Monday, December 20, 2010

The Top 3 Household Forms You Should Keep On Hand

The holidays are here, which means many of us will be doing one (or all) of the following:

  • Arranging for someone to feed and water our pets and plants;
  • Arranging for a new babysitter to watch the little ones while they're on Christmas vacation... or we are out on New Year's Eve;
  • Sending one of our children with friends, a youth group or other family members on a vacation away from their physician and away from us.
Sound familiar? If so, then these three forms (which are free to download) are a "must-have" for your household!

House/Pet Sitting Instructions A simple-to-use form that allows you to document all necessary instructions for your sitter, including emergency phone numbers, pet info and plant care

Medical Authorization for Minors In the event of an emergency, use this form to provide consent for emergency medical treatment when children are away from home. *Note: Some businesses/organizations may require you to have your form notarized - especially if your child will be traveling outside the country.
Emergency Information Sheet Keep all emergency information handy in one area, including parent's work numbers, nearest neighbor or relative, children's school, pet info and insurance info.

*Be sure to print out a blank "master" of each form to keep on hand for next time.

Happy Holidays

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Save Your Sanity - Holiday Online Shopping Is the Way to Go

I'll let you in on a secret: I rarely go to the mall after Thanksgiving. It's not that I don't love the decorations and Christmas festivities - it's just that I don't enjoy the parking hassles, frantic shoppers and overstimulated kids having meltdowns. I prefer to save (or savor) my sanity! Besides, I've found that overall, I can get just as many great deals shopping online as I can at the malls or big box stores. In recent years I've changed my shopping strategy to the following:
  • I have my holiday budget pretty much defined by September - that includes decorations, gifts, holiday entertaining and food.
  • Many of the stores have their seasonal items out starting in October, which means I'll head to the malls prior to November 15th to get an idea of what's new and what the current pricing of possible gift items is.
  • And then... I savor my sanity by shopping online. The 2010 Holiday Season is bursting with unique gift ideas, heavy discounts on Christmas favorites like toys, electronics and clothing, and best of all... FREE SHIPPING. Watch for last minute deals and deep discounts on favorite sites like, WalMart and AMAZON.
Here are just a few of the sanity-saving deals I've found online this week:

Holiday Toy Deals - save 70% and more at AMAZON  including Curious George for $5.99
( I may have snagged one or two...)

Puritan's Pride - Buy one get one free or Buy TWO get THREE free. Yes, they are best known for their vitamins, but they also have this deal on items like essential oils as well as bath and body products.

Walmart's Selection of more than 400 DVDs on sale for $5 plus free shipping
add a couple of DVDs, popcorn and movie candy to a large basket, tie with a bow and you've got a fabulous gift for under $20!

Williams-Sonoma - free shipping on more than 500 Holiday favorites. Includes their yummy peppermint bark cookies and the essential oils hand care set - two of my favorites under $25.

Pottery Barn - Check out these charming Green Patina Planters in three sizes, on sale $9.99-19.99