Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One day a year..

I love Thanksgiving. It's such a wonderful break from the daily grind. What I love most about this holiday is the message behind They don't have to be blood, they don't have to be your oldest friends..they just have to be people who mean something to you. On this one day a year you invite them into your home and share a meal and make some memories. This is an amazing gift!

In these times of struggle and heartaches we look to our blessings instead of our troubles and share food. It sounds like such a tiny thing to share a meal but it isn't. Food bridges the gap of language, age, worries and finance. It simply is a gesture that says "This is what I have to feed my family on this day, be it humble or plenty and I would like nothing more than to share it with you. Today, if for no other day after this we will sit as one family, forget our worries, differences and simply enjoy all this day has to offer." What could be more beautiful than that? Even nature celebrates with bright colors of fall and the crisp air reminding you to bundle up.

Some will have a large crowd over, fill the counters and tables with food and drinks aplenty. Others will have a small gathering of people they cherish most, enjoying a modest meal. Some will not be able to take their eyes off that empty seat and their heart will ache with lose as they spend the day with family they love.  Either way it's all about family on many levels...the joy, love and fulfillment they bring to your life.

Christmas is great with all it's festivities and gifts but nothing feels like Thanksgiving does. In its simplicity it says more about the deep love and friendships that fill your life than any gift ever will.
So gather around your table however big or small..drink in the smells of the food before you, let your heart fill with joy, listen to the laugher..take a moment to reflect on every single blessing (it could always be worse) and know that for this one day all is right in your world! Worry later if you must but not on thankful. :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

My someday plan..

Yep, I'm that person who plans for someday. The easier I can make my life now for the big things down the road, the happier I am. My sweet husband has learned that I have some crazy ways but he's come to expect nothing less and knows that they usually pay off. I love him.

Our biggest future plan is to move. We've been wanting to move for years and although we don't have a true move date..I have faith there will be one! With that in mind I've hunted down the greatest moving kit I've ever seen from I wish I had thought of this years ago. It would have saved me a lot of headache and stress. Anyways, since we aren't moving yet  I'm altering her plan just a little.

I went to the local liquor store and scored a whole truck load of free boxes and then off to gather more supplies. She recommends color coded stickers but I opted for colored duct tape. This way there's no hunting for a sticker on the box, it's taped closed with the color for each room. Written on each box is a number on all four sides. All this goes with a list for each page as to what's in each box. For example:

Box #1 (taped with red duct tape) from the master has sheets. So the box is taped with red with 1's all over it..and on the list it reads that in that box is sheets.

When the movers come all they see are colored and numbered way to know what's in each box (it's not their business). There is a door hanger for the movers to tell them what color box goes in each room.

Since we might still need to get into some of the boxes I've taken to putting a  * next to each box on the list that is labeled and color coded but not taped shut and the glass isn't wrapped (I didn't want to waste packing material). Why pack things I might need later? Well, now I know right where everything is instead of hunting! When we do start moving all I have to do is tape up those boxes,wrap what needs wrapping and we're ready to load! :) Right now I'm packing closets, stuff for storage and some office stuff. That takes care of the bulk of the house and cuts down the list of last minute things to pack dramatically. A plus is that when we show the house strangers only see neatly stacked colored boxes or the boxes are ready to quickly move to storage if needed.  In the meantime all our stuff stays clean, dust free and safe. :)

So what happens if I need something from one of those boxes? Easy! Just look in the moving binder on the list for that room, find the box number that has what you're looking for..and go find that box! When you're done with it, you know right where it goes…literally everything on that list has a home.

While you're at it this is a great time to sort out things to donate and if you're feeling adventurous you can measure big items in your home that you know you're keeping. Make a list of those things in each room and the measurements. This will help when you're looking for a new place to know if your stuff will fit before you struggle to get it in there. For example: On the back of the list for boxes for the master bedroom.

Master bed (queen size): Length, Width, Height-totally assembled and don't forget the headboard height
Dresser: Length, Width, Hight

*Do the same for each room that has furniture on the back of the box list for that room*

Trust me, it seems like extra work verses just throwing everything in semi-labeled boxes,hoping it gets to the new location and that all your stuff fits but it'll be well worth it and make things a million times easier in the long run.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Everyone gets one..

For years I was like most other households when it came to my files..they all went in a filing cabinet and papers were put in folders. I tried to make it organized, tried not to lose papers or crumple them to death but it was pointless. It still took me way longer than I had time for to find what I needed. It was clear I needed a new system. I thought I'd try something a little unconventional..a binder for each person, one for the house, one for manuals and one for debts that were paid off. Yes I know that last one sounds silly but it comes in handy if you ever need to get something off your credit report.

It's a very easy system. Each person in the house gets a binder. In it is a section for basics,medical/dental/school/awards

Basics: This is for things like your resume, copy of your marriage/birth certificate/list of your addresses and references for the last few years.

Medical/dental: In here goes all your medical and dental papers from appointments. Also any print outs of x-rays or anything else related you might have. If you have kids this is also where all the papers you used to get them into school (the dr. appointments and such go)

School: In here is all your high school/ college transcripts or important papers from your kids school like grade completion paper.

Awards: You guessed it! Here's where you put all the awards and certifications your receive.

Now whenever you're looking for a file that has to do with your husband or just one of the four kids, you know right where to find it and you aren't sorting through everyone else's papers.

House binder: This one is full of all those manuals your get with just about everything. I have a divider in there for electronics and the rest is just household stuff but you can be more detailed if you want.

Paid off binder:  All this holds is all the paperwork and paid off notices for all the things you've paid off. In case you ever find something on your credit report that you know is paid off, you now have proof!

*Again I use the cheap dollar version of page protectors for all the binders, Avery pocket dividers as needed and binders on sale or on hand.*

Now I don't have a big cabinet full of folders stuffed with papers that rub together and fade or get destroyed. I have 5 binders (6 if you count my red one) that sit neatly labeled on a shelf. Any member of my household can did anything they need in mere minutes and often read it without taking it from the protective sleeve and then it goes back on the shelf.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Seeing red with money and mail management

A few months ago I went hunting for a bill I knew I needed to pay and soon realized it was lost in what I thought was an organized pile of papers to be filed. Let's face it, there's nothing organized about a pile of papers..we're just trying to fool ourselves. I needed an answer that was easy, simple and actually doable. First I needed to figure out what I needed out of the new system. I needed it to sort my mail, help make bill paying easier and deal with stuff I'll need for taxes…oh and it needed to be free or close to.  :)

What I came up with was a big red binder I had on hand. Red seemed like a color that screamed "Don't Lose Me!" so I went with it. I had some leftover dividers with pockets from another project so I labeled each for my needs. I also used some Dollar General page protections for all the papers (I'm kind of addicted to them. I think hold need they keep the papers and make them easy to flip though), some left over three level binders and a pencil holder pocket from Dollar General too and my trusty label maker. You can just use tape and a marker if that's what you have on hand. After all, it's all about being thrifty! :)

Appropriately titled "Money Management, Mail Management"

(the tabs don't really stick out this far, it's the camera angle)

Filing: This isn't a true section so much as a three level folder I put in the inside pocket. In this space I can put papers that I need to keep close and aren't ready to be filed yet. Also there's a place for things that need filing and for the new mail. When the map comes in I put the majority of it here, unless it needs urgent help..then it goes in it's proper place elsewhere.

Pencil holder: Remember these from your school days? These are great for holding the checkbook, payment booklets..anything you need for bills you might otherwise misplace.

Bills: this section holds all my current bills and one statement for every bill I pay. I just needed one as a reference for account info and contact numbers. This is very helpful when you have to call to make changes or have questions. On one pocket I labeled it urgent for the things that need serious attention, this way it doesn't get lost in the other bills..those get placed in the pocket on the other side.

Log in: I printed out some pages I found online and used this section to keep track of all my passwords and log in info. Now my husband knows where to find the info and I don't have to rely on myself or my computer to remember it. I'm covered if my computer crashes too. :)

Taxes: This section actually makes me money in the long run! I printed out a list of tax deductions for reference on things to keep I might not otherwise. I used another three level folder to label all the major tax deduction categories I use. As I collect papers and receipts I put them in each pocket. When tax times comes I just take the folder to the tax prep service..easy as that!

Debts: In this section I put all the debts I'm currently paying on. If I every have a question about the terms or conditions I know right where to look.

Total cost of this time, money and frustration saving binder.. $3!

My system is simple. When I get the mail I sort it in my binder and shred the trash or sensitive stuff. When I pay bills, I sit down with the binder and get the job done fast and efficiently. When the "Need to file" section gets full I take the stuff out and take care of it. It's as easy as that!! No more lost papers, no more paying fines for lost bills..I'm thrilled :)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Turns out I'm a CEO!

For as long as I can remember I've wanted to run my own company or at the very least be at the top of a major corporation. It's a like a calling of sorts,I'm just a natural leader. I've held my fair share of jobs were all they want you to to do is follow along blindly. I do my best to follow the rules but I can't help but find the flaws and solutions..the only problem was that I wasn't qualified to voice my opinions. It was time for a change.

 So with my career goals in mind and the backing of my husband I set out to make my dream come true. First came my bachelors degree in business. It gave me a great sense of accomplishment but still didn't give me the standing I needed in the business world. So it made perfect sense to move on to my masters in business management. Now I was going to get somewhere!

There's a catch though, you see between my two degrees came my son. My heart. I would move mountains for him and my husband but there was still a part of me (now fully engulfed in the role of stay-at-home mom, homemaker and semi home schooler) that longed for the business world. After all the paper (soon to be papers) said I was qualified. I started day dreaming about how great it would be to dress in a suit and do great corporate duties…and then something occurred to me. I had my dream already!

I am a CEO of someplace great and home. Yeah I know it sounds silly but hear me out.
I literally am in control of ever aspect of my home (with the help of my husband of course but for the most part he follows my lead since I'm home the most.)

I have the ability as CEO to make my home the greatest and most profitable business we'll ever own. With my skills from my degrees and my natural desire to do what's best for my family I have a great opportunity before me! For once I can have every item in my "business" organized it the best way possible. I can make it as efficient as possible for the best outcome. My "employees" can be taken care of in a way only I can and being CFO of the budget means I can make the most  of "company funds".

I know it seems funny but my home is the best business opportunity I could ask for. It will be and truly is a true testament to my business sense, skills and love for my job as mother and wife.  With the new found revolution I am unstoppable! My business will grow and prosper in ways I can only dream of now..oh and that suit I always wanted to's a beaming smile of pride.  :)

So yeah, a healthy chunk of this blog will be of the business I call home and how I'm making it work. I'm a proud CEO and I want to share my venture.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Two blanket monsters

Let me introduce you to my two blanket monsters!

No, this blog isn't about them..although I'm sure they'll find their way into a story or two. This blog is about everything. Every once in awhile I feel the need to share something cool or just stand on my soapbox and shout..and this is my place to do just that. Please don't be shy about would be great to meet you. :)