6.16.2017

how i declutter

One of the reasons I look forward to summer is because I finally have time to declutter (organization NERD hello). These first few weeks of summer act as a little "reset" for me: time to take a breath, practice some self-care, and spend lots of time in the sun. My "reset" also includes a whole lot of organization. However, I don't want to spend TOO much time organizing, and I want my results to last, so I have a specific way I tidy up. For this post, I've chronicled my best tips for organization, sorted by type of space!

+GETTING PREPPED
To start off your organization spree, make your bed and get everything off your floor. This way, you'll have space to lay things out on while you organize. This will reduce frustration and cut down on time it takes you to declutter.

+FIRST AREA: CLOSET AND/OR DRESSER
Start by taking all of your clothes out of your closet and laying them on your bed. You are going to be sorting into four piles: warm weather clothes to keep, cold weather clothes to keep, donate/hand-me-down, and recycle (I'll get to the how to recycle later).

Pick up each item of clothing and think about if it's really you (wear what you are!), if it brings you joy, if it is in good condition, and, the big question: if you were in a store would you buy this right now? If you answer yes to those questions, put it in the pile for its weather type. If you decide to part with it but it's still in good condition, put it in your donate/hand-me-down pile. And if it's something that no one will want, put it in the recycle pile. Do this with all of the clothing.

+WHAT TO DO WITH THE PILES
Keep:
Put the clothes you decide to keep back in your closet, with the current season's clothes most accessible. Here's the catch: put the hangers backwards. When you wear something, put the hanger the correct way. At the end of the year or season, if the hanger is still backwards then it's probably time to part with that piece of clothing since you haven't found time to wear it (unless it's like a Dior ball gown, def keep that).
Donate/Give Away:
Find these clothes loving homes. Whether it's making a Goodwill drop off, sending them home with friends, giving them to your younger neighbor, or even selling them on Poshmark, make sure these don't hang around in your room for much longer.
Recycle:
Take these to your local H&M. You'll get 15% off and they'll recycle them, so it's a win-win! Some Levi's, American Eagle, Madewell, and North Face stores do this too for various rewards. Get rewarded for rewarding YOURSELF by decluttering and for rewarding THE EARTH by recycling. Win-win-win-win.

As for your dresser, do the same "four pile" method as above. Additionally, fold your tshirts like how I did below and invest in small bins for undies and socks.

+SECOND AREA: DESK/STUDY SPACE
I know for me, this is the place that takes the biggest hit from clutter. Before you start to tidy, think about yourself and your study habits. This will help you know what to save so that you can refer to it later. For me, I only save my notebooks from Spanish because everything else I can easily look up on Google or in my virtual notebooks. I gather old course materials from throughout the year and recycle them. I try to save binders and folders for future use if they're in good shape!

Then, go through your supplies like pencils and sort out anything that you have too many of. Donate those to a local school supply drive if they're use-able. Anything that's broken should be recycled or thrown it away. Lastly, put together a pencil bag of things to use next year so you know what you'll need to buy!

+THIRD AREA: BATHROOM
One of my biggest solutions for bathroom clutter was getting a small bin for things I use every day. It has my foundation and brush, eyelash curler, mascara, cleanser, and moisturizer. I take it out from the cabinet, use the items, then put it away. This also helps set apart what you really use, and what you can throw away.

Go through your makeup and toss what's past its prime/dried out/has been replaced. Throw away samples you won't use and empty bottles. If you have an awesome product that you love, like a great mascara, then throw away all other mascaras. 

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I hope these tips will help you clear your clutter, and therefore clear your mind! I've also been pinning some awesome minimalist interior design inspo and organization tips on this Pinterest board.

stay sunny
meg

6.11.2017

ruffles galore

At the moment, everyone's favorite embellishment seems to be ruffles. As a long-time ruffle lover myself, I'm super into this trend because of its feminine and nostalgic feel. They look good on so many body types and clothing items: from shorts, to tops, to even swimsuits.

My friend Lucy from Daily Dose of Prep feels the same way, so we are collaborating today to share two different ways to wear ruffles. If you've never visited Daily Dose of Prep, definitely add it to your reading list and check out her cute post. Lucy's classic style and dedication to her blog constantly amaze me-- I think you'll love it!

As for my look, I'm wearing a dress from Shein. Don't get me wrong, Shein can be hit or miss, but I'd say this was a hit at $17! I especially like the one shoulder style because while I think off the shoulder dresses are super cute, they can be impractical for me because they constantly slip. So, the one shoulder was a more comfortable compromise.
 I wore the dress while exploring downtown Columbus and Franklin Conservatory with Rachel and our friend Anna. We had tons of fun!
Look at our butterfly friend!


I also put together some other ruffle-y pieces for you to shop:

stay sunny
meg

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5.31.2017

my favorite smoothie bowl recipe

As temperatures have been heating up, I bet your Instagram feed has seen its fair share of smoothie bowls. I mean, they're basically a food blogger's dream: impressively gorgeous, customizable, and their toppings pack an extra nutrient punch.


As one of my first breakfasts of summer, I decided to create smoothie bowl of my own with all of my favorite goodies.  Rachel and I hit Whole Foods for some pretty fruits, then she came over to take photos and enjoy with me. I wrote down the completed recipe so I could present it on the blog and you could make a beautiful breakfast for yourself! So, grab a friend and your blender-- you're gonna wanna make this one.

THE BASE
makes two bowls
  • 1/4 ripe avocado....(or 1/2 of those cute mini ones)
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 1 cup of frozen raspberries (or any frozen berry, use a lighter berry for a greener color)
  • 3 handfuls of fresh baby spinach (or more if you're feelin green)
  • 1 handful baby kale
  • 1.5 cups sugar free coconut milk (full fat for those healthy fats!
  • 1/2 tsp matcha with 1/2 tsp hot water
Blend until creamy, add more coconut milk if it won't blend. (Optional: place your bowl in the freezer for 10 minutes to thicken it so the toppings don't sink!)

THE TOPPINGS
The toppings are what make the bowl. I added tons of fruit and seeds, and you can also add nut butters!


Some ideas:
  • Pomegranate
  • Kiwi
  • Dragonfruit
  • Citrus slices
  • Blueberries
  • Fruit cut with melon baller
  • Banana slices
  • Drizzled yogurt
  • Chia pudding
  • Drizzled nut butter
  • Hemp hearts
  • Chia seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Almond slices
  • Coconut flakes/chips


For more inspo, follow my Pinterest board.

stay sunny
meg

recipe created by meg schwieterman, all photos by rachel issler

5.28.2017

ten foods with easy sugar free options

Ice cream, slushies, popsicles, lemonade... all the foods that characterize a super fun summer. Our sugar intake tends to increase when we're out of school: meeting friends for ice cream, drinking milkshakes by the pool, or eating tons of candy at sleepovers. Of course, that's life. But as more and more studies point to the harmful effects of too much sugar (inflammation, acne, GI issues, even early death), something has to give.

As we up our sugar intake in some places, it's important to watch out for added sugars elsewhere. We need to find a healthy balance. Many ordinary foods have mounds sugar hiding in them, and there are easy alternatives to avoid this! After being sugar free for three months, I found a lot of really yummy ways to cut out sugar. And I don't mean by using gross sweeteners made in a lab, these are natural, wholesome solutions.


1. Yogurt // Buying plain yogurt (Siggi's is my favorite), and sweetening the taste by adding fruit, fruit reductions, nut butters, or a little bit of honey is a great way to cut sugar in your favorite snack

2. Cereal // Use plain puffed grains like kamut or millet, honey-sweetened granola, or Nature's Path fruit juice corn flakes 

3. Tea and Coffee // You can get used to anything. So, if you're hooked on super sweet tea or a coffee with 2 sugars, try giving it up for a week and use honey, coconut sugar, or unsweetened coconut milk. Coconut milk is naturally sweet and chock full of healthy fats! You'll get used to the taste and save yourself sugar on the daily.

4. Granola Bars // Tons of granola bars marketed as "healthy" are chock-full of sugars. Try RX Bars, Simple Squares, or make your own!

5. Nut Butters // There's a reason why all homemade nut butters are all over heath bloggers' Instagrams. They're yummy, fresh, customizable, and do not contain the sugar content of many store-bought brands. 

6. Alternative Milks // If you're a vegan or a nut milk drinker, be sure you check the ingredients. Extra sugar is a common preservative and ingredient in almond, soy, coconut and other milks. For an easy, real food, all natural version, it's easy to make your own

7. Oatmeal // Spice up your morning oats with cinnamon, fruit, and nut butter instead of sugar. 

8. Waffles and Pancakes // In my personal experience, breakfast is the meal where it's easiest to pile on the sugar. To avoid that mistake, look for brands like Simple Mills that don't contain sugar! (Or make your own from scratch)

9. Chocolate // After being sugar-free, my lifesaver has been coconut sugar chocolate (like Eating Evolved or Vivoo). 

10. Jelly // If you're a pb + j lover, it'd be easy to sub your jelly for a brand with no added sugar, like Dafour. Or, you can make your own fruit reduction by boiling berries with citrus juice until they break down.

Enjoy your summer, and remember it's all about balance. Eat that popsicle, but look out for those extra sugars!

stay sunny
meg

ps- so sorry if you saw this post unfinished last week! I accidentally took it out of drafts when it wasn't done. 

5.17.2017

prom pictures

I'm currently sitting in a hot and boring study hall in my non-air conditioned school, flipping through pictures and wishing I was back at prom. I attended my first prom a couple of weeks ago and it was a blast! Of course, I was super excited to dress up in a fancy dress and spend time with my friends before the school year ends. I thought I would share some photos from the event with you all...


This is the lineup for what I wore:  dress 1 2 | shoes (similar) | earrings 

I absolutely loved my dress, it was the very first one I tried on so I got lucky!

My pretty pretty best friends
Get someone that looks at you the way Auggie looks at me <3
My little sister, Emma, was just as excited for me to go to Prom as I was
Rachel in front of the camera for once :-)
I kept jewelry to a minimum because the dress was so embellished.  But, I did get to wear my great grandma's rings from the 40's!
I hope everyone had fun at their proms, good luck on final exams!

shop the post

stay sunny
meg

5.03.2017

new about page

Hi! Just popping in to say I updated my about page after a long while of "under construction" :-) I love how my blog has grown and changed with me over the past four years, and I hope my new page reflects that. Check it out here, and as always, stay sunny.

meg


4.29.2017

what's the deal with coffee (and how i take mine)


Can coffee be part of a healthy lifestyle? Do dieticians drink coffee? Do I personally?

The answer to all of the above is yes. If that surprises you, let's face it, coffee lovers get a bad rap. The morning ritual for people all over the world is referred to as a drug, addictive, or just plain bad-for-you. I'm NOT saying that coffee can't be addictive or can't have adverse effects. I AM saying that, if you drink coffee in moderation because you like it (not because you need it), and if you don't load your cup with sugar or other chemicals, it's no big deal. (Read a helpful article by an RD here).

You can utilize your morning cup of coffee in a way to make it work for your body, get tons of nutrients, de-stress, and all the while feel more energized. Here's how I do it:
___________________

1 cup of regular black coffee, usually trader joe's or whole foods

1/4 cup MALK almond milk (or homemade)
I use this type of almond milk because it's literally just almonds and water, no additives, sugar, or gums. I mostly add it for flavor and to help keep me full after breakfast while I'm at school. It contains vitamin E, which helps your skin stay healthy. AND it has fiber, for your gut!

2 tsp coconut oil- I did some research on WHY you should put this healthy fat in your coffee, besides that it makes it super frothy and yummy. (read about more here)
1. it increases energy: coconut oil is made up of lipids that can be quickly metabolized as fuel instead of becoming stored fat.
2. it speeds up your metabolism: this gives your body a little boost to metabolize your breakfast early in the morning and so you can have an energy boost when you need it, early in the day.
3. it's naturally antimicrobial: the lauric acid found in coconut oil is super helpful in strengthening your immune system and fighting off sickness. It helps with preventing cold sores, which I'm prone to.

...and this is definitely not scientific, but when you sip coconut oil coffee from a mug the oil will also moisturize your lips :-)

1 tsp honey- Honey has energy benefits + more, but I just add a small amount for the flavor.

how to prepare:
Froth it all up with a milk frother (I use this one that's $20 and doesn't take up much space). This is the easiest way, but if you want to blend it in a blender or Nutribullet that would work too!

i sometimes add...
ashwaghanda: if you can overlook the fact that you're basically putting shrubs in your coffee, this power herb helps reduce cortisol levels (your stress hormone). I take it when I'm feeling anxious. Not to mention it boosts memory and reduces inflammation, creating the perfect cure for exam week :-) I take it in a drop form, but many people also like it as powder! See what works for you.
collagen: this super protein helps your hair, skin, and nails grow and stay healthy. It also rebuilds your gut wall, which stops inflammatory toxins from leaking into your body! I use Vital Proteins brand.

lastly
please note that coffee is NOT breakfast. Eat some real food, people. :-)

stay sunny
meg

please note this blog post is not to be used as a substitute for professional or medical advice. everyone is different, do not let what works for my body harm your body.