Work at Home Mom Wardrobe Ideas

Work at Home Mom Wardrobe Ideas

Working at home provides as many challenges as it does comforts, even more when you’re a mother. Balancing a need to get work done without too much fuss but also needing to get your kids to school without looking like a hot mess is a conundrum pretty unique to WAHMs.

You’re going to be at your computer, on conference calls, meeting with clients, and chasing toddlers – what single outfit covers all those bases? Sure, a pencil skirt and a button-down blouse might work for a woman crushing her 9-5, but as a work at home mom, you need versatility. You need comfort, but also style.

Work at Home Mom Wardrobe Ideas

What you need is a wardrobe that fits your personality and unique set of circumstances. Let’s look at some essentials to make sure that every event, meeting and tea time has you looking and feeling your best.

Boss chick chic

Even if you don’t go to an office to meet people, you’re likely on client calls and doing some face-to-face. While working at home gives you the opportunity to be comfortable, you want to look professional and put-together. Plus, there’s something about getting dressed up, doing makeup and assembling a look that is intentional. It really can impact how you work and how effective you feel!

Pieces to consider are wrap dresses, which you can get with relative ease at most clothing retailers. Paired with a cardigan, they’re effortless and they look incredible. Plus they’re exceptionally comfortable.

Button-down blouses and flannels are another solid choice when you want to present yourself as not-quite casual. They’re exceptionally cute with jeans or leggings and in a pinch are simple to swap out if a baby throws up on you or you spill your coffee, both very real hazards when you’re a WAHM.

Make sure your wardrobe has room for a pencil skirt or two. With the right pair of heels, these will make you feel like boss-mom queen of New York, and you’ll command attention in any room you saunter into.

Casual workflow

Of course, not every day will have you meeting with clients and jetting across town for business lattes. Most days are just plugging away at your desk, writing copy, running numbers or cleaning up websites.

For these days, you want to embrace the fact that you work from home. No, I don’t necessarily mean work with no pants (though of course that’s your choice and I don’t judge!) What I mean is there are so many options for comfortable clothes that a WAHM can put together.

Leggings are the new jeans, going well with any outfit and for most occasions. The best part of a good pair of leggings is the fact that you can be sporty or just extremely not into pants that day and nobody will know the difference!

Jeans are a must-have for any wardrobe. Simultaneously casual and dressy if need-be, these staples don’t need to be expensive to have a big impact.

Cardigans are great because they up the fashion factor of almost anything they’re paired with and they’re ultra comfortable. Especially in the winter, you can’t go wrong upping your wow-factor with what is essentially a reverse-blanket.

Comfort is key

If you are really snuggled in for a day of focused work, then why worry about dressing up? We all have days we just want to get comfortable and attack our workload with a cup of coffee and some muffins, so dress accordingly!

Hoodies are the best piece of clothing on the planet by far. Just pull one over your t-shirt and you can do anything; pick up your kids, go to work out, stare daggers at the kids who park their cars too close to your driveway (that might just be me). The point is that they’re incredibly comfy, warm and versatile.

Thigh-high socks are the perfect footwear choice when you’re looking to cover a bit more skin than with a pair of knee highs, but don’t want to wear full tights. Cute enough to go out in but comfy enough to stay warm while you solve client crisis after client crisis, thigh-highs are a must-have. Whether you decide to have a bit of fun (foxy fun, that is!) or a simple black, long thigh-high socks are a fantastic complement to any outfit.

Legs in black thigh socks and dark red heels Legs in thigh high stockings with a fox design

Layering tank tops and simple v-necks are comfortable on their own, and they’re pretty essential to build an outfit. If you’re not going anyway, toss on a tank and a hoodie and get to work!

Can’t forget shoes!

I love Chucks. They’re great because you can put them with a date night outfit or just wear them literally anywhere casually.

A good pair of tennis shoes are great in a pinch and pair well with leggings to provide the illusion that you are, in fact, quite sporty. And if you ARE sporty, then they’re actually practical, too!

Mules are nice because you can slip them on to run errands but they’re so trendy and cute that they’re not un-professional, either.

What are your wardrobe staples when tackling home and business life?

I’d love to hear about them in the comments!

Keeping the Christmas Card Tradition Alive

Keeping the Christmas Card Tradition Alive

As a child, I always remember my grandmother getting Christmas cards, usually starting the first week of December. She’d place them all over the huge bay window along with her decorations and I’d marvel at them as they accumulated. My other grandmother had her piano absolutely covered in them from December 1st through January.

Now I consider how many cards we’ve gotten in the last few years – maybe one or two per season? It’s a tradition that is more often than not going out of style, and that’s very unfortunate. The feeling of going to your mail and in the midst of all the ads and bills finding a colorful card with warm greetings is impossible to replicate with email or Facebook posts.

Keeping the Christmas Card Tradition Alive

If you’ve got fond memories of Christmas cards or the concept simply sounds interesting, keep reading. We’ve got some great tips for dipping your toe into the holiday card experience or upping your Christmas card game if you’re a seasoned pro.

Recruit your kids

Nothing resonates with the holidays more than the love and wonder of children. Getting a holiday card with a message of season’s greetings from a child is the height of holiday cheer.

This is also a good exercise in writing for your younger children. Have them write their own well-wishes and draw a picture. If they’re not great at drawing or they prefer coloring, a quick Pinterest search will pull up thousands of card templates for them to color and customize. This is also a good time of year to get their most recent school photos out to friends and family they don’t see often.

And if you don’t have human children, you can always make some cat Christmas cards. Meowy Christmas! (that pun’s free)

red and green holiday card that says wishing you a Merry Christmas

Try your hand at a new hobby

Personal card making is a creative, fun hobby with a practical purpose. Many hobby outlets sell cutting dies, card stock, stamps and other decorative accessories.

Especially around this time of year you can find plenty of starter sets for card making. If you poke around on Facebook or Pinterest, I guarantee you have at least one friend who does it that could help teach you.

The key isn’t getting wrapped up (har har) in making the perfect card. Rather, you should focus on the zen of creative pursuit that allows you to express yourself while engaging in a cherished holiday tradition.

Even if your cards look a hot mess, your friends will be stoked to get them.

Utterly wow your friends and family

If you’re ready to dive headlong into the next level of holiday Christmas cards, you can enlist the help of a professional. Basic Invite is revolutionizing the holiday card and invitation process with layers up layers of customization. With over 180 colors to choose from and nearly unlimited combinations of those colors, you have complete creative control over your card making. They’ll even print you a sample of your card before you commit to buy, letting you see exactly what you’re getting.

You can even customize the color of the envelopes your cards get mailed in! They’ve got stock photos and illustrations, but of course you can add photos of your family, decorations or a really cool cloud if it tickles your fancy. There’s even an option to apply a foil layer to the cards in gold, silver and rose gold, which after a childhood of collecting Pokemon cards, carries a certain appeal.

Whether you’re looking to invoke the ancient tradition of holiday cards or you’re mulling around Christmas party invitation ideas, Basic Invite is a great place to get it all together. Their intuitive address capture tool allows you to post on Facebook, Twitter, etc asking for your friends and family to provide their addresses for correspondence. Basic Invite will store this information and allow you to autofill it when you go to create cards, printing it on the envelopes for you. All you have to do is get them to the post office!

You can check out the full range of services that Basic Invite offers. If you decide you want to totally rock the holiday card tradition this year, use promo code 15FF51 to save 15% off your order.

Indulge in a classic tradition

No matter how you engage in the holiday card exchange, it’s a fantastic tradition to pass on to younger generations. It’s also a great way to brighten someone’s day, especially older family and friends for whom holiday cards were a fact of life.

Whether you make them yourself, enlist the help of your kids or you go through a professional card maker like Basic Invite, Christmas cards are a tradition worth keeping.

Cold Season Cures from a Kitchen Witch

Cold Season Cures from a Kitchen Witch

Kitchen cures for colds and the like are a dime a dozen, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work! With sickness season upon us and will soon ramp up into the absolute worst that tiny microbes can throw at us. If you have kids in school – literally any school, even home-school somehow – they’re going to turn into walking, talking petri dishes. You can load them up on medicine, give them three scarves and an overcoat, but they’re going to be sneezing regardless.

If you’re like me, you love science – I think medicine, vaccines, and pizza bagels are all wonderful advances for humankind. Sometimes, however, you might not want to give your kids (or self) 3 different medicines, all filled with items you can’t pronounce. Luckily there are some simple-to-use, cheap and easy home remedies that absolutely work to fight off colds and other nasties.

Some of these you will buy at the store, some you’ll make yourself, but all of them are things I personally do and I very, very rarely get sick. Even when my kids are little germ tornadoes, I weather the storm with these witchy kitchen hacks, and you can, too!

Kitchen Cures for Colds

When I know I’m going to get sick, I feel it at the back of my throat. It starts not as a sore throat but as a tickle, usually, maybe scratchiness, but I still know. That’s when I start taking raw, whole garlic.

Garlic has anti-microbial properties, but it’s especially good for when you’re getting sick in the sinuses. For most people, eating a whole clove at once might be…difficult. Dicing it up, however, makes it easier to take, and has the bonus of being incredibly spicy, which often clears out sinuses.

For colds or influenza, I will mix 1-2 cloves of chopped garlic with a tablespoon of raw honey and take that. It helps with sore throats, coughing, and it shortens the duration of my colds. If I get ahead of getting sick by taking this mixture, I can often completely avoid a full-blown cold entirely.

Kombucha is another thing I’ll start chugging at the first sign of a cold. The probiotics in kombucha bolster the gut microbiome, which in turn makes your immune system more robust. Opt for kombucha with less sugar, however – sugar itself can damage your gut biome and we want to avoid that.

kitchen hacks cure colds

Bone Broth

Chicken soup is good for more than a light meal when you feel bad. Actual scientific research shows that hot drinks like soup or tea help thin out mucus, which makes it less gummy in your lungs and easier to get rid of. Chicken soup in particular (when made with bone broth) has anti-inflammatory effects which can reduce nasal swelling, helping you breathe. The collagen in chicken bone broth also boosts the health of your gut lining, which again makes your immune system stronger.

Get a whole chicken from the store and toss it in the crock pot on high for 3-4 hours with some veggies. Strip the meat off the bones and use it in whatever you’d like – we’re here for the skeleton (I told you this was witchy). Drop the crock to low, add 6 cups of water, some salt, 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and let it cook for about 10 hours. This will draw out the collagen and give you a lovely bone broth. Just make sure you strain it before enjoying this kitchen cure.

Spice Kitchen Cures

Ginger is great for soothing a sore throat and it can suppress a cough as well. You take a few thin slices of fresh ginger and steep it like tea in hot water, adding actual tea bags if you like. The spicy ginger is soothing on your sore throat, and if you add some honey it can be a one-two punch against coughs. It definitely my go-to kitchen cure.

Echinacea root, taken as a tea (around 1-2 grams) a few times a day can help prevent the cold from getting a hold in your body. This is best done when I see my kids or husband’s eyes get that glassy, “I’m getting a cold” look. It’s like those over-the-counter cold preventatives but this actually works.

Turmeric mixed into your morning coffee – about a 1.5 tsps – has a potent anti-inflammatory effect. If coffee isn’t your thing, try turmeric tea instead, which you can make the same way as turmeric coffee with black tea bags, or you can buy turmeric tea bags already pre-made.

Cough remedies

Especially in fall as mold grows in the damp weather and fields are harvested, allergies are rampant. If not treated, allergies quickly turn into upper respiratory infections and we don’t want that.

Honey has been proven to be as useful if not better than dextromethorphan (cough syrup) at treating, well, coughs. This study showed that 2.5ml of honey at bed time was better at suppressing coughs than over-the-counter cough syrups, and that’s great because cough syrup has a taste that is staggeringly awful. Do remember that you cannot give honey to kids under 1 year old, due to the chances of botulism spores being present.

Black licorice – whether you love it or hate it – can be a powerful medicine. Now, it’s not the candy that people who don’t love you give you as a treat – this is flavored with anise and has no medicinal properties. You want actual licorice root which contains glycyrrhizin, which reduces inflammation in the lungs. With all that said, you should avoid the root in excess of 1 gram a day (you can make a tea with it), as it really is potent and can cause problems in high doses. Best to stick with a lozenge that has licorice root as an active ingredient and stick strictly to the usage limits.

Eucalyptus oil and vaporubs are the smell we might have grown up with, but for a very good reason. These vaporubs can improve cold symptoms in just a few hours of application, opening airways, fighting inflammation and improving coughs. While I like essential oils, I don’t rely on them to fix my family’s sickness BUT eucalyptus oil in a humidifier is great when your family is coughing their lungs out at nighttime.

Stomach problems

Nobody wants this but it’s there so let’s talk about it. Woof.

Ginger again, steeped in hot water with peppermint tea will do wonders for nausea. We often break up peppermints into hot water with a slice of ginger and give it to our kids, as sucking on a peppermint is great for tummy troubles but the choking risk of hard candy is a no-no.

While not a remedy exactly, if you’re nauseated, closing your fist around your thumb can suppress the urge to vomit. Massaging point where your thumb is anchored to your hand is another way to ease nausea.

Don’t believe me? Try closing your fist around your thumb (same hand, basically make a fist with your thumb tucked inside) and then test your gag reflex; pretty wild, eh?

Mint is an herb we grow quite a lot of around our house, especially since it’s perfect for gardening on a budget. Since it’s somewhat invasive, make sure you tend to it regularly or it will take over whatever bed it’s growing in. That said, a tea made with 4-5 bruised mint leaves helps reduce nausea and stomach pain when you’ve got gastroenteritis or food poisoning.

Chamomile is another herb we love, as it’s similar to turmeric with its anti-inflammatory benefits. If you don’t grow chamomile, you can buy dried flowers online (or if you have a holistic/health food store nearby, you can probably get them there). Steep 3 dried flowers in hot water for about 10 minutes and then add some honey. This mixture is good for cramping, diarrhea and nausea.

Home remedies for colds are legit

Again, I don’t want to suggest you be afraid of science, but there are traditional medicines that have real, absolute uses in the 21st century. Sometimes letting a fever run its course is better than taking ibuprofen unless it’s keeping you from sleeping. Inflammation is the cause of a lot of the nastiness with almost all illness, and dealing with that using medicine can sometimes hurt just as much as it helps.

For instance, if you’re dealing with stomach pain and cramps, taking aspirin or ibuprofen might make the pain much worse. Soothing herbal teas have scientific validity and real-world applications. Plus, you can grow the necessary herbs yourself!

Do you have any kitchen hacks for colds that you think are worth sharing?

We’d love to read about them in the comments – building up a repertoire of useful home remedies for sickness is essential for any kitchen witch (and even non-witchy moms or dads)!

9 Must Haves For Your She Shed

9 Must Haves For Your She Shed

Move over, man caves, this momma needs her she shed!

I work from home as a blog mentor and business strategist, and that sounds like a dream, yeah?

Set my own hours, my own salary. Hey, I don’t even have to put on a bra if I don’t want to!

Oooh but wait. I’m a mom. And while yes, I do set my own salary (and don’t put on a bra unless I have to do preschool drop-off!) there’s no such thing as setting my own hours, because let’s face it – no mom with kids under 5 gets to sleep in on a regular basis. If you do, you’re my hero.

My days consist of my 5 year old waking me up with the sun and while my husband does handle bedtime, there’s no reprieve from about 6:30am until at least 6:30pm. I’ve lived the life of 12 hour workdays with no breaks, but I was 23 then and farrrrrrrr less tired. Plus I had colleagues to keep me from losing my mind. My colleagues now typically do the opposite.

So you know what I want…nay NEED in my next house?

A she shed.

She Shed Must-Haves

Note: the links below may be affiliate links, which means I’ll receive commission should you click through to make a purchase. This in no way impacts your purchase price nor my opinion of said products.

Our current home was built around 1880 and while it’s gorgeous in its antiquity, there is no garage. Heh there’s no even outlets in our bathrooms! So my next home? A she shed is a must.

She shed must haves, self care tips for moms

First in this dream she shed, I’ll obviously need the coziest of robes. One that makes me feel like a queen when I put it on…a queen ready for a nap. This robe on Amazon would be perfect (it even has a hood!!)

 

Since I’ll then be ready for my nap, I’ll obviously need somewhere cozy to curl up. This bean bag chair is not only ridiculously comfortable, but it’s microsuede (ooOOooh!)

After my nap, I’ll obviously need a cup of coffee. We just bought a Ninja Coffee Bar last month and sorry, hubs, but it’s coming with me to my she shed! I mean, c’mon…you can add froth. What’s better than froth?!

With that heavenly cup of perfectly made coffee, I’ll need to pick up a book and read away my woes. A friend of mine who runs Miracle Blogger recently introduced me to A Course in Miracles and while it’s a slow read, it’s great at helping bring things into perspective. Not only that, but it’s one I definitely can’t read when I have the kids around so it’ll be a definite she shed must-have.

After I work through a lesson, I’ll obviously need to reward myself with another cup of coffee (don’t forget the froth!) and a treat. I’m not really one for sweets, though, so bring on the savory carbs!! I’ll hide them away in this cabinet just in case any varmits should try to steal my snacks.

From there, it would be time to perhaps do a bit of journaling. I used to write in my journal constantly, but it’s a sad rarity these days. I still have one, though – it’s this great Tree of Life journal and I absolutely love it. You can even purchase add-ons in case you’re a super mom who does have time to journal on a regular basis! 🙂

Now I’m not much in the ways of decor, but a small fountain of some sort would also be a she shed must-have. I’ve always been drawn to flowing water and I think it would do nicely to drown out the faint sounds of my husband whimpering at the door, begging me to come wrangle the little ones.

As I do finally wrap up my “mommy time” I’d want to grab an ice cold Pepsi from my Pepsi fridge. My grandma was always an avid Pepsi lover and it’s definitely a trait she passed onto me. While it may not be super healthy, there’s little better than a cold Pepsi as I would then trudge my way back to the little ones and hope my husband hadn’t yet run away from home.

Pepsi Beverage Fridge

 

Oh and on those days where I’m able to have that escape, you can most definitely bet I’ll be using The Dinner Daily to help ensure our meal plans stay healthy, affordable, and (best of all) EASY!

I will say that I wouldn’t trade any of this to go back to the corporate world. No way, no how. While my children may drive me mad some most days, I am incredibly blessed to have the ability to work from home and be with them as much as I am.

Plus there’s still the whole no bra thing.

What’s your She Shed or Man Cave Must Have?

Comment below, I’d love to know!

 

DIY Carpet Deodorizer

DIY Carpet Deodorizer

Stinky carpet got you down?

Most carpet deodorizers you buy from the store are this formula listed below (with potentially a few extra, not so-healthy, ingredients). But guess what? Those store bought ones are going to cost you 10x as much and there’s no guarantee you’ll even like the scent you’re left with!!

So check out this DIY carpet deodorizer that you can make for less than .50!!

DIY Carpet Deodorizer

Note: The essential oil linked below is exactly what I bought from Amazon. Clicking through to make a purchase may earn me a small commission, but this in no way impacts my recommendation of these products or the cost to you.

baking soda carpet deodorizer

What You Need:

  • 1 Box (16oz) Baking Soda (we get ours from Aldi for only 44 cents!)
  • Essential Oil of your choice
  • Tupperware or mason jar

For the warmer months, I love to use a lilac essential oil (lilacs are most definitely my favorite scent!) This lilac EO is the only one I’ve found that actually smells like REAL lilacs! During the cooler months, I switch it up to a nice fall harvest mix.

Not sure which essential oils to use? Check out this amazing (and affordable!) floral set from P&J Trading!

You can use any sort of tupperware to mix the carpet deodorizer. Honestly one box of baking soda covers one carpet, so it’s rare I have any leftover to be stored.

Mix 2 cups (typically one box) of baking soda with 25-30 drops of your essential oil.

If you’ve vacuumed recently, you can just apply the carpet deodorizer to your carpet. Otherwise I like to do a quick vacuum first and then apply the carpet deodorizer. Wait 1-2 hours (or overnight, if you prefer!) and then vacuum.

Your carpets will now be refreshed and smelling great!

Personally I like to do this about once a month, but it’s also great to do if we’re expecting company (like for our annual Halloween party!)

What mix of essential oils will you use for this DIY?

I’d love to know in the comments below!

And don’t forget to pin this for later!

DIY Carpet Deodorizer with essential oil, trick to help your rugs be refreshed and eliminate odor!

15 Tips to Save Time on Holiday Prep

15 Tips to Save Time on Holiday Prep

Saving time during the holiday season doesn’t always seem to be a priority for some – it’s a lot of “rush rush rush” and “oooh I can’t wait for (this day)!!”

What we need to remember, though, is that saving time during the holiday season is of the utmost importance, as our hours should be spent relaxing with family, not sweating in a kitchen or stressing over entertaining house guests.

Disclosure: The links in this post contain affiliate links and I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase after clicking on my link.

Thanksgiving hacks! Save time whenever you entertain house guests by utilizing these creative tips on saving time when celebrating the holidays.

One of the very first posts I wrote for this site was on Thanksgiving Day Time Savers and today I present you with fifteen more tips on how to save yourself time during the holiday season –

Holiday Time Saver #1: Invest in Coffee Carafes


This is one I’ve talked about before in a post on Weird Ways to Save Money as it’s something we actually do on a regular basis, not just the holidays!

Coffee (or hot chocolate, cider, etc) are great for chilly winter gatherings, but the need for heat can be tricky – you either have to leave something plugged in and turned on, or use the microwave to reheat each time someone wants a cup. A good coffee carafe is relatively inexpensive and will save you time by allowing you to make big batches of your favorite warm drink in advance and store it hot for hours.

You can also make use of leftover coffee this way. By pouring what you don’t use into the carafe, you can keep it warm for the next day without wasting half a pot (like we used to in my house). Since it never cools completely, you don’t get that stale, microwaved coffee taste and you’ll be surprised at how much money you save by not tossing leftover coffee!

Holiday Time Saver #2: Make Your Cookie Dough Ahead of Time

If you love the smell of freshly baked cookies but simply don’t expect to have the time on the day of your party, mix up a big batch of cookie dough and roll it into a tube on wax paper. Cover it up and place it in your fridge, and then on the morning of, slice and bake! Homemade yumminess without the stress!

Holiday Time Saver #3: Label Your Serving Platters

Take the time a few days before the dinner to sort out your serving platters and put a post-it or some other label on each, corresponding to the food that will be on them. This way you know where everything is going to sit when you serve it and you don’t run the risk of scrambling at the last minute to find “one more” serving dish.

Holiday Time Saver #4: Chill Your Impromptu Wines in No Time

Wine chiller..or sonic screwdriver?

When guests bring their favorite wines to the party, often waiting for a delicious white to cool to a palatable temperature can be a long time investment. Rather, get a metal skewer that would fit inside of a wine bottle and keep it in your freezer (or invest in one purposefully meant for chilling wine!). When you pop the cork on the fresh bottle, put the skewer in the bottom and put the cork back. It will help chill the wine much faster than simply popping it in the fridge.

Holiday Time Saver #5: Measure Once, Cook Once

Prior to the big day, get your recipes together and measure out, store, and label dry ingredients, cut vegetables and meat, and prepare dough for rolls, sweets, and crusts. Doing all of this ahead of time will make a HUGE difference in time spent on the actual day of cooking (plus you can pretend you’re on a cooking show, where everything is already magically set for you! Surely I’m not the only one who does this…right?)

Holiday Time Saver #6: Prepare Crockpot Meals (Way) In Advance

Depending on what you’re making, certain crockpot recipes are great to measure, cut, and store in the freezer until the day-of. I make a delicious fall squash soup, for instance, that is a simple matter of dicing, slicing, and freezing, until it’s time to dump it all in the slow cooker to set and forget.

Holiday Time Saver #7: Never Fear Warm Beer

If your guests are more the beer-drinking types, use an old bartender trick to ensure any beer is chilled when served. Spray down your beer glasses with water and then toss them in the freezer. The thin layer of water will quickly freeze, creating frosty receptacles for your bubbly brewed beverages.

Holiday Time Saver #8: De-stuff The Bird

I know it seems like stuffing in the bird is a holiday staple, but it increases the cooking time of the turkey, which increases the risk of food-borne illness and runs the potential of drying out the meat. Opt instead to make the stuffing outside in a separate container; you’ll be glad you did (and so will any vegetarian friends who stop by!)

Holiday Time Saver #9: Use An Ironing Board For Extra Counter Space!


Just like it sounds, an ironing board makes a great temporary island if your house is short on counter space.

Holiday Time Saver #10: Don’t Turn Down Help

If someone asks if you need anything, don’t be afraid to say YESSSS!! Ask them to bring a dish you know will be easy for them to prep, preferably in a disposable container you won’t have to remember to return.

Holiday Time Saver #11: Write Out A Schedule

We’re not talking a simple “to-do” list here; in advance, write up a very specific schedule for prepping, storing, plating, serving, and cleaning-up. It will help keep your wasted time down to a minimum and it can also aid in directing any extra help you’ll have to where they’re needed most.

Holiday Time Saver #12: Invest In An Extra Folding Table

Versatile and useful outside of holiday situations, an extra folding table can help you prepare for unexpected guests, or to set up a buffet for your meal, rather than serving everything in courses. These are also nice to have on hand if you want to hold a successful garage sale in the summer!

Holiday Time Saver #13: Keep The Kids Occupied By Having Them Design Placemats

Little ones always want to help but it’s not always helpful. Give them a fun activity that requires minimal supervision/clean-up, like asking them to design the place mats for each guest. This way you’re keeping them out of the way but still making sure they know they’re an important part of the gathering.

Holiday Time Saver #14: Sharpen Your Cutlery Ahead Of Time

Whether you have them professionally sharpened or simply do it yourself, make sure all of your knives are ready to go for the day of the dinner. Not only do sharpened knives better ensure less frustration as you try to slice and dice, but dull knives can result in you slicing and dicing a finger. Let’s avoid injuries this year, mkay, Uncle John?

Holiday Time Saver #15: Prepare For Optimal Storage     

Carving the turkey up at the table is a tradition for some, but if you slice it up ahead of time, your hungry guests likely won’t complain, and this will save you time when you go to put it away after the meal (and you can always utilize tip #7 from my original Turkey Day Time Savers article). In addition, having planned storage containers out and ready to go when you’re done eating is a good way to ensure everything has a place and that putting food away takes minimal time.

The key here is to remember that the holidays should be a time to savor a wonderful meal with the people you care about most, not an event to leave you stressed over entertaining guests; the more time you save in preparation/clean-up, the more time you get to actually enjoy with them!

Will you be entertaining this holiday season? Comment below with YOUR best tip!