Personalize Your Christmas Gifts

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We are now officially in the holiday season.  People are preparing for Thanksgiving gatherings, shopping for Christmas gifts and decorating their homes before the guests arrive to celebrate.  The holidays represent different things for different people. One thing for sure is we all like to spend time with family and friends as well as give gifts to those that are a big part of our lives.  Whether big or small, gifts should come from the heart.  It’s not about how many gifts you open or the size of the package. You work hard for your money so why not purchase gifts that the recipient will enjoy rather than something they will end up storing in a closet.  It’s important to have a budget and practice a little self-control.

Something we are all guilty of is to buying too many gifts for people on our list.  The temptation is there as the local and online merchants are marketing more and more merchandise. Create a holiday list and stick to it no matter what.  Next to each person’s name list the amount you plan on spending on that person. This year decide to give a gift with thoughtful meaning to that person and really personalize it.

Here are some ideas of for what to get everyone on your holiday gift list, grandparents, parents, children, friends and co-workers.

Gift certificate to their favorite restaurant

Photograph Memories Book

Gift certificate to your local stage theatre production

Gift certificate to a music concert

Family day excursion

Movie Day

Family Vacations

Home Dinner Invitation

Magazine Subscription

Concert Tickets

Tickets to a baseball, football, hockey or other favorite sports game

Great for children- Pay for guitar, dance, piano, art, gymnastics, karate or ski lessons

Perfect for college students- Gift cards for their local grocery store, restaurants, gas cards, laundry money, a portable electronic device charger.

Neighbors and friends. Baked cookies or breads, a favorite bottle of wine, plan a homemade dinner/game night at your home.

Co-Workers- Give a lunch out to their favorite restaurant, coffee gift cards, Barnes & Noble gift card or Amazon gift card.

The Gift of Time is the perfect gift for someone that is hard to buy for.  If you have someone on your Christmas list that does not need material gifts though could use a gift that could help free up some of their time or an aging parent that needs some in home assistance.

Take the time to personalize your gifts.  Think about each person on your list, what are their interests and needs. Happy shopping and happy holidays!

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Time Saving Holiday Recipes

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Thanksgiving Morning Scones

As the holidays approach I am always looking for time-saving recipes that I can make ahead and freeze. A couple of weeks before the holiday I like to make these scones so I have something ready made for breakfast Thanksgiving morning, while I do all my last minute prep work for the Thanksgiving feast!  We have enjoyed these scones for years, I hope you do as well!

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1/2 C Sugar
2 1/2tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
6 TBL. Cold Unsalted Butter
1 Cup Heavy Cream
1/2 Cup Frozen Fruit

I have even used dried cranberries which is one of my favorites!

Mix to first 4 ingredients in mixer. Add butter (chopped) and mix into a meal mixture. Add cream and mix. Add fruit and mix. Place onto flat surface and form a circle. Sprinkle with sugar and cut into wedges. Place on baking sheet and bake at 425 degree oven for 15 to 17 minutes.

Add a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy!

Source: FoodNetwork.com

The Perfect Holiday to Say Thank You

It’s Thanksgiving Show Your Appreciation!  The holiday season generally brings us closer to others though it can be a stressful time as well. What can you give back to the people who are there for you? Thanksgiving is the perfect holiday to show our appreciation.  The friend that is always there for you, the staff member that works overtime so you don’t have to, the neighbor who lends you a helping hand with a home project or a family member you can call for advice no matter what time of the day it is.  How can you show your gratitude to the people in your life?  This month begin writing down all the people who make a big or small difference in your life. Thanksgiving is just seven weeks away so I am here to give you some simple yet meaningful ways to say thank you during the month of November.  Here are some ways to say thank you.

To Your Neighbor:
  • It’s the holidays so make them fresh batch of cookies or a homemade pie.
  • If you enjoy your neighbor’s company invite them over for dinner.
  • The old fashion thank you, a handwritten note.
  • The gift of your time.
Company Staff:
  • Organize a staff appreciation lunch.
  • Consider sending them a Thanksgiving card instead of Christmas.
  • A personalized hand written note.

Family:

Do you have family members that live long distance or for some reason will not be with you for Thanksgiving this year?  A nice Thanksgiving gift for those that will not be celebrating the holiday with you is to make a video of the day.  With today’s technology it is easy to make a family video with you Smart Phone or IPad.  Include messages from each person and either email the video or burn  it onto a DVD.  What a fun way to show family you are thinking about them.

 

Organizing/Planning = More Time

Howdoyouplanyourweek

How can you improve the quality of your life, find more time for yourself, meet your deadlines at work and complete all those tasks in between?  It’s easier than you think it just takes a little planning.

With the kids back in school and the holidays on the way having a plan for how you use your time is important. The reason most people can’t find enough time for what is important to them is because they do not plan that into their week.  Let’s start with your calendar. I personally have one calendar for work and a separate calendar for personal. Whatever you use to keep organized, your smart phone or a traditional calendar, begin each week writing in the tasks for each day and don’t overload yourself, have realistic expectations.  Choose how you will spend your time and who you will spend your time with.  Write in one thing outside of your work/family responsibilities, something just for you. It may be getting to the gym, lunch with a friend, reading that book you never get to or getting away for a day trip on your weekend.  If you don’t write it down it won’t happen.

When you make excuses for not having enough time you will NEVER have enough time. Working through your lunch break every day is not going to make you more productive.  Running errands on your lunch break or after work will get those things off your to-do list, though it also will waste energy you could have used in other areas of your life.  It will leave you feeling tired and frustrated because you don’t have time for what you would rather be doing.  Making better choices for how you spend your time will improve the quality of your life in a big way. Wouldn’t it be great to meet with a coworker or friend on your lunch break, go straight home from work at night rather than spending additional time in traffic and in the grocery check out line AND have time for doing fun things on your weekend?

Make the decision to start doing more for yourself and organizing your week so that the rush of all the other responsibilities flows more easily.  Yes there are those weeks that throw us a curve ball and challenge our ability to focus. Try delegating those tasks that others can assist you with.  Hire a personal assistant for grocery delivery if that is one thing on your to-do list that you don’t enjoy doing and takes time away from important tasks.  You will be surprised at how much time you will free up in your day. I challenge you to try this for one week.  Use your calendar to organize your week for all areas of your life and delegate. I am sure you will see a change in your mindset as well as more time for the things that matter most.

What is a Personal Concierge?

LikeHavingOwnPA

 

What is a “Personal Concierge”?  A personal concierge assists anyone looking for more time in their schedule.

We all feel overwhelmed every now and then with the demands of life.  Parents juggle their jobs, children, aging parents and everything in between.

Over the sixteen years we have assisted individuals we have seen lots of change.  We are now receiving requests for many new services.  Because of the hectic lifestyles people live today home owners don’t have time to research, hire and oversee home contractors and that’s where we step in.  In 2013 requests for local painters, handyman service, a plumber, housecleaning, professional window washing service, pet sitting and senior services has increased for It’s About Time.  Who takes care of the family pet during vacations or during the work day?  Doing the research to find a reliable, credible company takes time which makes it challenging for busy on the go families.

Many people travel out of state for work which leaves little time for weekly tasks and errands.  More families live long distance the good old days were when family helped family, when you needed a helping hand.  Calling on neighbors is more a thing of the past as well because they are also struggling with work/life balance.

So who do you turn to?  Your local personal concierge company.  Saving time for busy people.

Spring Home Maintenance

PowerWashingHome

What is on your home repairs to-do list this month?  There is always more to do once spring arrives and no one wants to be doing projects once summer is here.  Time is always a factor. Finding a company you can trust to oversee a home maintenance project is the first step.  Are they licensed and insured?  How long have they been in business?  Do they have quality references? What is the quality of their work? There are many time-consuming up front tasks before you decide to hire a contractor. Scheduling a contractor for a job quote and taking time off from work to meet with them is not always convenient.  Some of this months projects our clients’ have us assisting them with are; window washing service, deck power washing, exterior home power washing and interior painting touch ups.

Home maintenance sustains your home value and it is easy to put off home repairs. Prevent minor repairs from becoming much larger, taking care of it now it will save you money, frustration and add value to your home.

Window cleaning is one of those dreaded

Window cleaning is one of those dreaded all day tasks. Free up your time for other things and take this spring cleaning household task OFF your to-do list. It’s About Time has partnered with one of the leading window cleaning companies in the area. Schedule to have your windows sparkling clean. Call 603-472-8422. http://ow.ly/jlCzB