This post was sponsored by Skinnygirl as part of an Influencer Activation. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

You’ve got a huge presentation with boss, boss’s boss, boss’s boss’s boss and pretty much every important person you can think of. You over committed yourself socially and are literally running to back to back to back events. You’re expecting company and waited until the last minute to prepare. Any of these sound familiar?

We’ve all had those days that we just KNOW are going to be hectic before they even begin. I’ve spent my life trying to avoid these. All the to do lists, calendars and all obsessive organization haven’t prevented me from having THOSE days.

So instead of killing myself to try to avoid days like that, I do my best to manage through these days with these tops tips.

Keep Hydrated

OK well technically we should all keep well hydrated EVERY day. We’ve heard it over and over that the more you drink the better you’ll look and feel. It’s especially important on those crazy days. This always causes problems for me because I totally hate the taste of water.

Enter Skinnygirl Sparklers & Water Enhancers (at only 5 calories per serving). Flavors like Pineapple Coconut, White Cherry, Tangerine Pink Grapefruit and Blueberry Acai sound WAY better than plain water 🙂 .

Whether I grab a Sparkler from the fridge or mix a couple squirts of the Water Enhancer into my water bottle before leaving the house in the morning, I’ve finally got water that I’ll ENJOY drinking.

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

Be Comfortable

I’m a lover of gorgeous uncomfortable shoes just as much as the next gal. But let’s face it, the last thing you need to deal with when you’re half way through that crazy day of yours are blisters or sore feet. Save the fancy 5 inch high heels for a night out on the town and stick with comfortable flats on your busiest days.

Bring Backup

Any time I wear tights I’m constantly in fear that they’re going to rip. Constantly. It’s completely irrational but I’m stressed the entire time I have them on. The practical side of me says just don’t wear tights. But the wanna be trendy side of me says to suck it up. So I ALWAYS bring back up. Same goes for a second shirt any time I wear white. (hello stains). Finally have peace of mind 🙂 .

Snacks

An empty stomach on a busy day = disaster. Don’t rely on a vending machine to magically appear when you need it. Pack healthy, yet indulging snacks (yes those DO exist). These Skinnygirl Chocolates only have 100 calories per pack and are made with real Belgian chocolate. A perfect portion controlled snack!

Charge it! 

Why oh why does my phone battery die so quickly? Joe would say it’s because I’m ON my phone too much, but I totally disagree. The mystery I’ll never understand. When I’m going to be gone for a long period of time, I always bring an extra portable phone charger. There’s so many options now a days. They’re cheap, lightweight and are complete life savers if you can’t get to an outlet.

Prepare Prepare Prepare

One of the things that drive me crazy more than anything is spending a day full of running errands only to forget a couple things that I needed to pick up. Yes, I’m sure there’s more annoying things in life. But the reason it bothers me so much is if I had spent a little bit more time planning out my day, I would have saved a TON of time having to make a second trip.

So the night before any busy day, I spend a couple minutes planning out my day. Whether that is figuring out the most efficient routes to run my errands or prepping for a day full of back to back meetings, I’m always more productive with a planned out day.

Caffeinate

Keep your energy up during your most sluggish time of day with a little caffeine pick me up. You know that 2pm slump??? I love these individual Skinnygirl Tea flavors AND names … Peach Bellini, Mojito Mint, Cranberry Cosmo, and Sangria Hibiscus. Throw a couple in your purse and make a glass when you need it most! It’s the next best thing to a 5 o’clock cocktail 🙂 .

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

Use Time in Between

No matter how busy your day is, you probably have a couple minutes here and there where you’ve got a couple extra minutes of time. Some of us enjoy just taking those opportunities to relax. For those of us who hate relaxing (Hi! Have we met??), those pockets of time are great opportunities to get a little bit done. Whether it’s reviewing my grocery list to ensure I didn’t forget anything, scheduling that doctor’s appointment or running through my power point one more time before my presentation.

Early to Rise

I know I know … not all of us are morning people. I hear ya. But the LAST thing you want is to be rushing in the morning before your busy day. Mornings set the tone for your whole day. Give yourself some extra time in the morning for any last minute things. Skipping out on 15 minutes of sleep won’t make you tired all day, but it will give you enough time to ensure you’re walking out the door with everything you need!

We've all day THOSE days running from the gym to work to cocktails... here's our best PRACTICAL tips to make it through your busiest days!

Find your favorite Skinnygirl products near you!

How do you manage through your busiest days? Leave us a note to give us your best tip!

 

 

 

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Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Elastic hair ties are one of my new favorite things. As a girl who wears her hair in a pony tail about 99% of the time (I blame working from home 🙂 ), I not only love them for my daily pony tail look. I also love them for the rare occasion that I wear my hair down. Why? Elastic hair ties are create an awesome crease-FREE look. No more straighteners needed!

While I do love these magical hair ties, I hate forking over big bucks for something SO simple. Fortunately they’re just as easy (and quick) to make as they look!

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Supplies

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Instructions

The first step is to cut the elastic to your desired length. Don’t worry about a perfect cut on the elastic as we’re going to cut it one more time before it’s done. I measure mine to 8 inches. This allows me to do three wraps around my pony tail staying tight in my hair.

Fold the elastic in half with the shinier side face out.

Tie a knot using the two ends of the fabric. Then work and pull the knot towards the ends from the inside of the hair tie (not the ends). Pull tight to ensure the knot is secure.

If the ends are too long for your liking, snip with a scissor. You can cut on an angle, straight or even give it bow ends. Totally your preference!

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

So simple and affordable! It’s a perfect project for the DIY rookie to the seasoned pro. With lots of fabric left over, I’m able to stock up on hair ties and put a couple in my purse, work bag & suitcase. I’m yet to see a hair tie that I didn’t want to use.

Stop paying big bucks for the newest trend in hair ties ..... Make your own for a fraction of the price. Watch our step by step tutorial to show you how!

Wishing that all expensive beauty supplies could be this EASY to make!

 

 

 

 

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I’m always jealous of those who can finish their to do lists before I even have my first cup of coffee. You know the person I’m talking about. The gal that’s already worked out before you meet her for brunch on a weekend. The person who’s doing their grocery shopping on Saturday morning instead of Sunday night like the rest of us.  Whether ensuring your have a healthy breakfast on the go or speeding up your morning beauty routine, here’s our top tips for your most productive morning EVER!

Look Your Best

Set yourself up for morning success by spending a couple minutes in the evening doing some prep, the first being your outfit. To avoid roaming through your closet wasting time looking for that perfect outfit each morning, make these adorable outfit labels to coordinate your best outfit for each day of the week!  Each evening I then hang tomorrow’s outfit on the back of my bathroom door so I have NO temptation to rummage through the closet spending unnecessary time “re-looking” at all my outfits.

Prepping Lunch

Whether you’re trying to get out the door quickly in the morning or just trying to get to work at home (anyone else work from home?), by prepping your lunch the night before you’ll have one less thing to worry about during a busy morning. I don’t know about you, but every time I try to throw together lunch during a busy morning, I’m totally disappointed with what I packed come lunch time!

Post It!

I’m definitely a digital organizer so to speak. My phone comes with me everywhere. Yet, for mornings, I’m all about the post it notes. If there’s anything important that I need to do or remember to do or bring with me in the morning, it goes on the post it note. “Take casserole from fridge”, “mail package”, “water plants”, etc.

Coffee in No Time!

I’ll admit it, I NEED coffee to get me going in the morning and a lot of it. So I prep my coffee machine the night before so the coffee will be flowing right when I wake up in the morning. Nothing gets me moving and productive in the morning like a large cup (or pot 🙂 ) of coffee!

What’s at your door?

EVERYTHING I don’t want to forget the next morning! I’m notorious for walking out the door without that ONE item I needed to take with me. Happens. Every. Time. It took me long enough to learn my lesson, but now I put everything important that needs to come with me right next to our front door.

Skip the Snooze

If you’re going to wake up early, you might as well GET UP. Studies show that “snoozing sleep” really isn’t good sleep, so you might as well set your alarm for later if you know you want the extra zzzs. In the time that you’re snoozing you could have gotten a couple things tackled from your to-do list!

Goodbye Facebook

Did you know the average person checks their email before brushing their teeth in the morning? Whether it’s email or Facebook, save it for another time. If you’re going to skip the snooze button don’t let it be to spend your time scrolling through your friends (or random acquaintances) photo stream.

Fuel Up 

We all know that skipping breakfast is a bad idea. NO one is productive on an empty stomach, so eat up! The coffee lover in me LOVES when my food has coffee in it too. SnackWell’s Biscuit Thins are the ONLY breakfast treats with real coffee and flavorings (Caramel Macchiato, French Vanilla, & Dark Chocolate Mocha). Even when I’m rushing out the door in the morning, I’m able to grab breakfast on the go! And with NO partially hydrogenated oils, or high fructose corn syrup and 40% less sugar than competitors, these are the smart choice!

Grab a coupon HERE and head over to your local Walmart to grab yours! 

I found mine at the Lynnwood, WA Walmart!

 That College Shower Caddy 

Keep your bathroom tidy AND speed up your morning beauty routine with one simple change: using a shower caddy to store all your morning beauty products (including face wash, toothpaste, makeup, and more!). You may have thought the shower caddy was only for the days in the dorms, but this simple item is the perfect way to streamline your routine in the morning. Prevent searching through every cabinet in your bathroom since EVERYTHING you need in the morning is in one place!

Water Water Everywhere

If I’m going to prep a pot of coffee the night before, I probably should prep some water as well, right? I keep at least two canisters of flavored water in my fridge so I always have something tasty to drink. PRO tip: Add a handful of sliced fruit to your canister, filling the rest with ice cubes. Then add the water. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to drink. The ice cubes will eventually melt, but they will help keep your fruit fresh longer.

May mornings be your favorite time of day (or at least the most PRODUCTIVE)!

 

The post is brought to you by Activate by Bloglovin and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
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Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

When I was growing up my mom had at least one garage sale at our house per summer and frequented others garage sales all summer long. Throughout my adult life I’ve always lived in too urban of an environment to have a garage sale (read: I’ve never owned a GARAGE), so I thought my mom would be the best person to share her her tips on staying ORGANIZED when hosting a garage sale!

Ahead of Time

  • Pull out all the items you want to sell (no brainer right?). Just remember, you need a lot of items and some good large furniture pieces to draw people in. If you don’t have enough stuff on your own, get others to join you!
  • Test out all electrical items to ensure that they work before adding to the garage sale pile.
  • Put small pieces to any items in to a taped ziplock bag (such as game pieces, extra screws/nails, etc)
  • Gather all your supplies (see below for full list).
  • Price all your items and make sure EVERYTHING has a price sticker on it. Even inf you’re putting items in a bin with a sign denoting the price, I (well my mom) strongly recommends that you still put a price on individual items. It will save you a lot of time at checkout!
  • Decide if you will accept checks and/or 100 dollar bills. My mom chose not to accept either. She actually had a situation where someone gave her a bounced $10 check. The bank charged her $12 for trying to cash a bad check. She laughs that she had to pay $2 to get rid of the item. Hopefully it won’t happen to you!
  • If you decide to have limitations on what of money you’ll accept, make sure there’s signs clearly stating something along the lines of “No checks or bills over $20 accepted” so that there’s no confusion (or awkwardness at checkout)
  • Get plenty of change! $1s, $5s and quarters are what you’ll need the most of! My mom starts off with $50 in 1’s, $50 in 5’s and $10 in quarters. Regardless of how much you start with make sure to write down the amount! It sounds obvious, but I’ve forgotten and then had trouble reconciling our profits afterwards.
  • If you’re doing a garage sale with others, give everyone a different color price sticker to label THEIR items. That way any of you can handle checkout for any items. (See supply items below for a group checkout form)
  • A day before, move your car out of the driveway, preferably a block away from your house. The more parking you can make available for potential guests the better. I’ve skipped stopping at garage sales because parking looked like a nightmare.
  • Even though you won’t be selling your items for retail prices, you need to think of your garage & driveway as a retail shop. Clothes organized by type, size, and gender. Home items organized by room of house (kitchen, bath, etc). Big ticket items out in front at the edge of the driveway to lure your guests in. Keeping with the mentality of a retail shop makes setting up your garage sale surprisingly easy, which brings me to …..

Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

Set Up / Layout Tips

  • On a piece of paper, draw out your garage sale space (garage and driveway) and label where EVERYTHING will go. It can be overwhelming to try to figure out where to put all your items the night before the garage sale, so having a ‘floor plan’ will help immensely. For example, put all kitchen items on one table, CDs and movies on another table, etc. You’ll also know if you have enough tables for your items.
  • As you’re drawing out your floor plan, keep in mind that you want your place to be organized, but it also need to showcase that you have a LOT of items. Sparse garage sales typically get passed up by those driving by.
  • Put big items closer to the street as people come by in cars to look before they stop and get out.
  • To gauge how much space your items will take up on your card tables, place the items on your kitchen table to get an idea. Even if your kitchen table is no where close to the size of your card tables you’ll be using for your garage sale, you’ll be able to get a feel for the space.
  • Are you selling any NEW items that have never been used before? That’s the only exception to my layout guidelines. Put these items on a separate table with a HUGE sign staying “NEW”. My mom has always had great success putting this table closer the street.
  • Keep smaller more expensive items closer to your garage / in the back. Things such as video games, jewelry, CDs (really anything that has a higher price point) should be within eye shot of where you’ll be stationed. Never want to think that someone would steal, but better safe than sorry.
  • Checkout station. Keep this location somewhere easy for guests to get to, but also in the shade (you’ll thank me around 2pm). Putting a table cloth over your checkout table, not only helps make it more identifiable for guests, but also allows you to tuck items underneath and out of site (think: money)
  • Put clothes on tables sorted by size and gender with large signs taped to the table.
  • Bins and boxes are great for books, videos and any items you want to charge the same price for (remember to still label each item individually).

Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

Day Of

  • The night before the sale move the furniture you want into the garage if you haven’t already. Always put the heavier furniture near the garage door so that it’s easy to bring in and out.
  • Have an extension cord plugged in to an outlet to make it easier for customers to test out electronics themselves.
  • Play music. It gives you something to listen to throughout the day and the guests will enjoy it to!
  • Wear a fanny pack. I’m not sure if the trend is ever coming back (or if it was ever there to start with), but I LOVE any reason to wear a fanny pack. It’s super useful to have some money and pens stored inside. Then you can checkout someone at any spot. (photo of me)
  • Each hour do a scan of the area to see if anything needs to be reorganized or refolded. Remember a clean organized area will make it easier for guests to find what they want and purchase!
  • Throughout the day, do a check to ensure you’ve got enough small bills/change in your money box. If you’re running low have your spouse or co-host run to the bank.
  • If you have tarps available, keep them in the garage. It’s good to cover tables in case a fast downpour .

A couple safety tips from my mom (hopefully you’ll never had to run into these):

  • When someone gives me bills, I mention the amount they gave me and what I will give them back. I try to hold the bill they gave me in my hand until the transaction is done. One time a lady said to me “I only have a 20”. After a few minutes shopping she gave me a 10. I noticed it wasn’t what she said but didn’t say anything. She tried to tell me she gave me a 20. Finally when I kept saying no, she looked in her purse and found the 20.
  • Some people have kids that need to use our bathroom. I make sure no money is laying loose inside and that someone is helping take them inside. There’s been reports in our town of items getting stolen inside homes when people have to use the bathroom. This is another reason to NOT do the garage sale alone! 
  • Be aware of where your money box is. As you get a lot of money take some of the big bills and put in a safe spot in your house.

Our best tips and tricks to host a completely organized garage sale from the most experienced garage saler I know, my mom!

Garage Sale Supplies

  • Calculator (I know we all live in a world where our phone is our calculator, but it definitely comes in handy during garage sale time)
  • Plastic or paper grocery bags to put in sold items
  • Newspaper (to wrap fragile items)
  • Garage Sale Revenue Tracker
  • Money box with change (see above for tips on how much money to have on hand)
  • Extension cords plugged in to an outlet (to allow people to test out any of your electronics)
  • Clipboards for each host (makes it SO much easier to write down the purchases especially if you’re not at your host table)
  • Lots of pens
  • A couple permanent markers
  • plastic for rain protection
  • Plastic sheets or blankets for anything going on the ground
  • Colored price stickers 
  • Extra paper (to make ‘sold’ signs on anything that gets accounted for but not picked up immediately)
  • Radio/speakers (for music)
  • Tape
  • Balloons/Signs
  • Snacks/Cooler
  • Measuring tape (in case any guests want to measure furniture before purchasing)
  • Folding tables
  • Lots of cheap metal hangers
  • Clothing rack

May you have the most organized AND profitable garage sale on the block!

 

 

 

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GetPackin #CollectiveBias

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Summer travel is a staple in many families & truly American past time. We can all remember family road trips when we were kids and now so many of us are continuing that tradition with our children.  As great as road trips are, they can be messy. You know that feeling after you’ve been sitting in the car for hours to finally arrive at your destination? The car is dirty with trash from snacks all over the ground, everyone’s hands are sticky and that ‘dirty feeling’ just won’t go away. If you’re nodding your head then you definitely need a road trip essentials basket to keep you and your car organized & clean!

My summer vacation this year is a road trip around the pacific northwest with my college girlfriends! I’m excited for a week of lots of laughs, great adventures and spending time with my best friends. What I don’t want to deal with is a messy dis-organized car as we drive down the coast from town to town. My solution? The Road Trip Bin! It has all the essentials for a perfectly clean and organized road trip.

Here’s the items that I put in my road trip bin

I headed on over to Walmart to grab ALL these essentials, including the perfect road trip snacks: BELVITA Chocolate Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits, SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy, OREO Mini Cookies and Single Serve NUTTER BUTTER Cookies!

Supply your own road trip bin with your chance to win weekly prizes and the grand prize through the Mondelez Summer Road Trip Sweepstakes. Enter now through 7/24!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Mondelez Road Trip #GetPackinSweepstakes

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Walmart has a great in store coupon booklet with awesome savings on RITZ Cracker Sandwiches, BELVITA Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits, SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy 1.9 lb. bags & TRIDENT Unwrapped Gum. Who doesn’t love a great deal? 

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

A little bit more info about each Road Trip Bin item:

Snacks! Stock up on fun snacks to keep everyone full during the ride. I love individual serving size snacks as they’re easy to pack and eat while in the car. RITZ Cracker Sandwiches, BELVITA Sandwich Breakfast Biscuits, SWEDISH FISH Soft & Chewy Candy  & TRIDENT Unwrapped Gum are all awesome for road trips. Not sure which snacks to get? Hello variety pack!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Disinfecting wipes “My car was cleaner after a road trip” said no one ever. You know the feeling when you get that dirty sticky food residue from your hands ALL over everything? Then you’re stuck in the car for a couple extra hours? It’s the worst. Disinfecting wipes are a perfect way to ‘clean as you go’ in the car.

Face wipes Just as the car can get dirty, so can you! Seriously though, do you ever just feel like you need a shower after a road trip? My face ALWAYS feels greasy and it’s nice to be able to clean my face off without having to actually wash your face with soap and water.

Hand Sanitizer Do I need to say more?

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Plastic ziplock bags Do you ever get out of your car at the end of a road trip only to realize how much TRASH you’ve been accumulating in the car? Not only is it gross to have trash all over, but if it’s not in a proper bag, then it’s likely SPILLING all over. Surprisingly large plastic bags are the perfect solution. You can seal them up to ensure no spillage occurs. I always bring a couple plastic bags in a variety of sizes.

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Water bottles Keep yourself hydrated while travelling! Just make sure your water bottle fits in the beverage holders of your car. Caution: the more water bottles you bring, the more bathroom breaks you’re going to have 🙂

Chapstick Personally, I don’t go 10 feet out my house without chapstick so I would NEVER go on a long road trip without it. Sure enough you’re lips are dry and there’s no where to stop for miles!

Phone charger Our car has a phone charger plug-in so we always keep an extra charger in the glove compartment. Admittedly my phone is ALWAYS on low battery. Ops! If you’re using your phone for GPS like I always do this definitely isn’t a good thing! If your car doesn’t have plug-in, you can get a portable phone charger very reasonably priced.

Sunglasses Hopefully the sunniest days of your road trip won’t be when you’re in the car driving, but when you arrive at your destination. Yet driving with the sun in your eyes is never fun and in fact can be dangerous. I always carry sunglasses and even a baseball cap to help.

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Reading materials Nothing says Girls Weekend Road Trip like great music (80s anyone?) and lots of good magazines. As the driver, I always make one of my girl friends read the articles outloud to keep me entertained on the long drive.

Storage bin I love using square fabric bins. These always fit perfect in the back seat of our car and easy for everyone to get to! I prefer having a bin WITHOUT a cover so that its easier for everyone to grab from it.

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

And now we’re off to see the pacific northwest!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

Need some fun road trip ideas? Check out these printables for lots fun ideas to keep your family entertained!

Any road trip essentials that I missed?

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

 

 

 

Planning a road trip? You'll need these top essential packed in your car for a short weekend trip or an all summer ultimate vacation!

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This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #newOREOThins #CollectiveBias

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

After spending a decade in Chicago, Joe & I moved to Seattle 3 years ago where we left behind our weekends of lots of cab rides, bright lights and tall sky scrapers for more outdoors oriented weekend activities (READ camping).

Yes, camping. Although I love nature as much as the next person, admittedly I was really nervous about camping!

Nervous because at the age of 32 I had never once gone camping. Not even back yard camping, glamping or even cabins. When Joe suggested spending a weekend camping during our first summer in Seattle, I had no clue what to pack, let alone what type of luggage to bring. (FYI, a suitcase is NOT the right answer.) After years of less than ideal camping packing, I’ve comprised a list of camping supplies EVERY city girls needs 🙂 .

The top items ever City Girl needs on their next camping trip! 

1 Not only does hiking work up an appetite, but putting a tent together??? That’s a workout in itself. You’ll want to have easy to grab snacks to keep you going throughout the day! OREO THINS are a perfect snack for camping. Not only do OREO THINS come in some fun new flavors (hello lemon!), it’s easy to bring these on during a day hike and for a crisp treat afterwards with the new OREO THINS 12 Pack! I stocked up at Walmart on several flavors, which was great because EVERYONE tends to want these during our hikes! (Score one point for the camping rookie!)

2 If you’re lucky enough to camp at a camp sight that has a bathroom, don’t expect a 4 star hotel accommodations. The first time we went camping I spend more time looking for a spot to place my toiletry bag than actually brushing my teeth. Let me be the one to tell you, there’s NO where to put your toiletry bag that looks appealing. That’s why S hooks are a total life saver. Hook it to the back of the stall door or on a ledge while you’re washing your face, brushing your teeth, etc. Brilliant.

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

3 No I’m not trying to start a new footwear fashion trend, but bear with me. These sandals are PERFECT for transitioning from your hiking shoes at the end of the day to hanging around the camp fire at night. Odds are that it will be chilly enough at night that you’ll want to wear socks, but after a long day of hiking, you might not want to slip in to another pair of shoes.

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

4 That feeling of just being dirty likely won’t go away until you get back home and take a shower. But having one-use face wipes will make a huge difference (and MUCH easier than washing your face). I even put a couple in clear plastic bags to take with me when we go hiking during the day.

5 I skipped the large full size hand sanitizers for several of these smaller hand sanitizers. I put them ALL over the campsite. I mean all over. One in our tent, one next to the food, one in my hiking bag and one in my toilet paper caddy … which brings me to …

6 The ONLY thing that’s worse than using the bathroom outside, is having to use damp or dirty toilet paper. Ugh. To make sure this NEVER happens to you, put your toilet paper role in an large clear plastic bag. While you’re at it, throw in your hand sanitizer and a flashlight. Remember all those times you get up in the middle of the night to use your bathroom in your house? Well it’s a little different in the middle of the night in the wilderness. Flashlight needed!

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

7 “Sleeping in the woods is so comfortable” said no one ever. Put your yoga matt to work and lay it down underneath your sleeping bag before going to bed. Although though it’s so thin, it makes a huge difference!

8 When we camp, we always bring so much stuff with us. Between all the food, cooking supplies, tent, sleeping bags, it takes up a lot of room in our trunk. I love using clear bags to put clothes and blankets in. Then when we’re searching for items in the trunk, we know exactly what is in each bag!

9 Impress all those serious campers with your ability to get the fire started! Plus who really has time to sit around and wait for the fire to finally start going?? Add a little petroleum jelly to a couple cotton balls. Then place several of these under the logs before starting the fire.

10 At the end of the weekend the last thing you want is for your car to be as dirty as you feel! Put those hiking shoes (or fancy sandals 🙂 ) in shower caps to prevent dirt from getting all over the floor of your car or trunk. One less thing to have to clean up when you get home!

After years of uncomfortable camping trips, I’ve finally mastered the packing … now if I could just get wifi to work in the wilderness.

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

Looking at these recent camping trips, I don’t know what I was waiting for all these years!

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

What’s your best city girl camping tip?!?

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

 

 

 

This city girl's gone camping and she's learned tips and tricks to make your next camping trip feel like you're back in the big city!

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Make a delicious corn on the cob recipe in just 5 minutes! Use your microwave and a couple extra ingredients for a yummy side to any meal!Make a delicious corn on the cob recipe in just 5 minutes! Use your microwave and a couple extra ingredients for a yummy side to any meal!

When I first started this series, never did I ever think I could find something that I could cook in 5 minutes …. but there’s a first time for everything 🙂 .

Although I’ve always loved corn on the cobb, I don’t eat it often. Mostly because i always assumed that it needed to be grilled or boiled. My grilling techniques are limited to knowing how to put the cover over the grill. That’s why I was really excited to learn from a friend that it’s possible to make corn on the cob in your MICROWAVE. And I know what you’re thinking. It must be gross, right? I assure you it’s pretty darn impressive.

Ingredients

  • Corn, husked
  • smoked paprika, to taste
  • 1 lime slice
  • A stem of cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Paper towels

Directions

Microwave the butter in a small microwave safe jar for 30 seconds. Mix in the lime juice, cilantro, and smoked paprika. With a basting brush, makes sure to get the mixture all around  the corn.

Run a paper towel under your kitchen faucet for one second and ring out excess water. Wrap the paper towel around the corn.

Microwave for 5 minutes on high on a microwavable plate.

Let it cool for a couple minutes with the paper towel still wrapped around (it will be hot!).

Add black pepper and salt to taste.

Enjoy!

Make a delicious corn on the cob recipe in just 5 minutes! Use your microwave and a couple extra ingredients for a yummy side to any meal!

 

 

 

Make a delicious corn on the cob recipe in just 5 minutes! Use your microwave and a couple extra ingredients for a yummy side to any meal!

Make a delicious corn on the cob recipe in just 5 minutes! Use your microwave and a couple extra ingredients for a yummy side to any meal!

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Keeping your computer virus free and healthy is easier than you think! 9 things you should start doing NOW to ensure your computer runs smoothly!

Joe & I had a serious heart to hear last weekend.

It was about my computer.

Yes, my computer. Apparently at my rate of how I take care (or more accurately DON’T take care) of my computer, I’ll be having to purchase new ones each year. And there’s no way I have a budget for that.

When I left my job earlier this year, I turned in my work laptop, meaning I had to pony up for a new personal computer. Fortunately I handed that responsibility over to Joe to research and found me a computer that was both affordable and would work for what I needed…. Email, Pinterest, and Blogging.

But before I turned on my brand new computer, Joe gave me the lay of the land so that I don’t ruin this computer too. (Yes, there’s a backstory)

Here’s his top tips to keep your computer virus free and running smoothly

1 Install and update an anti-virus. Ok. Ok. This sounds like an obvious one. But don’t let a day go by without installing AND ensuring it’s active. Just because you installed an antivirus years ago, doesn’t mean it’s still active. Make sure you’re up to date on your payments and double check to make sure it’s running. We use McAfee, but there’s definitely a wide variety to choose from!

2 Always always ALWAYS install the updates on your computer when it says to. There’s absolutely no reason to sit on these. Yes, this is a screenshot of over 200 updates needed. Yes, this was my old personal computer. No, its not working anymore. Surprised?

Keeping your computer virus free and healthy is easier than you think! 9 things you should start doing NOW to ensure your computer runs smoothly!

3 Skip the peer to peer downloading (aka free music, bootleg videos, etc). First, it’s illegal, but you’re also pretty much telling the world “Please give me a virus. Please”. In my college days, I would download videos and music from Napster (remember them?). Fortunately I had a deal with Joe where I would do his laundry and he would fix my computer. Let’s just say eventually he started going to a laundry mat because it was no longer a fair deal 🙂 .

4 Turn off and restart your computer once a day. EVERY day. This one was tough for me. I’m that girl who just pushes down my computer screen and assumes that means my computer is turned off. Well apparently it’s not.

Keeping your computer virus free and healthy is easier than you think! 9 things you should start doing NOW to ensure your computer runs smoothly!

5 Remove stuff you don’t use from your start up folder so computer turns on faster. A lot of companies have deals with computer companies to automatically have their programs downloaded on your new computer. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if you’re not going to use those programs, you might as well remove it from your computer. For me, it’s all the video games that showed up when I first turned on my computer.

6 If searching on your computer starts to become slow, you may need to run a disk clean up and disk defragmenter. Overtime your computer files become scattered over your hard drive causing searches to run slow.  Typically running these once a month is sufficient. (Add it to your to-do list!) On newer computers, simply search for “disk clean up” and “defragmenter”. On older computers, go to your settings to find these.

7 Back up data regularly. Storing anything super important in only one location is a recipe for disaster.  Even if you’re convinced your computer is healthy. Plus, online cloud storage is becoming extremely affordable. Think: Dropbox. Google Drive, etc. Even Carrie Bradshaw jumped on the bandwagon, but only after disaster hit. Don’t be Carrie.

8 Uninstall applications you don’t need anymore. Similar to removing necessary applications when you first get your new computer, as time goes on, if you notice that you no longer need a program anymore that you previously downloaded, remove it from your computer. Remember, simply deleting the icon on your home screen is not actually deleting the program. Go into your settings to fully remove the program.

9 Overheating can cause your computer to shut down and even cause permanent problems. Even though our Seattle weather never gets particularly hot, somehow I’m able to find the warmest spot in our house and leave my laptop there. Joe was not impressed.

Keeping your computer virus free and healthy is easier than you think! 9 things you should start doing NOW to ensure your computer runs smoothly!

Cheers to your computer virus free and running smoothly!

Keeping your computer virus free and healthy is easier than you think! 9 things you should start doing NOW to ensure your computer runs smoothly!

Some of the links in this list are affiliate links. It doesn’t cost you any extra, but I earn a little commission if you decide to purchase. Regardless of whether or not I receive a commission, I only recommend products that I personally use and genuinely recommend! Thanks for helping support this site!

 

 

Keeping your computer virus free and healthy is easier than you think! 9 things you should start doing NOW to ensure your computer runs smoothly!

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