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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another School Year comes to an End !

This is the last week of school for my kids, and for a lot of others around the world. Some of you have children that are already out,some of you are have children that go to school on the year round system, and some of you are home schoolers. So since we are all on the verge of Summer fun , I thought I'd take the time to post some ideas that I'd recently come across on the internet for Great Graduation gifts for your Graduate or a Friend.
 Also show some of the top summer fun tips that should give you a head start on things to do with your children this summer...Also some summer organizing that will help you out so you aren't always "looking" for that missing X item...that the kids can't find
Here we go !
Top Graduation Gifts that I have found and that I am actually going to give to  some Graduates this year. (We do not have any children graduating this year, but next year we will have two ! One High school student, and one Junior High. ) Two parties, twice the fun!
Top Cool gifts for Grads !

  • A personalized photo frame, for the graduate to display their "receiving the diploma" ! A place to shop for this *ThingsRemembered.com
  • How about a personalized Rubix's cube ! check it out at *Personalizationmall.com
  • A great photo Album ,  one already put together of all things highschool/or college ! Or just one that is ready for the Graduate to place all their photos ! Have it engraved on the front , along with the year ! 
  • I really love photos that are printed  on to canvas. Or have a personalized  poem or saying on a canvas that can be used when the graduate goes of to college. *personalizationmall.com
  • Dorm room appliances- furniture or just gift cards to these stores where the graduate can pick out what they need or want the most.
  • How about a Year's worth of coupons/gift cards for recreational things, such as the movies. 
  • A gas card would be priceless since the cost of gas is so crazy. This way the graduate can come home and visit when they get home sick, or need their laundry washed !
  • Custom engraved jewelry is another great choice. Or a engraved watch !
  • Of course, every student would love to have their own laptop. How about a wireless card or router if they already own the laptop !
  • A laundry basket full of towels,sheets,and other personal items you know they won't buy for themselves.
  •  Also any creative way to give good ole' cash. A photo frame with cash inside- a lei necklace with bills tied to the lei, all the way around it. How about dollar bills  folded into flowers and slipped onto wires to place into a flower pot ! 
  • PopTarts are every college grads breakfast,snack,or late night dinner. Go to poptarts.com and place your order for a year subscription. Each month the recipient will receive a seasonal box of pop tarts in the mail ! I love this idea !
  • Over the door Closet organizer for the dorm room, fill all those pockets with all types of goodies the grad will need. Such as Kleenex, cleaning supplies, batteries, snacks, flash light,shampoo, soap,air freshener and so on.
  • How about a gift card for a fast food  place that is close by with in walking distance.
  • A bicycle is a great choice.
  • What about a cookbook like, 101 things to do with Ramen Noodles. Or how to avoid the freshmen 15.
  • Gift cards for clothes is always a winner !
  • A new bookshelf would be great. 
  • A IOU for college books ! these are outrageous ,and any graduate will love you for this one.
  • a laundry bag with the wash soap & fabric sheet softeners to go with it.
  • a dry cleaning gift card
  • A filled shower  organizer tote, if the dorm rooms have shared shower areas. 
  • A wall map of their new town, a folder put together of all things close by that they might find interesting or helpful. A packet of restaurants that deliver , business' that the person would find useful. A park where they can go outside to study. Etc. *Remember they are going to be in a new town and everything is new.* Add in a bus pass if the town has a good public transportation, most college towns do !
  • And of course, one last thought on a gift that gives all through the year for your favorite graduate is a "care package a month". You will have just as much fun putting this together as the graduate will receiving it each month ! Inside you can do theme's that coincide to the month/holiday. Such as Oct- Halloween, Dec christmas- and so on. each month they will not only enjoy this, but most likely they will really need some of the things you put inside ! 
I hope all of you have great graduations, Parties, and get together's.  Happy Summer to all of you too !
Next up is my ideas on things to do with your children this summer so they aren't running around saying their bored ! *Stay tuned !


Saturday, April 14, 2012

So who's on Pinterest? ME !!! How can you not absolutely LOVE the whole idea of this website !I am a complete sucker for tutorials,arts,crafts,recipes,and anything that will teach me a new thing to make or do ! I am a hoarder of information,books,recipes,and some things, like yarn ! although I stop after those few, so I guess I am more of a collector that a hoarder ! However, I will admit. I am finding that I will pin some things even if I know I will never go back and resource that pin again in the future. Bad, good? Or indifferent. How do you feel about pinterest? It really just seems to suck the Person into the black hole and we reside there for hours scoring all the random bits and bobs of information that pinterest pinners have to give us. Do you pin your own ideas? or do you just repin? How do you feel about saving all those pins? What and how do you feel about them? What are you going to do with them? How do you organize them? Do you print them out and keep them organized else where?
Even Martha has organizer binder goodies !
This gets me thinking about the "HOME" binder system. Now I used to use one of these. It was the Cleaning system/meal planning/ home organizer.
It did work great when I used it, but then as life would take a twist or turn here and there I would abandon it. See a pattern? I tend to do that. Things that I want to help me or simplify my life are thrown out immediately when push comes to shove.  Hmm, just had one of those Oprah "Ah haa" moments. I am always looking for ways to keep my life & home simple.
 So the easier the better, the quicker and simplest way to accomplish something is for me.  With a husband, kids,and 2 dogs We (I) are always busy. 
Which leads me back to starting a NEW kind of home binder. One that will be my paper resting place for ALL that misc. stuff. Where I can keep coupons, school information,meal plan,keep store shopping receipts, budget for household, bill payment sheets for that months bills, so on and so on . I'm going to head out to staples office supply and gather the office items I need to make up my "HOUSEHOLD BINDER".
I'm excited. I love being organized, my challenge comes in when I become overwhelmed and instead of holding tighter to a organized method to simplify, I will toss it out on it's head. Any one else need to begin a binder for organizing their household? If so, join me. Here are some examples of what you might want to pick up, some of the items you might already have at home.
  • one large 3 1/2" binder 
  • binder page dividers- with tabs to label
  • sharpie pins
  • dry erase pin with fine tip to write
  • plastic sheet covers
  • magazine plastic holders that hook on the binder rings and you slide the front half of the magazine into the plastic divider. this will hold that magazine. For me I like this,I can keep the current issue of my Favorite FOOD magazine at my finger tips.
  • Print out a blank calender for dinner menu planning. If you want to write your menu for more than just dinner, look for a downloadable menu planning calender.
  • Also print out a calendar for the next 6 months. This will help you keep your home schedule organized and in the household binder. Which will help with the menu planning. They will go hand in hand.
  • Print a month calendar for each child, highlighting their sports,school and extra curricular activities. This works will if you can have a office supply store print the blank calendar on the clear (Spelled wrong) and  I am not exactly sure what this plastic sheeting is called, assitate *Plastic over head*  sheets, so when you over lay your triple calendars, the activities line up in a timed organized order and if they don't, you will notice right away and make plans to reorganize activities or make arrangements for Dad,sitter,grandparents to step in to help on that day. This can be a life savor ,especially if your a mom that works, has multiple children,also has your own social activities,and are married with animals !!!
  • Pick up a couple of the baseball card plastic sheets to keep your Saved business cards in, that you can reference when in the time of need, carpet cleaned,roof leaking, dog grooming, and etc. Also these sheets work great for small notes you need to jot down and save, also to slip coupons into that are for one particular store, like TARGET, WALMART, where they have their own in store coupons and you can store them here,and take in that sheet when you go shopping.
  • Pick up some binder dividers with pockets, these will help with organizing up coming birthdays, anniversaries, etc that you want to send out a card for family or friends. Also next to this pocket reverse side,have a sheet of recorded birthdays by month. leave a few spaces open for adding new ones.
  • Add a pencil and pen pouch with some tape,small scissors,pens,highlighter,sharpies,and dry eraser pen, paper clips, rubber bands, etc. This will be your go to when your needing to organize with in your binder.
  • Buy some of those plain pocket sheets that you can slip a 8X10 piece of paper into, this is where you will keep your menu. Slip in the menu and use the dry erase marker for writing on top of the plastic sheet. so next week, all you have to do is wipe off the dry eraser marker and make your new menu for the week. 
  • Visit some blogs where they teach you menu planning and how to shop the store ad for that week to make your menu for the week, this will save you money and time. Because it quickly narrows your choices down and that is good for people like me. I can't focus with too many choices ! 
  • Another good thing for those binder  dividers with the pockets, is it is a great place to keep those netflixs movie jackets and the dvds until you send them back. Everyone will know exactly where to find the movies ! No more searching the house up and down to find a lost sleeve or to find the movie !!! LOL
  • I like to add in a couple of plain envelopes these I will use to keep my cash stash for grocery shopping, or for my splurge fun money and the kids fund. Let me explain.
    • 1.kids fund- this is where I keep about 40 $ in cash, like 20 in $1.00 bills, and 2 $5.00's  and 1 $10.00. The kids know this envelope is for when they need money for school,  field trips,a fun activity on the weekend, snacks for school party, anything that they might need cash for. Then, next to it is a sheet labeled - kids Cash- This is where they write down date,and need for taking out cash. No questions asked. Then when I redo the menu for the week, I replenish kids cash. It really works out great. Often there are weeks that the cash isn't used. Then there are weeks that the cash envelope needs to have double the cash, due to the season of holiday parties,presents etc. Like Feb. & Dec . that come to mind right off the bat. But I know that now and just add double for those months. It will take your family a bit of time to figure out the needs and wants and what your family agrees that they money is used for.. Then decide how much will go into that envelope. Also I have seen parents add a chore list for the cash. 1 chore done= X amount of cash. There are lots of possibilities on how to  run the kids cash account. 
      • Of course my grocery fund doesn't really need that much explaining. However, I have a limit that is reasonable for our family. This is for FOOD/DRINKS only. I buy beauty,paper products,and misc. else where not at the grocery store , it's just too expense and over priced. So with my weekly food budget cash in envelope on pay day, It rests in the binder until shopping day- which for me is wed. Because on this day the butcher at our store reduces the meats in order to restock the shelves with new cuts for the bbq's and parties on the weekend. So I score awesome discounts on wed. Just ask your butcher and I am sure they will tell you what day and time they begin the reduction on meats. I receive anywhere for $1.00 to $5.00 off per package. This is a fantastic bargain. After shopping, if you have any money left over (bills) replace them into an envelope. Place the change into a labeled jar (you pick what this will be saved for, and how long you keep it before using.) My family keeps it from Jan. 1 to Nov.1- then take it to the bank, cash it in for bills ! Which gives us extra money for the holiday festivities or presents. It's like finding FREE money. We always get excited about how much we save all year from just the change and how quickly that loose change ends up. Last year we  had $300.00 saved from our change. We put any extra change into the jar though, not just extra grocery cents. 

Okay I think I've given you enough to get out there and buy your office organizing supplies. Let me know that you got them and we will build our Household binders ! I'm excited ! I hope you are too. I'm going to search online for a  few pictures to add here to brighten up the blog. These are not my personal pictures and I am not claiming them. Just using to show the item. Simply because I have not shopped for my supplies yet. Have a great day everyone !!!

Here are some great links for printables that will help you organize that binder easily.



3.Google home organizer binders, free printable s and you will find many resources in which to go to and print out your goodies. This can either be a expensive project or practically free. Look around your home and see what you can come up with. Oh and one last bit. For my binder, Since I am an avid knitter, it will contain a section for that alone. With pockets and index cards where I love to write down my patterns, then a list of materials I will need for the project and this way it's easy to grap when It's time to go to the Yarn Shop !!! Love it. Then with the baseball card sheet, I will snap and print out my finished projects and tuck them in this sleeve. To give me that happy feeling each time I look at it. Make yours personal by adding in something fun and hobby type !