Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I love this product...

Of all the products I use with my customers, I think 3M Command Hooks might be my favorite. And based on the ever-expanding selection available, I think others feel the same. 
Photo from Command Hook

Once offered only in white, the plastic hook now comes in a variety of "finishes" - such as brushed nickel and oil rubbed bronze - as well as clear (my favorite) and black (great for the garage). The strong yet easy-to-remove double stick table is also offered in clear. I keep a supply of these with me at all times and never seem to have enough - they can be purchased online or at nearly any home improvement, craft or variety store. Here are just some of the ways I use 3M Command Hooks around my own home.

In the kitchen: to hang oven mitts on a cabinet door
(easy access + saves drawer space, too)

Photo from Command Hook Projects

In the Bedroom Closet: to hang necklaces and belts

In the Office: to keep charging cords organized  

In the Bathroom: to hang a robe behind the door
Photo from Command Hook Projects

In the Mudroom: for car keys

During the holidays: to tuck away unruly extension cords

The possibilities are endless... how would you use a 3M hook?

Thursday, March 12, 2015

How a Keystone Habit Is Changing My Life...

The countdown is on.

 I’m 49 years old with fewer than 12 months before the Big 50; so naturally, I made a list of all the goals I’m hoping to reach before I hit the half-century mark.

Health goals, intellectual goals, family goals, spirit goals, financial goals.
And I want a theme – something catchy.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net - pat138241
Right now I’m feeling Fifty and Fragmented.

Sometimes Fifty and Forgetful.

At best Fifty and Functional.

I’m going for something big – like Fifty and Phenomenal.

This is going to require some serious new habits.
This is going to require a Keystone Habit.


I read about Keystone Habits in Charles Duhigg’s book The Power of Habit. A Keystone Habit is one really good (or bad) habit that spawns a bunch of other good (or bad) habits.

Those who exercise, for example, also tend to drink more water, eat more healthfully, and manage their calendars. Exercise, therefore, is the Keystone Habit.

I need one mother of a Keystone Habit – because I have a mother-load of goals.

FreeDigitalPhotos.net - arztsamui
I’m calling my new habit Keystone Sunday. It’s the ONE thing I simply must do every week if I want to hone all the other habits necessary to reach my goals.
This is how it works, in all of its absolute simplicity (why haven’t I been doing this for years!?)

I plan my week, in complete detail, every Sunday.

I meal plan, grocery plan, exercise plan, work plan, volunteer plan, kid plan, house plan and dog plan.
I fill my vitamin box, empty my inbox, and load up the icebox.
I do everything I can to set myself up for success in the coming week.

These are a few tools I’m using to support Keystone Sunday.

One Note: I use this software to track my “big picture” goals and projects. Evernote would be a similar option.

Product of Microsoft

Wunderlist: This handy App tracks my to-do lists, syncs between my PC and mobile devices, and allows me to send items straight to my calendar. I check it daily and add to it constantly. Things, Toodledo and Errands are other popular to-do Apps.

Outlook: I use the calendar in Outlook to track my daily schedule. I put EVERYTHING on my calendar that needs to get done on a given day. Google and iCal are additional electronic calendar recommendations.

Product of Microsoft

I’m hoping Keystone Sunday leads me to all sorts of wonderful successes. I’ve been at it for about five weeks now. I’m humbled by the habit – planning takes time and effort – sometimes many more hours than I ever dreamed. But I’m also in awe of this Keystone Habit’s potential – I’m accomplishing tasks and projects at an unbelievable pace and honing new habits along the way. 

Which leads me back to my “theme.”

Habits pave the way to success. By taming our impulses they unleash the possibilities we hold within. And it’s with this understanding I set my intention for the coming year:

Who's with me?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A Little Free Library of Our Own

Have you heard about the Little Free Library movement? It’s this great concept of building tiny libraries in neighborhoods and parks for locals to share books. The first one was built in 2009 and now they are all over the world!

My family loved this idea so much, we just built one!  Within hours of its installation we found neighbors standing around swapping books. 

The other day I found this little gem in our LFL – the inscription is priceless. Written in faint pencil, it says:   

Connie M------
Bought with my own --- money. The first I ever made.
August - 1949.

I kept it long enough to snap this photo, and then placed it back into circulation. 

If you’re ready to part with books in good condition, look for a Little Free Library nearby –  you might just find one!

Feel free to view my collection of favorite Little Free Libraries on my Pinterest board or visit LittleFreeLibary.org for more information.