Entertaining For The Holidays?… Prepare In Advance

shutterstock_238016905So you’re having family and guests over for dinner? Make it fun and simple. First, start by planning your holiday menu and decide what favorite recipes you would like to serve. Once you have the menu solidified, stick to it and don’t deviate. Now on to the grocery list…make a shopping list of all the ingredients you will need. But before you go running off to the store, check to see if you already own these items in your pantry or fridge. If you do own, don’t forget to check the expiration dates. You’re now ready to complete your shopping list and head to the store. Remember to shop for what you need versus just filling up your pantry with stuff. Do as much preparation in advance and delegate tasks to family members such as table setting, decorating, and even just tiding up the home.
And of course you could take the easy route and have your meal catered. Enjoy!

Gift Giving…

shutterstock_115827196Are you having anxiety on what gifts to buy for loved ones and friends this holiday? Keep it simple by following these few guidelines and thoughts. Compile a gift list. Include the gift receiver’s name and detail either a gift already purchased or new gift idea. I keep a master gift list to utilize throughout the year so if someone mentions something they like in conversation, I write it down in the gift list – it is such a time saver and they will be receiving a gift they truly want or need.
Purchase gifts all year so it doesn’t create last minute angst and “last minute gift” syndrome. How many times have you received a gift that you never utilized…did you land up placing it on a shelf in the closet or did you give it away or is it still cluttering your space….
Don’t know what to buy? Let’s not forget cash and gift cards…. practical, simple and sensible. Be sure to set a gift giving budget and stick to it!

Getting Ready for the Holidays

shutterstock_164094056The holidays are right around the corner and the fun craziness begins. We all know that the holidays can be a stressful time of year but with a bit of pre-planning and organization you can enjoy the holidays rather than fretting the season. Each week we will be providing tips to help  your holidays run smoothly. To begin, I recommend creating an essential well thought-out checklist detailing all the tasks that need to be completed. It is useful to group these tasks into larger categories to assist with time management but it also helps with not forgetting steps or items along the way. Category examples? Gifts, Decorating, Meal Planning/Grocery, Cleaning and Miscellaneous activities. Be sure to write down completion dates for each task. And by all means delegate projects to family members so everyone can partake in making the holiday season a festive one.

It’s Thanksgiving… Give Thanks

thanksgivingsm2Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year enjoying family, friends and the delicious feast. Thanksgiving is also a time to give thanks for all that is good in your life. Be grateful for your health, family, friends, job, home and give to those less fortunate. How? Donate clothes, toys, or furnishings to a favorite charity. Spend time volunteering at a local food kitchen. Invite someone you know who will be alone for the holiday to join your holiday dinner table. These kind acts are the true spirit of Thanksgiving.

Know What You Own

Know-what-you-ownHow often do we go shopping putting items in the shopping cart not knowing we already own these items at home? I was recently downsizing a couple and found 8 staplers; multiple drawers of envelopes, batteries, pens, tablets in different rooms and the list could go on. If items were organized in designated places, repeated spending on these items would not occur. Unless, of course, you’re a person with a stapler fetish.

Maybe Someday…

somedayIt’s amazing how many people hold on to clothing that they have not worn for years. You need to ask yourself does this item fit my current lifestyle? If you once held a corporate position where suiting was the dress code and now you work from home, do you really need all those suits hanging in your closet when now you dress casually? Or are they just a reminder of whom you once were? What will it take for you to let them go?

Backup, Backup, Backup

CloudI knew a friend who lived in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Kept his office files on his computer, a backup at his mother’s house and another in his bank’s safe deposit box. Apparently, the Mississippi River didn’t get the message…and he lost all three copies. Your best place to backup? The Cloud. And if you haven’t done it yet, stop reading this and enroll. It’s simple, easy and the best $70 you’ll spend each year.