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Monday, February 29, 2016

List: Ten things in your life that you need to declutter.

One of my biggest annoyances in life is unnecessary clutter and the disorganization it creates.  Physical clutter takes up valuable storage space and makes it harder to remain organized.  Mental clutter makes it harder to remain focused and decreases productivity.  As a double bonus, Spring is around the corner.  Removing clutter will make Spring cleaning cake!


how to be organize and remove clutter from your life

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Ten common places that need to be decluttered.


1.  Your expired medicines.
If opening your medicine cabinet leads to an avalanche of pill bottles falling on your head, then it's time to clean it out.  That tube of cream from 1975 is NOT good anymore.  Throw it away!

2.  Dated magazines and newspapers.
After you read it, toss it or pass it on to someone else!  If there's something you want to keep, rip out the article and save it in an organized fashion.  Have you ever watched an episode of Hoarders?  Those old newspapers quickly become rat toilets!

Idea:  To remain organized, I used an expandable folder like this one to store and keep important articles.  This could be something I ripped out of a magazine, tickets to a memorable event, or even a pamphlet from my travels.

3.  Your e-mail inbox.
If I don't clean out my inbox daily it gets flooded with unnecessary correspondence.

Idea:  Dedicate some time to sit down and actually unsubscribe from those pesky marketing e-mails that everyone hates and report the spam e-mails so they're automatically filtered.

4.  Your stock of beauty products.
If you haven't used a specific product in 3 years, it's time to toss it because you clearly don't need it!  Many of us are infamous for buying a product, not liking it, and then hoarding it FOREVER just in case there's a change of heart.

Idea:  Invest in fashionable beauty organizers like this perfect rustic looking one or this more modern looking one.  Whichever you prefer, make sure it's a reasonable size to house all your beauty products.  If you ever run out of room, it's time to get rid of what you don't really use or need.  It will keep you organized AND act as a beauty product supply gauge.

5.  Wires without a home.
A few spare cables are good to have, but anymore than that is just clutter.  My husband has a bin downstairs full of wires that he can't identify.  It's a wire graveyard.  You don't have room for a wire cemetery.

6.  Your social media friends and followers.
If you don't know them or don't like them, it's a good time to unfollow or unfriend them.  If you know them yet they annoy you, don't be afraid to unfollow them as well.

7.  Clothes you long retired.
People save clothes just in case one day they need them.  Give your clothes a time limit.  If you haven't worn it or fit in it for 5 years, I think it's safe to let go.  Bag them up and donate them to a local charity so that someone who needs them will wear them.

8.  The infamous mail pile.
Almost everyone I know has a pile in their house of all their mail that they need to go through.  Make a point to go through this pile weekly and eliminate the things you don't really need!  Growing up, we would call this "the pile".  It was so big, it got it's own name!

Idea:  I love this rustic wall mail holder and key hook station.  If you're mail pile is on display, you may be more likely to sort through it and eliminate the unnecessary items.

9.  The back of your fridge and freezer.
Things in the fridge go bad quickly so clean it out weekly.  Frozen food lasts longer, but not forever.  Try dating the things you put into the freezer.  This will give you a better idea of when you need to use them by before they go bad.

10.  Toxic people in your life.
Toxic people are poisonous.  There is absolutely no excuse or reason to keep them hanging around!  Delete their number, block their pages, and ignore their knocks at the door. 

What do you need to declutter?

Monday, February 22, 2016

List: The different bird species that frequent our feeders and what attracts them.


Through lots of research, failed experiments, and quality products, we have finally been able to set up a backyard bird sanctuary that we're proud of.  The joy we get every time a new species visits our feeders is hard to describe.  We love every one of our birdie friends and work hard to ensure that they'll want to visit this safe environment that we created for them.  If you're just starting out, click the related post link for an article more suited to beginners.

This post is going to be a living article.  That means as new species come to the feeder and we learn new techniques to attract those specific species, it will be updated.

Have any questions?  Need recommendations?  Send me an e-mail @ raviolisandwaterworks@gmail.com.  I'm happy to answer any and all inquiries!


how to attract different birds to backyard; backyard birding proven tips

Disclosure: This site contains affiliate links to products.  We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Please note that I would only recommend products that I would use myself and all opinions are my own.

Different species that frequent feeders.

1.  Ruby Throated Hummingbirds
I'm going to start off with the most common bird that I get inquiries about.  You guessed it.  That's hummingbirds.  These little guys are like the fairies of our bird sanctuary that never cease to leave me in awe.  They are so tiny and surprisingly smart.  While I have hanging feeders like this one, I prefer this window feeder.  It brings the hummingbirds right to my window as they feed on our homemade nectar (1 cup water & 1/4 cup sugar).  Hummingbirds are pretty bold creatures that have no problem flying right up to your window.  In fact, my loyal hummingbirds let me walk right up to them and will linger until they get my attention.  For a detailed post on how to attract hummingbirds, click here.

2.  Cardinals
Cardinals are striking birds that are a surprisingly easy specie to attract to your feeders.  All you need is a well placed feeder and a good quality bird food.  I love this versatile feeder that holds a good amount of food and is squirrel proofPlus, it's prettyWhile there's a wide array of feeders that you can use, you'll want to be particular about the food you fill it with.  Cardinals love 100% black oil sunflower seed like this one actually it's the exact one I use.  Don't be fooled into purchasing mixed bags of food.  They're often mixed with "filler seeds" that birds won't eat.

3.  House Finches & Sparrows
These birds may not be on your bucket list, but they're important.  They discover feeders easily and then frequent them all day long.  Their discovery will lead to other birdies wanting to see what all the hype is about.  Remember, birds attract other birds.  To attract house finches and sparrows, follow the same process mentioned in Cardinals.  It's worth noting, that finches are also easily attracted by following the same steps to attract American Goldfinches as listed below.

4.  American Goldfinches
These birds may be more common than I originally thought, but they're super shy.  Every time I show a picture of one at my feeder, I get lots of surprised faces.  Sometimes people accuse me of attracting someone's pet..  American Goldfinches prefer a special type of seed called nyjer seed which you can learn more about by clicking here.  I love this small seed because invasive birds like Common Grackles and Starlings ignore it.  As a double bonus, squirrels don't like it either!  This feed requires a special type of feeder since it is so fine.  I use this Woodlink Magnum Thistle Feeder because it's an inexpensive version that attracts American Goldfinches very well.

5.  Blue Jays
Blue Jays are another bird species that is common but striking.  They love to eat insects, but they will also eat your 100% black oil sunflower seed.  While they love to perch at the top of the feeder to keep guard, they rarely eat directly from my feeders.  They prefer to pick up all the seeds that dropped from the ground.  Some people have mixed feelings about Blue Jays, but I love them when they aren't scaring away the other birds.

6.  Downy Woodpeckers
These amazing creatures are one of my favorite bird species that frequent our feeders.  They will eat 100% black oil sunflower seed, but what really attracts them is suet.  The Downy Woodpeckers love my little suet feeder with a tail prop because it's comfortable woodpeckers prefer tail props for balance and the suet is accessible from both sides.  We've tried countless brands of suet bricks, but the only one that I've seen them actually eat is this no melt insect suet cakes which contains grasshopper yum.

7.  Hairy Woodpeckers
These are the slightly larger identical twins to the Downy Woodpecker and to be honest with you, I can't tell them apart if they're not next to each other.  While they're a frequent species to visit our feeder, I believe that we have more Downy Woodpecker friends.

8.  Common Grackles
These birds are invasive, come in flocks, and act like bullies.  I'm not a fan of Common Grackles, by they do love 100% black oil sunflower seed and the no melt insect suet cakes.

9.  Chickadees
These adorable little birds are another one of my favorite species that frequent our feeders.  They are tiny and very quick.  I often stare in amazement at how they hop around so quick while still landing perfectly on their feet.  While they will eat the nyjer seed, they are significantly more often found snatching our 100% black oil sunflower seed.

10.  Morning Doves
These birds look like a fat pigeon and usually scare me with their whistling sound when they fly away.  I have researched that they eat nyjer seed but I've never seen them do it and we have quite a few Morning Dove friends.  I typically find them under the larger bird feeder munching on the 100% black oil sunflower seed that fell to the ground from the messy sparrows.

11.  Starlings
These birds come in giant flocks that pass through and eat up all your expensive food.  They also scare away the other birds.  To top it off, they're aggressive with little fear of people.  I've seen them eat 100% black oil sunflower seedno melt insect suet cakes, and peanuts.

What birds are you trying to attract?
Friday, February 19, 2016

Life: Friday Ramblings


I'm real thankful for...
...a husband that made me feel like a queen on Valentines day.
He spoiled me with a beautiful necklace, homemade breakfast, and dinner at my favorite restaurant!

I'm still in shock over...
...last week's episode of The Walking Dead!
What a great way to end our Valentine's day!

I'm praying hard for...
...my grandmother who is in the hospital battling a wicked case of pneumonia.
I don't want anyone sick, ever, but my nanny suffering hits me especially hard.

I'm still laughing over...
...the Jenga battles with my two year old daughter.
It's crazy how hard my Mushy rips out those blocks and the tower NEVER tips over.

I'll never again...
...cook a skirt steak on a stove top grill in the house.
My house still smells like burnt meat and I swear I still see little puffs of smoke in the air!

I'm wishing lots of luck...
...to a great manager that had to leave us earlier in the week.
As much as he'll be missed, I know that he'll be successful in all his career endeavors!

I'm very unimpressed with...
...Snap Chat.  I finally downloaded this app but I just don't see the hype.
In an effort to save space on my phone, that app is getting uninstalled today.

I'm looking forward to...
...my girl friend's wedding next Friday.
I can't wait to dress up, celebrate, and dance the night away!

What are your Friday ramblings?
Wednesday, February 17, 2016

List: Ten reasons I love social media.

Earlier this month, I posted this article about proper social media etiquette.
I thought this post was mostly common sense so you could imagine my surprise when I got hate mail!
Yes, ladies and gentlemen, R&W officially got HATE MAIL!

This person can't understand why I heavily participate in social media and then hate on it.
Please let it be known that I do not, by any means, hate or even dislike social media.
In fact, it's the opposite!  I think it's a great tool for both business and personal reasons.
I can't believe that I'm defending a post that was clearly about people who misuse social media.

Ten reasons I love social media.

1.  People who are far away seem very close.
We all have those friends and family members that we rarely see.  Social media closes that gap!
Two years past since I saw a friend.  Facebook made it seem like I didn't miss a beat!

2.  Long distance communication is free.
With apps like Facebook, you can call or message people from other countries at no charge.
My husband is always calling his aunts in Brazil and Switzerland through Facebook for FREE! 

3.  There are unlimited opportunities to meet new people.
From dating sites to blogging, there are millions of different ways to meet new people.
I've met many amazing people through social media including many of YOU!

4.  It's a great marketing tool.
You can market anything from your used clothes to your new business through social media.
Social media is really a very effective way to promote any service or good for sale!

5.  It opens many different doors for your career.
Social media tools like Linked In are great ways to find career opportunities and post your resume.
You never know who is going to find your page or what they're going to offer you.

6.  There is an unbelieveable wealth of information.
People are constantly sharing articles of interest on social media that educate others.
I've read many articles that I never would have even thought to research because of social media.

7.  There's always someone willing to help.
You can post a question on Yahoo answers, Facebook, or wherever.  Either way, someone will answer.
You just have to be able to filter through the reliable and unreliable responses!

8.   It's entertaining.
Whether it's a good conversation, looking at a long lost friend's pictures, or playing a game it IS fun.
And who doesn't like to participate in a good form of entertainment?

9.  It's like your own record of memories.
Social media is a great way to save all your photos, videos, and memories.
The best part is that all of those memories are usually stamped with a time and date!

10.  You'll find someone to send hate mail.
Because, you know, some people just don't have anything better to do.
Smh...

Why do you love social media?
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

List: Ten words men should never say.

 Sticking to the manly man theme this week I thought it'd be fun to bring this topic back.
This is the series where we picture a manly man and cringe at them saying certain things!
 
Men and women alike all have those certain pet peeve words that trigger inner turmoil.
These words make us do a double take to the person who actually said it out loud.
Sometimes these words even warrant calling them out for actually saying them!
For me, it's when obvious he-men say things that aren't very manly!
 
Ten words manly men should never say.  
 
1.  Cocktail
"Would you like to go out some time?  We could relax at a local bar and sip a cocktail!"
Really, dude?  A cocktail?!  No thanks...

2.  Panties
"I got you exactly what you wanted for Christmas!  I bought those sexy new panties you asked for."
Did you really just use the word panties?  Never again...

3.  Co-inky Dink
"You're an accountant too?!  What a co-inky dink!!"
Excuse me as I walk away slowly...

4.  Samzies
"Whats up?"  "Nothing, you?"  "Samzies!"
That one actually happened to me.  And, no, I'm not joking...

5.  Fabulous
"I just had the most fabulous piece of rib eye steak in my entire life!"
You just took a manly meal and turned it into a tea party.  Sigh...

6.  Divas
"I'm starring in this new film, but the lead actress is such a diva."
Oh really?  A diva!  Do you even know the qualifications of such a title, bro?

7.  Giggle
"I just heard the funniest joke.  It made me giggle."
Men don't giggle.  Chuckle, maybe, but they definitely do not giggle.
8.  Tummy
"I think the cheese in the fridge is bad.  It made my tummy hurt."
I could see a he-man with a stomach, abs, or even a gut...but a tummy?  Nope...
9.  Stinky
"Can you take out the trash?  It's stinky!"
There's a reason why Hefty didn't hire a man for their commercials!
 
10.  Smidgden
"Can you smear just a smidgen of that on the bagel please?"
Men don't do smidgens of anything.  Speaking of which, they shouldn't smear either!
 
What words do you think men should avoid? 
Monday, February 8, 2016

List: Ten ways to be a nice guy.

The company I work for has me surrounded by many different men at all times of the day.
It's not as amazing as it sounds, ladies, trust me on that one!!  haha 
 The one thing I learned during this time is that all of the "manly" stereotypes are completely false.
Men have cliques, they talk crap, they enjoy a juicy story, and they're real competitive.
It's crazy when the majority of company rumors all start with the gossiping manly men!

The ladies of the office have each taken a group of these men under their wing. 
I, too, am guilty of being a part of my own clique of co-working men.
I jokingly call our clique "the nice guy list"!
  Truth is I gravitate to the nice guys.  You know, the chivalrous, good guy with a baby face!

A close co-working buddy of mine always jokingly asks "How do I get on the nice guy list?".
It's real simple, boys!  But, no worries, I'll spell it out for you with a real NICE list.

Ten ways to get on the nice guy list. 

1.  Be chivalrous.
  It's all about holding doors open, doing the heavy lifting, and being a natural knight.
Yes, there are still men that hold doors open and walk you to your car in the dark.  I work with them!

2.  Limit the wandering eye. 
Keep eye contact and don't be blatantly obvious about checking out the woman next to us.
There's nothing more awkward then when you're talking to men who aren't looking at your face!

3.  Genuinely offer to help.
   There's nothing more nice guy-ish then someone who really goes out of their way to help people.
 Last week, one of my nice guys voluntarily pushed out BY HAND everyone that was stuck in the snow.

4.  Be polite.
It's obnoxious when men forget common decencies such as "please" and "thank you".
It irritates me to no end when some men think they're justified in demanding instead of asking.

5.  Don't be obnoxiously conceited.
There's nothing wrong with being a little confident, but conceited men that only brag kill me.
You know the type!  The ones that only converse about how amazing they are at everything!

6.  Be attentive...
Nice guys have a tendency to notice things that other men don't.
It could be as simple as noticing a hair cut or as complicated as recognizing a job well done!

7.  ...but don't demand attention.
I'm all about conversation and joking around, but there's a fine line between friendly and obnoxious.
  Don't be that guy that needs constant attention and validation.

8.  Know how to keep a secret.
A nice guy is someone you can trust to keep your secrets and keep others.
The man that's always spilling other people's dirty laundry is most likely going to spill yours too! 

9.  Have a sense of humor.
A nice guy likes to laugh and also enjoys to make other people laugh.
   I  mean, how could you not put the man that makes everyone smile on the nice guy list?!

10.  Don't be offended by being a nice guy.
Believe it or not, some men just don't want to be nice.
Chances are that if they don't want to be labeled as nice, then they're just not.

What are your "nice guys" like?