Wednesday, 24 October 2018 05:45

60 DAYS TO CHRISTMAS!

Can you believe it?

Christmas is just 60 days away! Christmas jingles ring out in all the shopping malls. Baubles and tinsel and stars and trees adorn shop windows. Before you know it, the holidays will be here! Friends, family, festivities, outings and traditions; so much to look forward, but so much to plan and organise.

I love Christmas with old family traditions along with a whole lot of new ones created over the years while our girls were growing up. I love Christmas pudding, a Christmas tree and Christmas lights. I love family gatherings and get-togethers. I love Christmas day with our South African version of Christmas lunch – delicious cold salads, turkey on the weber, and a gammon waiting to be sliced followed by an ice cream bomb with Christmas spices, watermelon, Christmas pudding and custard! Light summer dresses and bathing suits, dips in the pool and a nap in the shade when it all gets too much! Most of all I love spending time with loved ones and friends.

I don’t like the chaos, the queues, the frenetic to-do list, the stress over menus and venues. I don’t like the stress, the panic that sets in when it’s not going according to plan. And so, I take time to prepare and organise well ahead of time so that it is truly a relaxing and wonderful time of the year!

Here is my 15-step checklist I work off every year starting now, and thought you might find it good to use.

  1. START NOW!
  2. Make a To Do list to take you through to the end of the year
  3. Break it down into smaller lists - Food, gifts, cards, activities etc
  4. Delegate tasks, and cheat where possible - buy your Christmas pudding, don't make it!
  5. Set a budget. Know what you have to spend, allocate and stick to it.
  6. Do half as much as you want to do.
  7. How much is enough? Keep it simple
  8. Spend twice the time and half the money
  9. Resist the pressure of too many invitations, too many expectations
  10. Schedule appointments and dates further apart to allow for holiday traffic
  11. Set boundaries and say no sometimes
  12. Think ahead
  13. Take shortcuts, don't do too much
  14. Remember one stunning dessert is better than a few average ones!
  15. Take some ME time - small breaks just for you

I would love to hear about your tips for a more relaxed festive season…

Published in News
Tuesday, 28 November 2017 17:05

Holiday Checklist - What to Pack!

With the holidays around the corner, I have been reading some of my previous posts and blogs on packing. I thought it might be good to chat about it again, and this time in two parts. Today, we look at what to pack and next week we look at how to pack for your holiday.

Whether you are travelling locally or overseas, it’s always worthwhile making lists of what you need to take with you. That way you don’t forget anything and don’t worry about possibly forgetting something really important.

Here is a fairly extensive list covering all aspects of international and local travel. It’s a good starting point for your trip, and you can add or take away what is not relevant to you

Important documents

  • Passport and photocopies
  • Visae (if required)
  • Tickets/ e-tickets
  • Travel insurance
  • Accommodation and car hire booking references
  • Currency/ credit cards/ debit cards
  • Driver’s licence
  • Guidebooks

Toiletries

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Hair brush, comb, hairdryer
  • Razor
  • Deodorant
  • Nail clippers/scissors
  • Mirror
  • Contact lenses, solutions and spare glassesMedications
  • First aid kit
  • Soap, shower gel
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Moisturising cream
  • Make up
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Insect repellent (if necessary)
  • Small towel or facecloth

Clothing

  • Try to pack layers to accommodate all weather
  • Pick 3 colours and mix and match your clothes
  • Neutral shoes – comfy walking shoes, smart shoes, and slippers or slip slops (can be used in suspect showers)
  • Enough underwear for the length of the trip
  • Raincoat, umbrella
  • Hot climate – swimsuit, sun hat and sarong (doubles as sheet, wrap, towel, scarf or skirt)
  • Cold climate – thermal underwear, hat, scarf, gloves, thick socks, good coat or jacket

Useful/other

  • Camera and charger
  • Cell phone and charger
  • Laptop if necessary or tablet and charger
  • Worldwide adaptor plug
  • Sewing kit
  • Small multipurpose tool, scissors
  • Small torch / flashlight
  • Earplugs and chewing gum – great on an airplaneSafety pins, rubber bands, Ziploc bags
  • Stationery
  • Reading material, games

Next week, we will work on packing our suitcases….

Published in Organizing
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 04:48

Pre-holiday Checklist

Going away for the holidays? We used to go away every December while our girls were growing up. We had a cottage at the sea, and would spend three weeks there. In the early days we would need to do a big shop here before we left, and ensure we had everything we needed. I had lists (I love my lists) to make it easier to organise and ensure we didn’t forget anything. Packing list, shopping list, ‘things to take with us’ list, and the ‘what to do before we go’ list! This list was really important if we didn’t have people staying in our home while we were away.

So, this is my pre-holiday checklist:

  • Trim lawn and tidy garden just before you go
  • Leave keys and contact details with someone nearby
  • Check all taps to ensure no dripping
  • Ask someone to collect post
  • Cancel newspaper
  • Switch off geyser
  • Unplug all electronic equipment
  • Empty bins
  • Clear out fridge and leave clean
  • Set timers for lights if you can
  • Ask a neighbour to pop in and open windows and curtains periodically

And above all, once all the lists are ticked and the bags are packed, relax and have a great holiday!

Published in Organizing

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