- Profile: Michelle is a recent business school graduate, first time home buyer and lifelong Massachusetts resident. Though she's all Generation Y, we think of her as a modern-day Mary Tyler Moore. She plans to share her experiences as a new home owner, and give us her fresh take on Greater Boston area local events, activities and happenings. She's gonna make it after all!
Michelle has written 22 Articles:
Happy Spring! I love springtime! This time of year means flowers begin blooming, there are longer hours of daylight and winter clothes can go into hibernation because the warmer weather is coming. It is also the time of year for many charity walks and fundraisers.
On May 18th and 19th, 2013, I will be walking in the Boston Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. I am walking for the many women in my life who have been affected by this unfortunate disease. Though I’m required to raise at least $1,800 to walk, I hope to raise more! The money I raise will be managed and disbursed by the Avon Foundation Breast Cancer Crusade to help provide access to care for those who most need it, fund educational programs, and accelerate research into new treatments and potential cures. I’ll be just one of thousands of people who will walk up to 39.3 miles over two days, raising awareness and promoting education. If you would like to help support me and my efforts to reach my goal, please consider making a donation using this link. Early detection is key!
Share and Enjoy
Who made a New Year’s Resolution to get in shape/eat healthier/workout more/lose weight? I’m raising my hand here. I feel like I say this every year. I hit the gym, get a good workout routine down, and eat better and healthier. Then around springtime, it stops. I don’t know why but it’s as if I lose the motivation to keep going. “Why bother?” I think to myself. “I won’t be able to get in that swimsuit anyways.” Well this year, my friends, it’s different. No, really, it’s different. I have a huge goal that I want to accomplish. In 2014, I want to enter in the Boston Marathon. I have been talking about it for years now and it has always been that “something” I want to do one day. Well that time is now.
At the beginning of the year, I did a lot of research as to how to train for 5K’s, 10K’s, half marathons, etc. I’ve been looking for exercises to do other than just jogging or running. Planning better and healthier eating. Pinterest, for me, has been a great way for me to organize these ideas. The problem is, I don’t want to have to turn on my laptop every time I want to go over a workout routine. So I decided to create a motivation board. A visual that I can have to keep me on track and well, motivated. It has been a great and quick resource to keep my workouts in check. Here is how I started.
I printed out everything from my Pinterest workout board and laid them out with anything that I got out of magazines.
I put each workout into one of these categories:
- Quick Morning Workouts
- Strength Training
I also have one for reference guides. This includes such things as a schedule for marathon training and post running stretches. Then within the different categories I took each workout and numbered them (in no particular order).
Next I placed each workout from each category in a plastic sheet protector and taped a note card in the front that lists the category.
I then took my calendar white board and started mapping out a workout routine. I decided to do it one week at a time instead of the whole month in advance. Things tend to come up and I find it easier to just take it slow. So for me, one week at a time for planning is best.
From the picture, you can see that I have “codes” written down. Instead of trying to write each workout down, I decided to shorten them which is why I numbered the workouts in the beginning. For example, on March 4th I have “Q-2” and “S-5&6″. They stand for “Quick morning workout #2” and “Strength training #’s 5 & 6″. So when it is time for those workouts I will pull Quick morning routine #2 and Strength training #’s 5 & 6 and do those workouts.
I then hung up a cork board that I had but wasn’t using. On here is where I have pinned up my workout routines for quick and easy access. I also created a motivation “Marathon Miles Countdown”. For every mile that I add to my routine and complete, I am marking it off. I am using a cute pushpin that came with the corkboard to mark the miles. As time goes on, I see myself filling the board with more workout routines, quotes to keep me moving, and notes to inspire me.
I have this all in the corner of the office where I am keeping all of my weights, yoga ball, yoga mat, and any other fitness equipment I am sure to add. It takes up hardly any room and took all of about 30 minutes to do. And the best part, it’s organized! And because it’s organized, I want to workout.
Share and Enjoy
I like to add an extra personal touch to the gifts that I give. To me, it’s very easy to run out to the store and purchase a gift bag or wrapping paper (which I will admit that I do!) and wrap up a gift. But when the opportunity arises where I can do a little something extra to give the gift a little more meaning, I try and do it. Below are a list of handmade gift wrapping ideas that I am in love with this holiday season.
Decorated Cookie Tins
I make several batches of homemade cookies every year for my family. I decided to spice up the packaging this year with somes tins that I found inspiration for on Pinterest. Throughout the year I collected cookie tins and then spray-painted them on the outside. With a few stickers, embellishments, and recycled cards, I created a new way to give out my holiday treats this year.
Reindeer Hot Cocoa Mix
For gifts for work, I wanted to keep things simple yet give something with a personal touch. I made homemade hot chocolate mix and put the mixture in treat bags. (I think pastry bags would work better if you can find them small enough.) I added stick-on eyes and a red pompom (using a glue gun), tied it with a brown pipe cleaner and voila, I transformed this gift into an adorable reindeer. I printed Holiday Gift Tags from Angie Lee at TipJunkie.com to make this project complete!
Gift Tags from Recycled Christmas Cards
Another crafty idea I found on Pinterest is to make your own gift tags out of old Christmas cards. I purchased a gift tag puncher from Michael’s and went to town making my own tags with recycled Christmas cards. With some ribbon that I purchased at Marshall’s on clearance, I was able to make lots of cute tags to add to my gifts this year and next.
Handmade Gift Bags from Envelopes and Fancy Tape
An idea that I haven’t had the chance of making yet is these adorable bags made from envelopes and tape from HowAboutOrange.com. What a cute and reusable way to add that personal touch!
If you have any great gift wrapping ideas to share, please tell us about them!
Share and Enjoy
With all the hassle of the holiday season it can be easy to get sidetracked from the true meaning of this time of year. It is always nice to take some time and help those who are in need. And it’s a good way to spend time with your family and friends.
Here is a list of 5 ways to give back this holiday season to some great causes that would welcome your donation of time, supplies or dollars.
Donate to your local animal shelter
Animal shelters are always in need of supplies. You would be amazed what items you might already have that could be donated. Some items that are in demand are:
- Cat litter
- Paper towels
- Old (but still usable) towels or blankets
- Gifts cards to places like Wal-Mart or Target
Donate gently used winter jackets or coats
Here in New England Jordan’s Furniture is a sponsor for Antons Cleaners “Coats for Kids” program. The 18th annual drive will take your old winter coat, clean it, and distribute it. That way “anyone who needs a coat will have one.” Coats are accepted for any age for men, women, teens and children, and can be dropped off at any Jordan’s Furniture or Anton’s Cleaner location.
Help deliver a hot meal to the elderly
The great organization Meals On Wheels delivers fresh, nutritious, hot meals to the elderly. Meals are delivered to those whose mobility is limited. Check out their website to find out more on how you can participate.
Contribute toys to a toy drive
What better way to bring a smile to a child’s face than with a new toy!? Toys For Tots does just this. Toy drives can be found at local schools, churches, libraries and businesses. For more information, check out their website.
Volunteer at a local soup kitchen
The holidays are a busy time at most soup kitchens. Spend some time volunteering. To find a location near you, click here.
Whatever you decide to do this season to give back, be sure to make it count.
Share and Enjoy
With the holiday season just around the corner, I have started planning all my shopping and gift giving. I am a HUGE Black Friday shopper, it is when I will get about 99% of all my holiday shopping done. Since it is usually an early morning of craziness, I try to be as organized and prepared as possible.
I started following Black Friday Ads on Facebook. They post the Black Friday flyers and specials weeks before. It helps to see what some of the deals will be and be able to compare with other stores.
Before I head out shopping on Black Friday, I like to have a plan in place because anyone who has shopped on this day knows how crazy it can be. I start compiling my list the first week in November with a list of people who I am purchasing/making gifts for. It’s not fancy, just a simple and quick list of names.
I then break each person down individually using a template I created that lists the Person, Gift, Store, Cost, Coupon, Price and Total.
I have a budget and it can be difficult at times to stick to it especially with all the tempting sales. Having the price for each gift helps me keep in check.
I then take the information and put it on my store template.
This way here when I am shopping at a particular store, I can easily see what I need. This cuts down on the confusion and I am able to shop more quickly. I included the Person, Gift, Department, Price, Coupon and Notes. If I know the layout of the store, I will try and put the items in order of the departments to make it that much easier.
When my lists are filled out, I take everything and put it in a plastic sleeve along with the Black Friday ads and coupons to keep everything from getting damaged and on my way I go!
I found that this way works for me and helps to keep me organized. I know there are apps out there that can do all this but the good old pen and paper seem to work best for me. If you feel the same, download the lists and give them a try.
Has this ever happened to you? You move in with your boyfriend/girlfriend/significant other and now you have the task of “merging” your lives? Though I am happy to be living with my boyfriend, it has been a challenge trying to find room for all the added things. Sharing closets, dressers, desk space, etc. has had me on an organizing craze.
One of the latest projects I decided to work on was organizing our DVD/VHS (Yes VHS) collections. We don’t have much room in our entertainment cabinet so we needed to sort what we wanted to keep, toss and donate.
Once I saw what we had remaining, I went to Target to see how I could possibly store the DVDs. I knew I didn’t want a DVD stand. Not really having the room for it and not liking the looks of most of them, I decided to pass. I then thought about putting all the DVDs into a CD case. It would save a lot of room but I didn’t like that I couldn’t easily see what I had. I also wanted to keep them alphabetized which would have be difficult to do.
That is why I decided on these DVD sleeves.
It was what I was looking for. I could easily see all the DVD’s and keep the cover art. Perfect!
I found this nifty box to store them in. It has adjusting corners on the inside for easier storage.
Which was great because I had fewer DVD’s than I realized. The adjustable corners make it so much easier to keep them up.
I have so much more room now and I so happy. Even my little one has room to hang out.
I feel a little more at ease now that one project is done. Now I just need to figure out what I am going to do with all the leftover DVD cases. I feel another crafting project coming on.
Share and Enjoy
When I moved into my condo, I was given a lot of “hand-me-downs” to help me start off. A couch, a TV, some lamps…but the things that I treasure the most are the ones that were given to me by my grandparents. They might seem like small items but to me they bring back memories of my childhood.
This cookie jar sat on my grandmother’s table. During the summer when I would go over to go swimming, it would always be filled. It’s something that whenever I look at it, it brings me back to those summer days.
This painting was given to me by my mom, but every time I see it, it reminds me of my memere who has a similar one at her home. It is a painting of the tulip blooms in California. I have heard many stories about this beautiful scenery from my memere and I hope that I will experience it for myself one day.
These are a few other things that I have. This “Table Talk” pie crust pan from my grandmother is one of my favorites. I am still trying to think of a good way to display it in my kitchen. Can you believe that there was a 10 cents return deposit for these?! Such a neat pan!
These U.S. mail pins remind me of my grandfather.
I have many items that have been given to me over the years. I love hearing the stories about them. Because to them, its not just a candy dish but a memory of a time and place. It makes me think about some of my own things that I have and how they might not seem significant me to but who knows as the years go on who will take interest in them.
Do you have something you love that was handed down to you that has a story behind it?
Tell us about it in the comments!
Share and Enjoy
Plugin by Social Author Bio