Tag Archives: organization app

No-stress Travel Tips

We all know that the start of the Holiday Season is almost upon us. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza, or whatever you may personally celebrate, all mean travel plans that are probably being booked as we speak. Often, traveling also means the dreaded, white-knuckled horror that is braving a trip to the airport. No need to stress, SteerList is here to help.

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The number one rule of traveling is to be prepared ahead of time. This means that you go through your closets or immunization records at least a month before your trip so you can make a note of what you have and what you may need to pick up (such as Dramamine, a new bathing suit, snow shows, or a flu shot). The free SteerList organization app allows you to program these items by location so you remember to get them when you drive nearby, so you don’t have to run out on a twisted scavenger hunt the night before your trip.

IMG_0432Packing is the next hurdle you have to overcome in getting ready for your trip. If you’re checking a bag, make sure that anything you may need on the plane isn’t packed inside! Bring a oversized bag, purse, or backpack for the items you need within arm’s reach. To help you remember what is where, keep a list of important items by bag so you know exactly where everything is and don’t accidentally pack something important away. You don’t want to have to open your carefully packed carry on luggage for a show of your personal belongings as you frantically dig through it on the plane. If you’re checking a bag, store your liquids in it to avoid the whole 3.4-oz.-security-zip-lock mess. Tip: When planning an outfit to fly in, include a jacket with pockets. I’ll get into this later in the security portion.
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If you’re flying to visit family or going on vacation, my biggest, most important and golden rule is to get to the airport early. Remember that the time of your flight isn’t when you need to “be there by.” That’s the time the plane is saying “bye-bye.” Boarding time is commonly half an hour before the flight time, and before you even get there you need to check your baggage/check in and get through security. Don’t make it hard on yourself. Blood pressure rises when you panic, and running late is something that will make your pulse skyrocket. Plan to be at the airport about two hours before your flight. At worst, you’ll get to your gate early and have to relax before your flight!

Security is the reason most people hate flying nowadays. Standing in line makes people reminisce about being able to wave goodbye at the gate, but the reality is that this is the norm and the best thing you can do is be prepared for it. I recommended a jacket with pockets earlier, because it is easy to take off. No rooting through your jeans and holding up the line, simply put everything in the jacket pockets so you don’t even have to scramble to take everything out of the metal detector bins and cram them back into your pockets afterwards (risking accidentally leaving something behind). Be ready to slip off your shoes (varies at different airports) and items like computers need to be easily accessible to take out of your bag if you plan on flying with one.

Just feeling prepared can make travel a lot easier than when you’re running around at the last minute. Flying doesn’t have to feel like you’re being chased or in a race, it can be easy and feel like second nature if you’re ready for it.

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What A Can of Pumpkin Can Do!

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Today, I looked in my pantry and saw a lonely can of pumpkin sitting by itself, most likely from last fall. I felt almost sorry for it, forgotten and lonely. It seems like everyone goes pumpkin crazy this time of year, so much so that one might pick up one of these little unassuming cans on a whim, but then comes the question: What do I do with it? Fear not, after these easy recipes, you’ll never find yourself with an orphaned can of pumpkin again!

1) Mix a Pumpkin Rum Shake. Don’t just fall back on making pumpkin pie, make this adult alternative from Bonappetite.com. Simply combine canned pumpkin, ground nutmeg, vanilla ice cream and rum for a tasty and totally naughty fall treat in a cup!

2) Pumpkin butter is a fast and easy way to add a little taste of fall to whatever you’re eating. Though it’s usually made with fresh pumpkin, TLC.com swears you can use canned pumpkin and no one will know the difference. Simmer canned pumpkin, brown sugar, apple cider, and spices (cinnamon and nutmeg suggested) for about half an hour, then store or gift in jars.

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3) Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese adds a little twist to a classic kid favorite. You can make it from scratch, adding a couple spoonfuls of pumpkin to your sauce after the roux and milk. However, after experimenting last year, I can confidently say that you can even just add it to a boxed mixed, but don’t be too heavy-handed with the pumpkin. Bake in a casserole dish with breadcrumbs and cheese on top for a crunch!

4) Pumpkin Pancakes or Waffles. This is easy, just add a little pumpkin puree to your batter. If you want to get fancy, you can add some cinnamon or ground nutmeg. Candied pecans make a great topper, along with plain old maple syrup.

5) Three words: Pumpkin Chai Latte. That’s all I’ll say. Check out this recipe from TexanErin.com.

6) Baked Pumpkin Donut Holes for pop-in-your-mouth goodness. These little guys are baked, not fried, and small so you can pace yourself. We’re not going to call them healthy, but they’re definitely a little better than grabbing a fried donut with tons of frosting.

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 7) Pumpkin Praline Pretzels! It’s not a tongue twister, it’s just delicious. I wasn’t going to include this because it looks a little complicated, but I ended up caving because it just looks too good to be true. Would you try it?

8) Pumpkin Soup is “soup-er” easy to make! It takes more than one can of pumpkin puree, but just add some garlic, onions, cream, and spices and you’re good to go! This is definitely a fall favorite!

9) Rachel Ray recommends adding some pumpkin to your morning oatmeal for a fast and easy pumpkin fix. Top with cinnamon sugar, maple, walnuts, or raisons!

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10) Last but not least, nothing goes better with pumpkin than cream cheese. Make this simple Pumpkin Cream Cheese Spread for bagels, toast, or in a pastry puff a la Rachel Ray. Just blend equal parts cream cheese, powdered sugar, and pumpkin, then throw in some pumpkin pie spice to taste and voila! A decadent spread for any occasion!

Be sure to add any recipes you want to try to your SteerList grocery list app so you remember to pick up what you need the next time you pass the store!

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Five FREE Fall Activities!

It’s October 1st, and for most people that marks the official beginning of fall. We suddenly have a strong craving for pumpkin flavored things, along with apple cider and candy corn. It’s a magical time of year, where the leaves change colors and even adults can enjoy jumping into a big pile of leaves. So while we’re all daydreaming of crisp afternoons and walks in the rain, here are some fun FREE autumnal activities to enjoy by yourself or with your family. Be sure to add this list to your free SteerList organization app so you remember to take time and have some fun!

1) Collecting leaves is an activity as simple as taking a walk or driving to a nearby park. Take a stroll and pick up leaves that catch your eye, whether they be red, orange, or yellow. To turn them into a work of art and prolong their life, Family Fun magazine suggests ironing them between sheets of wax paper or sealing them with mod-podge.

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(Photo courtesy of Family Fun Magazine)

 2) Jumping into a pile of leaves. Simply get a rake or broom and sweep the fallen leaves into a pile, then allow your kids to kick and throw or jump into them. Be careful of jumping, though, and be aware of what your pile is on. Lawn is preferable to cement if your kids plan on diving in, and make sure you have a substantial pile to cushion their jump.

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 3) Enjoy a hot beverage on a rainy day. There’s something simply satisfying about drinking a nice hot cider, tea, pumpkin spice latte, or hot chocolate. Feeling the warmth spread down your throat and into your body is a small happiness. Open the windows and listen to the rain.

 4) Go to a pumpkin patch. My family would just pick a pumpkin at the grocery store, but recently I’ve learned the joy of going to a local pumpkin patch instead. They are usually free to enter and look around, and sometimes have things like hay bale rides, petting zoos, and corn mazes (though they may cost a little). Indulge a little and spend the day surrounded by fun and other families.

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5) Go puddle jumping. Kids love jumping in puddles, but aren’t always encouraged to do so. One day, dress your kids in rain boots and let them go to town walking through the water and splashing like a duck. You can even take a walk in the rain or let your kids go and run in the yard without an umbrella, but be sure to hustle them into a warm bath right after so your little ones don’t catch a cold!

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Get the Kids to School on Time

All moms know the sounds of a typical weekday morning: Birds chirping, bacon sizzling, and the desperate shouts of “TIME TO GET UP! NOW!” from moms heard ‘round the world. For those with kids, we know that the morning is a race against the school bell, with many obstacles to overcome before making it to the front door. A single missing shoe can be the defining moment that guarantees a walk of shame to the principal’s office for a tardy note. Here are some of our tips and tricks to helping you get your kids to school on time.

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The best weapon you have in your mommy belt is to prep ahead. Bedtime needs to become a ritual of picking out clothes and laying them out for the next day (including the full set of shoes and socks), making sure all homework is packed, and that lunches are made and ready to be grabbed from the fridge. Consider this your training for the morning marathon. If nothing else, the clothes are key. Simply picking out an outfit and shoes can eat up time quickly, even as an adult. Just getting that done ahead of time can save you a good fifteen minutes to half an hour, and you’ll get the “But I don’t wanna wear that” out of the way. If you have older kids, make sure they’ve picked out their own clothes the night before.

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 The next morning, set your kids’ alarms for about fifteen minutes before they need to get up. This eliminates the frantic yelling and dragging them out of bed by the foot. It will wake them up, but allow them that extra “five more minutes,” to gently wake up. It will give a little warning head’s up, rather than suddenly being awoken. No one likes having to jump right out of bed. Another tip? Open the blinds or turn on the light, the brightness which will pull them out of sleep. Consider this the stretching.

Finally, the moment of truth begins from the second your kids’ feet touch the floor. That’s when you’re off and running. Pack their lunches in backpacks while they’re getting ready so you don’t forget— we want to avoid the second trip to school to drop off a forgotten lunch bag. Have a variety of healthy options that are fast for breakfast, such as microwaveable oatmeal, cereal, granola bars, or fruit that can be taken in the car or on the bus if need-be. Kids like to have choices, and for your sanity, don’t let yourself fall into the “I don’t feel like pancakes, can you make me eggs?” trap. As wonderful as it is to make breakfast for them every morning, make sure you have a fast plan B if they refuse to eat it and you don’t miss a beat.

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 Hopefully some of these tips will help your morning roll a little smoother. A free organization app like SteerList can really help with a morning checklist so nothing is forgotten. The morning reminders can make sure you sign and pack a permission slip for the upcoming field trip, or remember to stop by the office to put some money on the kids’ lunch cards. Being on top of your morning routine guarantees a strong finish, rather than frantically tripping over the finish line.

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