Posts by christy:

Local Love: Oh Yes It’s Ladies Night…


Moms’ Night Out is sacred.  And, my husband knows it!  I love my mama friends, and so look forward to a night out once in awhile.  It’s the best, isn’t it??  Today, I’d like to share some fun Moms Night Out ideas in OC, and would love to hear yours!

ideas for moms night out oc

Fondue Anyone?

Just recently, my MOMS Club made reservations at The Melting Pot, one of my favorite fondue restaurants.

I was so jealous I couldn’t go (mama duty called for a meeting at school), but what a great idea!  I love The Melting Pot in Irvine…perfect for specialty cocktails, cheese and chocolate parties, or the complete two-hour, full course fondue feast.  A great way to unwind with your girlfriends, and so yummy!

Cineopolis – Movies and Cocktails

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love, love, love the Cineopolis movie theater.

They have them in several locations, but my favorite is in Laguna Niguel.  You pick your movie in advance, pick your seats in advance (make sure to coordinate with your friends!), and go enjoy your movie in big, plush, reclining seats, complete with cocktail and food service during the movie.  Last time, I had a Lemon Drop and sweet potato fries (could there be anything better?!), and it was a-mazing. Love this place!

Bowling Party

Bowling, beers, laser lights, and music.  This is a great and casual way to have a fun night out with your mama friends.  Check out these local bowling places, and look at their websites for any special upcoming events or theme nights.

Bowlmor in Tustin
Lucky Strike
Irvine Lanes
Saddleback Lanes
Tavern + Bowl in Costa Mesa
Tustin Lanes

Paint Night

My MOMS Club just scheduled a “Paint Night” on the calendar, and I am SO excited to go! (And yes, I have an awesome MOMS Club who loves to plan a MNO each month!).  I’m sure you’ve heard of this –  you get to learn to paint something gorgeous (and somewhat professional looking!), and have a cocktail while you’re doing it.  Yes and yes.

Check out – since there are events all over the county in different locations, look up what work best for you and your friends.  And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a great artist to participate – all levels are welcome!

Another Tiny Oranges’ favorite is local artist, Timree, who has locations in Newport Beach and Tustin. If you have enough ladies, you can also book a private party.

Comedy Club

What a great way to unwind and enjoy an evening of laughter with friends.  Check out the Irvine Improv, and look for any upcoming shows that catch your fancy.  Also be on the lookout for great deals on sites like Groupon and Living Social – there always seems to be some pretty cool comedy events and discounts available.

Dust off your Roller Skates

What about going old school?  I’ve never been, but I think it would be so fun to have a Mom’s Night Out at a skate rink for something different.  (I’m picturing 80s night, mamas.)  Check out Holiday Skate Center in Orange – it looks like they have lots of fun themed events.

Still need some inspiration?  How about…

– Using Open Table to find an awesome (and available) restaurant for dinner (or just cocktails!), and make quick and easy reservations for you and your mama friends.

– In a book club?  Or want to start one?  This is a really fun, chill way to enjoy a girl’s night in…best part is you can show up in your yoga pants.  Rotate houses among your group, or meet at a coffee shop.

– If you’re okay with an earlier evening (and let’s be honest – sometimes, 5:30 sounds A-okay to start the “night” out), pick a place for Happy Hour.  Great prices and an early start.

– Manis and pedis are always good.  Doesn’t matter the time of day or evening!

And, what about a Mom’s Morning Out?

If it’s not feasible to go out during the evening, why not plan a weekend Mom’s Morning Out?  Here are some ideas to get the ball rolling…

– Pick a fun place for a champagne brunch.  Don’t you remember enjoying these before kids?  Just make sure to Uber or have your hubby come pick you up, if needed!

– Pick a beach city (think Laguna, Newport, Corona del Mar, Huntington, etc.),  meet up with your girlfriends, and stroll through all the cute little shops.  Have a nice cup of coffee or stop by at a little restaurant that looks good.

– How about taking a fitness or yoga class together, go for a walk or jog along the beach, or take a beautiful hike.

– Want to indulge a little?  Book a treatment at a day spa.  After your facial or massage, enjoy the amenities of the spa and make a whole morning of it with your mama friends.  Doesn’t that sound like bliss?

Where are some of your favorite places to have a mom’s night (or morning!) out?  Does anyone have a favorite karaoke place?

Share below, so we can accumulate a great go-to list!

Fun Ways to Encourage Little Readers

Fun Ways to Encourage Little Readers

Reading with your little one can be one of the best parts of your day (the snuggles, the relaxing quiet time!)…especially during that magical transition when they start reading words back to you (yes, it is totally normal for you to think, “my child is a genius!!”).  Then they hesitantly string a couple of words together.  And sooner or later, they want to read you their favorite book.  Today, I’d like to share some fun ways to encourage little readers.

Make it a special, make it consistent.

We try to make reading time special at our house.  Typically, we read after my kiddos are all clean and snuggly for bedtime – because my husband and I make reading part of their bedtime routine.  Every night.  With our first grader, she always wants to read to us (you know, because she’s practically 16).  My preschooler is getting into BOB books now (if you haven’t heard of this amazing learn-to-read series, check it out!).  Now, we read him a story (of his choice), and we work with him on letting him read a BOB book to us.  Reading is part of their cuddle time, and unless something out of the ordinary is happening, we keep this routine every night.  And we all look forward to it!

Take them to the library.

I try to take my kids to the library once a month (we go once a week during the summer).  They each come with their own fabric handle bags, and my rule is that you can pick as many books as you can carry.  They LOVE this!  It gives them control to pick what they want and read about what interests them.  And we all know (especially with little ones) that they are constantly vying for control.  This is a great way to engage them in the reading process.

And yes, I sneak in some books that I’d like them to read, too!

Give them their own book budget.

If you can, try giving them a book budget every week or month.  This is a “two-fer.” They get to pick books that they are interested in and excited about…and they get to practice counting and keeping track of their “budget.”  Even if it’s only $5!  There’s something exciting and special about getting to go shopping for your own books.

Make a reading reward chart.

Do you have a shy or hesitant reader?  Try creating a fun reading reward chart for them.  (You can read my blog about reward charts here, for some ideas.)  And, if your kids are anything like my daughter, she LOVES to keep tangible track of her accomplishments.  Which is probably why reward charts works so well for her.  She loves logging each and every book she reads.

You can pick what you feel most comfortable with in regards of earned “prizes,” and also pick how many books they have to read to earn them.  Stickers, “dollar spot” trinkets, earning a trip to their favorite place (like having an ice cream, going to their favorite restaurant, going to a favorite bouncy place, etc.), a toy, etc. – it all depends how you want to set it up, and what you feel will work best for your child.

Play games while you’re reading.

Oh my gosh, you can practically make a game out of anything when you’re reading!  When teaching my kiddos to read, I use my pointer finger and follow along with my finger as I’m reading.  Then, I have my preschooler do the same.  Here are just a few “game” ideas that might make reading a little more entertaining for little ones :

– Count how many _______ you can see! (Pick a simple word – “a,” “the,” “ball,” etc.).

– Have them point to a picture and then point to the corresponding word.  Or visa-versa.

– You read a sentence, they read a sentence – trade off.  I find that my preschooler loves when I read in funny voices.  Whatever works.

– Tell me all the words that start with ______. (pick a letter).

I could go on and on.  Creating these little games make it more interactive for your kids, and I’d like to think it helps them with their comprehension level.

Speaking of game, phonics, phonics, phonics.

I have personally found that the easiest way to teach my kids to read, is by starting them with phonics. I am a BIG proponent of phonics.

Now, there are a zillion programs out there to get your little one started on phonics.  My favorite?  A free app and website called “Starfall.”  If you haven’t heard of it, check it out.  My daughter did at least 15 minutes of Starfall a day for a full summer (in addition to our reading time together at night), and when it clicked, it clicked.  It is a great supplemental resource.  And the best part is, she thought mommy was just letting her play games!

Have your “big” read to your “little.”

This is the BEST!  If you have an older child, have them read a book to your little.  There is nothing more heartwarming to see…and honestly, it is great positive peer pressure.  Never underestimate the power of positive peer pressure!  If big sis thinks reading is cool, so do I! (And you are stealthily getting in more reading time for your big!).

Once your little starts reading more confidently, have them read to their big brother or sister!

What are some ways you make reading fun for your child?  And great tips you can share for encouraging little readers?

Photo credit: Flickr;
Copyright All rights reserved by Nozomu Okabe

Tips for Taking Little Kids to the Movie Theater

Today, I’d like to share my tips on taking kids to the movies. Hopefully this helps makes the outing a little less taxing, and a little more fun! Tips on Taking Kids to the Movies

Going to the movies with your spouse or your friends = a great night out (and probably a rare occurrence these days…which makes it even more fun!)!

Going to the movies with your kiddos?  Potentially a stressful experience, especially if they’re younger. From my personal experience I have put together 10 tips on taking kids to the movies.

#1 – Check out the movie you plan to see.

Even if a movie has a G or PG rating, you might still want to check out the movie in advance.  I like the site,, which gives a great movie overview, parent reviews, and addresses content details like language, violence, etc..  It even gives you topic ideas to discuss with your kids after the movie ends.  Love it.

#2 – Choose your time carefully.

Once you have your kid-friendly movie in mind, make sure you pick a kid friendly time.  The earlier the better.  Avoid seeing movies that overlap nap time or meal times.  Early movies are typically filled with other young parents and young kids.  Which means that pretty much everyone will understand if your kid talks, yells out, dumps their snack, cries, or kicks the seat in front of them (fingers crossed).

#3 – Arrive early.

Next…arrive early.  But not too early.  You don’t want to use up their patience sitting in the theater 20 minutes before the movie starts.  I arrive about 15 minutes prior to the show (20 minutes, if it’s a super popular movie).  We all get our tickets.  We all go to the bathroom.  We get any snacks we’d like at the snack bar.  We adjust our booster seats.  And I try to time it pretty well so that we only have a minute or two sitting down before the lights dim.

#4 – Schedule potty breaks.

This one is important.  We all go to the bathroom before the movie starts.  This may not stop the loud “whispers” of  “I have to go poootttyyyyy,” in the middle of the movie, but it certainly helps!

#5 – Bring a blankie in your purse.

I learned this one from experience.  A small blankie in your purse or diaper bag is helpful for two reasons.

1.) Movie theaters can get chilly.

2.) If either of my kiddies get scared during a particular part of a movie, I hold my baby and tell them to put their blankie over their eyes.  Works like a charm.  And it may help prevent your little from trying to bolt from their seat and run into the aisle or out of the theater. Yes, when my daughter was three, she bolted out of her seat unannounced, during Tangled, when Mother Gothel got scary.

#6 – Make your snack bar plan.

This mama is on a budget.  So, the tickets alone are pricey enough.  However, my kids love popcorn.  Like, LOVE it.  This being said, I will not buy each child their own popcorn. I buy one small or medium bucket (depending if I plan to eat some too), and ask for individual baggies, boxes or empty water cups.  Then I dole out small amounts of popcorn, per kid, during the movie.  This also helps with possible popcorn dumping issues.

I also ask for water cups for all – and that’s their movie drink.  Note – this is a lot to carry on your own, so make sure to ask for a carrier, or put any of your kids that can carry comfortably, in charge of their own water.

#7 – Sneak in some lollipops.

There is one thing I like to sneak in.  Lollipops.  Yes, I use them for bribes. If your kids are old enough, and if you allow your kids to have them, bring one or two pops per kid.  They work as great bribes for keeping kids sitting.  Still.  In.their.seats.  It’s like magic!

#8 – Find the booster chairs.

Booster chairs are in different areas of the movie theater lobby.  Make sure to ask an attendant where they reside, and grab one per kid. Try to get situated with them before the lights go out.  Sometimes, if your little one isn’t big enough, they can kind of fold up in the chair.  This is harder to manipulate if it’s dark.

#9 – Explain the “Golden Rule” for outings.

Here’s what I tell my kids when I’m out by myself with them:  There are two of you and one of mama.  Which means we stick together.  Where one goes, we all go.  If you run away from me, we all get up and leave.  Period.  If one has to go potty, we all go potty.

All it took was one outing where we had to leave in the middle of our activity, and my kids now know that I mean business.  Even if we’re in the middle of a movie. This keeps them safe and me sane.

#10 – Just roll with it.

Here’s the deal – kids are kids.  No matter how much you plan, no matter how much you want this to be a great outing, sometimes…you just have to roll with it.  Kids get loud, cranky, squealing happy, rambunctious, obnoxious…seriously, you all know what I mean, because we’re all in this together.  Be flexible, and have reasonable expectations of your munchkins (especially if this is their first movie experience). And, remember to have FUN!

Any great tips you have for taking your littles to the movie theater?  Please share below!

Image courtesy of Apple’s Eyes Studio at 

Christy’s 2014 Recap

Following the lead of our fabulous Tiny Oranges’ founder and fearless leader, Jen’s 2014 Recap, I was inspired to write my own.  Here we go!

1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?

We drove across five states with two kids in a rented mini van.  That was an adventure!!  We flew from Orange County to Chicago for a long weekend with family, then drove to upstate New York.  Gorgeous part of the country!  Looonnngggg drive with two little ones.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Good question. My husband and I make goals, both personally and for our family, each new year…and I’d have to say that I reached most of them!  And some I don’t mind rolling into 2015…

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

I had several dear friends give birth this year, and I just loved cooing over their sweet new little angels.  LOVE new babies!!!

4. Did anyone close to you die?

My grandma.  My beautiful Grandma Jean passed peacefully after a nine-year battle with Alzheimer’s and Vascular Dementia.  She was an incredible wife, mother, grandma, aunt, sister and friend, and I miss her everyday.

5. What countries did you visit?

Hmmmm, no countries this year.  But, like I mentioned, we did take the kids to Chicago for a long weekend to visit family, and then drove to upstate New York.  We stopped in Niagara Falls (which was amazing!), and then spent a week on the family farm to celebrate my husband’s grandma’s 100th birthday party.  It was a GREAT trip!

6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?

More free time!  More hours in the day.  Ha ha.  A mama can dream…

7. What dates from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

On January 25th, I received a phone call in the middle of the night.  My dad had suffered a seizure, and was being rushed to the hospital.  I hopped the first flight out to be with him, and we found out 12 hours later that he had a brain tumor.  I will never, ever forget that day.

Fast forward almost a year later, and my dad is doing fantastic.  He did have brain surgery to remove the tumor, and it was successful!  He’s spent the year recovering and focusing on his health.  We are very proud of him.

The other date is October 19, the day I ran the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco with Team in Training.  An absolutely fantastic race and fantastic time in San Francisco with my Team in Training family, running for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I would have to say running my third half marathon (and earning that gorgeous Tiffany’s necklace bling for my “medal!”), and fundraising again for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – an organization near and dear to my heart.  This was my third running season with them.

Nike Women's Half Marathon 2014

9. What was your biggest failure?

I over committed.  I’ve faced this challenge for years.  I get so excited about new projects/committees/groups/new ideas/volunteering etc., that I tend to overcommit and run myself thin (pun intended!).  I’m working on it.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Besides a few minor running injuries, I was relatively healthy.  And, so were my babies and my hubby.   On the other hand, my family (both close and extended), suffered some pretty difficult illnesses and injuries.  Praise God, everyone seems to be doing better and recovering.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

New running shoes.  And special running socks. And that small, spiky ball thingy that you roll your foot on after a looonnnggg run.  Heaven!

Oh, and a new iPhone 6.  Only because I smashed my old phone.  And, I LOVE my new one!

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

Both my mom and my dad showed me how strong they truly are, each in their own way. I am amazed at their courage, strength, determination and dedication.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Hmmmm, does my four-year-old’s tantrums count?  He is a fabulous kiddo, but I am so ready for his preschooler tantrums to subside.

14. Where did most of your money go?

My children, hands down!  School, activities, clothes, shoes, birthday parties…you name it, my babies needed it this year.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Family travel!  I love to take trips, whether it be one day, or two weeks.  We ended up going to Vegas (albeit, for only 24 hours!), Arizona (several times), San Francisco, Chicago, and beautiful upstate New York this year.  I have the best memories from these trips!

Family Vacation Collage 2014

16. What song will always remind you of 2014?

“Wake Me Up” by Aloe Black and Avicii, and Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me.”

17. Compared to this time last year, are you  a) happier or sadder? 
b) thinner or fatter? 
c) richer or poorer?

a.) Definitely, without a doubt, HAPPIER. b.) Sure, I would love to report that I am thinner.  The fact is, I’m not.  But I’m okay with that.  Because I’m healthier and happier and eating cleaner.  c.) Not richer, not poorer.  I’m going to say that my hubby and I are on the same page with money and our financial vision for what we want for our family.  And, that is the best feeling in the world!

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Carve out more date time with my husband…I would have loved to take just a couple’s trip (even if it was a long weekend).  Maybe in 2015!

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stress over the small stuff.  It’s not worth the time and energy and sanity it takes.

23. What was your favorite TV program?

I loved (and love!) Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Downton Abbey, Scandal, Bones, New Girl, Parenthood…can you tell my TV taste is all over the place?!

24. What was the best book you read?

Gone Girl, What Alice Forgot, My Husband’s Secret, and the Divergent series.

25. What did you want and get?

A family summer vacation.  Lots of time with my good mama friends.  To complete a half marathon and fundraise for cancer research.  To write more (thanks, Jen!!).

I also crossed something off my bucket list.  Don’t laugh. (Okay, you can giggle a little).  My maiden name is Cleveland.  So, when we trekking across five states, on a family road trip from Chicago, IL to Buffalo, NY, we stopped in Cleveland, OH.  And I got to take a picture with a sign that says “Welcome to Cleveland.”  I don’t care how cheesy this is.  I was so excited!

Cleveland Sign 2014

26. What did you want and not get?

A mini van!  No, I’m not kidding.  Yes, I legitimately want one.  Yes, I think they are cool.  Fingers crossed, we’ll make that transition this year!

27. What was your favorite film of this year?

I didn’t see many films last year (I don’t count The Lego Movie and Frozen) – I’d have to say I loved seeing Divergent and The Other Woman with my fabulous MOMS Group…so appreciated the nights out with my favorite ladies!  Not Oscar-worthy, but definitely entertaining movies.

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 33 this year, and I loved celebrating with my family.  We spent the weekend in Arizona swimming, watching movies, eating good food and spending time with family.  Then, I got to celebrate again with my California family.  I am one lucky, spoiled girl!

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Immeasurably more satisfying???  Hmmm, that’s a big question.  I’m pretty grateful for all that I did and accomplished in 2014.  Something that would have made my year more satisfying (and perhaps less stressful) would have been for me to get a better handle on my crazy schedule.  This is still a work in progress…

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?

Do yoga pants and tank tops count as “personal fashion?” And “dress up” clothes that consisted of sundresses? Lol!  And, of course, I loved wearing my beautiful Stella & Dot jewelry.  I’m a Stella & Dot stylist, and I love it.

31. What kept you sane?

My husband.  My amazing mama friends.  Running.  Coffee dates.  And of course, the much appreciated glass of wine at the end of the day!

This picture is of my hubby and I sneaking away for an hour on our vacation for a five mile run.  We actually ran through downtown Chicago to the lake.  It was gorgeous!

Running in Chicago 2014

32. Who was the best new person you met?

Not just one person to name – I love, love, love all of the parents I have met in my son’s preschool class, and also re-connecting with the amazing parents in my daughter’s first grade class.  How great is it when your kids’ friends have great parents?!

I also made a very good new friend in Arizona who helped my dad, and our family, immensely during my dad’s surgery and recovery – you know who you are!!  I will always be grateful!!  XOXO

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014.

— To have faith.  To consciously practice having faith and being grateful.

— Family first.  Period.  Nothing in life is more important.  2014 was a roller coaster with my family’s health, and I am so incredibly grateful to say that we’re starting 2015 healthier and happier.

2014 was pretty great – and I know 2015 will be even better!!!  Wishing you and yours a happy, healthy, prosperous, amazing 2015!!  XOXO

10 Tips for Getting Organized in the New Year

10 tips for getting organized in the new year

Hey mamas, can you believe it’s already 2015?! I don’t know about you, but I am more than ready to welcome 2015 – bring it on!  And today, I’d like to share with you 10 tips for getting organized in the New Year.

One of my favorite gifts I receive for Christmas each year is a new calendar.  And not just any calendar, but a “Mommy Command Center” calendar, complete with rows for each family member’s calendar commitments.  On a side note, I think I am the only mom on the planet that still writes her schedule on a “paper” calendar, but I love it.

And of course, as soon as I open this calendar, I am immediately motivated to start getting organized for a fresh beginning in the New Year.  Here are some easy tips…and I’d love to hear yours!  Something to keep in mind too, you don’t have to do these all at once! Even if you pick one thing at a time, taking a stab at getting organized alone just makes you feel better.

1. Update Your New Calendar

Here’s an obvious follow-up, but I suggest taking an hour or two and updating your new paper or electronic calendar with important dates, birthdays, anniversaries, work/school commitments, scheduled breaks, etc.  It’s a small investment of time, but will help you feel so much more in control.  That way when the calendar turns to January, you are already organized and know what’s on your plate.

2. Out with the Old, In with the New

This is a great opportunity to do a quick closet and dresser scan for you and your kiddos – look for obvious clothes that the kids have outgrown, anything that could be donated, anything that’s too small (or too big), and set aside for storage or donation.  Then you can easily put away any new stuff from the holidays.  That feels better, right?

3. Clear Off Your Desk

Whether it be your actual desk, or virtual desk, clear it off and clean it up!  December is stereotypically the craziest, busiest time of year, and my desk is piled high with notes, Post-its, flyers from school, Christmas cards, to-do lists, etc., etc., etc.  Take a breath, take an hour, and put your stuff away.  File, organize and clear out the recycling.

4. Organize Your Pictures

Upload the hundreds of pictures you took from the past month or two and organize them into files on your computer or laptop – even if it’s just a file labeled “December 2014.” If you still print pictures (like me!), ask your kids to help put them in order and stick them in a photo album.  By (somewhat) organizing pictures, we can start fresh for the New Year…and create more space on our phone and/or camera!

Bonus step – if you have an extra few minutes, upload your pictures to a shared picture site (I tend to use Shutterfly), and send out all of your holiday pictures to your friends and family.  They’ll love it!

5. Clean Out Your Car

Sometimes I feel like I live in my car most of the day (during school days, I kind of do!).  This is a project the kids can help with, too…clean out the dropped toys, under seat “treasures,” Cheerio and Goldfish crumbs, random stuff that was jammed into the trunk, trash…pick it up, throw it out and shake out those floor mats.

Bonus step – treat your family car to a professional car wash – even if it’s a quick drive-through.

6. Start a Fresh To-Do List

Consolidate all of your electronic notes, Post-its, paper to-do lists, and random reminders into a fresh ‘to-do” list.  It will feel so much better, and you will feel so much more on top of things.  At least I do!

Bonus step – Help your kids make a list of thank-you notes they can write to thank family and friends for the holiday treats, goodies and presents.

7. Give Your Home a Scrub

Why wait until Spring Cleaning?!  After all of your holiday company has said goodbye, survey the damage, and have your family pitch in for a few hours.  Clean up and put away holiday decorations, clean out the fridge (or at least label leftovers and/or freeze anything that can be salvaged for future meals), dust, vacuum, scrub down the bathrooms, and help your kiddos organize any new holiday toys in their room.

8. Clean Out Kid Backpacks

When my kids celebrated their last day of school before winter break, I literally took out their lunch leftovers, and then threw their backpacks in the hall closet…because we were in full, crazy holiday preparation mode!  Now’s the time to take a breathe, go through any folders they brought home, take stock of any replacement supplies they may need, and get their backpacks ready for the return of school.

Bonus – Go through their school artwork, homework and projects from the first semester that you’ve kept, and  either file, make stacks to give to grandparents or family, or (ahem) recycle (shhhh!!!!).

9. Organize Your Mommy “Command Center”

Whatever you call it, every mama should have one place in the house (even one corner in the house!) that can help you stay organized with family and kid activities, commitments, schedules, etc.  Whether it be a paper calendar like, I have, inboxes, labeled folders, hanging racks with places to put things – whatever suits you – start fresh in the New Year.  Either clean out your current overloaded command center…or set up a new one.  It makes such a difference, and I know it helps me stay organized!

10. Set Those Resolutions and Goals!

Last but not least, set your New Year’s resolutions and goals.  Put pen to paper and write down your top five or 10 goals for this next year.  It’s therapeutic, and it’s a great way to start the year fresh and organize your thoughts!  My husband and I like to label them “goals” versus “resolutions” because it helps keep us on track throughout the year, without the pressure and stigma that “resolutions” can bring.

What are your tips for getting organized in the New Year?  Please share below!  And happy, happy New Year to you all!!

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