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Archive for the ‘Ultimate Organization’ category

UltimateMama wants you all to know that Mabel’s Labels TagMates are wonderful – simple to create, easy to stick on, and long lasting!  These washer/dryer safe peel and stick labels work well for clothing, stuffed animals, and soft toys.  It is so easy to create them: just enter your name (UltimateMama is a fan of putting the family’s last name so all siblings can use the labels), choose a style, pick a font, and put in our order. Head over to RetailMeNot for additional discounts!  Your child will never lose their sweater again!


UltimateMama is always amazed when one of her intelligent, educated, sophisticated friends tells her they have not yet completed their will.  If you have children, a will is a must. 

Do not procrastinate by thinking that a will is an uncomfortable topic and one that you are too young to deal with at this stage of the game.  Creating a will is the most selfless thing you can do for your family and it will be extremely helpful should anything terrible happen to you (or your partner). 

Run to your lawyer and draft a will today.  If you do not have an attorney then get a recommendation from a friend or ask your accountant for a referral. You can even go online and do a search to find a lawyer close to your home. 

Think about the following when drafting a will:

– will you do a living will for yourself and your spouse?

– who are a few people you and your partner comfortable leaving your children with in case anything happens to both of you? (ask them first!!)

– who is in charge of executing the will? who will be the executor of your estate?

– who is in charge of dividing your finances or trust? (please make sure your assets as well as finances are in order, create a spreadsheet or folders and let someone you trust know where to find all of your accounts, insurance statements, valuables, art work, jewelry, etc.)

– will your children have trust funds?  if so, what age can they retrieve the money?

– who should make medical decisions for you if you cannot make them yourself?

After your will is completed make sure those mentioned and all beneficiaries in the will either have copies of the will or know where to find them.

Also, re-visit your will every year and make appropriate changes as needed. 

Trust UltimateMama, you will be able to sleep better at night knowing that your family is protected in the event of a tragedy. 


UltimateMama got soaked today while strolling her two girls home from school in a NYC rain storm!  And it was her fault for not being prepared.  The positive news is that her daughters were 100% dry!

Not that she regrets it but last December UltimateMama donated her ill-fitting, long, raincoat to the annual New York Cares coat drive but failed to buy herself a replacement.  Now she's all wet.

You need to be prepared when you take your children out in the rain.  Here's a list of things for mommy or nanny on rainy days:

– Umbrella

– Plastic rain cover for stroller

– Hooded waterproof rain jacket (the longer, the better)

– Waterproof rain boots (shoes to change into once at your destination) UltimateMama prefers Burberry rain boots 

– Warm socks

– Hat or baseball cap for under your hood

– Pants that you don't mind getting wet (and maybe even a back-up pair of pants to change into once at your destination)

UltimateMama frequently has out of towners who stay in her apartment and visit with her family.  Mealtime can get a little crazy when you are planning a menu for a family of four plus guests.  Since UltimateMama loves to show off her cooking skills ordering meals for delivery or take-out is often out of the question. 

So, how does UltimateMama feed 4 mouths PLUS?  She prepares, cooks, and freezes meals ahead of time.  From meatballs with marinara sauce to lentil soup to turkey meatloaf to turkey or chicken tagine, UltimateMama freezes and thaws these entrees for all to enjoy.  This way, everyone gets more quality time with the kids!

UltimateMama's children have been in swimming classes since they were babies.  It is never easy to remember everything you need to pack for the pool or beac.  Hopefully, the following list will assist you as you pack for water fun:

– bathing suit for your child (we prefer one-pieces from Target or Speedo that have simple straps)

– bathing suit for you if you are required to join in the fun (UltimateMama likes one-piece suits by Speedo or Nike

– swim caps

- rash guard skirts/UV protection shirts (those by Speedo are great) or cover-ups


- swim diapers for those not yet potty trained (try both disposable and reusable and decide for yourself which is best for your child)

– clothing for after swimming (including diapers or underwear)

– snacks and water for after swimming  

– towels

– waterproof sandals for pool deck, shower, beach

Johnson's Body Wash in a small container for after swimming washing

– goggles (UltimateMama likes Speedo goggles for her whole family) 

UltimateMama has a phrase of advice for you: KISS (Keep It Seasonal Silly)!  Whether your child is in day care or preschool they will likely need a back-up outfit in case of spills or accidents that most likely remains in a cubby or small storage area.  Remember, to rotate the clothing and accessories with the seasons.  Put the attire and accessories in a nice, compact bag for easy storage. Label everything!

UltimateMama has a checklist for your child's back-up goods:

– Diapers/Wipes/Cream or Underwear or Pull-Ups (depending on your child's age/stage)

– Shoes/Sandals

– Pants/Shorts

– Long sleeve and short sleeve shirt

– Cardigan or sweater

– Socks

– Any emergency aid they need (discuss this with adults in charge)

UltimateMama is not at all concerned about the Arctic blast coming to NYC this weekend because she is 100% prepared.  By the way, every piece of clothing is labeled with Mabel's Labels.  UltimateMama wants to share her "Ultimate Cold Weather Attire Checklist" for children with you:

– Warm jacket (UltimateMama loves to buy jackets at Hanna Andersson and many of her friends like Lands End and Patagonia for their kids)   

– Snow pants (remember that you do not have to buy matching snow pants; instead chose a solid color that you like OR if you go the matching route make sure to shop for sales)

– Fleece vest (UltimateMama loves Patagonia) vests

- Fleece cardigan jacket for under the main jacket on super cold days  

– Long underwear

- Knee-socks

– Scarf (only if the kids are old enough and BE CAREFUL because scarves are choking hazards; scarves are not mandatory)

– Hat (UltimateMama loves hats from the GAP and Columbia)  

– Mittens and gloves

– Tights (for girls)

– Boots (Ecco boots are great for kids and waterproof!) 

– Turtleneck

– Sweater

– Heavy pants or flannel lined pants

– Leg warmers (UltimateMama loves BabyLegs)


UltimateMama realizes that since it is now December many children have been in school for over three months now.  Moreover, these children have made several beautiful art projects — most likely, too many to count!  UlimateMama never likes to throw her children's special creations away but she knows it is impossible to keep evey single drawing, painting, ornament, ceramic tile, etc. 

So, UltimateMama has a tip for you — TAKE PICTURES of your children's art projects!  Snap away and keep the memories for years to come!  You won't feel bad clearing some used construction paper away when you know that you have a permanent copy of the masterpiece right at your fingertips. You can preserve your children's artwork forever!

Papers, papers, papers everywhere!  UltimateMama does not want you to have a mountain of paperwork on your desk, coffee table, or counter-top.  UltimateMama knows that with children comes a lot of paperwork.  After a quick trip to your office supply store and a few hours of organizing you will be able to pull out any document at a moment's notice.

UltimateMama recommends the following basic supplies:

– Some 3 ring binders that are at least 2 inches in width (at least one binder per child; give each child a different color binder to make this project more exciting for you!)

– Some packages of dividers with clear tabs and labels that are easy to write on

– A durable hole punch that punches at least 3 holes

– A smudge-resistant black or blue pen (or a fun color!)

Separate all of your children's paperwork into piles (savings account statements, 529 college savings plans, health insurance, etc.) and hole punch every piece of paper.  Next, take your pen label your child's name on the outside of a 3 ring binder.  Create an index cover page that details the contents of the dividers with tabs.  Put all of your papers in the correct sections and give yourself a pat on the back because now you are an organized parent!

Sample divider tabs may include:

1. Birth certificate

2. Health insurance

3. Dental insurance

4. Savings account

5. Brokerage account

6. 529 college savings plan

7. Savings bonds

8. Childcare or daycare information

9. School information

10. Frequent flier information

11. Retail store receipts or rebates

12. Favorite recipes

UltimateMama believes that you should organize all of your child’s old, outgrown, or unused clothing.  Buy large, clear plastic storage bins, neatly fold all of the clothing that the child has outgrown, and place them in the containers by size.  Make sure that you put all coordinating pieces or
outfits together in case you need to
pull something out of the container. Use brightly colored markers and big white stickers to clearly label the
contents of each container.  The labels
should have information on the size and quantity of the clothing items.  A sample label is as follows:

Clothing:  Baby Girl

Sizes: 6-9 months

Season: Winter

– 5 white long-sleeve onesies

– 6 printed short-sleeve onesies

– 8 footed pajamas

– 2 pink coordinating jogging sets with pants/jackets

– 7 pairs of socks

– 2 winter hats

– 1 pair of mittens

– 1 winter jacket

– 1 snowsuit

UltimateMama wants you to keep your organizational
abilities sharp and work on this project on an ongoing basis
as your child outgrows their clothes!