Wednesday, November 1, 2017

My Five Favorite Tips to Tame the Holiday Crazy!

Happy November friends! The countdown to the holidays is on, only three short
weeks until Thanksgiving, then we blink and it's Christmas! For this month's My Five Favorites'
topic my blogging pals and I are sharing ideas to help keep the stress level low and fun level
 high during the holidays! It's my favorite time of year and I remember ONE year when I was
 SUPER organized, oh my gosh, it was so enjoyable!

Kris @ Driven by Decor
Lisa @ Shine Your Light
Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles

I'm so excited to have Amy & Christy at 11 Magnolia Lane with us this month ~ they are
 organizing gurus and I'm certain they have some tricks up their sleeve to share!

11 Magnolia Lane

Not only are they awesome at organization, DIY and decor, but they have an Etsy shop as
 well. My favorite item I order every year is this chic gold vinyl monogram to put on the
 front of my calendar!

#1 - Black Friday
 $5 Fresh Wreath & Garland
Stock Up!!!

I gave you the scoop about this favorite Black Friday deal here. Home Depot sells
fresh wreaths and garland for $5!! I love to stock up (keep in your garage) to have on
 hand throughout the season ~ it's a simple gesture to brighten someone's day if they find a
 surprise wreath on their door step! I've used them to decorate inside and outside, as my gift
 for my Favorite Things Party, a hostess gift, to add some cheer to a housebound neighbor's
 gate. Over the years I've learned the garland is best left for outside decor, as it gets a tad
 crispy inside. :(  I don't think they're on anyone's radar because there's no line or crazy
 people clamoring for them.

#2 - Frozen Cookie Dough 
~ Neighbor/Teacher Gifts ~
 Not your typical plate of cookies

You guys are going to laugh at me, but once I timed myself to see how long it took to
make a batch of cookie dough - 10 minutes! My point in telling you is that this gift is 
so QUICK, easy and appreciated! And, you can do it in November! 
Who doesn't love having homemade cookie dough in the freezer? Pop it in the oven at a
 moment's notice if company drops by, for a snack, or a busy mom that needs a last minute
 treat for school. It's my favorite gift to give ~ I shared all the details, and tips for pretty 
packaging here.     

#3 - Worth It 
 Not Worth the Trouble List

I'm such a list girl, I don't know how people make it through the day without one! 
Every year I make a list for the following year of what worked and what wasn't worth
 the time or effort. I found the list changes year to year depending on what stage of life
 your kiddos are in. I also have a book where I keep track of party details
(for about 15 years, a little OCD?) it helps jog my memory when putting together menus.
Date, Invitation, Guests, Food & Beverage Menu, and of course, what I wore.
 You can see at my Annual Girlfriend Party last year I wore winter white pants and
 cropped fringe sweater - monochromatic in case you're wondering. Hahaha!


#4 - Make Ahead
 Thanksgiving & Christmas Menus

If you think 'make ahead' means sacrificing quality and flavor, think again! Simply prepping
the time consuming chopping, dicing, making a sauce, etc. helps ensure a stress free day
 when you're hosting the meal. My parents always host a crowd of family on Christmas day
 and my mom and I spend a few hours the day before getting the table set and prepping all
 that we can. I'm sure you're not surprised I have a list of our menu last year, the initial 
indicates who brought which dish. (I know it's a LOT and a weird mix, but we all love food
 and accommodate if anyone has a favorite request, somehow the Tamales & Green Chile
 got left off the list, but it's tradition). 

A few years ago I shared our more traditional Thanksgiving dinner menu of
favorite tried and true recipes from past Bon Appetit magazines. I gave detailed
 tips what I prep the days leading up to the holiday. Stress free and delish!

#5 - Look Good! Feel Good!
How did this ended up #5, it should be #1

Take the time NOW to plan out a couple outfits you LOVE. It will make all the
difference if all else fails, and you're running around frazzled, if you have an outfit
planned that makes you feel fabulous.
Start with your Pinterest Fashion Board (you have one right?) Here's mine.
It's a great place for inspiration before you head out shopping.
I'd choose a couple outfits to emulate - comfy, casual for shopping or school and
 something dressy for church, party, Christmas day. It doesn't have to be an entire new
 outfit, although I'm sure you deserve one! Shoes, statement necklace, sweater or a pretty
 scarf to update some classics in your closet are perfect too.
Whatever makes YOU feel great!
Don't forget to schedule your hair and mani, pedi appointments now, if you haven't done so.

Be sure to check out my talented friends' favs too:

Kris @ Driven by Decor
Lisa @ Shine Your Light
Jennifer @ Dimples & Tangles
Amy & Christy @ 11 Magnolia Lane


Kathy Olson said...

All of these are great tips! I am going to remember Home Depot on Black Friday!

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

I tend to shy away from the maddening crowds on Black Friday, but will have to make that trip to Home Depot!! Thanks of the tips!

Mrs. Holmes said...

This list is so helpful. I can't wait to really dig in to reading it. I love your blog. It's my very favorite. No pressure though - I know you have to live your life. :) But just know, you're missed.

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

I love every single one of these tips Pam! I totally 150% agree about your #5 being the #1 priority for all of us who do most of the Christmas tasks! ESPECIALLY figuring out what to wear - I am notorious for doing that at the last minute and it can cause so much stress to an already hectic time of year! I also ADORE your frozen cookie idea rather than an already baked good - I would love to receive homemade cookie dough to have on hand for guests! Thanks for all these smart ideas.

Laurie Colvin said...

Thanks for these great tips! The roast turkey recipe from Bon Appetite sounds like a winner.

Unknown said...

Such helpful tips, the best. I need to follow through on the outfit tip for family too!

Simply LKJ said...

Love these Pam. Knowing what I am cooking and what I am wearing helps to alleviate so much stress during the holidays!

Vel Criste said...

Love it all Pam but #5 & #3 are my faves! Thanks!

Kris @ Driven by D├ęcor said...

Pam these are all great tips but I especially love your "Don't" list! I'm not sure why I never thought to make one (I'm a total list girl) but I will definitely be doing it this year and thanking myself for it next year!

Woodbank Lane said...

Plan out your outfits is my favorite!

Elizabeth@ Pine Cones and Acorns said...

Thanks for sharing all of your tips! I love these.

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Sourcer said...

Holidays for me are the time to spend On myself, and make improvement in my personality, Sometime go to a vacation but I'm more of solitude,
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