Let’s Start Fresh in 2022!

Starting fresh means different things to different friends. For some, it’s New Years Resolutions to Eat Better, Lose Weight, Get Organized, Spend more time on Self-Care. Whatever Starting Fresh means to you, I’m here to help.

For me, Starting Fresh means grabbing new calendars for the kitchen, kid’s rooms, and my room (I have a bulletin board next to my vanity with a wall calendar so I can review each day while I brush my teeth in the morning). I update the calendars each month with appointments, days off school, birthdays, etc. I usually get free calendars in the mail towards the end of the year and use those. For the kitchen, I get a Holiday a Day calendar and use that- It’s a great way to include silly “national” days into the meal plan or weekend plans. Like National Pizza Day (it’s in February) or National Bake Cookies Day (that was yesterday- we’re celebrating today).

Other Ways I Start Fresh Each Year (and keep it going through the year):

  • Inventory my Fridge, Freezer, and Pantry (and donate/share any unwanted still-in-date food). You can buy my inventory sheets here on Etsy.
  • Deep Clean/ Organize one area of the house each week. Start small. I start with the front coat closet.
  • Clean my car out. If you are a parent, you know. I take a laundry basket and a trash bag down to the car, and once the trash is out, and the stuff that needs to go into the house is in the basket (and back upstairs), I take my car to the carwash and pay $20 to have someone else wash and vacuum the car (and clean the windows inside and out).
  • Get rid of stuff that no longer serves you. I like to start in my closet. It’s a great chance to weed out clothes that no longer fit or serve me, and I can donate or share them.  I tend to do one area a month. I work on it for 10-20 minutes a few times a week, so it is not a mental burden.
  • In the same vein, do a toiletry/beauty/makeup purge. Travel-sized/sample-sized toiletries can be donated to homeless or domestic abuse shelters or local rehab/inpatient centers. Makeup and personal care items do expire (check out this article from Insider for more deets). If it smells weird or has a strange texture- toss it!
  • Space out Appointments or other “Adulting” tasks. As someone who had two mental/behavioral health appointments, an IEP Meeting, and a doctor’s appointment last week, I can assure you I was mentally and physically exhausted. As it was the end of the year, provider time was limited, so I didn’t have much of a choice, but going forward, I’m limiting myself to 1-2 “Adulting”/appointments per week. Otherwise, it is overwhelming and everything else, like tasks of daily living, gets pushed aside (shower, what’s that?).
  • Spend time Doing Stuff I Like. Yeah, seems weird? Spend a little time doing something that makes you happy. Play a game on your phone for 10 minutes, read, do a craft, work on a project, play Legos with your kids, go for a walk.

A content creator I really like, Rayna Cohen put it simply, ” Allow yourself to enjoy the new energy of the new year.”

My kid’s school sent out a Kindness Calendar for January. I plan on incorporating some of these RAOK throughout January and beyond.

Talk Back: I’d love to hear about how you are Starting Fresh for 2022!

Naomi’s Closet: Helping San Diego, CA area women in need

I’ve written about Naomi’s Closet before, but it’s been a few years, and I wanted to bring it to the attention of some newer readers.

If you are a San Diego, Ca area resident, female, and in need, I have a great resource for you.

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Naomi’s Closet is run through the Santee United Methodist Church (Located at 8964 N. Magnolia Ave., Santee, CA 92071). They provide up to five items of clothing per month (Your choice from a very good selection in a wide variety of sizes), and 2 toiletries.

Starting in September, Naomi’s Closet is open on the following days and times:

  • Wednesdays 10am-12pm
  • 1st & 3rd Saturdays 9am-1pm

No appointment is needed, just show up during open hours. You do not need to show proof of need.

Donations accepted during open hours: Seeking clean, gently-used casual and business-casual clothing (no suits please), accessories, shoes. New/unused undergarments, sports bras, toiletries, and hygiene items of any type or size. I donate a lot of the toiletry freebies I receive, as well as clothes that I no longer wear.

If you have questions, or you would like more information, you can contact Naomi’s Closet at naomiscloset@cox.net.

 

Freebie Friday!

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Samples

 

Magazines

 

 

Freebie and Deal Time!

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I meant to post this on Friday, but I was distracted by Thanksgiving prep. There are a lot of really great freebies and deals right now.  I’ve compiled a bunch to share!

Let’s start with the Freebies:

Free Sample of belVita Biscuits at Walmart
Free Jimmy Dean Holiday Gift
Free Pepsi Zero Sugar or Diet Pepsi at 7-Eleven
Claim Your Free Sample Box for November
Free Sample of Universal Nutrition Shock Therapy & Storm Mass
Free Forto Coffee Shot at Walmart After Ibotta Rebate
Free Sample of Olay Regenerist Whips
Free Duracell Batteries at Office Depot & Office Max (perfect if you are buying holiday gifts that require batteries)
Free Organics Family Grass Kids Whey Powder
Free Sample of PooPeePads Dog Pads
Free Teadora Skincare & Hair Care Products
Free Sample of Canidae Pet Food
Checkout 51 – Free UltraFeel 2-in-1 Condom
Free Prevail Briefs, Pads or Liners Sample Pack
Free Candle-Lite Jar Candle at Kroger (I’m excited about this, I love candles!)

Deals- I’ve chosen Deals that would make great gifts:

Save 50% on Playmobil Rescue Ladder Unit ONLY $12.99 (Reg. $25)
Save 62% on Playmobil Doll House ONLY $25.95 (Reg. $63)
FREE Harrys Razor, Shaving Cream and Cover (pay $3 shopping- would make a great stocking stuffer)
Save 50% on Playmobil Hospital Play Box ONLY $9.99 (Reg. $20)
Versace Men’s Mini Cologne $5.50 Shipped – Stocking Stuffer
A Christmas Story Blu-ray DVD ONLY $7.99 (Reg. $19.98)
Beats Studio3 Wireless Over-Ear Headphones ONLY $199 (Reg $350)
Disney Princess Sparkling Dolls ONLY $39.99 (Reg. $65) Shipped

Helping Neighbors with Blessing Boxes

So for those of you that live in San Diego, one of our local Methodist Churches (The one in Santee-8964 Magnolia Ave, Santee, CA 92071) has a Blessing Box where neighbors can put food, toiletries, diapers, formula, etc. to share with neighbors who are in need but can’t make it to the local food bank for whatever reason. It was started last year. You can read more about it here and see some pictures.
I try to stop by every few weeks and put some stuff from our pantry in it. I pick up a few extra items at the grocery store (or 99 Cents Only or Grocery Outlet) when I shop each week. Instant oatmeal, canned soup, tuna, or beans with a pop-top (in case someone doesn’t have access to a can opener).
When I walked to the blessing box this AM there were 4 packets of oatmeal, some citrus fruit, and a fleece blanket (in the grocery bag).
I quickly scoured my car for everything I had. I didn’t have a lot extra in my trunk, but I emptied it of all of the food I had- I even went through the kid’s Snack bag that is for “emergency car snacks”.
IMG_8728.jpgHere is what it looked like after I put in my donation. I picked up a package of wipes from Huggies at a bloggers summit a few weeks back. I hadn’t yet opened it, so I added it to the Blessing Box.  I know that this box gets utilized by a lot of locals with great frequency. I will be back to add more groceries tonight.
Some of you may have Little Free Pantries or Free Food Boxes in your area too. If not, it’s easy to start one! Many local schools also have a food pantry for kids whose families face food insecurity. Santana High School has one!
My call to action for you is this:
  1. Look into your pantry and pick out 5 things you can live without. They must be in date and something someone actually wants to eat (I’m looking at you, jar of cocktail onions).
  2. Find someone in need. Add it to your local Little Free Pantry, post it on a neighborhood forum, a local parents group, or donate it to your local school food pantry.
  3. Give freely and with love.
  4. Repeat.
I know that most of us have grocery budgets. Imagine if we all cut $5 out of our budget and bought 5 (or more) items to share with a neighbor in need- That would go really far to help hungry families!
If you aren’t sure what to donate, here are a few suggestions:
  • Canned Meats
  • Canned Vegetables
  • Canned Fruits
  • Canned Soup
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal & Oatmeal
  • Rice & Pasta
  • Powdered Milk, beverage mixes (like shelf stable juice concentrate, instant coffee, hot cocoa pouches)
  • Infant Formula (The sample sized canisters or sample pouches that you may have received free in the mail are perfect donations!)
  • Toiletries and hygiene items
 I can’t wait to hear about how you’ve helping a neighbor!

Helping San Diego, CA area women in need: Naomi’s Closet

If you are a San Diego, Ca area resident, female and in need, I have a great resource for you.

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 7.29.30 AM

Naomi’s Closet is run through the Santee United Methodist Church (Located at 8964 N. Magnolia Ave., Santee, CA 92071). They provide up to five items of clothing per month (Your choice from a very good selection in a wide variety of sizes), and 2 toiletries.

Naomi’s Closet is open on the following days and times:

  • Wednesdays 10am-12pm
  • 1st & 3rd Saturdays 9am-1pm

No appointment is needed, just show up during open hours. You do not need to show proof of need.

Donations of women’s clothing and toiletries are gladly accepted. I personally donated about 90% of my former wardrobe when I started losing weight.  My coupon club donates items that we are able to obtain for free (by combining sales and coupons). Recently I have donated hair color, shaving cream, nail polish, and razors.

If you have questions, or you would like more information, you can contact Naomi’s Closet at naomiscloset@cox.net.

The church also has a free pancake breakfast on the 1st Saturday of each month from 8am-10am.

I am not a parishioner, but I support Naomi’s Closet and the good works that the members of the Santee United Methodist Church do.