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May 31, 2011

Weekend Check-In

I hope you had a terrific weekend. If you participated in Finish It Friday, here’s the place to check in and share how things went! Here’s my update.

Play List:

  • Boot camp. Check! 
  • Go to Gypsy Caravan. Check! And I found some great things.




  • Do something else completely relaxing. There was some time for relaxing this weekend. We ate dinner on the deck two nights…so nice and relaxing, and it was the perfect weather for it. And I had a chance to sit on the front porch and listen to the rain on Friday. Yay, love that!
  • Talk to my kids about creating a list of things they would like to do this summer. Check…and we started putting together a list, too. 


  • Clean. Check!
  • Plan meals for the week. Check – and I went to the grocery store.
  • Laundry. Check!
  • Do some work in my office. Check!
  • Fill out summer camp forms. Progress was made. I need to schedule a camp physical this week before one of the forms can be finished up.
  • Plant some more herbs in my garden. Check! We picked up some herbs at the farmer’s market and then Jay planted them on Saturday. Thanks, Jay!  And, we’re already enjoying fresh basil and cilantro from the garden. Yay, summer is here!


It’s been a fun run with Finish It Friday. Thanks to everyone who participated—whether once or regularly.  You certainly motivated me to get more done…and have more fun!

May 27, 2011

It’s the Final Finish It Friday…

…for a while anyway. Let’s send it off with a bang, shall we? If you’ve never joined me for Finish It Friday, I invite you to participate this weekend. There’s not much to it. You simply post your to-do list and your play list in the comments section of this post. Then, check in on Tuesday morning (due to the holiday on Monday) and let us know how your weekend went. Easy…and yet it’s incredibly motivating when you go public with your intentions.  So what do you say— are you in this weekend?

I, of course, am in. Here’s what’s on my lists this weekend…

Play List:

  • Boot camp.
  • Go to Gypsy Caravan. (And hopefully find some treasures!)
  • Do something else completely relaxing.
  • Talk to my kids about creating a list of things they would like to do this summer.


  • Clean.
  • Plan meals for the week.
  • Laundry.
  • Do some work in my office. 
  • Fill out summer camp forms. (These aren’t due until late June…but I’d like to get them done and figure out everything we need to buy and get organized before the kids go to their camps. It seems like there is an incredible amount of paperwork to do!) 
  • Plant some more herbs in my garden. (If it’s nice…and if there’s time.)

Let the games begin! I hope you have a wonderful weekend filled with fun and getting things done. I look forward to hearing what’s on your to-do list.

May 26, 2011

Just-for-Fun Summer Goals

I’ve talked about setting some just-for-fun summer goals for a while now. And, well, the deadline is here:  school ends today! It’s time to stop the pondering process and get down to the business of creating my just-for-fun goals list.

My main goal this summer is to be more relaxed, more playful, and happier than I have been in past summers. I have to admit that trying to balance it all during the summer can be challenging. There is a lot of fuzziness in the boundaries between home, kids, work and personal projects during the summer and this fuzziness can create stress. But only if I let it. My goal this summer is to embrace what summer is and go with the flow.

My list of just for fun summer goals will follow the same relaxed approach. This isn’t a checklist of things I must do…but rather it’s a list of possibilities. It’s a list of things that sound fun now. If they continue to sound fun as summer goes along, and if they support my overall goal of being more relaxed, more playful and happier…then I will do them. But, if they start to become an obligation that creates stress and adds more pressure, I won’t. I’ll do something else instead, something that helps me feel more relaxed, more playful and happier. So here’s my list…of not really goals…but rather a list of possible ways to achieve the real goal this summer which is to enjoy summer for all it is.


  • Unplug from all electronic devices one day a week. (I think this will be Saturdays.)
  • Sit on the front porch and listen to the rain.
  • Be a tourist in my home town. I live just outside of St. Louis…and there is so much here that we haven’t explored yet. It sounds fun to do some exploring and view this city with the eyes of someone who hasn’t been here before…someone who digs in and explores, instead of taking all that it is for granted simply because it is home.
  • Go on my first ever mother-daughter road trip to Michigan. (And be there to celebrate my Dad’s 75th birthday. Yay, Dad!)
  • Run in the Komen St. Louis Race with my daughter. 


  • Play with my camera more. Perhaps this will be a photo-a-day all summer long. But again, I’m not going to put pressure on myself and add stress. Today it sounds fun. If it sounds fun again tomorrow…then I’ll do it again tomorrow. :)
  • Create a place to capture daily gratitude. I feel a project coming on…but it hasn’t bubbled all the way up to the surface yet.
  • Take the kids to the pool…and play!
  • Enjoy homemade ice cream.
  • Watch less T.V.
  • Create a list of things my kids would like to do this summer.
  • Ride my bike. I don’t think there is anything that takes me back to childhood and the essence of summer more than riding a bike. Remember the days when bikes were your only mode of transportation? I bet there’s nothing that will help me feel relaxed and playful and truly embrace all that summer is more than a good old fashioned bike ride.
  • Eat outside as much as possible….on the deck, at the park, etc.
  • Enjoy experimenting with fresh, organic fruits and veggies from a local farmer. Yum!


  • Create something…just for the fun of it.
  • Relax in the hammock and read a good book.
  • Remember that my family is my number one priority.

Welcome summer. I’m glad you’re here. Let’s go have some fun.

What are your just-for-fun goals this summer? I’d love to hear from you.

May 23, 2011

Monday Morning Check In

Happy Monday morning to you. I hope yours was a good weekend. This is the place to share how you did with your weekend to-do list.

Our weekend was busy. Lots of basketball and even more travel to and from basketball games. It was fun for certain, but I think I spent more time in the car than in my home. So my to-do list probably got longer over the weekend instead of shorter…but it’s all good.  Here’s the update…

Play List:

  • Boot camp class. Check!
  • Watch basketball games. Check, check, check, check!
  • Birthday celebration with family.  Check!

To Finish: 

  • Laundry. Almost a check.
  • Plan meals for the week. Check!
  • Clean. I did the barebones minimum here…and got some help from one of my kiddos. 

I also mowed the lawn, ran some errands, did a little bit of weeding, and finished potting flowers. All in all a good weekend with a nice mix of fun and getting things done. I hope you had a great weekend, too. I’m looking forward to your updates!

May 20, 2011

Get Organized for the Weekend with Finish It Friday

I hope you’ve had a terrific week! It’s time again to share our Finish It Friday to-do lists. Do you have any big plans for the weekend? I’m keeping my to-do list light this weekend to create as much space as possible for the fun stuff. Here’s what I’ll be up to:

Play List

  • Boot camp class. (Yay! I really missed going last week.)
  • Watch basketball games.
  • Birthday celebration with family.

To-do-list-copyright-simplify101 To Finish

  • Laundry.
  • Plan meals for the week.
  • Clean.


Remember, I’ll be taking a break from Finish It Friday after next Friday’s post. So why not join in the fun this weekend? I look forward to hearing your plans. Have a great one!

May 19, 2011

Get Organized for Summer: Set Some Just for Fun Summer Goals

It’s my birthday today…so my blog post is a bit later than usual and a bit shorter than usual. It has been a relaxing and fun day. I spent a lot of time away from the computer and I even took a nap! It’s been really nice. (Note to self:  have more days like this.) 


Today’s Get Organized for Summer idea is to set some just for fun summer goals. I mentioned this on my May checklist post…and I’m still letting the ideas percolate and bounce around in my brain. I’m having fun just thinking about what I’ll put on my just for fun goals list. Have you thought about setting some just for fun goals? Have you done it yet? If so, I’d love to hear what’s on your list.


By the way, today is the first day of the first ever summer session of my online workshop How to Achieve Your Goals + Create a Life You Love. I’d love to spend the next five weeks with you…dreaming, setting goals, and taking steps to create a life you love. Want to join me? Go here to learn more and get in on all the fun!


See you tomorrow for the second to last Finish It Friday!

May 18, 2011

Get Organized for Summer: Create a Travel Mini Zone

I'm continuing today with the theme of getting organized for summer and with the theme of creating mini zones. If you have travel plans in the months ahead, a travel mini zone will help reduce the stress of travel, and may eliminate some clutter in the process, too.


Stock your travel mini zone with all your travel essentials such as:


  • Small travel-size bottles of shampoo, conditioner, soaps, toothpaste and other toiletries. 
  • A travel toothbrush and case, soap dish, brush, comb and travel hair dryer. 
  • A laminated travel checklist. (You can use mine or customize it to suit your needs.) 
  • Toiletry/cosmetic bags.
  • Travel adapters if you travel out of the country.
  • Laundry bag
  • Anything else you use just for travel.


If possible, store your travel mini zone near your suitcases, or in a nearby cabinet or drawer.
Bon voyage!


Today's post is a sample of my weekly organizing Quick Tip. If you don't yet subscribe, you can sign up here.

May 17, 2011

Get Organized for Summer: Create a Picnic Mini Zone

As I mentioned last week, summer is just around the corner for us. For me, summer starts when school ends, and we’re now at just seven days left (after today). So it’s time to kick the summer organizing into high gear. Here’s a summer organizing idea from Barb M., a participant in one of my online workshops. I love picnics and eating outside, so I thought the idea of creating a picnic mini zone was so much fun...that I just had to share it here!


To set up a picnic mini zone of your own, start with a picnic basket or a market basket like this one. Then, fill it up everything you need for outdoor eating on the go.


Barb uses a plastic handled basket for her picnic mini zone and she stocks it with the following items:


  • a cute tablecloth (or you could use a picnic blanket)
  • paper towels
  • napkins
  • paper plates, plastic cups, and tableware
  • kitchen trash bags
  • 2 sizes of baggies (just a few), foil, and matches or a lighter
  • small containers for leftovers
  • wipes
  • some cute salt + pepper shakers
  • bug repellent


Barb keeps her picnic mini zone along with her packed beach bag in the car from Memorial day on. All she has to do is add condiments, drinks, and food—and she’s got an instant picnic. Love that! Thanks, Barb, for this terrific summer organizing idea!


What’s on your to-do list to get organized for summer? I’d love to hear from you!

May 16, 2011

Monday Check-In + Freebie Friday Winner

Good Monday morning to you, my friends! It was so fun to read everyone’s weekend to-do lists. Thanks so much for participating in Finish It Friday. I hope you’ll join me next weekend for another round of Finish It Friday. There are just two left until we take a little break…so let’s make the most of it, shall we?

Around here the weekend was rainy and cool…I think I’ve had enough of the rain for a while. But, I did get a few things done this weekend, and we managed to have some fun despite all the rain. Here’s a recap:


The Fun List:

  • Movie night at a friend’s house.
  • Went for a run.
  • Watched Tae Kwon Do belt test. (This meant a week off of boot camp.)
  • Graduation party.
  • Dinner out with my family.

The Done List:

  • Helped Jay spring clean his office.
  • Decluttered magazines + catalogs.
  • Planned the week’s meals.
  • Laundry.
  • Cleaned the house.
  • Went shopping and found a dress to wear to my nephew’s wedding later this summer. (Yay!)

All in all it was a good weekend, despite all the rain! I hope yours was, too, and I look forward to hearing how you did with your to-do list.


So…do you want to know who won a spot in the workshop of her choice? was Helen who shared the following Finish It Friday list:

To do -
one load of laundry
make a fruit flan for Sunday lunch
make a get well card & make a hospital visit
enjoy some Family Time
do some scrapbooking!


Congratulations, Helen! Email me at aby at simplify 101 dot com and let me know which workshop you’d like to take. Thanks again to everyone who participated. :)

May 13, 2011

It's Finish It Friday...and Freebie Friday!

So its Friday…my favorite day of the week! I love the anticipation of the weekend and all it entails….getting things done, having some fun, relaxing, and spending time with family and friends. Good stuff, those weekends are.

Today, I thought it would be fun to tack a Freebie Friday onto Finish It Friday. Want to know what’s up for grabs? How about one spot in any of my online workshops that is currently open for enrollment. This includes…

Goals board image-cropped 
Organizing 101, which is just getting started. This is a terrific choice if you’re overwhelmed by the prospect of getting started getting organized. Or maybe you’ve made attempts in the past to get organized and you just haven’t gotten to where you want to be. This is the nuts and bolts workshop—it teaches you basic organizing fundamentals such as an organizing process you can use on any space in your home, as well as when and how to select storage. Even more important, you’ll learn how to identify your organizing obstacles—those things that have gotten in your way of getting to where you want to be in the past—and you’ll learn how to navigate around those obstacles and create results you love.


How to Achieve Your Goals and Create a Life You Love, which begins May 19, 2011. This would be a great choice if you’re looking for ideas and inspiration to become re-energized about your life again. Do you have a dream that you’ve wanted to do forever…but you aren’t sure how to get started? Or has it been a really long time since you even let yourself dream? This workshop shares inspiring ideas that will help you dream again…and turn those dreams into goals…and ultimately into a life you love. This workshop is a very portable workshop. You can do the action steps from anywhere. So it’s a terrific choice if you’ll be going on vacation this summer and want something inspiring to read and think about while you’re away.


Organizing with Your Kids, which begins June 16, 2011. This would be a great choice for you if your child’s clutter a source of stress or disagreement in your home. Or if you’re organized yourself but want ideas on how to involve your kids in the organizing process. Learn how to team up with your kids to get organized and create results you both love!


Organize Your Paper Clutter
, which begins June 21, 2011. This would be a great choice for you if you’re tired of living with paper clutter and the nagging feeling that something important is hiding in those piles. This workshop shows you how to create paper organizing systems that work for you and the way you naturally do things, so you can free yourself from paper clutter and the stress that comes along with it.

Here’s how to enter for a chance to win a spot in the online workshop of your choice:

1.  In the comments, post your Finish It Friday to-do list for the weekend. OR…
2.  For a second chance to win link to this giveaway on Facebook. OR…
3.  For a third chance to win, tweet this giveaway with a link on Twitter. OR…
4.  Do all three for three chances to win! Make sure to leave a separate comment for each thing you do—posting your to-do list, linking on Facebook or Tweeting.


Comments will close on Sunday, May 15 at 9 PM central, and the winner will be announced on Monday. Good luck!!


I hope you enjoy your weekend! I’ll be busy tackling my regular weekend to-do list, and whatever else strikes my fancy. :) I’ll let you know on Monday.


**Comments are now closed! Thanks for entering. :) **

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