It's my pleasure to introduce author Julie Howard. Check out her suggestions for STAYING ORGANIZED DURING THE HOLIDAYS, and don't miss her new release WILD CRIME.
Staying Organized During the Holidays by Julie Howard
The holidays can be overwhelming. There’s so much to do. Shopping, cleaning, cooking, parties, visiting, families. Oh boy. And I need to get my tree up and decorations out of storage and… okay, now I’m getting stressed.
I thought the holidays were supposed to be warm and merry.
Well, they will be. But in the meantime, there’s a lot to do. How can we all stay organized, get our chores done, and enjoy the holidays without getting too frazzled?
I don’t have all the answers but I do have a tip or two. Here are my top five tips for staying organized for the holidays.
1. Make a list with five bullet points. Sure, we all have more than five things to do, but trust me, only five spaces. I’ll explain later.
2. Write down the most important thing (one thing) that needs to get done today. Sure, we all have more to do, but if nothing else, you will get that one important task checked off your long list. Celebrate each achievement.
3. Break up intimidating chores. Is your shopping list a mile long? Focus on the kids first, or one side of the family, or those gifts that require shipping. Need to tidy? Just do the kitchen today, and another room tomorrow. Need to do your Christmas cards? Do three, or five, but make your goal small and achievable. Sometimes it’s easier to break up a large task into pieces – instead of waiting until you have time to do the entire task.
4. Be kind to yourself. People aren’t visiting to admire a clean house or enjoy a gourmet meal. They want to see YOU. Be present. If you need to order take-out pizza for a party, do it. The world won’t end and people will likely think you are pretty smart for not spending the entire day in the kitchen. Last Christmas, we ordered Chinese take-out for a small family get-together and thoroughly enjoyed how easy the dinner was. Take on what you can, and let go of the rest. People care less than you think about the details.
5. Do not try to think beyond five items at a time. Now that you’ve completed the first four items on this list, make another list of the next five things to do. The fifth item will always be to make your next list. By keeping your lists short, you will achieve a much-needed feeling of accomplishment instead of constantly feeling behind and overwhelmed.
Hope this helps! And happy holidays to you.
Wild Crime released Dec. 4!
Tagline: How far will she go to discover the truth?
Blurb from Wild Crime:
"I'm a murderer. I'm a murderer. I'm a murderer."
Those three repeated words discovered in an old letter propel Meredith Lowe in a cross-country pursuit to unveil her mother's murky past. Danger stalks Meredith back to Hay City, Idaho as she peels apart the mystery: who is her father, and did her mother kill him? In finding the answer, will a growing love slip through her fingers?
Past merges with the present as the story races to its stunning conclusion.
Excerpt from Wild Crime:
Her hair fell below her waist, ripped free of its ties and weighed down by the warm, lashing rain. The sky-blue dress, so carefully chosen for this night and tried on so many times in her bedroom, was ruined. One strap had torn from her shoulder and dangled down her back. Mud splattered the hem. Sweet Cantaloupe lipstick, a lovely coral that heightened the green in her eyes, was smeared like a bruise on one cheek. She ran.
The high school gym behind her, decorated in crepe paper and curtains, vibrated with electric guitars and teen-aged hormones. Couples gyrated on the dance floor and then disappeared into dark corners. It was late and the Spring Dance was in full throttle. No one would miss her for hours.
Before her, trees dripped moss, barely visible in the darkness. She envisioned the moss brushing her shoulders, low branches snagging in her hair, the possibility of snakes both at her feet and above; this made her hesitate. It would take one scream, one gasp, and he would find her.
About the author:
Julie Howard is the author of the Wild Crime series, and Spirited Quest. She is a former journalist and editor who has covered topics ranging from crime to cowboy poetry. She is a member of the Idaho Writers Guild, editor of the Potato Soup Journal, and founder of the Boise chapter of Shut Up & Write. Learn more at juliemhoward.com.
Buy links for Wild Crime:
Barnes and Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wild-crime-julie-howard/1134112545?ean=9781509228638