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Packing for a Trip? Here are Some Packing Essentials

March is the time of spring break travels. Or maybe you are planning your summer trip. I’ve got some tips for you. My favorite travel essential is packing cubes. Finding these, years ago, has been a game changer for me. Eagle Creek makes theirs using recycled materials. I found mine at REI. The garment folder style is fantastic. It has a template for folding your garments, which then packs into the cube for sturdiness. This is great for keeping your clothing neatly folded, reduces wrinkles and compacts it down, too. I also use a few that are simply zippered pouches of various sizes. With these pouches you can not only easily find your own things, but helps to have pouches for...

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When Teens Ask for Gifts of Cash

If you have a teen in your life, you know what I’m talking about. So many teens say cash is all they want, and so many of us balk at the idea of just giving them cash for their holiday gift. It feels impersonal or thoughtless. Some of you might like shopping and are sad to not be able to do that for them. There are two ways you can take this: drill down the request, or go ahead and give cash with a personal touch. By drilling it down, you might find out why they want cash. Let’s not assume it is because they don’t like our taste in gifts. At the same time, let’s be real—we might not...

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How to Get Your Holiday Shopping Done by Thanksgiving, Part 2

Part 2 of 6: Brainstorm ideas Now that you have your basic list compiled, it is time to brainstorm your ideas in step 2. If you are just jumping in, read about step 1 here. There still may be gaps in your info gathering, and that’s OK. The most obvious piece is knowing who is on your list. But it is useful to get information about the ages of the kids on that list and what is your budget before brainstorming the ideas. You may still be working on other information such as finalizing plans about where you will be and if you are mailing gifts or bringing them in person. But at least getting started on planning while we...

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Best iPhone Apps for Organizing your Holiday Gift List

Have you joined us in the quest to get your holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving? (#DoneByNov21) I’m breaking it down to 6 steps. The last post was step one, which is about getting organized and starting your list. There are tools to help you do that. I hope to be a resource for you on that. I’ve researched apps and created a simple spreadsheet for you to use (download the free pdf or MS Xcel spreadsheet here). My report on which apps I liked best are applicable only for the iPhone because that is what I use and was able to test. My method: I read several articles and did searches for various gift tracking apps. Based on what I...

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