Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Summer Traveling Tips with Barbara Reich


The summer traveling season is right around the corner.  Whether you’re traveling an hour by car to see the grandparents or hopping a plane to go halfway around the world, these tips will help you and your family get organized before you leave so you can enjoy your trip!  Happy organized traveling!

  1. For airline travel, employ “the rule of fractions”. If there are four people in your family, pack a fourth of each person’s clothing in each piece of luggage.  If luggage is lost or stolen, everyone will have enough to wear until it’s found. 

  1. Plan your wardrobe around three pairs of shoes (think metallic).  If you can pack one pair of shoes for all of your night time outfits, one pair of shoes for your day time wear, and one pair of sneakers, you have simplified and lightened your load.

  1. Consider traveling with pop-up laundry hampers for your whites and colors.  Your hotel room will look much neater, and at the end of the vacation, pack the dirty laundry and fold up the hampers. 

  1. Don’t be the only one not taking advantage of the “2 for 1 special”.  Do your research ahead of time.  Often there are coupons and discounts available for popular attractions and venues that can be found through a simple online search.

  1. Charge cameras before you leave home, make sure you know how to operate them, and that they are working properly. Bring extra batteries and memory cards if needed.

  1. Put a piece of hotel stationery in your children’s pockets.  Even older children and older travellers may forget where they’re staying if they get lost, particularly in a foreign country.

  1. For longer trips, ship toiletries to your destination one week in advance through an online drugstore such as drugstore.com.  If you order enough, you may even qualify for free shipping.  You’d be surprised how much sunblock, diapers, and shampoo can weigh.

  1. Bring a jump rope.  You can always find a corner of the airport to let your child get rid of excess energy before boarding the plane. Or they can use at a rest stop to stretch their legs.  And, you can use it to exercise if you can’t get to a gym.

Barbara Reich is a professional organizer who lives in NYC with her husband, thirteen year old twins and puppy. She takes a tough love approach to help everyone turn organization from a chore to a lifestyle. Her book, “Secrets of an Organized Mom,” is currently on shelves.  Find out more about Barbara at facebook.com/ResourcefulConsultants or @BarbaraReich

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

How Much Can You Bear?

They say that God never gives us more than we can bear but then I wonder why it was that he gave me a child that I couldn’t parent.  Not because of her, because of me.  I don’t have the patience or the skills to deal with her.  She makes me so incredibly frustrated to the point that I want to hit her.  I have to walk away. 

My husband isn’t much better.  He walks around with a frown on his face because he thinks I should just stop talking and wants the yelling to stop.  Yet, I hear him do all the same things when I’m out of the room and he will add in a few choice four letter words to boot. 

If I so much as grab her arm she cries abuse.  If I say something and mix my words up, she’s on it like a hawk.  If I say something that gets her really upset and I see that it upsets or was more important to her than I thought, I will try to come up with a compromise but she holds fast to what I first said. 

She hits her brother and than has a complete hissy because he marks up her shirt with lip balm.  Her uniform shirt that costs like $28.00.  The lip balm is the colour of grapefruit.  Over and over it’s how much she hates her brother and refuses to acknowledge that she prompted the retaliation by bugging him. I ask her to put her shoes on it’s a five minute rant about how I don’t need to tell her over and over again, why do I do that, can’t you see what I’m doing, I can only do one thing at a time, you tell me to do everything, what I’m supposed to stop putting my jacket on to put my shoes on and on and on and on it goes till I want to scream. 

I had to listen to her rant about how she can’t find her school fleece and come quickly to the deduction that her sister must have worn it and that she must have lost it at school and that’s why E can’t find it.  It’s only after her father says he’s leaving with or without her and walks out the door that she finally goes outside.  I walk over to the coat rack and in two seconds I had found the jacket, under another jacket to be sure but there just the same.

When she’s like this, I can do no right and every resolve at being patient quickly dissolves under the constant barragement of temper from her. I am not the mom I want to be.  I want to scream, I want to run away.  I am so tired.  Instead, I cry after they are all out the door. 

Then I watched this video about a lovely girl named Rosie and I am reminded of all the special things that my E is.  That she is so much more than the temper and the impatience and the irritation.  I am especially reminded from this video that I need to hold onto all the wonderful things my daughter is and celebrate those things with her. I need to figure out what helps her to calm down and how to moderate my language so that she doesn’t feel like she’s been bossed to death or attacked.

Like I said, it’s really not about her.

It’s about me finding a way to parent this child without making things worse.  Finding a way to get a handle on her and how to navigate through these tricky morning situations.  Patience alone isn’t going to cut it but if the good Lord could send an extra measure my way, I would appreciate it.

Zeemaid

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Getting Springy with Hallmark

I love this time of year and with sunny days upon us, I can just feel my mood lift and spirits soar.  Of course, with spring time also comes babies, graduation, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Which means shopping, shopping and some more shopping.  Not that I am complaining, I enjoy checking out Hallmark Canada for unique gift ideas that will please my friends and family. 

Here are  just a few gift ideas from Hallmark’s spring line.

thumper

Thumpin’ Thumper - This little guy thumps his foot and says one of three greetings.  He is definitely soft and plushy and a huge kid pleaser.  Just $14.95 with the purchase of three Hallmark greeting cards or $24.95.

Mason – Interactive Story Buddy and Mason’s New Friends mason-and-bookinteractive storybook 2.0. Mason is a love-worn teddy bear who’s been left behind by his previous owner, only to be rediscovered and loved again by his new friend, Jacob.  Includes one story buddy, one storybook, one read along audio CD and free access to digital story time.  My kids loved this plus little guy.  He is unbelievably soft and cuddly and a delight to read along with the children.   MSRP  $34.95

bloomingBlooming Expressions – Fabric petals open to reveal a special message and a glittery butterfly.  All are showcased in a beautiful vase and plays a lovely melody.  MSRP $24.95 or without music $19.95.  These are really lovely and will contemplate any d├ęcor.  I’ve actually chosen to leave mine open because it’s just so pretty. magic print

Magic Prints – Create a personalized gift with Magic Prints.  Mess-free Crayola Magic Solution reveals handprints or footprints from children or pets.  The solution only works on Magic Paper and washes up with soap and water.  What a great idea and so easy to use. MSRP $24.95

dadOne-of-a-Kind-Creation Frames Mom, Dad, Love.  - These are really, really cool.  So cool, in fact, that I already hid mine away so that my husband doesn’t see it. At first glance, I wasn’t sure how I would make this work then I saw that I didn’t have to.  Shutterfly does all the work by allowing you to customize your digital photo and prints it out to the proper specifications.  How cool is that?  I’ve used Shutterfly in the past and it’s a great company to order from. Special pricing on the Mom and Dad frame $14.95.  Love frame is $24.95pics-n-props-grad

New Pics ‘n’ Props for Mom, Dad, Grandma & Graduation – Tells stories or show your love with photos in a creative new way using Pics ‘n’ Props.  Each kit comes with special props and a frame or album to store your memories.   This is another great idea.  The kit I received was for graduation 2013 and I know a special grad that is going to love this.  It’s a big time in a grad’s life so why not remember it with some cool props.   Priced from $16.95 – $24.95.

Of course, these are just a few of Hallmark’s spring line. There are many, many other cool gift ideas like beautiful mugs for Mother’s Day and hilarious Star Wars Bottle Openers with sound.   For more gift ideas visit Hallmark.ca.

Zeemaid

*disclosure – I received the above items in order to review and blog about them.  No other compensation has been received and all opinions are my own*