Posts Tagged ‘spring’

Spring has sprung! It’s time to clean out that clutter! Don’t know where to start? Start small – clean out your car! Here’s my advice on how to get your car in shape for those days when driving with the windows down is a must:

What you’ll need:

  • Some sort of dusting cloth. {Personally, I just like to grab a Swiffer cloth (the ones you put on your Swiffer to clean the floor) and just use that as my dust rag. It’s quick, simple, and easy – plus, it really picks up that dust so you’re not just scooting it around your car.}


  • Any kind of wet disinfectant wipes . {I tend to use Clorox wipes}

  • A small, battery powered vacuum. {Actually a very good investment. There are lots to choose from, and most of them can be easily charged. Its a great thing to have for quick messes around the house, in the garage, or duh, in your car.}

  • Garbage bags. {To clear out the clutter}
  • Soap {Either dish soap or car soap, take your pick. Either works.}

  • A car sponge


  • A hose
  • A bucket
  • A few paper towels {for checking oil and wiping your hands}
  • A clean soft rag {to dry your car with}
  • Oil {depending on your findings in step 3}
  • Coolant {depending on your findings in step 3}
  • Windshield washing fluid {depending on your findings in step 3}
  • An air freshener. {I’m in love with Bath & Body Works SCENTPORTABLES}


Step 1:

If you’re a college student like me, or well, just disorganized and busy, then your car probably looks like you live in it. My friends and I joke about living in our cars all the time because of the amount of our belonging strewn about in the backseat, trunk, floor, pockets, etc. Shoes, jackets, water bottles, food wrappers and school papers take up just about every inch of our vehicles. So to start off the cleaning process, it’d probably be best to clean out all the stuff that doesn’t need to be in the car. Throw all the trash, wrappers, bottles, and old papers into a garbage bag. Then take anything that belongs in your house like shoes, jackets, bags, etc, and take it inside and put them away. And don’t forget to check the trunk! Now that you’ve decluttered your car, you should be ready for step #2.

Step 2:

Take your dust rag, or whatever you choose to use, and dust off the dashboard, wheel, cup holders, and any hard dusty surface you can find. Then take your vacuum and vacuum up all the leaves, dirt, crumbs, and whatever else there may be on the floor. Make sure to lift the mats, move the seats to get underneath, and even vacuum the seats themselves and the trunk. Once you’ve gotten all the loose dirt, take some disinfectant wipes and wipe down the steering wheel, dashboard, emergency break, cup holders, ect. This way you can get off any sticky residue and wipe your car clean of those winter germs.

Step 3:

Next, pop the hood of your car and perform a routine check. Check the oil, coolant, windshield cleaning fluid, etc. Refill anything that is low with the correct fluid. Once that’s done, turn on your lights and check each one to make sure you don’t have any bulbs out. Last, but not least, check your tires. Make sure the air pressure is where it should be and touch up any tires that need a boost.

Step 4:

Now that the inside of your car is nice and clean and up to date, it’s time to give your baby a bath. Fill your bucket with soapy water, grab your sponge, and wash away all the dirt and grime your car picked up during those cold months. Once you’ve done that, make sure you dry off your car with a soft rag so there isn’t any streaking as the water dries.

Step 5:

Once that’s done, it’s time for the finishing touches. Restock your tissue/napkin supply in your glove compartment, make sure you have all of the appropriate records needed for and in your vehicle, add a fresh scent with a pretty new air freshener, and add in anything you keep in your car like a jacket (just one), an emergency kit, hand sanitizer (the mini ones are great to keep for when you’re on the go), a small nail file, etc.

Now you’re ready for a clean spring on the road!

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I do not remember where I got this graphic/info, I apologize. I know it was from a magazine though, and I certainly do not take credit. :)

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source: http://www.drpam.co.uk/home.php 09/04/2010

Spring into Action! Springs arrived and it’s the perfect time to refresh and recharge. Kick-start A better life with these spring-into-action-strategies:  

Your Career

*Watch for future-dependent happiness

At work people fall into what I call The Future-Dependent Happiness Trap. They say things like, “I’ll be happy when I get a rise,” or, “I’ll be happy when my boss notices my hard work,” or, “I’ll be happy when I find a new job.” Their happiness and job satisfaction’s bound up with some future date!

Identify ‘future-dependent happiness’ thinking – and decide how to build more happiness into your job today – even in small ways. Otherwise you stay in a negative cycle where you’re never satisfied, no matter how good a day you’ve had.

*Identify that magic ingredient you’re best at

Many stumble into a job they never planned to be permanent. They’re unsatisfied but aren’t sure what to do about it. Begin at the beginning: identify what you’re best at and what’s most rewarding. If there are any of these rewarding things available in your job then build more of them into it.

Ask your manager about ways to include more of this magic ingredient.  And if there’s none of that magic in your present job, look to retrain for a job that offers it.

*Get ahead with the boss

We get so wrapped up in our work we forget what might help our boss. Of course, practically everything we do is related to our boss’s work. But it’s wise to invest some energy into helping your boss and easing their day. They’ll appreciate it so you score points and come across as a team-player because you’re not just focusing on yourself.

*Stop doubting your abilities

Many talented/capable people doubt their abilities to do more rewarding things, or to get ahead at work often because their routine becomes dull and uninspiring. Take charge of something like a report , or meeting, and get stuck into planning it. Enjoy the challenge that’ll help reaffirm your abilities.

*Become a Yes person

Say Yes when a colleague suggests a drink or a coffee rather than crying off because of your workload. Many find work more fulfilling when they develop more fulfilling relationships with colleagues.

Your Family Life

*Identify your family script

Increase family happiness by identifying your family ‘script’ and the ‘role’ you play in that. For instance, you’re the youngest and have always been identified as “the little one” or “the baby”. A host of expectations go along with that ‘role’ like family members seeing you as needing lots of attention, etc.

Your role sticks with you for life but hold us back from satisfying family relationships. Now’s the time to identify your ‘role’ in the family ‘script’ and start behaving in ways that surpasses people’s expectations of you.

*Start delegating

Women confess to me how feeling overwhelmed means family life suffers. A big culprit for this is not delegating when they get home! They grit their teeth, get on with things when exhausted and should be delegating properly.

Make a list of chores (photocopy this) to delegate to your family. Discuss who does what and post the list on the fridge. Everyone ticks off their jobs when done. Each week put up a new copy of the list.

*Make sure everyone shines

It’s easy for the quiet or well-behaved one to get overlooked in the hurly-burly of family life. This can lead to simmering sibling rivalries. Ensure everyone has a chance to shine and feel valued even in simple ways like blowing their horn when they’ve done something thoughtful or helpful.

*Instigate family mealtimes

Families lead such frenetic lives they rarely sit down for a meal. Research shows this is destructive to family well-being. Make a point of regular family dinners – at least weekly. Everyone joins in and TV, mobiles and iPods are banned, encouraging people to listen to each other.

*Identify their positives

Make it what I call a ‘happy habit’ to tell every family member why you appreciate and love them. It’ll make all the difference to the way they feel about themselves – and you!

Your Relationships

*Recognise your ‘fallback mode’ –

All of us have a ‘fallback mode’ when stressed. So when you and your partner disagree you go into ‘fallback mode’ – the way you traditionally react. This means we lack flexibility in handling relationship hurdles.

Think through your fallback mode. For instance, when your partner’s angry do you avoid conflict, leaving the room? Or do you go into bully-mode and scream them down? Because your partner has their ‘fallback mode’ too, it’s easy to get stuck in relating to each other. The next time you disagree, resist your ‘fallback mode’, showing them a new you.

*Learn to say ‘sorry’

People repeatedly tell me they ‘wish’ they’d the courage to say sorry when wrong. Plus they wish their partner could apologise when they’re wrong. It’s difficult to say sorry – even when we’re wrong – because it makes us vulnerable. People don’t want to feel this but part of real intimacy is making yourself vulnerable.

Apologise when wrong and you’ll be amazed the difference this makes to putting a row behind you two.

*Learn active listening techniques

We’re so rushed we hardly look at our partner when speaking, let alone listen properly.  Practice ‘active listening’, giving them eye contact when they’re speaking as well as reflecting back what they say. Let’s say they complain about the lack of time you have together. Simply reflect back, “I know what you mean by our lack of time,” so they know you’ve understood them.

*Set your boundaries

I repeatedly hear complaints of a partner’s ‘bad’ behaviour. The only way to solve such behaviour on their part is to set your boundaries. Make clear what behaviour you won’t tolerate. If they, say, are late again for meeting up, then go on without them. They’ll soon learn your boundaries can’t be pushed.

*Rekindle romance

A little romance makes a big difference to your relationship. Make things sparkle with the classics: candlelit dinners, love notes and flirty e-mails, fun little gifts and loads of affection.

Your General Well-being

*Discover what makes you happy

When interviewing people for my new book I asked: what’s your most recent happy memory? Literally 99.9% answered things like: my husband surprising me with a candlelit dinner or my daughter ringing me for an unexpected chat, etc. It’s never:  buying a new hand bag! Start creating more of the things that’ll give you happy memories, today!

*Free yourself from worry

Learn to identify the little devil on your shoulder saying negative things. It says you’re not good enough, you could’ve done better, and that others are better than you, etc.

Challenge this little devil: does it help you, soothe stresses away, or make you feel better? The answer’s a resounding No! Instead develop a little angel on your shoulder. Each time you think negatively, seek guidance from that little angel that’s soothing and positive.

*Forget the big diet

Research shows you’re far more successful in shedding unwanted pounds, toning up, or getting fit if you do so step-by-step. That big new ‘celebrity’ diet, or even worse, a big ‘crash’ diet, won’t give lasting results!

Fill your cupboard with healthy foods and dump the junk foods. Walk, take stairs, and be active where ever possible, and you’ll find the weight falls off slowly but surely. Definitely make getting fitter fun by taking up a dance class, swimming, or even bowling.

*Try a new look

Studies repeatedly show that a new look can give you a real lift. Something as simple as changing your hairstyle or shade, getting a new make-up look from the make-up counter at a department store, or wearing a new shade of clothing can make you feel different. Throw away your ‘colour and style habits’ and have the courage to experiment a little!

*Get an anthem

Choose a song that fills you with happiness, strength, and a “I can face the world” feeling. Make this your personal anthem and play it when you need a lift.

A similar article was published in the Express Newspaper

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DIY Decorating: One Look, Two Rooms

Follow these simple ideas to re-create your living room and bedroom.

By Becky Mollenkamp

Fresh Living Room

This living room in a pink-and-green color scheme is kept subtle thanks to the monochromatic walls and sparing use of color. To dress up the room, ready-to-assemble cabinets were raised up; custom doors were added and topped with a bridge to make them look like a built-in masterpiece.

Almost Custom Bookcase

Paint the bookcase the same color as the trim to help trick the eye into believing they are built-in units.

Door Duty

To create out-of-sight storage, doors were added to the bottom shelves of the cabinets. Made of medium-density fiberboard (MDF), the doors are installed with concealed hinges.

Custom Cabinets

Punch up open-front bookshelves by lining the back with wallpaper. To avoid permanent application, cut foam-core board to fit the shelf back and apply the paper to that. The shelves keep the board in place.

Instant Art

Frame scrapbooking paper, available in an array of trendy colors and funky patterns, for easy and inexpensive artwork that perfectly suits your room’s color scheme.

Hidden Storage

In addition to storage space, the new top shelf and molding provide a recessed spot to hide the curtain rod.

Same Look in the Bedroom

Using elements from the living room, the bedroom has the same fresh color scheme. But to kick it up a notch, a bold pink paint was added below the chair rail along with a heavier dose of colorful accents.

Double Life

The coffee table from the living room becomes an end-of-bed bench topped with chair cushions and storage baskets in the middle.

Ribbon Shade

Using fabric scraps from your room, this shade gets an instant makeover. Here is how to do it:

1. Lay out your fabrics leaving varying widths.

2. Hot glue the pieces into place.

3. Cover the fabric’s edges with ribbon.

4. Finish the shade by gluing a ribbon trim around the top and bottom of the shade.

Throw Pillow Transfer

The throw pillows from the living room work perfectly on the soft green bedding.

Family Gallery

The scrapbook paper art gets a face-lift with family photos glued over the papers.

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