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Me Time: Just for Women

Home and Hearth Tips

Get farm fresh foods delivered
Recently, my fiance and I rented an apartment in Wappingers Falls. I had lived on my own briefly while in college, but this is his first real experience away from home. One of our biggest struggles so far has been finding healthy, easy and inexpensive meals to cook when we both get home from a long day of work.

I found some mealtime inspiration by becoming part of a local CSA called Field Goods. Every Friday, a bag full of fresh, delicious produce from local farms gets delivered right to my office (can you say goodbye grocery store?). All the Hudson Valley Parent staff has joined in on this CSA adventure and we all love tasting our treats and swapping meal ideas. Our Field Goods delivery is just one more reason that Fridays are my favorite day of the week!

Last week, I made zoodles (spiralized "noodles" made from zucchini) with the contents of my bag. This healthy meal was super quick and easy to make (and was a big hit with my carb-loving fiance).

Think a CSA might be for you or just want a chance to get some delicious, farm fresh foods? CLICK HERE!

Reduce, reuse, recycle
When I moved, I made a goal to be more eco-friendly in my new home and ditch my wasteful ways.

I was using a lot of single-use plastic items and have recently made tons of swaps that are way better for the environment. My fiance and I both invested in a reusable water bottle instead of buying 24-packs of spring water. This was an easy switch that you can try, too.

Get everyone their very own bottle that will keep their drinks super cold. A personal water bottle that you love may even help you and your family get in your eight glasses a day.

We also made some other changes in our home. We both use insulated lunchboxes instead of taking our lunches to work in paper or plastic grocery bags. We've also ditched plastic utensils and plates and single use coffee pods.

Even though our home is just for the two of us, our switches can make a big difference! If your whole household made planet-conscious choices, that would create a huge impact.

Teach your kids about the effect they have on our planet and let them get involved in recycling. Designate places for recyclable materials to go. Get crafty and decorate bins for your trash, plastics and paper products.

These eco-friendly switches have also saved me money. I can save some coin for my honeymoon fund while also saving the planet. Win-win!

READ MORE: 12 easy ways to "green" your home

Make your home your own
I have only been in my new apartment for a month, so I am still getting settled. I am having so much fun making my new home everything I want it to be.

On the weekends, my fiance and I have been building, decorating and getting our hands dirty with DIY projects.

My first task was to neutralize the apartment with a fresh coat of paint. I am a fan of neutral, warm colors that are inviting without overpowering a small room. The walls are donned in a nice tan color that allows me to add my own style in every room.

Are you bored of your decor? Switch it up with inexpensive accents. I have already switched up my bathroom with a new shower curtain and towels that add a pop of color. I even buy soaps that match the theme of the room. These are easy switches that won't cost you too much money or take up too much of your time. Have more than one bathroom in your home? Let your kids decorate the bathroom they use the most! Let them pick out the shower curtain, linens and a fresh scented soap. They will love helping.

I have spent a lot of time looking for things to add to my home that aren't too expensive. Rustic picture frames, scented candles and interesting throw pillows personalize a room.

It doesn't have to be a special occasion to get some flowers! I love keeping fresh flowers in my home. They fill the room with a fresh scent and color that can't be beat.

Organization is the key to easy mornings
Before I moved, the organization in my room was nonexistent. This made me late to work more times than I like to admit.

In my new apartment, everything has a home and it has made mornings a breeze. I even have time for breakfast, now!

An easy, cheap addition to your closet that also adds some style is the use of baskets. I have baskets lined up in my closet and they all are labeled and filled with similar objects. I have organized my closet by season
and style. Getting dressed in the morning is no longer a guessing game!

These are easy switches that can help you and your family in the mornings, too. Getting everyone ready for school in the morning can be a hassle. Between showers, choosing clothes and more, it's a miracle if you get out the door on time.

Organize your child's wardrobe and room and take the chaos out of mornings. Teach your child that everything has a home (no more last minute searches for the other sneaker!). Label hangers with your child's name so they know to hang their coats and backpacks there at the end of the day.

Cassidy Brighton is the editor for Hudson Valley Parent.