New Year Declutter

The week between Christmas and New Years has always been a time to declutter my physical surroundings. A time to get rid of the old, worn out, expired, or no longer worn and either trash it or donate it. Fresh and clutter free surroundings to bring in the New Year

The method to my decluttering madness is to just go all in. The full body, no looking back, see and feel every square inch kinda madness. I take everything out, pile it up, and then put all the pieces that are functioning and still used back in it’s place, while leaving out the unwanted and worn out. The unwanted piles then get sorted into trash or donate categories.

If the idea of decluttering is overwhelming to you, start small. Maybe tackle one room or one cabinet at a time, or choose an area each day for a few days. Choose what is most manageable for you.

A few areas to get you started.

1. Kitchen cabinets. Sort out the mismatched lids, worn out pots and pans, appliances that haven’t been used in a year and either donate or trash them.

2. Linen closet/medicine cabinet. Recycle the old towels into shop rags. Toss out the expired medications. Half empty bottles of shampoo/conditioner? Either combine them or put them into travel size containers for all those cancelled 2020 trips we need to make up.

3. Clothing closets. Girl, you know you haven’t worn most of that stuff in years. And those jeans that you keep around as “goals?” Toss. Them. Out. We are decluttering more then just our physical space. Declutter that mental space too and let it go. That is something deeper we need to tackle here another day, ok? For now, donate those two-size too small jeans. They’re out of style anyway.

Decluttering your living space leaves you feeling refreshed and accomplished before the New Year. It’s a great way to also start decluttering some of those tucked away mental spaces too. And what a great way to bring a sense of fulfillment and purpose by donating all the gently used goods you no longer need to someone who could really use them?

Go! Declutter some of those living spaces.

Cheers!

Beer Delivery to My Door? Supporting Local This Holiday

Supporting Local Omaha was the theme I chose for department gifts this year. Omaha is home to an incredible amount of locally owned and operated businesses, so what better way to celebrate the end of an exceptionally challenging year by gifting staff with some locally made treats all the while supporting our local businesses. If there is one thing that really fills my bucket, it’s the gift of giving to others, and also giving back. I had so much fun researching shops in Omaha which actually created a challenge when narrowing down. I certainly had a lot of fun filling Holiday bags with items made with love.

The carefully created and oh so cute variety of sugar cookies by the talented Erika of Erika.Ashlee Cookies and the Hot Chocolate Bombs by Zen Coffee.

I found the cutest notepads, coined Charmpads, from female owned and operated Inclosed Letterpress Co. and the perfect sticker pairing from The Anastasia Co. reminding the gals in my office that

1. You can do hard things

2. Your kindness can change the world

3. The world needs what you got

And come on… who doesn’t like, need, want, deserve a beer at this point? Infusion Brewing Co. hooked me UP with delivery service to my front door. Come on now, that’s what we call spreading Christmas Cheer!

I told the gals delivering it that they must be having fun. I am pretty sure my exact words were “You are literally spreading effing Cheer, man!”

Ya get what ya get with me sometimes…

Might I add I am LIIIIVVVIINNNGGGG for this Gingerbread Vanilla Bean. Ohmygoshneeditall.

And let’s talk about Orsi’s Italian Pizza & Bakery. Not only are they Omaha’s oldest Italian bakery, they also serve up some of the best pizza around. I couldn’t exactly stuff a pizza in each of their giftbags but I could fit in some fresh made bread. Orsi’s also makes their bread fresh in-house and with no preservatives, milk and no added sugars which makes them basically the best.

Huskerland Popcorn hooked me up with bags of yummy cheese, butter and caramel goodness. Huskerland also hosts a local baker, Lady T., every other Thursday and she just happened to be there when I stopped in to pick up my pre-ordered bags of popcorn. On my way out the door, Lady T’s middle school aged kiddo won me over with his smooth selling skills and eagerness to help show off all his momma’s yummy creations. Kid, you just got yourself a sale. I’ll take 10 of those cupcakes, and you choose the flavors for me.

Thanks, Huskerland Popcorn and Lady T’s Gourmet Creations for making those 10 minutes in your store extra extra special. ❤

Due to our campus operating remote, I gave the team the option of a personal delivery to their front door or a timeframe to meet me in our office parking lot.

What a joy to see some of these folks today.

Jacquie, Sarah, Pat, Theresa, Taylor & Angela… so good to see you. Jermaine and Anthony – thanks for letting me experience what it’s like to be a Door Dasher today! And Chuck, Brad and Amber – I will see you Monday.

Happy Everything, Merry Always.

Merry Christmas

Chatbooks | Where All Your Photos Go to Live!

Let’s chat Chatbooks!

I became a customer in early 2017 and shared their product with you in an old blog post (below).  I needed to re-share their product with you again as this could make a great gift option for family or for you.   I actually have two cost savings options to share as well, but one expires in 24 hours so you’ll need to get a move on.

Chatbooks offers a fast way to get photos off your phone or social media channels and into your hands.  I use mine for my Instagram account.  I am very intentional on what photos I share in that space and I love the automated feature it affords me. If you are looking for a new way to get your photos off your electronic devices, I’d highly recommend giving Chatbooks a try.

How to Get Started:

  1. Create an account using my affiliate link to get a $10 credit linked here.
  2. Get 20% off your first order with coupon code: fauxhouse20
    • Our Faux Farmhouse is one of my fave IG accounts to follow.
    • 20% coupon code is for a very limited time, typically only 24 hours.

 

Original Post January 2017:


 

Chatbooks: Saving each Instagram account, 60 photos at a time.

I was introduced to Chatbooks by a friend in 2017 and was instantly intrigued.

  1. IG photo preservation that isn’t virtual
  2. Two options of books to preserve IG photos
  3. Automatic shipping
  4. CHEAP
  5. Easy options to change/manipulate an order before its shipped

The question I asked myself was: Do I find my Instagram photos to be worth saving outside of the Instagram app?

The answer was a definite, YES.

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When sharing on Social Media I only share the photos that are most important to me and that (most often) have a story behind them.  Gone are my younger years when I shared every last photo I ever took of an occasion.  I find it to be less authentic and feel a point can be made and a bigger impact felt by sharing a few meaningful photos, or photos that capture the eye, or photos that are telling of yourself and your own personal story, or of others, in a positive, heartfelt way.   The photos (and I take a lot) that aren’t shared on Social Media platforms are uploaded on a monthly basis to Snapfish for storage, print and photo album creation, for my own personal use.

But, Instagram?   That’s where I like to post my favorite photos.  The ones that encompass who I am, what I believe in, the friendships I cherish, the family moments, the vacations, the scenery.   My IG photos tell a story.  With Chatbooks I get to preserve that story in the form of a book, forever.

About Chatbooks

Chatbooks started in 2014 by a husband and wife duo looking to preserve memories with little time investment.   The company has grown to employ over 85 individuals across the country but remain “small” in nature to provide a foundation built on people and individuals.   Their motto:

“Chatbooks exists to help people hold on to what matters.”

What Options Are There?

With Chatbooks you have several options.  I use the Chatbook Series option.

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Series books are ongoing and linked to Instagram, Facebook or even your own camera roll favorites.  For every 60 photos uploaded, Chatbooks will create a new album, (or in their words, Volume) and send it to you for $8 Automatically.  Three days before shipment you get an email where you can manipulate some of the photos/captions by removing anything unnecessary.

 

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 Chatbooks also includes the accompanying caption and the date uploaded.

 

Questions

Chatbooks has an awesome support center where all your questions can be answered at the click of a button:

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I love my Chatbooks collection and I know I will love them even more as the years go by, their purpose evolves and the documentation becomes even more significant.

 

Life is big and beautiful and I ❤ to live it.

Ready to connect your IG, FB or personal photos for your own set?

To get started:

  1. Create an account using my affiliate link to get a $10 credit linked here.

Cheers!

 

SWIG Sugar Cookies w/ Buttercream Frosting

Apparently there is a Utah based joint titled Swig with its entire operation based on the premise of a drive-by drink shop.  I have read on numerous sights that they are known for their “dirty soda”, which can be defined as a soda mixed with coconut cream flavoring.  Built in a college town, their soda’s quickly became a favorite of many, along with their sugar cookies.  After seeing the copycat recipe pop up on numerous blogger sights, I decided to give them a go this weekend.  As much of the Omaha metro area was closed down due to multiple ice and snow storms passing through, it was a perfect opportunity to play around in the kitchen!

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I used the recipe shared by DIY blogger Mandy over at Vintage Revival.  I figured if a DIY blogger shared a dessert recipe, then it HAD to be worthwhile, ya?

I used the cookie recipe as written, but was feeling a buttercream frosting.  I will share the original recipe in it’s entirety below, but will also give you the buttercream frosting I used for this particular batch.

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Swig Sugar Cookies

This is the original and BEST recipe for copycat Swig sugar Cookies!

 Prep Time 10 minutes
 Cook Time 8 minutes
 Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Butter room temperature
  • 3/4 cups Vegetable Oil
  • 1 1/4 cups Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Powdered Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cream of Tarter
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 5 1/2 cups Flour

Sour Cream Frosting (Original)

  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 3/4 cup Sour Cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 cup Powdered Sugar

Instructions

  1. Cream together Butter, Vegetable Oil, Sugars, Water, and Eggs.
  2. Combine dry ingredients and slowly add to butter mixture.
  3. Mix until everything is combined.  Your dough should be a little crumbly and not sticky.
  4. Use a cookie scoop or roll a golf ball sized ball of dough and place it on your cookie sheet
  5. To give the cookies the signature rough edge, press a glass bottom (dipped in sugar) into the center of the dough ball.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes.  They should just barely be browning on the bottom.    Move cookies to a cooling rack.  Once they are cool put them in the fridge.
  7. For the ORIGINAL frosting: Cream together butter and sour cream and salt.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  When it gets so thick its not frosting like add a splash of milk.  Alternate this process until your frosting is the desired consistency.  Add 1 drop of red food coloring and whip on high for 1 minute.
  8. Keep cookies in a sealed container until they are ready to serve.  The magic of a Swig Sugar Cookie (apparently) is that the cookies are cold and the frosting is room temperature.  Frost right before serving.

I can attest to the refrigeration technique of the cookie.

SO GOOD CHILLED!  

I used a traditional buttercream frosting for this batch which includes 2/3 cup butter, 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp almond extract, 2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream.  Mix together until desired consistency, adding more powdered sugar and whipping cream as needed.

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ENJOY!

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