Monday, February 13, 2017

5 Things That Are Making My Life Easier

I wanted to share a list of a few things that are making my day-to-day life easier lately. Most of these aren't dramatically life-changing, but they are things that save me a little time and effort. #3 actually is a life-changer for me, and I'll describe more about that below.

1. Laundry Sorter

I do laundry throughout the week, so that it never turns into a huge, time-consuming job.  Until recently, we used a plain old laundry basket for our dirty laundry. Each time I was ready to start a load of laundry, I would have to spend a few minutes sorting out the laundry for the day. It wasn't a huge hassle, but I felt like there was room for improvement.

A few months ago, we splurged on a 4-section laundry sorter.  This may not seem like much of a splurge to many of you, but for me, spending over $30 on a non-essential laundry sorter seemed like a big deal.

But you know what? This laundry sorter was totally worth the money. It saves me a few minutes each day when I do laundry, and our closet is much tidier, too, without the inevitable piles of sorted laundry. I love the convenience of our new laundry sorter, and the 4 compartments help me in making sure our clothing colors keep looking as they should. (If there is interest, I could also blog about my system for laundry that keeps our colors looking good, spreads the workload throughout the week, and works well for my sensitive-skin family members.)

2. Larger Butter Dish

Nutrient-dense butter is an essential part of my family's healthy diet. In the winter months, especially, I find that KerryGold butter has the richest yellow color (and this color indicates the presence of nutrients, especially carotene and vitamin A).

Since KerryGold comes in a 1/2-pound block, previously, I had to cut the KerryGold butter in half in order to fit it in my butter dish. However, I received a lovely new butter dish for Christmas that is big enough to easily accommodate a full block of KerryGold butter. Now we can keep a 1/2 pound of butter on the counter and ready to easily spread on toast or muffins. This is one small convenience that is making my day-to-day life easier.

3. DoYogaWithMe.com

I've been using DoYogaWithMe.com for several years now. I love that this site has high-quality, free yoga videos with excellent instructors, and I love that there is a great variety of videos available. There are many videos to choose from ranging from Beginner to Advanced, and from just a few minutes long to over an hour long.

I've been doing yoga once or twice a week for awhile now, but recently I was feeling a pull to make yoga a more-frequent part of my life. This year, DoYogaWithMe hosted a "Transform Your Life 30-Day Yoga Challenge". In completing the 30-Day Challenge, I learned that:
  • daily yoga is possible, even with my busy life,
  • it is worth it to make time to occasionally do full-length (60+ minutes) yoga classes, 
  • in addition to being good for my physical health, doing yoga frequently leads me to greater mental and emotional well-being, and
  • starting my day with yoga right after waking is a fantastic way to get me in a good mindset for the day ahead.
Even though the 30-Day Challenge is over, I've been continuing to do yoga every day, and it feels great!  I presume that there will eventually be days that I skip yoga, but for now, this is a habit that is enriching my daily life and making it easier for my life to feel balanced and whole.




4. Uber-Strong, Foldable Grocery-and-Errand Bags

Because I only grocery shop every two weeks, I tend to buy a whole cart full at a time. My reusable bags end up crammed full at the grocery store, or crammed full of library books, and with such heavy usage I tend to go through reusable bags fairly quickly. Many of the bags I have tried wear out and have to be thrown away in about a year.

About a year ago, I was gifted with a couple EnviroSax bags, and they are amazing! EnviroSax bags have a weight capacity of 44 pounds (!!), they easily fold up small enough to fit in my purse, they are beautiful, and they have held up without any signs of wear in the last year. I loved those bags so much that I asked for some more for Christmas, and was so happy to throw away my old bags (which were literally falling apart). My EnviroSax bags are now my go-to bags for groceries, library books, trips to the park, and more.

5. Knife Sharpener

Since I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen, my knives get dull fairly often.  I've never taken the time to learn how to properly use a whetstone or rod knife sharpener, but thankfully I don't have to. We've been using a Wusthof 4-Stage Knife Sharpener for awhile now, and have had great results with it.

This knife sharpener works especially well for us because it has separate knife sharpeners for Asian and Standard knives. My beloved Santoku knife gets sharpened with the Asian sharpener, and the rest of our knives are sharpened with the Standard sharpener. This knife sharpener is very quick and easy to use, and it fits easily into a kitchen drawer.


Do you have any favorite products or websites that are making your life easier lately?




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5 comments:

Tara Albright said...

In regards to reusable shopping bags, I highly highly recommend getting some from NomarAlaska. I've had mine for almost 17 years now and they still look brand new. Each bag can hold over 500 pounds! They are called market totes and are shaped like a paper bag with a flat bottom so your groceries fit better and less chance of squishing. They are spendy but 100% worth the money. Check out their website for more. If you want pictures I would gladly email you some.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for the recommendation! I'll look into Nomar Alaska totes!

Tara said...

I would be interested in hearing about your laundry system!

Elizabeth said...

As someone who love Pilates I really enjoy The Balanced Life by Robin Long. She does challenges and has a lot of youtube videos, but also has a Sisterhood membership with longer workouts.

Sarah Smith said...

Thanks for sharing that recommendation, Elizabeth!