Sunday, February 5, 2012

February Newsletter 2012

February Monthly Newsletter • (484)903-9808

Can you smell it? Breathe deep…ahh…I smell it. Love is in the air. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I see the gushing hearts and pink and red labels on every package and it kind of makes me want to throw something across the grocery aisle. It’s not the fact that I am a single mother that leads me to clench my fist, but that we miss the whole point of such an important holiday. The point is to love. Not just a romantic love, but a love for your neighbor, your sister, your brother, your children and for the earth. This newsletter is going to focus on just that, love, and maybe you can take one of these ideas, run with it, and make a small difference in this loveless world.

Revitalize with Rebekah is growing! As part of this growth, our website will be under construction for the next month. If you would like to follow our progress and see the exciting changes head over to

Also in the next week we will be rolling out our new employee! So you just may be able to catch a glimpse of her being trained and following us around!

Charity of the Month

Thank you for choosing Revitalize with Rebekah. Last month we made a donation of 5% of our sales to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast counties. This month we will be donating 5% of our sales to To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide. TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery. We are going to help love the people who feel unloved. For more information please visit

Organization Idea of the Month

                Memories – we all have them. We have good ones, great ones and some we would like to forget. And for some, those memories are daily items we push around the house. They could be in piles in the corners, stacks of paper we set our coffee on, old shoe boxes in the closet, or the child’s artwork that never ends like a dripping faucet. We can’t forget these memories and we don’t want to let them go, but we just don’t have enough room. So what is the solution?

                Organize. Yes, that is the solution. You then say to yourself, “Easy for you to say, you have that skill.” Consider yourself blessed as I pass along the days, weeks, months and years worth of experience with organizational trial and error for the most successful ideas.

                Totes. These boxes can change a life. Now, how old are you? You don’t need to say it out loud if you fear someone may hear, but let’s do some math. On average someone should fill a tote for every 5 years they have been alive. So if you are a young 35, you are only allowed 7 totes to fill your life in. I hear you trying to catch your breath. Calm down, its okay, your children and partner count too and get their own totes. Count how old they are and how many totes they are entitled to. Feel better? BUT, if your husband only has one box from high school and one from college, that doesn’t mean that you can claim his extra 5 totes! You get only what you have. Now, let’s talk about what’s worth putting away.

Take a step back out of your emotional whirlwind of “I remember…” or “But I had that when I…” You need to view your items as if they aren’t yours. If it is broken, toss it. If it doesn’t resemble what it once was, toss it. If you can’t remember why you kept it, toss it. If it is something that is supposed to be used and you have never used it, but keep it because “so and so” gave it to you on that day you were stuck in bed….toss it. If it doesn’t fit…prioritize. It would be ideal if you could label the boxes from year to year, or “college days” or whatever time frame it was in your life, but sometimes, there is no label other then “memories”. That’s okay.

Your children. Now they are 5 and you open their closet full of baby shower items and their toddler years of outfits and shoes that are just too cute to give to the Salvation Army. This is when you need to call us. You may need to be talked out of keeping that closet full of memories. It’s hard. I am going to give you that. But if it doesn’t fit in a tote…it has to go. You don’t need it and you are about to make a lifetime of more memories, and you need room for them. Pick your favorite 5 outfits, one for each year. To see how they have grown is priceless, but when you open that box in the future and you are pulling out outfit after outfit, you will be upset you did so.

Art work. Yes we all love our children’s scribble (when it ends up on paper), and that glued macaroni sheet is adorable! But do you have 10 of the same thing? If so, pick one. Are there dates on it? Ages? Is it the best of the pile?  If no, toss. Now go get yourself a good durable portable filer from Staples. Make cute labels on the dividers “Age 2”, “Age 3” etc. Sort and place, accepting only the amount that would fit in a typical 2 sided folder. If it’s more, you need to prioritize. This is easy to keep around the house, and as the papers come home of good grades or a piece of art that is actually too nice to keep on the fridge too long in fear of splatters, you can quickly go to the portable filing box and insert where it belongs! Treasured forever!

Now take a few memories of your children, partner or family member, and just show them in the spirit of love this month, but don’t forget to put it back!

Cleaning Idea of the Month

                Some of you may just skip over this section in light of the fact that you have a cleaning lady come every 2 weeks and you say to yourself, “I don’t need this”. But oh you do! In the heart of love this month think of your child, or your partner. Where do their fingers go? Where are their items being stacked? Is it clean? Some ideas:


v  Clean out their car with a love note remaining that says, “You de-stress my life,” or “I know you drive safer with a clean car”.

v  Clean out their “change jar” by taking it to the bank and get bills instead and stuff the bills back into their jar.

v  Clean up their workshop with the saw dust and random tools thrown about, or their sewing area full of string and cloth scraps. Leave it looking new.


v  Clean out under their beds and hang a note that says, “No monsters under here I checked.”

v  Toss their old toothbrush and get a new one and put a note that says, “Looking forward to your kiss.”

v  Clean their shoes with an old toothbrush and detergent and leave a note on them that says. “Go get ‘em dirty.”

Craft of the Month

                A “love” craft?! The list can go on and on. However this one is the whipped cream and cherry on the sundae. You will need:

v  Red/pink/white construction paper

v  Scissors

v  Tape and string

v  Markers

Let the children make a mess and expect to just sweep after the fact. Let them cut out 2 hearts to each piece of paper and let their mind go. On each heart have yourself, and your children write what they love about each other, their parents, their teachers, their church, their school, their dog etc. and just hang them. Put them on your windows, your cabinets, and maybe the ones about their siblings or parent you can place them lovely in their bedrooms. This is a great project to see what we are thankful for and also great decorations to remind us of what really matters.

Healthy Idea of the Month

                I love the fact that this is the season that I get a beautiful box with all the sweetest treats coated in my favorite indulgence, chocolate. However, I cringe after I realize that I ate the whole box in an hour. How to avoid this? Simple, love without thinking taste buds. I know it’s hard to not try to please your loved ones with sweet treats and scrumptious meals, but let’s think outside the “V-day” box. Does your loved one need new batteries in their watch? Toy truck? Doll car? Or does your loved one use only a certain mug? Cup? Glass? Post a love note on it. Do sweet small things you know they would appreciate and number the notes. And have them wake up to a small Valentine’s card that says, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you will never know what you’re going to get. P.S. There are 7 of them.” And the excitement is better than chocolates, and these are memories that will last forever.

January Newsletter 2012

January Monthly Newsletter • (484)903-9808

Happy New Year! With this great New Year upon us I am sure we all have our expectations of new changes in our lives to help us make positive changes in our lives. Hopefully for some of you it’s to live a new and organized life! Soon our new webpage will be up and running to have all of our Newsletters available to you and helpful tips on cleaning and organization! This new webpage will bring out our new logo, changes in the company and so much more!

Charity of the Month

This January we will be donating our 5% of sales to Second Harvest Food Bank of Lehigh Valley and Northeast counties. They provide funding for soup kitchens, back pack programs for kids, elderly and nursing mothers programs and so much more. To find out more or how to donate your unused food, please visit

Organization Idea of the Month

The yearend “Paper Pile-Up” that happens on every desk. Is your address book buffed? Turn to files and paperwork. For most of us, a bit of preparation in January will save hours of April agony. First, look backward: As you file this month's phone bill, scoop up and sort last year's receipts. Clump them together with a big paperclip, and if you're really motivated, place them in a brand-new file folder, marked 2011 Receipts. Come tax time, you'll be grateful for this bit of sorting.

Look forward: is this the year you'll use computer tax preparation software? Purchase the advance editions now, send in the cards, and you'll spare yourself a frantic April 14 search for the state tax add-on to your program.

Is this is the year you begin managing your money by computer? January 1 is such a nice, round date. Resolve that you'll set up your bank accounts this month, when your bank statements arrive. Somehow, starting to use Quicken or MS Money isn't quite so significant in June or October --- and no month has free time like January.

When those bank statements arrive? Take the time to sort them, by year, placing last year's checks in your "Taxes" file, and creating a new place for this year's checks to live.

One last January paper tip:

Open your checkbook. Write the new year in the date line of your next 20 checks. By the time you come to the end of your pre-dated checks, you'll have made the transition to the new year.

Look forward and make life easier. Look backward and avoid old mistakes. January has two faces --- and both will help you Get Organized for the New Year!

Cleaning Idea of the Month

                To clean around this time of the year is common, the taking down of Christmas decorations and re-organizing for the coming year, this can be very tedious and stressful. So let’s try to put a spin on it and make a game! Here are two different games you can play to help clean your home!

Santa's Rule: Get One, Toss Two

Try this simple idea to pack a powerful clutter-cutting punch as you put away new holiday gifts: for each gift received, toss two counterparts. Whether you recycle, donate or sell the tossers, each gift will reduce clutter in your organized home--and the excitement of new possessions helps cut the ties to old, outworn items. Get One, Toss Two: short, sweet and painless way to declutter for the New Year.


Take The Holiday Mailing Box Challenge

Have mailing boxes piled up as holiday gifts arrived? Sure, you could recycle or reuse them, but for maximum end-of-year clutter-cutting, take the Holiday Mailing Box Challenge! Your goal: to fill every seasonal mailing box with items suitable for donation to Goodwill or a similar recycler for used household items, and deliver them to charity before month's end. Donating mailing boxes filled with no-longer-needed household linens, books, VHS tapes, crafts supplies or toys gets surplus items into the hands of those in need, what better way to start off the new year!

Craft of the Month

                Simple and fun craft with the left over bubble wrap from all your gifts is to take the bubble wrap and let your children dip it into paint and “sponge” it onto paper! Different colors and angles make a beautiful piece of art! For an idea of what it looks like I have attached an image.

Healthy Idea of the Month

With the children back to school and holiday decorations back in their attic boxes, our resolve for a better, thinner, healthier and wealthier year has once more washed up against the hard and niggling realities of daily life. Be of good cheer! There's a tried-and-true boost for just about anybody's New Year's resolutions. I'm talking about cleaning the refrigerator. Spearing the Great White Whale.

Think about it! The refrigerator holds it all: food and finance, weight and well-being, organization and chaos, all rolled into one big cold box. Dive into that baby with a detached eye, a hardened heart and one small hour of time and you're on the road to weight loss, better household management, and a healthier budget.

Think tough. Firm. Resolved. Then gather your tools: a large, lined garbage can, a sink-ful of soapy water, spray bottles of degreaser and window cleaner, lots of cleaning cloths and a pen and notepad. Clear the kitchen counters so you can sort and spread out with impunity, and an empty dishwasher should await your container collection.

Start at the top. Remove everything from the top refrigerator shelf. Holiday leftovers go directly into the garbage can. Show no pity or mercy! If it hasn't been eaten by now, it's because the family will scream if presented with ham in one more disguise. Open everything, and when it doubt, toss it out!

Plastic food storage containers are consigned to the dishwasher after a brief rinse. The shelf goes directly to the sink's soapy water. While it soaks off the grime of Christmas past, use your degreaser spray to clean the refrigerator's ceiling and walls down to the next shelf. Wash the shelf, dry and replace it--but don't put any food back, not yet!

When every shelf, wall and crisper is sparkling, pay attention to the dreaded door shelves. Use window cleaner to kill the greasy fingerprints on the chrome and see-through plastic.

"But Rebekah!", I hear you cry, "what does cleaning the refrigerator have to do with New Year's resolutions?" Bear with me. We've now reached the part where we see it’s not just cleaning, it’s revitalizing your lives.

Lean back against the kitchen counter. Take a hard look at what that whale has been hiding in its dark little innards. The implications will hit you in the face!

For example, when I tossed out four, count 'em, four jars of dried-out jelly and a jar of peanut butter manufactured in the last decade, it was clear that my children had turned a culinary corner, and the days of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were no more.

You'll wring a few unpleasant admissions from yourself, too. Look carefully at what foods are wasted, especially from the drawers. Did you toss out as much bruised fruit as I did? Are you buying too much--or not eating what you buy?

Use pen and notepad to jot down your discoveries and track your new resolves. Match them to your New Year's resolutions. Is lower-fat eating on your resolution list? Then you'll want to toss the remnants of the Christmas dinner butter and margarine and replace them with low-fat spreads, apple butter and all-fruit jellies.

Do you want to tighten the budget? Focus on the waste you've discovered. Do you buy grapefruit only to toss the shriveled husks, months later? Are you overbuying milk, or cheese, or meat? If you've tossed it out today, make a note to yourself to buy less--if any--on your next shopping trip.

Is more efficient meal planning and home organization on your list of resolutions? Well, you've taken a giant step forward today.

Follow up on your success by printing a free menu planner, saving money at the supermarket using the pantry principle, or learning more about menu and meal planning.

Done correctly, the New Year's Spearing of the Great White Whale should all but empty the refrigerator. Don't be afraid of that stark look! A refrigerator (unlike a freezer) is most energy-efficient when it has adequate air flow.

Gather or purchase a few little presents for your new, gleaming food storage space. Consider small-to-medium plastic baskets (with flat bottoms) to corral loose margarine sticks, and support and organize floppy packs of lunch meat and sliced cheese.

Finally, arrange your storage space to promote good eating habits. Pile apples and oranges in an open basket on an open shelf--if they're seen, they're more likely to be eaten! Stick the big, bad, greasy cooking margarine in the far reaches of the meat drawer, so you won't be tempted to bypass your low-fat spread. Use zipper bags to hold washed vegetable snacks, and put them in a special basket in the drawer, easy to see and to reach.

If you're like me, you'll spend the next two days sneaking admiring looks at your gleaming, well-organized refrigerator. It may not be glamour, but its life!