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A Cozycakes Christmas: My Organized Christmas Series

In my dreams I enjoy each and every day of December until Christmas.  From the 1st through the 25th, I’m baking holiday treats for family, friends, and neighbors.  Sharing the Christmas story with my little girl through crafts, books, and the Bible.  Creating a winter wonderland in my home with kiddie craft decor, homemade garland, and treasured ornaments and figurines.  Hosting Christmas gatherings on a whim because everything is “ready” for last minute guests festivities.  Frolicking (I’m a fan of frolicking, it’s cool) to and fro, soaking in the Christmas spirit through music, festivals, church bells, and whimsical store displays.  Carving memories and building traditions without the stress of self-induced holiday hustle and bustle.

And most importantly, sharing the (pardon the cliche) reason for the season with my family, specifically my little girl.  Taking our time to explore the meaning of Christmas without the negative impact of hyper-scheduled lives, growing shopping/gift/to-do lists, and an unorganized home.

In my dreams.

Some years are better than others, but, for the most part, I need to make concerted efforts to organize and plan the days leading up to my favorite time of year in order for me to make the best of December.  And this year I’m determined to add November to the list.  I’m launching A Cozycakes Christmas Series today to get organized in these fast-moving days before Christmas.  I’d love you to join in if you, too, find a bit of organization and reflection helps you enjoy the season.

Lofty goals.  Here are a couple of reasons why I’m putting more effort into this than usual:

  •  I don’t like stressed Danielle.  I don’t like over-scheduled Danielle.  I don’t like waking up in mid-January with a bit of regret in my belly and a whole lot of longing for what I didn’t accomplish or savor during the holidays.  If my home is out of order, my mind is out of order.  And that means that the good stuff–the quality time with family and friends, the heartening worship, the QUALITY–drops off my list of important things.
  • A couple of gals on my Cozycakes Cottage Facebook page requested that I share my Christmas/To Do List Christmas TEST.  I mentioned I was in the middle of creating my holiday lists and they were eager for me to share what helps me get through the season.  If I can help you out a wee bit, then I’m happy to share.  I wanted my lists to be as helpful as possible so I’ve been working on them, burning the midnight oil.  That’s a lie–I haven’t burned the midnight oil, but I’ve tried to put more time in them than I normally would.  Because, let’s be honest, by helping YOU, I’m helping ME.

And there you have my reasons for organizing my Christmas in this public forum.  Some of you are way ahead of me and already done with Christmas prep.  Kudos to you!  I envy you and I think you’re awesome. 🙂  But if you need a little help or support, here I am!  I’m here to support your Christmas heart.  Stick around for the next few weeks and let’s get ready together.  I got your back, you got mine.

  • Later today I’ll be posting Day 1 of this series.  I’m keeping it as simple and straightforward as I can and I hope you’ll join me!  See you soon!

xx ~Danielle

Other posts in the A Cozycakes Christmas: My Organized Christmas Series:

Printables:

*Printable Worksheet for Day4: Christmas Card List

*Printable Worksheet for Day 3: Gift List Planner

*Printable Worksheet for Day 2, Task 1: Christmas Priorities: Master To-Do List (Printable)

*Printable Worksheet for Day 2, Task 2: Christmas Calendar

*Printable Worksheet for Day 1: All I Want for Christmas: Your Christmas Heart Worksheet (Printable)

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Favorite Things Friday: Quenching My Cherry Lime Thirst

Happy FridayAnd let me tell you–I’m especially thrilled that it’s Friday.  Bring on the weekend.

It’s Favorite Things Friday!

Just a quick and simple weekly post where I share some of my favorite things.  I welcome you to share YOUR current favorites, too–so that I can add more items to my “to buy”, “to make”, “to love” lists. 😉

Today’s Favorite Thing

Torani Cherry Lime Flavoring Syrup.  Yum.  I’m sure many of you have had an Italian cream soda featuring a Torani syrup.  They’re a common offering today in restaurants.  I like one now and then, but my admiration is for this particular cherry lime flavor.  The cherry with a bit of tart lime adds a little somethin’ somethin’ to beverages, virgin & non-virgin. 🙂  A popular restaurant has a delicious adult beverage on the menu with this in it, but my favorite way to enjoy the sugary treat is much simpler than that.

How simple?  I grab a caffeine-free, citrus-flavored, carbonated soft drink, fill a glass with ice, pour the soft drink in, add a splash of cherry lime syrup, squeeze a bit of fresh lime in, pop in a straw and voilà!  I’m sipping on a refreshing drink (needed in this heat. in. late. SEPTEMBER) in under a minute’s prep time.  Can’t beat that!

I’ve made milkshakes with this syrup, a cocktail with cherry vodka, and more.  Endless possibilities.  Got a snow-cone machine?  Perfect, use this syrup!  I’m sure my love for this stems from the lime addition.  Cherry is great and all, but when you add a bit of  lime pizzazz to something?  I usually fall in love.  🙂

When I was taking the pictures for this post, I turned around to find my little Munchie had tried to create her own beverage.

Aw, cutie pie.  She filled a glass with water, plopped in half a lime, and added a straw.  She’s never had any type of soda even those of the caffeine-free variety, but I couldn’t resist watering a bit of the soda down and making her a mini thirst quencher, too.  How could I not?  She’s too adorable!

There you have a simple favorite in the beverage department–Cherry Lime syrup. If you haven’t tried it, I’d highly recommend it.  Torani syrups are available in many stores and you can find great deals at World Market where they’re often on sale.

What’s your favorite easy beverage ingredient?  Please share–I’d love to try your thirst quencher!

Thanks for stopping in for Favorite Things Friday!

xx

Favorite Things Friday: A-tisket, a-tasket…I’m loving baskets

Happy Friday & welcome to my 2nd Favorite Things Friday!

Just a quick and simple weekly post where I share some of my favorite things.  I welcome you to share YOUR current favorites, too–so that I can add more items to my “to buy”, “to make”, “to love” lists. 😉

I’ve been cozying up my home, attempting to add little cottage touches here and there.  I recently made a few changes to our family room and my favorite addition?

My coffee table basket!  I intended to use it to corral clutter like t.v. remotes and the such.  But then it hit me–Ew.  I hate visible clutter.  And I purchased a new coffee table that has two drawers for such clutter–woo!  Now the basket is just for a few little pretties.

Right now the basket holds a little vanilla candle, French “creperie” coasters, a bit of greenery, a white metal candle holder which travels from room to room as my mood changes, decorative matches (love them!), and one of my favorite English mugs.  I love the flower in the inside of it.  I placed it there so I can see it daily as I lounge on the couch, read a book, work on the laptop…

To be honest, I originally bought this handled basket as a gift.  But I’m selfish and greedy.  So I kept it for myself.  (I did buy another basket for the gift.  I did!)

I also have other baskets in this room.  You can see a banana leaf one in the background of the first picture with the bee pillow on top of it.   Here’s a bad shot with it in the background.

It holds some of my daughters toys.  She loves having “a place for everything” just as I do, therefore, baskets are a wonderful organizational item for her as well.  Bonus: I don’t have to stare at the mess of toys.  Win-win!

Here’s another basket across the room filled with a few favorite items.  A darling vintage plate given to me by my husband’s grandma as well as a matching antique cream pitcher & sugar bowl.  Again, I can see them multiple times a day as I walk by and I don’t have to hide them away in a cupboard.

I’m in love with baskets.  I don’t mind if they’re not “matchy-matchy” (as my friend Jes says who is a decorating phenom).  I like it when they’re all a bit different.  It adds to the cottage feel I adore.  Plus, they’ve so many uses in each room of the house–how can you not love baskets?

And there you have one of my Favorite Things–Baskets!  Useful AND Lovely. 🙂

Are you a basket lover, too?  What’s your favorite use/room for them?  Please share in the comments below–I leave to hear from you!

Thanks for stopping in for Favorite Things Friday!

xx

Favorite Things Friday: You say tomato paste, I say “A whole can?”

I’m posting this a bit late in the day, but I’d like to introduce you to my new little series here at Cozycakes Cottage: Favorite Things Friday!

Just a quick and simple weekly post where I share some of my favorite things.  I welcome you to share YOUR current favorites, too–so that I can add more items to my “to buy”, “to make”, “to love” lists. 😉

Whaddya say, let’s get going!

My first Favorite Things Friday feature is something for the kitchen:

Yes, that’s tomato paste.  I go crazy and adore tomato paste?  Sorta. Continue reading

2012 Declutter and Organize Calendar

I love this.  A year of decluttering and organizing split into days–daily tasks that aren’t titanic.  Therefore, this calendar of daily goals is less likely to breed procrastination for me.  For example, today’s task is simply “declutter your end table in the living room or family room” and tomorrow’s task is “get rid of pet toys that are no longer played with.”  I can deal with that.

I urge you to check out this free 2012 calendar if you’re still searching for a decluttering and organizational plan that will suit you.  I’m doing pretty well with the 52 Week plan, but I think I’ll try this out–especially for maintenance!

DIY Checklist

Since I’m not doing anything constructive right now (well, I thought I was.  I was laughing really hard and really loudly (burning calories) while reading Ryan Gosling Hey Girls and my Little Munchie said, “Mommy, please.  Please don’t laugh SOOO loudly, it hurts my ears.”), I thought I’d share something that IS constructive.

I’m an old-fashioned pen and paper type of girl–I’m not interested in keeping dates and notes in my phone.  I like a pocket calendar, notepads, binders, and clipboards.  Continue reading

My cash envelopes

I often get asked about my cash envelopes when I pull them out of my handbag so I thought I’d share them here.  Aren’t they sweet?

They stay shut because of a mini magnet sewn into them.

Which means they stack  and stay together–my idea of genius:)

I know crafty folks can make these, but I purchased mine from a lovely Etsy shop last year.  Allison of Divvy Up (formerly TresMarias) was such a pleasure to work with (like I did any work) and I had my envelopes just a few days after ordering them.  I highly recommend Divvy Up  if you’re sick of paper envelopes getting trashed in your purse or if you’re considering the cash envelope system.  I didn’t hate using paper envelopes, but I like pretty things and having these be cute, cozy, durable, and practical is a plus for me.

If you’re super crafty (and by super, I mean craftier than I am), Allison also sells her cash envelope pattern on Divvy Up.  She let me know that her shop is undergoing some changes so stay tuned for new items in her shop soon.  I suggest contacting Allison via her shop contact link if you’d like to chat about an order–as I said, she’s wonderful to work with.

Do you use some type of cash envelope system?  Or do you have your own similar system?

Free: Organized Simplicity e-book

Amazon is currently offering the e-book Organized Simplicity for free.  I have heard fantastic things about this book by Tsh Oxenreider and just started reading One Bite at a Time which is also written by her.  I have included these books in my tool kit to help me get organized in 2012 and aid me with my ongoing self-discipline and accountability goals.

If you are like me and don’t have a Kindle, you can go simply go here and download a free Kindle application for your computer which will allow you to read Organized Simplicity.

The price is currently $0, but could increase at any time.  Please be sure to check the price before you buy the book.

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