Hair Fairy Hit Hard – Can You Organize Kids?

*Sigh*

We tried to get out of the house early today; kids didn’t wake up, they complained a lot, and we found someone got a visit from the hair fairy. Daddy worked hard on Sydney’s hair this morning to get it to “stand-down.” How do you deal with your child’s head when the hair-fairy hits hard?

These pics are evidence of prior visits from our hair-fairy friend.

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Web Log-ins and Passwords – Keeping Track

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Web Log-in and Password Planner Sheet

As a wife, a mom, and the Chief Operating Office of our household, I feel like I am on information-overload most of the time. It seems like life speeds by and there is never enough time to accomplish everything on my priority list. My brain is always playing the zero-sum game: when I put in something new, something else needs to fall out to make room. So I am always devising new tactics to keep track of all the important information in my life; and to be okay with letting some things go. 

I use a log in my Planning Binder to keep track of my web log-ins and passwords.  I use more than 75 log-ins for personal and professional purposes.  I am sure you have just as many if not more. To keep track, I write everything down in one place and refer to that one place each time I am on-line.   My designed Web Log-in and Password Planner Sheet will help you keep all your information in one place. Print it out, 3-hole-punch it, and put it in your planner binder.  Refer to it and add to it regularly. Or, save it electronically and revise it accordintly so you never forget your important information.

Remember to keep this printed log in a very safe place; especially if you have noted log-ins pertaining to financial or personal information. Or save your log electronically with password-protection–just be sure to remember this password!

Comments and suggestions are always welcome! Let me know what planner pages you would like to see here!

Spring Cleaning – Organizing the Home

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Spring Cleaning Checklist

I love spring. Spring awakens feelings of freshness, renewal and optimistic opportunity. As late March showers give way to April flowers we shed our thick winter layers and awaken to a sense of new lightness. I begin my spring cleaning with daydreams of smooth polished wood floors, squeaky clean tub tiles, and breezy light scents of lemon and white vinegar. Then I come back down to earth and accept that my two young kids will be following me leaving soft meandering clumps of dirty crumbs and dingy clutter upon my newly blazed trails of cleanliness. It is kind of like black flies and mosquitoes biting your ankles as you watch your bright yellow daffodils dance softly in the sunny warm breeze.

Even with little mess-up-monsters in my house, I do a thorough spring cleaning. My designed Spring Cleaning Checklist is detailed and full of cleaning tips. You don’t have to clean your whole home in one day, or even one week. Work through your home room by room to make the entire project more manageable. When I have questions about how to clean, I always reference Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook and my owner manual. If you have complex questions, contact a cleaning professional. I hope my Spring Cleaning Checklist tool will help you on your way to a fresh spring start.

Baby Feeding Log – Time Management

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Baby Feeding Log

I thought the birth of my first child would be a moment of serene unsurpassed accomplishment. I felt prepared for childbirth. I had read numerous books about natural birthing, took private Lamaze classes with my husband, and had prepared myself mentally for labor and delivery. However, I had not prepared myself for everything after my beautiful son entered into the world. I vaguely knew how to diaper and burp him, but I had no idea how to breastfeed my new perfect baby.

Tyler and I had a very difficult first 8 weeks choreographing our feeding relationship. I remember crying in pain and frustration at 2 AM wondering if we’d ever, “get it. In my postpartum haze I reached out for the help of a wonderful professional lactation consultant. She gave me a regimented feeding schedule and tons of moral support and we began our journey to success. Tyler started gaining weight and by 4 month old he weighed 18 1/2lbs. (He was born at just 7 ½ pounds.) It is the most awesome thing to know I helped him grow.

I was more prepared for the birth of my daughter. Although Sydney faced a number of medical challenges common among premature babies, we happily nursed for more than 5 months. I used a breastfeeding log to track our progress and this information helped my professional lactation consultant design a feeding regimen that was exactly right for us.

I hope my designed Breastfeeding Log will help you prepare to embark upon this exciting journey with your new baby. Print out the Log and put it in your “going to the hospital” suitcase with a pen. Track your progress and then share your Log with your lactation consultant so they can best encourage your success. (My Breastfeeding Log will not teach you how to breastfeed, but instead will help you note your progress.)

If you choose to breastfeed be optimistic and remember each small amount helps your baby grow. If you choose not to breastfeed, I say “good for you.” With so much opinionated pro-breastfeeding persuasion, it is wonderful that you chose to make that decision for yourself. Your baby needs your love most. Please feel free to pass along this Log to a mom who is planning to begin this gratifying bonding journey with her baby.

Plan a Monthly Budget – Money Management

 994012_saving1Personal Expense Tracker – Monthly Budgeting

My Personal Expense Tracker takes a business approach to managing household finances: pay your fixed expenses (monthly bills) first and then tailor your variable expenses (needs/wants) to your level of income.

You must pay fixed expenses each month to protect your credit and keep a roof over your head. You can generally tailor your need/want expenses to fit your income level. Although you can cut some fixed expenses by bundling tech services, shopping around for insurance, or getting the lowest credit card APRs, focus on having enough cash to cover your need/want discretionary spending. If you are low on cash, because your electric bill is more in the winter months, eat-out less or use coupons when you grocery shop.

A few notes:
I regularly use a similar spreadsheet to figure out my cash flow and make sure bills are paid on time.

Saving for an emergency is a must. Emergency fund contributions need to be treated as a monthly bill. You never know when it is going to rain, or pour for that matter. You NEED a household emergency fund of 3-6 months of living expenses. This line item is in the fixed expenses category. Saving only $35 a month can eliminate expensive credit card finance charges for that emergency purchase.

This tool is not intended for proportional budget analysis (like how much of your income goes to savings versus debt.) This tool is simply to help you “balance” your budget and ensure that you plan to have enough cash to cover all your expenditures each month.

This budget planner is not intended for tracking investment, small business, or rental income and expenses.

This budget planner isn’t a substitute for professional financial advice from a certified financial planner or a certified accountant. If you have legal or tax-related questions please contact your financial professional.

There are formulas in the spreadsheet, but it isn’t password protected, so you can add or delete items if you would like.

Comments and feedback are always welcome! Happy budgeting.

Save $$ Grocery Shopping – Keeping Track of Triple Coupons

Coupon File
Have you wondered how others find products that are FREE or 95% off? Have you ever been confused while standing in the isle with your coupons trying to calculate in your head if that 45¢ off 4 cans of beans will compute to a 75% off discount? I created the tool that will help you find the best deals on your next triple coupons shopping trip!

With my Triples Doubles Shopping List you can name the discount you desire and know instantly if your coupon will give you that great bargain discount.

Simple Steps to Prepare:

1. List the coupons you would like to use (Ex: $1/2 Granola Bars, this sale will double the Q value)

2. Name your desired discount (Ex: I will buy the product if it is 85% off)

3. Sort your shopping list by grocery department

4. Print your Triples Doubles Shopping List, grab your coupons and go shopping!

5. Compare the store shelf price with your Triples Doubles Shopping List price to see if your coupon will give you your desired discount (Ex: for my Granola Bar MFQ to give me a 85% discount, the shelf price must be $1.76 per box. If the shelf price is LESS than or equal to $1.76 per box, BUY IT, it is 85%+ off!! If the shelf price is MORE than $1.76 per box the coupon discount will be less than 85% off, so don’t buy the product.)

I found many items at a 75%+ discount on my triple coupons shopping trips by using this List method and my trips more efficient because I simply compare the price on my list and the store shelf price to know instantly if the discount is a good deal.

I hope this tool will help you with your next trip!! If you would like to share my Triples Doubles Shopping List, please do, just remember to link back to my blog!! If you have questions or suggestions leave me a comment! Happy bargain hunting to you!

NOTES:
Download the worksheet to use its calculation functions.

You must enable macros in order to use this worksheet. (In Microsoft Excel click on the Tools menu and select Macros, then select Security. Switch your settings to Medium and click Ok. Then open the file, and select Enable Macros. (Warning: allowing unknown Macros to run on your computer can put your computer at a higher risk for getting viruses.)

See the instructions on the List sheet to use the List functions properly.

Easter Planner Checklist – Event Planning

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Easter Holiday Planner Checklist

Easter is rapidly approaching! Like me, you probably have family to remember, baskets to make, and a holiday meal to prepare. Planning holiday events is stressful so I keep my sanity by staying organized. I use detailed holiday checklists to help me remember all the details.

I hope you find my printable designed Easter Holiday Planner Checklist helpful while you are planning your perfect holiday event. (Remember perfection is a journey and remembering imperfection is sweet!)

Please give me feedback! I’d like to hear what you would add to these planner pages and what other planning tools you would like to see in the future!

Happy Easter planning!