List Making is in my Blood

I get it from my dad. He’s a serious list maker. For as long as I can remember – he is always making a list about something. So this Father’s Day – I’d like to honor him for passing down this quirky habit to me and highlight some of his frequently-used lists.

List for Expenses

My dad has tiny strips of paper that he uses to record every expense he has. He has tons of these little papers in his office. Whenever he pays bills — he puts on his glasses and squints at these pint-sized papers. Why he doesn’t switch to full-sized paper is beyond me. This system works for him and he lists off everything he needs to pay for the month and crosses them off when he does. I’ve told him he can do this online but he’s yet to retire his tiny papers.

Lists Before Leaving on Vacation

Any time we went on vacation – which was usually to Lake George, NY when I was growing up – my dad would make a list of all the things that needed to be done before we left. The list would usually consist of things like “turn off the air conditioning,” “put mail on hold,” “water plants.” He does this so he doesn’t have to remember to remember anything. It’s all right there – quick and easy.

Lists for Planting a Garden

My dad’s garden is his pride and joy. He grows all sorts of vegetables but is famous for his tomatoes. He plants way too many of them every year –but claims he has to because they are so good. He gives them to our friends and family and my mom makes lots and lots of tomato sauce. Every March he makes a list of all the vegetables that he wants to have in his garden for the summer. He’s very systematic about it and even draws out a map of where each vegetable will be planted. It’s pretty cute that he’s so passionate about it.

Maybe this trait is in my blood or maybe I learned it over time. Whatever the reason – it’s made me the organized, slightly neurotic, kind of obsessive compulsive and successful person that I am! Thanks Dad and Happy Father’s Day!

 

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A List for the Low-Maintenance Bride

Shows like Bridezillas give brides a bad name. Just because the bride to be has her heart set on something like Northwood Rings for her big day, that doesn’t mean that her passion for her wedding should be ridiculed. No one wants to be “that girl,” so some new brides play down their excitement and take a more laid-back approach. Others – genuinely aren’t into all the details. It’s OK — some women just don’t have the “wedding planning gene.” As you can imagine…I am not one of those women.

Fun fact: I once had a short-lived wedding planning business with my best friend and fellow journalist, Danielle. The business was thriving until we worked on the wedding from hell and threw in the towel. But we found that planning a wedding is a lot like planning a newscast – and my producing background really helped me pay attention to every last detail. Planning a wedding is not something you can do last minute, so whether you have to get the help of family/friends or click here for website so you can get inspiration for your dress, hopefully you’ll find that it was all worth it. It made planning my own wedding a lot of fun too.

Laid-back brides might view some of these details as “no big deal” – but they are and here’s why they should be on your wedding to-do list:

1. A Planning Binder: I know you think this will make you look like a total nerd but you need one. All of your ideas, invoices, addresses and vendor contacts must be kept in one place. It will save you time and make planning less stressful. You don’t have to buy a fancy wedding-themed binder but you should have a place to keep all your wedding stuff. You can also keep all your questions for vendors in this binder and take it with you when you have meetings. You’ll look smart and prepared. Read more

A Checklist for a Happy Marriage

Two years ago today my husband and I were surrounded by our closest friends and family for our wedding. After dating for 6 years we decided to take the plunge at El Conquistador Resort & Spa in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. It was Memorial Day weekend and our guests flew from all over the country to share our special day with us. Although the weather wasn’t perfect (it rained a bit) – the day was everything we had imagined. The venue was wonderful, I loved my dress and I found a great place for mens rings (my husband loves his very much!)

We got to spend the entire weekend with our guests – eating gourmet food, drinking yummy cocktails, laying on the beach, enjoying the golf course and relaxing at the spa! It was really a wedding in paradise. I must say we’ve had a wonderful two years so far and I’m looking forward to what fabulousness is ahead!

But I realize that marriage is not always so wonderful and that it’s hard work. No one will tell you that better than author Alisa Bowman. I met Alisa a few years ago as she was writing her book, “Project Happily Ever After.” She started a blog of the same name first because she fantasized about her husband dying. Yep – you read correctly –she dreamed he was dead because she was so unhappy in her marriage! She had the details of his funeral all planned out – down to the food and beer she would serve! Read more