Free Printable: The Thanksgiving Plan

Free Printable: The Thanksgiving Plan

The Thanksgiving Plan Preview

Fail to plan, plan to fail. Sure, it may be a motto for many things but it’s something that should be chanted as we enter the holidays. Especially Thanksgiving. Lists are key, math does play a part in what you serve and careful pre-planning will make your day so much easier.

MAGIC GRAVY STORY

One year, my mom was hosting Thanksgiving dinner for our immediate family, their family and guests of those who were single. With about 25 people in the house, several of us were running around the kitchen with purpose. The pressure to serve an incredible meal was on. A couple of the guests were the type of women who tend to do everything right in the kitchen. You know those type? They can just “whip up” something and it looks like a magazine feature. Why didn’t we ask them to cook? Hindsight is 20/20.

The final stages of meal prep were coming to a close and my aunt was making gravy… from scratch. She was stirring and stirring, adding more ingredients and then stirring again. The freaking gravy would NOT thicken up. So, as one of the perfect cooks went to her car to grab something (I was praying it was a meal), my aunt tossed the runny gravy down the drain, grabbed a can of pre-made gravy, dumped it into the bowl and started stirring by the time the woman made it back into the kitchen.

Flawless.

We planned ahead.

The gravy was excellent.

YOUR THANKSGIVING

  • How many guests are you expecting?
  • Who is bringing what?
  • Do you have the meal planned out?
  • How does your grocery list look?

We’ve created thirteen pages of list-type organization for Thanksgiving dinner. Yes, we said THIRTEEN pages to keep you on track and always one step ahead.

Thanskgiving Plan Worksheets[ddownload id=12000]

It’s all free and it’s ready for download. Go for it!

tawsha connell

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You’ll Need To Get Started

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You’ll Need To Get Started

Homeschooling. It’s not for everybody. Are you considering this alternate schooling method for the right reasons? Homeschooling may be right for your kids, but are you cut out for it? Do you have the right personality traits to successfully homeschool your kids?

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

The below articles will help you decide if this is something you feel you’ll be able to do, and if you’re the type of person that can pull it off. It means a lot of “together” time with you and your kiddies. It was impossible to have loved my kids any more than I did, but I have to be honest and admit that we all valued our time away from each other while they were at school. I say to all of you who have chosen to homeschool your children, Good. For. You. You’re blazing trails and making us all proud! And according to what my research tells me, you parents are doing an excellent job and your kids are excelling! If you would love to jump in, but you’re still on the fence, I hope that the below articles will be of help to you in making your decision.

Okay, you all done? So if you’re still reading, you must have decided that you’re the mom bomb and you’re gonna go for it and become a homeschooling parent. Congratulations! You’re all pumped now and ready to get after it, but… what do you do first? Does that saying come to mind, “all dressed up and nowhere to go”?  Not to worry, PBS Parents has some steps that will get you headed in the right direction. The link to their article, “Homeschooling: Tips for Getting Started” explains in more detail the steps outlined below.

1. Find Out the Legal Requirements

Learn what the legal requirements are for homeschooling in your state. Easy search by state. (Site also has other useful info)

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Home School Legal Defense Association.

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2. Choose Your Teaching Style

Lay out your teaching style and game plan. Below are some sites that offer FREE Homeschooling Curriculum, and other useful information that will help you get set up.

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Ambleside Online

Printable Curricula for All Ages

 

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Homeschool Buyers Co-Op

Resources for All Aspects of Homeschooling

 

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Guesthollow

Printables, Books, Lessons…all FREE

 

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

All-in-one Reading Program

Free Downloadable Books – (Currently No Registration Required)

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Starfall

Phonics instruction, games and online interactive books

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3. Tap into your Local Homeschool Community

Discover the local homeschool resources available in your area. Get support from homeschoolers in your community.

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Homeschool Central

Join local homeschool groups online and connect with other homeschoolers in your State.

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

website-divider-greenHelpful Homeschool Tips

♦  How To Set Up

“Getting Started in Homeschooling” | Life As Mom

 “Putting Together a Homeschool Binder” | Life As Mom

♦  How To Tell Everyone You’ve Decided to Homeschool

“7 Tips to Help Explain Your Homeschool Decision With Confidence” | Homeschool Diaries

♦  How to Set Up Your Homeschool Area/Room

“5 Tips For Organizing Your Homeschool Room” | Pioneer Woman Homeschooling

“How To Make a Homeschool Classroom” | Wiki How

♦  How to Plan and Organize Meals and Snacks

“28 Easy Peasy Bento Box Lunch Ideas” | organized CHAOS online

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Resources For Planning and Preparing Curriculum

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Donna Young

Printables and a TON of resources for homeschooling

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Sonlight

Webinars and Workshops regarding socialization, testing, organization and teaching tips

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS onlineLearning style quizzes for you and your child, printables, teaching tips, resources

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

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And finally, the place that I found to have the greatest selection of homeschooling resources and printables is Pinterest. There you can pretty much find anything you may be looking for. (If you aren’t currently using Pinterest, I really recommend you set up a FREE account and get started). Instead of listing here all the tips and information we found, we created  a “Homeschooling” Board where all that great information will now live. We will constantly be adding pins to our board, so to make sure you stay updated, just go HERE , Click on the Red Follow All button, and look for our Homeschooling board below!

How to Homeschool: Every Resource You'll Need To Get Started | organized CHAOS online

Good Luck to all of you awesome Homeschoolers! And to all you homeschooling veterans, be sure to share any helpful advice you have with all this year’s homeschooling newbies! Sharing is caring!

Patti signature

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First Day of School FREE Printables

First Day of School FREE Printables

colton first day with printables

The first day of school is exciting no matter what grade your child is in. You must do the obligatory first day of school picture in your new clothes standing in front of the door. In fact, I don’t know if this world would still be spinning if we didn’t take the picture. I’m pretty sure we’d all be at a stand-still.

My son started Kindergarten this year (yes, in August when the rest of the normal people are still enjoying summer). I always have big plans but then wait until the last minute and throw something together. WHY do I do this to myself? I can’t remember a time when I didn’t pull through but it’s bound to happen. Not in this case, though. We nailed it. Well, thanks to some creative and generous designers of printables.

We found some cute (and FREE) printables online and wanted to share them with you. Simply click on the image to be led to their printable and download.

Yes, free. Pretty rad, right?

colorful printables botanical paperworkd

Source: Botanical Paperworks
Click for download

 

colorful single numbers darciwoodiwiss

Source: Darci Woodiwiss
Click for download

 

fancy chalkboard classy clutter

Source: Classy Clutter
Click for download

 

fill in paper armelleblog

Source: Armelle Blog
Click for download

first last day of school chalkboard the diy mommy

Source: The DIY Mommy
Click for download

 

grey yellow chevron icanteachmychild

Source: I Can Teach My Child
Click for download

homeschool my humble kitchen

Source: My Humble Kitchen
Click for download

 

light-chevron-colorful-a-li

Source: A Little Pixel
Click for download

 

simple chalkboard yellowblissroad

Source: Yellow Bliss Road
Click for download

multiple-chevron-grades-bot

Source: Botanical Paperworks
Click to download

 

tawsha connell

Keep it to a Carry On Bag

Keep it to a Carry On Bag

female-plane-carry-on

Passengers on major U.S. carriers spent more than US$1.74 billion on bag fees in the first half of 2012, US$78 million more than in the first half of 2011, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics reports.(via CNN).

I’m sorry, WHAT? Come-a-freaking-gain?!?!? Nuh uh!!! That was just in 2011!

I’m an over-packer. It’s in my nature. Since I never know how I’ll “feel” when I get up, I never know what I’ll want to pack. ‘Is it a shorts day or a skirt day? Should I bring a tank top AND a cardigan or would a cropped jacket be more appropriate? What if I go out and do something fun? I’ll need a nice outfit…but not too nice. Oh no, where would we go? Is it dressy dressy or dressy casual? What shoes will I wear with it?’

This is what goes through my head EVERY SINGLE time I travel.

Now it’s time to put myself to the test.

I’m traveling to my dad’s house in upstate New York. I’ll be outside most of the time so there’s no need to dress up but I also don’t want to look like a total bag lady because we’ll be taking lots of pictures. Oh, and we’re going to two fairs (It’s for my son- I’m sooooooo not the farm/agriculture type. I like makeup and smelling good).

The other thing: I don’t want to pay $25 per bag for each of us. My challenge is to fit 6 days in a carry on bag.

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Here are some packing tricks I’ve learned (and will attempt).

An updated report is at the end of this post! Is it truly possible?

Rules for Clothing

  1. Limit yourself to two pairs of shoes and two pairs of pants.
  2. Don’t pack more than a week’s worth of clothes. For longer trips, plan to do laundry.
  3. Pack only garments that can be color-coordinated with everything else in your travel wardrobe. If it doesn’t work in multiple outfits, leave it at home.
  4. Maximize your personal item. In addition to a carry-on bag, airlines allow you to bring a personal item such as a purse or laptop bag. I generally bring a small backpack, which can hold a lot more than a purse but will still fit easily under the seat in front of me. (Pack an empty purse in your backpack.)
  5. Take multipurpose items such as a sarong that can easily become a scarf, a towel, a hair wrap, a pillow case or a picnic blanket.
  6. Pack three tops for every bottom.
  7. Stick with a color scheme so you can mix and match.
  8. Plan your colors around the shoes you want to take. (How about we not wear navy shoes with black capris, mmmmkay?)
  9. Pack underwear for each day…then add one.

Packing Tips

Shoving into suitcase red

  • Set everything out so you can pack mentally. This is like a game of Tetris.
  • Load books on an eReader or bring just one. You can swap en route.
  • Pack socks and underwear inside any shoes you aren’t wearing
  • Wear your bulkiest items on the plane. (All I can think of is Joey wearing Chandler’s clothes in Friends)
  • Roll your clothes
  • Fit tank tops and smaller/thinner items in the crevices of the very bottom of your bag (like, in between the metal handles)
  • Place your shoes, individually, in bags (ziplock gallon bags will do), and line the perimeter of the suitcase.
  • Use packing cubes to keep your clothing compact and categorized.
  • Opt for toiletry bags so you can keep all your bathroom essentials in one place and able to hang easily once you reach your destination.
  • Pack limited makeup. Unless you’re traveling for beauty reasons, choose your most versatile colors and leave behind all the options. Go with what works.
  • Choose accessories that can be worn with everything. Think: Simple.
  • When going through a normal day, take notes of what you typically use. (You can write it on your printable packing list provided at the end of this post.)

There’s a great list on Beginner Beans. She talks about faking low maintenance. I love that. I need to try it.

joey as chandler

Wear your bulk…or anything you can.

Rolling, Folding and Bundling

Click image for a flight attendant's packing tutorial

click for a flight attendant’s packing tutorial

Real Simple has outlined how to roll, fold or bundle clothing for travel.

ROLL

  • Pants: Fold pants in half lengthwise so that the back pockets face outward. Roll tightly from the cuffs to the waistband.
  • A Straight Skirt or Dress: If the dress has sleeves, first fold each sleeve backward. Fold the entire garment in half lengthwise. Roll from the bottom hem up.
  • A Winter Down Jacket: Zip it, then roll it the same way you would a top, trying to squeeze as much air out of it as possible as you go. Secure it tightly with string or large rubber bands so that it doesn’t come undone. Slip it into a pillowcase and you’ve even got a germ-free headrest for the plane.
How to roll a SHIRT
Another tip: Use a pillowcase to roll your clothing like a burrito. Here’s how.
FOLD
  • A Dress Shirt: Lay a buttoned-up shirt face-down and flat. Center a magazine below the collar. Fold in the right side of the shirt, using the magazine’s edge as a guide. Take the arm and position it straight down, parallel to the shirt’s body. Repeat on the opposite side. Fold the bottom of the shirt so that the hem touches the shoulders. Slide out the magazine from the top. If you have several shirts of similar shape and size, you can stack them, folding them all as one to cushion the creases.
  • Dress Pants: Fold along the center creases or the side seams so that the legs stack on top of each other. Fold in half so that the waist touches the hem. Fold in half again.
  • A Full Skirt or Dress: Put it in a large plastic trash bag to avoid wrinkles from setting. Fold it in half lengthwise so that the side seams line up—you’ll have an angle down one side. Fold the angled edge inward to form a rectangle. Fold the garment in half horizontally or, if it’s on the longer side, in thirds. Pack it on top of everything else in the suitcase.

How to fold a BLAZER

BUNDLE

  • Lay Out All Your Clothes: You can bundle everything besides underwear, swimsuits, and accessories. Each garment should be buttoned or zipped and placed faceup (but jackets should be facedown). You’ll need a core, like a packing cube, to bundle around.
  • Follow the Right Order: Start with tailored garments that wrinkle easily (they’ll be on the outside of the bundle, cushioned by both the other clothes and the core). Then add pieces that are less likely to wrinkle (these will be near the core). To keep the bundle balanced, lay short dresses and tops vertically, alternating north and south, and long dresses and bottoms horizontally, alternating east and west. Here’s the general sequence from the outer layer in: jackets, short dresses, long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeve shirts, pants, long dresses, skirts, sweaters, knits, and shorts.
  • Add the Core: Then, starting from the top of the pile, wrap each garment around the core.

Steps on BUNDLING

A How-To Video

This woman is referred to as Mary Poppins because she can fit so much in a carry-on bag. Talk about a great tutorial! I watched the ENTIRE thing and her tips on travel cosmetics. Just a warning if you’re not loaded in the finance department: You’ll have to improvise on what you use. As in: Ziplocks over designer shoe plastic bags. You’ll see what I mean. She offers great tips and is likeable on camera. I may want to be her friend. We’ll discuss that another time.

Printable Packing List

Each time I travel, I have to write a list. Duh. It’s categorized by what I’ll need to take (casual clothes, toiletries, shoes, etc.) To make things easy, we created a free printable packing list you can fill out to fit your travel needs.

 Packing-checklist---adult-i

[download id=”15190″]

 Packing-checklist-kids-imag

[download id=”18″]

Safe travels,

tawsha connell

UPDATE:

I DID IT! I DID IT!

I did it

I STILL over packed and got everything in there. It’s a true carry-on bag. Nothing oversized or fancy. See the clothing in the picture to the left? You’re seeing the second layer. There’s stuff underneath it, too. Holy crap! This is amazing!

Throw a 4th of July Party! Easy DIY Decorations and Free Printables

Throw a 4th of July Party! Easy DIY Decorations and Free Printables

statue of liberty

So you’ve decided to have yourself a little party to celebrate the freedom we enjoy in this great country we live in? You’ve invited all your peeps, you’ve planned your menu, (no? here’s some ideas: Red, White and Blue 4th of July Easy Party Food), and bought the booze for your drinks (Red, White and Blue 4th of July Party Drinks with Free Flag Printables). Now lets get things looking festive!

Always, always, always, everything we do is quick, easy and requires very little moolah. If a project starts becoming too detailed, we move on (thank you ADD), but we want the end result of a quick project to look damn near perfect (thank you OCD).

We’ve found some easy DIY projects and free printables that are basically foolproof, and will have you looking like you do event planning as a profession! Just click the images for instructions or downloads. These people have some great ideas, so go ahead and spend a little time kickin’ around their sites for inspiration.

DECORATIONS…

Free Printable Pinwheel

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Skip To My Lou

Line these along your walkway or stick ’em in a jar as a centerpiece.

Americana Star Wreath (Full Tutorial)

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Piggy Bank Parties

NOTE: What a great find this blog was! They have a TON of free printables. You’ve got to check them out! Click HERE for more of their patriotic flair free printables. Cute stuff!

 

Gumball Favors

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: She’s Kinda Crafty

 

Patriotic Topiary (Full Tutorial)

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Whitney Caroline Designs

Gumball and Flag Centerpiece

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: All You

Tootsie Pop Centerpiece

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Weddingbee

 

Free Printable Water Bottle Wraps

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Mom 4 Real

Free Printable Declaration Banner

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Hello New Day

Dollar Store Patriotic Wreath

Here’s one I threw together for our front door. Dollar Store: 2-pack ribbons and a grapevine wreath. I hung it over our existing porch bell. Five minutes and $2. Let freedom ring, ya’ll! That’s how we roll!

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Organized Chaos Online

EASY TABLE DECOR…

Patriotic Tablescape

Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonlineSource: Nestnestnest

NOTE: To recreate this look inexpensively, we saw a tip to use wrapping paper for the long table runner. Maybe sprinkle some paper cut-out stars around the table?

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Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonline

Source: A Soft Place

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Throw a 4th of July Party: Easy DIY Decorations | organizedCHAOSonline

Source: Celebrating Everyday Life

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To get you more fired up with ideas, follow us on Pinterest and see all the cool stuff we’ve pinned to our 4th of July Pinterest board!

If you’re still looking for that one thing to complete your 4th of July Party, comment below and we’ll do our best to get you hooked up.

Enjoy!

Patti signature