How long do you wait before you take down your Christmas Tree?

Hey everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and New Year!

I️ enjoyed Christmas very much with my family. It’s always a great time to spend with loved ones. However, Christmas (2017) is behind us and I’m ready to put my tree away. You wonder, why so quickly? Well, I’m ready to redecorate and put something else in the space the tree is currently occupying.

 

Thanks to the kiddos. You can spot their special touch at the bottom of the tree with the extra ornaments.

I initially had a upcycled accent chair in this space before we put up the Christmas tree.

 

So now, I’m thinking about placing a book shelf in this space. I️ did a quick search on Target.com and found this lovely Casual Home Foldable Bookshelf, and the cost is not bad at $32.99.

I️ really like that this bookshelf is foldable. That way I️ can change it out for something else when I️ get tired of it without having to take it down to pieces. Yippee!!!

So back to the question, When do you take down your Christmas tree? And what do you think about the bookshelf?

Abi

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How to make Overnight Strawberry Peanut Butter Oats


So we all know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but are you all ready for a little secret about making breakfast the night before?

Here it is –  overnight oats! It’s that simple. Save yourself some time and pop a half-cup of oatmeal and milk in your refrigerator overnight and wake up to ready-to-eat breakfast.

Overnight oatmeal. Easy breakfast ideas
Here are the ingredients I used in my overnight oats: 2% milk, old fashioned oats, bananas, peanut butter, and strawberries. I didn’t use any sweetener but feel free to add honey or sugar.

Overnight Oats
This is the recipe I followed. I strawberries instead because I don’t like blueberries.

 

Mason Jar overnight oats.
Photo of my overnight oats in a Mason Jar. I used this mason jar container so I can just grab-and-go in the morning. The jar also fits in my cup holder, which is a huge plus.


Notes:

  • This recipe is customizable. You don’t have to stick to bananas, blueberries, strawberries, etc. Customize it with your favorite fruits and have it your way.
  • The first time I make overnight oats, it was late Winter and I prepared it in a small storage bowl with a lid. I was able to warm it in the microwave oven before I headed out in the morning. This was perfect because it was cold out. So, you can definitely switch things up based on your preference. You can also use a soup mug with a lid. I’m sure it’ll work well.
  • Also, you can be flexible with milk based on your preference and diet. Options are soy milk, almond milk, whole milk, 1 or 2% milk, and so on.
  • Get more recipes here.

 

I want to hear from you. 

Are you open to trying overnight oats? If yes, what ingredients would you use?

 

 

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post and does not contain any affiliate links. The content of this blog is solely mine and should not be reproduced without permission. 

 

How Much Money Does the Average American Need to Be Happy?

I found this really interesting article at www.cheatsheet.com. It was a good read and I’m sure you all will find it interesting also.

Cost of Happiness

Click here to read this article.

Leave a comment:

Do you agree with this article? What would you add to this list?

My Top 5 Ways to Unwind at the end of a Stressful Day

Stress is not fun, but everyone experiences it. Your body experiences stress when it’s put through any situation that brings about change. Stress is a normal part of life. However, an excessive amount is stress is what leads to burnout and health problems.
Everyone experiences stress, but our stress levels depend on our daily activities. Let’s consider parents with little children, for example. Kids keep you on your toes. Literally. There’s never a dull moment in my house with 3 boys under 7. If they’re not running around, they’re sliding down the steps, racing toys on the wood floors, or getting on each other’s nerves.

Most evening when we get home from work, Hubby and I are busy trying to get dinner ready, help with homework and get the kids in bed by 8:00 pm. Once the kids are in bed, I spend about 30 to 45 minutes every night about three nights per week to de-stress in my own way.

1) Start (or continue) a craft project

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2) Exercise in my basement (cardio/weights)


3) Read an interesting book (not too interesting that I can’t put it down)

4) Listen to a broadcast/podcast (Joyce Meyer, Tony Evans, Focus on the Family, etc.)

5) Review and edit previously taken photographs

So, what are some ways you UNWIND after a long day?

 


How to Create Nature-Inspired Decor on a Tight-budget

Last week, 2 of my kiddos were sick and would not be allowed back in school until they had been fever-free for 24 hours without medication. Sure, I was home with sick kids but the weather was great! It was 68 – 79 degrees and that meant we could spend some time outside. I’m a natural lover of the outdoors and I don’t miss an opportunity to enjoy the sun, fresh air and the freedom found in nature. And it felt good!

With that said, after spending some time indoors after breakfast, we headed to the backyard. The boys brought their soccer balls with them to play with. As I sat on the deck steps and watched them, I could not help but admire the shape of the leafless trees outside our yard. After sitting for a while, I decided to get up and play the kids. As I played with them, I noticed some long stemmed twigs on the ground and immediately thought about gathering some for a vase. The kids joined me after I picked up a few and It was a fun five-minute activity for us. As we gathered the twigs, they asked if they were good and long enough.

Our Yard


And that’s it! Instant beauty. What do you all think? Leave me a comment.

How to Make Removable Throw Pillow Covers


I recently published a post that referenced my old “one-design-for-all” throw pillows and what I did to transform them. Sewing pillow covers are so easy and do not require a lot of time. Anyone can do it! I decided to make the envelope style pillow covers because the zippered style intimidates me. Installing zippers is a no-go area for me. I’ve never even used my sewing machine zipper foot. But I’m sure I’ll sum up the courage to use it someday.

Check out a tutorial for sewing this pillow covers here by Melanie Ham.

So here are the before and after photos of my throw pillows:

Before:

Transformation in progress. 

AFTER:


As you can see I was very ambitious in completing this project. I bought various prints of home decor fabric and got to work. I wasn’t very particular about having perfect angles so I cut my fabric into 20 x 40-inch pieces. Basically, these pillow covers are one-piece covers. Nothing fancy!

So do you all have any “one-design-for-all” pillows that need to be brought back to life? Try this project now. You will be amazed to how much difference these can make to update your living space.

Thanks for stopping by,

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It’s Time to Stop Dieting

I recently shared my weight loss story on my Instagram page. With eating healthy and exercising, I have been able to lose 25 pounds within the last year and a half. I honestly slacked off my healthy eating routine just before Thanksgiving because I wanted to enjoy the holidays to the fullest. I got back on track a few days after Christmas by purging my pantry of junk and stocking my refrigerator with fresh fruits and veggies.

I believe the reason it’s so easy to eat junk food and thus gain weight is because we surround ourselves with junk and processed foods. Being back on track means that I have eat better and healthier. I have started packing fresh cut vegetables with hummus to eat as a snack at work instead of with peanut butter or ranch dressing.

So let’s talk about the star of this today’s post, OATMEAL!

I am not exactly a fan of oatmeal, but it is healthy and I eat it at least 3 times a week for dinner when I eat too close to bedtime. I make my bowl of oatmeal in the microwave and then add honey,  cinnamon and sliced bananas.

Let me give you a quick scoop about the benefits of this hearty 4-ingredient breakfast (or dinner in my case):

Oatmeal

Oatmeal has been around for a long time as a health food. It is know to curb bad cholesterol and it is heart healthy. It could be cooked on the stove top, in a microwave or a slow cooker. It could be made tastier with cinnamon, ginger, spices, peanut butter (Yes, I have done this many times), berries, apple sauce, dried fruit, and whatever else you dream of.

Banana

Bananas make a great snack and is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals, especially potassium. I eat it with oatmeal, use it with smoothies (in the summer), on jollof rice or rice and tomato stew, and also for banana bread. Bananas are the perfect on-the-go fruit or snack because they are already packaged (in a yellow suit so to say) and ready to eat. It does not require being cut up or washed. Just peel and eat!

Cinnamon

Cinnamon is also a super healthy food ingredient.The unique smell, color, and flavor of cinnamon is due to the oily part of the tree that it grows from. The health benefits of cinnamon come from the bark of the Cinnamomum tree. It is one of the most beneficial spices on earth. (Read more)

Honey

Did you know that pure honey never goes bad? Yes! It does not expire?!!! Did you know you can put it on bread like jam? Did you know you can use honey in beauty products (face scrub, hair conditioner)? It helps resolve indigestion, soothes sore throats, is a good source of vitamin and minerals, has antifungal and antimicrobial properties, and contains antioxidants and the list goes on and on and on. (Read more)

I’m having a lot of fun learning about healthy foods and healthy living. It definitely feels good to live a healthy lifestyle and not just focus on being on a diet and putting a lot of pressure on myself. So do yourself a favor, don’t diet! Just live and eat more oatmeal!

Please share your love for oatmeal. Do you eat it plain? If not, how do you spice things up? I look forward to your comments. 

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