Posts Tagged ‘tips’

5 Organization Tips for the Holidays


Well, Thanksgiving is over already and I think we can all agree that the holidays have a way of creeping up on us pretty much every year! That being the case, the last thing we need is more “stress” added to our already miles long to-do and shopping lists. So today we’re here to offer some tips to make your home a holiday haven, not just for your guests, but for YOU to enjoy throughout the season. Let’s get started!

1. Categorize

The tendency can be to sort through items by room, but it may be easier and less overwhelming to tidy things up by category first. For example, try tackling clothes, then accessories, then books, etc. If you’re looking to get rid of some items, let other family members in the house know that you’ll be making a clothes (or whatever the item may be) drop off to the local thrift store on a certain day of the week so that they know to have that category sorted through by then. Sometimes it’s easier to check categories off the list and let that serve as the motivator to start in on the next round!


2. Be selective 

As you’re sorting through items, ask yourself, “How long has it been since I’ve used or worn this? If at all?” If it’s just been sitting in a corner or on a shelf, a good rule of thumb is if you haven’t even looked at it in over a year, you probably won’t miss it when it’s gone. This can be a hard rule to follow, but the reality is that with the New Year will likely come new gadgets, clothes, and household items that will replace what you’re giving away.


3. Recycle

If you have materials lying around waiting to be repurposed…repurpose them! These things also have a tendency to be left undone and if you simply don’t have the time, consider donating (I’m seeing a pattern here!) them to a charity or organization that could utilize the materials for community programs and/or projects. The holidays are always a great time to give back!


4. Balance Organization with Simplicity

These are two different things–you can have a lot of stuff and have it be organized well. Or you can have less stuff and still have it organized well. What you do depends on your goal.  If you’d like to simplify your life and keep out the clutter, the solution may not be to go out and buy a ton of great home organization units, boxes, crates, etc. As great as these might look, they could also encourage you to go out and buy more things because now you have a place to put them! Instead work with what you already have in the way of organization tools. Something as simple as a magazine holder can serve multiple purposes–from its intended purpose to holding under-the-sink kitchen supplies. Get creative!


5. Guilt Gifts

Last but not least and one that’s perfect for this time of year–guilt gifts. There’s no reason to keep gifts that you don’t use, but guilt can easily get in the way.  What if the person who gave you the item never once sees you wear it? Or notices it around the house?  The truth is that if the watch that your distant cousin gave you wasn’t your style, then it’s most likely been tucked in the back of that top dresser drawer for far longer than need be. Not crazy about that sweater from Great-Aunt Marge that still has the tags on it? It’s probably time to give it away. We can often wrestle with giving away items that were given to us by loving, well-meaning family members or friends, but at the end of the day, if we never use or wear them, what purpose do they serve? Sentimentality has its place, but more often than not they won’t notice, you won’t regret giving the item away, and you’ll be one step closer to an organized home.

As we step further into the season, we hope that these simple tips will help make the holidays clutter-free while creating more room for festivities and gathering with friends and family. Happy Holidays from all of us at Suburban Woman!

Holiday-Proof Fat Loss Tips

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Don’t Deprive
Skipping meals in order to make up for holiday indulgences will only cause you to make more regrettable decisions. Follow up a day of indulgence with small, sensible meals centered around protein and fiber.

Exercise Time
Don’t skip your workouts during busy holiday weeks. You’ll benefit more than ever from the stress relief and metabolism boost that a good workout delivers.

Share Healthyapple
Bring a healthy dish to your next holiday party, and be sure to fill your plate with it. This is a great way to make sure you’ll have a healthy option, and you’ll also share good health with your friends and family.

Drink Low-Calorie
High-calorie drinks are everywhere during the holidays, and these beverages are the easiest way to pack on the pounds. Be extra cautious with your drink order, stick with low-calorie options, and always drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.

Jamie Philippi of Premier Fitness Solutions is ready to help you get out of the bucket and create a customized fitness plan dedicated to your needs. For more information, email or visit their website

Get a Sunless Glow

Everyone loves a fresh, sun-kissed glow… and now that we know about the sun’s harmful rays, there’s no other way to go but “faux.” Merle Norman has made self-tanning simple. Just follow these tips to achieve your most beautiful bronzed look every day, without the negative effects of the sun.

    Always start with an exfoliating scrub, like Polished Perfection, to prevent streaks and patches. Self-tanner adheres much better to smooth, even skin.
    Applying a light layer of body cream like Moisture Works to particularly dry areas like the hands, feet, elbows, knees and ankles keeps color from over-absorbing.
    Self-tanner dries quickly, so apply it evenly, working it into skin quickly; blend with circular motions. Use a tinted formula, like SunSense Tinted Self-Tanner. It will let you see where you apply it, so you won’t miss any spots. Pay close attention to drier areas that tend to absorb more color (ie: elbows, knees and ankles). Wash hands with soap immediately after.
    Keep on glowing. Make your “tan” last longer by applying a small amount of SunSense Self Tanner daily to the places the sun naturally hits skin (ie: forehead, cheekbones and bridge of nose); blend well.
    Get instant tropical color in seconds with Bronzing Powder. For the most natural effect, apply it with a large brush like the Makeup Artistry Face #2 Brush using a light hand in a backward “3” motion. Sweep along the jawline, up the inner cheek and extend up and out over your brow and forehead.

Amateur Kitchen’s Roasted Turkey Recipe

Amateur Kitchen is showing you step-by-step on how to make the perfect roasted turkey for Thanksgiving Day. Along with sharing tips and strategies for the big day.

Roasted Turkey
Prep: 15 minutes; Cook: 3 hours

Ingredients (12-14 servings):

  • 10 lb turkey, thawed
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into thirds
  • 2 celery Stalks, cut into thirds
  • 3 tbsp fresh sage (about 4 stems)
  • 3 tbsp fresh thyme (stems can stay on)
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary (about 4 stems)
  • 6 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp pepper

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Thaw the turkey, take the neck and giblets out and pat turkey dry. (Reserve the neck if making turkey stock.) Stuff the turkey with onion, carrots, celery stalks, sage, thyme and rosemary; if working with a larger turkey just add in more vegetables. Rub butter all over the turkey, on top of the skin and under the skin – where you can reach. Season with salt and pepper and place turkey in a roasting bag. Seal the bag
then slit a few holes on top to allow for steam to release. Place a digital thermometer into the thigh and place the turkey in the oven; roast for 2 hours for a 10 pound turkey. (For each additional pound over 10, roast for another 15 minutes/pound.)

After 2 hours turn the heat up to 425 degrees and roast for an additional hour or until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Take the turkey out of the oven and allow for the meat to rest before carving, about 20 minutes.

Reserve the drippings for our homemade TURKEY GRAVY RECIPE.

For all turkey tips CLICK HERE.

**View the Roasted Turkey Recipe video here**

Amateur Kitchens is a mother-daughter team who shares a passion for food and a love for spending time together. For as long as she can remember, Jennifer loved to cook. As a child, her Sunday morning memories consisted of her grandma and Aunt Sue cooking up a delicious homemade meal for the whole family. She’s enjoyed culinary arts her entire life, and now that her daughter, Maria, is old enough, Jennifer created Amateur Kitchen as a way to pass along unforgettable memories and the passion she’s developed for food to her daughter.

Five Tips to Increase Self-Love and Inner Confidence

by Lauren E. Miller, Author/Speaker/Stress Relief Expert, Founder of Stress Solutions

1. Make a list: Record every person in your life that you have given permission to define who you are…then say, “even though I gave this person power to define me, I choose to take it back today, and I am willing to love and accept all that I am, just as I am.”

2. Fill in the blank: “I feel most loved when_________.”  Make a list of those things in life that truly refresh your soul and expand your heart. Choose one thing from that list a day and do it.

3. Give yourself permission to take the time to answer the following question:  “I feel most accepted when_________.”  Observe how many things on your list are dependent upon the reaction of the people around you.  Erase the things on your list that involve you farming out your sense of identity to what you do rather than who you are.  Authentic self acceptance has nothing to do with the response of the world around you.  Self Acceptance flows from within so take the time to nurture moments that give you the opportunity to explore what needs to shift inside of you for you to release the “I will accept myself when” list.

4. Let go of this:  Worrying about what other people think.  Wake up and realize that you are not the opinions or responses of the world around you.  You are beautifully and wonderfully created.  Remember that the same hands that fashioned all of the wonderment contained in nature created YOU.  Any time you are concerned with the response of those around you, which often leads to jealousy and comparison it is as if you are saying, “You have something I need in order to accept myself just as I am.”

5. Let go of the inner critic: Erase and Replace.  Know this: whatever you focus on GROWS BIGGER and you are the gate keeper of your choice of focus.  As Wayne Dyer says, “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”  Anytime the critic pops up in your head, say “delete” and replace it with the things that are going well for you in the moment. If you can’t find something positive, then focus on the physical: I am grateful I have eyes to see, ears to hear, a heart to respond to beauty in life.  An attitude of gratitude expands the experience of self-love and love for life faster than any other attitude.



The Skinny Rules

  1. Drink a large glass of water before every meal–no excuses!
  2. Don’t drink your calories.
  3. Eat protein at every meal–or stay hungry and grouchy.
  4. Slash your intake of refined flours and grains.
  5. Eat 30 to 50 grams of fiber a day.
  6. Eat apples and berries every single day. Every. Single. Day!
  7. No carbs after lunch.
  8. Learn to read food labels so you know what you are eating.
  9. Stop guessing about portion size and get it right–for good. 
  10. No more added sweeteners, including artificial ones.
  11. Get rid of those white potatoes.
  12. Make one day a week meatless.
  13. Get rid of fast foods and fried foods.
  14. Eat a real breakfast.
  15. Make your own food and eat at least ten meals a week at home.
  16. Banish high-salt foods.
  17. Eat your vegetables–just do it!
  18. Go to bed hungry.
  19. Sleep right.
  20. Plan one splurge meal a week. 
These tips are from Bob Harper’s book The Skinny Rules: The Simple, Nonnegotiable Principles for Getting to THIN. What rules do you live by?

5 Strategies to Losing Weight While Traveling

by Kim Justice, Owner, Take Action Fitness

  1. Drink a lot of water.
    Bring on a plane for long periods of time is so dehydrating. Drink a bottle before arriving at the airport, drink a bottle while at the airport, purchase or fill a big water bottle for the plane ride, and drink another bottle when you arrive at your destination.
  2. Pack food.
    There are many temptations and poor food options when traveling. Keep away from fast food, high-calorie snacks and boredom eating. Packing your own food will definitely keep you in your skinny jeans. Not only can you then control the types of foods you eat, but also the portion sizes. Here are some fantastic foods to bring while traveling.
    Plane Travel
    –All-natural, low-sodium beef, turkey or buffalo jerky–Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, cucumber
    –Fruit, such as apples, oranges, bananas, peaches, plums, berries or chopped fruit
    –Protein powders with a shaker bottle
    –Raw nuts/raw trail mix with unsweetened dried fruit
    –Natural deli meat on whole grain Ezekiel tortilla (meat saves for 1.5-2hrs)
    –Homemade protein bars
    –All-natural fruit crisps
    Car Travel
    Car travel is the same as plane travel, but with more versatility to bring coolers.
    –Store deli meats, fruit, veggies, grilled chicken breast, etc
  3. Fit in a 15-30 minute intense workout.
    I have provided sample hotel room workouts. The only equipment you’ll need is you. If you have access to a gym, grab some weights for the provided programs.
  4. Stick to your nutrition plan 90 percent of the time.
    Just because you are on vacation does not have to mean your diet is. Most popular vacation spots are in warmer climates that have delicious fresh fish and produce options. For the other 10 percent of the time, enjoy a cocktail or slice of key lime pie.
  5. Avoid getting sick.  Traveling in close proximity of others can put you at more risk of illness. Take Airborne tablets/packets the day before and day of traveling to load up on Vitamin C. Also, a heaping serving of Greens+ or Athletic Greens in the morning will give your immune system a boost.
Prisoner Squats x 8
Incline or Kneeling Push-Ups x 8
Split Squat x 8
Side Plank on Knee x 15 sec Each
Double Leg Hip Bridge x 8
Pike Push-Ups x 8
Handstand Push-Ups x 8
Side-to-Side Squats x 8
Lying Knee Tucks x 8
Repeat 2 to 4 times, 60 sec rests between sets.
Prisoner Squats x 10
Incline Push-Ups x 10
Reverse Lunges x 10
Side Plank on Feet x 30 sec Each
1 Leg Deadlift x 10 Each
Pike Push-Ups x 10 
Handstand Push-Ups x 10
Quick Side-to-Side Squats x 10 Each
Seated Knee Tucks x 10
Repeat 3 to 5 times, 0 to 60 sec rest between sets.
Prisoner Squats x 12
Spiderman Push-Ups x 12
Lunge Jumps x 12
Side Plank with Leg Raise x 12
1 Leg Deadlift Hop x 12
Elevated Pike Push Ups x 12
Side to Side Squat Jumps x 12
Reverse Crunches x 12
Repeat 3 to 5 times, 0 to 45 sec rest between sets.

**Take Action Fitness is located at 43W900 Route 64, H, Lily Lake, IL 60151.**

Be Active, Social AND Healthy

March is National Nutrition Month.
Being healthy not only makes you feel and look good, it also helps you live a longer and happier life. Here are some tips on how to stay healthy while being active and social:

  1. Eat Local, Taste Fresh: Eating a wide array of fruits and vegetables gives the body essential vitamins, antioxidants, minerals and fiber–ingredients that are important in maintaining a healthy diet.
  2. Start Your Day the Fresh-Pressed Way: Juicing fresh vegetables and fruits is a healthier alternative to drinking soft drinks and fruit juices that have added sugar content. Concoct your own special blend and share the recipe with others!
  3. Read the Tea Leaves: Tea, from chamomile and peppermint to green and black, offers some great short- and long-term health benefits. It contains zero calories (sans sugar or milk), it’s been known to lower bad cholesterol levels (LDL) and, according to some studies, it’s rich in antioxidants that help fight against cancer growth. Afternoon tea is a novel idea and lovely way to entertain friends!
  4. Variety, Balance and Moderation: A nutritious diet contains not only a healthy dose of fruits and vegetables but balances it out with the recommended amounts of grains, protein foods and dairy according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Remember the food pyramid? Such dietary guidelines, along with being cognizant of caloric intake and overall food consumption are key in fighting off the extra pounds. Well, that and physical activity.
  5. Group Motivation Leads to Better Results: Studies have shown that having support motivates people and helps keep them focused on their goals.

This information is from Blendr, location-based technology and real-time functionality that unites users looking for ways to discover new people with common pastimes. The Blendr App is available for free on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch from the App Store or at After downloading the app, users can select from a wide array of interests, including Food, Cooking, Vegan and Vegetarian and instantly connect with new people in their area.


TOPS Shares Healthy Eating Tips for Travelers

Traveling is an exciting chance to get away from the hustle of the real world but can also derail healthy routines. Along with sitting back on vacation, many of us also become relaxed with our nutrition selections and put our exercise routines on hold. Whether your traveling for business, with your family or on a weekend getaway, TOPS Club, Inc. (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), the non-profit weight-loss support organization, along with the Produce for Better Health Foundation, shares hints to help you stay on the wellness track, cut calories and feel satisfied.

Eat healthy on the move.

  • Bring your own meal for the flight or car ride. Homemade sandwiches and fresh fruit are a great option. You can control what you eat and save time and money.
  • Pick up pre-packaged fruit and vegetables at the grocery store. You can also buy peanut butter in a tube or small container to pair with fruit or granola bars.

Be smart with snacks.

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth with dried fruit, which provides disease-fighting antioxidants. It replaces candy and can be mixed with nuts and seeds for trail mix.
  • Pack peppers, celery or carrots to snack on. Resealable containers are perfect for dips, such as ranch dressing, peanut butter or hummus.
  • Frozen grapes make great bite-size snacks and are delicious with low-fat cheese.

Eat without overdoing it.

  • Do your research. Check out your destination online and look at restaurant menus before the trip to find great places serving healthy options.
  • Practice eating smaller portions. Bring half of the meal home or share and entree with a friend. Consider choosing appetizers instead of entrees.

Give thought to your drinks.

  • Switch from soda to low-fat milk, water or tea with one sugar or a non-nutritive sweetener.
  • Opt for tomato juice or vegetable juice on the plane.
  • If you’re out for a coffee or smoothie, order the smallest size, request coffee with fat-free or low-fat milk, skip the whipped cream, ask that the smoothie be prepared without sugar and look at nutrition facts.

Watch portion sizes, but don’t deprive yourself.

  • Use the half-late rule. Make fruits and vegetables 50 percent of what you eat at every meal.
  • Don’t skip your favorite dessert or fried foods. Eat smaller portions of these foods, and make them a treat, not a regular occurrence.
  • Don’t cut out meals. This can lead to eating too much later in the day.

Submitted by TOPS Club Inc., a non-profit weight-loss support and wellness education organization established more than 63 years ago to champion weight-loss support and success. Founded and headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, TOPS promotes successful, affordable weight management with a philosophy that combines healthy eating, regular exercise, wellness information and support from others at weekly chapter meetings. TOPS has about 170,000 members in nearly 10,000 chapters throughout the US and Canada.

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