Posts Tagged: mabels labels

Holiday shopping: de-stressed. By Shefa Weinstein

Being Jewish is great until it comes to Chanukah. I have 8 days of presents to prepare for instead of just one. And did I mention I have 4 kids?

I’ll admit that I cheat a bit. One night goes to each set of grandparents, then we have internal gifts (kids to kids) and one night is dedicated to sitting together as a family and picking a charity that we want to support instead of getting presents.

That being said, I’m still the one helping everyone pick and coordinate their gifts. As the mom, I am the CPO (Chief Purchasing Officer) of the family and that comes with a lot of responsibility. I’m also a person who craves order and lists. I don’t like the crazy/hectic feeling that the holidays can bring. This is one of the reasons I founded my company, Shopetti, to help make shopping online easier.

Here are a few things I do to organize the entire family and keep the holidays in order.

The first thing I do is prepare. I set aside a hiding place (usually in my closet – don’t tell my kids) to hold the presents until we’re ready to give them. This helps keep the clutter to a minimum and keeps the kids from getting into them too early.

Next, I make a list. I keep track of each kid’s name and who they are getting presents from. It’s important to also put a budget per gift here. This helps me ensure that no one is double purchasing a gift and that a nice range of fun and educational presents are bought.  Shameless plug: Shopetti allows you to create a cart for each family member and track the presents and wait for sale alerts to make it all easier.

As I purchase presents, I like to wrap them on the spot. This way I’m never stuck wrapping piles of presents at the last minute. Also, if I run out of wrapping paper I have plenty of time to buy more. I usually keep a note on the present with the child’s name and a gift description so I can track it. (Tying Mabel’s Labels Stocking Stuffers for kids to your gifts with ribbon is also a great way to give a little something extra and keep track of the gifts, too!)

Lastly, I update the list. As presents are purchased I keep my list up to date to avoid purchasing too many things or forgetting anyone’s special gift.

Keeping it all organized means that I can make this very stressful time very doable.

How do you keep your holiday shopping organized? Leave a comment below with your best tip or trick for your chance to win a Stocking Stuffer Combo!

Happy shopping!

 

About the Author:

Shefa Weinstein is a mom of 4 and the founder of Shopetti. As a busy mom, Shefa wanted the fun of shopping online, but needed it to be easy and manageable. After searching for it and not finding it, she used her strong technology background to invent it – and Shopetti was born. Shopetti was accepted to the prestigious Microsoft Ventures Accelerator program and while still young, has quickly gained recognition by Babble magazine as one of the best shopping platforms out there. Check it out at www.shopetti.com.

Birthday Party Politics – How to Avoid That “Left Out” Feeling.

Sass birthday party

Kiddo birthday parties are a landmine.

Throwing a kids’ birthday party is high-risk behavior in the department of offending or excluding people. Clearly, no one intends to exclude kids from birthday party fun, but unless your party planning involves inviting every cousin, classmate and neighbour, there is no way around it.

If you are looking for ways to avoid that sinking feeling you get from leaving a child out, here are a few easy ways to try to prevent it:

  • Don’t send paper invitations to class. I e-mail the parents of the children coming to my kids’ birthday parties. If I don’t have an e-mail address, I send a note into the school to go home with the child simply asking the parent to contact me.
  • Back-up plan: Invite everyone. If you want to send paper invitations, probably best you plan for a big party and invite the whole crew.
  • Have a talk about not talking. Talk to your children about not discussing their birthday party outside of the actual party. No child wants to go to school on Monday to hear all the kids talking about a party that they were not at. It’s fine to have this discussion with little party-goers as well.  Remind them how they would feel – it’s a good lesson in empathy.
  • Help your kids understand. Let your children know that not everyone can go to every party. This helps them realize that it’s not personal if/when they end up as the excluded kid. Not getting an invitation doesn’t necessarily reflect the friendship – it most likely has to do with the size of party the parent has planned. Often when one of my kids is invited to a party, the parents feel obliged to invite some siblings as well. I remind the parent (and my kids) that it’s not necessary – everyone gets their turn in their own time. It’s a good lesson to learn early in life.
  • Mind the Facebook sharing. If you’re going to post birthday party pictures on Facebook, remember that some of your Facebook friends may have children who didn’t get invited to that party. While the rational mind knows that it’s no big deal, it can sting a Mama’s heart to think her little darling was not taking part in the celebration.

Keeping the politics out of parties helps to make the day a success for parents as well as kids. Have you encountered any birthday party politics since becoming a parent?  How did you deal with it?

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Happy Hockey season – grab your Hockey Label Combo today!

Roughing it in the Bush

My family and I just had our annual week at the cottage. Now that my kids are getting older, cottage life has gotten easier. No longer do I wish for a baby gate around the lake and gone are the days of me following toddlers around the entire week.

But we certainly don’t have this safety thing all wrapped up just because they’re older. Older kids are more independent and mine like to go off exploring and visiting little friends around the lake. This year I felt like I had to keep an eye on my headcount. The thought of one of them getting lost in the woods makes me shudder.

So, I set up a few simple rules & tools that helped keep my stress levels down and my kiddos all accounted for:

  • If going exploring, don’t go alone. Always bring a sibling and if you happen to get lost, you STAY TOGETHER.
  • I reminded them of the “Hug a Tree” program. When a child is lost in the woods, they tend to wander, bringing them further away from home.  I advised my kids that the moment they feel lost, they find a comfortable tree and stay with it. Chances are, they are not far from the cottage and it’s easier to find a non-moving target!
  • My kids don’t have cell phones, but even if they did, we are so far in the bush that there’s no reception. We use walkie talkies, which are both fun and a great way to stay connected if there is a problem.
  • When you hear the bell, you head home. We have a big dinner bell that echoes through the lake. When I feel like I have not seen a child for a while, I ring the bell and they wander back. I count six little heads and send them back off to their adventures.
  • If a kid is going off exploring, have them wear a whistle around their neck. It’s a great way to locate them if they go off track, and whistles are good for scaring off the bears as well.

In the end, we survived the week and I managed to bring home the same six kids I left with.

Are you a family that camps or cottages? What measures do you put in place to ensure their safety in the bush?

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six. Back to school is around the corner – have you got your school labels yet? The Ultimate Back-to-School Combo is here!

 

 

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