Tax Time! Let’s Make a Simple Plan

taxes

It’s tax time again! Every year, many people lose their tax information.  I am not talking about receipts or files, I am talking about the simple statements at the beginning of the new year that are sent to you such as: w2’s, property tax, year end IRA statements and the list goes on and on.

A lot of you will just put them on your desk or leave them on the kitchen counter along with the newspapers and children’s school work.  Before you know it, it is April 14th and your scrambling to get your tax return completed and you can’t remember where half of the statements are located. You end up searching high and low, ripping the house apart looking for them, before you finally concede they are lost and call to have them resent to you.  That won’t take long…waiting on hold for the government at tax time! Hello? Are some of you doing that now?

Here is an idea, why not just grab a large envelope or gallon size Ziploc bag. EVERY tax document/statement that comes in the mail between now and tax time 2016, put in the envelope/Ziploc bag until you are ready to prepare your taxes.  Do I think a file folder in your office would be better under the tax file for 2016? Yes, but let’s be realistic. If you don’t have one now, you probably aren’t going to have one.  So I am asking you to grab something that is easy and place it where you can find it immediately.  My suggestion…how about next to your dinner plates in the kitchen?  If you put in next to the plates, you will be able to find it immediately. Plus, you will see it almost every day and when you bring the mail in the house you won’t have to go far to “file it” in the Ziploc bag!!

I found these great tax printables over at Thirty Handmade Days. This woman is SUPER organized.  Over at A Bowl Full of Lemons, you can find a cute way to organize files if you choose to manage your paperwork that way.

organize taxes

image via A Bowl Full of Lemons

Sometimes organizing isn’t about having everything labeled, it’s about knowing where something important is and being able to get to it immediately.  Make this suggestion work for you and your family so you have a game plan for the tax statements. Did you feel disorganized this year?  Use my little suggestion and you will be all set once April, 2016 rolls around.

michelleAuthor Michelle Lehman of Organizing Solutions “Clear the Clutter”Michelle is a Professional Organizer in the Tulsa area. Her articles have been featured in the Tulsa World, The Oklahoman, and The Chicago Post-Tribune.  Michelle appears on Fox23 News DayBreak giving organizing tips and recommendations.

image via © Mark Hayes

Born to Be Comfortable: Choosing Newborn Baby Clothes

newbornNewborn babies grow very quickly and when it comes to baby clothing it certainly isn’t one size fits all. Clothes usually come in newborn sizes, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. Many children don’t have to wear newborn baby clothes and go straight to 3 months sizes, whereas babies born slightly prematurely may have to wear ultra-tiny sizes sometimes called ‘preemies’. Like many aspects of your life after having a new baby, you just have to go with the flow. Here are a few tips:

Soft and Roomy

When choosing newborn baby clothes, look for soft and roomy clothing that allows your baby to move around easily and explore his or her surroundings. Material should be able to hold up to frequent washings as newborns are often sick on themselves, especially after they’re feed. One piece outfits are a convenient way to make your baby comfortable and allow them to move around without restriction. They are suitable for sleep and play — and it will make life a whole lot more straightforward when it’s time to change diapers, since any one piece worth its salt will be accessible from the bottom to allow a quick clean and change.

Designs

In terms of colors it really is up to you. Pink, blue and yellow are quite traditional, but there are plenty of retailers offering quirky and showstopping takes on newborn fashion. You can buy clothing with funny slogans and raise a few smiles, but don’t buy any item that’s made from cheap material and could damage your baby’s skin.

Bedtime

It’s essential to buy breathable natural fabrics like cotton for bedtime wear. These are both comfy and kind to skin and can help them to sleep easier. Try to avoid ribbons, strings, ties, and other decorative items, which can become wrapped and twisted around your baby, making them a potential choking hazard. When washing your baby’s bedtime clothes, avoid using washing powders that contain enzymes or fabric conditioner because these can irritate the skin. Rinsing clothes thoroughly after washing is particularly necessary to avoid discomfort and illness.

Whether you dress your newborn cute and casual or smart and serious, you can be sure that things will get messy! But keep your little bundle of joy safe and active with fabrics that are kind to skin and allow for easy mobility.

image via © Jannelle Althoff

 

Stop Planning and Start Doing

cracked egg

Lessons you can learn doing the dishes. You learn how to wash dried egg yoke off a plate by washing dried egg yoke off a plate. So I’m no Plato. But Plato was no Socrates. Wrap your mind around that one. It’s difficult to grasp, this concept of “doing,” until there’s a dirty dish in […]

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How to Organize Pet Medical Records

Yorkie

It seems as though everyone gets stumped as what to do with their pet’s medical records.  I have two dogs, a fish and a husband…oops silly me! I recommend you use the same rule of thumb for pets as you would for your children.  If your pet is going to the Veterinarian for a flea […]

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20 Ways to Create Memories

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Bonding time with mommy is very important for children. It helps them with development and shows how awesome and great their mom is! Here we have some fun ways to create memories with your pride and joy. So turn off your cell phone, de-stress and enjoy quality time with your kiddo! 1. Bake Cookies Who […]

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Featured JBF Franchisee: Tracy Panase

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Full Name: Tracy Panase Franchise Location: Reading and Western Mainline (Oaks), PA How did you get started with JBF? My husband and I have owned other franchises together in the past. One day, he received a brief from the International Franchise Association (IHA) about this hot new franchise called Just Between Friends. My friend, who went […]

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Family Fun at RockResorts

Arrabelle Winter

If you want to surprise your children with a trip they will never forget, RockResorts’ numerous options of luxurious mountain and oceanfront getaways should always come to mind. Every destination includes multiple luxury lodging and dining to accommodate the size of your family as well the modern amenities and technology expected from high end resorts. […]

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You Can’t Do it Alone: Setting Goals – three steps to get your team on board and excited

goals

I am a big believer in setting goals and tracking them. As CEO and Co-founder of Just Between Friends, I set several key goals for the franchise system each year. I work with my team to craft goals that will really move the needle on my business and stay in line with my company’s mission […]

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Spring, a Time for New Family Beginnings

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Spring is a time of new beginnings. Daffodils and crocuses push through the soil to let us know that the earth and life itself is renewed. A season of increase is before us. In the midst of hope and new life, why not expand and enhance your family relationships. We can all refocus our lives […]

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Ways to Help Children Cope When a Pet Dies

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Kim Beair, MS, LPC, NCC & Dr. Kara Beair-Butler, DO Inspiring Strategies for Success by Friends and Experts You Can Trust Pets are a part of the family, and losing one can be devastating; especially for kids. Some families have a very hard time being honest, because the topic of death is hard for some […]

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Spring Cleaning…It’s That Time of Year!

spring cleaning

I don’t know about you, but besides changing the sheets on the bed every week…spring cleaning is one of the last things I want to do!   Oh yeah..and washing windows! Since spring cleaning is not on my Top Ten list, I like to tackle it in small doses.  I believe if you repeat your movement […]

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He Wanted My Thin Mints

thin mints

Three signs you should walk away from a potential client Man are those Thin Mints good. I will gladly pay $4 a box. Gimme 10 of them pronto.   I put them in my freezer and have them for dessert. Ah-may-zing! So this guy calls me up. He wants my Thin Mints. He wants to hire […]

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The Naked Truth!

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Kim Beair, MS, LPC, NCC Inspiring Strategies for Success by Friends and Experts You Can Trust A very common question I am often asked is related to the issue of exposing children to nudity in the home. Regardless of how much premarital counseling in which a couple participates, the issue of how much nakedness will […]

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Turning an Argument into a Conversation

couple in the snow

In the beginning of a relationship, and before your children are born, it’s fairly easy to accommodate to your spouse and to feel good about doing so. People can cover up their real feelings for quite some time. Initially, giving in to sidestep an argument doesn’t feel like too much to ask. As time passes, […]

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3 Quick Spring Cleaning Tips

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I know we all have simple cleaning tips to help us save time or money.  I thought we could get a jump start and give each other ideas since March is here and it is officially spring cleaning. I have three tips I like to use at my house. The first one is going to […]

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Failure Can Be Good for Your Business

Learn From Failure

Seven steps to get past a failure and turn it into a success. According to a recent study by American Express OPEN Forum, there are over 9.1 million women owned businesses in the United States. 9.1 MILLION! And statistics show that 1200 women owned businesses are launched every day. Yes, I said every day! Oh yeah, we’re […]

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Take Time for an After School Snack

after school snack banana peanut butter bites

After school snack time is the PERFECT time to catch up with your kids. Prepare a snack that you all will enjoy and spend a few minutes asking them questions about their school day. This is a good transition time between school and homework.  Savor a few minutes to just chat. Share with your child […]

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The What, Why, and How of Sight Words

boy reading

by Margo Edwards, Director of Content Development for SightWords.com, a free resource for child literacy If you are a parent of a Pre-K to 3rd grader, you have probably heard something from your child’s teacher about “practicing sight words” at home. The teacher may or may not have though to explain to you what sight […]

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Eight Things Remarkably Successful People Do

SuccessGraphic

I was recently in a conversation with another business owner.  We were talking about how hard it is to run your own business.  I often feel exhausted at the end of the day and wonder why- then it dawned on me- it’s hard, it’s a lot of work and we consciously or unconsciously can make […]

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Stalker Parents Unite! Coming Together for Cyber Safety

teens on a computer

Kim Beair, MS, LPC, NCC & Dr. Kara Beair-Butler, DO Inspiring Strategies for Success by Friends and Experts You Can Trust There are positive and negative uses for social media, and this morning I saw one of the best I’ve come across in a long time. Strolling through Facebook posts, a friend inquired if she […]

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Featured JBF Franchisee: Eileen Cordero

jbf headshot

Full Name:  Eileen Cordero Franchise Location: Just Between Friends, Middletown & Dover, DE How did you get started with JBF? In the spring of 2013 My Dad saw JBF on the Today show and called me right away. He told me about it and I thought about it and said no. But I could not […]

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Freebie Friday: Winter Accessory Discounts

winter accessory

We’ve found some amazing discounts on kid’s winter accessories this week! The weather is still freezing in most parts of the country and kids are still growing.  Why not grab some gloves, hats, and boots for next year?  You can save up to 70% off this time of year if you do your research. It’s all […]

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The Real Deal: This is Why Your Ad Didn’t Work

marketing

It’s an interesting time to be a business owner. The Internet has erased many geographical boundaries that existed for our grand-parents and we’re swimming in a sea of always-increasing – many free – options to market business, thanks to social media. Yet, for many business owners, profits are down, clients and patients are being deliberately […]

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Plant a New Idea

singing boy

In my entire career as a vocal coach, I have only had one student along the way where, after our initial meeting, we mutually agreed I would not be the best teacher for him. Here’s why. He was having too good a time. After the first ten minutes of getting to know his voice, he […]

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Juggling Work and Family Life

desk

Juggling the stress of work and family life is a source of heartache for many (if not all) moms. Whether you’re off to work in the morning or stay home, there are troubling emotions to contend with. If you work outside the home you may feel guilty for not being home with your young children, […]

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Freebie Friday: Winter Coat Discounts

winter coat

We’ve found some amazing discounts on kid’s coats this week! The weather is still freezing in most parts of the country and kids are still growing.  Why not grab a coat or two for next year?  You can save up to 70% off this time of year if you do your research. It’s all about […]

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15 Tips to Helping You Find Your Dream Job

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The headline on Forbes.com caught my eye: “Most Americans are unhappy at work”.  What a sad statement.  Considering we spend at least one fourth of our life at work, shouldn’t being happy there be a goal for all of us? Since February is the month of love, I thought this would be a good time […]

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Romancing at Home – Is There Intimacy After Children?

happy couple

Romance is only defined by the couple enjoying, or lacking it! Here are some ways to increase intimacy and romance, while avoiding the traps that decrease them. Generally speaking, keeping romance alive involves each partner in a relationship being sensitive and respectful of the other person’s needs. That said, if your partner isn’t all that […]

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Blended Family Success Strategies for Parents & Kids

walking family

There are twenty million blended families in the United States alone. That number has doubled over the past ten years. Some project that blended families will become the norm, or at least a majority, within the next decade. Regardless of the statistics, blended families are a growing reality in our society. They also face challenges […]

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How to Find a Franchise That is Right For You

ShannonHeadshot2014

So you want to start a business? If owning a business is on your “To Do” list for 2015 and you’re contemplating purchasing a franchise, the options are nearly endless and can be overwhelming. There are more than 3000 franchises in the U.S. (including Just Between Friends Franchise Systems, Inc.). One of the best sources for […]

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A Family Playbook

family

Do you have a family playbook – a declaration of the values, attitudes and behaviors you want to instill in your children? Chances are you have well formulated ideas about the values you hope your child will embrace, the attitudes with which they will approach life’s challenges, and the behaviors your child will exhibit at […]

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Freebie Friday: Valentine’s Day Discounts

valentine's day

We’ve found some amazing discounts on cute kid’s Valentine’s Day clothes this week! You still have time to grab some bargains before the holiday. We’ve also included some discounts we found online for other products. Don’t miss our Valentine’s Day dessert ideas plus some fun Valentine’s Day crafts to do with the kids. $2.00 off […]

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Ask the Question: “What Can I Do for You?”

smiling preteen

Children and teens can sometimes be suspicious of the motives of adults toward them. Although this sometimes can apply to a person’s relationship with their own child or teen, it applies a great deal when they must work with other youngsters as a volunteer or as a child-service professional. Whether this little strategy is used […]

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The Happiest Families on Earth

happy family

Would you consider your family to be one of the happiest families on earth? You might be surprised to learn that the happiest families aren’t those with the most possessions, the greatest wealth, the smartest kids attending the finest schools or the ones who take several vacations a year.  In fact, the research is clear […]

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