Happy Holidays!

Holiday sales, lay-away, Radio City touting its Christmas spectacular. It’s September still and the march is on.

As I mentioned earlier, I’m good with holidays, Christmas in particular. With four kids, lots of family and friends to buy for, I learned early on how to plan well, execute with time to spare and, most important, enjoy myself.

The secret to my success begins late-Summer each year.  I buy a small notebook and get to work. Each person on my list gets two facing pages. The left side is for gift ideas, the right side keeps track of gifts bought for that person. Once the book is bought and filled in with all the names, it never leaves my bag. I need it handy so I can quickly jot down things people mention in normal conversations about what they would like, love to have, wish they had the money for, would never splurge on for themselves, etc. etc. etc. People drop so many clues every day.

photo

Like I said before, this helps me enjoy more of the season, get others presents they like and never tire of hearing “How did you know….”?

The back pages of the book are reserved for keeping track of what’s been ordered and when delivery is expected and then a to-do-list by store. So, the Toys R Us page would have a list of all the kids on my list whose gifts could be bought there.

For receipts, I keep a big envelope where they all get deposited and I set up a folder on my laptop for electronic buys. Paper receipts can also be scanned into the electronic folder.

This might sound like a lot to do, but I never worry about getting one child more than the others, don’t forget things I bought early and hid away, have plenty of sales between late August and December to take advantage of, and always know how much more I have to do and when I’m done.

Happy Holidays!

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Bye Summer

Now it’s official. Summer is over and fall has arrived. Whites got put away after Labor Day, now the dark linens and light cottons go…  a few left out for leftover warm days.

I spent some time during last night’s Emmy’s to go over the list of my summer want-to-dos.  I was happy to see that a lot of the list was accomplished, both tasks and pleasures. No, the house and closets weren’t cleansed of all unnecessary things and there’s still a lot to donate, but good progress was made. And, the Christmas notebook was started and some presents already bought. (I’m going to start a Holiday Shopping tag. I’m a good holiday organizer – I start early, finish with time to spare and enjoy the season, which is the most important thing. And I always cap it off with a Bed-Camp Day!)

I’m looking forward to the time when it’s cool enough to put the winter linens back on the bed. The wing chair in my bedroom is being reupholstered and when that comes back, and the bedroom is ready for the season, another Bed-Camp date will be set.

The lower humidity and cooler weather are wonderfully invigorating and it’s easy to throw yourself into the activity without a thought to yourself and your needs. There’s just so much more that needs to be tended to and life in general seems a bit less casual. Even if you don’t have kids that go back to school, a life-style change if there every was one, fall is a bit more structured for everyone and we all miss some of the spontaneity and sunlight of the summer months. Don’t forget your needs and pleasures. There’s still time for you.

There’s less DAYLIGHT, not less DAY…..take the time for you. Make a list.

September

Take the pineapple and broccoli off. Today is National Cheese Pizza Day. Classic. The way it should be.

September food holidays include: whole grains, mushrooms, potato, papaya, honey, breakfast, California wine, chicken and Bourbon Heritage. There are a few more.

But, I’m sitting here thinking apple, pears, early pumpkin, late strawberries and tomatoes.

Still some canning left to do.

Grab Some Cloud for Photo Backups

I wouldn’t dream of even suggesting that Summer is over this weekend. My whites will go to an upstairs closet next week, but that’s as far as it gets for me. Officially, summer doesn’t end for a few more weeks.

Hope you all took lots of pictures so you can remember and share with friends.

Speaking of pictures…..my photo library, even after deleting 900 photos, still has more than 18,000. Love Apple’s PhotoStream but looking for another platform to share and, more important, back up to a cloud. Have downloaded several different apps but haven’t had the time to make a final decision and move everything over. I do appreciate I have to back up somewhere.

The Verge just published a pretty good overview of the better available choices. Time to make the decision, take to my bed, and start moving photos!

http://www.theverge.com/2013/8/29/4560364/best-cloud-storage