My List-Making Secrets in Whole Living Magazine

Does your to-do list work against you and stress you out? Do you have post-it notes all over the house?  Or endless to-do lists that never seem to get crossed out?  I have a solution for you! Go to the bookstore or newsstand and pick up the December 2011 edition of Whole Living Magazine!  I’m really excited to announce that some of my list-making secrets are published in this Martha Stewart magazine!

Lists are not difficult to make but if you go about it wrong — they end up being counterproductive. The act of listing is simple but it’s how you do it that matters. The important thing is knowing how to make an effective list that will set you up for success.

I worked with senior editor Terri Trespicio since July hatching this idea for the time of year when most people’s lives are ruled by lists…the holidays! I’m grateful to Terri for her advice, collaboration and master editing skills. Check out her brand new blog: Best Decision All Day for some simple ways to get the very best out of life.

Please buy the December issue and let me know what you think — my piece is on page 109!  Thrilled to share my compulsive list making tips with all of you!

 

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Trimming Your Holiday Gift List

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We’re back from our refreshing vacation — the weather was warm, the cocktails were cool and we had a great time.  It was just what we needed to relax and recharge. While we laid by the pool though, holiday music was piping throughout the resort! It was very strange to be basking in the 85 degree sunshine and hearing Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer playing in the background.

But it just reminds me that everyone will soon join me in their holiday shopping efforts.  If you remember — I started my shopping in August.  I do it every year and sometimes I’m even done by the time Thanksgiving rolls around.  I’m halfway through with the buying and mostly done with the brainstorming now.  Now that I know what my plan of attack will be — it will be easy to get all the shopping done.

One reason I start my shopping early is to stretch out the spending throughout the year so we don’t get one huge credit card bill in December or January. But what do you do if you want to scale back on your holiday gift list but don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings?  I was recently quoted in this BankRate.com article, “How to Trim Your Holiday Gift List With Class.”  Check out some of my tips about list making, of course, and some other secrets too.

 

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These Lists are Shortcuts for Life

I’m all for shortcuts — that’s why I make so many lists about whatever task I’m working on.  Whether it be looking for an apartment or finding a new restaurant I like to work things out on paper and give myself a cheat sheet.  I’ve written about my new favorite source for cheat sheets called SkinnyScoop.com.  It’s a great website that gives visitors the “skinny” on all sorts of topics to make life easier.

I’ve compiled a couple of lists for the site about how to be more productive and the best websites for planning a vacation.  It’s great fun to make lists using their software and to read some of the others on the site.  You can comment on and add to any list you like. It’s a nice way to interact and find shortcuts for just about anything.  You’ll find ways to declutter, the best subscription websites, amazing dessert recipes, etc.

I’m honored to be named as one of the SkinnyScoop Tastemakers.  That means that I’m part of a group of 9 women who will actively contribute to the site and offer our expertise in our various fields.  So I’ll be making lists about making lists! Perfect — I can do that!  I hope you’ll check out the site, upload your own lists and read through some of mine and the other Tastemaker’s lists.

 

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Save Money on Halloween Decorations

Halloween is just days away and I still don’t know what I’m going to be! I have a party to go to but no idea about what costume I’ll wear. In the meantime — here’s some ideas on ways to save on Halloween decorations if you’re hosting a party. They come from Teri Gault of TheGroceryGame.com — she’s shared some tips on ways to save on your grocery bills in the past.

List of Ways to Save on Halloween Decorations

by Teri Gault

As CEO of www.TheGroceryGame.com, you don’t have to spend a lot of time using creativity to save money at Halloween. Fortunately it’s a time when almost anything goes. So make sure it’s not your money that goes out the window. Please, don’t pay full price for anything!

1. Make Dollar stores your first stop for decorations – Stop and take a look to see if there’s anything you like for decorations, then move on to more expensive stores for what they don’t have. But steer clear of paper plates and cups, as they can be flimsy and leak. Read more

Must-Have Tools for Home Cooks

Chicken Picatta is my signature dish. I got the recipe from Giada De Laurentiis and it’s my go-to dinner. I can whip it up in no time and it’s always delish. Good thing Jay likes it because he’ll be eating it for the rest of his life. haha! I’ve been trying to expand my menu and try new things in the kitchen though — but the tools you have are just as important as the foods you cook.

I reached out to Chef Lisa Schroeder from Mother’s Bistro in Portland, Oregon to get the 411 on what tools home cooks need to have to be successful. Here’s her list:

Home Cooks Essential Kitchenware

by Lisa Schroeder

With the right equipment cooking is easier and faster. Cook like a pro with these basic but essential items every home cook should have. Whether you are buying for yourself, or for a bride, you simply can’t go wrong with these classic items. If you see something you see you need for your kitchen then make sure you go to Village Bakery to find the best reviewed product that you need! You don’t want to buy a new stand mixer and find it breaks within 6 months.

1. Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer, preferably the “Professional” (they have all kinds of grades with varying levels of horsepower… this model is the heaviest duty)

2. Set of good knives like Global, Wusthof, Shun (Most important knives: an 8-10 inch chef’s knife, paring knife, and a bread knife. If you still haven’t made up your mind on what knives to go for, it may help you to check out some cutco knives reviews, in the hopes of making the right choice. Also good to have would be something to hang them on (magnetic strip) or woodblock, a steel (to hone the knife) and a stone (to sharpen). Read more