Planning Your Holiday Meal… With Your Tween

November 1, 2010

It’s November.  You’re juggling parent-teacher conferences, PTA meetings, report cards, and a changing after-school schedule for your preteen now that winter sports have begun. With all the other responsibilities you have to contend with this time of year, the thought of preparing the Thanksgiving meal can be overwhelming. It’s helpful to treat this holiday like any project and to combat the stress by getting all those to-dos down on paper and asking for help when you need it.  Why not recruit your family, especially your preteen(s), to take care of tasks that don’t need your personal touch (or supervision in the kitchen!)?

Chances are, if you’re cooking this type of meal, you know about it well in advance, which is fortunate, because the key is planning ahead and sharing the work.  Following is a list, which will help you organize your family.

For an in-depth timeline on how to approach the Holiday Meal, visit!


Get Your Family Organized for the School Year

October 11, 2010

The start of the school year is a great time to adopt new, organized habits. Here are some ideas to help you keep tabs on your family’s whereabouts, allow you to see what arrangements need to be made, eliminate some of that morning pressure and to stay on top of school-generated paperwork.

Create a master calendar for your family.

So much of being organized is knowing what preparations you need to make in order to get organized. That’s why it’s so important to have a color-coded master calendar for your family. This calendar should include everything – family plans, after-school activities, field trips, vacation days, school assignments and Mom & Dad time. If you’re technologically savvy, you can create this in a calendar program like Outlook or iCal. If you prefer paper, choose a wall calendar large enough to accommodate all of your family’s activities – then assign each family member a different color. Display the calendar in a central location and hang colored markers from strings on the same hook. This way, family members can add new items (in their color) as they come up.

On a particularly hectic day, you should be able to look at the calendar and immediately know where everyone is and what they’re up to. Most important, you’ll be able to see what arrangements need to be made – booking a babysitter, arranging for a carpool or baking cupcakes for the PTA bake sale. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to take care of them when your schedule allows – rather than feeling the pressure at the last minute.

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A Tool for Academic Success: The Student Planner

September 6, 2010

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the approach of the school year.  As a parent, there is a lot to juggle to get your child back into his regularly scheduled program – carpool coordination, school supply shopping and the reinstatement of pre-summer routines.  As a student, it can feel just as overwhelming.  Your preteen may be feeling anxious about a whole different set of responsibilities – in some cases, it’s the first time he’ll have a locker, the first time he’ll be changing classroom between subjects and the first time he’ll have to navigate a new school building.  One way to help your child feel more in control is to encourage him to develop organizational skills through the proper use of a student planner.

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Bathroom Storage Gets Neat: How to Organize Your Medicine Cabinet & Makeup

September 1, 2010

You want your bathroom to give you that zen-like spa feeling, but every morning you perform a circus-like juggling act to catch the falling moisturizer as you open the medicine cabinet door.  Not the most relaxing way to start the day.  Let’s fix that.

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Lazy Days: Why Being Lazy Isn’t (Always) a Bad Thing

August 5, 2010

We are well into the lazy days of summer and maybe the heat wave has you feeling less than motivated to tackle that growing to-do list.  And that’s OK.

Being organized means that you can find the things you need, when you need them. It says nothing, though, about your closet looking ready for a photo-shoot for the pages of a home décor magazine.  It says nothing about taking care of household tasks like a TV personality. It says nothing about the number of papers permitted on your desktop. So, let yourself off the hook a little!

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6 Tips to a Stress-Free Move

June 2, 2010

Tis the season – there seem to be a multitude of moving trucks out on the streets. Maybe you’re just starting out in your very first apartment; maybe you’ve outgrown your old digs and are on to bigger and better. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure you could use a little help with the moving process. Once you’ve found the place, here’s what you do:

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Tips to Help You Spring Clean Your Wardrobe

May 6, 2010

Spring has officially arrived! Perfect sunshine days mean you can take your workout outside, you can break in those cute new sandals and you can switch your usual latte to an iced version. And, of course, spring is the perfect time to do a good thorough closet clean-out.

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