apps or even photos taken with your phone is a great way to save and file documents that need to be saved. Be sure to save your files on a backup drive or cloud drive so you won’t lose them in case of computer hardware failure.

Online options like Evernote or Dropbox are great for filing documents.

6. Learn to Use Your Smartphone

Learn about the features that come on your phone. Most phones will do so much more than most people could imagine. It is worth it to take a little time getting to know your phone and all it can do to save you time.

Check out the many free or inexpensive apps to help you save time. Just search your app store for the kind of help you need to see options available.

7. Make Your House Smarter

Today you can have a house that unlocks the door for you, turns on the light, preheats the oven, adjusts your thermostat and much more – all from a distance and at your command.

If you can afford to invest in this time-saving technology, it is a great way to ensure that things get done. You can even water your lawn or house plants using automation technology. e

8. Hire Household Help

Automate your household chores by hiring someone to do it for you on a regular basis. Even if you can only afford someone once a month, that can save you a lot of time. It would at least lighten your cleaning tasks in between monthly cleanings.

9. Develop Tiny Habits to Organize Your Life

Once you spend time organizing to simplify your life, you can make it feel automated if you just turn organization and cleaning into a habit. This is how most people learned to brush their teeth. It became a habit.

Throwing away your trash each time you get a fresh cup of coffee can become a habit too. Incorporate little habits into your day, and it’ll feel as if everything is happening automatically.

What’s Your Plan?

Which strategy or strategies resonated with you? You can probably think of other ways to save time that works for you.

If you need a little help setting up some systems, check out my shop of digital products at

If #9, “Develop Tiny Habits to Organize Your Life”, is your choice to find extra time, check out my free habit tracker, “My One Thing Daily Habit Tracker”. Just click on the title!

I’m adding new products monthly to help make your life a little simpler. You’ll find checklists, workbooks, planners, journals and much more. Keep checking back from time to time to see what has been added.

And leave a comment below to share your thoughts about finding extra time in your day. I’d love to hear what you think.

From Self-Doubt to Poise in 5 Actionable Steps

From Self-Doubt to Poise in 5 Actionable Steps

What is your opinion of yourself? No doubt (no pun intended) you, like so many others, doubt yourself. This issue affects both personal and professional lives. Self-doubt and low self-esteem can keep you from reaching your goals and dreams.

These personality traits appear to be more common among women. If self-doubt plagues you, check out these tips to boost your confidence and trust yourself more:

1. Accept Yourself

I grew up with self-doubt. And even now, I vacillate between total confidence and demeaning self-doubt. As a result, I was always an over-achiever. When I came home with straight A’s on my report card, my father would take a cursory look and reply, “Is that the best you can do?” And while I knew he said it as a joke, it cut deeply. I know he was proud of me, but he just didn’t know how to express it.

Self-doubt is part of being human. How can you turn it into a strength? When used correctly, this personality trait can help you make better decisions, instead of rushing things. Think of it as a tool that guides your actions and keeps you from making costly mistakes.

Also, affirmations repeated to yourself can make a positive difference in your life. Find a few affirmations that resonate with you. Write them down. Then repeat them to yourself in front of a mirror. Or print them on cards to display around your home as reminders of your special strengths. I start off my day with reading the card I created and placed on my beside table: “It's gonna be a great day!”

2. Know You're Not Alone

Even the most successful people have doubts. They often question their actions and wonder what the right thing to do is.

Focus on building your confidence by taking these actionable steps. You might never get rid of doubts, but you can stop them from taking over your life.

3. Accentuate Your Strengths

Your doubts don't necessarily reflect the truth. They often mirror your fears and emotional struggles. Think about your achievements and how hard you worked to get where you are today.

Make a list of things you do well. Write down your skills and accomplishments. Accept praise from others gracefully and acknowledge your talent.

Celebrate your strengths every single day. Make positive affirmations and remind yourself how much you've done so far. Stop thinking of what you could have done better. You might be amazed at everything you’ve done!

4. Choose Your Friends Wisely

Negative people can drag you down and ruin your self-esteem. Nothing will ever be good enough for them. That's why it's so important to surround yourself with positive people who support you and listen to you instead of judging.

“You're the average of the five people spend the most time with,” is a quote attributed most often to motivational speaker Jim Rohn. Take a look around at your friends. What kind of average are you exemplifying? Do they build you up or drag you down?

5. Define Your Line in the Sand

Lastly, define your values and the values you live by daily. One of the assignments in a college course for my doctorate was to define our line in the sand. What were the values that defined my life and how far would I go to protect them? That one exercise was something I came back to year after year. I found it to be just as strong in every successive year.

Focus on the things that drive your actions and are at the core of your beliefs.

Overcoming self-doubt is a lifelong process. Stop questioning your own decisions. Don’t waste time overanalyzing – trust your actions and put your plans in motion.

My FREE tips report, “Set a Life-Changing Intention” describes 9 best tips to setting your life-changing intention, and thereby replacing self-doubt with confidence. Get your FREE copy HERE!

Are You Poised for Greatness?

Are You Poised for Greatness? defines poise as a “state of balance or equilibrium”; or “a dignified, self-confident manner”.  Does that feel like you? Is it something you want for yourself?

I’ve always admired people who I consider having poise and grace. It is not a state of arrogance. It is a quality that indicates someone is comfortable with themselves. Comfortable enough to know that they are enough and can handle what happens for them – not to them. That level of confidence means they know there will be rough times in life – that’s just life. But they also know they can take whatever happens and learn from it, grow from it, and make it work to their advantage.

Maybe I’ve admired those people with poise and grace because I never quite felt I attained it. And I’ve always wanted to.

But here, and now – I feel my life is transforming. I feel that I am transforming into who I was meant to be. It may be just the understanding that comes with age. Or it may be that years of working toward being a better person, a better me is actually paying off.

What about you? If you feel like life has become predictable, unfulfilling, and boring, maybe it’s time for a fresh start. Deciding to make a change doesn’t mean you have to turn your life upside down, but it is an opportunity to stand back and revise your current way of life.

Whether it’s a lifestyle, location, or career change, there are some simple things you can do right now to climb out of that rut and get some positive energy back into your life.

Consider these five simple ways to gain or regain the poise you need to live your life with confidence, peace and joy.

1. Discover or Rediscover What Makes You Happy

Happiness is an elusive state of being for many people. They often think that the accumulation of money or things will make them happy. But when or if they get to that level of accomplishment, they find they are no happier than they were before.

Remember the quote about happiness that is attributed to Abraham Lincoln? “Folks are usually about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”

That quote might be a good starting point for you to think about what makes you happy? What lifts your spirits and puts a spring in your step? What makes your heart sing and your energy levels skyrocket? Some people feel happiest out in nature, while others prefer sports or reading. Maybe you love the arts or helping people. Make a list of what makes you happy and what you can do to focus on bringing more joy into your life.

2. Practice Saying Yes

You’ve probably heard it said that you should say no more. You may need to say “no” to some things other people want you to do and “yes” to things you want to do. Think about how that might change your life.

Most people are so busy with the everyday life that they don’t make time to get out of their comfort zone and do something different. When was the last time you tried something new or challenging? Be open to new experiences, start saying yes to yourself, and choose to do things that feel good.

3. Make a Stop Doing List

Once you start saying yes to the things that feel good, you need to practice saying no. You need a stop doing list! You’re probably well aware of the bad habits you’ve fallen into and the things you do that don’t bring you joy. While there are some things you have no control over, see what energy-draining tasks you can eliminate from your life. Write a list to remind yourself of the things you can choose not to do, and free up time for the things that make your heart soar.

4. Declutter

Most people have way too much stuff in their lives. Look around you right now and see what’s holding you back. Clutter includes spending hours scrolling through social media, limiting beliefs, and bad lifestyle habits as well as all that junk in the kitchen drawer. You may find there is just as much clutter in your head as in your home.

How might decluttering your mind and your home make a positive impact in your life?

5. Say No to Fear

Perhaps the single most empowering thing you can do to make the life changes you want is to walk away from fear. Fear will stop you from taking risks, big or small. It makes you too afraid to try anything new and holds you back from reaching your potential.

Which of these FEAR acronyms describes you?

  • FEAR – Forget Everything And Run

  • FEAR – False Evidence/Expectations Appearing Real

  • FEAR – Face Everything And Rise





Make a commitment to yourself to take back control of your life and leap into a fresh start. Turn your FEAR into Face Everything and Rise

None of us are completely happy with who we are. We are always wanting more – to have more – to be more. But changing things in your life that allow you to be the person you were meant to be is actually freeing. Staying stuck in habits that hold you back is what’s hard.

Need a gentle reminder of tackling FEAR. Download your free printable HERE about FEAR, like the ones above.

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The Mindset of an Entrepreneur

The Mindset of an Entrepreneur

When I retired from education, I floundered. I didn’t know what to do or what I wanted to do. But these “great ideas” kept popping up. My mind kept drifting to ways I could help others with my knowledge and experience. My thoughts came as if I were writing down what I would tell someone. They wouldn’t leave me alone.

So, I started writing down these ideas, including what I thought would be a great domain name and what I could do with that concept. I started responding to emails that looked as if they could help me build on my imaginary plan. And I started filing information and ideas of how to build an online business. I thought I had a message to share but didn’t know how to get it “out there”. 

I was on a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows. Every time I thought I had a great idea I would get excited just thinking about how to present it in a way that would be profitable. I just knew I could do it. Then, that little voice in the back of my mind said, “Who do you think you’re kidding! Everyone already knows the information you think is so great. And who do you think would actually pay you for what you know?”

So, I kept alternating between fear and excitement. I developed that dreaded disease of analysis paralysis. All the reasons for not jumping into the online entrepreneurial fray kept me from moving forward with something I really wanted to do.

There were two major drawbacks that also kept me from taking further action. I was an extreme introvert who didn’t like to talk and although I thought I could share my knowledge in ways that could help people, I wanted to do it incognito. I was afraid to open myself up to scrutiny by online experts or an audience who might be too critical and think my information was worthless.

It was at least two years before I mustered up the courage to act on my ideas. What a waste of precious time!

Everyone said developing an online business was simple. And they were right. But it’s not easy. The first thing that can make you or break you is your mindset. Believing you have something worthy and valuable to share with the world that can be both helpful to others and benefit you monetarily is key.

The final mindset shift I had to make was to combine my comfortable role as an educator with the out-of-my-comfort-zone role of entrepreneur. I grew up with the mindset of an educator even before I became one. The educator mindset is one of helping people.

The whole concept of marketing myself was something I couldn’t fathom. After all, I was not a salesperson. I couldn’t sell ice water in hell! But I also knew I had to conquer that fear if I was going to realize my dream. To say I’m over it now, would not be the entire truth, because that fear continues to pop up in my mind. But I will not let fear alone defeat me. 

So now, I am pairing that educator mindset with the mindset of entrepreneur. Helping people and being compensated accordingly – it’s the best of both worlds! 

Mindset is one thing, but it will get you nowhere without action. And the best thing I did to take action was to secure a mentor who already knew and had implemented strategies for being successful online. Having a go-to person to rely on keeps me focused on what to do and what to do next. It’s invaluable. I know I can do it now!

Join me on the journey. It's free! Sign up at


Taco Soup – A Healthy One Pot Meal That’s So Easy, Even a Husband Can Do It!

Taco Soup – A Healthy One Pot Meal That’s So Easy, Even a Husband Can Do It!

When you’re super-busy during the week and have to get dinner on the table, it can be pretty stressful! As well as the cooking, there’s also pots and dishes to clean up.

If you don’t want all of the dishes that go with cooking, an easy way to avoid it is by using just one pot. There’s a lot of one-pot meals you can cook up, but here you’ll discover one of the easiest – Taco soup.

Want to know how easy it is? My previously non-cooking husband has made this his signature dish! And it’s delicious! Now, it’s his “go-to” meal, even when the weather turns warmer!

Why Taco soup?

The great thing about Taco Soup is that it is so versatile! It also doesn’t take very many ingredients.

You’ll need ground beef, onions, smoked paprika, black beans, corn, taco seasoning, enchilada sauce, salsa, and chicken broth.  Plus, optional ingredients for serving could be sour cream, shredded cheese, chips, lettuce, salsa, and avocado.

This soup is a great way to use leftover meat.  Try leftover chicken, hamburger, shredded pork or turkey.

The full list of ingredients include:

  • 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound of ground beef
  • 1 small, sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt or sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 8.75 – 15-ounce can of corn kernels, drained
  • 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 10-ounce can or jar of mild enchilada sauce
  • 16-ounce jar of mild salsa
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Tortilla chips, Mexican shredded cheese, sour cream and avocado for serving

For specific instructions to prepare, click HERE.

You can cook this meal on the range or in a slow cooker. Add all the ingredients to the pot and leave to simmer and cook. My husband cooks it in the crock pot for 4-6 hours. Easy peasy!!

You’ll be surprised how quickly this soup is to make; especially in the morning when you’re getting ready for the day.  You can easily put everything in the pot and turn on the slow cooker for the day while you’re at work.

Or you could prepare it the night before. Put the slow cooker insert into the refrigerator for the night and then take it out in the morning and put into the crock pot. Turn it on low power and by the time you get home, you’ll have a tasty and filling soup.

Making a one pot healthy meal is easy to do and once you’ve gotten used to doing it this way, you’ll want to find more recipes that use only one pot to cook in.  It’s really convenient and a huge time saver!

For more great food ideas, as well as tips for home life and lifestyle, sign up to receive information from me at 

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What’s Your Decorating Style?

What’s Your Decorating Style?

Do you have a decorating style? And just what does that mean, anyway? When I researched decorating styles, there doesn’t seem to be any definitive list of styles! Apparently, if you can describe your decorating style in a few words, then you can add it to the ever-broadening list of decorating styles out there. The most accepted rule for decorating is that that are no rules!

Just for fun, I looked for style quizzes online. There are almost as many style quizzes as there are styles! While they are not meant to define your style and how you should decorate your home, they are fun to take and see how the results resemble how you define your decorating style.

Here are just a few decorating style quizzes that are minimal in the number of questions and fun to take. I took them all, and it was interesting to see how close they were to defining my actual style. And you were not required to give your email address or sign up for a subscription in either of these quizzes.

Apartment Therapy: Trust Your Taste: Our Ultimate Find-Your-Style Quiz


The seven questions in this simple quiz include photos of four different rooms labeled A, B, C, and D. Write down the letter of the image you like the best in each group of four. Then examine your responses to see which letter you have chosen the most times. Your suggested style is defined by the letter you chose the most.

The result of  the Apartment Therapy quiz for me was warm industrial. From the photos available, I can see how that would be my result. However, some of my choices were more like the “best of the four options” than “I really loved this room”.

Design Society of America: Interior Design Style Quiz


There were six options from which to choose in each of the 12 questions. The first question asked which room created the feeling you would like your home to have. The following questions asked which you liked best among chairs, sofas, tables, flooring, lighting fixtures, patterns, art, rugs, mirrors, dining rooms, and kitchens.

I enjoyed taking this quiz, because the results offered more options to explore your design style. When your designed style is revealed, you are given a detailed description of the style, suggestions for magazines you might like, and suggestions for places to shop for your style.

I took this quiz twice, and made some different choices the second time, but I still liked each of the options I chose. Interestingly enough, my style turned out to be the same – Coastal Chic.

HGTV: Find Your Design Style + Toast Your Good Taste


This simple quiz showed you photos from which to choose your favorite in nine questions. Included were kitchens, living rooms, nightstands, gardens, house exteriors, bathrooms, bedrooms, dining rooms, and fireplaces. After revealing your design style, you could further explore design inspiration in your style.

I took the quiz twice and selected different photos the second time around. I liked the options I selected both times, but the results were more different than I expected. My first design style was traditional and the second time I took the quiz, my design style was contemporary. Interesting!

Pottery Barn Style Quiz: Find Your Style


The six questions in this simple quiz showed you six options from which to select your favorite among color, pattern, architectural style, dream vacation, material, and flowers.

I also took this quiz twice, because I liked more than one of the options shown.

I was surprised when my style was the same both times – Coastal!

After revealing your style, you are invited to “shop the look”. Naturally the shopping options were from Pottery Barn, which I love anyway!

Did you take any of the quizzes? How close were they in predicting your personal decorating style? Leave your comments about your experience and decorating style!

 Ultimately, you should decorate your home in the style that makes you and your family feel comfortable and happy. When you do that, you’ve found your decorating style.

For more information and tips about your home style, lifestyle and food choices, visit and sign up for free updates!