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Summer Parties

July 6th, 2011

Summer Parties By Regina Leeds, The Zen Organizer NABBW’s Organizational Skills Expert After Memorial Day Weekend the weather cooperates and we all dream about an outdoor party. We\’ve been cooped up all winter and it feels like time to release \’ye olde BBQ\’ from its winter slumber. You know me: I need a plan. Here are some things to consider before you send out your Evites or pick up the phone. The Devil is in the Details The idea of a party is always exciting, isn\’t it? And here I am about to throw cold water on your plans with mention of the dreaded \’B\’... Read More

Make Your Own Chrysanthemums – and Use Them Too!

June 29th, 2011

Make Your Own Chrysanthemums – and Use Them Too! By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert The garden mum C. morifolium is one of the easiest perennials to grow and propagate.  It emerges in April or May and after a couple weeks it should be six inches high, with several pairs of lateral leaves. It\’s fully to half hardy, meaning that most varieties survive heavy frosts but some (like the ones used by florists) can only tolerate a little. If you want to have some fun, you can take some of the longer cuttings and poke them directly into the soil. I learned this one spring from a... Read More

Imagine Yourself Enjoying a Perennial Cutting Garden

May 11th, 2011

Imagine Yourself Enjoying a Perennial Cutting Garden By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert Mostly people think of annuals for cutting because of their continuous bloom over a long period.  But carefully selected perennials can also be used. I especially like the appeal of a garden that keeps coming back and has interest through the seasons. Here\’s how one of my favorite perennial gardens came into being: When the bulldozers plowed through the wild tangle at the back of this homeowner\’s lot, a dogwood, tall enough to provide mature beauty, was among the unexpected treasures. The... Read More

Now That Tax Season Is Over… Time to Set Up A Better Filing System for NEXT Year

May 10th, 2011

Now That Tax Season Is Over… Time to Set Up A Better Filing System for NEXT Year By Regina Leeds, The Zen Organizer NABBW’s Organizational Skills Expert We all know four letter words that are guaranteed to get everyone’s panties in a bunch when uttered in public. One begins with a b, another with an f and then there’s the c word.  I would argue there are equally powerful phrases that can clear a room, cause profuse sweating or even the use of one of those four letter words. ‘Like what?’ you ask. Well, let’s see.  How does the phrase ‘income tax’ grab you?  See what I... Read More

Now\’s the Time to Be Preparing Your Perennial Beds

April 4th, 2011

Now\’s the Time to be Preparing Your Perennial Beds By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert A Chinese proverb says, “To be happy for a year, get married. To be happy for a lifetime, grow a garden.” Is that a gloomy thought about marriage? Perhaps, though we know the Chinese still do it. But who\’d have thought gardening could be so joyful? Probably any gardener you ask… The pleasure of growing perennial flowers is that they keep coming back, bigger and more beautiful than before. The work needed to maintain a perennial garden is about the same as for a lawn,... Read More

Welcome Grandbaby!

March 28th, 2011

Welcome Grandbaby! By Regina Leeds, The Zen Organizer NABBW’s Organizational Skills Expert Your baby, your way OK so your baby (or maybe even his baby!) is now an adult having his or her own children.  You want to share your wisdom without coming off as everybody’s meddling nightmare mother-in-law or Grandma Nightmare… What’s a boomer to do? I’ve got your answer: give the newly pregnant in your family my newest book One Year to an Organized Life with Baby! Babies are precious gifts and we’re all captivated by the many items created just for them.  Unfortunately tiny clothes,... Read More

The Garden in Snow

February 10th, 2011

The Garden in Snow By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert Looking out at my yard covered with a 10-inch thick snow blanket, it’s hard to imagine it popping with green life. The winter palette is subtle and today it’s predominantly white, with various branches showing their earth tones – grays, ochers, siennas, umbers. It’s now that you can appreciate the structure of trees and shrubs, with their various shapes and textures. The birch in the neighboring yard shows its frilly branches and exfoliating bark. The graceful curves of the oakleaf hydrangeas on this side of the fence... Read More

Perfect Vegetable Gardens

January 9th, 2011

Perfect Vegetable Gardens By Deborah Clark NABBW’s Gardening Expert The dead of winter is one of the best gardening months. In fact, each winter, I create the perfect vegetable garden with rows of lush lettuce greens, bountiful bean bushes, tomato branches heavy with shiny fruit. And because these gardens have no squash borers, cabbage worms or Japanese beetles, I’m able to bestow surplus produce on anyone who’ll receive it. Although these gardens exist in my mind, they still require some effort and a good deal of planning. It starts with getting on the mailing lists for some good... Read More

How to Make 2011 a New Year

January 9th, 2011

How to Make 2011 a New Year By Regina Leeds NABBW’s Organizational Skills Expert Here are some important steps to get you organized for the year ahead. Start with Work It\’s always important to have an organized workspace.  But now with downsizing and job loss spreading throughout the work sector like a fever, being organized is a great insurance policy.  You can use your organizing skills to demonstrate to your employer how invaluable you are to the day-to-day operation of the business. If you are the owner of the establishment, you can just as easily show your employees by example... Read More

Think Ahead this Holiday Season

December 16th, 2010

Think Ahead this Holiday Season By Regina Leeds NABBW’s Organizational Skills Expert At this time of year most people are trying to keep their heads above water.  The TV airwaves and newspapers are full of ways to celebrate.  What if we did something a bit radical?  What if we looked beyond the holiday and found a few ways to save time, space, energy and money before the clock strikes midnight and it’s 2011? Here are some ideas to get you started. Chances are good that you store your holiday decorations in the attic, the basement or the garage. As you take them down this year, why... Read More