Make A Difference with Holiday Donations

At this time of year we feel abundantly blessed!  Make a difference for your family in donating toys to area philanthropies needing donations. Here is a list from the most recent Kingwood Observer. 


Empty Stocking Project/ Humble ISD/HAAM                   


Food, monetary donations, toys


Society of St. Stephen                                                  


Toys, food


The Mission                                                              


Food, monetary donations, toys


Village Learning Center                                             


Sponsor a client, subscriptions, DVDs, gift certificates




Toys, teenager gift cards


Find a worthy cause that you are passionate about. Help your children part with toys and more to take to the facility.  Take your children with you to make the donation. Create an annual holiday tradition around this event.  Can you think of anything more rewarding during this holiday season?


Please add your worthy cause as a comment below so we can share! 


Thanksgiving and Gratitude

Gratitude Oprah

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein


“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.” — William Arthur Ward

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity….  Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.”     – Melody Beattie



For me, life is ALL about gratitude! Being thankful, grateful, positive and appreciative are the most important of all things.  My wish is to share this with everyone I am in contact with, friends, clients anyone and everyone.  Thanksgiving and gratitude are like peanut butter and jelly, salt and pepper,or milk and cookies.

Are we missing the reason for our season with all the focus on turkey and dressing?   Is getting ready for the holiday after this one taking away  from appreciating all we already have?  Thanksgiving is our time for reflection for our bountiful blessings. 

The connections of order and appreciation are numerous for me.  Having order in our home helps us remember all we have and all we hold dear.  Organizing is honoring our home, our belongings and our time.  Organizing and gratitude come together in my work with my clients.  I am honored to partner with them and grateful for their trust in me. 


As your holidays begin this year, make a list of the 3 most important thanks!  Keep this momentum going with your gratitude journal all year long.  It will change your life!

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Taking Care of Mrs. Claus

Taking care of yourself during the holidays is important!   How can we care for others if our self care is neglected? 

  • Get the rest you need each night.  So often I hear my clients say that they have gone to bed at 1 or 2 am to finish a project. Make it a priority to be in bed and get 8 hours of rest each night.
  • Eat and drink nutritiously. Our bodies need good fuel!  Be sure to drink 8 glasses of water and each your daily 5 fruits and veggies.   We think better, work better and are more productive with outstanding food.
  • Commit to daily exercise. Working our bodies provides clarity and more.  My weekly exercise includes working out with Jill Gilbert Lucas at pilates.  It is a priority because I am better able to handle the stresses of the season with this!
  • Write daily in your gratitude journal.  Spend a few minutes at the end of each day being grateful and writing about it.  It is as simple as appreciating a hug, seeing a leaf on a tree turn color or even tasting a yummy piece of pie. Appreciating what is a gift to you makes a difference.
  • Spend 5 minutes in serenity time each day. This is a time to get your stress level as low as possible.  Breathe deeply, sit in a chair, think of your special thoughts, and get a few minutes of base line. 

Taking care of yourself goes beyond the holiday season.  Not sure how to find the time? Remember, as they say on the airlines, put your own oxygen mask on first!

Empowering women

Empowering moms to be their best is what I am passionate about!  I love to learn and share the best of what I learn with others.  Here are 2 recent conference experiences and what I gleaned.

I recently attended the Women Business Owners conference ( and learned so much from my peers! As I listened to speakers like Linda Stiles  ( and Michele DeKinder-Smith ( many important ideas emerged. Here is a little of what I found most valuable in sharing the day with remarkable women entrepreneurs.

Find partners in  and out of your industry.  As an entrepreneur it can be lonely! Find people who are courageous to take the leap, mindful of the different responsibities of their jobs, and empowering of others.  Linda shared with us the 4 types of leaders, the take charge, the fun loving, the detail person, and the .  Have  one of each of these in your mastermind group to add balance for everyone.  Michele has a survey on her website to learn the kind of entrepreneur you are.  Again, it is about finding your strenghths and partnering with those who can empower you.  

Women are motivated by many different things including helping others, financial gain, and passion.  Most motivating can be stepping up to those things that are hard work for us and make us stronger!   Finding a strategy to help us with tough aspects of our business, including cold calls and asking others for help, can make those things happen.

Ask for help when you need it.  Taking your business to the next level happens when you ask a mentor or coach to be a part of your team.   No need to reinvent the wheel! Find someone who can help you that is ahead of you in or out of your industry to help you strategize and be accountable.  Have them be on your team too to take you beyond your comfort zone and be the best you can be.

I also had the privilege of attending the Texas  Conference for Women (  In a convention hall with 5000 other intelligent, creative, and stunning women, I experienced learning on a big level!  Tory Johnson ( shared with us to put yourself out there and be on top of your game.    Marcus Buckingham (  helped us recognize it is most valuable to build on our strengths and manage our weaknesses.  His concept is that we should catch and cradle the best of our days to create our best experiences.  Suze Orman told us to take care of ourselves first.  Sharing the day learning on so many levels as a woman made we realize just how blessed I am to have the opportunities to continue to learn and love each day of it. 

Marcus Buckingham summed up his thoughts with this.

Be deliberate.

Be creative.


Is that what we all want as women? Share with me how you are all of these!



Holiday Dinner

Getting the holiday dinner together is first task for Thanksgiving and the last task for Christmas.  It is the time we cherish as we gather together, talk about the holiday with family or friends, and enjoy traditional goodies usually passed from other generations.  Here are some simple ways to enjoy the meal.

Invite your guests early.  Most of us are thinking of the holidays just after Halloween. Is it too early to plan? Not at all!  As you invite your guests, this is the first step in knowing the numbers for your dinner.  AND as you invite, ask your guests to bring an item they can share.  It can be something they remember from their childhood or something they can easily cook or pick up.  Mindfully delegating the goodies shares memories and work!

Choose your recipes and make your grocery list early.  Most ingredients are on sale early on.  With your list in hand, you can take advantage (with coupons) of the sales.    Plan an area not in the kitchen where you can gather these items before the big feasts.   Shop at off hours so you are not in the crush.  Take a few minutes to type up the list for the next year and place the list and the recipes in your holiday notebook. 

Make preparation a family event! Even the youngest can share in cooking.  What gets in the way? Perfectionism! Remember that it may not turn out exactly as Martha Stewart but it will be yummy!  Ask your family to do what they do best whether it is baking, peeling, table setting or other tasks.  Being together in the kitchen is a remarkable experience.

Sit down together and have a moment of prayer.  There is abundant blessing in our homes. Take time to be grateful.  Share with your family out loud what are you most grateful for this year.   

What works for you in holiday dinner preparation?

Holiday Notebook

During a recent meeting of Sharing Organizing Solutions (SOS) the most popular and valuable idea was the holiday notebook.  

·                     Collate your holiday notebook by deciding what categories are most important to you.  

·                     Choose a notebook with holiday theme colors

·                     Add tabbed dividers with labels for

holiday calendar with dates for activities

holiday recipes

holiday cards lists with completed addresses

gift lists (including online purchases)

decorating ideas (with pictures of each room fully decorated.)

annual family traditions (websites for holiday entertainment)

·                     Include a pocket folder to hold receipt

·                     Keep coupons from various stores in the front pocket

·                     Keep in an easy to access spot for your use throughout the season!


A holiday notebook is a way to consolidate all your ideas, lists and more for the holidays! Finding ideas, adding ideas and accessing ideas are easy!






Start a new holiday tradition: Clutter free gifts

clutter free gifts


Each year we really want our holidays to be special.  Purchasing just the right gift, being sure it arrives on time, wrapping it, and budgeting for all the gifts can all be overwhelming, paralyzing and most especially not in the spirit of the season.  Is it time to rethink gift giving and simplify?  Start a new holiday tradition with clutter free gifts for your family and friends.

Our family is moving to the next step of gift giving. We are going to share in the fun of creating our Delap Family Cookbook. Everyone contributes recipes for this.  We  will print it and share it with the spirit of the season.

For our grands, we are giving memberships to the Houston Children’s Museum  and Houston Zoo  It is all about the experiences we will share as we go together to these places.

So here are some other conscious consumerism ideas. What creative and fun ideas will your family share this holiday?

Make some yummy treats to share with your friends and family too!

Ellen’s Banana Bread




½ c oil

1 ½ c sugar

1 t salt

1t baking soda

4 T milk

2 beaten eggs

3 very  ripe bananas mashed

2 c flour



Mix all together n electric mixer in the order given. Bake in 2 loaf pans sprayed with Baker’s Joy.   Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Freezes well!


ADD and Getting Things Done

My clients with ADD are a blessing to me! They are the brightest, most creative and most fun people on the planet!  The gift of ADD is the natural flow of ideas, thoughts and scenarios generated by prolific thinking.  ADD people continually come up with new ideas that lead to solving problems, engaging people with new concepts, and starting new projects.   Working from these strengths is important for people with ADD.  However, when tasks are tedious, mundane and repetitive, it becomes a challenge.  People with ADD become disengaged and bored, unable to complete these tasks.  When the possibilities are endless and exuberant, people with ADD are at their best.


To catch and prioritize information is important for productivity for people with ADD.  In tackling this first step of containing information, there are an array of options such as low tech post it notes, spiral notebooks, the planner pad (, Levenger CIRCA notebooks (, and technology such as  Establishing your personal system and working it are important.   Keep practicing with your system for a minimum of 21 days for your system to become a habit. 


Once captured, prioritizing what is critical to success is important.  Making decisions can be one of the biggest challenges facing a person with ADD. First the decision is what is important and what is not.  Keeping everything on the list is a way of not deciding.  Decisions can be formulated by simple and consistent rules that synchronize with personal goals and mission.  With prioritizing as the key, it is important to go beyond making lists.  A list can start out as a “brain dump” and then it can be refined. After making the list, create a short, 3 task Most Important Things list.  This leads to accomplishment, working toward a goal and feel productive for the day.  If it is exceedingly difficult to define tasks, enlist the help of an accountability partner or coach to keep on track and be authentic in aligning your goals and tasks. 

Student Organizing Products


Homework strikes fear in the hearts of kids and parents!  And getting organized with your child can be tough! Here are a few products that can make a difference for both of you!

Start the process with open minded listening to your child.  The system you create needs to be the one they own, not your’s.  By presenting several different ways to do the same thing, you are co-creating the system, not demanding it. 


System 1.  Single 3 inch binder with multiple slash pockets with tabs.  Purchase 6 sets of slash pockets. Line up the pockets by color, grouping all the blue together, all the pink together etc.  Label as follows with a label maker:

Math hw, Math notes, Math test/quizzes

Eng hw, Eng notes, Eng test/quizzes

Sci or Bio or Chem hw, etc.

Determine if homework is going into each section, or is the one place for homework in a the front pocket of the notebook.  Be sure to be specific on each slot the paper goes so every type of paper has one slot.

System 2.  Accordian file.  Purchase a 7 slot accordian file. Label each tab, including the following, HW, classes in order of the day, notebook paper. 

Once the system is established, establish the routine.  Papers are always in one of the slots, never in the backpack.  Once the marking period is complete, the paper moves to the desk top paper sorter, labeled by class.  This way only the current paper is being carried back and forth to school. 

The Big Mouth Sorter fits directly into the back pack as an alternative to the accordian file .  Again, label it by class in chronological order of the day. 


Establish routines for students with starting and completing homework. Homework should start after a snack and a little time off.  It should be completed no later than 9 pm. The time timer helps students stay in track during homework time.  It is a visual reminder of their work time.  I recommend using a “power period” of 50 minutes of work and 10 minutes off.  This way students remain motivated and get the work done.  At the end of homework time, everything is packed away and placed at the landing strip to head out in the morning.



Most people know of a home in their neighborhood where the home is obviously overflowing with clutter.  Some homes begin to not function and contents spills out into the yard.  Most people have no idea where to turn to for help.


Hoarders (television show on Monday nights) has created an amazing buzz in my world of professional organizing.  Each 60-minute episode of Hoarders is a fascinating look inside the lives of two different people whose inability to part with their belongings is so out of control that they are on the verge of a personal crisis.  Certified Professional Organizers are featured on the show, especially Geralin Thomas of Metropolitan Organizing  As the clients and CPOs work together, public viewers watching are touched in a unique and powerful way.   Viewers identify with many of the challenges faced on the show.  The attachment and emotional issues make an impact in a way no family member can!  It is a powerful agent for change to have a new outside perspective on people and their stuff.   


Over 10 million people in the US have clinically significant hoarding.  This equates to 2 – 5 % of the population.  The average age at treatment is 50.  They tend to be single and have a high rate of divorce.  They tend to live alone and there is usually a family history of hoarding.  Onset usually occurs in childhood but does not become severe until adulthood.  Hoarding affects people regardless of socio-economic level.  As recently as last year in Houston, a River Oaks couple was unable to be rescued from their home due to hoarding.  What defines hoarding? Hoarders have a brain disorder resulting in an all-consuming compulsion to collect that often cuts them off from society and damages their relationships. In severe cases, clutter can get so out of control it can cause complicated medical issues, endanger lives and create safety hazards.   


The best help for those with hoarding issues begins with collaborative therapy with a counselor and a certified professional organizer or (CPO or CPO-CD). There is a workbook available to begin the process, Buried In Treasures: Help for Compulsive Acquiring, Saving and Hoarding by By David F. Tolin, Ph.D., Randy O. Frost, Ph.D., and Gail Steketee, Ph.D.  How to help a family member with this illness? Seek professional guidance to begin the process.  There is hope and help for you and your family.  


Some resources

Clutter Hoarding Scale

 Obsessive Compulsive Information Center

 Understanding Obsessive Compulsive Hoarding Disorder