Dividing The Work Load

As a Mom, I feel like I am tasked with the job of teaching my children responsibility while still allowing them to be children.  It is never my desire for them to feel like they are in the army, but it is my desire for them to realize how much more can be accomplished when we all pull our own weight.  I love my Mom to death, but I think that part of her aggravation when we were children came from her doing everything herself.  I realize how easy it is to fall into that pattern, especially if you are like me and you want things done a certain way.  But, now that my own daughters are getting older, I have decided that it is high time, we all have our own chores that we are responsible.  Confession Time:  For years, I have introduced chores and then pulled back from them.  But, I don’t think i am doing them any favors by allowing them an opt out clause, or myself for that matter.

I know that every child grows and develops at their own pace, but I look at my oldest daughter and I know that there are definitely things that she could be doing for herself that would make my day to day life that much easier.  And, so began my need for an Updated Chore Chart.  I don’t know … I may be the only Mommy who struggles with this, but on the off chance that you are just where I am,  grab your free Chore List Printable and make it your own.  In addition, it is a fun way to teach your younger kids about money.  Trust me, they will want to make sure that you are paying them what you owe them.

Click Here for Your Printable Chore List

Friday Favorites – Week 358 – Baked Chicken Parmesan

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Maintaining Order

maintaining-order-host-image When Sheree reached out to me to be a guest blogger, I was excited because I love to talk about organization and can talk about it for hours. I hope that the tips I provide for you today resonate with you enough to make real change within your space or home and most importantly to be intentional behind the act.

Recently, I completed an Instagram organizing challenge to motivate individuals to let go of items so that they could organize specific areas for 15 minutes. But Instagram only provides a limited amount of space to share content so I thought this would be the perfect time to expound on those tips plus more. Now you may be thinking, that it’s not possible to get organized within 15 minutes but it is! After you purge items, you feel lighter and motivated to continue organizing and that was the ultimate goal of the 15 minute organizing challenge. The challenge also shed light on the areas that tend to be overlooked when it comes to organizing and items that no longer serve a purpose.

I totally understand that we are busy, busy people who are juggling a lot – work, school, family, personal relationships and most importantly the relationship with ourselves. But through it all we have to maintain order to make it through our daily routines. So, I wanted to share four items and spaces that you can purge and then organize – restoring order to your home or space that will make you feel lighter and serve as motivation to organize more thoroughly.

Purging

About two weeks ago, I was helping my client purge through their items which isn’t the most favorite thing to do when it comes to organizing but it’s so necessary. It doesn’t make sense to continue to throw items from one box to the next and call it organizing because it isn’t. Purging and letting go of items an essential step that must be done before organizing. So, as we’re sorting through their personal items, I could notice a shift in their movement because they started to quickly identify items that they no longer needed and deemed suitable to purge. Afterwards, they said, “I feel so much lighter – like I was shedding so many layers” and that right there was music to my ears. I try to teach my clients that they have the power over their belongings and not the other way around. It’s ok to purge items that are no longer purposeful. But then the million dollar statement arises, “but this was a gift!” Well, I’m sure the person who gifted you the item intended for you to find the item purposeful and not have the gift collect dust in a box or a closet. This is why it’s important to purge and purging for 15 minutes is a great way to build up momentum and then prompt you to organize because you feel lighter and motivated afterwards.

Here are items and areas that I suggest purging for 15 minutes:

Car Trunk

Many times we throw items inside the trunk of our car only to say, “I will come back and get that later” and unfortunately, later turns into never. Have you ever opened your trunk only to say, “oh that’s where that was – I’ve been looking for that” or have had to push things out of the way to make room for what really belongs in the trunk? Then a purge is needed. I suggest going through the trunk of your car and identify items that truly belong in the trunk, items that need to be discarded and items that need to be stored in another designated space. Once you purge then I suggest, getting a trunk organizer which can prevent clutter from forming again because there are spaces to store items. I purchased mine from The Container Store and I never have to worry about a junky car trunk. The trunk should have items that you need to access for emergencies like:

-jumper cables

-blanket and water

-first aid kit

-tools

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Photo Source: The Container Store

Pens & Markers

I recently purged a cup that I was using to store pens and markers. When I was watching television and relaxing, I took a blank piece of paper and dribbled on the paper with each pen and marker. This task literally took me anywhere between 7-10 minutes to determine which ones were still functional and which ones were not – threw away the dried up pens and markers and kept the ones that still worked. Simple! I felt lighter and didn’t miss a beat of relaxing and watching television. A simple purging task like this one, can leave you feeling accomplished. Remember purging doesn’t always have to be viewed as being overwhelming because as you can see, even the smallest of items like a cup holding writing tools can build up. I encourage you to go through those pens and markers and purge! And let’s be honest, how many times have you experiences reaching for a pen or marker only to discover that it has dried up and then you have to search through for one that works? You just wasted a solid 5 minutes right there so purging and then organizing those pens and markers will save you time in the end. Save yourself the hassle.

Make Up /Nail Polish

As a woman, I absolutely love dressing up and going out with my friends for a girls night out. We all know that presentation is everything so besides selecting an outfit adorning your face with makeup is also a part of completing the look. But just like the cup of pens and markers, you can experience make-up clutter as well. Have you ever been dressed up and ready to head out and went to put on your favorite lipstick but only to discover that it’s barely any left? Now, I don’t mean to be dramatic but that’s a disappointing feeling to look forward to using something and it not be there. This could have easily been resolved if the make-up was purged, allowing you to take inventory of what you need to re-stock up on and what needs to be thrown out. So go through your make-up and determine what’s essential to hold onto and what can be discarded. Our make-up can definitely accumulate at a quick pace and get out of control and I also believe it’s overlooked when it comes to organizing. Once you have purged and organized the make-up you intend to keep then consider using acrylic organizers. I have one for my make-up and one for my nail polish. It’s a great way to contain your items in a chic but organized manner and your make-up is easily accessible.

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Photo Source: Target

Photo Source: Target

 

Photo Credit: SoleOrganizer

Kids Play Room

The playroom for the kids is just that a room for the kids to let loose and have fun. But as time goes on, the toys begin to overflow from the safety of the storage bins which is a clear indicator that a purge must take place. So, take time to purge through the toys and determine if there are toys that are broken, toys that the kids don’t play with as much and which toys they still find enjoyable. Now it may be hard to let go because of sentimental value but consider donating to other children who aren’t as fortunate. We have to do away with the mentality of holding onto items that aren’t useful and kids are always on to the next best thing.

These purging tasks are meant to de-clutter your space and restore order. But you will also “shed layers” as my client said which will make you feel lighter. You’re letting go of unnecessary items to make room for things that are purposeful and needed. When you purge and then organize, you are creating a foundation which should be solid and should last which is why 15 minutes of purging then organizing to is a great reminder.

I would love to hear about it how lighter you feel after purging! If you need some guidance, I have created a purging checklist to guide you through the purging process which can be downloaded here. Be sure to head to the website to get access to the “Soleful Resource Library” which contains printables + checklists to help you stay on task and organized. Remember that, “being organized is a lifestyle and not a chore”.

You can also find Sole Organizer Here:

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A LITTLE MORE ABOUT SOLEORGANIZER

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SoleOrganizer offers a functional and creative approach to organizing for individuals who are ready to get organized but most importantly stay organized. Nowadays it has become more frequent. to not be able to enjoy the things we once did or even just have the time to relax because our spaces are consumed by clutter.

SoleOrganizer teaches individuals how to restore order back to their lives by educating individuals on letting go of the non-essential items and implement functional systems that will acquire simplicity.

The 2016 Fall Must Haves…

It’s officially the first day of Autumn!!  You know what that means, all you folks that were shaking your heads at my Early Fall Decorations can now take several seats!!  LOL.  OK, I am kidding, well kind of …  There is just something about Fall that sends my Energy and Creativity Levels soaring.  As much as I enjoy a good pool or beach day, me and elevated temperatures are not friends.  Plus, fall means time to update your wardrobe, pull out your Cold Weather Goodies and get rid of those things that you no longer love!!  And, who would not love that?

Sweaters and Tops:

The most important rule of Fall Fashion is layering.  I mean lets face it, its not exactly Parka Weather, but it is often Brisk Enough early in the day to catch the oh so infamous “Autumn Cold”.  And, NO ONE, especially us Moms, have time for that.  I am always excited every year at how diverse the selection of Sweaters and Tops are for the changing season.  You can go from Casual Chic to Sexy Mom with just a few style changes.

2016 Autumn Fashion Must Haves Sweaters and Tops

 

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Boots… Boots and More Boots:

There are so many different boot styles to choose from.  But, this time of year I am particularly fond of Ankle Boots.  Simply because I consider them to be a transitional staple.  They can go from Early Fall to late Winter.  But, I also have a love hate relationship with them.  The oh so anal side of me wants my pants/jeans/slacks to be long enough not to hide their beauty, but not short enough that I look like I am expecting a flood.

2016 Autumn Fashion Must Haves Boots.. Boots.. and More Boots

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Scarves.. Ponchos.. and Wraps…

Surprise, Surprise, my love affair with the Blanket Scarf has made its way into this season.  But, in addition to that these Ponchos and Wraps are just as fun, if not more because of their Cover Up Properties.  You can throw them over a t-shirt, add the right accessories and splash some color on your lips and you are good to go.

2016 Autumn Fashion Must Haves Scarves Ponchos and Wraps

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“personal style should be effortless. it’s not about what you wear, but how confident you are when you wear it.” – Monica rose

There’s nothing like a Good Refresh to get you going and take you through the last Quarter of the Year.  What are your favorite Fall Pieces?  Share your finds in the comment section below!!  I can’t wait to read all about it. Are you dressing your house up for fall as well?  If so, be sure to grab this Free Fall Printable here.

Taking the Stress Out of Moving Day…

Taking the Stress Out of Moving Day originally found on stage-presents.com

SOME tips for making moving day run smoother

  1. Whenever possible, DO NOT MOVE on the 1st of the month.  If you are renting your own van or truck, this is the busiest time for truck rental companies.  The supply runs out quickly and even with a reservation some companies overbook and will not honor your reservation.  If you are hiring a moving company, and you must move on the 1st,  make sure to book them as far in advance as possible.
  2. If time is not a factor, do the packing yourself.  Movers tend to charge by the hour.  This will cut down on what you have to pay them and save you some “coins” for all the little things that you will most likely have to purchase for your new space.
  3. LABEL LABEL LABEL …. LIST LIST LIST…  Obviously you need to keep like items or things that go in the same room together.  But, in addition to that consider color coding and thinking all the way through to the unpacking process.  For example, if you have shoes and clothes that are not for the present season, you want them in your bedroom.  But, they are not your priority when it’s time to unpack.  It’s more than likely that the things you packed last are the items that you use more often.  So you need to be able to put your hands on those things first.   For me that would be, the coffee maker, the K-Cups, Forks, Knives, Plates and a Go-To Pot or Two.  Aside from putting the beds down and getting sheets and towels, the kitchen is almost always the first room that get’s unpacked.
  4. Move as many of your packed belongings to the door closest to where the movers will be entering and exiting the house.  I don’t expect you to try to move big furniture pieces but at the very least move your boxes.  This one is tried and true.  Day laborers tend to lolly gag.  I don’t have time to pay you to talk to your coworkers about little Timmy’s Soccer Game.  If there is ever a time to micro manage this is the time.  Time is Money!!
  5. Use bubble wrap, newspaper and packing peanuts to protect your delicate/breakable objects.   Even if the item is not dropped it can be crushed. If money is not an object most Storage Rental Facilities make boxes now specifically for your dishes, glasses, etc.  Bottom line is no one is going to take care of your things like you.  And Grammy’s China might mean the world to you, but… maybe not to Joe Schmo The Moving Guy.  I’m just saying.
  6. Take date and time stamped photos of your most prized possessions.  This will assist in settling disputes if your property is damaged and or stolen.
  7. Always get the insurance. Insurance for the Truck if you are doing it yourself.    And, if you are hiring your own mover’s make sure they are both licensed and bonded and able to reimburse you if the worst happens.  In this the day of Google, there is no excuse for not planning and preparing.  Check the BBB and look for references/reviews and complaints.  Then make an informed decision.
  8. I always say that you get what you pay for.  But, there seems to always be a Moving Company on Groupon or Living Social these days.  If you are going to go that route  READ THE FINE PRINT.

So there you have it,  Happy Planning and Happy Moving Day!!

“IT WASN’T RAINING WHEN NOAH BUILT THE ARK.” –HOWARD HUFF.

A Peek Inside My Planner Pages + Printable Planner Sticker Freebies

A Peak Inside My Planner Pages + Free Printable Planner Stickers stage-presents.com

Pictured Here: My Life Planner by Erin Condren, My BlueSky Planner from Walmart, Planner Stickers I purchased from CoffeeBreakPlanner(Instagram), Some Hobby Lobby Stickers, Plus a host of Free Printable Stickers from a Little Bit of Everywhere.

do you crave organization like some people crave sweets? me too…

I remember distinctly saying that I was not going to get caught up into the “Planner Craze”, but somehow I find myself swept up in it.  I genuinely think it’s just another way for my Mild OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder) to manifest itself.  And, I guess that’s ok.  Keeping this ship smooth sailing is just that much easier when I write everything down.  Hey, sue me, I am going to be 40 in a couple of weeks.  I need all the prompting and reminders that I can get.  Can you tell that I am not really embracing the Road to 40?  But, that is definitely for another post.

Setting up my Planner Each Week is therapeutic for me, it falls under the category of Adult Coloring.  It’s something about playing with the layouts each week and figuring out what works best.  So far no week has been identical to the last.  But, I think I have come up with my staples.  Things that I know I need to track each week.  For home that would be my chores, kid/family stuff, shopping, menu planning, what I am eating, drinking and tracking my medicine/vitamins.  For the Business/Blog that would be social media, content planning, blogging, and the Etsy Store.  I try to end my day by going over what needs to be done the next day.  It kind of gives me a head start, and I am all for that.

I have fallen in love with a few Etsy Stores that offer all kinds of options for making your planner pages pop.  And, I have found way too many Free Printables all over Pinterest.  So just for fun, I decided to try my hand at my making my own Printable Planner Stickers.  I went with ones that I thought pretty much everyone could use.

Free Printable Planner Stickers for Download stage-presents.com

Download Yours Here. Right Click and Save.  You have the Option to Print Them On A Full Page Sticker Sheet That You Can Feed Through Your Printer, or Go Old School Print, Cut and Glue.  I hope that you enjoy them and that they make your planning just that much easier!!  Happy Planning.

TELL ME WHAT YOU PLAN TO DO WITH YOUR ONE WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE? — mARY OLIVER

Click Here To Read More About Planning Your Way.

Spring is Here + 3 Spring Prints

Spring is Here!!  And, I for one am super excited.  We had a pretty mild winter, but I am still ready for warmer weather, tulips, walks on the trail and just the all around joyous feeling that comes with the change of the season.  Once the Spring Cleaning is done and the Winter Clothes put away, next on my agenda is always decorating.  I am not sure how much of that I will get to this year.  But, at the very least, I thought that I would put up some Spring/Easter Printables.  I went a little crazy creating these.  So i thought that I would share them with you.  I hope this makes up for the lack of a Freebie Friday Post.  Print and Enjoy (Right Click on the Print Name Below Each Print- Download and Save!!)

hooray for spring prints!!

Easter Egg Spring Print ©2016 Stage Presents

For Personal Use Only – Do Not Alter Or Redistribute.

Easter Egg Print

Butterfly Spring Print ©2016 Stage Presents

For Personal Use Only – Do Not Alter Or Redistribute.

Butterfly Print

Happy Easter Spring Print ©2016 Stage Presents

For Personal Use Only – Do Not Alter Or Redistribute.

Happy Easter Bunny Print

More On Spring from Stage Presents:

Last Year’s Spring Home Tour

Embracing Spring

Spring Cleaning

Do you love Spring as much as we do?  What is your favorite part of Spring?  Share your favorites in the Comments below.

Polka Dots …. not just for kids (Trend Alert)

From the moment that Mom and Dad introduced me to Mickey and Minnie, Polka Dots became a big part of my life.  As I matured I started to think of polka dots as being juvenile. But, over the years they have become almost as main stream as stripes.  I see Polka Dots everywhere now, and I must say it thrills me.  To me, they give things a classic yet playful feel, no matter what room they are in.  And, if you happen to be a Kate Spade New York fan like me, you know that she throws Polka Dots around like Confetti, which is A-OK with me. Decorating With Polka Dots - Polka Dot Trend - www.stage-presents.com #dorm decor #apartment decor #home decor

Photo Credit:  In Clickable Links Below (a-d)

Polka Dots can be used to add character and personality to every room from the Bathroom to the Kitchen.  You will find them in pretty much everything Home Decor Related.  They can be used as a way to add pattern, texture, and color to an otherwise neutral space.  With the start of the Fall Semester being around the corner, Polka Dots are a definitely on  trend in dorm decor.  When you have a limited amount of space, or when you are renting and don’t want to make any real changes to the property it is a way to incorporate your style into your space.

Here are some of examples:

a.  PBTowels – Dottie Bath Towel

b.  Anthropologie –  Colossal Dots Curtain

c.  Kate Spade NY – Larabee Road Collection

d.  Six2Eleven.net- Graham’s Gender Neutral Nursery 

I am sure you could find some Polka Dots strewn around my home, and even in my Etsy Store(pictured below)

Gray and Black Polka Dot Pillow - found on Etsy Shop (stagedpresents)

Gray and Black Polka Dot Pillow - found on Etsy Shop (stagedpresents)

Do you use Polka Dots to decorate your home?  What is your favorite Polka Dot piece?  Consider telling us all about it in the comment section below.

Fun Friday: 10 Things You Don’t Skimp On

10 Things You Don't Skimp On

Since going from a 2 to 1 income household, being  more frugal has become a big part of my life.  I certainly was not excited, nor did I welcome the changes that had to be made to maintain our lifestyle.  But, I knew it had to be done.  There was a lot of restructuring that had to be done and the pieces of the puzzle seem to continually stay in motion.  But, that being said, there are still some things that I just don’t skimp on.

Cleaning Supplies:  Dish Washing Liquid, Laundry Detergent, All Purpose Cleaners & Disinfectant Wipes.  I know not everyone, my Mom included, will agree with me here, but I stand by this one.  The cheaper options just don’t cut it, or you have to use more to achieve the desired results.

Skin Care Products:  Moisturizers, Lotions, Facial Cleansers, Lip Gloss, Makeup.  Eventually, I feel like you know what works for your skin.  I am not a big makeup person, but I swear by MAC Lip Liner and their Tinted LipGlass.  After a lot of trial and error with facial cleaners and moisturizers I am a devoted Garnier fan.  I use their Balancing Daily Exfoliator and their Moisture Rescue Refreshing Gel Cream.  I am less discriminating about my lotions, as long as it gives me extra moisture for the winter months, I can get by with Vaseline Intensive Care.

Perfume/Cologne: Whether you are purchasing this for yourself or as a gift.  Don’t cheap out when it comes to this.  You know how you feel when that special someone goes by you and you catch a whiff of his Special Scent.  Right??

Toiletries:  Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels.  For me this is about both comfort and cleanliness, no 1 ply for me.  As for paper towels, I am an all the way BOUNTY girl.  I need my Paper Towels to be Heavy Duty.  I think this is a MOM requirement.  **Not to mention, I have tried some bargain brands that leave something to be desired when it comes to the way they smell when wet.  Has anyone else experienced this? **

Housewares: Linens, Bedding, Towels.  Purchasing Quality Housewares prevent you from having to purchase them over and over again.  I say buy the higher end products, the higher thread counts, the heavier towels and washcloths.  They will last longer and just give you a more pleasurable/luxurious experience.  And, White Sales are pretty common place (especially in January), even if you have to wait to catch these items on sale.  They will be well worth the wait.

Kitchen Appliances:   Blender, Food Processor, Juicer, Toaster and Coffee Maker.  No one wants to begin any kind of project in the Kitchen only to find that your appliance has failed.  I can’t tell you how many blenders I went through before I decided to invest in one that was up to the task.

Nutrition:  Vitamins, Medicine, and Even Healthier Food Options.  It just is not easy to live healthy.  It sucks, but it is the truth.  I try to give my family healthy food choices and options, but I will be the first to admit that I wish I could shop Whole Foods exclusively.  On this, I say do the best you can within the confines of your budget.  They will thank you later.

Shoes:  I am a shoe lover and kind of a shoe snob too.  I probably would have a closet full of shoes, if wasn’t so picky when it comes to my shoes.  Instead I have my staples.  Basic Black Pumps, A Stylish Wedge, Fancy Sandals with or without a heel, that you can dress up or down, Rain Boots, Winter Boots, Sneakers(for Exercise Purposes, and then for Sporty Mom purposes), and as many pairs of Heart Stoppers (the ones that always get you a second look) and Flip Flops, as you can manage.  In this case, quality just last longer, providing you take care of them.

“Underthangs”:  And, let’s face it , even if you are the perfect weight and height, the older we get the better quality we need.  Things just don’t settle where they used to.(side-eye)  They need to pull in, lift up, and separate, etc.  lol.

A Good Bed:  Is EVERYTHING!!  Not sure this even needs an explanation, it makes the difference in both Good Nights and Good Mornings.

“Measure Twice – Cut Once.”  Sometimes it’s worth it to make the informed and maybe more costly choice, right out the gate.  You are putting out more money on the Front End, but I believe it will benefit you in the Long Run.

What are the purchases that you JUST DON’T SKIMP ON?  Share your Comments Below.

A Facelift & lots of New Additions to The Blog

changes

 

I am still riding the Start of a New Year Wave over here.  The good thing about that is that it serves as a kind of adrenaline, ideas have just been pouring out of my brain, and on to the pages of my planner.  I have been working hard at giving the page a cleaner, streamlined look.  And, I am happy with the outcome, though I am sure you know me, I don’t stay satisfied for long so I am sure that the changes will keep coming.  At the end of last year we announced that we were adding the option to Subscribe to the Stage Presents Blog for exclusive material. This year we plan to add many and varied items to that section, starting with Free Printables, that you can use to decorate your home, create photo gallery walls, and even use on your devices and or desktop.  I am sure that the list will expand as the year goes on and as it does, we will let you know.

In addition to that, I plan to add a lot of great content to the blog this year, as well as sharing information about Our Etsy Store, our design process, and our little corner of the world.

To give you just a glimpse of the kind of items that you can expect to get access to after Subscribing to the Blog.  Enjoy this free download!! Right Click and Save.

BE ACTIVE RGB

Please keep in mind this Printable is for personal use only. Personal use means non-commercial use of the Media for display on personal websites and computers, or making image prints or video copies for personal use. The Media may not be used in any way whatsoever in which you charge money, collect fees, or receive any form of remuneration. The Media may not be used in advertising. The Media may not be resold.