Neat Living Monthly #6

Happy May, everyone! I am still debating whether to keep the “monthly” in my Neat Living posts. I don’t know about you, but a month feels like a week to me. I am in a season in life where I am taking things slow to see if maybe time can slow down, too.

I don’t want to sound negative, but I seriously need to address our current culture of busyness. It feels like we all live in the future we want and dismiss the present (gift) we have in front of our eyes. While switching my focus might have been detrimental to the blog, I can not tell you how much happier I am today by slowing down and embracing the present moment.

And if you are a loyal reader, you can probably read between the lines. Grief is funny like that. While grief is the worst emotion a human can experience, it also comes with the gift of perspective. After grieving, you never see life the same ever again.

With that said, here’s a peek at my personal life in the past couple of months: the things I am focusing on, things that caught my eye, and things I am loving lately! Hint….

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On a Personal Note: Eating Healthy-ish

Forty-four years don’t come empty-handed. After waking up several mornings with massive migraines and doing thorough research, I resolved to banish as much processed food as possible from my pantry.

It is hard to give up on junk food because most processed food is yummy, and natural, organic, non-GMO, etc., food is very expensive! You’ll think it should be the other way around. If you are not “processing” the food as much and not adding so many “additives,” why is it so expensive?

I know a lot of work goes into making good food from scratch with the best ingredients, but I needed to vent! So, here are three areas I pivot to better choices:

1. Cooking Oil

I am only cooking now with olive oil. That’s it. Forget the canola, vegetable, avocado, and coconut oils. Instead, I purchase olive oil in different strengths and use them accordingly (frying/baking, sauteeing, salads/marinades). Here are the many reasons you should switch to olive oil, too, if you haven’t yet.

2. Snacks

I am not snacking. I’m just kidding; this one is hard, too! However, I use the Yuka app to help me make better choices at the grocery store. I am currently snacking on Greek yogurt, granola, almonds, pistachios, and Harvest Snaps.

3. Mediterranean Diet

Born and raised in an Italian family, I am not unfamiliar with Mediterranean foods. We didn’t have to pivot much, but I am making a bigger effort to prepare more vegetables, less carbs, and more seafood. I have always loved this food but was convinced it was the route to go after watching Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones on Netflix.

And Now, We Have a Cat!

In January, my mom traveled for a few weeks, and we brought home her recently adopted cat. Mom returned home sick and couldn’t take care of her for another 3-weeks. By the time it was time to return Moona (Moon & Luna), she was too attached to us and us to her. We didn’t take her away from Mom; Mom asked us to keep her because, in reality, Moona is a lot of work! And mom, at her age, didn’t feel capable of taking care of her and giving her as much love and attention as we do.

Moona is 50% Siamese / 50% Tabby. She’s got all the Siamese traits. Needy, super loving, and playful. I think she only inherited the stripes from her tabby mom and the ability to do some wild somersaults! Isn’t she gorgeous?

Organize This: Handbags, Totes & Purses.

My closet is my least favorite space in my home. It is the only room I have not shared on my blog because it’s a hot mess. Even at its best, it is so dark and enclosed that I walk away as soon as I turn my camera on. It’s just not picture-worthy.

Here’s the shameful before picture of the closet shelf where I store my handbags, totes, suitcases, tennis gear, and whatnot.

To declutter and rid my life of things, I have been working slowly on purging clothes, shoes, and handbags. Last Saturday, I ran to Target and solved a 14-year-old nuisance in 15 minutes. Take a look at it after!

And here’s a comparison photo slider for good measure!

Here’s a detailed post on this quick and easy handbag and purse organization.

Things That Caught My Eye

Here are a few things that have recently captured my interest and attention.

  • The Culture Translator: get a quick and informative newsletter tailored to parents who want to stay updated on the latest cultural trends that affect their teens’ lives. In just five minutes, you can catch up on the latest news, trends, and even TikTok updates (will they ban it already?!) to learn how they shape your teens’ thoughts and opinions.
  • YouTube TV: we might be VERY late to the party, but man, we finally cut the cable (satellite, actually) and are saving $100 a month! In my defense, my husband was very adamant about streaming live TV, but now he’s happy we made the switch.
  • Small Business Bookkeeping: I hired Evergold Accounting to work on my business books this year. I am very pleased with their service and amazing customer support! Sarah from Small Business Sarah helped me clean up and organize my 2023 books; filing taxes was a breeze this year. I highly recommend them if you have an online business: a Blog, an Etsy store, an Amazon Seller, or a YouTuber.
  • Cold Foam Creamer: my guilty pleasure is…Ready? A Grande iced coffee with three blonde shots, one pump of vanilla syrup, and extra thick vanilla sweet cream cold foam upside down —sometimes with caramel drizzle.

It is a mouthful to order this overpriced drink at the store! But have no fear! I made a copycat (and a lot cheaper) version. Check it out!

All you need is this iced coffee (I am still paying Starbucks 🙃) and this cold foam creamer. Ironically, the cold creamer is made with palm oil because, of course, that’s what makes it creamy and addictive. Everything in moderation.

Serve in a Tervis full of ice and sip slowly. The brew will become slightly sweet and creamy as the foam sinks into the unsweetened iced coffee. It’s just perfect.

Things I am Loving Lately: Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Today, I am sharing a Mother’s Day Gift Guide in place of my regular “Things I am Loving Lately” section.

My birthday and Mother’s Day are, give or take, one month apart. So, I have always told my family I do not need more gifts. It’s part of adulting! I recently shared in my How to Declutter Your Home Using Your Emotions how I feel about stuff lately and what it means to me to own less.

However, for all the moms, daughters, and sons out there looking for ideas, I browsed and looked around to see what was trending. And, I must admit, I did gift myself a new pair of running/walking shoes and a trendy Lululemon belt bag.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. Click here or the image below to see each product in detail. Alternatively, you can look at my Amazon List here.

And that’s a wrap for NLM #6.

happy organizing, Flavia

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