The Blog

Appetite for Change: 5 Ways to Know You’re Hungry

It was less than a week ago that we were hammered with yet another blast of snow.  It seemed that winter would never fade away. Most of us felt disheartened with these poking questions:

snow melt

  • Tired of the cold?
  • Tired of pale, dry, and chaffed skin?
  • Tired of the dirty snow and barren landscape?
  • Tired of preferring “inside” to “outside”?
  • Tired of feeling lazy and just plain “tired”?

We all are.  Or at least, we were.  In a matter of 24 hours, and with a shift of just one measly hour, everything changed. We feel very different, don’t we? Daylight savings time and warmer temperatures swiftly wet our appetites for change.  

We’ve had enough, we are more than ready now.  While the snow is melting and diminishing, our spirits are simultaneously soaring. Everyone’s walking with a happier beat to their step. We are exhilarated by even the smallest physical change around us.

Ironically, for me, the “lost” hour is forgotten. The longer days diffuse it, and not only lift me up but also give me an opportunity to accomplish more. My productivity is impacted greatly.  In fact, because of the longer daylight, I’m still shocked at the late hour every time I glance at the time.  To me, this pleasant surprise is still a novelty so it feels like an extra hour gifted to me.

The landscape is changing one thaw at a time.  I can see emerging flower beds and old familiar lawn peeking through the melting charcoaled mounds of snow.  For me,  it was all that I needed to shift my thinking and motivate me to dig myself out of the winter blues.

I’m ready to embrace a new season. I’m starving for Spring’s bloom and hungry for change.  How about you?  Do you have an appetite for change?

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Easing Kid’s Back to School with Organization

After a fun-filled summer of relaxed schedules and extended bedtimes, returning to back to school regimens can be a very difficult transitionfor most children. Particularly, if there were little or no parameters enforced throughout the summer, this can be a stressful time. So if you’ve been guilty of “no schoolbook, no rule-book,” now’s the time to re-calibrate.  Emergency call for structure and organization, STAT.

Whether your child is entering Kindergarten or returning back to a familiar school, most kids experience some level of anxiety prior to the first day of school.  New routines can be scary.  No matter how old the child, they fear the unknown because it is unpredictable.  Studies have revealed that children adapt better when they are prepared and know what to expect.

As parents, the best way to ease your children’s trepidations is with steady and consistent preparation.  The power of organizationcan be calming because readiness exudes a significant measure of confidence.  So if you haven’t already started to organize for school, start now.  Have those conversations about the first day of school.

  • Review their school supplies with them and pack up their school bags now.  Why not be ready?
  • Discuss the new schedule; and morning and nighttime routines.
  • If what they wear is a concern for them, come up with a plan to make the mornings less stressful.
  • Start adjusting their bedtimes now so they can adapt to the eventual earlier rise. Teach them the value of being punctual and being prepared.
  • Make rules. Children need parameters.  In fact, they require them to make them feel safe.

Clarify your expectations. Discuss the rules.  But above all, listen. 

Listen to their fears or worries.  You can alleviate a great deal of their concerns by organizing their routine, their stuff, even their thoughts. Pre-schoolers will require a lot more instruction and direction to feel secure.  But think about it, even students entering High School have an orientation day to aid them with their distinguishable transition.  Most schools offer a walking tour prior to the first day, so inquire within your school district to schedule one if your child is apprehensive.

Do whatever you can to make your child feel at ease.  It could be a trial run to school, making a play date with a classmate, or jotting down helpful reminders or guidelines to keep in their book bag.

Everyone feels more comfortable when they are prepared and are informed. Rules aren’t exclusively designed just for school.  It’s part of life’s lessons.

For most of us, preparing your children for life is a parent’s eternalhomework, don’t you think?


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Summer’s Not Over…It’s Just on Sale!

With the impending close of summer, it’s a great opportunity to prepare for next summer.  I know it sounds crazy but, everything is on sale!  All the stores that promoted summer seasonal items are now giving them away. Be economical, be smart.

It’s a perfect time to replace, repair, and toss the broken or unwanted stuff.  It’s easy to just shove the broken beach chair into the shed or garage and deal with it next year, but do yourself a favor and act on it now.  Check out your summer inventory.  Are you holding on to leaky garden hoses, deflated pool floats, cracked pails and shovels, broken umbrellas, or moldy coolers?

Fall clothes are beginning to dominate retail stores, so bathing suits and summer clothes are super inexpensive. Why not take advantage now? Buy new basics and save them for next summer. Be thrifty and benefit from the huge savings.

Oh and that old rusty sand chair?  Let it go, it’s just useless clutter living in your garage. You’ll avoid that last-minute trip to the store when you realize the old one’s broken. It’s time to bid farewell to the residue of this season and store only the desirables.

There is nothing as sweet as being ready and prepared for summer fun! You’ll be so happy you did!

These are just the small perks of being organized. Want to learn more?  Keep reading, I’ll keep writing.

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The Top Ten Virtues of a Snowstorm: It’s About More Than You Think!!

I have learned that there is great value in an epic snow blizzard event, both prior, during, and after.  First of all, because the weathermen get all excited about forecasting the impending doom and scare us all into thinking we will be stuck in our homes for days, it forces us to be more organized than any ordinary day.  The media urge us to get ready and be prepared.

The survival instinct in us emerges and so we all run to the supermarket because we fear we will be on lock-down for days without food, (and of course, let’s not forget the fresh milk, it’s always a commodity and the very first item to deplete itself)

Apparently, when we receive a weather advisory, we take immediate action and seem to react accordingly with little difficulty.  The day prior to a snowstorm, I notice that wherever I go, I get a sense that everybody is preparing, albeit cancelling appointments or rescheduling them, changing travel, etc., all in an effort to plan ahead.  You can feel it, the “hustle-bustle”  is in the air.  A teachable moment indeed, and a great eye-opener for ANY situation.

So this begs the question, where is your inner alert for readiness in an ordinary week?  Try this.  Take a look at your week at a glance with a little more critical thinking.  Prepare with a more heightened sense of organization and I bet it will bring you better results. Being organized prepares you for the unexpected and helps you focus on your goals, just like for a snowstorm.

As for the actual snow day, it’s a great opportunity to measure how you choose to spend your time.  It’s a time to reflect.  You’ve got a day off.

You could:

  1. Organize a closet, a drawer, or any room (hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big).
  2. Read an old fashioned book, if you haven’t got a Kindle or Nook yet (yes, that requires turning an actual page)
  3. Watch a movie or impose an all day marathon (popcorn a must).
  4. Call an old friend (the kind that the time lapsed never matters).
  5. Get lost on Facebook with no time-management in mind.
  6. Catch up on sleep (an impossible goal but worth the effort).
  7. Eat ALL the food you bought.
  8. Exercise at home (probably not likely).
  9. Sort mail and pay bills (this is a tough one, most likely on your “to hate”- list).
  10. Shovel?

 Or NOT!!!!!! Whether the snow day gives us time to do the things we love to do, or hate to do, the mere break from everyday routine is a great rethink for all of us to recognize how we use our time.

After the snowstorm has settled and you’ve shoveled your way back to the mundane, don’t be down on yourself if you went the lazy route, it’s YOUR time and YOU own it.  That being said, after being a recluse for a day or two, I am confident that you will be eager and happy to get out and rock the world tomorrow.  Everybody needs a snowstorm now and then.


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Fall Wake-Up Call: “Fall” May Be Back, But Don’t “Fall Back!” Here’s How….

OK, so September is shockingly here, or as most of us refer to it as, transition.  Apart from not knowing how we are suppose to dress or what kind of shoes to wear, (I’m already missing my flip flops) what does it really mean? Generally, it means we are morphing into a new season and each of us have our own way to adjust to the change.  For some of us, it might mean nothing more than merely throwing on a light jacket or a familiar sweatshirt.   But for some others,  it could be a wake-up call to start organizing the stuff we put off all summer.  The season is changing and perhaps, so should we.

The change in season is a natural motivator for evaluating what changes you might want to make in your daily life; what’s working for you and what is not.

Here’s just a couple ways to inspire:  How about putting away, (or throw away) the summer clothing you know you won’t need or wear until next summer? Take the time to store  the tanning lotions or throw away the ones that barely have anything left  in the tube.  Don’t just shove everything in a drawer.  Use a Ziploc and label so you can find them when you are looking for them next year, or for your next vacation.  Be ready, be smart.

Now is a great time to take a quick tour of your closet and evaluate what you wear and what you never will. Take an inventory of your stuff. That Fall sweater you saved from last year might look a little more ratty than you remembered.  Organize your closet by categories, so that you can see what you are missing.  Then, you can go shopping to add to your wardrobe without duplicating something you already have . Ditto to the shoes and boots.  If they can be salvaged, bring them to the shoe repair now, and not wait for the day you want and need  to wear them, and then freak out. Organizing also means preparedness for next season.

So, transition should not mean procrastinate until the snow day.  Make it an opportunity to take stock of yourself and your things.  It should  mean get going, get with the change, proceed forward, and MOVE THE MESS now!

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