Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween! Do you celebrate? Are you dressing up? Do you have to work today? I am working then passing out candy to the neighbor kiddos. Whatever you do be safe and  have fun!

Friday, October 27, 2017

Learn Something New: Essential Oils

In 2014, I started this draft of learning something new each month, which was SO fun. It was funny to read what I said back then because now, I use DoTerra, Young Living and Gritman oils and I am no longer an oil loyalist, but use DoTerra the most. I think all of these brands are wonderful. I use some grocery store brands in some of my cleaning products from time to time. I love essential oils and will continue to use them. I love mixing blends and using them while I am working. Some of my current favorites are lemongrass, clove/orange/cinnamon blend, OnGaurd, Theives, etc. I love following Grapefruit and Gold on Instagram to get inspiration on various blends and what to do with oils. I got that EO box during Amazon Prime day. 

So here is my thoughts on EOs back then.....

I have been intrigued by essential oils for years now. I remember when I was younger my mom would have tea tree oil in various products that was supposed to be calming and I loved the smell of it. There are so many different brands and kinds of oils out there it is hard knowing which ones are "the best".

When we moved to the suburbs I decided to go exploring on many different days just to see what there was to do, where to go, etc in our area. I have some clients that love this detox place about 45 minutes from my house called Deer Lake Lodge, so I decided to go check it out. I was very interested in seeing what it is all about and possibly detoxing there some day. It is a very calming and beautiful place. When I went there they guy told me I could sit in on an essential oils class they would be having a few hours later, after some contemplating I decided to leave and come back for the class. I was super excited because I had always wanted to learn about essential oils. 

The woman who taught it, Sweet Mama, was super nice and informative. Plus, once again like my calligraphy class, it was a beautiful, sunny day. I really wanted to know what oils would help with stress and headaches along with other ailments Bryan or I would encounter. Bryan isn't always convinced of my "natural" ways of doing things, but he usually just goes along with it for the moment. I knew I wanted to use a really pure oil for my body and maybe something less pure, but good for cleaning products. I took a ton of notes and thought that it was great information. 

I ended up deciding on Doterra oils. I was debating between Doterra, Young Living and Mountain Rose. I have researched a TON on pure oils, so I know Doterra and Young Living have a rivalry of some sort, but from the beginning I was leaning towards Doterra after reading about them and then them being recommended years ago and then finally Sweet Mama saying she used them. So I decided to go with my gut. I don't use the oils every day, but so far I have been very pleased with them. Who knows maybe that will change in the future. 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Professional Organizer's Morning Routine: Adonna Braly of Clutter Roundup

Since I love hearing the morning routines of others I asked some of my fellow Houston professional organizer colleagues to send what their morning routines are. Adonna Braly is the owner of Clutter Roundup and is a certified professional organizer in Houston. I met her a few months ago at the NAPO Conference in Pittsburgh and loved her energy. She is so much fun to be around and here is her morning routine. 

  • I wake up at about 5:30a.
  • Immediately head to kitchen for coffee!
  • 30 minutes of meditation on outside patio. (I try my hardest not to check email)
  • Come back in, make breakfast, and then check email while eating at my desk.
  • After breakfast it’s back to bedroom to make the bed, without fail every morning.  
  • Brush my teeth, and at the gym by 7 – 7:30ish.  

I work in Houston, Sugar Land, Rosenberg, El Campo, Victoria and surrounding areas.
I’m a generalist – home and office, coming from a more holistic approach, offering Feng Shui.    

Monday, October 23, 2017

Made / Assembled in the USA: Sheet Masks

Anyone who knows me knows that I am not a huge beauty product person. I was reading online what one person did when they got off of a flight and it was use a sheet mask. I have to say I enjoy this little ritual now as well. Since I have a concierge company and do professional organizing, I have a TON of clients who use these as well. The Andalou brand is assembled in the USA and the YES brand is made in the USA. Granted the ingredients in both of them aren't completely clean, they are the more eco versions compared to some of there brands. I found these at stores in Houston, but know they are sold all over. Do you have a favorite sheet mask you use? 

Friday, October 20, 2017

Halloween Roundup: Eco Ideas, Organized Halloween and Giving Back

I thought I would do a round up of past Halloween posts from the blog. It is always fun to go back and see what I wrote.
  • Here is a way to give back this Halloween
  • Halloween cards from past years. Look here and here

Share some of your favorite Halloween posts from your favorite bloggers.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Professional Organizer's Morning Routine : Amy Vance of Eco Modern Concierge

Is anyone else obsessed with finding out the morning routines of others? I love reading what people do in the mornings. There are many things where I think, "why don't I do that?" Here is how my typical morning goes when I don't start work super early or when I don't have spanish class. A little background, I am Amy and own Eco Modern Concierge here in Houston, TX. Eco Modern Concierge does professional organizing and personal assistance /concierge services for businesses and individuals in and around Houston.

Night before: I prep everything I will need the next day for work, set out my clothes and pack a gym bag.

5:30-45am: I get up brush my teeth, get my gym clothes on. I go downstairs and let our sweet boy (dog), Rothko out to pee. I typically eat on the go. I usually grab water and eat half of a Sinfull Bakery Everything Bar while driving. I take my vitamins before leaving the house, fish oil & a multivitamin.

6-6:15am: I leave the house. 

6:30-6:45am: If I get to the gym early I check my email and social sites or read a book. 

7am: I go to my yoga class or just work out at the gym. If I am working from home I try to meditate, go for a run or do stretches early in the morning.

8am: I get ready for work. 

8:30-9am: I either go into the office or start client work. It depends on my appointments I have throughout the day. 

9am: Days I am with a client I will work either half day or a full day depending on the projects and what the clients need. That way the second part of the day I can book other clients. If not, I do office work, I am answering emails, booking appointments, work on blog posts, etc.

10am: I am still working, but if I am able to I will make a smoothie or grab a snack. I get hungry and like to make sure I have snacks always on hand.

11:30am - noon: It's time for lunch. I try to eat healthy if I can, but sometimes I just grab whatever we have like leftovers or I schedule lunch meetings, which is rare but happens on occasion. 

What does your morning routine look like?

Monday, October 16, 2017

Made in the USA + Eco: Floor Cleaner

I don't know about you, but I am pretty picky when it comes to my cleaning products. I have caved and gone with non eco products due to what works best and husband compromise. As a floor cleaner I really like this Better Life one. It is made in the USA and it smells good. Many times clients hire Eco Modern Concierge because we give recommendations of products we like, so I am constantly testing and trying various products. What are some of your favorite eco cleaning products? 

Friday, October 13, 2017

6 Last Minute Tips to Get Organized to Host a Halloween Party

Throwing a last minute halloween party? Here are 5 tips to get you organized.

  • Decor. Go outside and gather leaves and pinecones. If all else fails go to the dollar store for webbing.
  • Drinks. Have a signature drink or byob.
  • Look on Pinterest. There are all kinds of quick food ideas on there 
  • Smell. Essential Oils for smell. To get that great fall small use several drops of clove and cinnamon bark essential oils in a diffuser or simmer water, orange peels, cinnamon sticks and cloves on the stove.
  • Lighting. Use candles or pick up cheap ones at the dollar store and change the lightbulbs to black, orange or green lights.
  • Pictures. Pick up some disposable cameras and have guests pass them around. Fun to see what kind of photos they took.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

5 Productivity Tips + Hacks

Recently have been asked to speak on panels and taught classes on productivity tips and hacks. As a professional organizer, I get asked constantly to help others stay productive, so they have more time. Who doesn't want more time on their hands?! I will hopefully do a series and continue to post productivity tips and hacks. Below are 5 tips and hacks that I and many of my clients use.

Use the Pomodoro technique. This is great technique to use to really stay focused. You pick a task to get accomplished and set a timer for 25 minutes. Then after the timer dings you take a 5 minute break. If you focus on one thing at a time it will help you get more accomplished and be more productive.

Use site blockers. Site blockers are a great way to not be on certain sites while you are trying to complete tasks. Like social media sites. 

Prep the night before. This helps so much when you are trying to get ready in the morning. If you have your clothes already picked out, lunch possibly made, what you need for the next day, etc. it can be a huge time saver. 

Outsource tasks. If you outsource things like errands, admin tasks, etc. you can gain so much more time to do things you love. This is where Eco Modern Concierge comes in ;)

Do what you can and stay positive. Simple as that. You can't do it all and if have a great attitude all will work out just fine. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Made in the USA + Eco: Mahalo Antioxidant Mask

I received this Mahalo BEAN antioxidant face mask in one of my Beauty Heroes boxes. It is made of all natural ingredients and is made in the USA. It smells divine and you use the brush to put it on. It leaves my skin smelling good and feeling fresh. What is your favorite made in the USA face mask?


Friday, October 6, 2017

10 Things People Outsource

Owning a concierge company and doing professional organizing, there are so many things that my clients in and outside of Houston outsource. Being a concierge company we are often part of the outsourcing that people do because they don't want to do certain tasks or just don't have the time. Here are 10 common things that people outsource.

Administrative tasks: There are so many resources out there where you can outsource your admin tasks. Eco Modern Concierge does a TON of admin tasks. 

Concierge / Errand services: Do you have 5 million errands and not sure how to get it all done? Call a concierge service. That is why our clients hire Eco Modern Concierge. It is because they don't have time to get everything done or just don't want to do certain things. 

Grocery delivery: There are services like Shipt and Instacart that you can use get your grocery delivered. Eco Modern Concierge often gets asked to buy groceries and people often use our services or similar services because we really get to know the client, brands they like and dislike, know when to restock, etc. 

Cleaning services: After many years of begging my husband for a cleaning person to come in, he finally caved last year and we LOVE it. Clients often outsource this and it makes their lives so much easier. 

Organizing services: Since I am a professional organizer here in Houston, I thought I should definitely include organizing on the list. There are SO many people in need of help and you can find a professional organizer in your area by going to

Food prep: A lot of my clients use individuals or services to meal prep for them. This saves them so much time and makes meal times super easy. This is especially great for busy families.

Food delivery: Do you ever order take out and have it delivered? So many people do by using apps like Door Dash, Favor, etc. I have used them especially if I am stuck at a clients house and didn't bring anything to eat. 

Research: Many clients have used Eco Modern Concierge's services to help with research whether this is for a work project or a vacation. There are various services like ours, apps and websites you can use. 

Phone answering: If you own a business you can outsource someone to answer your phone for you during business hours or during non-business hours. 

Landscaping services: When my husband and I moved several years ago, our yard size greatly increased and the previous owners said the current landscapers would give us the same rate, so we jumped on it. It is such a great thing not having to constantly do yard work. We do, do yard work in between service days, but really like outsourcing it. Many of my clients also outsource their yards and there are so many companies and individuals to choose from. 

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

What to Purge Before You Move

Recently I have done a lot of moves and there are so many things you can get rid of before you move. Here are a just a few things to think about:
  • Kids toys
  • Pantry
  • Kitchen: dishes, pots, pans, cups, etc.
  • Garage: paint, junk, non-working tools, etc.
  • Cords & cables
  • Paperwork - junk mail, old catalogs, credit card offers, etc.
  • Unwanted furniture
  • Cosmetics and toiletries
  • Kids art
  • Kids trophies
  • Towels and linens
  • Collections you may no longer want
  • Clothes, shows, lingerie
  • Office supplies no longer needed or working
  • Old electronics
  • Old VHS, DVDs, CDs
  • Books and magazines

Monday, October 2, 2017

Made in the USA: Kristin Ess Beach Wave Hairspray

The more that I do my hair on a regular basis, the more I use hairspray. I first heard about this hairspray on Instagram. I went to Target to pick it up and found out it was made in the USA! YES! So far I like it and may try some other hairsprays from this brand later on.

Do you have favorite hairspray you use?