Merry Christmas Baby!

Jim Tracy Merry Christmas 2015

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!

I hope your holiday preparations are going splendidly and you have organized your days well, so you can spend time with your most precious treasures – your family and friends! My husband and I are excited to welcome our new family member very soon in between Christmas and the new year. (Notice my baby belly!) I will be taking an extended break to bond with our baby at the beginning of 2016 but hope to see clients again on a part-time basis in a few months. Call me when you are ready for spring cleaning to begin! If you would like more current news about our little bundle of joy, please visit my food and health blog, Restored Roots and its Facebook page.

I wish you all the best to you as you celebrate this special time of year.

Using Lists for Successful Holiday Planning

Does planning a Thanksgiving meal seem daunting? Add in-laws or distinguished guests on top of that, and holiday dinners can drive you crazy before the event even happens!

Whether you are a seasoned cook, or a novice in the kitchen, you can organize and execute a welcoming Thanksgiving party with good planning. One of my favorite organizing tools is lists. Yes, you heard me correctly. The value of creating and using lists is often underestimated. Lists not only start your event on the right track, but help you remember every detail to the end. The key is to write it down, or in today’s technology, put it in electronic form. Lists do no good in your mind. If you are like me, you will forget what you were supposed to remember five minutes later.

The great thing about lists is that they are customizable to your needs and personality. There is no right or wrong way to use a list. Just do it, in other words. Here are some tips to get you going.

  • Decide what kind of list to use. Some people love paper. If that’s you, then write down your lists in a compact notepad that can be carried with you. If you have a smartphone, I suggest you download a list app, like Remember the Milk, Things, or Evernote. Things is my favorite organizing app. The initial cost may seem steep, but it’s worth every penny in the long run. Evernote is free and has multiple organizing tools, like taking photos and audio clips, in addition to typing notes.
  • Keep your list with you at all times! This may not seem important at first. But you’ll remember the next ingredient of your gluten-free pumpkin dessert at the strangest time! Like while listening to the radio in the car. Just write it down at the next stoplight!
  • No matter how small, put it in your list. It may sound funny, but I don’t trust my mind to keep track of my life anymore! Do you? You’ll ease the pressure of remembering every detail by using your lists continually, even if the reminder seems insignificant.
  • Create many lists and use liberally. You can have as many lists as you want. Electronic space is virtually unlimited with current technology. You can use a list for everything from recipe ingredients, to grocery shopping items, to gift-giving ideas, to party favor details, to phone call and email reminders, to workout goals after the new year!

Does this stimulate your appetite for using lists? Well, maybe turkey with dressing and apple pie sounds more mouth-watering. Still, creating and using lists can ease your stress this holiday season. Try incorporating lists into your everyday life. You’ll be glad you did.

I wish you and your family a well-organized and delicious Thanksgiving holiday! Whatever happens with your planning, remember that relationships are the most important part of the season.