Articles for Day Planner

It’s more tips from another Almost Always Organized  Mom. Cleo blogs about Consumer advocacy at Consumer Mom. She is a 40 something full time mom, a freelance consultant, and part time consumer advocate, serving on the board of directors of two consumer organizations.

consumermomHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
Some days, I don’t. When I do keep it together, it’s usually thanks to the Gmail calendar program! I have set it up w/ different colors for my work, the kids, my favorite classes at the gym, etc.

Do you use a particular day planner ?
I use Gmail calendar …. and just got an iPhone over the summer. The iPhone calendar synchs w/ Google; but I haven’t done it yet!

Do you own a blackberry?
Nope. … but some would say the iPhone is “just as bad”…

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house? Time saving vs. sanity-saving? Sanity saving I fold laundry while I watch TV, so I don’t feel guilty watching “the Mentalist” or “The Closer”. Saves time too :). My most successful time saver has been my crockpot. I like to eat at home. I use the crockpot at least once a week, especially in the fall and winter. I’m psyched for stew and soup weather! My kids help me put items in and mix them up, too. They can even cut some veggies; it’s fun, saves money and means we eat healthier food (instead of going out to dinner).

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family?
It would have to be quesadillas — just take a Trader Joe’s whole wheat tortillas, add fillings w/ cheese or ham, cooks fast on the stove. Add a salad, another side and you are done. Another favorite is pasta. I keep all the “fixings” separate — sauce in one bowl, cheese in another, sausages in one, peas in one — so people can add what they like (or not). I find keeping sausage in the freezer a quick go-to protein (we prefer low fat chicken or turkey Italian sausage)…

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ?
Right now — empty tea cups, clothing to take to a friend (my son’s outgrown; they are her son’s size), library books to be returned, 2 booster seats, a yoga mat and tons of stickers on the doors. And probably on the floor you would find an empty juice box (or 2) and kettle corn kernels from the Sunday farmers market!

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying to be ‘super mom’?
Don’t try to be supermom. Be yourself — be your best self — as best you can, as often as you can. Tell your kids you love them — and have fun being a mom! A supermom enjoys her kids! When I’m stressed about the house or my bank account or my last stressful trip to Target w/ screaming kids, I think, hey, they will be gone soon enough, and then I will miss them and then…I will have plenty of time for all that other stuff (clean house, nice furniture, perfect hair and make up, whatever…!)!

What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it ?
My number one goal? Hmm. I have a lot of goals. To stay healthy, to take good care of my family and to be more organized! I plan to reach it by taking it one day at a time. And rewarding myself with dark chocolate whenever necessary….

You can read some of Cleo’s posts on her Consumer Mom Blog or follow Consumer Mom on Twitter.

Categories : Featured Busy Mom
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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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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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Organized Mom Judy

In the spirit of making sure moms feel supported as they tackle the busy life of motherhood and organizing their family schedules and lives, the Almost Always Organized Mom is happy to introduce another real mom juggling it all and her tips for busy moms.

How do you keep your children’s schedules together ? I only have one child, so keeping his schedule together is pretty easy. He goes to school or summer camp 3 days a week (full day – I run a home-based business and use this time to work). We then have play dates (by ourselves or with other children) on the days that he isn’t in school.
He takes swimming lessons which vary by time and date throughout the year and we love to visit the zoo and play at the park.

Do you use a particular day planner ? I keep track of all of my appointment and my son’s appointments using my calendar in Microsoft Outlook. I set reminders so that I always know when we have to be somewhere.

Do you own a blackberry? No, but I wish I had some kind of “sophisticated” phone – I am leaning toward an iPhone, but haven’t invested in anything yet.

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your
Involve your children! My son is at the age where he loves to help out – so it keeps him occupied and helps me to get everything done.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family? Yes, my favorite meal is a chicken dish:

Take skinless/boneless chicken pieces, sprinklewith salt/pepper to taste.
Divide into single serving or dual serving sizes and place on a large piece of aluminum foil.
Add 1 clove of crushed garlic to each “package”.
Add tomatoes, mushrooms, sliced onions. Add chopped fresh rosemary.
Fold up the aluminum foil to make a leak-proof package. Leave some room for steam to accumulate inside of
the package.
Bake on a cookie tray at 350 for 1-1.5 hours. Serve over
rice. The chicken and vegetables cook in their own juices, so there is no added fat required. It is delicious and healthy!!

Tell us the truth ? What would we find in your car right now ? Oh my –
a bit of everything – some extra clothing for my son, toys, papers, snacks and water bottles – my car is always in some state of dis-array! I believe I have a bunch of old clothes in my trunk that need to be taken to goodwill too!

What advice would you give to other moms who feel the pressure of trying
to be ‘super mom’?
Set priorities and let everything else go. You will drive yourself crazy if you try to do it all – so don’t try. In my house, I have “let go” of the idea of having everything neat and orderly all of the time. I can’t keep up with it and run my business and take care of my family – so I do the important things (laundry, cooking, and having some fun) and let go of the clutter. Does it bother me? yes, but I have learned to accept that I just can’t do it all.

What is your number one goal for the year ? How do you plan to reach it
That’s a really good question. I can’t say that I have one main goal for the year. I have lots of small goals. I try not to set any goals that are too large or too daunting – but rather set many smaller goals
that I can reach in a short time. That way I am always getting small doses of accomplishment throughout the year rather than striving for one main goal. This way if I miss a few along the way, it isn’t upsetting because I have also accomplished many!

Dr. Masucci is a mom to one beautiful boy and a small-business owner. She lives in Pennsylvania just north of Pittsburgh where she operates a maternity and breastfeeding boutique (A Mother’s Boutique ) and writes about parenting and breastfeeding on her blog Mommy News and Views.

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