Housewarmng Gift Ideas That Aren’t Cliche

Housewarming Gift Ideas

My sister-in-law and her hubby just moved into their new home last weekend and I wanted to give them a nice housewarming present. Not the cliche gift card, plant, or doormat…something cool, innovative, or home-made, maybe even a little techie. As I was perusing the internet, I found some pretty cool gadgets and ideas that I wanted to share.

1. U-Socket USB Wallplug



2. Mod Podge Photo Canvas (DIY)

supplies for canvas photos


3. Homemade Chalkboard

DIY Chalkboard


4. Takeout Menu Organizer

Screen shot 2014-02-28 at 1.17.47 PM


This is listed as no longer available, but you could create a DIY version! Check it out and get creative.

5. Herb Infuser

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Spinach, Peas & Pasta with Garlic Cream Sauce

I have been making a pasta with garlic cream sauce for some time now but it always tasted a little bland to me. Tonight, I pat myself on the back because I nailed it. I changed up the recipe and added more garlic, plus the peas were leftover so I tossed them in. Forgot to take a pic, we gobbled it up so fast.

1/2 cup of peas
Bag of fresh spinach
4-5 garlic cloves
Bowtie Pasta
5 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cup of half and half
1/2 cup of grated parmesan
Garlic powder

Boil pasta,  meanwhile in large saucepan melt butter and add crushed garlic let that saute for about a minute. Toss in spinach and saute until it wilts then add the cream, mix well until it starts to slightly bubble, add parmesan cheese mix again then add peas let that simmer for a few minutes until peas are cooked. Lastly, toss in the cooked pasta add salt, pinch of garlic powder and serve.

Hope you enjoy!

Fun Friday Inspiration

Here’s a few things that inspired me today!

(Via flickr Laura Williams)
(Via flickr Laura Williams)

Laura Williams
She’s only 18 and displays an incredible talent for art, photography, and illusion.  A college student who wants to inspire people with her conceptual photography.  Go check out her work on Flickr.


The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.


Good things come to those who believe, better things come to those who are patient and the best things come to those who don’t give up.

Letting Go – Set Yourself Free

About two months ago, I signed up for a hot yoga class. I love yoga, but I’m not sure if I like the heat aspect of hot yoga. If you don’t get to class early, you’re literally right in front of the heater – not fun!
I heard this “poem or quote” at my last class during savasana and I thought it was beautiful and a breath of truth.

Letting Go

To let go isn’t to forget, not to think about, or ignore.

It doesn’t leave feelings of anger, jealousy, or regret.
Letting go isn’t about winning or losing.
It’s not about pride and it’s not about how you appear, and it’s not obsessing or dwelling on the past.
Letting go isn’t blocking memories or thinking sad thoughts, and it doesn’t leave emptiness, hurt, or sadness.
It’s not about giving in or giving up.
Letting go isn’t about loss and it’s not about defeat.
To let go is to cherish the memories, but to overcome and move on.
It is having an open mind and confidence in the future.
Letting go is learning and experiencing and growing.
To let go is to be thankful for the experiences that made you laugh, made you cry, and made you grow.
It’s about all that you have, all that you had, and all that you will
soon gain.
Letting go is having the courage to accept change, and the strength to keep moving.
It is realizing that the heart can sometimes be the most potent remedy.
To let go is to open a door, and to clear a path and



New Category- DIY! Project #1 Art Display Holder

I wanted to add more inspiration to the blog, so I’ve added another category called…DIY! Nothing is more empowering than building and creating things for yourself and others. It’s like a journey back to the beginning of times when we had to hunt, and make clothing, and ah, just kidding! I hope some of these projects inspire you.

Art Display Holder

This little project is for my daughter who is really into art and displaying her pictures.

This one was simple, and I had these items laying around the house.

Clothespins (I used 6)

Step 1

Cut twine as long as you like about 2 inches from the end add a knot, at the same end put a loop knot for the push-pin.

Step 2

Slide the other end of the twine through the clothespin and keep pushing it until it hits the knot, then add another clothespin, but keep it about 2-3 inches away from the first. After two clothespins, I would add another knot to section it off and prevent them from sliding together.

Step 3

Repeat until you’re finished. Then hang it wherever you want.
Here it is!
Finished Project

A Simple Life – Microwave-Free

ImageOne of my resolutions this year was to declutter my life.

I started the first week with email. As an email marketer at my previous job, I signed up for everything. I would get about 200 emails a day, most of it was used for competitive research and most of it was also CRAP!

Anyway, now that I am in a new position, I can recapture my precious morning time doing other things (like blogging) rather than skimming through and deleting senseless emails full of advertisements that promise to make me smell better, look better, or get the lowest price today – even though another great offer will appear in two days.

After the digital cleansing, I moved over to the domestic cleansing – the house. As you know, I’m sure, house work is never done. I donated a few bags to Purple Heart but I still have a long way to go. I feel like it’s a revolving door, as you move more junk out, shit comes right back in (especially with kids). Little by little, I will get there, at least that’s what I tell myself.

Then the unexpected happens. Our microwave, which is only a couple of years old, suddenly broke. It’s been a week and I really haven’t missed it. Actually last week, due to the snow storm, we had a couple of families stay with us for a few days and no one really noticed!

So last night, I moved it out of the kitchen, reclaimed my counter space, looked at it a few minutes and decided…what the hell, let’s do without!

I asked my 8 year old son what he thought, and he couldn’t care less. My 6 year old daughter gave the same reaction. Then I asked my husband, “hey, you want to try an experiment? Let’s go microwave-free!” And surprisingly, he was on board right away, his exact words, “sure, you don’t need a microwave, it’s just a convenience.”

Yes nailed it!

It’s now been a week and the transition was easy. I remember in the 80’s when my parents first got one, we were “totally siked!” But as I got older, I’ve always had some weird feeling about microwaves, they just seemed unnatural – something about the radiation part.

Before I decided to go sans micro – I did some research and internal thinking. As it turns out, we are not regular users. Besides popcorn, very few frozen veggies, and heating up leftovers, we rarely used it.

Here are some tips I came across for making this transition, and most of these, I was already doing.

  • Buy fresh foods
  • Thaw meats in a pot of cold water
  • Reheat leftovers in the oven
  • Stove-top popcorn
  • Store food in frig to oven containers
  • Buy a kettle (I use my keurig and love it)

As far as cooking and baking, I’ve always used my oven and in the winter it doubles as an extra heater!

I’m excited about our lifestyle change, stove-top popcorn and fresh tasting leftovers – hell yeah!

What I’m curious about is the reaction we’re going to get from people. I’m sure we’re going to hear a lot of “why?” and “how?” But it’s a decision we made – maybe less convenient – but simple!