Thursday, June 25, 2015

Happy Leon Day!

It's Leon Day!  If you don't know what that is, it is the six month mark before Christmas!  For a Christmas blogger like me, it is time to ramp up my game for the upcoming season.  On Leon Day, the perfect thing to do is... SHOP!

So let's take a little survey, When do you start shopping for Christmas?

I try to do a little of all the above!  On the day after Christmas I shop the Christmas bargains, such as cards, stationery, gift wrap, bows, decorations, anything that I might like to have or use the next Christmas.  I store all of these goodies in their own box, it is like opening a Christmas present to myself when I see all these new items!

I like to buy my great nieces and nephews things from our vacations.  Something small but fun, so that means I shop all year.  I always buy an ornament from wherever we vacation.  The tree in my bedroom is the vacation tree!  It is fun to reminisce over all the places we have traveled.

Once in a blue moon I will go out to the Black Friday sales.  Something has to SCREAM my name before I get in a car at 4 a.m. to shop!

I will head to the grocery store on Christmas Eve to pick up last minute items.  I will usually spot a little something extra to put into a stocking or put on the table.

For Leon Day, I will sit down at my computer, with a little holiday music, today it is Josh Groban.  I love that singer!  I made a little Christmas snack and now I am ready to shop some Christmas.  Here are the sites I will be shopping at today:

Hallmark Ornaments

Patience Brewster Ornaments

Byers Carolers

Balsam Hill (there's a summer sale!)

Wreaths Across America (I'll sign up to sponsor a wreath!)

Jim Shore (I love his work!)

Christmas Ornaments (if it's not here, it might not exist!)

All this shopping is making this girl a little hungry!  Today I made a special snack that is waiting for me in the kitchen.  Time to get up from the computer for a bit, let Truman and Wilson out for a quick run and me to enjoy this little snack!

Frozen Hot Chocolate

Serves 1

 2 T chocolate chips
1 T coffee creamer, French vanilla or other favorite flavor
1 pkg hot cocoa mix
1 c almond milk
1 c crushed ice

Blend together until the consistency of a milkshake.  Pour into a frosty glass.  Top with whipped cream and more chocolate chips, if desired.  Enjoy!

What will you do to celebrate this awesome day?  I'd love to hear from you!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Getting Organized for the 2015 Christmas Season!

My Christmas "break" is now over for 2015.  It is time to start thinking about the Christmas season and what plans I may want to make for that very short month of December.

I organize with a three ring binder that I made many years ago.  I had to replace the physical binder several years ago and I decided to get a stronger one that was a bit more expensive.  For six months of the year, this little guy gets a lot of use.

What's in this binder?  Lots and lots of things.  Actually examples of the Christmas cards we've sent Christmas letters, recipes for the foods we've tried, photographs of our home decor, Christmas lists, lists of ornaments purchased, idea files for ornaments and crafts.  Some of the files haven't been used for awhile, as I tend to keep a lot of organization on Pinterest on the Christmas Tree Lane account. (Shameless plug, click the link to follow me on Pinterest!)  I still like to keep photos handy and the lists.

How do you start a binder?  I started by using forms that other's created that suited my needs.  Here are some forms on sale at Etsy that I love!  These instant downloadable forms are available at PrintablePossibilities and are available now.

Here's another adorable planner.  This one is available from JessAmyFlo.  It is another instant download.  I love instant waiting!!

Once you have your forms and your binder, then you can decide if you are going to save photos in the binder, Christmas letters, cards, etc.  I do all these and my binder is pretty thick.  I am going to stop with the letters, as I do an online letter now and they are saved on the website.  The cards are still pretty paper ones, and I like saving a copy of each one!

There are a number of good apps online for Christmas organizing, too.  Some of my favorites are:

For Countdowns:

All these countdown apps are free:

Christmas Countdown!!

For organizing, try these apps:

                    Gift It!

         First Time Christmas

The last app costs 99 cents but is a great deal for all the organizing it will do for you!  

The time to start planning for a reduced stress Christmas is now!  In future posts I will discuss organizing gift wrap, Christmas cards, your baking schedule, and cleaning!  Looking forward to sharing more organizing tips with all of you!