The Best Foods to Eat When Dieting

Starting a new diet is never easy, but it can be enjoyable if you have a list of tasty foods that you can eat. Instead of eating salads for every meal, try incorporating these nutritious and low-fat foods into your daily meal plan.

  • Almonds. Almonds make a great alternative to other, more fattening crunchy snacks. They’re high in healthy fats that will leave you feeling full, and they’re easy to take with you for a midday snack.
  • Leafy greens. While vegetables might not seem like the most exciting food, by preparing them in a variety of different ways, they can be quite delicious. Try sauteing dark, leafy greens like kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and collard greens with herbs and spices.
  • Black beans. Black beans are packed with protein and add a boost of flavor and fiber to salads, stir fries, and rice bowls.
  • Salmon. Protein-packed salmon helps to boost muscle growth, promotes weight loss, and does it all with less fat than red meat.
  • Grapefruit. Eating half a grapefruit before each meal is proven to help you lose up to one pound each week, mainly because it contains a compound that can lower insulin.
  • Pears. Pears contain 15 percent of your recommended daily fiber in their skin alone, and they are proven to help you lose weight.

8 Secret-Weapon Foods for Weight Loss [Eating Well]
Best Superfoods for Weight Loss [Health]
Healthy Eating [HelpGuide.org]

Nifty Tricks for Hanging Photos — Without Sacrificing Your Security Deposit

If you want to decorate your walls with photos or artwork without filling your rental with nail holes, there are a number of other ways to hang frames. Check out these creative alternatives to the usual photo-hanging methods.

  1. Adhesive strips. Venture out to any home goods store or supercenter and you’ll likely find adhesive photo-hanging strips made just for renters. These strips come in two pieces and have a sticker on one side that attaches to the back of the frame and to the wall, and they have sturdy Velcro on either side that enables you to securely hang your frame. Once you move, simply peel them off the wall with no damage done.
  2. Picture rail hangers. Many older homes come with picture rails on the walls, which make it even easier to hang frames. Simply buy decorative wall hooks from just about any home goods store.
  3. Poster putty. If you don’t mind going sans frame, poster putty is a great temporary way to hang photos or large posters on the wall without the pesky nail holes.
  4. Monkey hooks. These are a longtime favorite of renters because although they do make a hole in the wall, they’re much sturdier than the usual nail. This means that they’ll hold your frame with a lot less potential damage, and the holes they leave behind are a lot easier to cover up once you move.

Picture-hanging alternatives [She Knows]
Hanging a Gallery Wall Without Nails [Oh Happy Day]
Ideas for Hanging Artwork Without Leaving Holes in the Wall [Apartment Therapy]

Easy and Effective Ways to Maintain Order in a Busy Kitchen

From prepping the morning coffee to working to get dinner on the table on a hectic weekday, you put quite a strain on your kitchen day in and day out. Here are a few effective ways to maintain order in your kitchen, no matter how busy your weeks can get!

  • Maximize the space in your cabinets. If your cabinets only have a few shelves, add more. If your belongings are always a jumbled mess, add organizers. Many people don’t consider adding new shelving or dividers in their cabinets, but this is one of the easiest ways to make your kitchen work better for your specific needs.
  • Bring in a bar cart. If you need additional storage but don’t have the space (or the budget), a bar cart is a great solution. Use this for your coffee maker and mugs, baking tools, or even as a traditional bar cart with wine and cocktail essentials.
  • Keep the counters clean. Avoid storing things on the counters in order to create space for cooking and more room for navigating your kitchen.
  • Group like items together. Take a day to organize your utensils, pans, and even your food, grouping the items that you usually use together in one place.

Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets [The Container Store]
10 Kitchen Organization Hacks to Keep Clutter Contained [Café Mom]
10 Steps to an Orderly Kitchen [HGTV]

Expecting Last-Minute Guests? Here’s How to Speed-Clean Your Apartment!

You were thrilled to hear that your friends were coming to town for a visit… but then they told you they would be there in an hour. When your apartment isn't exactly ready for visitors, you can follow these last-minute cleaning tips to tidy it up in no time at all.

  1. Keep all of your cleaning supplies in one place. That way you can simply pull out the bin or bucket in situations just like this one.
  2. Banish clutter. When it comes to making a room look clean, your guests are more likely to notice your dirty laundry on the floor than a bit of dust in the counter. Make one quick sweep of the apartment and clean up clutter as you go.
  3. Clean the bathroom. Your guests will likely use the bathroom before, say, your office, so be sure that all counters are clean, the toilet is scrubbed, and fresh linens are hung. Don't forget to restock the hand soap and toilet paper!
  4. Don’t get hung up on little things. Now is not the time to rearrange your shelves. Instead, dust only the visible surfaces, fluff up the pillows, and look at the room as a whole instead of focusing on individual details.

9 Tips For Speed Cleaning [About Home]
13 Tips to Help You Speed-Clean Your Home [Better Homes & Gardens]
Speed Cleaning [Real Simple]

July is National Ice Cream Month!

Did you know that July is National Ice Cream Month? There are great ice cream shops in the area. Here are a few:

The Creamery: http://www.mycreamery.com/
Pops: http://fishmarketva.com/page/8/pops-ice-cream
Ben & Jerry's: http://www.benjerry.com/alexandria

Happy 4th of July!

We hope everyone has a safe and happy day as we celebrate America's Independence Day.

Georgetown Cupcakes- 20% off for 4th of July

Looking for the perfect dessert to bring to your 4th of July party? Look no further! Georgetown Cupcakes has an assortment of patriotic themed cupcakes to choose from and they're 20% off today! Use code JULY2015 online to receive your discount.

To order online go to www.georgetowncupcake.com/order.

Organize Your Dresser in 4 Easy Steps

If you’re like most people, your dresser is likely prone to becoming messy, jumbled and, after a long work week, maybe even overflowing. If you want to finally organize your dresser drawers — and keep them that way — use these four simple tips for daily dresser maintenance.

  • Tackle the top. Begin by adding an attractive tray to the top of your dresser where you can corral perfumes, lotions, spare change, and other smalls. Hang a mirror if the dresser doesn’t already have one, then consider adding a lamp if your space is lacking in light.
  • Add dividers. For drawers that hold folded items, such as t-shirts, purchase drawer dividers from a home goods store to keep everything in its right place.
  • Fold clothes vertically. Instead of folding your clothes and stacking them horizontally on top of one another, line them up vertically so that you can easily identify each item.
  • Think outside the drawer. While you might think of using dresser drawers only for clothing, you can also use them to store other loose items. Line a bottom drawer with shoes, add felt liners for jewelry or even use a top drawer for beauty products if you don’t have space for a separate vanity.

How to Organize Your Dresser [Real Simple]
The Only Dresser Organization Hacks You'll Ever Need [Huffington Post]
Organizing Closets and Drawers [Martha Stewart]
40 Brilliant Closet and Drawer Organizing Projects [DIY & Crafts]

3 Health Benefits of Strength Training Exercises

Even if you don’t plan on bulking up or competing in weight lifting competitions any time soon, strength training is a crucial part of any exercise regimen. Here are three great reasons to incorporate weight training into your workouts.

  1. It promotes strong bones. Weakening bones is a concern that all people have to face as they age. The stress that strength training puts on your bones increases their density and prevents osteoporosis, keeping you strong and healthy as years pass.
  2. It helps to control your weight. While you might relate weight loss with intense cardiovascular workouts, strength training is just as important if you want to lose weight. Gaining muscle increases your metabolism and causes your body to burn calories more efficiently.
  3. It gives you more energy. Like all workouts, strength training increases your stamina and helps you to stay alert and focused. After a few weeks of regular weight lifting or body weight exercises, you’ll notice that you feel more energized throughout the day. Some scientific studies even show that years of regular strength training exercises help to sharpen your focus and keep your mind attentive as you age.

Strength training: Get stronger, leaner, healthier [Mayo Clinic]
7 Reasons to Add Strength Training to Your Workout Routine [Everyday Health]
Benefits of Strength Training [Body Building]

Keep Your Home Office Squeaky-Clean (and Germ-Free) With These Handy Tips

Is your home office one of the messiest spaces in your rental home? Here are some easy ways to clean your gadgets and electronics — and keep your office tidy and germ-free.

  1. Start by organizing your pesky wires and cords. This will help prevent fire hazards and eliminate the unattractive mess.Invest in some sturdy clips from office supply stores to keep them neatly wound.
  2. Clean your keyboard. You can’t exactly spray your keyboard with disinfectant, but you can clean it by unplugging it and shaking out the loose dirt. Use canned, compressed air to remove the rest of the dust from between the keys, then give it a wipe-down with a cloth dampened with cleaner.
  3. Wipe off your computer screen. Use a bit of water and a lint-free cloth. Don’t use cleaner, as it may damage the screen.
  4. Disinfect your cell phone or landline phone. Do this regularly, as the germs from your mouth spread very easily. Use a disinfectant wipe all over the phone, being careful that no drips get inside of the phone itself.
  5. Dust. If you have allergies, be sure to dust shelves, floors, and your desk regularly to prevent dust particles from infiltrating your home office.

How to Keep Home Office Equipment Clean [HGTV]
Step-By-Step: Keep a Clean Keyboard [PCWorld]
How To Clean Your Filthy Gadgets [Gizmodo]

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