Organization

What’s In My Carry On Bag

IMG_5470.jpg Today I figured I'd share with you quick what I pack in my carry on bag to keep me entertained and comfortable when I travel.  I'm currently all packed and ready to leave for South America tonight for work.  I'm pretty stoked! Clockwise from Top Left Corner // LAPTOP Macbook Air // LAPTOP CASE Baggu // TABLET Apple iPad 2 // TABLET CASE Matt & Nat // PHONE iPhone 4S // HEADPHONES standard iPhone ones // SUNGLASSES JustFab (old) // WATER BOTTLE Rubbermaid // Advil (you never know when a headache will strike!) // PORTABLE CHARGER Newtrent // LIPSTICK & LIPGLOSS 100% Pure and Dex NYC // FUZZY SOCKS H&M // SUNGLASSES CASE filled with charging cables // EYEMASK & INFLATABLE PILLOW Mujii // WALLET (looks like a clutch) Target // CAMERA Panasonic Lumix // TOTE BAG Cornelia Guest Nicholas

What I’m Packing / Los Cabos

What I'm Packing / Los Cabos After being so crazy burnt out from work the last few months, I'm super excited to be headed to Cabo San Lucas with a gal pal for a nice long weekend this week.  I can really use a full weekend of relaxing, lots of reading, and of course skinny margaritas!
Here's some of the stuff I'll be packing to take with me.  Besides a fully loaded Kindle, I usually like to travel with only a carry on so all my clothes need to do double duty.  One of my favorite tips for a beach destination is to take a button down blouse with me to wear both as a cover up, as well as with jeans our to dinner.
What do you always take on a beach vacation?
What I'm Packing / Los Cabos MELISSA ODABASH Panama Hat // Aviators//  Leopard Blouse // RIVER ISLAND Mesh Insert Tunic Dress // TARGET MOSSIMO Black Bandeau top and Bikini Bottoms // TARGET MOSSIMO Zebra Bandeau top and Bikini Bottoms // DV by DOLCE VITA Archer Sandal // MANGO Denim Shorts // BAGGU Neon Backpack // AMAZON Kindle

Cleaning House

Camera Roll-2012 As part of both Jim and my goals for 2013, we really want to purge our entire apartment top to bottom.  Living in NYC, you don't have a whole lot of room for stuff, and all in all we're not as bad as most people.  But considering we're both kinda OCD, our stuff is at this point negatively impacting our psyche and we're never relaxed around the apartment. So we're making it a point, little by little over the course of the next several weeks to get rid of our crap.  I know that's a strong word, but that's what it is. We both kind of came to the sudden realization we're minimalists.  If we don't absolutely need it, or absolutely love it, it's going. We want our home to be a place where we are surrounded only by things we really, really love and enjoy.  That goes for our furniture, books, art, keepsakes, etc.  Considering our apartment is only around 650 square feet, it shouldn't take us too long to do what we're setting out to do. We're trying to tackle max one to two rooms at a time, so our focus to start is our kitchen and office.  Both at the start of the year were horribly cluttered.  As we've been moving through the process, here's a few things we've learned along the way.

We Were Going to Need a Storage Space

I've never been a proponent of storage spaces.  Paying extra each month for an additional "closet" to store your extra stuff you are too afraid to get rid of for fear of needing it at a later date never sat well with me. In going into this project, the kitchen in particular I really needed to take point on being it's more or less my domain.  I do all the cooking in our household.  I've literally procrastinated for months in getting it done.  Coming into this year and deciding with Jim it needed to be a priority, I took some time to analyze why I had been putting it off.  What exactly was making me so uncomfortable with the project that I didn't want to start it? The vast majority of the kitchen goods are all brand new and actually worth some money.  So they realistically needed to be sold and not donated.  In the end I realized I was afraid of having even more clutter around our already small place with all the boxes holding our stuff to be sold. To solve the issue, we found and got a storage space in our neighborhood with the understanding it will only be used to store items we are selling, and will only be rented for three months.  This way we're photographing, posting to Craigslist, boxing and immediately bringing the stuff over there.  It's out of sight, protected, still easy to access, and makes an immediate difference in our space having the stuff gone.  It's also been nice having potential buyers come to the storage area instead of our apartment for privacy reasons.

We Needed to Streamline Our Possessions to Our Lifestyle

Most of our kitchen clutter was wedding registry gifts from when we got married.  I registered like we live in the suburbs.  We unfortunately don't.  I also realize now 5 years later that we don't live a suburban lifestyle at all.  I've entertained 2-3 times for Thanksgiving and have never, ever busted out my fine china or crystal.  I'd much rather find it a home where someone will enjoy and use it, than sit out the rest of its days clogging up my cabinets or in a storage area.

We Needed to Re-Think Our Existing Storage Solutions

Back several years ago when we first re-designed our apartment, we purchased a large cabinet with a glass front on it to display all of our wedding china and crystal.  Due to the sheer amount of stuff I had registered for, instead of the cabinet being a beautiful display, it was the eyesore of the kitchen.  So much so that Jim hated the cabinet and really wanted to get rid of it as part of this purge. After we re-considered what we wanted to keep and cleared the cabinet out, we were left with almost nothing in it aside from some stemless glassware and serving platters.  The cabinet looked fantastic while minimally curated, so we decided to re-purpose it as a bar.  Jim's always wanted a bar in the apartment, so we turned a piece that was previously an eyesore that we wanted to get rid of into a functional, beautiful storage solution.

We Needed to Identify Systems That Weren't Working for Us and Fix Them

I love David Allen's Getting Things Done (GTD) system.  I've been using it for years and attribute it to how I can remain so productive while being relatively stress free.  While Allen's system works well for me as far as task management goes (which I use digitally via my devices and the Toodledoo app), his paper system hasn't worked well for our household at all.  We have this massive filing cabinet in our office filled to the gills and it was so bad Jim and I both would avoid dealing with the mail because we didn't know where to put anything. Most of our bills are received digitally, and I scan most important but disposable documentation into Evernote, so it didn't take me too long to identify I needed a different filing system that would self purge only the important stuff we absolutely must keep originals on.  Luckily I stumbled across the Unclutter's blog where she mentioned the Freedom Filersystem.  I purchased one, set it up in part of an afternoon and ever since our mail and filing is no longer an issue.  It's so easy to use, Jim and I both can now easily go through the mail and process our paperwork within 5 minutes. So far, this is only around two weekends of work put in on the project and already we've had tremendous gains. I'll continue to post as we progress, and if anyone has any suggestions of things that have worked for you in taming kitchen and office clutter, I'd love to hear it!  Please share in the comments.  

Iceland Packing Inspiration / Winter Layers

I can't believe I leave for Iceland tomorrow evening!  This trip really snuck up on me.  I'm packing today, and any time I pack it involves a lot of prior research and planning.  I exclusively travel with only a carry on, and since this is a five day trip in a very cold locale, I want to be sure I'm well prepared. I spent a lot of time over the weekend pinning a few outfit inspirations of winter layers to help me figure out the best items to pack.  Here's some of my favorites.
I know know for sure that some items I'll be bringing with me is my faux fur lined parka, chambray shirt, some of my flannel shirts, one or two lightweight sweaters, and maybe a vest or faux leather jacket.  That way I can easily stay warm without taking up a ton of room in my carry-on. Oh yeah, don't worry I won't be forgetting a bikini.  Our first stop is the Blue Lagoon.  Yay, spa day!

How to Create a Cohesive Wardrobe

This post originally appeared last week on my column Vegan Vogue I write for I Eat Grass. If you haven't stopped by I Eat Grass yet, be sure to do so! It's taken me years to finally curate for myself a wardrobe collection that all works together. Technically termed a "capsule" wardrobe, I can now wake up in the morning half asleep, in the dark, and pull anything from my closet and it'll work together. Here's how I did it.

My Tastes Change, So Should My Wardrobe

There are two major fashion seasons of the year, spring and fall. With them comes a flurry of new fashion collections, styles and trends. Because of this, I try to keep my wardrobe fresh by cleaning out what I no longer like or wear twice a year, and then shopping to replace it with new stuff I adore. Despite the fact I love fashion, I absolutely hate shopping.  Sticking to this twice a year model works great for me, being I knock it all out at once and I'm set for the season.  That way my look always looks current, I'm always excited to get dressed, I have plenty of space in my closet, and I'm not cluttered down with a mess of stuff that was last season that I no longer like.

I Have a Well Curated Basic Collection

Basics are the foundation of your wardrobe. Without them, it's extremely difficult to style outfits for a variety of needs. Your basics can all be styled dressy or casual, so it's very important to have a well stocked collection to make your other pieces work for you instead of against you. When getting dressed in the dark, a basic always makes up at least one component of my outfit.

I Only Like Certain Colors and Patterns, So I Stick With Them

Despite my trying, I've learned I absolutely hate florals and powder pink. So I no longer buy anything with those colors or design. I have however always loved leopard, stripes, geometric/graphic prints, and red, so I make sure my closet is filled with those options. I'm also careful to evaluate this season to season in case my tastes change. For example, this past spring and summer I transitioned from loving red to loving neon yellow. I updated my wardrobe accordingly. Mixing my favorite patterns and colors with my curated basic pieces creates my specific style, and allows me to now get dressed in the dark because everything goes together.

I Only Buy What Looks Amazing on Me, or I Get It Altered

No point to wearing anything if it doesn't look good on you. It'll just sit in your closet, or worse you'll wear it and you won't look your best. I won't buy anything that doesn't make me feel awesome about my current body and the way I look. If it's close, but not perfect, I get it altered. End of story.

I Only Buy Items I Love

If you don't absolutely love something to the point you just have to have it, there's no reason it should be in your wardrobe. This also goes for anything trendy, or what you "think" you should have. If you don't love it, you won't wear it. It'll just sit in the back of your closet as you wear the items you actually do love. Not only does this take up valuable closet real estate, but it makes it harder to select what to wear because the pieces that work for you are buried among other stuff you're meh about. By only having garments you love wearing right now, you'll never run into this problem. All these tips aside, there are still mornings I wake up when I have absolutely no idea what to wear. My go to look? All black. You can't ever go wrong with it. It's very NYC chic, and it always looks incredible and in style. Does your wardrobe work for you, or against you? Vegan Vogue is a lifestyle and style column focusing on all things in vogue and vegan. More tips from Corrie Feld can be found at her website Brooklyn Bliss. Follow her on Twitter @CorrieFeld image credits: one | two | three | four | five

Disorganized Mess / And GUNAS Giveaway Winner

{image credit: www.forbes.com}

This is how my brain feels. Since I returned from my Denver/Chicago trip, I've been a disorganized mess.  Anyone who's known me well for any period of time knows this is a disaster for me.  I'm horrendously OCD and if I'm not organized in every aspect of my life, it's a gateway to a mental meltdown for me. Last week after returning, I had my car broken into twice, my computer at work die for three days, no meal plan prepared for the week (and therefore no food in the house), and a variety of other "inconveniences".  While I usually handle these sort of things really well, because I've been kind of far behind on deadlines and other goals of mine, it's been an enormous source of stress for me.  Both in my professional and personal life.  And it's getting to the point where I'm taking my stress out on people I care about and that's not OK by me. So with this in mind, I'm taking a quick "blog-cation" and not posting this week, instead hoping to use this time to get re-organized and re-prioritized.  I should (fingers crossed) be back to my usual posting schedule next week. On a positive note, we have a winner for the GUNAS Milla Wallet Giveaway!  Esther, your wallet is en route to you today.

How to Clean Out Your Closet

Closet Cleanout Aug 2011 I usually try to clean out my closet around February and August of each year. Living in a small NYC apartment, I wish I had more room for clothes and accessories than I do but I make do. If anything, it really makes me analyze what items I really love, and purge out anything I'm meh about. Here's how I usually go about doing it.

Assess Your Inventory

First i do a general assessment of what I have. This involves taking everything OUT of the closet. This may seem a bit overkill, but trust me it works. It's a great way to find items you forgot you have! While doing this quick assessment, it's a great opportunity to filter out some items quickly based on the following.
  • Do you like it? If you don't absolutely adore it, get rid of it. Otherwise it's just taking up valuable real estate in your closet. Put it in a "to be donated" bag.
  • Is it damaged, and if so is can it be repaired? Rips and tears are easy for a seamstress to fix. For wear and tear on shoes and handbags, your local cobbler can usually handle those. Put those in an "alterations" bag. Anything with serious damage that you do not want to invest in bringing back to life, trash.
  • Have you worn it recently? If you haven't worn it within the last year, chances are you never will. Granted it's not damaged, put it in the "to be donated" bag. If it is, toss that sucker in the trash.
After your assessment, you should have your wardrobe inventory divided up into four categories, Potentials to Keep, Alterations, To Donate, and To Trash.

Try On Your Inventory

It's now time to try on everything in your potential keeper pile. Look in a full length mirror, and enlist the help of a very honest friend, family member or significant other. Honesty is key! Lots of times what we think looks awesome on us actually doesn't, so you'll need this honest feedback to further whittle down your selection. If A piece is maybe a little large or needs a few tweaks to fit perfect, add it to the alterations pile. If it looks horrible on you beyond repair, to the donation pile it should go. Once you've tried on everything in the keeper pile, then it's time to move onto the alterations pile (the ones you haven't tried on yet) and repeat the process. That way you can determine any addition alterations that need to be made in addition to the standard repairs. This is also a great time to get creative. Have a blazer with a hole in the elbow? Instead of patching it, how about removing the arms altogether and turning it into a vest. Have a maxi dress that shrunk in the wash? Have it hemmed into a knee-length dress. The possibilities are endless. Office shot

Create Your Shopping List

This is the fun part! Now that you've fully assessed what you have, now it's time to see what you need to either replace or add to your wardrobe to bring it up to date for the season. I always give priority to my basic and classic pieces, prior to listing trendy items. For example, my trench coat is now several years old and starting to show some wear, so I added it to my donation pile and have added a new trench to my shopping list. Making a list also helps you really analyze your budget so you can realistically prioritize what's important so you don't go on a buck wild shopping spree. Another great way to extend your budget is to turn your unwanted items into shopping cash. To learn more on how to do that, check out my Transitioning to a Cruelty Free Wardrobe post. Do you clean out your wardrobe regularly? Please share your tips!

Solving Confidence Idiocracy

Makeup trial at Sephora I was looking some email newsletters this morning and came across the most recent GOOP one where Gwyneth Paltrow talks about how she's basically an idiot when it comes to makeup.  Reading this reminded me that OMG, I totally used to be one too!  In fact, it was a real confidence issue for me.  I'd get anxious anytime I'd be in a makeup store that I'd chose the wrong color and look like a clown.  Or that I'd apply it wrong.  I actually still am a klutz with makeup.  Difference is I took some time earlier this year to solve the issue and regain my makeup application confidence. Basically all I did was I realized the value of having someone who really knows what they're doing show me how to do it.  I needed step by step instructions.  Hell, this can apply to any sort of thing you 're lacking expertise or confidence in. For example, if you're a crappy cook, hire a personal chef to teach you how to make 5-7 really easy meals that you can rotate and repeat.  It'll cost you some money upfront, but think of what you'd save (and the weight you'd lose!) in the long run not ordering out or relying on pre-made, unhealthy food.  If you're style challenged, another example could be hiring a stylist to go through your closet and teaching you how to wear what you already have, and how to shop for what's most flattering for your body type.  Costs some cash, but you'll save in the long run by not buying clothes that don't fit properly and by getting more use out of what you already have.  Plus you'll look awesome which will boost your confidence and more. So what one of my fellow make-up challenged friends and I did was we made an appointment at Sephora to sit with one of their consultants.  We gave her a list of what we were trying to accomplish, and then took her advice.  You can do this with just about any sort of beauty boutique, including department stores.  Sephora in particular has a $100 purchase minimum, but when you consider the quality of the products and how long they last, it was well worth the investment. My list for my consultant was:
  • Items had to be vegan/cruelty free
  • Organic was a plus
  • It had to be oil free.  My skin breaks out easily.
  • I need everyday makeup.  If I was going to invest this much, I needed it to be stuff I would wear daily.
  • I also needed an evening "look" that flattered my face, and was easy to transition to from my day look.
The result of my consultation was the photo above (the sample evening look).  Though I did end up spending a tad bit more than the $100 minimum, I purchased all these items nine months ago and I still have more than half the product left.  Plus I got exactly what I wanted (i.e. vegan),  it's super versatile, I was taught exactly how to apply it, and I now have the tools needed to create a variety of looks without having to think about it.  Makeup problem solved.  And to think to date it only cost me around $10 a month when you take what I spent and divide it among all the months I've been using the products, makes it well worth the investment.  Hell, I wasted way more money monthly on drug store makeup that the colors looked horrible on me or didn't match and I had to replace it. Considering how well this experiment worked for me, I think what I'll probably wind up doing is making an appointment once a year to be sure my look is relatively current. What's the one thing you find yourself not confident about and what will you do to gain that confidence back?

How I Do It / Meal Planning

Meal Planning Worksheet Every Saturday morning, my usual routine is to wake up, have a cup of coffee and create a meal plan for the week. God forbid I don't create one, my life the following work week is chaos. I get super stressed out as to what we'll have for dinner, and worse yet what I'll eat for lunch. My office is in a pretty desolate, warehouse area so food options (especially vegan ones) are hard to come by. My meal planning makes my work week stress free, plus it also keeps us eating healthy which is important to us. I have a pretty specific system I've developed for myself over the years that works great for me, so I figured I'd share it. Step One: A Great Recipe Bank I'm very specific with the types of recipes I collect. My husband and I are total foodies, so the recipe has to yield a product that tastes better than anything we'd eat going out or getting takeout. Also, because of my work schedule, I try to keep recipes preparation time at max 20-30 minutes. The only exception to this are weekend recipes that might have an hour or so baking/simmering time, so I can do other chores around the house while our dinner cooks. These recipes don't work for me during the week, because I'm often ravenous after an 10 hour work day plus my workout. I'm always on the lookout for great recipes and have figured out a great system for keeping them all in the same place. A long time ago I set myself up with an Evernote account. If you've never heard of Evernote, it's a great service that allows you to clip and create notes that you can sync to multiple devices and the internet. So if I find a great recipe online, I can using their browser tool easily clip the recipe to my account. If a friend emails me a recipe they think I'd like (which happens pretty often, any time anyone see's anything that says "vegan" they send it to me) I can easily forward the email to my Evernote assigned email address for it to be stored in my account. For recipes I have in cookbooks I love, I can either take a cell phone picture, or even scan the page into my computer and send it to my Evernote account. Once I have the recipe in my Evernote account, I'll then tag it so it's easy to locate at a later date. I'll usually tag the type of recipe, whether it's breakfast/lunch/dinner appropriate, cooking method (bake, slow cooker, etc) and how long it takes. Also after I try a recipe, if it's one both Jim and I really like I'll then tag it as a "keeper", so I know it's worth repeating. Using this system literally takes minutes to collect interesting recipes so I have a great database to work with. Evernote Recipe Example Another great perk for me using Evernote is if I'm stuck at the office late one day unexpectedly, Jim will often offer to cook the planned dinner for us. So I can just email him the recipe for the day without having him hassle finding the recipe on the internet or searching through a cook book. It makes the meal planning system super flexible. Step Two: Organizing Your Week First thing I'll do after getting my coffee ready for my planning session is get out my clipboard and meal planning worksheet. I created this worksheet for myself a while ago. I designed it to look nice on my fridge, and to suit the way I like to plan. My list has a chart for Monday through Friday, and includes two additional boxes: one for the entire weekend and one for breakfasts/snacks. Being I'm only buying for myself and Jim, I'll usually only do one recipe an evening, since we'll eat the leftovers the following day for lunch. Then I like to have a variety of options on hand for snacks or breakfasts, so Jim and I can choose whatever we feel like that day. It's very mix and match friendly. From there I then take a look at my schedule for the upcoming week. Do I have any business dinners on the calendar (in which case I have to get Jim something easy to make that evening)? Or do we have any after work events or dinners planned with friends in which case we won't need to eat at home? I fill out anything where I won't need dinner on the chart (example: So and So's Birthday Party) so I know I won't need to fill in an option for that date. Once I have that all filled out, I know what sort of recipes I need to look for that week. Step Three: Working with What You Have The next thing I'll do is scour my fridge and pantry to see what I have on hand. An excellent way to save money on your groceries as well as to reduce waste is to cook with what you currently have on hand. So if I find I have a big bag of polenta, I'll find a polenta based recipe. If I have a lot of corn leftover from my CSA, I'll look for something that has corn as the main ingredient. I'll also usually try to create recipes around pantry items I always keep around. Good examples of this would be bean based dishes, dishes based around grains I might have on hand, pasta dishes, etc. Jim and I are also members of our local CSA. If it's a CSA pickup day (which is on Saturdays), I'll pick up our share in the morning prior to planning and then plan my meals for the week around my share and what I currently have on hand in our pantry. My worksheet is designed to have the shopping list on the bottom of it, so I'll write these items I have on hand that I'm basing my recipes around on the list. That way it's easy to visually look to know what I'm working with, and easy to add the additional items I'll need to finish the recipes. Step Four: Finding Recipes to Make for the Week Because Evernote is a OCR based service, it'll search my entire notes including pictures for whatever word I want to search for. So all I have to do is type in "corn" and anything I have in my recipe notebook that has corn in it will show up. So using what I have on hand as a starting point, I'll start to look for recipes that suit what I have on hand, as well as what time I have to make them during the week. When I find something I like, I fill it out on the chart. Step Five: Creating the Shopping List Immediately after filling out a recipe option on my chart, I'll then write down whatever items I need to make it on my shopping list at the bottom of the worksheet. Once all my worksheet boxes are filled in and my list is completed, I'm ready to shop! Step Six: Shopping Once my list is completed, I then have everything ready to shop. If I'm crunched for time (like if I didn't plan my meals the week prior) I'll run out to our local grocery and health food store the same day and pick up what we need. If I'm starting my plan on Monday, I'll place an online order on Fresh Direct and have it delivered to me. While I love Fresh Direct, they sometimes don't have all the vegan products I want so I'll often have to stop by my local stores to pick those few items up, but that's easy to do quickly granted I have the list on me. Once all my shopping is done and my fridge and pantry is stocked, I put the worksheet on the fridge so Jim and I are both aware of everything we have on hand, and what we're eating during the week. I'll also take a quick cell phone snapshot of the list and store it to Evernote so I can access it from work if need be. Start to finish, this entire process takes about an hour to plan my meals via the worksheet and create the shopping list, plus whatever time it takes me to shop. It's a minor time investment that saves me hours during the week, pounds from my figure and unneeded stress. I love it. Step Seven (Optional): Prep If I have some extra time that day, or if I have a crazy work week coming up, I'll clean and prep all my veggies in advance. I'll store everything in glass snap lock containers in my fridge so then when it's time to cook, I don't have to chop a thing. I don't always have time for this so if I don't prep in advance it doesn't add that much to my cooking time and I can live with it. Additional Timesaving Tips Here's a few other things I'll do to make feeding myself and my husband a breeze.
  • Double and Freeze Recipes- I do this all the time if making a soup or a casserole. If you think about it, it takes the same amount of time to make double the amount of food in a recipe as it takes to make a single recipe. So if I'm making a soup or a casserole, I'll always double it and freeze half. For soups you can either freeze single portions in freezer baggies or freeze it in a batch in a freezer proof container. For casseroles (my favorite in the winter), I'll just make two and freeze the second one prior to the bake/broil step. I line the caserrole DISH with foil and after it's frozen pop the whole thing out and store it in the freezer that way. To heat it up, take it out of the freezer, unwrap the foil a pop it back in the casserole tray and bake it for double the amount of time in the recipe. For soups, when ready to eat it just take it out then night prior and put it in the fridge to defrost and it'll be ready for dinner the following evening.
  • Foolproof Quick Dinners- If I have a crazy week coming up, or if I'm getting ready to do a cleanse I love doing this combination for recipes. Pick a grain, vegetable, protein and a sauce. Combine all in a bowl and serve. Yum! When doing this I'll make a large batch of grain choices to store in the fridge to choose from. Then I just steam the veggies all in one steamer basket, add my protein (pre-baked tofu, tempeh, or beans) and sauce and I'm good to go. Takes around 10 minutes to put together.
  • Built In Takeout Night- Because my schedule can be hectic and unpredictable, I'll often times automatically build into my weekly plan a bonus "takeout" night. Since I'm not buying groceries for food for that evening, I use those monies to budget for takeout. That way if I'm really tired I don't have to stress out about wasted groceries or wasted money on takeout. It's all pre-planned.
  • Vitamix- I just invested in a Vitamix blender, and I don't know how I lived without it. It takes the place of a bunch of other appliances (it blends, chops, and even kneads dough!) which makes it perfect for small space kitchens like mine. It's also super quick to clean (just blend water and some dish soap on high, it does the work for you). I use it to make smoothies for breakfast, sauces for my "quick dinner" combos and it'll even make soups you don't have to heat up. The blender is so powerful when on for 5 minutes it'll actually start to heat up when it blends. It's an amazing appliances and a very worthwhile investment.
  So that's my system. Do you have meal planning system? If so what do you do? I know my system when written out may seem a bit OCD but that's how I roll.

U Wantz Moar Posts Plz

Hi ya'll! I'm alive! Hurricane Irene (actually, Tropical Storm Irene) wasn't as bad once it reached here than they expected it to be.  I honestly slept through the most of it, literally.  The worst of it came from flooding, which thank goodness I wasn't in a flood zone and was not affected.  My heart goes out to all the families in upstate NY, Vermont, and other areas that weren't expecting to get hit at all and are dealing with incredible damage to their homes right now due to the flooding. Saturday while sitting around and anticipating the storm, I had a bunch of time to sit and think about my blog.  Truth is I really love blogging, and want to post more.  So I think I've developed a way to allow me to post more often even with my crazy work schedule and life. I've decided to set myself up with a blogging schedule. Truth is with me working so much, it's often hard for me to get posts up all the time. I figure if I set up a schedule, I can then keep a database of certain types of posts so I always have stuff I can post ready to go. Here's what it's going to look like: Mondays: Meatless Monday. I'll share with everyone some of my favorite vegan and vegetarian recipes. As a disclaimer, some will be of my own creation, though most will be favorites I've found through various sources throughout the years. Requirements to be in my favorite recipe file is they have to take around 30 minutes or less to make, and taste delicious. Tuesdays: Outfit Post. Most likely I'll keep Tuesday's outfit to being office/work appropriate, being Monday through Thursday's that's what I have to adhere to. Wednesdays: Vegan Versions I'll share a vegan version I've found recently of non-vegan items I've been fiending for. If I don't have a vegan version that week, Wednesdays will be reserved for fashion shopping wants and inspiration images. Thursdays: Outfit Post. Thursday's outfit with be more of a "Casual Friday" look. Polished yet casual. Fridays: Stuff to Do/Reviews. I'll share with everyone photos and reviews of fun things to do and restaurants to eat at here in New York City. Most all will have some sort of vegan options. Saturdays: Outfit Post. Saturday's outfit will be my standard casual weekend attire, or going out on . Sundays: The Weekend in Pictures. I think you guys are used to these already. That's the plan, but don't hold me to it. If I come up with some other topic or idea I want to write about, you better believe I will. Also, if I get blogger burnout I plan on taking breaks when I need to. Everyone deserves a vacation every once in a while. Speaking of which, I'm going on vacation in September and am in need of guest posters. If you're interested, drop me an email!

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