What Motivates You?

I attend an exercise class with an amazing instructor, Katie. She is funny, enthusiastic, and uplifting. After attending one of her classes I feel like I could take on the world. I find her to be a very motivating influence.

So, what motivates you? Is it a person, like your spouse, a teacher, or close friend? Or do you get motivated by volunteering, changing your scenery or personal goals?

What is the influence that makes you get your tasks completed? Find your motivation today.

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment May 23, 2013

What Was the Last Book You Read?

My book club is reading The Great Gatsby for our May meeting. Afterwards, we plan on seeing the movie together.

I read The Great Gatsby when I was in high school, so it has been fun to pick it up again and reread the novel. It was always one of my favorites!

What was the last book you read, and when? With this great weather, consider picking up a classic, or any book you think you’d enjoy, and schedule some fun reading time into your week.

Maria Gracia

3 Comments May 16, 2013

Making Tonight’s Dinner Choice Easier

It’s not fun standing in front of your refrigerator at dinner time, trying to figure out what you’re going to eat based on what ingredients you have available.

If the kids are whining during this time, and your spouse just asked why dinner isn’t yet ready, and you’re tired and hungry yourself, it’s going to be very easy to get stressed out.

You may even throw your hands up in the air and order in a pizza or send your spouse out for McDonald’s. While this is OK once in awhile, if it becomes the norm, it’s going to get pretty unhealthy and fairly expensive in no time at all.

I find the easiest way to make dinner choices is to have a plan of what we’re going to eat BEFORE dinner time rolls around.

And I don’t mean a minute before.

I mean, at minimum, a few hours before so you can pick up what you need at the grocery store if necessary and get started early enough.

That being said, planning at least a day or a week in advance is even better…and I try to do that with my family most of the time.

I know…it takes time to plan out meals. But it doesn’t have to take hours. In fact, I get most of my weekly meal planning done in about 20 minutes, and I try to do it during ‘waiting time’, like while I’m waiting for my daughter’s dance practice to end or while I’m waiting for a load of laundry to be completed.

In general, I choose at least five ‘I already know how to make it’ recipes, and one ‘give it a try’ recipe per week. That results in six meals. Then, I have anywhere from one to three days with no cooking after that as we enjoy our leftovers.

Maria Gracia

2 Comments May 6, 2013

Labels: Life’s Little Lifesavers

In May, I’m going to be hosting a Home Interiors party at my house for my friend Krista, a Home Interiors consultant. Krista gave me 30 postcard invitations that I’ll be using to send to my friends.

The postcard had space to include the date, time, place and RSVP information for the event. Usually, when I receive these types of invitations in the mail, they’re all individually filled out with pen.

However, I saved a whole bunch of time by making labels in Word. I used 1 inch by 2-5/8 inch address labels. I was able to include the following information on the label:

__________

When: Wednesday, May 22nd at 6:25P

Where: (My Address)

Please (RSVP: My Phone Number)

Hostess: Maria Gracia

Home Interiors Consultant: Krista

*** Appetizers, drinks and dessert will be served.***

Feel free to bring a friend!

__________

The font size was small, but readable. The label fit perfectly without hiding any of the other information on the postcard.

Typing up this information once, printing out a sheet of 30 labels, and sticking the labels on the postcards, took me about 10 minutes or so. Writing all that information out by hand would have likely taken 45 minutes or more. Plus, I didn’t end up with writer’s cramp!

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment April 23, 2013

Sleep Texting?

Apparantly sleep walking has evolved in the electronic world. Now researchers are describing a new sleep disorder called sleep texting.

Sufferers of sleep texting send texts while half or fully asleep. Apparently people are texting so much during the day that they’re subconsciously doing it at night too.

Besides the fact that most texting is for fun, conversational use, rather than productive use, perhaps this is yet another reason to cut down texting time during our busy days.

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment April 11, 2013

Is Spring Cleaning Necessary Today?

Do we need to spring clean today? From a historical standpoint, cultures in northern climates found the first days of spring to be a perfect time to dust and air out their homes. Remember people were still using coal and wood burning stoves back then.

In today’s era of filtered furnaces, once-a-year cleaning may not be as necessary as 100 years ago, BUT one thing will alway remains consistent–sticking to good and regular cleaning habits throughout the entire year…a little bit each day…will ensure your home is always presentable and presents a healthy atmosphere for you, your family, and your visitors.
Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment April 5, 2013

No Homeless Stuff

Every item you have, no matter what it is, should have a designated home. For instance, your car keys should have a home, your purse/wallet, watch, unread mail/newspapers, paper plates, etc. should have a specific go-to spot in your house.

If an item doesn’t have a ‘home’ it tends to get lost. Don’t let your items become ‘homeless’.

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment March 25, 2013

How Did Spring Cleaning Come About?

It’s pretty tough for me to think about spring when the temperature hasn’t been over 20 degrees where I live, and there’s still tons of snow on the ground!

So, how did spring cleaning come about anyhow? From a historical standpoint, spring cleaning became a ritual in northern climates because March was the perfect month to open windows and air out homes. Not to mention, it took place before any major farming or planting of fields took place.

Hey, why not? The change of season and the warmer weather it brings is just one more perfect reason to get that good ole’ organizing and spring cleaning momentum going!

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment March 22, 2013

Forced Organizational Tactic

As in years past, the Motion Picture Academy tried to limit the number of stage minutes granted to each Academy Award winner at the annual Oscars awards ceremony. This year the theme to Jaws was played as a reminder to the actors that their ‘time was up.’ This was a very effective (and funny) organizing tactic to keep the show moving.

Now a similar app needs to be created so we can use it during uninteresting meetings! Maybe there is already one available…if you know of one, please comment!

Maria Gracia

Leave a Comment March 15, 2013

Cleaning What Doesn’t Get Seen

When was the last time you completely emptied your silverware drawer and wiped it out?

We get so accustomed to cleaning and picking-up what people see, that we forget to work on the areas that only we or our families see–like the silverware drawer.

Don’t neglect these spots, choose one to work on today!

Maria Gracia

1 Comment March 5, 2013

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