Time to Get Organized

organizedIt’s that time of year.

For many of you who have shared “first day of school” photos on Facebook, I can see that the routines have already begun. For most folks I know, we are in the last weeks of summer and the routines begin anew after Labor Day. Whichever camp you’re in, it’s time to take stock of how things are working and make adjustments where necessary.

Whether you’re ordering new backpacks or just excited for the next season, this time of year brings opportunities to get organized. Here are a few things I’m focusing on this month.2016-planner-download-printable-5-e1453353360629Evaluate and update your calendar/planner system:

I have bounced back and forth b/w keeping a paper calendar and a digital one. I’ve finally broken down and decided I need to do both. The paper one so I can really see what’s coming (helpful in planning ahead) and digital so I will always have my schedule with me (ideal for when making appointments).

Go ahead and put down all the dates that you know are set. Birthdays, back to school night, vacations, monthly meetings. You think you’ll remember, but I find I forget if it’s not on my calendar.NotePads-pink-web-v2-banner_1024x1024Conquer the “what’s for dinner” dilemna:

Inspired by Jenny Steffens Hobick and her detailed dinner list, I’m creating one of my own. I’m going through all my favorite cookbooks (which mainly means Ina Garten) and writing down all the recipes I know our family likes or would like, by category. Then, I’ll ask my family to weigh in each Sunday, so I can plan ahead and not rely on the same 5 things we normally have in rotation. Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 8.22.50 PM Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 8.23.00 PMUpdate the holiday card list:

Ok…I know it’s still summer, but this is one of those things that really sneaks up on you. Last year, I used Minted’s address assistant and though it took some time on the front end, it was such a relief to have it done when I ordered my cards and have Minted address them. I kept the envelopes of friends who moved and just updated those. So, now it’s done. Of course, I haven’t even begun thinking about a photo for our card, but at least the tedious part is complete.Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 10.15.47 PMSo, that’s where I’m starting. I made the trek to Staples today for school supplies and am still slugging through my to-do list, but I think if you get a jump on just a few things, it will leave more time for the fun stuff this Fall. In the meantime, back to your summer books, beach days and al fresco dinners.

What do you do to get ready for a new season?

Elizabeth-signature

images: day designer, sugar paper, the sarah johnson, minted, jenny steffens hobick

Holiday Giving: Something Truly Special

Home stretch. We’re in it. I’m mailed my last package. The holiday cards are mailed. And, I’m at the point where I really just want to curl up in front of a crackling fire with a great book or the latest magazine and just savor the season.

If you are still searching for the perfect gift…I’ve got it. A custom watercolor illustration by my friend, Patricia van Essche, otherwise known as pve. Give a gift certificate for a pet portrait, a family portrait, a home portrait, a favorite vacation spot, a custom monogram. If you can dream it, Patricia can draw it.

Patricia’s work surrounds me. I have it framed and hanging above my desk. Framed and on my desk. Framed and in my bedroom.  Stationery created from a custom monogram. There’s a joy and celebration in her work and it makes me happy just to see it.

Now, taking my own advice, I’m going to take a holiday break and enjoy time with my children, my husband, our extended family and bake cookies, play in the snow and savor time in front of a roaring fire. From our snowy home to yours….I hope that you’ll do the same!

Stay warm. Stay calm. Stay merry! I’ll see you in 2014. I think it’s going to be a great year!