Real Life Organizing by Cassandra Aarssen and Peter Walsh
The New Year brings an opportunity to start afresh. Phones ring at libraries and bookstores with requests for diet and self-help titles. Resolutions reign strong in January. The most helpful books are those whose authors realize that people accomplish change when done in manageable increments and over time. Cassandra Aarssen and Peter Walsh develop this philosophy in Real Life Organizing: Clean and Clutter-free in 15 Minutes A Day. Another title by Peter Walsh, Let It Go: Downsizing your Way to A Richer, Happier Life, helps people who know they need to downsize. The less is more movement took hold in 2014 with Marie Kondo’s book The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.
Request these books any month of the year at your local library or bookstore.
Article author Maureen Millea Smith is a librarian at the Edina Library and a Minnesota Book Award-winning novelist.
January is all about getting a fresh start. That can mean a new exercise routine, better eating, or be as simple as taking more “you” time. The more we focus on what’s best for ourselves, the more the conversation comes up about how we’re living that best life. Whether it be in food or the products we use in our daily routines, many people are more thoroughly researching the ingredients we bring into our households. This can also apply to wine. I speak on this topic almost nightly in the classes I teach. There are often misconceptions about sulfites or tannins when it fact we should focus more on the alcohol percentages in our wines and whether wines come from sustainably sourced properties. With that in mind, here’s a pick to kick the year off right: Evolúció Furmint. The Furmint grape is produced dry, with lower points of alcohol, and is sustainably sourced. It tastes deliciously of crunchy pear, candied PeachieO’s and fresh strawberry seed. This bright Hungarian white is one “healthy” start to the new year!
Watch out for Xylitol
We have finished the holiday season and now our resolutions begin. Weight loss is often the most popular topic we resolve to tackle. This probably means we’re tempted to eat foods containing artificial sweeteners–one in particular is Xylitol.
Unfortunately, Xylitol is very dangerous to our pets if ingested. What products might contain this ingredient? Things like chewing gum, peanut butter, breath mints, mouthwash, candies, toothpaste and chewable vitamins. The accidental consumption of xylitol by a dog can cause a sudden and life-threatening drop in blood sugar known as hypoglycemia, seizures and even liver failure. One stick of gum containing Xylitol can be fatal to a 10 pound dog. If ever you think your pet has consumed one of these products, get her to the closest vet immediately so a professional can induce vomiting and help mitigate any undue trauma to your pet.
Article author Ann Platt is owner of Pets Are Inn, an award winning pet lodging business in Edina.