Happy Valentine’s Day (and tea party report)

My Valentine’s Day Potluck Tea Party was a blast!

I hadn’t thrown a full-blown tea party since February 2009 so it was a treat for me to plan and host this year!

I had my house all decked out…

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas types of tea chinese table

Asian teas.

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas fairy tale princess table

Fairy tale/princess table.

 

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas memo board

My tea-cup collection for them to choose from.
fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas

The peach tree even bloomed for the occasion!

…my mom gave a little “tea-torial” (I made that word up!)…

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas teatorial

…the spread of food was incredible…

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas spread of food

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas food my plate

Check out my loaded plate!

…the ladies were happy and festive…

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas tiara babes

Tiaras are highly encouraged.

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas elegant

Isn’t she elegant??

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas jean flis

Hats are encouraged, too.

fantabulous women valentines day potluck tea party tabitha dumas

Prizes for festive food and attire!

…and my make-shift photo booth was a hit.

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas photo booth

Me and my mama!

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas

My sister-in-law knows how to “bring it.”

 

fantabulous women tea party valentines day potluck tabitha dumas

My mom, hamming it up!

It was a delightful day and I am blessed to be surrounded by so many FanTABulous Women!

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

Back-To-School Supplies for Mom

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school for mom

Back-to-school supplies for Mom.

This may seem a bit premature for some of you (back to school?!? In July?!?) but my oldest son is on a modified year-round school schedule (two weeks off after each grading period and seven weeks off in summer) and starts 2nd grade on July 22nd.

My baby is starting second grade!! Eeeeeek!!

Back-to-school time is HERE for us and I realized that I—work-at-home mom and home manager—need to get myself ready!

For me, summer has been a mixed bag. Yes, we got to take a road trip to my home state of Florida at the start of summer and, yes, my older son has kept the younger one occupied during the day so I could log some billable hours, but…we’ve been doing the “stay up late and wake up late” routine but when the boys are up late, I can’t get “real work” done (I need total peace and quiet to write) and my mornings when they’re sleeping in are not very productive. I’ve been lax on housework and meal planning (don’t ask me how many pizza boxes were in the recycle bin this week) and I’m low on energy because of the wacky sleep schedule. Plus, I’ve had to postpone my usual meetings because it’s hard to get child care for both boys.

I’m ready to get back into the school routine.

This year will be unique because on August 5, my younger son will begin preschool so I will have nine hours a week to be foot loose and kid-free. I’ll keep the fancy.

So I need to be ready.

Here are a few tools I assembled to help ME prepare! The idea is to keep things running smoothly and to set yourself up for a wonderful school year. For yourself AND the kids!

Cookbooks and meal planning tools.

Pull out your favorite cookbooks, grab a shopping list and map out your meals for the week (I do pizza, taco soup and pasta almost every week). Mine have to be quick, easy, and kid-friendly (and when I say kid, I mean picky-eater-kid).

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom meal planning shopping list

New office supplies.

Why should the kids be the only ones who get fresh folders, markers and composition books?? Get some cute folders for filing all of the papers that will soon be coming in from school and treat yourself to some pretty pens and highlighters. Have a day planner handy, too, for writing down PTA meeting times and coffee dates. Remember to schedule in “me time,” too!

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom supplies calendar me time

Beauty time-savers.

I advise my Mary Kay customers to have an everyday makeup look accessible to grab even if they only have five minutes to spend on their face in the morning. All you need is one or two neutral eye colors, a soft blush, mascara and gloss. I highly recommend the Mary Kay 3-in-1 cleanser, too, because it cleanses, exfoliates and freshens in one step. My other favorite multi-tasking product is the Mary Kay Moisture Renewing Gel Mask. It feels almost like aloe and you can use it as a quick mask or wear it overnight if your skin is dry, inflamed or stressed.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom beauty time savers

Designate a “mom zone” or “home management zone.”

This is the place to keep paperwork, calendars, to-do lists and things like greeting cards, wrapping supplies and bills all in one spot that is yours alone.

fantabulous women studio home office craft room

As you can see above, I am spoiled—I have a studio/office/craft room (nearly) all to myself but you can use a small desk, a corner of your laundry room or even a closet. For example…

Below is is my “drop and grab zone” between the front door and the garage where I can drop my keys or grab library books on the way in or out, plus a spot for reminders and papers.

fantabulouswomen mom command center

Take a moment to tweak your inspiration board, too, so that the things that inspire you or make you smile are where you can see them regularly.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom inspiration board

If you work from home, you may want to reorganize your desk or set up new filing systems–whatever it takes to be efficient and productive.

If you’re a home school mom, now is the time to get your desk and teaching area(s) ready.

There are some fun ideas for work-at-home and home school moms on my Back To School Pinterest board.

And you can’t go back to school without books!

I have found a good many of these at Goodwill.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books

Two of my favorites: “Simple Abundance” by Sarah Ban Breathnach and “Organized Simplicity” by Tsh Oxenreider.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books

For those with a business: “Love is the Killer Ap” by Tim Sanders, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “The Power of Uniqueness” by Arthur F. Miller, Jr.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books for business

And for personal development: “By Happy Without Being Perfect” by Alice D. Domar, Ph.D, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families” by Stephen R. Covey and “Take Time For Your Life” by Cheryl Richardson.

fantabulous women tabitha dumas back to school mom books for personal development

You may also need a new tote bag to carry your books in or maybe a pretty new purse for fall. You get a backpack for the kids, why not treat yourself?? 

Have some fun before the race to Winter Break begins and set yourself up for a wonderful new school year.

Remember to visit my Back To School Pinterest board board for more ideas, inspiring images and links!

Office Makeover (full disclosure)

I love my home office.

Someday I may rent an office space but for now, I love the comfort and convenience of being home, especially because it affords me extra quality time with my three-year-old. Yes, I often play Crazy 8s with him while I’m using the computer or put him in front of the TV with a snack when I need to take a call.

The walls are turquoise, the pretty office supplies are plentiful and I get sunshine in the window all day long. Plus my husband planted roses right outside the window that I get to enjoy.

let me rephrase that roses outside my office window

This is the picture I use online of my desk/work space. I share the space with my husband for the time being. Naturally this is the cleaned-up version.

let me rephrase that desk where the magic happens

Here is the full disclosure part…THIS  is where I usually work: at my craft table on the laptop. I am involved in a LOT of projects at the moment all the time, so there’s no shortage of STUFF. This is actually the cleaned up version! Notice the crafting supplies and miscellaneous clutter that surrounds me while I work. I don’t mind it, but I would like it to be more…calm.

my work space letmerephrasethat

I admit it, I do dream of having an office like this…

office image on letmerephrasethat

…or this…

fantabulous women dream office

…or this.

office image 2 letmerephrasethat

So I have teamed up with my friend and colleague, Sherry, of Totally Transformed to help me de-clutter and reorganize my space, including my vast amount of craft supplies and Mary Kay paraphernalia. I am hoping to get myself super-organized so that I can work my business even MORE efficiently and with MORE creativity!

I’ll keep you updated on my progress but for now, it’s in the ‘way worse before it gets better’ phase. This is my desk currently, as I purge and sort.

let me rephrase that office makeover during

I am all about making your environment WORK for you, so I hope that some of what I learn from this transformation will help or inspire some of my readers.

Does your work space need a makeover? What do you LOVE about your space…and what do you dream about changing?? Please comment.

Copyright Tabitha Dumas, online and in-persona image consultant Gilbert Chandler, Arizona. All right reserved.