Archive | January, 2017

A Step by Step Guide to Writing the Perfect Thank You Card

Welcome back from the weekend!  First, I want to give a quick plug to my Rodan and Fields business and the awesome promotion I’m running until Tuesday.  Click here to hear all about it, and here to see what skincare would work best for you.

Now that that business is taken care of, let’s talk about probably one of the most important parts of parties, get togethers, and celebrating.  The Thank You card!  It’s so important!

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!I think it’s a bit of a lost art in this high paced, technology filled world, but getting that hand written thank you note makes you feel so good, right?

Below are a few of my tips and a template to help you write the perfect thank you card.  Using the template, you’ll be a thank you card master able to whip out a bunch of amazing thank you cards.

Thank You Card Tips

Emily Post says that the two most important things when writing thank you notes are sincerity and promptness.  So my first tip is to try and write the thank you note within a week of the event or receiving a gift.  Using the template I’ve provided it won’t take any time at all to write.

As far as sincerity goes, it’s best to add some sort of personal flair to your card.  Definitely mention the gift giver by name, but also talk briefly about them or your relationship.  Something as simple as, “It was great to celebrate with you,” or “I loved catching up with you at the party” work fine.

One of my biggest pet peeves is when the thank you note doesn’t specifically reference the gift given.  You should mention the gift specifically, like “thank you so much for the decorative vase,” not “thank you for the gift.”  I’ll be honest and say that I’m pretty judgemental when I get a thank you card and it doesn’t reference the gift specifically.  Not my best quality I know.

Write the thank you note as if you were speaking to the person directly.  Use your normal tone of voice, but be sure to be positive, it’s great that someone gave you a gift!  Just try to keep the note on the shorter side, it isn’t supposed to be a novel.

If someone gifts you money, be sure to tell them what you plan to use the money for.  Don’t say “thanks for the money.” Instead, say “thank you so much for the generous gift, I plan to use it to purchase a new coffee table for my apartment.”

It’s a great idea to give a thank you note or card not just for gifts, but lots of other occasions.  Be sure that if someone is hosting you for dinner, or overnight you write them a quick thank you.  Also if someone is hosting a party or gathering in your honor, you want to make sure to thank the host specifically.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Thank You Card Template

Now that you have a bunch of tips to make your thank you card writing great, use this easy template to crank out the thank you’s in no time.

Click the template I created for you below to download it. Keep it somewhere handy to reference while writing thank you cards.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Here’s a sample thank you note using the template above.

Dear Aunt Lisa,

Thank you so much for the thoughtful bottle of wine you brought to our dinner party.  We’re looking forward to pairing it with a great steak in the future.  It was so great having you at our dinner party. Your dinner jokes really kept everyone laughing and having a good time.  Thanks again for the wine, and we’re looking forward to spending time with you again around the holidays.

Love,

Amy

See how easy that was?!  Short, positive, named the gift, added some personalization, and wrapped it up.  You’ll be writing perfect thank you cards in no time using the template above.

Need an easy way to write the perfect Thank You Card? Click here for a printable template!Now, tell me your tips for writing thank you cards.  Or have you ever gotten a really good, or really bad thank you card? I can’t wait to hear all about it. There are a lot of Valentine’s Day posts coming up over the next few weeks. Just in time to help celebrate the love in your life!

 

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How I Meal Plan + FREE Meal Planning Calendar

Recently a good friend of mine sent me an email asking for recipe ideas to share with her group of friends as a way to help everyone get out of a dinner time rut.  In the email, she called me out about how I meal plan and that I’ve “got all of my s*** together” because I meal plan.  I don’t know if I’d go that far, but it did spur the idea to share my meal planning secrets with all of you.

So here are a few tips to help with meal planning and how I typically create a meal plan that lasts almost three weeks!  Plus, you’ll get a great meal planning calendar for yourself.

Get a free weekly menu planning calendar and all the tips to help get your weekly dinners organized!First, I start by writing out a calendar for two weeks (bonus! Just download the one I made for you at the bottom of this post!), only planning dinners.  Then I start to fill in dinner ideas on various days.  I get a lot of dinner inspiration from Pinterest, see all of my dinner ideas here. I also ask my husband if he has any requests and he usually provides an idea or two.  Then I fill in what’s left with past dinners that were a big hit.

A couple tips, first, plan meals that are produce heavy towards the beginning of your two week meal plan.  This way you can use the produce before it goes bad.

I always leave one to two days empty.  Something usually comes up that fills up dinner for a night, or we’ll do leftovers.

Keep in mind days when you’ll be getting home late, or have events going on at night to plan simple and quick dinners.

I tape up my meal plan on the inside of my spice cabinet.  I also leave a pen in the cabinet as well.  It’s an easy spot to check in the morning to see if I need to set anything out.  That pen helps me cross off what we’ve already eaten for dinner. I also adjust the dinners throughout the week if I need to move something around.

Get a free weekly menu planning calendar and all the tips to help get your weekly dinners organized!I try to end my two week meal plan on a Monday or Tuesday because that’s when I tend to grocery shop.  So whatever day works best for you, start your meal plan and end it about two weeks after that.  Once you do it once, you’ll stick to that rotation.

Now, after I’ve written out my meals for two weeks, I start my grocery list.  I go through my meal plan dinner by dinner and add whatever ingredients I don’t have to my grocery list.

My biggest tip for grocery lists is to categorize your list.  I made one here for Thanksgiving that you can download and use.  It helps so much when you’re trying to get through the grocery store because everything you need in one section of the grocery store is in one place on your list.

Recently I’ve started ordering my groceries online and just picking them up at the curb at the grocery store.  I’ve found that it saves so much time and money.  No randomly throwing things in the cart that aren’t on your list.  Plus, grocery shopping with a toddler is NOT fun.  I do find however, that when ordering groceries I tend to not get things that I need. Mostly because I’m not reminded I need them while passing by them in the store.

If you dread dinner time, or dinner time is always chaotic try giving this meal planning thing a chance.  Doing so will help to organize that feeling of uncertainty around dinner time.  I love knowing I have an idea of what to make for dinner.  It’s also a bonus that I already have all of the ingredients at home.

I hope this FREE meal planning calendar will help you on your way to feeling like a dinner time guru!  Click here to download your meal planning calendar!

Get a free weekly menu planning calendar and all the tips to help get your weekly dinners organized!

Weekly Meal Planning Calendar

Have a great weekend! Let me know in the comments if you have any other meal planning tips. I’d love to incorporate them into what I already do.

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2017 Plans and Goals Plus My Word of the Year

Welcome to 2017.  Did you think that I had fallen off the face of the earth?  I didn’t, but it definitely felt like it.  I’ve have really enjoyed taking about the last month off.  It almost felt so good that I thought I might not blog again.  Just kidding, I have too many ideas and things to share to quit.

I’ve been moving very slow into 2017, probably because I didn’t get my planner until the January 9th.  Don’t you feel like finding a new planner is harder than finding a husband?  This year I bit the bullet and bought a more pricey planner.  I went with the Passion Planner.  People that use it love it.  I’m still undecided.  I need to give it a little more time before I can fully review it.

One of the main reasons this year started so slow was because our family started 2017 sick.  My husband and my daughter were both sick.  One with a stomach bug, another with an ear infection that has morphed into a cold and cough.  I’m ready for everyone to be better.

Now let’s get into all of those New Year goals, resolutions, to-do’s, or whatever you like to call them.  I love the idea of goals and resolutions, I even wrote a post on them and how to make them more achievable.  See it here.

Recently I shifted gears from making resolutions, mostly because a whole year is just too long to work towards something.  I shifted to doing a word of the year instead.  I try and make my short term, monthly goals, tie into my word of the year.

Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.This year, I’ve chosen the word produce.  I need to move from making goals and having ideas to putting them into action and producing the results I want.  I’m basically telling myself to get off my butt and get in gear.  Action is going to speak louder than words this year.

Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.I know that in order to produce more things for the blog and my Rodan and Fields business, I’m going to have to sacrifice a lot of things.  I need to give up or reduce the amount of time I spend wasting time.  Wasting it on mindlessly scrolling social media, watching TV, and overall just not using my time wisely.  I know that I’m going to have to set some dedicated work hours and stick to them.

A few things to help me stay on track and reach my goals this year are my planner.  An overall mindset that done is better than perfect will be key.  Also being specific in my word of the year.

“Done is better than perfect.”

-who knows who originally said this, but they are a genius

Last year, I posted my word of the year all by itself.  This year, as you can see below, I’ve fleshed the idea out a little more.  I’ve included exactly what I’m going to produce.  Displaying my word of the year sign on my bulletin board where I can see it everyday will help to remind me what I’m working towards.

Click here to see how to use a word of the year to accomplish all of our goals this year.Producing more this year is going to benefit all of you too.  Hopefully you’ll get more things to help you celebrate every day more easily.  I’m going to try to streamline things on the blog so it will be easier for you to find things and start celebrating.  More ideas, more inspiration, and more resources.

So, shout them out below in the comments, what are your goals, resolutions, or accomplishments you’re reaching for this year?  How have you been at accomplishing them so far?  I hope your year is off to a great start!

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Celebrating everyday!