How To Get Out Of A Food Rut

While driving home from work, I realized I didn’t want what I had planned for dinner-chicken fried rice with veggies. While it is a simple dish to cook it didn’t sound appetizing. I caught myself wanting to drive to the grocery store to pick up something to eat, so I started to think about what I could make with the ingredients I’d already had that could be incorporated with the dish. Since I had fresh food at home I didn’t want to waste the money I’d already spent and waste another night of not eating the fresh food. I knew I had kale, zucchini and eggs. Since none of those ingredients take long to cook, I decided to cook them all, throw them on a plate and call it dinner. It came out really good and was a very filling meal.
Here are my tips when you find yourself in this rut while driving home from work:

1. Think about the foods you already have in your kitchen. If you have a lot of fresh ingredients cut up some or all of them and incorporate them into the dish you originally planned to have. Just thinking about creating a new dish will get you excited about dinner and will make you want to eat at home.

2. Think about the possibilities for two meals instead of one. If you make enough food to last two days or more, come up with ideas on how you can make the meal a different way for leftovers. Small things like adding new dressings, seasonings, bread or cheese will really add to the dish to make it taste new.

3. You’ll save money. If you’ve convinced yourself that the dish you’re about to make will satisfy you for dinner that night, then you’ve saved money. The fresh food sitting in your kitchen is something you picked up from the grocery store for a reason, don’t let it go bad for another day.

4. You get to be creative. Coming up with several ways to prepare a meal stretches your mind-you become versatile in cooking.

5. You’ll get to cook. Going to the grocery store to pick up dinner is really easy. However, I find that after work I enjoy cooking because it gives me something to focus on. Plus, every time I cook something new it helps to further my cooking knowledge and ability. It also shows me what I enjoy eating and is a meal I can cook again in the future.

 

Do you have any ideas for how to get out of a food rut? Any meals you enjoy making with fresh ingredients? Let me know in the comments below!

Motivational Monday: Staying Present

The biggest lesson life has taught me is to always be in the present. With so much noise in the world-social media, news, stress, emergencies, etc. it can be difficult to stayed focused. The key is to bring yourself back down to a calm state of mind. Listen to the noises around you instead of the thoughts bearing your mind. Focus on your surroundings-look out a window to see that life is moving on. Breathe. Focus on your breathe by taking a huge breath in and letting it all go without thinking about anything. Do this until your body and mind are calm.
I have learned that doing these things to focus my mind on staying present can work in any situation. No matter if I’m having trouble going to sleep at night because my mind is racing or if I’m in a stress related incident.

What are the tools you use to stay in the present? Please let me know in the comments below!

Tips For Your Next Clothes Shopping Trip

To start off  The Smarter Shopper Series I wanted to state my five tips that will be helpful for your next shopping trip! I created this list as a way to make clothes shopping easier. It’s also a great way to think about how the clothes fit into your wardrobe and lifestyle. Check back every Wednesday for new content! Enjoy ❤

My top 5 tips:

  1. Style-Everyone has a style. Whether you like classic, trendy, casual or dressy, the pieces in your closet should make a statement about your style. When going on your next shopping trip, think about how the styles you buy today can complement the pieces that are already in your closet. This applies to shoes, jewelry and accessories too!

 

While shopping, see what you gravitate towards most. Do jeans always have the same color, shape or fit? Consider trying on clothes or accessories you normally wouldn’t wear to see if you like the style and fit for your body type.

 

  1. Fit-The type of fabric will make a difference in the fit of the clothes. You don’t want anything pulling, creasing, showing the line of your undergarments, or sticking to the fabric. What you do want is for the fabric to push away from your body so that it makes one smooth line from the top of the garment to the bottom.

While trying on clothes it’s a good idea to move in them; sit down, walk around the fitting room, and lift your arms up to see how high a shirt will come up or to see how much room you have to move in a jacket. If you wear a lot of layers during winter, it might be a good idea to go up a size in a winter coat, this way you’ll have more room to move your arms. Pants are a great example of fit. If there’s a gap, can it be fixed with a belt? Does the gap come out too far when you sit down? Some stores will provide a definition of their different “fits.” Try on the ones you think will work best for your body type. If you’re having difficulty finding the right fit, always ask an associate for help

Remember if you find a dress you love but it doesn’t fit quite right, it can always be tailored. It usually doesn’t take very long and generally isn’t costly. Bonus points if you can do the tailoring yourself 😉

 

  1. Wearability/longevity-If you’re on the fence about whether or not to buy floral capris, consider its wearability and longevity. Think about the pieces in your closet you repeatedly wear and ask yourself, ‘is this an item that can be worn with those pieces too?’ Be mindful of the colors too. Does the floral capris coordinate with the others, or would you need to buy something else just to wear it? For example, if you own a lot of printed capris focus on buying solid/neutral pieces to go with them.

Also, think about whether or not you’ll be wearing the item(s) for a long period of time. Is this an item you can only wear once (and do the first few points already mentioned make it good enough to buy) or each week? You get bonus points if the item can transition from season to season (which is great in my opinion). If this is true, think about how and what you can wear it with each season. Example: A striped shirt can be worn with a cardigan and denim in the fall and floral shorts in the summer. Can the item be dressed up or down? Again, if the answer is yes to both, then great! What you don’t want is to buy items you’ll wear a few times only to then sell online or donate after one season.

 

  1. Price-If you can justify the first three points for buying something, then it may be worth the price. You just need to determine whether buying it today is worth it or if waiting for it to go on sale may be a better option. Note: Some stores don’t have sales, so you may want to buy the same day before the stock runs out OR make sure the item is available online and buy at a later date. Also note, when buying at a later date, you risk the item going out of stock both online and in-store. However, you can ask an associate if the item is available at another store. If the store has a lot of sales, keep track by either going back into the store or looking online.

 

5. Buy it if you love it-Regardless of everything else that has been said, buy it if you love it. If all four points come across in your favor and you absolutely love the item(s), buy them! You don’t want to have buyer’s remorse later on. Stores tend to carry different trends, colors, fabrics, and styles throughout the years so if you find something you really love at a great price and it fits well, go for it! You may never know when you will find something you love again.

What shopping tips do you have when you’re clothes shopping? Let me know in the comments below ❤

Motivational Monday: You Heal Yourself in Time

Ever hear that saying, Time Heals All? I grew up listening to Dr. Phil and his saying of, “Time doesn’t heal all wounds it’s what you do in this time that matters.” I’ve always remembered this saying growing up and at 31 I can say that it’s true. It doesn’t matter how much time passes in life, if you don’t do the work to make yourself a better version of yourself you’ll always be the same. You’re the only one who can write your own story and if you choose to continue down the same path for a number of years then that just means time passed and you didn’t do anything to change within that time and time healed nothing. But if you take the time to better yourself by finding new perspectives on life then you’ll change.
Again, you’re the only one who can write your own story. Sure, there will be obstacles in your life that will change the path of your journey. If you recognize those challenges as a positive and take the right steps to face them, your life will change.
You heal yourself in time when you’re ready and willing to do the work to change for the better ❤
What’s your opinion on “time heals all”?

The Smarter Shopper Series

Today, I want to introduce my new series: The Smarter Shopper. A new blog post will be posted every Wednesday from now until May! Here are some of the posts I’ll be sharing with you all:

The Art of Browsing
How to Have a Positive Experience in the Fitting Room
The Ultimate Way to Organize Your Closet

In 2011 (the year after I graduated college) I began writing this series. Now that I have the platform of my blog to share with you all, I’m so excited and hope you’ll find the content interesting and insightful. I created this content as a way of sharing my love of fashion, shopping and knowledge on the retail industry to help anyone who struggles with the enjoyment of clothes shopping.
If you know me personally or have read my About Me page on my blog, I have YEARS of experience in retail. My first job as a teenager was a sales associate at a local family owned department store and that’s when I realized I loved helping people find clothes/shoes/accessories they love and look great in. Now that I have my blog, I’m transferring my passion for shopping here in hopes you’ll look at clothes shopping in a positive perspective.

See you back here on Wednesday. ❤

Please let me know in the comments, what do you like or dislike about shopping? Let me know if you want me to cover anything specific in this series so that I can better help you enjoy clothes shopping.

Motivational Monday: Balance & Gratitude

I recently had a weekend that reminded me of how I got to where I am today. It wasn’t at all pretty having a negative experience to remind me of the struggles I face daily such as things like, living on a tight budget, saving money for future purchases but yet spending some money to do things that bring me happiness. It’s been hard but I’ve learned how to balance my finances with saving and spending AND not feeling guilty when I spend money on things that bring me joy-I mean I do only have one life, right?
The biggest realization I made this weekend after having a negative experience was simple, to let it go. Just let it be what it is, move on and think about something else. You can’t change the past. I’ve learned that when I put all my energy into something positive it makes me think about that instead of sitting around upset about the past.

Life will always move on. Just look outside, the world is always spinning, seasons changing. As long as you can find a balance within your experiences-by having a negative experience turn positive-you will always be able to succeed balance within yourself.

Gratitude:
I’d like to say thank you to everyone who read, liked, commented or followed me after reading: Lessons I’ve Learned at 31  When I started my blog the goal was to provide Realistic Lifestyle for Everyone. I want to create blog posts that are relatable to you all and I felt like I received a positive response from this post, so thank you ❤ My goal is to provide more posts like this and hope that you’ll learn something new along with gaining a new perspective on life.

How do you find balance within and your life and what’s something you’re grateful for? Please let me know in the comments or on social media! IG: @stylestomakeyousmile FB Page: Styles To Make You Smile