Tag Archives: checklist

Family Road Trip Essentials – What to Do & Pack for a Great Road Trip

July 20, 2016

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Road Trip Essentials Last week, my hubby, daughter and I went on a great road trip from Los Angeles to Albuquerque, New Mexico. (See our fun little family road trip video below)

We’re evidently not the only ones hitting the road this summer.  With gas prices so low this year, (AAA reports that travelers hitting the road will pay the lowest summer gas prices since 2005), more travelers than ever are hitting the road.

If you’re hitting the road with your family, you want to make sure you’ve got everything you need.  We got you covered.  Here’s your Ultimate Family Road Trip Checklist and Packing List.14533913873_0d5025b02d_z

2-4 Weeks Before You Go On a Trip

  • Ensure that your car battery is in good conditioning
  • Check your vehicle’s engine oil level and its color
  • Check the vehicle’s coolant
  • Get any major repairs done to the vehicle
  • If you don’t have a car or will be driving a rental car, make a reservation to rent one.

1 Week Before You Go On a Trip

  • Check the tire pressure
  • Check the vehicle’s air filter
  • Buy a road atlas or free maps from AAA if you’re a member
  • Buy snacks and first aid kit supplies
  • Check your Vehicle’s Load Capacity

1 Day Before the Trip

  • Check GPS for travel suggestions and traffic or detour warnings
  • Prepare a map as a backup
  • Keep your mobile phone fully charged in case of emergency
  • Check your car insurance policy and carry the valid proof of insurance in the car
  • Pack all the items you will need from the Ultimate Road Trip Packing List for Families (below)

The Ultimate Road Trip Packing List for Families:

Health & Safety

  • Bandaids in various sizes
  • First Aid kit
  • Flushable wet wipes
  • Extra Diapers (if necessary)
  • Benadryl for surprise allergies in new places
  • A bucket with several plastic grocery bags tucked inside for surprise “travel tummy” scenarios
  • Sunblock
  • Children’s Tylenol
  • Tylenol or other headache medicine for adults
  • Heartburn meds for adults
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Tweezers
  • Large scissors and/or Seat Belt Cutting Tool

General Organization:

  • Change of clothes for each kid, easily accessible in case of spills or sickness
  • Pens & Paper
  • Sunglasses by each kids’ seat
  • Window shades for babies
  • Travel pillows
  • Blankets (for when you can’t agree on air conditioning levels, or for impromptu picnics at rest areas)
  • Diaper/pull ups for all kids up through age 5 just in case
  • Umbrellas
  • Car Phone chargers
  • Auxiliary Cables
  • Towel: can be used as seat cover, cleaning tool, picnic blanket, and more
  • Slippers: more comfy than shoes for a long drive
  • Cash in varying denominations
  • Coins for tolls
  • Batteries &/or chargers for any devices you bring

Food

  • Bags for garbage
  • Re-usable water bottles
  • Individually packaged, crumb-free snacks (e.g., bite-sized goldfish crackers)
  • Hard to bruise fruits (e.g., apples, berries) and/or fruit roll-ups or fruit leathers
  • Trail Mix

Entertainment

  • Playlist of family music (you can find great playlists on Pandora or Spotify)
  • Headphones for each kid
  • iPad or other tablet with movies & educational games
  • External battery charger for digital devices
  • Audio books that are good for the whole family (e.g., Harry Potter or Narnia)
  • Swimsuits and towels for the whole family in one easy to grab tote bag
  • Jump ropes and balls for exercise breaks at rest stops

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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Family Beach Day Checklist

July 12, 2016

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Family Beach Day ChecklistIt’s time for a family beach day!  Grab this Family Beach Day Checklist and start gathering your items to make sure that you’ve got everything you need for a day of fun in the sun with the whole family.

Get the free printable Beach Day PDF Checklist here.

Gear:

  • Beach Towels
  • Umbrellas/ Beach Tent
  • Beach Chairs
  • Water Resistant/Outdoor Blanket

Clothing & Accessories:

  • Beach Bag
  • Swim Suit
  • Cover Up
  • Swim Goggles
  • Floaties
  • Flip Flops/Water Shoes
  • Rash Guards
  • Change of Clothes
  • Hair Tie
  • Hair Brush

Sun Protection:

Kids Playing in Water

  • Water-Proof Sunscreen
  • Lip Balm
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat

Food & Drinks:

  • Lots of Drinking Water
  • Juice Boxes or Other Beverages
  • Snacks (e.g., sandwiches, fruit, cut up veggies, pita chips, hummus, crackers, etc.)
  • Cooler with Ice or Ice Packs
  • Napkins, Plates, Utensils
  • Extra Bags for Garbage 

Pinterest Beach Day Checklist

Entertainment:

  • Beach Toys (buckets and pails, beach balls)
  • Frisbee
  • Reading Materials (books, magazines, tablet)
  • Headphones or Bluetooth Speakers
  • Boogie Boards or Surf Boards 

Extras:

  • Wallet
  • Cash
  • Camera
  • Phone
  • First Aid Kit
  • Hand Sanitzer/Wet Wipes 

Beach Hack Items: 

  • Plastic Sandwich baggies
  • Baby Powder
  • “Fake” Dirty Diaper/Empty Jumbo Sunscreen Bottle
  • Uninflated balloons

That’s all you need for a great day at the shore!  Enjoy your day and let us know how it goes!

Click here to get the free printable Beach Day PDF Checklist.

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at Checklist Parent.  She has made it her mission to empower parents to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, yogi, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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Fourth of July BBQ Checklist

June 28, 2016

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The Ultimate 4th of July BBQ ChecklistThe Fourth of July is coming up!  Are you planning on having a party?  

If so, we’ve got the ultimate checklist for you to make sure you’ve got everything you need handled. Just follow this list and enjoy your shindig with less stress, less mess, and much less fuss.    

TWO WEEKS BEFORE

  • Make guest list and send out invitations – for a casual affair like a 4th of July BBQ, e-mail invitations are fine.

WEEK BEFORE

  • Enlist help. You will need assistance with cleaning, bringing dishes, manning the barbecue, serving drinks, etc. Figure out who can help with what. And many of your guests will offer – to help set up, bring a side, or clean up. Take them up on it and add what they are doing to your list!
  • Clean the house. Top to bottom. Yes, the week before. This may seem like it’s a bit ahead of schedule but if you do a big clean ahead of time, the day before your BBQ you’ll only need to wipe down your kitchen, the surfaces guests will see, and the bathrooms guests will use. [Unless you live in my house, where within 12 hours, the house looks like it’s never been touched. ;)]
  • Confirm Guest List. Make calls or send e-mails if you haven’t heard back from people you have invited.
  • Decide where you’re hosting your party.
    • Make sure you have enough seating and shade.
    • If it’s your backyard, schedule when you will mow the grass, set up tents, etc. Also make sure you have a contingency plan in case of rain.
  • Plan your menu. Consider how many people you expect and what food you’d like to serve. Make lists of what you have, what you need, and any other necessary items Items you’ll need
    • Meats for the grill (e.g., burgers, hotdogs, ribs, salmon)
    • Buns
    • Vegetables for the grill (e.g., corn, bell peppers, zuchini, eggplant)
    • Side dishes (e.g., baked beans, guacamole, potato salad, cole slaw)
    • Chips & Dips
    • Desserts (e.g., ice cream, cupcakes)
    • Drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic)
    • Plates
    • Cups
    • Napkins
    • Cutlery
    • Table cloths
    • Serving platters
    • Serving spoons
  • Decorations. Decide which decorations, if any, you’d like. Decorations can be as simple as red, white and blue napkins and table cloths and decorated cupcakes.
 A FEW DAYS BEFORE
  • Do your shopping. Unless there’s an item you need to buy fresh the day of the BBQ, picking things up ahead of time will save you stress.
  • Confirm Your Serving Dishes. Match up your many to any cooking/serving dishes you will want to use. Missing something? Borrow or buy it now.
  • Pick Your Outfit. You don’t want to be trying to figure this out as your guests ring the doorbell. Keep in mind you want to be relaxed and comfy.
THE DAY BEFORE
  • Set up. As much as possible. Lay out your serving dishes, set up tables and chairs, and put up any decorations your heart desires.
  • Do a Last Minute Tidy. Wipe down surfaces, and make sure guest bathrooms and party areas are neat.
  • Buy Ice (or have tap someone to buy ice for the day of the party)
  • Cook and prep any items that can be done in advance  
    • Make your pasta or potato salads.
    • Shuck your corn on the cob.
    • Make your dips.
    • Marinate your meats and vegetables.
    • Bake your desserts but leave the icing for the day of the party so it’s fresh.
  • Create a music playlist.  Great music always helps set the perfect vibe.  Organize your playlist so that when guests come, all you have to do is hit Play. If you don’t like having to make your own, you can find lots of great ones pre-made on Spotify.
TWO HOURS BEFORE
  • Last Minute Prep. 
    • Cut up your veggies,
    • Put chips in their bowls,
    • Set up drinks in coolers with ice.
    • Frost any deserts that need to be frosted.
AN HOUR BEFORE
  • Glam up. Shower and get ready before your fabulous guests arrive.
PARTY TIME
  • Party! Put out appetizers and greet your guests. Make yourself a cool drink and relax.
  • Have fun! You’ve worked your booty off to have a great party. Enjoy it!

4th of July BBQ Party Checklist

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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The Perfect Day Camp Checklist

June 21, 2016

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Perfect Day Camp Checklist

Today is the first official day of summer and you probably, like many other moms, have kiddos that are off to day camp.

My 7-year old with an entrepreneur’s soul is at a girls’ business camp. She started yesterday and is in heaven.  I was, however, a little ashamed because I arrived with her unprepared for what she needed.  Yikes!  I didn’t have a checklist.

So… I’ve since made a checklist and want to share it with you.  Without further ado, here is the PERFECT DAY CAMP CHECKLIST (and by perfect, I mean “probably good enough.”).

This is a checklist for the items to put into your kid’s backpack for day camp.  

___ Sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 45

___ Insect repellant wipes, wristband, or lotion (I don’t recommend the aerosol can of insect repellant–the spray can sting if it gets in your child’s eyes.)

___ Water bottle filled with ice-cold water

___ Sun Hat

___ Bathing suit and towel (I recommend a super thin towel to create less bulk in the backpack.)

___ Extra set of clothes (especially a pair of socks and shirt if they get wet from the rain or water play)

___ Comfortable running shoes or closed-toe sports sandals WITH socks

___ Rain poncho (not something we often need in Los Angeles, but if you’re in a rainy place this is good to have.  Ponchos are good because they roll up small too)

___ Medication: All camps should have your child’s medical information on file. Having an extra note with details in their backpack and attached to their Prescription medication and/or Epi-Pen is helpful.

___ Food: Many day camps will provide lunch and snacks. If you pack a lunch it should be easy to eat on the ground and not need refrigeration. A sandwich, fruit and a juice box or water makes for a healthy lunch. Granola bars make an excellent snack. Some camps may have vending machines or snack bars — find out the rules and cost of items ahead of time so you can plan if and how much money you want your child to have every day. I recommend putting money in a zippered change purse or zip-up sandwich bag. Notify the camp of any food allergies your child may have.  And be careful about sending your child with peanut items (e.g. PB&J sandwiches) for any other children that may have that allergy.

___ Other: If your child is at a specialty camp like my daughter, your child may need to bring other objects or gear.  You can note it here.

Day CampOptional:
___ Change purse with $1-$5 for snacks
___ Benadryl cream for itchy mosquito bites.

With these items in your child’s backpack, it should help your child have a happy and healthy day at camp!

 

 

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Parent Facebook Page and on twitter as @monickpaulhalm.

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Happy Mother’s Day – Free Mother’s Day Checklist

May 4, 2016

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Free Printable Mother's Day ChecklistMother’s Day is coming up this weekend.  Do you have everything you need to make Mother’s Day a special event?  Or are you a mother who’d like to make sure that the people in her life know how to make this a special day for you?  If so, you’re in luck.  We’ve compiled a free checklist you can use to make sure it’s a special Mother’s Day.  You can access the Mother’s Day Checklist on your iPhone or iPad using the Checklist Mom app.  It’s one of the suggested lists under the “New Mom” icon.  Or print out our free printable Mother’s Day checklist for yourself, leave it in a conspicuous place, or just forward this post to your special someone.

 

Mother's Day Checklist

Mother’s Day Checklist

1. Cards

2. Flowers

3. Gifts

  • Shop & Order Early — Remember gifts bought online or through a catalog will take time to ship. Give yourself plenty of lead time or budget for rush delivery.
  • Make a Gift – You can choose to DIY and make a special gift. This is especially great to do with kids. Give yourself enough time to gather materials and make the gift.
  • Wrap Gifts — Wrap gifts and attach cards ahead of time. For added impact, place Mom’s gifts in the living room or on the breakfast tray for Mother’s Day morning.

4. Activities Out

  • Make Reservations — Mother’s Day is the busiest day of the year for restaurants, so plan and reserve in advance. Also resorts, amusement parks, hotels and bed & breakfasts fill up fast as well. Make any reservations at least a week in advance.
  • Buy Tickets — Any event on Mother’s Day will probably be well attended. If you plan on taking in a play, movie, concert or sporting event make sure to purchase tickets in advance.
  • Plan on One of Mom’s Favorite Activities — Whatever your special mom loves – whether it’s antique fairs, motorcycles, zoos, or anything else – bring her/allow her to indulge in that for Mother’s Day. If you have outdoor plans, check the weather and have alternate plans in mind.

5. Fun at Home

  • Movies— Get and watch fun Mother’s Day themed movies at home.  Check out our blog post – 10 Great Movies to Watch on Mother’s Day for ideas.
  • Games — Does Mom love games? If so, Mother’s Day is a great opportunity for some family fun and togetherness, in game mode!

6. Cooking for Mom

  • Recipes — If cooking for Mom, make sure you’ve selected the recipe or recipes you like and have the recipe on hand.
  • Groceries — Do your grocery shopping the day before (or make sure there will be time Sunday morning to go out and get what you need).
  • Clean Up Afterwards — Make sure the chores are done (kitchen and dining area clean), and mom can relax.

7. General Preparation

  • Check In with the Family — if you’re planning to visit any family (e.g.,  grandmothers, aunts, friends) phone several days in advance to confirm plans.
  • Have Kids Finish Homework — Minimize any potential worries that might get in the way of a fun and carefree Mother’s Day, and make sure homework is complete by Saturday.
  • Have Cameras Ready — Take plenty of pictures to remember the special day.

That’s our Mother’s Day checklist! What are your plans for Mother’s Day?  Let us know in the comments and please share this post with anyone who you feel could use it.

 

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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The Perfect Pleasurable Flight Checklist – 52 Checklists Project Week 17

May 3, 2016

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10 Items to Ensure a Pleasurable Flight

I have been flying a lot lately for work and I’ve realized that flying in coach class can be downright unpleasant if you’re not well prepared.  The airlines seem to be making the seats smaller and smaller and offering less and less amenities on flights.  If you’re flying, and you don’t want to have a miserable experience, you have to come prepared.  As I was flying last Wednesday, I created my checklist: 10 Things to Make Flying More Pleasurable.  These are 10 “must-have” items that will greatly enhance your flying experience.       

10 Things to Make Flying More Pleasurable #52checklistsproject 

    • Neck Pillow – a neck pillow is a life saver – especially if you happen to be in the middle or aisle and want to catch a little snooze.
    • Water Bottle – it’s very important to drink water during flights.  The air in the plane is very dehydrating and drinking water makes you less susceptible to germs.  You can’t bring a full water bottle through security, but you can carry an empty bottle and fill it up on the other side of security or purchase a bottle of water at an airport shop.
    • Chewing gum – As you’re ascending or descending the pressure changes can be uncomfortable on your ears.  Chewing gum can help equalize the pressure and relieve discomfort, although it’s not the gum itself that helps. The actions of chewing and swallowing helps to equalize pressure and easing both the stress on your inner ear and the associated discomfort. I like using gum, but sucking on candy or drinking (remember your water bottle) can help as well.
    • Fun  Magazine  – The airplane is one of the only times I get to read fun magazines (other than in doctor waiting rooms), so I love getting two or three magazines to flip through during a flight.  This definitely adds to the pleasure quotient of a flight for me.
    • Great Book – a great book can also make the hours fly (no pun intended).  For me, I like a story with a great plot that I can’t put down.  If you want some suggestions, you can check out this article on 11 Mesmerizing Books for Long Flights or my previous checklist of 10 Books to Read in 2016.
    • A Friend – Travel is always better when you have a friend or loved one you can talk to.  My favorite travel partner is my husband, and I’m lucky that most of the time I fly he’s right beside me.  When I travel alone, it’s the perfect opportunity to meet a new friend and if I’m feeling sociable I’ll befriend a seat-mate.
    • Headphones – The good thing is that many airplanes now have individual screens for each seat where you can pick the movies and shows you want to watch or the music you want to listen to.  The bad thing is that they no longer hand out headphones.  You bring your own or you have to pay for a crappy set. It’s best to bring your own.
    • Snacks – The airplane meal, especially if you’re flying domestically, seems to have gone the way of the Dodo Bird.  It’s best to bring food and snacks with you on the flight.  This is true, especially if you’re flying with kids.
    • Eye Mask – if you’re flying at night and want to sleep an eye mask is perfect for blocking out light, and last but not least:
    • Ear Plugs – again, if you’re trying to get some sleep, ear plugs will help block out the noise around and promote some shut eye. 

 

Those are the 10 items on my checklist to have a pleasurable flight.  What is on your list? How do you make flying more pleasurable?  snappa-1462323561

 

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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10 Things To Do Less of – Week 14 of the 52 Checklist Project

April 7, 2016

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10 Things to Do Less Of #52checklistsprojectFor this week’s Checklist Project, I’m sharing 10 Things I Want to Do Less Of.

If you’re here on Checklist Mom, I’m going to assume that you probably have a pretty long to-do list, and it seems to ever grow longer.  So often we think about what else we need to do, we don’t take time to think about what we should maybe let go of or do less of.

I decided to ask myself that very question – what do I need to do less of? And instead of the regular To-Do Checklist, I came up with this To-Do-Less Checklist.  Here are the 10 items on my checklist:

To-Do-Less Checklist

  1. Facebook  this could generally be “do less social media.”  Instead I want to have more phone calls with people and more face-to-face time. 
  2. Looking at my phone while in conversations with other people – I’m ashamed I even ever do this.  It’s really rude.  I want to be fully present to the people I speak with.
  3. Listening to/following the news – I don’t really watch TV so that’s why I say “listening to the news.”  I love to listen to National Public Radio while I drive and I do look at the news on my phone and our daily newspaper.  Apple added a news feature on the phone, so I see headlines on my home screen and invariably click through.  This has definitely upped my news consumption.  The drama around the elections hasn’t helped either.  Paying attention to all this news is not good for my sanity or my peace of mind.  I can still be informed of all that’s important without overdoing the news.  So this is definitly something I want to do less of.   
  4. Eating fruit –People will think this is a strange one.  I love fruit.  I love fruit too much.  I can easily eat upwards of 6 – 10 servings of fruit per day.  That’s too much!  I’ve been on a weight loss journey and I realize that my weight loss completely stalled.  I couldn’t figure out what was going on.  I decided to reduce my fruit intake to no more than 3 servings a day and the weight has started to come down again.  I don’t want to eliminate fruit from my diet – that would be terribly sad.  However, eating fruit is something I need to do less of.
  5. Romance novel reading – I love a good romance novel (or a bad romance novel as the case may be).  And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with them, BUT sometimes I can go on a romance novel binge and that’s not healthy.  I’d like to make sure I read more books that inspire me and feed my brain.  Alas most of these romance novels are far from it.  
  6. Web surfing – This sort of goes hand-in-hand with the social media and the news consumption ones.  I can sometimes find myself going down the internet rabbit hole and losing valuable time looking at nonsense.  I’m a huge fan of the internet and make my livlihood through it.  Don’t get me wrong.  I just need to be more judicious in my use of it and do a bit less.  
  7. Multi-tasking – I know that trying to do more than one thing at a time is super inefficient and stressful.  Many people think it’s the opposite, but they would be wrong.  It’s way more efficient to put 100% of your attention on one thing.  So, that’s why I’d like to practice more time-blocking and mindfulness.  
  8. Sleeping less than 5 hours per night – I used to have the motto “you can sleep when you die.”  I have realized that this attitude is one that brings death much closer.  I’m not one that needs lots of sleep per night.  And if I average 6 -7 hours per night, I’m more than fine.  I’d like to shoot for 7 – 8 though.  So, I want to be in bed by 10 and have electronics far away.  That’s my best bet at success.
  9. Beating myself up/”should”ing all over myself – I have such high standards  for myself.  That’s a good thing, but I need to be so much more gentle with myself.  So, much less or no beating myself up or “shoulding” on myself.  
  10. Busy work/80% stuff that only results in 20% results – In the Checklist Mom “Peace of Mind – On the Checklist” Training System – my time-management program for moms (a program guaranteed to help moms find 3 or more extra hours per week to do with as they want), I talk all about the 80/20 rule.  Basically it’s the rule that says 20% of all activities will lead to 80% of the results.  And the remaining 80% of activities only lead to 20% of results.  Most people are not very productive because most of their time and energy is spent in the not-so-effective 80%.  I want to spend less time doing that 80% work and more time in the 20% work.

So that’s my To-Do-Less Checklist.   What do you want to do less of?  Make your own to-do-less checklist share it in the comments, on twitter or on Facebook with the tag #52checklistsproject.

What do you need to do less of?

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and careers.  She’s a busy mom and stepmom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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5 Must-Do Tax Preparation Tasks That Should Not Be Ignored!

April 6, 2016

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tax 1040 snappaHere we go again!  Tax season for most Americans is in full swing here in the US and taxes are due on April 18th (you have 3 days of reprieve this year).  Are you stressed out trying to gather everything you need to do your taxes yourself or have a tax professional help you?  Are you trying to figure out what you need to gather for tax preparation?

Screen shot 2016-04-07 at 12.05.38 PMTax Preparation Checklist If you are like me and have a tax preparation checklist handy to use, planning and preparing your taxes becomes a much easier task and relieves worry.  Our “Tax Preparation” pre-done checklist is available for FREE this week on the Checklist Mom app under the “Managing Money” template. As an additional perk we have also prepared a free downloadable PDF Version for you to make sure you have everything you need handy. Click here to get it now

Read below to find out my five must-haves that I’ll make sure to have checked off my checklist and available for my accountant:

  1. Get the tax preparation checklist to avoid forgeting something important.

    Checklist Mom Tax Preparation

    Identification – It’s important to have your driver’s license, social security ID number, and any additional identification details you might need for the rest of the family. The bottom line is that you will need this to have your identity verified by your tax professional and government authorities.

  2. Copy of previous tax filing documents – Your previous year’s returns will help your accountant make calculations faster and easier. If your accountant has done your taxes in the past, they should have that handy.
  3. Income statements – If you’re employed, you’ll normally receive an income statement (W-2)  from your job. If they forget to give it to you, you’ll need to remind them of it before the deadline. If you’re self-employed you’ll need to bring evidence of income received through the year.  It’s important that you bring a profit and loss statement in the case you have a business.
  4. Expenses and Donations – Certain expenses are deductible or eligible for tax credits.  Bring your mortgage interest statements. In case you, your spouse or your kids are students then bring along your education expenditures and your student loan interests. If you have any of the above expenditures, it’s likely that you might qualify for credits when you file your returns.Your charity and church donations as well as doing things for the greater good can be tax-deductible, therefore, reporting them might certainly lower the amount you’ll be filing.  So bring receipts of these donations.
  5. Dental, medical and optical expenses – High medical expenses are really good deductibles. Make sure to check them off of your checklist as your compile your prescriptions, health insurance and medicals bills to share with your tax professional.

These are only a few of the things that I’m addressing on my checklist, click HERE to download our more comprehensive Checklist Mom “Tax preparation checklist.”  Using a checklist will ensure that you are better prepared to provide your accountant with all the details he or she needs to accurately file your tax documents .

Click Here And Download our Checklist Mom “Tax Preparation Checklist.”

Wishing you the best of luck during tax season and many happy returns!
Marc Paul

Marc Paul - Checklist Mom founder

Marc at 7 years old.

Marc Paul is the CEO and Founder of Checklist Mom. Marc is married to Efua (a child psychologist) and father of Cleo, age 7, and Noah, age 5.  Marc is a technology entrepreneur who is passionate about organization, parenting and creating better tools to enable moms and dads to be the best that they can be so that they and their families can thrive. Marc is a motivational speaker, entrepreneur, real estate investor and a technology geek. You can colntact Marc at [email protected]

 

Disclaimer – Remember that our Checklist Mom blogs and checklists are designed to make you aware of, and to remind you of, options you may have available to you. They are put on this website with the understanding that Next Generation Mobile Inc. (TheChecklistMom.com) is not engaged in rendering legal, medical, tax or financial advice,

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10 Fun Spring Break Activities to Do With Your Kids

March 23, 2016

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Spring Break is upon us!  Are you wondering what to do with your kids?  If so, we have the answer for you.  Here are 10 fun family friendly activities (many of which are free) that you can do with your kids this Spring Break.  Read below to also get your free downloadable Family Travel Checklist PDF.

1. Road Trip! Go someplace within easy driving distance – like a nearby city or a national park. This year is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Parks and there are probably some amazing parks in easy driving distance of wherever you are.CLM Travel Packing Checklist

If you’re going on a trip, you  to make sure that you pack wisely.  Click Here to get your free downloadable Travel Packing Checklist PDF and make sure that you remember everything.

2. Staycate. Be a tourist in your own city and visit spots in your city that you or your kids have never been to. Though I’ve lived in Los Angeles for 15 years there are still plenty of places – new and old – I’d love to discover and bring my kids. I’m sure there are interesting spots near you to bring your kids to discover.

3. Go Camping. Pack up the tent and sleeping bags and take your family camping. There’s nothing like campfires, open air, and no cell phone reception to bring a family closer together.

4. Volunteer. Volunteering is always a wonderful activity to do as a family. If you’d like some help to find kid-friendly volunteer opportunities, you can check out the blog post I wrote on How to Find Kid Friendly Volunteer Opportunities.

5. Plant a Vegetable Garden. As the ground thaws, it’s the perfect time for planting. Early spring is good for planting hardy and semi-hardy vegetables like spinach, kale, carrots, beets, broccoli and leeks. You’ll enjoy eating your harvest and the kids will love digging in the dirt with you.

6. Spring Clean. Are you thinking “wait… cleaning isn’t fun. How am I going to get the kids to do that?!” The answer is make it into a game. Race to see who can pick up the most items off the floor or gather the most dust on a cloth. Pretend you’re all Cinderella or the seven dwarves and sing while you work. Anything can be fun if you do it together and you play.

7. Get crafty. Pull out your craft supplies, surf Pinterest for ideas, and get crafty with the kids.

8. Go Spring Skiing. Many mountains still have snow, and the slopes are probably not as crowded as during the winter holidays. This break is a perfect time for spring skiing.

9. Hit the Beach. Drive or fly to the nearest beach and enjoy the sun, surf, and sand. After experiencing winter, getting to the ocean is one of spring break’s greatest joys.

10. Pajama Days. Spend the whole day in PJs watching movies and reading. There are few things I love more than this. After the frantic pace of our usual lives, one of the greatest luxuries is to do nothing at all.

Those are our 10 ideas for enjoying spring break with your family. What are you doing for spring break?  Share in the comments below.what will you and your family do for spring break?

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and career choices.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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10 Things I Wish for My Kids – Week 11 #52ChecklistsProject

March 19, 2016

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#52checklistsproject 10 things i wish for my kidsThis week’s checklist prompt is: 10 Things I Wish for My Kids.  We all have desires for our kids.  These are our hopes and dreams for them as they grow up and mature into adulthood.

So the checklist prompt is aimed at tuning us into what we most want for our kids.

Here are my top 10 wishes for my kids:IMG_0583

  1. Share their gifts – I believe each one of us is born with unique gifts and talents and true happiness comes from fully sharing our own unique gifts and talents with the world.  I notice how each of my kids has their own talents and I try to encourage the development of those talents whenever I can.  My deepest wish is that they fully share those talents with the world. 
  2. Find love.  I wish that each of my kids finds a deep abiding love like I’ve found with their father.  They definitely have love from our family, but I also wish them to experience the profound joy that comes from a fulfilling romantic relationship.
  3. Make a difference. This wish goes hand-in-hand with my first wish – that they share their talents.  When they share their talents, they will make a difference.  What I truly wish here is that they always strive to make a difference and do the right thing.  
  4. Are kind.  I try to encourage and model this as much as I can.  I want my children to be kind — kind to others, kind to animals and the environment, and most importantly kind to themselves.  
  5. Enjoy financial success.  I want my children to be financially successful.  By this I mean, I want them to never feel like they have to worry about money.  I want them to feel comfortable enough to share their gifts, live the lives they want, and be generous.  Money doesn’t make one happy, but having enough definitely eases some worries and provides more options. 
  6. Are healthy in mind, body & spirit. I want my children to be healthy in this broad sense of the world. In fact, I want them to be more than just healthy, I want them to be thriving.
  7. Become parents. I really would love to be a grandparent someday, so I hope my kids have kids.  Also, parenting, while super duper challenging, is also one of the greatest life experiences.  I desire them to be able to experience that.    
  8. Are happy. Everything I’ve written is ultimately because I want my kids to be happy.  Each of the other wishes for them are ultimately about this.  So, if they’ll be happier not having children or renouncing all their material possessions and being ascetics in India, I’m good with that.      
  9. Are true to themselves. In my coaching and speaking, I often focus on helping people listen to their intuitive guidance – that still small voice that knows exactly what is best for you.  I wish for my kids to listen first and foremost to that voice and be true to it.  I wish that for them even if the message they get is different from what I would say for them.  Ultimately, I want them to be true to themselves.  Luckily my stubborn, non-people pleasing kids, seem to have this one pretty firmly under control.     
  10. Play as big as they can. I truly wish that they never play small.  I wish that they always reach for the moon and go for it.  They may fail … no, they will definitely fail sometimes.  Not giving up after failures and continuing to play big is what will lead them to success.  I hope they are never too scared of losing that they sit out of the game.  I want them to always play and to play as big as they can.  

Those are the items on my list.  What’s on your list?  What 10 things do you most wish for your kids?  Share in the comments or share on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #52checklistsproject.  I can’t wait to see your checklists.What do you wish for your child?

Monick HalmMonick Paul Halm is the Chief Creative Officer at the Checklist Mom.  She has made it her mission to empower women and moms to thrive in their lives, families, and career choices.  She’s a busy mom of 3, certified life and career coach, author, speaker, and real estate investor.  She’s a wearer of many hats, and juggler of many duties and loves connecting with our moms.  You can connect with her on the Checklist Mom Facebook Page and on twitter as @thereikicoach.

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