Sunday, October 25, 2015

9 Weeks to Christmas 2015: Make a Plan

Last week, I committed to spending the next 10 Weeks Organizing my Holiday Celebrations with

I will start each week’s challenge on a Sunday and the challenge will end on Saturday, December 26th.

Beginning today, there are 9 Weeks to Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations and the task for the week is to make a plan.

So, this week, we will decide our holiday gifts budget and make a list of who we plan to buy gifts for.  We already discussed our budget ($500…..including Selah) and have a pretty good idea of who we will be purchasing gifts for (mostly children).  However, I want to put everything in writing and I want to include the maximum amount we are willing to spend on each person (We kind of already discussed that, as well).

Minor Details:

-       Last week, while doing our bi-monthly budget, I started a Christmas Gifts savings account on  I initiated a transfer of $100 from our joint to start the account.  We just got our NY state tax refund (much less than I expected :-( ), which will be used to fund the remainder of our account.
  *   Plan of action is to redeem our savings in discounted gift cards from SmartyPig.
     *   Plan of action is to either give gift cards as gifts or use gift cards to purchase gifts through the eBates website/app…..or load gift cards on Gyft app and use them in the stores.

-       We are hoping to send out cards this year and the cards will be coming out of our budget.

-       Our gifts for each other does not come out of this budget.  We must use our own personal spending/savings for the gifts we’re buying each other.
*   Side note detail includes the fact that part of our Christmas tradition includes always including pajamas and a book in our gift for the other person (this includes Selah), which is opened the night before Christmas.  Every other present is opened on Christmas morning/day.

See the rest of the 10 Weeks to Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations:
10 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: Commit
9 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: Make A Plan {You’re here!}
8 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: Will You Send Cards?
7 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: What Do You Want To Do?
6 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: What Will You Eat?
5 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: Gift Wrap Organization
4 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: Decorating The House
3 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: Stock Up On Basics
2 Weeks To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: Create Bags For Each Event
1 Week To Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations: DeClutter and Donate Old Toys

Friday, October 23, 2015

Wardrobe Updates (and other Periscope musings.....)

If anyone has had an informal chat with me lately, you know that my new social media obsession is Periscope. 
Periscope lets you broadcast live video to the world.  Going live will instantly notify your followers, who can join, comment and send you hearts in real time.

Watching a scope (that’s what they call the individual broadcasts) earlier this morning led me to the topic of wardrobe updates.  @jeimonroe is a fashion curator and was scoping on the 15 Wardrobe Essentials that every female should have in her closet.  Those 15 wardrobe essentials, according to Jei Monroe are:
1.       A denim button-down shirt
2.       A Blazer
3.       A classic black pant
4.       A maxi dress
5.       A little black dress
6.       A denim jacket
7.       A white button-down shirt/blouse
8.       A nude pump
9.       A classic clutch
10.   A trench coat OR pea coat
11.   A pair of great boots (ankle boots with a heel* ……or knee length boot)
12.   A knee-length pencil skirt
13.   A great leather jacket
14.   A pair of dark denim jeans
15.   A pair of classic ankle – strap heels

A – I need this list!  With being pregnant for the past 3 years (kind of) and finally admitting that I’ve gone up a clothing size, I am now committed to purging those pieces of clothing that I can no longer fit and building my wardrobe with basic pieces that I can easily put together at a moment’s notice.

B – I no longer enjoy shopping like I used to.

C – I no longer have the time or the wherewithal to go shopping whenever and wherever I want.

D – I discovered a whole new service from another person on Periscope (@RuthSoukup of LivingWellSpendingLess) that will help me build my wardrobe without having to actually go out and shop.

That service is called Stitch Fix.  Stitch Fix is a personal styling service tailored towards helping busy women on the go discover and explore their personal style without having to spend countless hours at the mall, going from store to store.

How it works:
1)       You sign up for Stitch Fix online and fill out a personal profile, detailing your size, height, body shape and style preferences.
2)       For the cost of $20, a personal stylist will pick out 5 items each month (though you can select any frequency you want….I chose once a quarter) and mail them to your house.
3)       You keep what you want and return what you don’t want. 
a.       If you keep items, the $20 goes towards the total cost.
b.       If you keep all the items, you get a 25% discount on all the items.
4)       You give feedback to the stylist on the items you received, so that your next shipment is even more customized and tailored to your personal style.

My plan with Stitch Fix is that I (mainly) focus on those basic wardrobe essentials that will never go out of style.  With essentials, like a leather jacket, I don’t mind spending retail price because I know I’ll get a lot of use out of it.  I’ve had my current leather jacket since before I got married (so over 6 years) and it is still going strong.  It’s a wardrobe staple that I’ve more than got the $100+ amount I spent out of it.

My first Stitch Fix box comes on November 6th!  I cannot wait and promise to report back on how it goes.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

10 Weeks to Organizing Your Holiday Celebrations

There is one thing that we've wanted to do ever since we got married......and even more so since we've had a baby.  We are officially a total family now, so I think it's time to start sending out holiday cards, decorating the house and giving to others during the holidays.

I came across a blog that provides a 10 week challenge that helps you plan and organize your end of year holiday season, which I decided to participate in.  Please join me as I go through this challenge and feel free to follow the steps, as well.

Have you had it with holiday stress? Come join me each Friday for the next 10 weeks as I share tips on organizing your holiday celebrations. | Organize 365
*For more information, visit Organize 365 at
If this post begins week 10 and I start all following weeks on Sunday, we can actually complete the final week from December 20th -26th.  Perfect!
Hopefully, we'll actually be able to decorate the house and send out Christmas cards this year!