Friday Favorites: Spice Drawer Makeover

Happy Friday, friends! I feel like I was just here with you for last weeks post but boy, time flies when you are having fun. The kiddo and I escaped to the coast for a beautiful week in the sun and sand, and my soul feels revived. The ocean has always been my happy place but coming home to my own bed, shower, and sweet husband felt amazing, too. It was especially welcoming since he had the good idea to vacuum before we returned. He knows how much I appreciate order, and with all the chaos around us in the world, its even more important to create a place of rest and peace at home.
Last week in my Instagram stories I talked about revamping my messy spice drawer. Luckily for me, my husband is amazing cook, but our collection of spices had gotten out of control, and after weeks on end of cooking from home more than ever before, we needed a better solution. I will be the first to admit that originally I did not want to purchase all new matching jars and labels like a lot of people around the internet had been doing the last few years. At first it felt wasteful in both product and expense, but once our drawer was overflowing, I pulled the trigger. 

Of course it was my old friend Amazon to the rescue. There are numerous options available to you, but after weeding through reviews, I settled on this wonderful little set. It gave me enough to cover all the spices we currently have while still having a few leftover to grow. The set came with round black labels for the tops, as well as a white pen and blank labels to create your own. It also included small clear labels for the sides of the jars, but I opted to purchase this set of capital letter labels separately to really dress them up. The kit also included a small rubber funnel to help with transferring your spices to the new jars. To give you an idea of the size: the new jars are exactly the same size as any of my Trader Joe’s glass jars for seasonings and spices. 

With a little help from my favorite kitchen helper, it was quick. work to transfer the spices and it was absolutely worth the effort. The capital letter labels set even included labels for popular spices like Everything But the Bagel, Lowry’s Seasoning Salt, and Chili Lime. Everything was immediately better organized and more easily recognizable. It worked out just right for me that every bottle I owned fit into the original drawer I had been using. It was just meant to be! 

As you can see, it was just that final touch to really dressing up our kitchen, making it feel homey and custom, and also insanely practical at the end of the day. It has made the few recipes I’ve pulled together since last week just more enjoyable, plus I can really keep an eye on how much of any spice we have left and know what to add to the shopping list. If you’ve been looking to up your kitchen organization game, this is one small project I highly recommend! 

Stay safe. Stay well. 

Jill 

Friday Favorites: Saving Sanity in Quarantine

 

Well, what did you choose? Online shopping or building that ark? Because last we spoke, I made a joke about the rain and now it seems as if those of you with the ark had at the right idea. I am barely hanging on, but that overwhelmed feeling inspired me to share some of my favorite things that keep my sanity mostly in check. (Mostly.) If you’ve been following along on Instagram for a while, you may have noticed that I’ve seriously stepped up my workout game recently. That doesn’t mean I want to spend a thousand extra hours on my hygiene and beauty routine from sweating in the gym or from the miserable NC humidity. Here’s how I save time, the health, and the style of my hair.

shower cap

Let’s get right to the star of the show. Many of my friends know that I am Team Dirty Hair and try to limit how much I wash and style my locks. Frequent showers were really taking the life out of my style until I found this amazing shower cap. It is not the first one I have tried, but even with my melon sized head and thick hair, this is definitely the best one. The style is cute, the cap is comfortable, and there is room inside for even more hair than I currently have. My hair stays nearly perfectly dry even with my double face cleansing routine, general showering, and shaving. It dries quickly and has held up so well even after months of abuse. Ten out of ten recommend to all my Team Dirty Hair girls!

dry shampoo

The next tool in my arsenal of sanity saving techniques is this dry shampoo. Look, I know we all have different hair and that there are a million other brands out there, but this has been my go to for YEARS. I’ve tried the more expensive options and the cheaper options and I always come back to this. Ten years ago when I first learned about dry shampoo you had to visit Ulta or another beauty supply shop to get your hands on pricey bottles of dry shampoo. Now they are in every drug store around the country. If you don’t like this one I really recommend trying out a few different kinds to see what works best for your hair. Also know there is a learning curve to using new products and just because the first use or two isn’t great, doesn’t mean the product can’t work for you.

To my husband’s amusement I spray dry shampoo around my ponytail before I hit the gym without really brushing it in. Of course I am working out at home with only him to notice, but this technique really helps absorb the oil and sweat straightaway and helps save my hairstyle. I can then easily let my hair down and brush it out after my shower and I’m ready to roll. A lot of people also recommend spraying it in before bed so it can work on absorption throughout the night. I don’t really find that helpful, but if you have especially oily hair, give it a try! Don’t forget my biggest tip for saving your hair at night found here. Oh, and when you finally do wash your hair, don’t forget the REPEAT part of the shampoo instructions. Double cleansing really does make a difference!

hair ties

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share my love for the perfect hair ties to save your style. If my hair isn’t actually pulled back, you can always find me with one of these on my wrist. They are my go to when pulling back my hair for everything from daily chores to four mile runs (peppered with lots, and lots of walking). I love that they aren’t that noticeable on my wrist, and that I can take my hair down and it basically jumps right back to whatever style it was before with no creasing. My hair feels secure without being too tight, and it doesn’t tangle like traditional hair ties. I couple of times a year I pick up a new pack at Ulta, but they really do last. The best tip I can give you is that if they are looking stretched out, you can easily reshape them by hitting them with your blow dryer. I have held them down with tweezers so I don’t burn my fingers and they will shrink right back to their original shape and size.

I hope that some of these tips help you take better care of yourself mentally and physically. No one has extra time these days to waste on haircare if we can help it. Give yourself a little grace, a little break, and a little boost all at the same time. You deserve it!

Stay safe.  Stay well. Happy FriYAY!

Jill

 

 

 

List Ready: Advice from a Buyer’s Agent

*** Editor’s note: I wrote this a week ago and delayed pushing publish as it isn’t my usual MO, but it is a big part of my life and I hope it is helpful for someone out there.

Hellllllo, Fall! I’m sitting outside as I write this soaking up the beautiful, cool air. I am so happy the season finally decided to change in North Carolina. The real estate game isn’t all that fun to play on 95* days but today’s home inspection is going smoothly. Did you even know that I am a real estate agent? I kicked off 2019 pursuing my license and after quick success in class and testing, I’ve been working since March of 2019. We stay very  busy and it has been exciting and rewarding to help families find their perfect home.

My job is very specific. I only help buyers. I don’t list any homes. That works out okay for me right now because I have a natural knack at seeing how individuals want to live and finding the home that fits those needs. (Don’t get me wrong though! I will absolutely step in to help if you need to sell your home by referring you to someone on our amazing team if you’re local, or finding you the perfect agent wherever you are and we can still get the job done.  Basically, just remember me if you have any real estate needs at all – anywhere in the grand ol’ USA!)

An upside to working this way is constantly going into new properties and getting an actual in person feel for what’s on the market in the area. I’ve shown everything from small golf front condos to 4,000 square foot lakefront homes. Any real estate agent worth their salt will give you advice on how to get your home ready before listing, but PLEASE listen as someone who sees it everyday from the buyer’s perspective: staging matters. Staging doesn’t have to mean hiring out an expensive company or making drastic changes to your property, but a few smalls steps can engage the potential buyer’s senses and make the biggest difference in helping them feel at home and ready to make an offer.

Out with the Visual Clutter

You. guys. This is my absolutely pet peeve in life – but especially so with homes on the market.  Get rid of the clutter! No one wants to (or needs to!) walk into your kitchen to piles of mail on the counter or cold medicine left by the sink. It seems like common sense, but for the love of all things money related, clean up yo stuff! Your potential buyers will appreciate this more than you know and your home will instantly look more appealing. Put shoes away, tidy pillows, make all the beds, and be sure the floors are clean. I’d even recommend taking it one step further and putting away personal mementos like photographs and nicknacks. You want the buyers to be able to visualize themselves in the home, not to be distracted by your clutter on every surface.

Entice Buyers with Scents

Being nose blind is a real thing. I get it. But how your house will smell to potential buyers is huge. Often it is the first thing about a property a buyer will comment on. The best smell is no smell at all. My favorite houses are the ones that just smell fresh and truly clean, not strong smells via candles and air fresheners. Consider having your carpets cleaned and stay on top of all laundry (including bedding, pillow covers, drapes – anything you can wash that might hold an unpleasant scent).  Keep your bathrooms and kitchen areas freshly wiped down and try to keep the trash taken out on a more regular than normal basis. As a last resort, turn to inserting a light, neutral smell into the home to help it seem welcoming and cozy. Be aware that overwhelming scents can cause headaches and immediately turn buyers away. Remember the goal is to smell clean, not fake. We want them to feel at home, not ready to run out of the door.

Make us FEEL Welcome

As much as how the home looks and smells, the temperature inside also matters. This has a been a big issue the past several months with the summer heat lasting longer than normal. It is no fun to spend the day in and out of properties in the heat only to come into to a stifling, musty house. Room temperature and air flow matter. Again, the goal here is to get the potential buyer to linger and begin to imagine their lives in your space. Trust me when I say that is hard to do when you are sweating. Houses feel more closed off and smaller when they are too warm. An easy thing to do (that also may help with tip number two) is to run the overhead fans. A comfortable temperature is much more welcoming. A welcoming home means happy thoughts. And happy thoughts lead to offers!

Wheeewww. Now that is over I hope I haven’t left any of my friends feeling personally attacked. The same level of neatness isn’t possible in every single home, I get it. But I hope these tips are helpful for getting your home set to sell. Anything your agent tells you change you isn’t meant as a slight, only that they are working so hard to be sure you get every penny you deserve for your property. If you’ve been in the buying and selling game, chime off in the comments and let me know if there are any other widely heard comments or tips you have to help get these homes off the market and sold!

 

❤ Jill