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3 Tips to Simplify Dinner (And 5 Awesome Slow Cooker Recipes!)

After a long busy day at work or at play, I cannot fully express the joy and peace I experience when I come home to dinner fully prepared. Add to it that it’s all (mostly, does bagged salad count?) homemade and healthy (again, mostly) and I couldn’t be happier. Thank heavens for the man that thought up the slow cooker! (I linked to the history of the slow cooker because I, too, just had to know, was it a fella that thought up the genius appliance or a frazzled woman tired of plowing through the drive-thru line in her Model A?) Of course, a slow cooker alone does not dinner make. Put to work these 3 tips and six o’ clock won’t seem so daunting. (And check out five of my favorite slow cooker recipes below!) Have a plan. Menu planning is such a huge help toward simplifying dinner. Having a plan for the day’s meals alleviates stress and helps everyone know what to expect. Check out this post (and free printable!) on menu planning! Be prepared. Once you have your menu planned for the week, be sure you have the ingredients you need to make it happen. It may seem obvious, but being ready with what you need to prepare the meal you have planned is key to actually making the meal. I cannot tell you how many times my good intentions and glorious plans have gone down in flames because I forgot a key ingredient. Take a cue from Mr.…

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4 Glamourous Ways to Simplify

The very nature of simplifying has a certain bit of glamour and style to it. Knowing that what you have is exactly what you want and nothing more is decisive and chic; it says to the world “I know who I am and I love it”. Right along with that are a few specific things you can do to simultaneously simplify and bring some elegance to your daily life, and who doesn’t want that? 1) Wear lip color in your shade. Lipstick has a magical way of pulling your entire look together, and a lip color that is reliably all your own does that and more. Think Taylor Swift and the red pout she’s rocked on the red carpet for years. The color just makes sense on her because it is her; she doesn’t quite look herself without it. Lipstick can do the same for you, and help you simplify at the same time. My suggestion is to find a bold color you love and wear it every day. Choose a bold color for two reasons; 1) Why not? 2) A bold color can be layered to alter your look from season to season; for example, Taylor could rock the red in the winter time, layer it over a sheer gloss in the spring to lighten things up, mix it with a shimmery bronze in the summer, and blend it with a rich plum in the fall for a moody autumn look. One lipstick worn year round = less makeup you…

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Organizing Paper Clutter; Part Two

In part one of this post series we covered how to avoid paper clutter before it ever enters your home. Part two of three is all about how to quickly reduce the amount of clutter in your home, leaving only the most important things remaining. It is vital you get rid of the non-essentials (paper or otherwise). If you do not take the time to toss, the task of organizing becomes overwhelming and you waste valuable time and energy trying to manage stuff you don’t even want, much less need. The key to cutting down successfully is consistency; you must do it daily. Here are four ways to reduce your paper clutter every day. 1) Keep waste and recycle bins where you need them. We have five trash bins in our humble one bedroom apartment; the kitchen, under the bathroom sink, in the water closet, by my side of the bed, and under the desk. I also have a bin in the car. Keeping trash and recycle bins at hand greatly increases the odds that I will actually use them. Having to walk clear across the room interrupts my work flow and I tend to let the trash accumulate instead of getting rid of it. It may seem lazy but rather than fight my inner couch potato, I make tasks as simple and as easy as possible to carry out. Take a minute to consider where you could use another garbage can. Do you always pay bills at the dining…

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