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Dawn and her daughters

Today’s busy mom tips come from Organized Familie’s Featured Busy mom ‘Dawn Hall’.

Dawn’s tip of colour coding the kids when scheduling is one of my favourite family time management tools as well!

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?

Each child is only allowed to participate in one (team sport, music or
church) activity per season, taking into consideration that some sporting events will overlap each other. On our family calendar each person is color coded, meaning each person has their own color. Family events are one color.
Mom: Red
Ashley: Purple
Whitney: Blue
Family: Green
(Daddy passed away from residual effects of brain cancer complications after a 61/2 year battle) in 2001 when our daughters were 13 and 14 years old.)

Do you use a particular day planner?

I use a weekly planner book, that has a folder in the front to hold
paperwork that fits into my purse.

Do you own a blackberry?

Yes, and I love it! I would like to learn how to use it more efficiently!
It is so very worth the extra monthly cost to be able to do quick e-mail replies, facebook and Twitter from it!

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running
your house?

Everybody knowing each other’s consistent weekly scheduled commitments/appointments, and then being able to text each other.

Do you have a favorite quick meal for your family?

Most always I have fresh lettuces already cleaned and prepared in the refrigerator that is ready to be adorned with healthy ingredients I keep stocked such as: lean deli turkey breast, assorted fat-free salad dressings, assorted fat-free cheeses, salsa, and fruit that can be easily cut-up to put into the salad. My Busy People’s Cookbooks are loaded with unique, quick and simple salad recipes. Just today my daughter complimented on a salad I’d easily made in a few minutes for us for lunch. I like it to look like I took a long time preparing it; but honestly, fast & frugal quickie meals are for me!

Tell us the truth? What would we find in your car right now?

In my car you would find: dust,(it needs cleaned), an empty water bottle on the back floor (that I forgot to throw away), CDs of inspirational speakers, praise & worship CDs , and high energy music turned on. In the glove compartment of my car you’d see a protein bar wrapper, small bottle of body spray, a few dollars “stashed-cashed for emergency” (and I do mean few dollars), my car registration and copy of auto insurance. In the trunk, a box of assorted Busy People’s Cookbooks with stickers that read “Autographed Copy” (to put on books) and a baby blanket I bought on clearance for a gift for a friend.

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying to be ‘super mom’?

Let Go & Let God. We can’t do it all the time. Super Woman Syndrome is a serious problem that robs us of our joy. I know! I had it! UGH!!! Learn to do your best and then trust God with the rest. Balance is key to serenity!
Hey, I just made that up! I like it!:)

What is your number one goal for the year? How do you plan to reach it?

To live a balanced lifestyle. This is something I seriously focus on daily!
I am such a people pleaser and I hate to say, “no” to anyone. This is something I have had to learn to do without guilt or shame. If I am too busy to take care of myself with eating right, exercise and getting enough sleep than I am too busy! I plan on achieving this by writing my goals for the following day out before I go to bed.

Dawn Hall, a widow from Swanton, Ohio self-published her first cookbook in 1995 to raise money for her loving husband’s brain cancer treatments (even though she did not know how to type, use a computer or publish). Since she has sold over one million Busy People’s Cookbooks featuring low-fat, home-style recipes made with 7 or fewer easy to find ingredients!

As the host of Cooking for Busy People TV show on Direct TV (NRB Network) she humorously shares the life lessons she’s learned as she’s watched her weight and counted her pennies.

Check out her sites:

Cooking for Busy People Facebook

Twitter id: @CookingforBusy

tammykennedaleIt’s another Busy Mom! I try to feature tips from other busy moms each week to help remind us all we there is no such thing as ‘perfect’, but to instead strive for ‘real’.

Tammy Jones is a mother and the owner of A Mom Entrepreneur (one of the networking groups I belong to) and  A Single Rose .

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
My children are both in college now, but we basically used a big calendar on the kitchen wall.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
No.  I use Microsoft Outlook to keep track of upcoming business interviews, meetings and appointments.  I also use it for personal stuff to, like: my husband and kids activities, doctor appointments and family gatherings.

Do you own a blackberry?

No, but everybody tells me I need to get one.

What is your most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
I don’t have one.  Can you help me with that? J  I can’t get any help from kids or husband, so a lot of things go undone.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?
We call it Jean’s special.  Named after my mother-in-law.

Take a pound of ground beef, box of frozen spinach, two eggs, ½ cup parmasean cheese, ¼ cup minced onion, salt & pepper. Read More→

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TrickOrTreatbookOne of my goals this year has been to spend more quality time with the kids and reading is one of the things Abbie and I both love!

This week we have read a few great books, one of which is written and illustrated by Melanie Walsh. Trick Or Treat is a fun BOARD Book with flaps to peek under.

Simple fun  sentences make this a great book for your new reader to read to you for bedtime !

So here’s your chance to WIN a copy. Sent to your child in a big brown envelope decorated by inspired Canadian Artist ‘Abigail McFarlane (age 6).

Just leave a comment here (include your email address with spaces) telling us what you love about halloween to be entered.  For extra entries – tweet the contest out everyday (come back and leave a comment for each tweet).

Happy Trick or Tweeting ( I couldn’t resist)

The Almost Always Organized Mom

PS: Wondering what to tweet ? Tweet the following:

Contest closed October 15th 2009 (so we can get it to you before Halloween !)


Start to Declutter and organize your home today with Clutter Diet

Comments (11)

This week’s featured busy mom is Dawn Morris of Moms Inspire Learning.


How do you keep your children’s schedules together ?

It’s not easy. There’s a lot of juggling; but when my husband and I can’t manage, there’s always a friend we can turn to for help. I don’t like to ask for help too often, and when I do, I’m sure to return the favor. Parents need to support each other!

Do you use a particular day planner ?

No, I just use a very simple one that I picked up at an office supply store. I also make a lot of lists, and use sticky notes to remind myself of important events.

Do you own a blackberry?

No, but now that everyone else in my family is texting, I will have to upgrade to a cell phone that makes it easier for me to do so. I’m not in a rush, though, since I’m online much of the time anyway. It’s easier to catch me through email than it is by phone!MIL

What is your most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?

I would have to say that it’s asking for help with daily tasks. My children help out a lot in the kitchen, and my husband does the laundry. Actually, my husband likes to cook as well.

If we all work together, it also saves more time, and makes activities, like cooking, so much more enjoyable.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?

Sometimes, we’ll have tuna or turkey sandwiches if we’re really short on time, and sometimes we’ll even make breakfast items, like eggs or pancakes, for dinner.

I also like the idea of “make your own” taco or salad nights, which can be quick if you already have the ingredients. I recently wrote a post about family salad nights

My favorite quick breakfast is muffins (made ahead of time, of course), and you can find two of my favorite muffin recipes here.

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?

I don’t keep a lot in the passenger area, other than reading materials. You’re bound to find a children’s book or two, because I’m constantly at the library.

As for the trunk, it’s all about the sports equipment. There are fold up chairs, a basketball, a football, my son’s baseball bag, a first aid kit, etc… Oh, and I keep reusable shopping bags in there.

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying to be ‘super mom’?

I’ve been there, and eventually I came to realize that there is no such thing as a perfect mom. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

I would say the most important thing is not to compare ourselves with anyone else. If we focus on being the best role models we can possibly be for our children, that’s really all we can ever ask of ourselves.

What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it ?

I’ve been working on my blog full-time for almost 7 months now, and I’d like to free up some of that time to work on other projects.

To reach this goal, I will devote certain days to different projects, and keep better track of the time I spend on each.

Dawn Morris is an accountant, a teacher, a parent, and an avid reader who has a passion for children’s literature. She started the blog, Moms Inspire Learning, in order to share her knowledge, and to inspire a love of learning and reading in people of all ages. Dawn also contributes to the free online magazine, Literacy Lava, and is a guest blogger at DreamBox K-2 Math.

You can read Dawn’s Tweets by following her.

Before you go check out This DeClutter and mom organization Resource. Click Here

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I was super excited this morning to receive a knock on the door. For what should have arrived but a package of children’s books for Halloween.

Halloween is not my favourite holiday but it is that of my parents –  so Halloween has always been a fun time for my family. I do however LOVE reading to my children every evening before bed and we have a few great new children’s books to read for Halloween.

The first book, my daughter was happy to read to me right away. She has also asked to take it to school at Halloween to have me read to her classmates (so we will have to do some practicing).

tuckers_spooky_halloweenThe book is Tuckers Spooky Halloween written by Leslie McGuirk. Tucker is an adorable little terrier (the type of white dog my border collie mistakes for a sheep) looking for an ideal Halloween costume.

If you stop by Leslie McGuirk’s website you will find that Tucker has his very own series of books that I will have to look for.

Tucker reminds me of my son Darryl who spends at least one month changing his mind everyday as to what he will dress up as for Halloween.

My daughter reads at an advanced Grade one level and she needed some help sounding out some of the larger words. I think my son who is a year older would have an easier time with this book.

It is a GREAT bedtime story. I plan to read it to my daughter’s classroom  and utilize my Early Childhood Education experience. Yes we had to practice reading children’s books to an audience, though it’s been a while. Maybe I will dress up and read … hmmmm  should I be a cowgirl or a witch ?

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