Tag Archives: Family

Garden Crop Harvest

Garden Harvest Time

Autumn is in the air … the evenings are getting chilly. It is time to harvest our garden crop. I’m a little concerned about how this year’s crop is going to be. Between my neglect (lack of weeding) and an early frost last night, I don’t have high expectations. My schedule is crazy busy this week, but my plan is to harvest everything on Thursday afternoon … please pray for no rain that day.

Each springtime, I usually try to plant seeds that I’ve saved from last year’s crop. I use my own compost created from our own compostable kitchen scraps and fallen leaves from our many trees. BTW, if anyone is ever in the mood to rake during the month of October … give me a call …  we usually fill 40+ kraft bags with leaves every year. Continue reading

Grandma takes care of you

Rent A Grandma !

Having a Grandma around is nice – they read story books and watch movies with you. They make you chicken soup and hot tea for you when you aren’t feeling so good. They take good care of you and help you feel better ?

This winter sure has been a rough cold & flu season … and they say it isn’t over yet. They are saying that there are so many various strains of the flu this year, that the flu shot only has a 50/50 chance of working … not great odds. The flu is a very serious illness that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

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Mothers Day Special

A Tracy Helps You Gift Certificate is a Great Mother’s Day Gift

Give a Tracy Helps You Gift Certificate to Your Mom This Mother’s Day

It’s May in Chicagoland, to me, that means lilacs (my fav) ~ May also means Mother’s Day to us Americans.

On Mother’s Day, we honor our mothers with gifts and cards. Flowers seem to be a particularly popular gift.  Many families treat Mom like a queen on Mother’s Day … treating her to breakfast in bed and a day of relaxation by taking over her usual household duties for the day. Many families go out to share a meal together.

Speaking as a mother, and I’m pretty sure I speak for most (if not all) mothers, when I say one of the most wonderful gifts to receive is the gift of time spent with my family. Just spending time together, reminiscing and making new memories together is the best way to spend the day ❤

Everyone needs some free time / me time, especially Mothers. Sometimes, Moms can feel a little guilty about taking some time for themselves in their busy life. There is always so much to get done. While I am taking care of her To-Do List, she can be relaxing without worrying about things not getting done.

While you are making your Mother’s Day plans and choosing the perfect gift for her ~ remember that your Mom deserves to be pampered & treated far more often than just on the holidays. While you are with her this weekend, helping her out with some of those chores around her house, give her a Tracy Helps You gift certificate. It’s like giving her the gift of free time.

This week, in honor of Mother’s Day, I’m offering a special rate for Gift Certificates ~ 3 hour for $50 … contact me 🙂

 

Tracy Helps You Saves You Time

The Most Wonderful (aka Busiest) Time of the Year

The Holiday season is upon us, and it’s the most wonderful time of the year. There are so many fun things to do, like spending time with family & friends … traveling … going to parties … shopping … wrapping … not to mention, celebrating the actual Holiday.

All these things are wonderful, but can also be stressful. Adding these fun activities to our already busy schedules can sometimes feel overwhelming. You are only one person, and you only have so much time. It’s the perfect time to have a Personal Assistant !! Continue reading

Old Camper - New Camper

Camping Season Has Arrived !

I love the month of May!  The weather is getting warmer, the lilacs and other flowers are blooming … and it’s time for camping 🙂

My kids were older, both teenagers when we started camping with our family. Our first trip was as part of a larger group of families that camped every year over Father’s Day weekend. We bought a large tent, tarps, a camp stove, and a lantern. We already had sleeping bags and other essentials. We bought some old pots & pans / dishes at a garage sale. We had a great time. We did this each Father’s Day weekend for 3 years. It was our only camping trip each year.

Then my hubby and I decided we were getting tired of sleeping on the ground, so we bought a used pop-up camper. We continued with the annual trip each June for a few more years. Now the kids, ahem … young adults go on this annual trip without us. Over the past few years, it has been just the hubby and I, and we really like it. We enjoy the peace and quiet 🙂 We usually plan a 3 day weekend camping trip for June, July, August and September.

This Spring, we took the plunge and bought a used travel trailer!  No more middle of the night trips to the bathroom for us 🙂 We actually bought it off EBay and went to pick it up last week.

We were so excited when we first saw it. We knew from the eBay description that there were a couple of minor things wrong with it. It’s a 1999 model, so just age alone was a contributing factor. We trusted the seller when they said that there had been a previous leak but it had been completely repaired and no longer leaked. We trusted the seller when they said the awning had a tear but was still usable. We trusted the seller when they said that the crack in the plastic vent cover was only cosmetic.

Then we drove home with it, six hours in the pouring rain. Then we parked it outside our house for the night, and it rained all night long. The next morning, the sun was out, so we decided to start moving our camping gear from the pop-up to the new trailer. The first thing we noticed when we went to unlock the door was that the entire plastic vent cover was gone … it must of blown off during the long ride home from southern Indiana. So, I taped a piece of plastic over it so the back of the refrigerator didn’t get any more wet than it already was. Then we went inside to discover that it did leak … not giant puddles, but the wall was moist and soft to the touch in the same place the previous water stain was. We then opened the awning to find the tear was nearly half way across. I was mad … so mad. I hate being lied to. So I waited a couple days to cool off, then sent a (very professional, not emotional) ebay message to the sellers explaining that we were very upset that we had been deceived by their description, and that we thought they should be responsible for the cost of the repairs to get it to the way it was described as perfectly usable.

I waited a week for them to respond, and then I opened a resolution ticket with ebay motors. EBay has strict guidelines about items being “as described”. They will investigate the situation and try to work with us to get some of our money back.

We are taking it to a RV repair place to get an estimate for the needed repairs. Hopefully eBay will convince the sellers to cover those costs.

We really do love our new (to us) little camper and can’t wait to take it out for her maiden voyage 🙂 We just didn’t expect to have to put a lot of money into repairs so soon 🙁

Oh, and by the way … our pop-up camper is for sale … make us an offer we can’t refuse 🙂

Black Friday Tags

Black Friday Shopping ~ Yay or Nay ??

Black Friday isn’t what it used to be. When my kids were young … you know, back in the day, I used to shop on Black Friday. That was when the coolest toys were on sale, and if you didn’t want disappointed kiddos on Christmas morning, you braved the crack of dawn time, the weather & the crowds. Back in the 90’s, before everyone was online, stores ordered a certain number of the item and when they were sold out, that was pretty much it … waiting to see if another shipment came in before Christmas was a big gamble. So, I went … Continue reading

Pet Sitting / House Sitting Tips

Holiday Pet Care & House Sitting

It’s mid November, and the holidays will be here before we know it. To me, the holidays are all about spending time with family and friends ~ near and far. When you travel to see your loved ones, don”t forget about your pet care for your fur babies … they are family too! Who will take care of them?

Personally, I think in home pet care is the best option. This way, your pet stays in their familiar surroundings, even though you aren”t home with them. Another benefit of in home pet care is home security. Your home won”t appear vacant while you are away.

Pet care & house sitting is one of the many services that Tracy Helps You offers. I can come a couple times per day to feed and let them out to do their business ~ or ~ I can stay at your house. This has the added benefit of bringing in the mail, watering the plants, online casino etc. A home that has someone coming and going throughout the day is less of a target for burglars. Plus, your fur baby will have company in the evenings … we may go for a walk, play fetch, or have a good belly rub while watching TV 🙂 Dogs especially are such social animals, I believe they feel lonely and really miss their owners when they go out of town.

You can also board your pet at a kennel while you are gone. Your pet will have their basic needs met, but will otherwise be spending most of their time alone. Most kennels don”t have the staff to offer more than food & shelter. I highly doubt there would be many good belly rubs 🙁
If you have plans to travel, please call me sooner rather than later. The holidays will be here before we know it. It will be a wonderful gift for your fur babies to have someone who will love and play with them, as well as, take care of their basic needs. 

Happy Holidays … Call me 🙂

Labor Day Road Trip Tips

Labor Day Road Trip Tips & Advantages

Labor Day weekend is upon us. I know I’m not alone when I sit here shaking my head, thinking “where did the time go? Summer just flew by !!

Although there are still a few weeks before Autumn officially begins, Labor Day Weekend is (for all practical purposes anyway) the unofficial end of summer. Many families celebrate this long holiday weekend by taking a road trip.

Traveling by car has many advantages for families … especially those with young children 🙂

~ AAA has reported that the price of gas hasn’t been this low since 2004. Spending less at the pump puts more $$ in the vacation budget — sounds like an advantage to me.

~ Your kids are in familiar surroundings … in their own car seat, have their own toys, their favorite snacks, etc.

~ You can take as many breaks as needed – when you need them. You can get out to stretch your legs or sooth a cranky child.

~ You choose meal times and where to eat.

~ You could go “old school” for the weekend … unplug (give your electronic device their own vacation). You could use an atlas to map out your route. If you happen to miss a turn off along the way, just say “we’re taking the scenic route”.

~ Continuing with the “old school” theme, you can play games like “I Spy”, or sing songs together, color / work in puzzle books, or play the license plate game, etc. Have light-hearted conversations … use this time to re-connect with each other without electronic distractions.

~ Take time to make unplanned stops … pull over to the see kitschy things like “the world’s largest ball of yarn” 🙂

These “old school” ideas may sound corny, but they will help make some wonderful family memories … memories your families will cherish for a lifetime (even if they never get posted on facebook or twitter) !!

(Photo Credit to Getty Images)

Christmas Countdown has begun

The Christmas Season Is Upon Us … Already !!

It’s Friday, December 5th … only 20 days til Christmas …Let the countdown begin!

Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ … Peace on Earth & Goodwill to Men. However, in the 24/7 world we live in, sometimes the preparations for Christmas can be anything but peaceful … it can be downright hectic.

Everyone’s to-do list gets longer during the holidays. All the festivities are great fun, but they also add more to our already busy schedules. Our December to-do list has additional items like sending out holiday cards, decorating & baking, shopping & wrapping, not to mention holiday parties & get- togethers.

Tracy Helps You is here to, well, help you 🙂 We can take care of some of your to-do list items. We can do some of the more routine stuff on your list, or we will Christmas shop and wrap your gifts for you. We can get your Christmas cards written & mailed out for you. We will even go to a party for you, oh wait … you probably want to take of party attendance yourself (we understand, lol).

Hiring Tracy Helps You will free up your time to do the most important things … spending time & making memories with the people you love, your family and friends!

Some time to relax and peace of mind is just a phone call away 🙂

Thankful for Nostalgic Christmas Decorations

Tracy Helps You’s Thankful Thoughts for Today ~ 11/30/14

November 30, 2014 ~ Today I am thankful for nostalgic Christmas memories. Our family starts decorating for Christmas on the day after Thanksgiving. Thankfully, I’ve never really gotten into the Black Friday shopping thing, so my choice is easy. Over the weekend, we set up our Nativity and the village; we hang stockings and lots of garland. We decorate our entryway on the inside and outside. We finish with decorating the tree on Sunday.

I’ve always loved Christmas decorations. My decorating style leans toward nostalgic / vintage as opposed to trying to re-create a magazine photo shoot. I own lots of decorations that I’ve had since my childhood. Many of my ornaments and other pieces have great memories attached to them.

Each year, we hang the lights and ornaments while Bing Crosby sings White Christmas to us. We drink egg nog and eat chocolate chip cookies, warm from the oven. I have lots of ornaments … as I unwrap each one, I share the memories they bring to mind. I share stories of Christmas’s from when I was growing up. We reminisce our family’s memories. Some of my ornaments are from my great grandmother – some from friends – some I made myself. Many times the ornament represents something significant that happened that year. Sharing memories this way is one of my favorite family traditions.

♥ Today I am thankful for nostalgic Christmas memories ♥