Holiday finds at Restaurant Supply

When you need something for your kitchen or for entertaining in your home, where do you go?  Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel?  If you would like an affordable alternative place to shop, I recommend your local restaurant supply company.  Most of these stores are open to the public and they have a lot of great items that can make your life easier during the holidays or when you are entertaining.

If you need extra wine glasses, silverware or serving pieces, the restaurant supply store has a variety to choose from at reasonable prices.  Also, if  you are feeding a large number of people, they have big restaurant sized pans, cookie sheets and platters. In addition to having these items on hand for the holidays, in the case of the wine glasses, they usually come in boxes that can be used to store the glasses when you don’t need them.  Two things that I have purchased there that help me during the holidays are stainless steel tongs which are about $2.75 and are the best tongs that I own.  I also have a large stainess steel sheet pan that I use to pour my homemade caramels in to cool.  I think that sheet pan ran me about $9.00, but to me it is priceless.

In addition to having regular kitchen items, these stores carry items that you don’t find in regular kitchen stores but you may find helpful.  One of these items is a sign holder.  You find these at buffet dinners and they have a small sign telling you what food it is you are about to enjoy.  Using sign holders to identify which food has nuts or which punch has alcohol can really make your party go smoothly when entertaining a lot of people.  They also have professional grade stainless steel tables, storage racks and bag sealers.  Some of the items could be used in your kitchen or in other parts of your home such as your garage or craft room. 

The next time that you need an item for your kitchen, think about venturing into your local restaurant supply company.  Spend some time looking around at what they have available, you never know what you might find that will make your next holiday party a lot easier on you!


Being organized = less stress

Do you find yourself stressed and rushed as you leave for work? A little evening planning can alleviate the stress and get you to work early instead of late. The more that you do the night before to prepare for your day, the easier the morning can be for you. For example if you go to the gym after work, pack your gym bag the night before. That way, you won’t be running around trying to find your favorite gym shoes before you have had your morning cup of coffee. Another great tip is to make your lunch and your snacks for the day and have them ready to grab on your way out the door in the morning. You can save money by not eating out and it will probably be healthier too.

If deciding what to wear is always a challenge or takes up too much time, you can decide on your outfit and lay out your clothes the night before. This is also a great tip for children that struggle with getting out of the door on time. Another tip for kids is making sure that their backpacks with their home work, permission slips and gym clothes are packed and ready to go. Leaving those things to gather in the morning can lead to forgotten items or documents. Being organized helps make responsibility easy for children and hopefully their day will go better too.


The Battle against being over-scheduled

Being a personal assistant, I love helping busy people organize their lives and make things easier by taking tasks off of their plate. That being said, I believe that it is always good to re-evaluate what you have in your daily, weekly and monthly schedule. We can become slaves to our schedule and it is good to ask yourself occasionally, “Is this really how I wanted to be spending my time?” If you are involved in a community organization and find that it has started taking up much more time than you originally committed to, it could be time to re-assess and set some new boundaries. It is important to keep your activities in check so that you are not exhausted which could lead to you neglecting your mental and/or physical health. If you are giving more of yourself than you are comfortable with, it could also result in feelings of being taken advantage of and being under appreciated. It is good to re-set your boundaries with whatever activity it is that has started to take over your day. If you do that, you will find you enjoy the activity more and you will have more time for yourself which gives you a more balanced and healthy you!!


What do to with that old cell phone? Help someone else!

A question that comes up when I am assisting my clients with cleaning out their spaces is, “What do I do with my old cell phones?” The good news is that a lot of charities will accept cell phones and it is good to recycle. Old cell phones have a huge impact on the environment and if they can be repurposed to help someone, everyone wins. Cell phones, even without a wireless plan, can always call 911 for emergency help. This allows old cell phones to be of great use to vulnerable populations. Some of the places that you can donate old cell phones are to senior centers, women’s shelters and senior citizens with disabilities or limited income. Another option is to donate your old cell phone to soldiers serving in the military. They can use a calling card to call home while they are serving our country. An important thing to remember is that you will want to erase the data on the phone before donation. Most cell phones have a “master reset” function which will clear your information. You will also want to verify that your account has been cancelled with your service provider. Donate away!!!


The Art of Delegation

As a personal assistant, I see times where people have a hard time letting go. Whether that be letting go of things that are creating clutter in their life or that household task that could really be done by someone else. We are all too busy. Too busy at work, too busy at home and too busy in our minds. Learning how and when to delegate is a skill and being able to really let the task be done by the person you are delegating to can be an emotional journey. The main hurdle in delegating something to someone else is figuring out what tasks can be delegated. With good instructions and a person who is willing to listen and pay attention to the details, you can gain hours in your day to do the important things in your day that no one else can do but you. This could include things like going to the gym, reading a story to your children and sitting down after dinner to spend time quality time with your spouse.