Services, tips & tricks of 2019

Well hello, hello! It’s been WAY too long my friends. I think my last post was in October and then the end-of-the year push happened at our design studio and with a busy holiday season at the studio, hosting a large Thanksgiving feast and all the festivities the holidays (& my December birthday,) something had to give.

I do know that many of us stay connected through instagram and for that I am thankful. I so enjoyed all the encouraging comments during December with regards to my self-imposed month of a #ShimmerandShineChallenge. It is a total passion project for myself and fuels my fashion creativity to a shiny new level. Thanks for those of you who played along, you guys are the best.

As I have been reflecting over 2019 and things that worked and things that maybe could be improved on, I kept coming back to these little tricks, products and services that I have discovered over last year and I thought you might like to know them as well. Nothing grandeous, but as a working parent who owns a business and would rather squeeze in a glass of wine with her friend then hit the grocery store on the way home, any little thing to make life sweeter is worth sharing. This is not a sponsored post but an honest sharing of things I know and love…check them out.

Okay, first up Instacart. I just had my 1 year anniversary with this service and I never want to grocery shop without “her” ever again. Did you know that Instacart offers personal shoppers at more than Heinen’s and Aldi’s? Along with Costco (you DON’T even have to be a member!) they recently added Target to their lineup so between those four stores I am totally covered. Using instacart has allowed me time to sit down with cookbooks and recipes to plan out the week. I easily select ingredients as I check my cabinets for things we already have and stuff we need; eliminates the “why do we have 3 jars of peanut butter?” issue. I know some of you are skeptical on having someone else pick out your produce and other items and yes, I still LOVE to go to the farmers market for my weekly fix of hydroponic grown lettuces, but in my experience the shoppers of Instacart are about 95% accurate and for that I am thankful. I love that I don’t have to go to the grocery store and negotiate with our son what special snack or cereal he can or can not get, makes shopping simple and fun. Sometimes I will let him pick one thing out on the app, so we can shop together from our pj’s on the couch. Now I do admit, I have ordered a few wrong sizes of things here and there and like anything else with practice the entire ordering process gets way easier. Also, if you do make a mistake or if the shopper substitutes for something you don’t want, the customer service is SO GOOD that they make me want to shop from there time and time again. I have heard a few of you say you don’t want to shop from there because of the single-use plastic bag usage…well I have great news, all of the vendors I have shopped from recently have all changed over to paper bags making this company even more love-able than before. If you don’t use this service, give it a shot…It helped give me a few extra hours a week in 2019 and for that I am thankful.

I know I may be late to the party, but last year I started to slowly transition to more organic household products. I found a company called Grove Collaborative that offers many safe household and bath+body products that I seriously love. Each month they send me a notice to see if I am running low on any products (detergent, glass spray, hand soap, etc.) a quick scan around my kitchen and I can reorder my organic products at a discounted rate and with free shipping. Plus, they have a few private label products that are not only effective but nicely designed, enter the laundry detergent. The laundry detergent arrives in a recycle-able refill bag which you pour into their frosted glass pitcher that is not only looks beautiful on our counter-top but also measures out how much of the concentrated cleaner should go into each load, beauty and function…LOVE. Plus as I do a bunch of laundry I feel so great that I am not recycling those big Tide plastic jugs that I had been doing for many, many years. Convenient, great design AND doing something good for our world!!! I am sold and you should check them out.

When it comes to solid tricks to making our household work smoothly, it all comes down to Sunday prep days. I literally set aside most of Sunday afternoon to prep all sorts of meals and munchies for our week ahead. Packing our lunches have never been easier and with a few soups and freezer meals prepped, weeknights are way easier than they used to be. Recently we do about a dozen hard boiled eggs for breakfasts, we make chia seed puddings with leftover nuts, berries and apples form the previous week, I try to make a new soup and a freezer chicken and veggies type meal for the crock pot and I do my best to clean and prep all of our produce to resist any lazy mid-week thoughts of why we shouldn’t cut up the cauliflower. Anyone want to come over and prep some Sunday? I swear it is a bunch of fun and you feel so prepared going into the work week, it truly is Sunday FUNday!

I’m sure I am late to the party on this one, but in 2019 I really started diving into whether for my drive to work or just the daily household chores, I could use that time to listen to the latest self help or fiction darling. Currently I am loving listening to some of the popular bios because they actually read them…LOVED Becoming by Michelle Obama and This Will Only hurt a Little bu Busy Phillips. Do you have any good tricks to getting all the “reading” done? This has allowed me to keep up while not falling asleep and re-reading a chapter over and over again when I finally go to bed. Thanks audible for bringing me back to loving books.

So those are just a few services I love, habits we created and fun ways that I created joy for myself and my family last year. Hope you might have found them helpful…can’t wait to see what 2020 holds for us! Cheers Cleveland friends, lots of love!