1) Purge and De-clutter. We all have stuff in our closet that we’ve been hanging on to saying “I’ll wear it one day”. The simple fact is, you will have more space if you get rid of the stuff you never wear. Ask yourself this question “Have I worn this in the past year.” If the answer is NO get rid of it.

2) Use coordinated hangers for a clean  and organized look. We suggest using Huggable Hangers because of their space saving 1/4″ profile. They have a velvety finish that prevents clothing from falling off and protects delicate garments. Don’t let the slim look fool you. These hangers are strong enough to hold your winter coat.

3) Shelf dividers don’t necessarily create more space but they will help you to keep your closet organized, which creates the illusion of more space. Plus – you’ll actually be able to find stuff. Dividers allow you to store purses, sweaters scarves etc all on the same shelf without them toppling into one another creating a giant pile. We like the look of these ones from the container store.

4) Hooks! There are tons of different types of hooks that you can use inside your closet.There are ones that you can place over the door to provide storage for belts, ties and handbags or single hooks that you can place where ever you have some extra underutilized space. Sneaky tip: place some behind your hanging rod for those specialized items that you rarely use. We like this over the door 6 Hook Rack.

5) Baskets are great for organizing loose items on your shelves. Make sure to group items into each basket so you will know what you are looking for. Use light colored baskets so it is easier to see what is inside. Put larger baskets on the floor of your closet and store off season items.

Photo Credit: BHG

Perfect for brekkie any day. Great recipe from B4BC

How to:

Preheat an oven with a cast iron pan in it to 425.

Take half of an avocado and remove the pit. If the space it leaves is a bit small, hollow it out some more.

Crack an egg where the pit was, and top with herbs or cheese if desired. Bake until your egg is cooked to your liking.

We are all trying to eat better and live healthier. However, sometimes it is a daunting task to try and make the right choices. There are several phone apps out there that can help you.

Fastco Exist has put together an impressive list of 7 of the best apps out there. These are our favorite 4.

Still Tasty?

If you are anything like me – you don’t know that onions shouldn’t be stored in the fridge or that tomatoes taste better if stored at room temperature. Still Tasty is the ultimate shelf life guide. Just enter the item name and still tasty will tell you where to store it and how long its shelf life is. The “Alert Me” function warns you when items should be used up. Say goodbye to wasted food and money!

Harvest Mark?

Ever wonder where that apple was picked from? Harvest Mark is providing you with the tools to trace where your food came from. The HarvestMark Food Traceability App is used daily by shoppers to get inside information about their food, such as where and how it was grown, and if it is subject to recall.

Locavore

Locavore is the easiest way to find local, in-season food. Pinpoint nearby farmers’ markets & farms that sell the products you love. Discover seasonal recipes.

Whats On My food?

What’s On My Food? is a searchable database designed to make the public problem of pesticide exposure visible and more understandable. How does this tool work? They link pesticide food residue data with the toxicology for each chemical, making this information easily searchable for the first time.

For more healthy choice apps head to Fastco Exist

Just because summer is coming to an end does not mean that you have to put your favorite dresses into storage until next year.  By adding a few key pieces to your wardrobe you can hang on to summer even as the last leaf shakes from the tree.

Leather Up.

Take your sundresses into fall by simply replacing your flip-flops with some tall boots and adding a leather jacket. To make the look work avoid pastels and use neutral or bright vivid colors.

Knit Up.

Layering your summer pieces with scarves, knits and pantyhose will keep you warm during those chilly fall days. The pantyhose will make your outfit look more seasonally appropriate and the sweaters and scarf will have you looking layered chic.

Button Up.

Maxi dresses were everywhere this summer and you can transition it right into fall. Add a blazer to your favorite maxi dress and you are set for sophisticated day out on the town. If you find that you are loosing sight of your shape in the outfit toss a belt around your waist to add some definition.

 

This Eggplant Caponata recipes comes from chef Marc Vetri and the Tasting Table Summer Cookbook which is free to download here. Eggplant Caponata is a budget friendly dish that will tickle your taste buds.

Photo Credit: Tasting Kitchen Summer Cookbook

Yield: 5 cups (about 8 servings) Cook Time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons grape seed oil
  • 3 or 4 small Italian eggplants (2 pounds total), stemmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored, and cut into bite-size pieces
  • ½ red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 canned peeled tomatoes (preferably San Marzano, coarsely chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
  • ⅓ cup golden raisins
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons of the grape seed oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the eggplant cubes and sauté until nicely browned, about 10 minutes.
  3. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a wire rack set over a drip pan or paper towels.
  4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and sauté the fennel and onion until lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
  5. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Stir in the tomatoes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Add the sautéed eggplant, pine nuts, and raisins and mix gently so that you don’t break up the eggplant.
  8. Add 2 teaspoons of the vinegar, then taste and season with salt, pepper, and vinegar as needed.
  9.  Let cool to room temperature before serving.

 

With the Zoku Quick Pop Makeryou can create delicious healthy treats that your kids will love – and the best part is you can do it in ten minutes or less! Use the Zoku Character Kit to add some personality to your pops. Your kids will love this activity and you get to control the sugar content of their treats. But lets not forget the adults out there as well. The Zoku blog has a fantastic recipe for Cucumber Mint Margarita Quick Pops. Here’s a recipe for the little ones.

Apple, Pear and Orange Quick Pops.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (4 oz) fresh apple juice; chilled
  • ½ cup (4 oz) fresh pear juice; chilled
  • ½ cup (4 oz) fresh orange juice; chilled

The Base:

  • In a liquid measuring cup with a spout, stir together the apple, pear, and orange juices.

Assembly:

  • Remove Zoku Quick Pop Maker from the freezer. Insert sticks and pour the chilled Apple, Pear, and Orange juice base into each cavity until you reach the fill line. Let freeze completely and remove the pops with the Super Tool. Repeat with remaining juice.

Use the character kit to get creative with your pops!

 

It is hot and humid out there today and while your tan may be looking great your hair is probably all over the place. We have the ULTIMATE hot weather hair do to keep you looking sophisticated in this uncooperative weather.

The Sock Bun

What you’ll need:

  • sock
  • hair tie
  • scissors

How to:

  • Cut the toe off your sock to create a tub
  • Roll the sock inwards on itself to create a donut shape
  • Secure your hair into a pony tail at the height you want your bun
  • Pull the pony tail through the sock donut and spread the ends of your hair around the sock
  • Roll the sock down the length of your ponytail. Wrap your hair around the sock as you go.
  • Once you reach the base of your ponytail make sure the ends of your hair are tucked in and the sock is covered with hair.