Articles for Organized 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.
Example:
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.)
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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!:)
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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.
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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

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
house?
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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Memories or Maybe – What’s Your Clutter?

It seems that a lot of our excess clutter can fall in to two categories: things from the past or things that we might do in the future. The most important things in our lives are those that are with us in the present: those items we use frequently and enjoy regularly. These are items we use for daily tasks as well as items we actually use for self-improvement (not hope to or plan to use). Being stuck in the past or dreaming of the future creates mental and physical clutter.

Do you hear yourself saying?

I can’t let that go, it belonged to…

That was a gift, so I have to keep it…

I loved that…

I used that all the time…

That was my favorite…

I paid a lot of money for that

These are statements related to your past. Our emotions tied to our past or someone else’s in the case of inherited goods leads us to cling to these items.

The occasional trip down memory lane is pleasant but when we overly surround ourselves with the thoughts and feelings of the past we stifle our growth as individuals. Examples of these items are baby clothes, wedding videos/paraphernalia from failed marriages, gifts and inherited items that do not suit our taste/needs. Clothes, toys, records/tapes from youth are others. Read More→

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Introducing another real ‘Almost Always Orgnized mom’ Cheryl Phillips;

cherylHow do you keep your children’s schedules together ?
I don’t overload my children with activities. If there is an activity they want to join (dance, etc) then that is fine. However, my belief is that concentrating on doing well in school and creative play at home are the best way to raise a child. I’m probably not going to be popular in saying that, but I see too many children “overscheduled”.

I like to eat dinner together every night. If there are activities, parties and other events going on, I just keep everything up on the family calendar (right on the refrigerator) so everyone knows what’s going on.

Do you use a particular day planner ? I used to. Then I’d leave it in my car and fall asleep before I could go out and get it.

Do you own a blackberry? Yes! I’ve had a BB for three years now. I went two months without it to test my endurance. I won’t do that again.

What is you most used ‘time saving tip’ when it comes to running your house?
I believe in doing the same routine every day. My children actually help me save time. They all have to put their things away after school, set the table for dinner, clear the dishes, etc. So, the biggest time saving tip has been for me to teach my children to help out. I rarely have to tell anyone to put away shoes or throw their laundry in the hamper. It becomes routine when everything has a time and place.

Do you have a favourite quick meal for your family? Yes. It’s a really basic recipe and dinner is ready in 15 minutes. Home made macaroni and a wayyyyyy lot of cheese, salad and fruit. Read More→

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Guest Post by Beverly Coggins

We all have big projects we must accomplish at different points in our lives. It may be a normal part of your job or a fund-raiser for your child’s sports team or doing a home improvement project. Whatever the case, if you plan ahead, you can eliminate much of the stress that could accompany a big project. Here are a few tips:

1. Break down your project into categories and then to specific tasks in each category.

2. Estimate the time it will take do each task. Err on the side of over-estimating rather than under-estimating.

3. Add up the time it will take to complete your project so you will know how much time will need to be devoted to the project.

4. Set a deadline for the completion of your project.

5. If your project allows, delegate. Assign tasks with clear instructions and deadlines. Plan to follow-up periodically.

6. Working backwards, schedule the specific tasks/deadlines and follow-ups, allowing some extra wiggle room for unexpected delays. Plan to finish your project a couple of days ahead of schedule to reduce your stress level.

7. Know your peak energy times and schedule your tough jobs then, if possible.

8. Do big projects during big chunks of time and small ones during small scraps of time.

9. Do projects that require concentration at times when you won’t be interrupted at a place where there are few distractions. If you work in an office, consider going in during an evening or weekend when no one else is there. Make sure to take some time off during the week to compensate yourself.

10. Inform others of times when you do not want to be interrupted and when you will be available. Record this information on your voice mail. Give polite, but firm reminders when you are interrupted during your no-interruption times.

11. If necessary, go to a location away from your office or home where you are unlikely to be disturbed.

12. CELEBRATE the completion of your project!! If others are involved in your project, make sure to involve them in the celebration.

Beverly Coggins is an organizing expert, speaker and author of the 1-2-3…Get Organized series – books, workbooks, and ebooks written for the organizationally overwhelmed. Her blog provides tips on organizing time, the office, and home.

She is also a Myers-Briggs facilitator and conducts retreats, seminars, training, and coaching for businesses and individuals on the topics of team building, conflict resolution, vision/mission, career satisfaction, time management and organization.

MomAudience.com, her latest venture, is a weekly email showcasing free listings of businesses, blogs, products, and more that appeal to moms.

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