On January 22nd if you need a break from the Impeachment Trial, Library Shelfie Day, offers a unique opportunity for book lovers.
Some collectors of books tend to arrange their collections so their spines can be admired pleasantly. Others have a system of organization that results in an alternative art form. However our books are organized on the shelf, they are meant to be photographed and shared on social media.
Library Shelfies offer book stores, libraries, schools, and individuals an opportunity to express their reading preferences through a single photograph. Whether they frame their favorite authors, titles, genres or cover art, readers share a bit of their library in creative ways. With or without dust jackets, signed and unsigned, dogeared and in mint condition, bibliophiles love books of all kinds.
HOW TO OBSERVE #LibraryShelfieDay
Whether you have a small library with a few select favorites or are a true bibliophile, arrange your collection on a shelf and take a picture. Some suggestions include:
- Arrange by color
- Order books by height, thickness, width
- Arrange book titles so they send a message
- Stack books artistically
- Place books in the order in which they were read
- Rely on the good ol’ alphabetical order by author
- Display a biography only shelfie
Once you’ve taken your library shelfie, visit a local library and check out theirs. You might find they’ve developed clever ways to entice you to new books and old ones, too. Don’t forget to use #LibraryShelfieDay to share on social media.
LIBRARY SHELFIE DAY HISTORY
The New York Public Library founded Library Shelfie Day as a way to observe various national holidays by displaying shelfies representing books from each day.
You can combine this with Blonde Brownie Day also recognized today. A good cup of coffee or tea, a blonde brownie, and a great book. Curl up in your favorite spot. There is no better way to enjoy a cold winters day. (It’s 30° in Florida. Trust me this is cold for us.)
National Use Your Gift Card Day reminds Americans to use the $1 billion in gift cards left unused each year. On the third Saturday in January, take stock of the gift cards you received over the holidays. Make the most of each one of them before they’re forgotten for good!
We all do it. Stash away gift cards thinking we will have more time later to use them. They collect dust and disappear into an abyss somewhere. We discover them as we clean and often don’t remember how much was on the card or if we used a portion of it. Those partial balances add up, too! The first step is to collect the cards together and see what you have. You know where to look.
- Every pocket of every purse and wallet you have
- The infamous junk drawer
- Glove compartment of the car
- Bottom of the toy box (it may have been used to scrape goo off a toy)
- The other junk drawer
- A gift bag with the tissue paper still in it
- The toolbox (we know what happens when a flathead screwdriver can’t be found)
Once you have your gift cards, get organized. Where do the gift cards work? Restaurants, retail, and services all offer gift cards. Some gift cards are designed to be used just about anywhere.
Maximizing Your Gift
- Check for deals to maximize your gift cards. In most cases, gift cards work just like cash and can be used with coupons. There are exceptions, however, so it’s always good to check first.
- Is the card to a place you don’t shop? You have a few options:
- See if the card is good at a companion location
- Check to see if the gift card can be cashed out
- Have a gift card swap party or sell your gift card for cash
- Donate your gift card to a charity fundraiser like a silent auction
- Plan to overspend the amount of the gift card to avoid having small balances lying around. Even if you add a small useful item (lip balm is always handy) to go a penny over the amount, you’ll be able to hand the card over to the retailer to recycle the card.
HOW TO OBSERVE #UseYourGiftCardDay
Collect your gift cards. It’s time to use them. Don’t let them sit for a year and risk losing your gift altogether. Maximize your gift cards with deals and get the most out of your gift cards, too. Have a shopping spree or a spa day with your gift cards. Don’t let those gifts and savings pass you by! Use #UseYourGiftCardDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL USE YOUR GIFT CARD DAY HISTORY
Tilson PR founded National Use Your Gift Card Day in 2020 to make sure everyone gets the most out of their gift cards. Leave no gift card unturned and find tips, ideas, and deals by visiting useyourgiftcard.com, too.
Happy New Year! If your bleary eyed and looking for Asprin, that was an energetic whisper instead of a yell…
Well 2020 is officially here. Now if I can just train myself to write that year, on important things like billing, receipts and checks. If you haven’t adjusted your organizer, calendars, and yearly to-do lists, it’s a good day to spend quietly preparing to rejoin the world. (If you’re lucky enough to have time off to do so.)
First make it a point if you’re not totally digital to transfer any dates, notes, or important information to this tears planner. Sync the digital, worlds of desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile so you have your information handy. You should do a complete backup of your contacts, calendars, and any other vital information.
For digital media burn real back up disks. I know, it sounds old fashioned today, but that thumb drive, external hard drive, micro sd card can all be wiped out. The wrong delete command can undo all your hard work. What would you do if you lost all those irreplacable photos?
Ok, like most of us I have cloud storage. So why do I need to do anything physical like a real disk? Cloud storage has gotten better but, experts still agree if you go with this method, you need more than one. A physical disk also lets me keep my private files…Private!
Data breaches happen all the time. Google, Banks, Stores where we shop, they appear in the news all the time. Sensitive information like credit cards, financial records, taxes, contacts, and any photos, you don’t want out there don’t store it anywhere that has network access. Yes, it makes it easier for you to get to your files but internet security is really only good until the next hacker breaks it. Do you really want to learn through social media that “That” photo is out there. With identity theft rates going higher, do not want to take chances with your sensitive information?
Staying on Track
As a blogger, and in charge of the family finances, I safeguard this information. I use a variety of both physical and virtual tools to make my life easier. To keep my days on track and remember appointments I still use a paper planner. Everything from holidays, birthdays, and planning for both my family and my blog go here. I find it easier to stay focused, complete tasks in a timely manner and use things like alarms on my phone for special reminders.
Outside of that and a secret stash of sensitive login information I’m fully digital. We use app named Prism to keep track of paydays, bills, credit cards and so on. It let’s me track and make payments easily with an easy to understand interface that covers everything. It reminds me when the water payment is due. Keeps my bank balance, tells me the car insurance is next week and keeps up with my automatic payments. With bank-level security and automatic locking features even if I lose my phone no one else can get in.
National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day on November 15 encourages us to prepare for the upcoming holidays. Get together a soap and hot water filled bucket, disinfectant, a sponge and a garbage bag. Then you will be ready for the day!
With family gathering and a large turkey waiting to be roasted, cleaning out the refrigerator makes sense. Not only will we need room before the meals, but we also need space for all of the upcoming leftovers. Many dread this job. However, it is an important task none the less.
Due to our hectic and busy lifestyles, the cleaning of the refrigerator gets neglected. hence the creation of National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day. There may be a surprise or two found at the back of the shelves. Things are often pushed back as new food is put in the front and gets forgotten.
Sanitation Foundation (NSF) International found that the meat and vegetable drawers were the dirtiest spots in our kitchens – well with regards to causing disease.
However, those who clean their fridges more often tend to waste more food. There’s plenty of advice available on the frequency of fridge cleaning. Understanding food labels and the meanings behind “sell by” and “best by” dates are also important. These labels don’t necessarily mean a product has gone bad, but that the quality is best by the date on the label. However, “use by” leaves some of us wondering.
HOW TO OBSERVE #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay
Some suggestions for your refrigeration cleaning are:
- Empty each shelf.
- Completely wipe down the inside of the refrigerator.
- Wash drawers and underneath the drawers.
- Throw away all expired food.
- Throw away any moldy food.
- Get rid of anything that you do not use.
- Vacuum condenser coils.
- Vacuum out under the refrigerator.
- Restock shelves and drawers with good food.
- Enjoy your nice, clean, organized refrigerator.
Use #CleanOutYourRefrigeratorDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL CLEAN OUT YOUR REFRIGERATOR DAY HISTORY
The home economists at Whirlpool Home Appliances created National Clean Out Your Refrigerator Day in 1999 to encourage people to clean out their refrigerator in advance of the upcoming holidays. At that time, the company even had a toll-free hotline that people could call into for cleaning tips.
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 pkg taco seasoning
- 1/4 c water
- 1/4 medium onion diced
- 1/4 medium green bell pepper diced
- 1 – 2 tomatoes chopped
- 1/2 head iceberg lettuce chopped
- 1 pkg flour tortillas
- 1 pint sour cream 1 8oz jar of your favorite salsa.
- Cheddar or Mexican blend shredded chesse
- Brown fround beef over medium heat. Add pkg taco season and 1/4 c water. Cook another 5-7 minutes allowing water to evaporate.
- Cut all vegetable toppings and place in separate bowls.
- Open pkg of tortillas and warm for 1 minutes microwave.
- Leave spoons in each ingredient to add to tortillas.In our home each person layers the ingredients on the tortilla as they like it. (I like mine full of equal parts veggies and meat. Topped generously with salsa and sour cream. If available I enjoy a bit of guacamole as well.)
- If you fill tortilla to full, you will need a fork and plenty of napkins.
- Roll tortilla tucking ends as you go. They are less likely to break or tear if warmed.
- Enjoy. We eat holding bottom firmly in place. Be cautious when setting down or they can unroll.
- Juices may leak from seams so keep a napkin close by.
by Mission Foods
These are an easy substitute to go low carb or keto.
There are so many options you can use with this basic idea. Substitute chicken, fish or steak, for ground beef. Avocado, refried beans, black beans, corn salsa, rice, cabbage. Any kind of cheese you like. Or use tortilla chips, top and warn for ultimate loaded nachos. Skip the tortillas entirely and add more lettuce for a great salad option. These make a great party food as well. Try some until you find your favorite. Try a new variation for Cinco de Mayo, or make it a game day treat. It’s really fun to try them all.
Are you ready for the week ahead? Once upon a time the work week was Monday – Friday 9-5. Now it almost 6 days a week and family life on top of it all. Lunches, laundry, errands, sports, Dr’s appointments, kids school activities, with all this going on what happened to a relaxing weekend. One for the extras to get done the second to take it easy. The crazy school week cluttered with your job, kids homework, getting dinner on the table each night. It can seem like going from 1 disaster or challenge to another. To make it easier to handle some simple organization can make for a lot less stress.
- Plan out your week.
Knowing what is coming for the week ahead let’s you plan for it. Knowing what day you have to work late or make it the same night as say soccer practice.
- Meal prep
Using part of your weekend to meal plan or do prep will save loads of time during the week. I try to keep breakfasts, lunches and dinners ready for the week ahead. I plan a full month menu with some days I can easily change out. Then I make a shopping list. I’m a huge fan of order pickup and delivery. Instacart, Shipt, Aldi, Publix, Amazon Fresh, among others delivered right to your door. The fee is nominal and saves you even more time to spend with your family, or re-charge your own batteries. Once the shopping is done it’s time to prep. We use family favorites and adapt as needed. We love freezer meals that go from freezer to either crockpot or quick cook on the stove. Breakfasts can be multiple choice with the finished product in the freezer.
Lunches can be prepared and stored in the refrigerator so it only takes minutes to pack lunches.
Stores like Walmart deliver in some areas but not mine. I love thier order service. I can pick out what I need, browse, and re-order frequent purchases from the comfort of my home. Simply log in to the app and shop the grocery store. I can get all the groceries including produce, paper goods, household, pet supplies, even deli and bakery. They have also added a liquor store (in some areas), stores so as long as we present ID when we pick up. So a bottle of wine, beer, and some liquors can be added to the order. Schedule a pick-up time, checkout, and you’re done. They give a window to alter the order including something either forgotten or someone just remembered to tell you about for a special day at school. Arrive at pickup time, park in special lane, and checkin from your phone. Walmart will bring and load your groceries in the car for you. It usually takes about 15 minutes from checkin, but can take longer if they are exceedingly busy. Even when I have to wait it saves me the trip through the store with heavy traffic, screaming kids, and the aisle road rage you can experience in the store when you are on a mission.
We do our prep work as a fun way to spend more time together. We joke, laugh, catch up, share stories, experiences. Working together builds the teamwork in families. It also adds to communication and respecting each others contributions. 2 or 3 can get alot done in a few hours. Young children can be included to help fetch and carry ingredients as appropriate. You will see the pride and happiness shine in thier smiles when they bring the right item. They also feel like an important contributer to the project. Older children or adults can cut, chop, measure (little ones like this to with supervision), package, label..and so on. I can even get my kitchen phobic husband to help with easy tasks. Biggest piece of advise I can pass on is never assume children and even some adults know how to do certain things. In my husband’s case you cannot take things for granted. Anyone who cooks alot knows that a cup of something refers to a specific measurement. I have learned I have to explain what kind of cup you need to measure an ingrediant. Children may also not be familiar with what or how. It’s also a great way for them to learn both math, like fractions, history, like where come spices come from, and the science-based principles of things like yeast. Next time someone is doubling a recipe have a child help figure out the measurements needed.
Package prepared foods
Singles work great for a lot of things like a breakfast or snack. Dinner, at least at our house is a family affair. We try to sit down together and eat as a family. This gives us further chance to stay close. We take a break from the electronics in our lives and connect with each other. We keep things family appropriate with very few taboo subjects. Open discussion is encouraged and every one right, wrong or different can weigh in. Whether sharing a personal experience or just a preference, or opinion, it helps all understand the world as it was, is, and possibly will be. Exposure to multiple points of view opens the world and helps all decide which way to handle almost everything life throws at you.
With all the prep done it makes it easier to get everyone where they need to be. Grab breakfast, lunches, and dinner for later. Place dinner in the crockpot, microwave breakfast as needed, and quickly pack lunches so all is ready to go. This reduces the morning rush of trying to get everyone fed, dressed, and out the door. The big plus is of course dinner is ready when you get home that evening.
While we recharge our phones, tablets, and any other items we need, we often forget to recharge our own batteries. Imagine all the love we give those special to us in a pitcher labeled you. Evertime you hug, kiss, talk, listen, care, it pours from that pitcher. What do you do when it’s empty? If this was just water we would simply refill the pitcher from the tap, right? Well when the pitcher is filled with love the sink just doesn’t have a re-supply. We regain the energy we give by doing things like going to church, relaxation, personal time, a hobby or other things that bring enjoyment. Having a full picther allows us to juggle all the things thrown at us.
While we recharge our phones, tablets, and any other items we need, we often forget to recharge our own batteries. Imagine all the love we give those special to us in a pitcher labeled you. Evertime you hug, kiss, talk, listen, care, it pours from that pitcher. What do you do when it’s empty? If this was just water we would simply refill the pitcher from the tap, right? Well when the pitcher is filled with love the sink just doesn’t have a re-supply. We regain the energy we give by doing things like going to church, relaxation, personal time, a hobby or other things that bring enjoyment. Having a full picther allows us to juggle all the things thrown at us. While we recharge our phones, tablets, and any other items we need, we often forget to recharge our own batteries. Imagine all the love we give those special to us in a pitcher labeled you. Evertime you hug, kiss, talk, listen, care, it pours from that pitcher. What do you do when it’s empty? If this was just water we would simply refill the pitcher from the tap, right? Well when the pitcher is filled with love the sink just doesn’t have a re-supply. We regain the energy we give by doing things like going to church, relaxation, personal time, a hobby or other things that bring enjoyment. Having a full picther allows us to juggle all the things thrown at us.
After all the chores are done take, some “me time”. Read a favorite book, watch a movie or simply spend quality time with your children and or significant other. Make sure you go to bed early enough to get plenty of rest. Try not to rush through the tasks you’re doing. We have enough hustle and bustle. Making these things fun for all nor only makes them a lot less if a chore, it makes them enjoyable too. As you look around savor that special feeling that comes when we do for those we love.
To get the most out of your time focus on what you have to do, need to do and want to do. Get the have to and need to done first. This will let you be more relaxed and concentrate on the things you really enjoy. I hear the expression there’s an app for that and I can say for myself at least it’s partly true. We use things like Google Calendar, Prism bill pay, Keep,and several others to tract our world. The notifications help keep us on track. Google Calendar let’s us track everything from my husband’s work to Dr appointments. I pay all our bills in about 15 hassle free minutes each week with Prism. It keeps track of what’s due when and I can schedule payments ahead of due dates to avoid things like missed payments or late fees. Keep helps us track everything from grocery lists to tasks like cleaning medical equipment, Pet medicines, simple to do lists, and I keep a running list of blog ideas and scheduling here. At the end of my day I can easily cross off what I got done and know what I still need to complete and when.
As we move into the future technology helps us run our world’s. While there is no shame in making things in your life easier, never forget that things like love, family, patience, kindness, understanding, and others still need the old fashioned low tech approach. I use my technology to speed up the have to’s so I can spend more time with those I love and the wants in my life. Between, Spouce, siblings, children, friends and neighbors I keep a busy schedule and get the best out of life by being available to those I love. To me the love I shower on my pets (our children), family incuding my neices and nephews, extended family, friends, and neighbors fulfills my life. Take the time to nuture these connections. You never know how precious that is until the prospect of tomorrow never coming makes an entrance in your life.
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