Ever find yourself really wishing you had more time to get ready for Christmas... December just seems to SNEAK up on you? Well, maybe we can make a difference... together!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

26 days..... OH MY!

Are you kidding???? Something must be wrong! The month is nearly over.... See! I told you we need to be prepared - it just goes WAY TO FAST!

We are 26 days into the plan.... How are things going? It's time to evaluate....

Honesty....best policy.....
This month was my ORGANIZE month!
Good thing I have 5 more days left!
I wonder if I can skip church Sunday.... JUST KIDDIN!
Check list... here it goes...
Clean/organize food storage room - CHECK
Clean/organize storage room - oops!
Clean/organize spare bedroom - oops 2!
Clean/dejunk girls closets - 2/3 done!
Clean/dejunk MY closet - oops!
Clean/organize linen closet - oops!
Clean/organize hall closet - ok! OK! I'll do it!
Clean/organize laundry room - done
Clean/organize pantry - done - but needs it again!
Clean out bathroom cabinets/drawers -done
Clean out junk drawers - yes drawers - not done!
Make trip to DI! - on my agenda for Saturday!

Well... doesn't look like I did much this month now does it!

Open your book and see where you are heading - have you accomplished or in the process of accomplishing the things that you were wanting to get done this month? I don't want to stress you out - because believe me, I KNOW life happens.... it is happening right now - just so much to do and so little time it seems.... but we must keep pressing forward....

So, take a look at where you were wanting to be by the end of this month - and see what you might be able to accomplish in the next 4-5 days - and if you don't think you can get it done... it's ok - move it out a month or so -(believe me, I'm moving a few things out to my "spring-fling" months) and try again... but whatever you do.... don't start February out behind! Just move it! It's OK!!! Do what you can and let's move forward!

Sometime before Monday, take a minute and sit down to look over your first "list" and choose something to focus on for February - I'll be focusing on my "would/could/should/didn't list"....

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Let's see..... where were we..... ?

Ah yes! We finished up by making a list of the BUDGET.....
Oh... so... glad.... to have that out of the way.... PLEASE don't get to depressed - we can do this.... RIGHT!???? RIGHT!

Now, get your little notebook out again, we're going to start a PLAN!!! YEAH!!! A PLAN!!!

We are going to go use the "woulda-shoulda-coulda... but didn't list". But first - get a clean sheet and depending on the size of your book, divide it as you need to so that you have a calendar year by months, so you can see the entire year without flipping pages. (something like this)
Now, let's go back to your "woulda-coulda-shoulda list" and start breaking it down...
For instance - I wanted to do a advent/activity calendar - BUT I don't have one so I need to MAKE one - and I have had the idea for over 2 years now - just never did it - and if you know me.... (this is a bad thing) if things aren't the way I picture in my head... I can't do them.. so heaven forbid if I should just "post" a activity on the fridge each morning... NO! NO! NO!!! I must have an advent calendar to do such a thing... so THIS project is going to go in my FEBRUARY section.

I'm going to start breaking that down - and here is how....
Take everything from your list and place it into a "month" to complete it in.
Once that list is done, go to your "missing/broken" etc list, and start the same process there.
Now you should have a "PLAN"... (I used pen so that it isn't so easy to erase - and I hate "SCRIBBLES" so it tends to make me stay on task better.... but if I do not - I'll scratch it and roll it over - but at least I can look ahead to the month and see just what I need to accomplish during this month.... Oh - I didn't write this in each month -but I will now -because I just noticed it - but be sure to put your "BUDGET" money into each month. I just put it in gift cards (as a purchase) - but be sure to put it in each month so you don't forget. Another helpful tip - if you are able to put away more than what you worked out in your "budget" detail, just subtract it from the future months - (like with tax $$ we'll put some away for Christmas)... DO NOT INCREASE YOUR BUDGET!!!! If you have extra money - put it into savings towards something else ... but do not change (increase) your Christmas budget - you can take away from - but don't increase... you'll just keep increasing and then you won't be sitting back, relaxing, sipping hot cocoa and enjoying the month that counts!

I think that will do for today... How are you doing? Do you feel any lighter??? Let me know if you have any suggestions, ideas or thoughts - because I sure can use them... I'm just winging it here ya know! :)

Good night all!

Monday, January 11, 2010

I just can't stand it....

I have to share!

I found the BEST - I mean the BEST stinkin deals ever!!!

On my list of "need to add to/update" - is STOCKINGS.

For me, stockings are the BEST part of Christmas - I love the LITTLE things that come in the stocking! And what is stocking without a ORANGE right in the very bottom of the toe??
When I was growing up, I would save my stocking for the very last... why? Because I KNEW - just KNEW that there was going to be something WONDERFUL in my stocking - and I LOVE saving the best for last! Whether it was earrings, a necklace, my CTR Ring (my favorite), a watch, even a dollar bill... the nuts, fruit and candy... ALL THE BEST!!
Have I mentioned I LOVE STOCKINGS?
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Anyway - for the past couple of years the "STOCKINGS" have been my dreaded task... I know - It so should not be! Back a few years ago, (ok like 8) when I owned an embroidery business, I decided to make stockings for our family - there was just something about having "matching" stockings. So I created new stockings... pattern and all. (amazing! Because if you know me, you know I DO NOT SEW!!! hot glue is the only way for me!!! - But I ventured out and was brave this particular year!) I embroidered on every stocking, something that I felt pertained to each of us... mine had a "snowman" family on it... (I love snowmen too!) ... anyway, I made us all stockings, embroidered our names on them - sewed them up - and they were so cute! THEN... shortly after completing them, we had a "surprise" thrown at us... (#5 was on the way!) SHOCK!!! SURPRISE TO US!!! but... said baby was not due until summer, I didn't think much of it for that year.... needless to say - I never got a stocking done for #5! A year later, I sold the business and that left us with .... an incomplete set of stockings! It DROVE me crazy for years! SO... the year that #1 got engaged I was in Seagull Books, and they had their wonderful bargain tables up..(love those tables!) and they just happened to have 8 stockings! PERFECT!!! I fell in love! I splurged! I purchased 8 matching stockings! Had our names embroidered on them and we were set! (Only they mis-spelled SIL name! and I was suppose to take it in and they would fix it... but, that didn't happen).... THEN... grand~babies came along.... one.... two..... and now! I DON'T HAVE STOCKINGS again!! The last 2 years we have not been able to find #5's matching stocking, and this year the grand-babies were here - and no stockings.... It was one of those little "bothersome" things... so... back to my reason for this post....

I NEED STOCKINGS!!! I decided that one of my FIRST projects for this year was to make stockings for everyone - only I'm getting pretty smart in my old age... I decided to make 20 stockings - this way - I am safe for a while with the "additions"..... (you know what I mean) good idea huh? But then... the cost to make 20 stockings, the time, the thought to make each of them unique... oh! I was feeling a little overwhelmed before I started... but I have 10 months ! I should be just fine! That was the very first thing to be accomplished on my "LIST"... And a good thing it was.... because.......... I found a bargain - and I'm heading back in the morning to get some more! I found 19" large red or green velvet stockings.... or red with white stockings..... Pottery Barn stockings to be exact!!! And are you ready for the even better news???? You better sit down... WAIT! Maybe I better not tell you until I get back, just so I'm certain there are enough for me..... hmmmm.... what should I do......
OK! I'll tell you - but don't tell anyone else!
ten cents! They are regularly $10 each!
WOOT WOOT FOR ME!!!!! and you now too!!!!
There is a slight stipulation....
BUT DON'T WORRY! I can help you with that!
You will have to "unpick" the embroidered name... unless you just happen to find the names you are looking for... but for me... that was just NOT A CHANCE in heck that would happen... (have you seen my kids names and spellings??? Trust me~but I'm ok - I CHOSE to do it that way - for that purpose... :)
BUT- I can unpick - I have the tools! AND... even better! I can help you to get the CORRECT names embroidered on them!
I have an embroidery machine again!!!
YEAH!!!! See the beauty!!!
SO... I guess you want to know where - right???

Aren't they just CUTE!!!!
I got the larger ones, they had a lot of the smaller, pointed toe too...
I think I'll head back to get some of them as well...
I've decided they would be great for the kids to give to their friends with their names embroidered on them, or their teachers filled with "school supplies" (sanitizer, markers etc.)
and they can use it as a "gift" bag...

I just LOVE THESE!!!
I got a lot of these too!
I may try to un~stitch a side and embroider something on the "sock" part ... not sure - I'll have to play around with them....
Heck - you can't even get the fabric for that price!
It's worth a little "un-pickin" don't ya think?

K - here is where they are...
3505 S. 3500 W.
In the "Downeast" Clearance store...
(I also picked up some dang cute back packs & insulated lunch boxes!)
$5 back pack (small size) ($4 preschool/$6 large) and 2/$3.00 on the lunch boxes)

CUTE!!!!! (Yes - they have boy ones as well)
They also had a lot of the the "decorated" type stockings, made of cotton or felt - they were a little more... well, in comparison to .10 cents anyway....

They were still priced at $2.50 ... not bad for a reg. $35 stocking!

They were getting a new shipment in and they said they thought there were tree skirts coming...
that is another item on my list! I'm so heading there!!!!

I am officially making FEBRUARY my STOCKING month!
So, if you order stockings (yes- I do make new ones too!) or turn stockings in for orders, you will receive 10% discount ..... AND if you are a follower... you'll receive an additional 15% discount!
SO... that is 25% off embroidery!!
DEAL!!! don't ya think???

SO!!!! Be sure to leave me a comment, include your email address (I won't post your email add) and I'll send you a email with pricing....
AND THEN!!! You'll be one step closer to making Christmas count!

AHHH!!! Doesn't that feel good already???

BYE!!! I gotta get goin!!!! Maybe I'll see you there!
Let me know if you need some "remove & replace" help! :)

Saturday, January 9, 2010


I HATE BUDGETS!!! They make me ORNERY! They depress me.... BUT! This is a new year and I'm turning over a new leaf! I'm going to be prepared ... and I've got to change my thinking about the "B" word!

You should now have in your cute little notebook....
Loved / Differently / Should have / and Need list
and your "lists of gifts".

Get your "lil book, and PENCIL this time"... I really needed a pencil!!! I had lots of "sharpening" up to do!

I'm sure you have NO IDEA what is coming next ....
Go through your "gift" list and determine just how much you can (or want/should/expect) to spend on each person... For me, in the last category of "gifts", I just list a "total" and that is to be divided amongst the recipients... I'll go over that a little later on.

Take your "$" amounts and give yourself a grand total at the bottom of your page... NOW, hopefully you didn't go into cardiac arrest like I did... but, if you do... just quickly take a deep breath and ERASE!!!! See the beauty!!!!! ok see the WISDOM!!! LOL!!!! just kidding! Sharpen up those "numbers" until you feel comfortable and confident... first secret - don't set yourself up for disappointment, that is what I do EVERY year! Be comfortable, it is always easier to "up" a budget than try to take away from later on....

Now, take your "comfortable total" and divide it by 11 (if you want to start this month) or 10 (if you want to start next month) - this is the amount of money you need to set aside for your Christmas Gifts! SEE!!! EASY right???
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It all looks and sounds so simple, but believe me...I know.... life happens, things come up... but never fear! YOU CAN DO IT!!!! Setting the money in a envelope might work for you, or maybe in a different bank that is across town so it isn't "tempting" and easy to get to, may you are just good at stashing it in your drawer... whatever it is - JUST DO IT!!!! For the first little bit, I will be purchasing gift cards to places that I KNOW I'll be spending money at... then, if during the year, I see something I need on sale, a great bargain... I have the gift card and can use it - and no-one knows! No one can say -"Mom, do you have an extra $10.... " Nope, I sure don't.... :) It's tied up in a gift card! Figure out a plan that will work for you! AND just do it! AND the key....

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YOU BET I AM!!! Sticking to it!!!!

Well, I think that is enough for one day... feeling ok? Remember... You're MAKING CHRISTMAS COUNT!!!!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Start making your list....

I hate budgets... they make me rather ornery! They can be really depressing! BUT! I'm turning over a new leaf and this year - and by dang! I'm stickin' to it!!! Are you ready? Get ready! This is going to be the BEST budget you ever did... and the most important part of MAKING CHRISTMAS COUNT! So......

Here is the second assignment....
Get your little notebook back out.....
Get your pen..... no pencil! That's too easy to cheat!! :)
Get settled in your COMFY chair.... and let's go... It's time to BRAINSTORM!!!!

Title your page... MY LIST
Start by writing down all those wonderful people you are to brighten Christmas morning for...
(spouse, kids, grand~kids...) you get the idea....

Next page: Title.... My Traditional Gift Giving List
This is the list of people that are to be included in your "traditional" gift giving... for example, we draw names on the extended sides of families - mine and hubby's side... so, make your name list of "traditional gift giving"... We also try to do a "SUB FOR SANTA" family or "the 12 days of Christmas" to a family or two... you may want to include these type of "traditions" here as well.

Next page: Title.... Other Gifts
This is the gift list of neighbors, close friends, kids friends, teachers, home teachers, visiting teachers & families, doctors, mailman, etc.... (Sometimes, I refer to these as me "Other WISH gifts... meaning, if the funds are there - then a gift shall be too!! ... but if I'm planned for it! All should be well...)

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Now, go ahead - take a break.... That's enough for today.... BUT, be sure to keep your book handy, you may be inspired, or think of someone, or something else you need to add.... just keep it close and be prepared....

Back tomorrow.... with Step #3

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Ready.... Get set..... Let's go!

It's January...
We have exactly 352 days until Christmas...
BUT! There are only 327 days left until CHRISTMAS will COUNT!
So... here we go...

This month it is all about getting organized!
So, take a minute, grab a note book and pen and then take yourself to a "quiet" location and let's start the plan.
First you will need to think back to last month...
Make a list of all the things you LOVED about the month.
Once you have that done, make a list of the things that you would like to have done differently.
THEN, make a list of the things that you wanted to do - but just didn't get to do...
and last... make a list of things that were missing... things that you need to replace... things that need updating etc.

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Here is what my list looks like...

Things I loved:
Night of Gingerbread houses
Getting the decor up early - longer time to enjoy
Festival Of Trees
Dance recitals (its kinda required :))
hmmm... that's about it... so sad!

Things to do differently:
Wrap gifts as they are purchased/made - not on Christmas Eve!
Spend more time doing "family" traditions
Not staying up all night - every night of the month
Sleeping through Christmas morning
Stick to a budget
Not be so GRUMPY!
Enjoy more family time!

Things wanted to do/should have done: (but didn't)
Seeing Christmas lights
Christmas Movie day
Candy making
Nativity Night
More decorations
Outside lights
Advent/Activity Calendar
Visit with friends
Christmas cards
Pretty wrapped gifts w/bows and all!
Set up Nativity set
Attend VoiceMale Concert
Attend Kurt Bestor Concert
Attend play at Hale Theater
Better planned traditional meals

Need to update/add:
Gift wrap
Bows / Ribbon
light bulbs for tree & inside stuff
Find Christmas MUSIC!
Tree skirt(s)

See! Not too bad!
So, go ahead, get your book and start working on that ...
I'll be back in a week, and we'll start to divide and conquer that list!

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