We’ve Moved!

Things have been slow over here on ‘I Heart Simple Things’…& there’s a reason for that!

Quite a few things have been happening over here and I’m ready to share with all of YOU!

I hope you’re still with me and I hope you will head on over to the new blog  .

I’m very excited and can’t wait to share everything with you all over there!

are-getting-marriedsunday-may-5-2016-1

sig

2016

20161

I cannot even wrap my head around the fact that it’s a new year already.  Where in the world did 2015 go?

Did you accomplish what you set out to do in 2015?  I know I sure as heck didn’t.  There was so much going on over here that days blurred together and months seemed as though they were somehow skipped.

New year……

New resolutions.

I have a HUGE list of resolutions this year, but a few of them are //

  • help 3 people EVERY month this year get started on their health journey
  • seriously get organized
  • blog more
  • complete the 52 week challenge
  • give the house a complete purge

What are yours?

Here is to a successful and fulfilling 2016!

sig

Foodstirs Review

A fairly new company, Foodstirs, has popped up and has drawn me in.  Have you heard of them?

Co-founded by Buffy the Vampire Slayer….erm…I mean, Sarah Michelle Gellar ( 😉 ), Foodstirs promise is to deliver family baking fun that is free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, flavors, and dyes.

It seems the ‘in’ thing lately with companies is to have subscriptions.  Foodstirs stayed true with this business model.  You have the choice of one time buy, three months, six months or twelve months.

Our first box came this past week (took about four days to get to Alaska)!

FS1

What comes in the Brownie Snowflake box?

  • Foodstirs Brownie Mix
  • Organic Chocolate Chips
  • Vegan Mini Marshmallows
  • Popsicle Sticks
  • Snowflake Cookie Cutter

What you’ll need:

  • Eggs
  • Water
  • Oil

I pre-measured everything so all the kids had to do was pour them into the bowl.

FS2

Foodstirs is geared to having fun and making memories with your family in the kitchen, so getting the kids involved is highly encouraged.

Gabe & RyRy were super excited, but of course washing hands is a must.

FS3

Excited to get started

FS4

Gabe added the eggs and whisked them.

FS5

Next comes the brownie mix.

FS6

Adding oil & water…

FS7

Someone was excited to mix everything together 🙂

FS8

…..and little miss spoiled is coming through.  She was NOT happy about letting Gabe stir…

FS9

Landon decided to come check things out before he passed out 😉

FS10

After baking and letting the brownies cool, it was time to turn the pan upside down and pop them out.  Or in my case I had to wiggle a spatula under the brownies to force them out.  Then it was time to use the snowflake cookie cutter to make our snowflakes.

FS13

FS14

Afterwards, you need to put the popsicle sticks in them, melt the chocolate chips and have your marshmallows ready

FS15

To make things a little less messy, I spooned some of the melted chocolate on top of each snowflake and the kids used a popsicle stick to spread the melted chocolate around

FS16

Final touches

FS17

This kit makes six popsicle snowflake brownies when completed

FS18

I’m always skeptical when it comes to subscription services, but after this kit we rated it 10/10.  It was super simple, FUN, and above all the kids LOOOOVVVEEEDDD how their creations turned out and more importantly how they tasted.  I snuck some of the brownie scraps and you can definitely taste the difference between the store bought stuff vs. this premium mix.  We give Foodstirs two thumbs up!  Give it a try and set up a date with your kids!

Have you tried Foodstirs yet?  Interested? Drop your email below and I will send you a link to get you started

sig

Displaying Cookbooks

I’m pretty sure every home has some sort of cookbooks.  I have a small collection, but I love the books that I have.  I didn’t really have anyplace to put them except awkwardly inside one of my kitchen cabinets.

I got a cute weathered stand at Target by ClosetMaid and I found cute baskets to go in the openings.  I thought ‘HMMMM, perfect spot for my cookbooks.  This is the result.

blog21

I know it was not appealing at.all. But I left it there because  I wasn’t feeling creative and it was tucked away out of sight.  Out of sight, out of mind right?

With constantly meal planning on a weekly basis, I wanted my cookbooks handy on my counter but not to look out of place.

I have a slight obsession with baskets, so it turned out of of my OTHER baskets would fit my cookbooks perfect, but then there was an awkward open space since I don’t have a HUGE collection of books to fill the basket.

I picked up this fake plant/bush (what is the proper name for these things?) at JoAnn’s for 60% off, so it came out to about $6 or $7.

I had it sitting on my counter as decoration, but it fit in the open area of the cookbook basket perfect!

blog22

Super simple upgraded cookbook storage.  I love it!

How do you store or display your cookbooks?  Which cookbooks are your go to ones?

sig

 

Last Minute Gift Ideas

Are you like me?  I am probably the biggest procrastinator known to man.

That doesn’t mean I won’t accomplish what I’m suppose to do, in fact the end result will more than likely be almost perfect……….I’m also a tad bit of a perfectionist.

Every Christmas it’s the same back and forth between my husband and I.  ‘What do you want for Christmas?’  Sound familiar?  I finally took the question and put some effort into a wish list that I eventually put on Amazon.  Easy for him to get to.  Easy for him to pick and choose.  Easy for him to decide instead of constantly asking me ‘What do I want’.

Why this post?  I am so excited to share my top picks from my wish list or products that I absolutely love.

:: drumroll ::

blog20

Let’s take a stroll through my list.

  1.  This shirt says it all, doesn’t it?  I am rarely late.  Scratch that.  I HATE being late to anything and I hate when people are late.  It’s one of my pet peeves actually.  Grab this shirt on Etsy, and for only $24.95 this is the perfect for someone who is always late.
  2. Juicy Couture.  Nothing else is needed to be said.  I don’t think there is one scent that doesn’t smell amazing from this company.  This trio is a great stocking stuffer.  For $32.50 on HSN, you will also get free shipping!
  3. I was introduced to Dagne Dover literally TODAY and I am head over heels in love with this bag.  There are a few different styles and colors that will appeal to everyone.  Not only is there currently a 20% off sale on select styles and colors, but if you are a teacher or service member you can receive an additional 20% off.
  4. You cannot go wrong with Jamberry Lacquers.  Such a variety of colors and lemme tell YOU, these are NOT like your average nail polishes.  Your nails are dry within seconds after applying the coat.  No more overly spread out fingers and toes or waiting forever and having to do the lip test to see if your nails are dried only to leave a dang mark on your nails….I know you know what I am talking about. Jamberry has that issue solved!  One bottle is $15 and a 4 pack is $54. Jamberry is more known for their huge variety of high quality nail wraps that are perfect for tots, teens, and adults of all ages!
  5. Let’s talk foundation.  Tarte has a great complete coverage foundation and when you grab this special deal over at QVC, not only will you get the foundation but the bundle comes with a GORGEOUS brush to apply the foundation evenly.  But seriously, can we talk about that brush?  Originally $73 if sold separately, you can get them BOTH for only $39.
  6. Too Faced has an AMAZING deal also over at HSN for a pretty awesome lip set.  Not only do you get lip primer & lip injection, you are also getting two color lip creams that will compliment any skin tone.  Retail value on this set is over $90!  $49 and free shipping, this is a great gift option.
  7. Who remembers polaroid cameras?  This Fujifilm Instax Share Smartphone Printer is the modern version.  Print cute polaroid style pictures right from your phone.  Snag this for your photography loving friend for (or for yourself) for $154.88 and is currently shipping for free!
  8. Home to me will always be Hawaii, no matter how far away I am.  A local company that I love love love is Twin Island Surf.  If you’re from  Kailua, you know what I am talking about!  Never been to Hawaii?  Shop local and give the Aloha Spirit with this cute hat from TI Surf for only $22.  There are so many changes happening in this small beach side town with big box companies, its important to support the local companies.  Check out the other affordable and great quality items this shop has to offer.
  9. If you find yourself anything like me, you are not good at curling your hair!  I know plenty of people who can make gorgeous curls with a flat iron, curling iron, curling wand, etc.  I was not blessed in that department no matter how hard I try or how many YouTube videos I watch.  Insert Tyme curling iron.  This product is at the TOP of my Christmas wish list and I am wishing HARD for it!  Not too thrilled with the price tag of $190, but you get what you pay for right?  What I do love about this company, is that, if when you receive it you just cannot get the hang of it, you can set up a Skype appointment with one of their stylists who will sit there with you and walk you through the process of how to get Tyme to work for you!  Say what? Yes please!
  10. Have someone on your list that loves makeup?  How about someone that just loves getting mail every month?  Ipsy has you covered.  I love Ipsy, like really love them.  I have been introduced to so many new products that I would’ve never heard about!  I have been able to experiment with colors I would’ve never thought to have picked up!  Side note, matte lipstick is AHHHHMazing.  For only $10 a month, Ipsy sends you 5 beauty products based off of your beauty quiz, inside of a super cute makeup bag.  Normally ships around the 10th of the month and takes only a few days to arrive.  Anyone would love to get this!
  11. For our wedding anniversary this year, my husband (oh how I love this man), purchased a MacBook Pro to replace our Surface that we just could not learn to love.  We have a Mac desktop and I have an iPhone, so I’m not too sure why we would stray from Apple….but we are back.  Can I tell you something?  I do not have a cover on the MacBook!  YIKES!  I know I know!  So after scouring Amazon (I love Amazon apparently), I came across these cute covers that have so many color options and solid reviews.  My picks?  Turquoise or Leopard. You cannot beat the price of $12.99 for the cover PLUS a coordinating keyboard cover PLUS free shipping if you have Amazon Prime.

There it is!  My top picks for great last minute gifts that anyone would love…or maybe just……..me?

sig

Year of Savings 2016

Everyone wishes they had a stash of money in an account for ‘just in case’.  The reality is, we are all human and that isn’t necessarily what happens.  In fact, most of us find that when we need a few extra dollars, there isn’t ANY.  No matter how much budgeting you do, you need to have some sort of amount going into a savings plan.

Have you heard of Dave Ramsey?  Cash envelope system? Snowball debt payoff?

If any of these those sound familiar then you have a head start.

Let’s start with Dave Ramsey.  He is a financial guru.  When you start researching him (I HIGHLY recommend you do, even if you are good with money) the number one thing he tells you to do before anything else is to have at least one thousand dollars in an emergency savings account.  You can add to it, but do not take from it.  This is your security blanket.

Dave Ramsey teaches you about the cash envelope system.  Basically, at the beginning of the month, you figure out all of your earnings after bills and budget how much money you will need that month for each category.  For example, our categories are

  • Gas
  • Food
  • Household
  • Hygiene
  • Pets
  • Entertainment

We also have a category for each family member.  We allot a specific amount into each category and since we get paid bi-weekly, that amount is for every two weeks.

Rules for cash envelope system are:

  1. You cannot borrow from any other category
  2. You cannot add “extra” money to categories the next pay period

Rule number two clarified.  Let’s say you have fifty dollars for your pets.  You only spend twenty for the pay period and you have thirty dollars left over.  Next payday you would just add twenty back into that category and put the rest of the fifty you have allotted to that category towards savings &/or debt.  Does that makes sense?

Once you hit one thousand into your emergency savings, now it’s time to move onto the snowball debt payoff.  Once you have put your allotted money into the appropriate categories, the remaining will go towards your debt to pay it off the fastest.  Always start with your lowest debt first.  Why?  Because the interest rate vs. the payment amount is always going to keep you in debt.  If you look at your payment and check to see the interest charge, chances are you are only putting a few dollars towards the actual balance owed.  Get rid of that debt.  Once the lowest is paid off, you will take that payment amount and put it towards the next debt that needs to be paid off, on TOP of the amount you are paying for the next debt on TOP of any other monies are left after your cash envelope is filled and savings is at, at least one thousand dollars.

Finances are a very complex topic and can be overwhelming.  Breathe.  Don’t let it consume you, take the steps to get yourself out, but you still need to enjoy living.  If Starbucks is your thing, make an envelope and budget for it, but always keep in mind priorities.

For the new year (two thousand sixteen, can you believe it?) I am doing a fifty-two weeks savings plan.  This will be done through my bank, not cash.  Why?  Because when the money is kept in the bank you can receive interest on the amount, every amount helps!

I’m sure you’ve seen the fifty-two week challenge floating around where you start off with one dollar and around December you are putting in at least two hundred dollars around the holidays.

That doesn’t work for me.

I am doing the opposite.  We are starting off with putting in two hundred in the first month and working our way down to a few dollars in December.  The ending balance if sticking to the schedule will be over one thousand three hundred dollars.  Here is what the year will look like:

savings

What would you do with that?

Does starting this with two hundred dollars right away not work for you?  Alter the plan to fit your needs.  I have another savings plan that may work for you.  It’s monthly, not weekly, and it’s in increments of twenty five. After twelve months, you will save a little over one thousand dollars.

Unknown1

These are a great way to get you on track and started to take back control of your finances and to ultimately reach financial freedom.  Have bigger goals, set aside more money to make your savings more healthy!

How do you plan to take back control in two thousand sixteen?

Want a printable version of one of the savings builders?  Pick your route, fifty-two weeks or twelve months, comment your e-mail below and I will email you a clean copy.

sig

Healthy Stocking Stuffer

Nothing says ‘I love you’ more than showing someone that you truly care about their health.

Let Shakeology help. Not ready to commit to an entire 30 day supply that has bottom of the bag guarantee? Meaning, you can drink Shakeology every day for a whole month and if you do not see and feel an improvement in your health and overall being, simply return it, no questions asked and you will get your money back.

Sample packs are a convenient way to try Shakeology AND share Shakeology with friends and family this holiday season.

shakeo

The average person gains 7-10+ pounds this time of year. Don’t let that happen to you! Keep your cravings and over indulging under control.

I have limited number of packs for $5 each that are available for pick up or ready to ship (small shipping fee).

Let me know if you have any questions &/or how many packs you would like.

Already have Shakeology?  Comment below with a favorite holiday recipe,  I love trying new ones ❤

THESE MAKE GREAT STOCKING STUFFERS!

sig