Friday, April 28, 2017

Eco: Organic Gardening

I am by no means a gardener, but do have a strong interest in it. My mom has an amazing green thumb and can basically bring any dead plant back to life. Last month we just replaced some things that died in the freeze this year and I planted some seeds of beans and carrots and a tomato plant. I love this book and they have some great tips on how to garden organically, using things you already have or doing it in an inexpensive way. Having a concierge company, I have researched a TON of landscape and gardening companies throughout Houston and I manage a lot of these types of services for clients.

What are some of your gardening tips?

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

What I Like Do For Fun!

I know this is more of personal post, but I thought I would go over some things that I really like to do on my free time when I am away from Eco Modern Concierge. I do have to admit every so often I do get to combine work and pleasure and that is, of course, always fun. These are just a few things that I really enjoy doing.

Go on new adventures. This is one of my favorite things to do is going on new adventures with my husband. There is so much to explore in and around Houston. There is so much we have never done, so being tourists in our own city is fun and exciting. Bryan and I love going to try new restaurants. There is so much to learn.

Yoga. Yoga is what keeps me grounded. The past year I have gone through periods of not doing it as often as I would like and I can tell how it effects my stress level, physical ability, and overall being. This is something I have been trying to make more of a priority.

Spend time with family and friends. I love seeing our family and friends and spending time with them, but sometimes it just doesn't feel like we get enough time. My family is about an hour away from where we live so we don't get to see them as often as I would like, but we have definitely tried to make it more of a priority.

Volunteer. I LOVE volunteering and there are several organizations that I have volunteered for, for many years. It is very rewarding to give back to organizations that mean a lot to you. I have met so many different people, learned new things and helped out in various ways. I am also part of a volunteer organization called Altrusa International.

Go to the theatre. One thing that many may or may not know about me is that I love going to plays and musicals. My mother-in-law and I have season tickets to Broadway Across America and TUTS and we always look forward to going to see them.

Go to museums. I have always been a fan of museums. I remember when I was in high school my grandma was my museum buddy and would take into Houston to visit museums for school projects and extra credit things. Briefly in high school I was going to minor in art history classes and had an awesome art history professor at UH.

Learn new things. Learning new things is fun and exciting for me. I started brushing up on my spanish last year. I have taken various classes through the years. Trying new exercise classes, etc.

Go to concerts and / or music festivals. I LOVE music and have been into for as long as I can remember. Growing up my parents music of choice was classic rock and country, so now I pretty much love all types of music. Admittedly, I have not kept up with all the "cool, new" music like I should and am not as knowledgable as I would like to be, but love music. In college I volunteered at a college radio station, so I became very familiar with all different types of music, but indie music in particular.

Ride my bike. I love reading my bike. I find it to be fun and adventurous. There are so many different hike and bike trails throughout Houston and the suburbs of Houston.

Reading. Although I don't get to read nearly as much as I would like to, it is something that I really enjoy doing. I tend to read non-fiction business books and professional development books. I also read fiction, but really like learning.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Number 1 Mold Remover for Tile

I thought I would share this tidbit because this is something that I have struggled with for the past several years after we bought our house. The shower in our master bathroom is floor to ceiling tile and it is SOOOOOO hard to keep clean and from having mold grow on it. I, of course, wanted to use eco products, but then we started testing out 5 million different products because NOTHING seemed to get the grout clean from mold growing. We even tried just spraying bleach and even that barely worked. Finally we found a Clorox bathroom product that helps a lot. Since I love eco things so much I hate using it, but it is give or take and I want a mold free shower. THEN we started squeegeeing the shower after we get out and and that helps keep the mold down SOOOO much. It is a thousand times better than it used to be. I found this squeegee on Amazon and of course they are all basically the same, but I just really liked this one because we have more of modern aesthetic.

Do you have any tips for keeping the mold to a minimum on tile showers?

Friday, April 21, 2017

Road Trip Tunes

So, I started this post back in 2014 when we were headed to Colorado and it has been almost exactly 3 years ago, so I thought I would go ahead and post. I am taking these cds with me on my road trip to Pittsburgh and you know what, I still really like most of these albums.

Since I will be road tripping soon here are some cds I decided to get on Amazon since we had not heard most of these full albums yet. Yes I know, I am a little behind on the music. I really like to buy cds as opposed to downloading the music because I can pass it along to someone who wants to listen before they buy, you usually get a little pamphlet with lyrics or info on it and sometimes something extra like a dvd. Plus, with Amazon a lot of times they have an autorip feature as well. 

I have not kept up with music like I used to. Most of these bands and performers I have seen in concert several times before and really enjoy. 

  • The Black Keys: Turn Blue
  • Cold Play: Ghost
  • Robert Ellis: The Lights from the Chemical Plant
  • Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings: Give the People What They Want
  • Beyonce: Beyonce
  • Ingrid Michaelson: Lights Out
  • Fitz and the Tantrums: More than Just a Dream
  • Chromeo: White Women
What is some of your favorite music right now?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Client Busy, Single Mama: Before and After

I did this professional organizing project last year and have worked with this person on a few projects throughout her house. She is a single mama and a foster mama and she just needed help because she wanted to spend more time with her kiddos on the weekend. As a professional organizer, not everything is about making it super pretty, it is about being functional for the families needs and I have loved working with her!



Monday, April 17, 2017

Made in the USA + Eco: Water Hose

I stumbled upon this eco water hose while doing concierge work for a client at one of my favorite hardware stores here in Houston, Southland's. This is just a neighborhood store that seems to have everything that you need. As many of you know, I am all about all things eco if possible. I love that this water hose is made in the USA and is lead free, so no harsh lead coming from the hose. We needed another hose on the side of our house so this was perfect when I saw. I had bought an eco hose at our last house and was happy to see this one. It is perfect for watering your organic gardens.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Ways Eco Modern Concierge is Eco Friendly

Eco Modern Concierge was formed on the basis of me, Amy, the owner have strong ideas about being eco-friendly. I wanted to incorporate an eco aspect because I like doing what I can when I can to help the environment. I am in no perfect at all, as I have said many, many times on here and on my social sites. For example, I can't kick the paper habit completely because I still love writing letters and reading magazines / books. Being in Houston the eco movement was much more strong several years about. It still is to a degree and more businesses are becoming LEED certified and trying to reduce their waste. When I am doing personal assistant work and professional organization products I try to use items that I already have. Below are some, but not all, of the ways that Eco Modern Concierge is eco-friendly.
  • We combine trips as much as possible to reduce waste.
  • We use public transportation when we can.
  • We support local businesses.
  • We use reusable containers whenever possible. 
  • We recycle.
  • We use eco-friendly products when we can.
  • We use reusable bags when shopping for clients, unless otherwise requested.
  • We give back.
  • We volunteer.
  • We sponsor and support eco efforts in the Houston community.
  • We use energy efficient appliances and devices when we can.
  • We use what we can when we can.
  • We reduce paper waste when we can.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

11 Ways to be Productive Throughout the Day

I know you have probably read 5 million different things on how you can be productive throughout the day, but I wanted to share some tips on what I do when I have the most productive days.

Prepare for the next day the night before. Lay clothes out the night before, get all papers and supplies ready for the next day, prepare as much of your breakfast / lunch for for the next day. When I do these things I feel way more at ease and ready to tackle the next day. Plus, I am not running around like a mad woman the next morning trying to get all these things done.

Get enough rest. When I get the proper amount of sleep I feel WAY better, like most do.

Get up early. I am a morning person and feel that I can get SOOOO much done early in the morning when there are few distractions. Plus, I get up early so I can beat the horrible Houston traffic.

Clean off counter tops / do the dishes. The night before or the morning before I leave for work I like to make sure the counters are clear and the dishes are done. This makes it easy when I come home from work to get started on dinner.

Make the bed. I don't know why I feel better when I make the bed in the morning, but I do. Mornings that I leave before my husband, he will often do it. It is something that is so simple and quick. When I come home it feels like things are more complete.

Drink lots of water. This is something I have been trying to do more of the past year and I think I have accomplished it pretty well, but of course there are days / weeks that I don't drink enough. The key for me is to carry around a bottle of water around with me always and refill it throughout the day.

Exercise. This is something that I have struggled with through the years, but when I exercise at the beginning of the day I feel SO good throughout the day. My exercise of choice, as you may know, if you have been reading a while, is yoga. I love the stretch I get early in the morning.

Listen to music. Listening to music gets me pumped up for the day and during the day.

Take breaks. It is important to take breaks throughout the day to regroup. For me I like to get outside and walk around. There is something about being in nature that I love. I love work exploring and just taking a break by walking.

Plan throughout the day. I like to keep planning throughout the day. I utilize my planner a lot to keep track of what I need to do, clients, meetings, networking events, personal events, etc. I feel more on top of things when I plan throughout the day. It helps me stay organized and ready to continue to tackle the day.

Write things down. I constantly write things down. Just like planning throughout the day, it helps me stay organized and be productive. As a concierge /professional organizer this is a must in my book.

How do you stay productive throughout the day?

Monday, April 10, 2017

Spring Cleaning: Items You Forget to Clean Pt.2

Last year I wrote this post on items you forget to clean and thought I would just add onto it because you don't always think of things right away. I would make a check list to make sure you are cleaning all the right spots.

  • Window sills
  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator drawers
  • Dog water / food bowls
  • Inside of cabinets and drawers
  • Top of windows
  • Inside of canister lights
  • Hairbrush
  • Soap dish
  • Sponges
  • Under couch
  • Under bed

Friday, April 7, 2017

Eco-Friendly Things to Do in Houston

There are all kinds of eco-friendly things that you can do in Houston on regular basis whether it is visiting a local farm to table restaurant or taking a stroll through one of Houston's beautiful parks. Below are some sites to some eco-friendly happenings throughout Houston.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Eco Organizing Projects: Use What You Already Have

When I am doing organizing projects for clients, I always say use what you already have. Of course, there are will always be people who want to go for a aesthetic, me included, but it you don't have to go and purchase something then don't. This saves on time, money, waste, etc. Houston is a large city and as a professional organizer I am constantly driving and the less driving I / others can do the better for the environment. Below are some common items most of us have that we can use to get organized.
  • Old jars and cans for all kinds of little odds and ends like utensils, office supplies, etc.
  • Egg cartons for jewelry, buttons, craft supplies, etc. 
  • Shipping boxes for anything that needs a box
  • Shoe boxes for anything that needs a box
  • Tension rods for cleaning supplies, towels, etc.
  • Binder clips to hold random items tougher like cords or money
  • Spice jars for all kinds of little odds and ends
  • Dish rack to separate lids, documents, etc.
  • Napkin holders for bills, papers, etc.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Made in the USA / Eco: Packing Peanuts

Being a professional organizer and having a concierge company, I have done a ton of moves and packing through the years and have become very familiar with eco packing options. I am always thrilled when clients specifically request eco options. It makes me SO happy. Office Depot has eco peanuts and they are made in the USA. They are plant based and compostable. I found them here in Houston and think they have them in most locations in Houston and surrounding areas. I know there are few other places to get them in Houston as well. Do you have a favorite place to get eco packing peanuts?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Eco Easter Ideas and How to Green Your Easter

The last few years I have done various eco Easter posts on the blog and wanted to post about them again. Here is eco Easter egg options. Here is how to green your Easter.

There are many ways to go green during Easter. Try to buy less for the holiday if at all possible. With that said below are some eco options during Easter time.
  • Reuse baskets from year to year. If you must get a new basket I always see a ton of options at places like Goodwill.
  • Use shredded newspaper or magazines for Easter basket "grass".
  • Dye eggs naturally using spices/vegetables. Here are some options here. Of course, there is always Pinterest with a ton of options. Also, I saw at Whole Foods that they have natural dye packets. 
  • Eco, compostable eggs made from plants.
  • Check out resale shops or make your own decorations.
  • Use local or fair trade chocolate from places like Tejas Chocolate (spotted their chocolate at Jane and John Dough Bakery), Araya Artisan ChocolateThe Chocolate Bar and Cacao & Cardamom.
  • Give plants as gifts like herbs or Easter lilies. 
  • Cook an Easter meal with in season veggies. 
  • Donate or give away Easter items you no longer use.
  • If you are using disposable plates/utensils use bamboo or a brand that is compostable. You can find tons of options online or at places like Whole Foods.
  • Buy eco toys. There are many options on Amazon. Most toy stores now have great eco plastic and wood toy options. 
  • Buy items from local shops. There are great shops all over Houston that I love like Revival Market (food items), Penzy's (spices), Biscuit Home (kids, adults, home, etc), and Space Montrose (stationery, jewelry among all kinds of items). I will need to do a future post of local places in Houston that I really like.
Do you have any eco Easter options?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Adult Easter Basket for Men

Does anyone else give their significant others Easter basket goodies? Here is an idea that I gave my husband last year for Easter. For me it is hard to think of things that he will enjoy and doesn't have. There are so many things you can put in there like a photobook, Instax film camera, small LEGO set, leather goods, their favorite drink mixes, movies, records/ cds, books, etc. etc. Below is what was in his basket:
  • Revolution Bloody Mary Mix. Made in Austin, TX.
  • Tito's Vodka. His favorite vodka and made in Austin, TX.
  • Yeti cup. Not the one pictured because he already had that one, but a larger one. They are an Austin, TX company, but some of their products are made in the USA and some in China.
  • Trader Joe's peanut butter cups and egg chocolates. The peanut butter cups are sooo good. Peanut butter cups are made in the USA and the chocolate eggs are made in France.
  • I filled the eggs with lotto tickets and the golden egg had a Darth Vader keychain in it that he saw when we were at the lego store. The lotto ticket are made in ? and the keychain is made in Hungary and China.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Made in Houston / Eco: Loam Agronomics

I was contacted by an awesome colleague that helped me do some marketing a while back and she is currently working with Loam Agronomics and asked me if I would post about them in exchange for a CSA box. I usually will not promote anything without using it first or knowing more about it, so I asked if I could visit the farm. They said absolutely, so along with some others we got to tour this awesome farm that is located in Richmond, TX. I have already told SO many people about it haha. I learned a TON. 

They are sustainable and are working on their organic certification. All produce comes from their farm. There was conventional farming there for some time before so they are trying to heal the land from that. The farm is 288 acres and has the potential to feed up to 10,000 people what?!?! How awesome is that! When we went out the farm with met with the guys who run it and it was refreshing that they were willing to answer any questions we had and didn't skirt around anything. They were open and honest. 

I got my first CSA box at the beginning of March and it had SO much in it. They say that one CSA box can potentially feed up to a family of 4 and you can always add boxes. You can go out to the farm and do a you can pick as well with some produce. The boxes are made from a sustainable alternative to cardboard and can be reused. 

So I am pretty pissed off at myself because I was invited out to visit this awesome farm and brought my big, fancy camera to take photos. I took a ton of photos after our tour with point and shoot. I never opened up the screen to look at the photos because it was beautiful out and I just used the automatic setting. I get home and see that my memory card was not in there so there were NO photos, except the ones I took on my phone which were not many or that great. Nonetheless, I learned a TON and here are some of the photos below. 

The sweet farm dog Nikita. 

The awesome hoop houses they made. 

Got my boot a lot more dirty 😜 and the freaking camera with no memory card in it 😭

My first CSA box with Loam Agronomics. SOOOO good!!