Monday, December 1, 2014

No Reason Tips, Because . . . I Have No Reasoning.

Holidays Schmolidays, it's 90 degrees in LA! Well, it was on Thanksgiving, as my Mother (in Oregon) reported to me. Now it is raining and you can hear the entire region go, "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

BUT if the Holidays are in full force for you here in LA and you need some last minute organizing or help decorating or running around town or even wrapping gifts - I'm here for you! Until then, I've been thinking a lot about my own little ways of rigging together small things in life - MacGyvering it, as I like to call it. I never really even watched MacGyver - but what I remember of the premise, he was able to save the day (and everyone's life) each episode with no more than a paperclip, duct tape and a hand full of toothpicks. Or some such nonsense. Creative fixes, to put it more plainly. My MacGyver moments have a lot to do with saving money, but not all of them, and whether you can afford "the real thing" or not, you might like some of my random tips that I've come to rely on over the years. One or two, I can't live without, one or two will make you think I'm a nut-job. I'm willing to take that risk ~ Happy December!

  • Keep your shredder under your desk and immediately shred Bank BS, Credit Card offers, and anything w/ your address (if you care about that stuff) before it even hits your desk, or rather, never let it hit your desk. If it doesn't need shredding but is still junk? Just shove it in the shredder bucket, then it all goes to recycling when full - and never hits your desk!
  • My Secret-Super-Whitening-Germ-Killing Mouthwash:
    • Reusable, non-toxic plastic bottle 
    • Fill 1/2 with favorite Mouthwash
    • Fill 1/4 with Hydrogen Peroxide
    • Fill 1/4 with H2O 
    • Add 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
    • Shake well with cap on tight! 
    • Bleed the Peroxide gas a little so it doesn't over flow (a tiny bit like champagne)
    • Allow one week to get used to the flavor - you will not notice a thing after that. (see photo at end of post - 1&2)
  • My Daily Addictive Green Juice/Soup:
    • In a Regular Blender
    • Pre-cut Kale - handful
    • Pre-cut Spinach - handful
    • Celery cut in 2 inch pieces - 2-3 stalks are fine
    • 1 teaspoon Turmeric
    • 1 quarter-sized clove Ginger chopped fairly small
    • 1 raw egg/egg-white (your choice)
    • 1 small Apple
    • 1 Lemon squeezed in
    • Fill blender 3/4 w/ OJ
    • Blend the shit out of it - on high about 2 minutes - and "Drink"
    • CAUTION: It's CHUNKY, that's the point, all the healthy stuff is in the CHUNK! There is nothing "pressed" about it and pressing all the skin & pulp out of everything is stupid. Sorry, but it is. Also, pay attention when blending, if you put too much OJ in you could overflow the blender. (see finished product at end of post - 3)
  • For clearer skin, change your pillow cases twice a week, and use white pillow cases regardless of your sheet set. You'll be able to see what you've been sleeping on and why it's good to change them often.
  • You can recycle the TP interior cardboard tubes - keep a little basket next to your bathroom trash - ?? Or wherever is most convenient. In CA, tissue is NOT recyclable, they mean "used" tissue with bodily oils, etc... but I make sure the tubes are as paperless as possible, many brands happen to slip off the tube easily. (see photo at end of post - 4)
  • Bulk container of "Cleaning Wipes" 
    • Baby Wipes from the Dollar Store (80 per pack) - 2 packs if you're crazy
    • A tupperware that they will fit into
    • For super disinfectant, add a solution of about 1 cup of water w/a few tablespoons of bleach.
    • For basic disinfectant, add like 1/3 cup vinegar or peroxide and a little water.
    • Keep tupperware closed tight in your cleaning cupboard.
  • Disguising Lady Products next to/on the back of the toilet:
    • I have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating - you can keep your lady tools in a cigar box, horizontal or vertical, they make both and if you just go to a real smoke shop they'll either give them to you or sell them to you for a couple bucks. (see photo at end of post - 5)
  • Pens/Post-It Notes/Brickabrack 
    • Use small flowerpots on the kitchen counter/desk/nightstand to contain all the things we have to have - like 1000 pens! I have to have them, I HAVE TO HAVE THEM - WHAT?! I DON'T HAVE A PEN PROBLEM..... oh, sorry. (see photo at end of post - 6)
  • Use fabric bits/samples under heavy things that sit on nice or antique furniture, so that the heavy thing won't scratch or damage it.
  • Use a credit or plastic card from your wallet that you don't care about (Ralphs/Safeway Card) to safely scrape candle wax or scum off your wood furniture. 
  • For candle wax stuck on fabric: Iron with wax paper over the candle wax, med-high heat. (Be careful of fabrics that melt & pick chunks of wax off first)
  • Find a beautiful old frame and tack cork to the back of it for a nicer cork board. (see photo at end of post - 7) CRAFTY CREDIT: Adam C. Boardman
  • For irritating WOOD rods in closets and showers - rub Olive Oil on a rod/s with a papertowel about every 3 months, the hangers and curtain will slide like bahddah. (this no work on metal or plastic)
  • Finally, some of you may know, I make magnets out of anything, and all you need is:
    • Super Glue
    • Small powerful magnets (Amazon) 
    • Anything; Coins, rocks, glass bits, buttons, tiles, old jewelry, bottle caps, beads, fake flowers, tiny toys, and anything that will hold up! I have a 1920's stove knob magnet (see photo at end of post - 8&9)
Photo Time:

(I can't believe I did a tooth-selfie, uhg.)








HEY! As Always, Thanks for reading!! xo ruby

Monday, October 27, 2014

Stare at a Mess, Feel like a Mess. Huh.

I'm not a fan of the term "Life Hack" - frankly, I just find it stupid. It's a new spin on the oldest terminology created for the interwebs generation, or iGen (I like to say "interwebs" because I laugh about the reverence we give the word "internet" and how auto-correct software insists on capitalizing it, which I always refuse). So, what did we used to call "Life Hacks?" How about the term "advice?" Or if it's used for showing you how to make homemade Clorex Wipes, how about the term "household tips?"
No, those are so 1700 - 2010. Anyway, I'm off topic somewhat because this article is more about psychology, and the psychology of how we actually live effects how we feel. Which I whole heartedly believe and have been saying to clients for years. "If you wake up in chaos everyday, or come home to chaos every day, you will feel chaos every day."
It's not that hard of a leap to make in our minds, but I know it can be very hard to do. Here is an interesting article from a Feng Shui expert, which I'm not an advocate of the practice, but nor an opponent  - I don't know much about Feng Shui at all, I have not felt a real need for it in my life, but then again I have my own form of it and I will tell you that before I can do good work, and I mean good work with any expectation of real progress, my place/bills/dishes/mail/email/errands/calls are done & in order, otherwise my mind is . . . chaos. So I hope you enjoy the ADVICE below, I think it's pretty well thought out by Ms. Star. I put the stuff I particularly like in BLUE.

Why One Life Hack Can Change Everything.

Via on Sep 3, 2014


The Way We Do Anything is the Way We Do Everything.

When I first heard this phrase 17 years ago, it took a few moments to really sink in. I thought to myself: that makes no sense; I’m totally together when it comes to my relationships, and my business is thriving. And then it hit me.
In typical fiery Aries fashion, I can work myself into a frenzy to get something done at work, procrastinate like crazy, and be quick to jump to conclusions if something or someone seems to upset the apple cart of my livelihood. But in my mind, business was only one area of my life, and my real life consisted of all the other areas.

But the truth is: we aren’t split. We’re whole—we can’t drop the ball in one area of life and expect our other areas to function smoothly.

When I procrastinate at work, then get myself into a frenzy to complete a project, I’m exhausted. I have nothing to give the ones I love, much less even myself. I become out of balance and return home crabby and testy.
The habits we practice in one area of life, become our life.
Just like we become the five people we hang out with most in life, the way we operate on a daily basis is our life.
I’ve been practicing and teaching Feng Shui for over 17 years now, and can walk into a home or business and read the life of the inhabitants like the back of my hand. It spooks me at times, but I’m 99.99% accurate, the way we do anything is the way we do everything.

Let’s pretend I’m in your home right now. Take a moment and open your closet.

Are there a bunch of clothes in there you never wear, but continue to hold on to, just in case?
If so, I’m betting there are people in your life that don’t match who you are or who you really want to be, yet you continue to hold on to them in fear of standing alone. If that doesn’t fit, how about this? I’m betting there is a job you’re holding on to that you don’t love, but you’re settling for what is, not what you want to be.
Do you see what I mean? The energy is the same. When we hold on to things just in case, we’re buying into poverty consciousness. We’re not trusting that what we need, or who we’ll want, will be there if we let go of what’s no longer working.
Now let’s think about an extra painful topic for many people. How is money flowing at the moment?  When it’s seemingly slow, chances are we’re slow paying our bills, holding back on settling debts, and dragging our feet in general around our money responsibilities.  When we slow the flow in one area, it’s going to dam up all areas.
Perhaps take a peek at the area behind your car seat. Is it filled with mail, receipts and left over lunch bags? When we drive around with a bunch of stuff that we know needs to be dealt with, it drains our energy. When we open the car door and immediately groan, it’s going to affect our mood. You see, if you’re not dealing with little things—opening mail, filing receipts, or even throwing away daily garbage, chances are you’re not dealing with other little things in your life like returning calls promptly, volleying back emails, and following up on your to-do lists.

Let’s face it, none of us are perfect; but the little ways we drop the ball in life are going to add up and affect other areas.

Take a moment and reflect upon your primary relationship, or if you’re single, your last significant other. What was their top complaint about you? Did they complain you started the relationship present and loving, but dribbled out like a flickering flame in your efforts? Now think about how you handle other projects in your life. Do you start out excited and passionate, but lose interest when you’re bored or the going gets tough?
If I could, I’d insert the sound of crickets here.
I know. It’s painful to look at.
Here’s the good news—there’s a silver lining to all of this: This little law of life, works in our favor too. When we make tiny changes in one area of life, we affect other areas like the wings of a butterfly starting a tsunami on the other side of the world.

We can’t help but affect our life in big ways when we start to make little changes.

One of the craziest of exercises I have the women in my 40 day reboot program do is to spend 30 minutes cleaning their toilet. Stay with me here, I promise this works.
I want you to walk into your bathroom and take a look at your loo. Open the lid and go where no woman wants to go and no man acknowledges is actually there: the rim of the toilet. Disgusting isn’t it? I don’t care how clean you are, that area of your toilet is going to be icky.
Next, sit down on a towel (you’re going to be there a while) with all of your cleaning supplies nearby and begin. Set a timer for 30 minutes and clean that toilet from top to bottom. Clean the area behind the toilet on the floor, clean the bolts that hold it down, clean the outside of the bowl, the seat, the back, the top and the inside of the toilet bowl. Scrub every last inch and all the crevices that are hard to reach. Use an old toothbrush if you have to, but get everything as clean as you would if you had to eat your next meal off that toilet.
If you’re still with me here, I want you to leave the room, wash your hands and have yourself something to eat and drink. Then go back into that bathroom and feel the energy shift. Chances are, you’re going to want to attack the bathtub, shower and sink with the same vigor after feeling the shift.
And here’s the magic part: something in your life will change. Women in my program have suddenly received money, gotten good news, found something thought to be lost, or received something new.
Not up for cleaning?
Spend an hour this afternoon or evening and complete three things you’ve been putting off. Clean out that drawer, make that call, send that email or fix a situation with a clear conversation or apology.
When we experience the freedom that arrives and the burst of energy that returns, we no longer question the effect every area of our life has on all aspects of our happiness. We are not divided beings. We’re whole and we’re all connected.

When we finally realize that the way we do anything is the way we do everything, we have the power to change every aspect of our life.

By Tamara Star

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Desk, or a desert of deserted mail...?

Do you use your desk? No, no, I mean use it, like plop your laptop on there, open it up and type? Sit down, open a bill or two, and pay them? THEN you file the paper bill or e-receipt away, right, right, right??

If you say YES! WOOOHOOOOO, you're awesome and you don't need me. If you say NO, you're still awesome and the most awesome thing 
you could do for yourself is to call me. 

If your desk is used, but only as a dropbox and a paper desert, and you're hoping an oasis of organization will sprout one day - hopefully before your brain explodes cus the power or water accidentally 
got cut off due to a lost bill or missed email while it's 95 degrees, well:

It doesn't have to be this way --------->

You don't have to live like this --------->

<--------- It can simply be like this. 

     OR this -------------->

<--------- AND this.

And, now, for this awesome client, it is. She is happy. I am happy. Look, I'm not saying I "sell happiness" but I AM saying it's the number two side effect of my work. Number one is relief. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, then . . . HAPPY! 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Mish-Mash, Pish-Posh, Gobbldy-Goop ReWorked

Before: True Confessions
I find it so interesting how we (humans) just go along, day-in and day-out with the same systems set up in our houses. From the tangled up, dust covered TV & computer cords to the 57 vitamin bottles on the kitchen counter to the closet where, "Just Toss It In!" is printed on the inside of the door. 

Then there is MY issue, my daily beauty regimen/s.
Before: So disappointed in myself. 

Things tossed here and there 2-3 times a day. Somewhat sadly contained in old vanity sets, made for holding all the lady-crap we ladies love to have. And these "sets" are not sets at all. I have some Asian inspired things, 4 odd woven rattan boxes and random little finger bowls used for sushi. This mash-up holds all my lotions, potions, tonics and as much hope in a tube/bottle/jar as I can fit on these tiny shelves. Let alone hair bobbles, bandaids, q-tips, and all the things I seem to think make me look better. And if they don't, at least they make me feel better! 
That said, they deserve better organization, that's for sure!

I have a small collection of wine/booze boxes used for shipping bottles. I would collect them in my restaurant days, I like their look. I've always used them to store stuff, so these two I just repurposed from a bookshelf.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      
After: Still many Lady-Crap things, but in much better order! 


I reused the 3 black Asian style boxes, bottoms only, turned them on their sides and slid them into the wine box vertically to make little compartments.  

In the finger-bowls are bobby pins, makeup sponges and safety pins. 

Next to the box is an old bottle I had for flowers, works perfect for bracelets and cuffs. 
After: In front this box, other smaller finger bowls
 hold hair clips and small earrings. 
In this old whiskey box, I used those old ratty rattan boxes, again to make compartments:
1=hairbands 2=bandaids 3=ointments/remedies 4=clippers/thermometer


Perfume in the center, behind it, a small mirror on the wall. And my favorite Christmas gift this past year, a stone carved Elephant ring holder. I like him a lot. Let's call him Henry. Also, I got some shelving grip cover to make everything more stationary AND keep me from having to paint. 

All in all, much cleaner and, yes, organized. My earrings have hung from that chain for years, if you had not seen that trick before, I still recommend it!


NEXT: Yes, I like to keep well stocked.That's not the point here. I've been just stacking it on the back of the toilet . . . UNCONTAINED! How dare I!


One more wine box that I had misc. office supplies in, completely under utilized, under my bed. 
The cigar box on 
top holds some of our secret unmentionables, as did the other cigar box in the "before" photo. I like cigar boxes for these and many things - they're beautiful and cheap storage. 

As alway, Thanks for reading!  

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

I organized my brain . . . and wrote a book!


Find it on Amazon, download & paperback :

Very funny short stories for a very cheap price!
WARNING: Salty language, indeed.

Stories from a ridiculous life. 

Shorts about the funny, petty, absurd stuff in life; Hollywood, San Francisco, the Obama election, Rock Stars on the hunt, Men on the hunt, Employers on the hunt, Single Girls who don't like the hunt but will adapt in order to survive . . . and some thought provoking, sappy, sentimental stuff too.  
I hope you find a connection, a kinship, a giggle for what we all go through, life. Or maybe some understanding for the sister, daughter, brother, son, parent, niece, nephew, cousin or best friend who seems to have gone off the deep end to pursue a ridiculous life. My family did, and still do. Thank God. Thanks Family! I can speak for most dreamers when I say that we love living it because we cannot seem to live anything else (blunders, battles, broken hearts and all). I really hope you enjoy reading about it. If not, please be kind.