Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Set Goals, Be More Organized & Establish Healthy Habits in 2014

As sad as I am that the Christmas season is over, I am always so anxious for the start of a new year. I love setting new goals and making new resolutions. I love looking at a fresh new calendar and dreaming of all the memories that will be made in the coming year. I love organizing and freshening up my home after all of Christmas is taken down and packed away. But most of all…I love that a new year means a clean slate. The past is the past…and the future looks bright :-)

I can feel that New Year motivation kicking in, too. I am ready to tackle some new goals and organize every square inch of my house. But before I go emptying every closet and have to dig my way out, I need a plan of attack. I need lists, people!! And cleaning charts! And a meal planner! And budget sheets!! Lucky for you…I've found some awesome resources that we can all use!

First up, you need to grab a copy of my friend Jennifer Tankersley's book 100 Days to a New Year



This year's edition is packed full of inspiration and daily tasks that will help you set new goals and establish healthy habits all year long. The book also comes with 75 lists and planning pages that are editable!! First up…a yearly To Do list :-) 

What I love most about this book is it takes you beyond just organizing your home. The daily tasks will help you organize your finances and help you work towards a debt-free year, it will help you plan for travel and family vacations in the year ahead, it will help prepare for Spring and all the holidays in-between…I could go on and on about this book, but I think it's more fun if you just get yourself a copy and follow along with me. You can pick up a copy HERE. Also, be sure to like the 100 Days of a New Year Facebook page to get involved in the community :-)

After reading the book and compiling all your lists, you will also want a FABULOUS planner or Home Management binder to put them in, right? RIGHT! So that's where ThePolkaDotPosie comes in!!

If you haven't been by our Printables shop in a while, be sure to stop by and check out all of the FUNctional planner sets we have to offer right now! They come in two styles and THREE different sizes that are sure to fit almost any planner, cover or binder. This is our newest design that actually comes with 4 different weekly options (two of which include meal planning for those of you making that resolution this year).


We also have some fun new accessories for your planner, like these great calendar stickers!


And there is a LOT MORE to come in 2014, including some add-on kits for budgeting, party planning, and more!!

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Now if you are like me, your Christmas tree will still be sparkling as you ring in the New Year tonight. I know my decorations need to come down ASAP, but I want to put them away NEATLY this year. The jumbled mess of lights and decor I found in bins this year was sad. I need to donate so many things I don't put up anymore and I need to package the things I do want to keep neatly and safely. I just saw today that I Heart Organizing did a whole Christmas-pack-away post today with some great ideas!! Check it out HERE:


So once your planners and binders are all set up and our Christmas decor is tucked away until next year, it's time to get to work on your home! Here is a fantastic cleaning schedule from Clean Mama to get you started in the month of January.



Be sure to check out her blog, she has some amazing free printables to help you with your home.

Well I hope this helps all of you as much as it is helping me! I would love to spend my NYE playing with my planner and reading organization blogs, but I have to entertain 4 VERY excited kiddies :-)

Wishing you all a healthy, HAPPY 2014!!!!!


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Our Christmas in a Nutshell

There are moments during the holidays when I say that I wish there weren't SO many obligations. Parties, programs, dinners, Christmas shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating…there isn't a moment to sit down some days and just enjoy the season.

But then I try to remember just how lucky we are to have friends and family to celebrate the holidays with!! And really…what would Christmas be without all those traditions? This year may have been crazy for us, but we were able to celebrate with all of our friends and family and that made all the craziness worth it :-) So here's a little look at our Christmas, in a nutshell.

The last few days of school before Christmas break were pretty exciting for the kids. Addie had her first Christmas Shopping Days experience, a Winter party and Pajama Reading Day. Blake also had his first Christmas school party and his FIRST CHRISTMAS PROGRAM!!

I'm not gonna lie…I was pretty nervous that this little dude was totally going to freak out on stage. He had been practicing his songs for weeks and he told me that morning that he was excited for us to come watch him.


And he was right…Blake walked out on that stage like a boss and hammed it up for the audience the whole time.


He sang every song and knew every word and motion. Watching these kids on stage was hilarious. God Bless Preschool teachers everywhere :-)


And speaking of teachers…these are Blake's this year. I love them to pieces. 


Blake had a pretty great cheering section that day too. Mima came...


And Nana and Papa...


And Aunt Dana...


Addie was at school that morning so she had to miss the show, but Daddy and I cheered extra loud on her behalf :-)


I was so proud of my little buddy. He was an Angel on stage.



Once the kids were off school, we tried to fill our days with some fun activities. We ended up getting the girls together for some cookie baking.


And they had a BLAST!




And of course when we were finished, we did a little cheers to a job well done :-)





One of the things that Dana and I really wanted to do with the kids together this year was the "Christmas Lights Express" tickets. We wanted to leave them all new Christmas Jams and a ticket and then pile into the SUV together to drive around town.

Our elves dropped off this sweet little package one night...


And these 4 peanuts were beyond THRILLED!! 


We drove around for about an hour and managed to see some great houses, including one that was set to music…



and one that had a projection machine that made it look like Santa was walking around in their house. The kids thought it was the coolest thing ever and were shouting out their wish lists one last time. Ha!

And speaking of the man in red, we had several visits with him this season! He surprised us at the Mueller Christmas Party…




And then again at Eric's family party!! I love this picture so much…look at Addie's dramatic reaction in the back. HA!


Santa brought the boys a new Skylander {the HUGE hit of the season}



And he brought the girls new purses. My kind of santa!!



Every other year, Meagan and Ryan travel to be with Meagan's family on Christmas eve, so this year we celebrated with them a day early. We got in lots of snuggle time...


And opened WAY too many gifts :-)


One of my favorite gifts this year was from my mom. She made us all custom aprons {notice the campers on mine? Ha!}


Oh, and she got us matching polkadot slippers :-)


The kids were spoiled rotten as always, and this little guy was happy as a clam :-)


We did manage to get our two yearly pictures.  A nice family shot...


And the goofball shot.


On Christmas Eve, these kiddies woke up ready to party.


We stayed in our jams all day and played with new toys. It was the perfect way to spend our day while Daddy worked. Then that night, we headed over to Nana and Papa's house for another celebration!

The kids were spoiled, once again...





But I think their favorite part was passing out gifts to everyone :-)


Grams was able to be there that night too, which is always special.


And Aunt Di and Uncle Adam got some snuggle time with the kiddos.


This night is always my Dad's favorite and he got into the spirit with this tie and shirt. Love this guy!!


Our Christmas doggie :-)


And of course, Christmas wouldn't be the same without a handmade Papa gift!! This year it was a gymnastics set for Addie's American Girl doll :-)


It was SO HARD getting the kids to wind down after such a fun night, but we made sure to leave Santa his cookies…


And then once the kiddies were all snug in their beds, Santa made is big debut :-)


I had the hardest time falling asleep all night because I was SO excited for the kids to wake up. Of course, of all days, they decided to sleep in. Ha! But once Blake screamed the word "SANTA" across the house, the kids were up.

Blake was on the hunt for one box…and only one box.

The Skylanders portal. I guess he made it on the nice list!!


Considering Addie had asked for another American Girl doll this year, I thought she would be most excited to see that box under the tree. But nope…she was most excited about her Elsa nightgown and the girl has LIVED in it for the last 4 days :-)


And neither kid will leave their tent. Ha!


I would call that another successful Santa visit!!!


Later that morning, it was time to head to Mima and Papa Steve's house!!




One of the things I love best about Christmas at my in-laws is that by the time we get there, a lot of the stress of the holidays is finally winding down. No more parties to go to, no more gifts to wrap…we can just sit and drink our coffee, play games and be silly :-)





And here is Papa with our creepy Furby.


As you can see from these pics, we really had the most wonderful Christmas!!!! The magic was alive this year and even though I am SO SAD it is over, I know that we have a magical 2014 ahead of us, including our next trip to DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!!!!! Let the planning begin :-)

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas!!!