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Book Review: How to Cheat at Organizing


Note: This is a book review I did quite awhile ago for another company and wanted to re-post it here on my new blog.

I am reading a great book right now called How to Cheat at Organizing: Quick, Clutter-Clobbering Ways to Simplify Your Life. I love the cover of the book with Jeff Brendenberg juggling stuff (at least I am assuming that’s him). I feel like that’s all I do sometimes is juggle. I juggle our schedule, toys, my to-do list and on and on.

The whole basic concept of the book is “Let’s Organize Just Enough”. Instead of trying to achieve perfection like you see in the magazines, why not organize just enough to where it works for you?

Here’s an excerpt from the back of the book:

Can you really “cheat” at organizing? Of course! How to Cheat at Organizing is about creating enough order for you to be happy in your life – by taking shortcuts every chance you get. With his trademark wit and straightforward advice, Jeff Brendenberg explains exactly how you can de-clutter everything, from closets to finances to cooking, based upon five core concepts:

  • Keep it simple.
  • Embrace technology.
  • Manage the inns and outs.
  • Declutter with the S4 technique
  • Get help.”

Striving for perfection is something I have always struggled with. I’ll admit it, I do wish my house could look like a magazine picture, but the reality of it all is that I live in a family of five. We are very busy and are constantly coming and going. If I wanted perfection, I would be doing a lot of yelling and nagging. And that’s no fun and no way to live.

There is a way to have a house that is organized “just enough” to where you can be satisfied with it. I am learning this slowly but surely.

If you would like to learn some shortcuts on organizing, I highly recommend this book. It is chock full of some great organizing ideas for today’s busy people. Thanks to Jeff, I am learning how to let go of some of my ideas on what an organized space looks and feels like. Order your copy here.

How to Choose the Right Fabrics for Summer Fashion


Have you ever put on a shirt or pair of shorts, went outside in the warm summer sun and then ended up being so unbelievably uncomfortable? Yep, me too. There are some fabrics that just do not jive with summertime heat. So, which ones do for your summer fashion needs?

Summer Fashion: How to choose the best fabrics for summer.

Chrissy Volk, wardrobe consultant for Adahlia Volk has put together a cheat-sheet for navigating through the best, most breathable fabrics for the season. Whoever looks at clothing “ingredient” listings on the tag – well, this season think of it as your guide to “cool.”

Summer Fabric ‘Ingredients’


  • COTTON + STRETCH = CUTE BUTT: Cotton jeans are the lightest for summer because they are airy and breathable, however, jeans with a small content of stretch are the most flattering. They will move with your body and it’s movements. These are some of my favorite from Old Navy.
  • BEST DENIM BLENDS: Chrissy suggests denim with a high cotton content, and small synthetic content. A jean with either a 98% cotton/2% lycra or 96 % cotton/4% Lycra fabric, is a good combination. Joe’s Jeans, 7 For all Mankind, Old Navy, Gap are all great for this content!


  • SOFTEST TEES: Cotton tees and tanks are favored in the summer time because it is so breathable. Look for Pima and Supima Cotton – they are the softest cottons.
  • FABRIC BLENDS AND THE “WEAR” OF YOUR FAVE SHIRTS: Combination fabric blends are often used so that garments will retain shape and remain durable over a period of time. Cotton blended with polyester, for instance, will retain its shape well and will also resist shrinkage.
  • SURPRISE FABRIC TO LOOK FOR: Look for Rayon! It drapes well and keeps its shape, even when wet.
  • SLIMMING TEES AND TANKS: If you are looking for a tank that holds it shape day after day, Chrissy personally loves James Perse, Target, or BP a Nordstrom brand. They are a Cotton/Spandex blend so you can throw them on day after day, and they will hold their shape very well. The blend you should look for is 94% cotton, 6% spandex for a more tight fitting, yet slimming, tee or tank.


  • CAN’T GO WRONG AIRY DRESSES: 100% cotton is the way to go for light and airy dresses!
  • DRESSIER “DRESS”ING: For dressier occasions, ditch the polyester blends and look for 100% silk, which is more breathable and cool! Another option could be a chiffon (which is made from either silk or nylon), which is also breathable and light. Look for lining in an acetate or nylon blend.
  • BODY CON OPTIONS: If you do love a tighter fit, opt for a poly-blend with Spandex, it allows for more flexibility in the fabric and pulls moisture away from the skin, making cooler than just polyester alone.

Summer fashion: How to choose the best fabrics for summer.


ABOUT CHRISSY VOLK: Adahlia Volk is the brainchild of Chrissy Volk. Chrissy brings years of fashion knowledge and a love of making people feel good to Adahlia Volk, Style and Image Consultancy (http://adahliavolk.com/). Chrissy is highly experienced and has years of experience within the fashion industry.

Healthy Eating Tips from Celeb Nutritionist Andrea Orbeck


Celebrity trainer Andrea Orbeck has motivated and trained thousands of people on how to live their healthiest life. A former member of the Canadian women’s national bobsled team, the trainer has worked with such famous Hollywood hard bodies as Becki Newton, Usher, Alicia Silverstone, Seal and Kimora Lee Simmons and trained svelte supermodels Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova and Doutzen Kroes.

Known as the “muscle whisperer,” Andrea holds certification in intracellular physiology, postural assessment and myofascial release therapy. Below the super star strength trainer shares eight favorite Healthy Eating Tips from Celeb Nutritionist tips, usually reserved for her celebrity client, on how to kick off a healthier 2011:

1. snacking is a hard habit to break…so don’t!

It’s important to always keep healthy snacks around to avoid the fattening cookies and candy that you will taunt you at most holiday parties. I’m a huge fan of popchips when I’m really craving a snack. They have less than half the fat of regular fried chips and are actually love the way they taste, unlike baked chips. I like to think of popchips as my ‘get out of jail free card!

2. drink water!

We know you hear it all year long, but it’s especially important this time of year. With the drop in temperature and the increased heat in your homes, you want to make sure not to get dehydrated. Not only does water suppress the appetite and aide in digestion, it’s also a remedy for headaches and hydrates your skin to diminish the signs of aging.

3. watch your alcohol consumption!

Did you know that alcohol contains almost the same calories per gram as fat? Not to mention, it is extremely high in sugar when you mix it with soda and juice. If alcoholic drinks are a must, try mixing them with seltzer or diet sodas.

4. get out of the house!

Bundle up go for a walk, go ice skating, or even shopping. Any extra activity helps, so even a 10 minute walk before dinner counts for something! This is also a great time of year to plan activities to do with the family to stay fit and spend quality time together. Build a snow fort, have a snowball fight or bust out that newest version of the fitness video game for everyone to participate in. Bottom line: if you have fun you’ll burn more calories!

5. don’t skip meals!

It’s tempting to skip meals to make up for the larger meals you will be eating during the holidays. Don’t forget the empty-stomach rule – if you’re starving, your rational mind will be unavailable for healthy food choices. Eat small meals all day to avoid going crazy at the buffet table or have a lighter lunch leading up to a heavy dinner.

6. modify your favorite treats!

Replacing high calorie ingredients with lower ones can literally save you thousands of fat and sugar calories over the holidays. For example: replace your fattening store bought dip with low fat sour cream or a non fat yogurt blended with a dip mix.

7. stay active!

It’s tempting to ditch your regular workouts as you become consumed with holiday preparations, parties and errands; but now more than ever, you need to stay active. Shorten your workout time with a circuit of cardio and weights together. One intense minute of movement, such as jumping jacks, coupled with squats is a great example of how to do this. It’s amazing how much your body can benefit from even 12 minutes of movement. Replace duration with intensity!

8. choose your plate size wisely!

Using a smaller plate, pile on the greens and slowly back away from the buffet table to a different part of the room. As they say, out of sight, out of mind. Use this time to catch up with friends and family; hopefully you will be having so much fun, you’ll forget about a second helping of grandma’s cookies.

What are Your Travel Must-Haves?


As I have been packing up this morning for a very quick jaunt to Los Angeles for a fun meeting with Marshalls, I’ve been thinking ‘What are your travel must-haves?’ Especially for short trips.

Travel must haves for women on a quick over night trip.

I was laughing with my husband as I was packing, because the trip is for one night, but you can’t really tell that, given how heavy my suitcase is. And, I am doing some shopping while I am there, so I have a suitcase inside an empty suitcase. 🙂 A girl’s gotta be prepared for good finds!

Here are my travel must-haves for a quick trip:

  • Reading material for the plane and airport 
  • Cash (for food, taxis)
  • Makeup/Toiletries
  • An extra outfit in case I change my mind about the one I brought
  • Medications
  • Tech stuff – phone, video camera, cords, sd cards (I’m leaving my baby, aka laptop, at home. Will I survive?!)
  • I’m a scent girl, so I don’t go anywhere without my Atomizer

I think that about sums it up! Now it’s your turn? What are YOUR travel must-haves?

Do you love to travel? Here are some places we have visited and love:

fredericksburg trip

Our trip to Fredericksburg, Texas

denver cheesecake factory

Our trip to Denver, Colorado

Port Aransas Family Vacation 2012 15

Our Port Aransas, Texas trip

Follow my Travel Pinterest board for tips and suggestions for places to visit:

Follow Julie Bonner {MomFabulous}’s board Fabulous Travel {For Families & Couples} on Pinterest.

Classic Simplicity for Moms Wire-bound Weekly Planner


I’m online a lot, but I am all about my paper planner. I’ve tried to get organized via my computer, my phone – just about every electronic device you can imagine, but there’s something about keeping my schedule organized on paper. It works for me, so finding a planner I love using is important.

The Classic Simplicity for Moms Wire-bound Weekly Planner is set-up perfect for us moms with very busy schedules.

Description: By adding a few ingenious spaces to the freedom of our weekly Simplicity Planner Pages, we’ve created the ultimate way for Moms to easily keep track of their schedule plus the kids’ classes, doctor’s visits, games, car pools-all the details that help a family function. These slim, Wire-bound Planner Pages also include forms for the kids’ critical information so it’s easy to grab at a moment’s notice.

With school here, my schedule is already crazy, so keeping myself organized is important.

Are you a planner lover as well? Here are some more posts on Mom Fabulous featuring some of the best planners for women:

Are you working on getting organized? Here are some related posts on Mom Fabulous about organizing your home and office:


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