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15 Summer Essentials to Keep in Your Car

Summer is the best season for spontaneous good times in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. The greater Seattle area has a wealth of unique and amazing places to discover, whether you’ve got a detailed day planned out, or you’re going to meander through a park or neighborhood. Keep those spur-of-the-moment trips carefree (and less stressful) by keeping these essentials in your car. More time for sun and fun, and less time running to the store or looking for things.

  1. Sunglasses: Keeping a couple of pairs doesn’t hurt, because someone will always forget theirs.
  2. Sun hat: Keep cool. Sunstroke and a sunburned forehead are not fun.
  3. Sunblock: Protect your skin. Beware of the expiration date and note that sunscreen may degrade faster if kept in a hot car for a long time.
  4. A beach towel: Always handy to wipe off dirty children (or pets), or to be used as a makeshift blanket.
  5. A sweatshirt: Weather can be unpredictable and the nights cool off quickly!
  6. An outdoor blanket: Can be used for picnics, the beach, and to keep warm after the sun goes down.
  7. Reusable shopping bags: They are not just for the grocery store or a stop at a farmer’s market. You can use reusable shopping totes to haul beach toys (anything really) in a pinch. Include an insulated bag for even more versatility.
  8. A BPA-free water bottle and a non-melting snack: Disposable water bottles shouldn’t be stored in a hot car as they can release dangerous chemicals into the water. Granola bars, nuts, or crackers are examples of healthy non-melting snacks.
  9. The Discover Pass: The $35 annual pass allows you access to state parks for two vehicles.
  10. An extra pair of shoes and socks: A hike with children may turn into a dip in a river…
  11. A small first aid kit: Always have some adhesive bandages, anti-bacterial ointment, and pain reliever. An instant ice pack is really handy for bumps and bruises.
  12. An activity book: A coloring book or Sudoku can help pass the time in the car. We also like to have playing cards.
  13. Toilet paper or flushable wipes: Love the hike, don’t love the facilities. Best be prepared. Also stops bloody noses.
  14. Hand sanitizer: See above.
  15. Feminine products: Just in case someone is caught off guard.
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Goal Setting Strategies for Adults with ADHD

Many adults who have ADHD are curious, intelligent, resourceful, imaginative, genuine, hyper-focusing, out of the box thinkers. This is especially true when they are working on something they find novel and exciting, interesting and fun! But when it comes to tasks they find horribly mundane and boring – ADHDers often can’t get going, they struggle, they get distracted and derailed. Even getting through daily responsibilities can be tough. They may set huge goals (or too many goals) for themselves but just can’t execute on them. They may have great intentions but come up short. Sometimes, they get discouraged and frustrated, and give up on setting goals altogether. This is not caused by a lack of effort; it’s caused by brain chemistry!

If this sounds at all familiar, help lies in customizing time management strategies to work specifically for you and making those strategies part your daily routine.

There are some things in our lives that energize us and some things that sap our energy. Only you know what types of activities recharge your batteries – thus making you more mentally available to get work done.

Think about your best days, your most energy filled, most productive days. What helped you feel so good? Were you well rested? Did you get to exercise? Did you have a great conversation with a friend?  The answer is different for every person. When we are aware of what energizes us, we can seek to optimize that energy and harness it toward more productivity.

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Summer Home Improvements: The Garage

Summer has finally arrived and with it a slew of home improvement projects. One area of the home that quickly falls into disrepair is the garage. Creating a functional and organized garage storage plan saves time, money and energy in the long-run. Knowing exactly what and where items are in the garage helps homeowners avoid buying duplicates of items already stored in the garage. Learn how to upgrade your garage from a cluttered cave into an organized and functional space below.

Assess Your Stuff: Before any storage updates are done in the garage, it’s important to review what is already stored in there. Over time, items find their way into the garage that don’t necessarily belong. Set aside an afternoon or entire day to sort through those items. Honestly answer three simple questions to determine which items stay and which items are evicted.

  1. When was the last time I used this item? If the item is seasonal, ask yourself if it was used during that season.
  2. Is this item broken? Can it be fixed?
  3. Would someone else use this item more than me?

If items are broken beyond repair, it’s time they saw the inside of a recycling bin or trash can. Gently used items or items that can be fixed with a little love can be sold or donated. Once items have been pared down, it’s easier to group similar items together. Common groups include yard tools, sporting equipment, outdoor gear, cleaning supplies, and seasonal decorations.

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Fabulous NAPO Service Project

The first Saturday morning in May I had the privilege of leading a service project for my Seattle NAPO chapter.  NAPO is the National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals of which there are 4,000 members worldwide.  We have a Greater Seattle chapter that meets monthly on the first Tuesday evening in Bellevue.  This Seattle chapter has 35 plus members and I am currently serving on the board as Treasurer.

 

Service to others is an important personal value of mine;

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Are You Monitoring your Long Term Goals?

long term goals

We all have our own individual goals and dreams. They have evolved over our lifetimes as our lives have changed. Long term goals are things that are very important to us. Some goals are really just dreams because we haven’t taken them seriously enough to take any action toward achieving them. What dreams and goals do you have? Can you take some action on them this summer? Talk through your goals with your spouse or partner and take steps toward achieving the life you want.

Some examples:

Long Term Financial and Legal Goals:

  1. Check in with financial advisor to confirm investments are on track for retirement goals.
  2. Revisit any college funds and make sure they are on track.
  3. Create or update your will and last testament.
  4. Create or update living will or medical health care directive.
  5. Revisit your insurance policies including life, umbrella and personal articles policies.
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Five is the Magic Number (on Your To-Do List)

There is nothing like crossing items off our to-do lists to give us a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.  But, what if your to-do list is more like a wish list – an unrealistic list of tasks and jobs that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed instead of productive and accomplished?  Your to-do list should be a tool that moves you forward, not quick sand that slowly pulls you under.

There are lots of ways to organize your tasks – color

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Why You Don’t Need More Than One Kitchen Knife

kitchen knife

Do you have a favorite kitchen knife? Right before the holidays last year, I took all my Henckels knives to be sharpened at the Epicurean Edge, a local knife shop. To be honest, I’d never had my knives professionally sharpened before. But this same set of Henckels knives has lasted me the 22 years of my marriage, so since they’ve been such a great investment, I thought I should do the right thing and have them sharpened by the pros. I brought all of my knives, thinking the lovely people at Epicurean Edge would sharpen them for me while I waited. I was mistaken. The sharpening would take a few days. Hmm, what to do. I needed my knives – every day.

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ADHD Kids and Summer Vacation

adhd

My son (who has ADHD) didn’t want to go to the end of school beach party with all his friends. The last day of school assembly and all the end-of-year excitement just wore him out. HE JUST WANTED TO GO HOME. I was torn. He would not see many of his friends next year because they were attending different middle schools. I wanted to enjoy the festivities with the other 5th grade moms. He’ll have fun once we get there, I thought to myself. But to the contrary, my son had been more irritable and anxious lately. He’d had trouble falling asleep. He was argumentative and he picked fights more than usual.

We did not attend the beach party that day. Transitions are tough for kids with ADHD. The end of the school year, moving up to middle school are both huge transitions. My son knew he’d had enough and I am proud of his self-awareness. We went home. A couple of hours later that day, he was bored (of course!) and asked for a playdate (with someone who had gone to the party and was still there). Sigh.

Parenting ADHD kids is tricky terrain in the best of times.

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The 7 Things That Are True for Yoga and Organizing

yoga and organizing

The other day in the middle of my fifth sun salutation I realized yoga is really similar to home organizing. Hear me out, I know it sounds far-fetched. If you think about it, both are really hard work, both are very repetitive BUT both also bring about a lot of wonderful, awesome results.

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Learning Chores and Decluttering for Kids

chores

Celebrate the end of the school year and take advantage of this transition period to purge unwanted items, donate old toys, and make your child’s bedroom a welcoming uncluttered environment this summer. Talk to your child and explain that as a reward for completing a successful school year, you would like to help make their bedroom a really nice place for them this summer.

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