Sleigh Bells Ringing Before Halloween?

By Lori Martin of The Purple Martin & Co.

The holiday catalogs have started to arrive and my children are blissfully adding to their “Santa Lists” before Halloween. Truthfully, I am enjoying the “one liner” I truly can’t use in July when my children are with me in the mall and start to have a dreadful case of the “Gimmies” … “Tell Santa,” I say with a smile on my face. Since it is October, they actually do add it to their list and stop giving me a hard time about the plastic impulse purchase of choice they want at that particular moment.

While I certainly don’t “feel” like buying winter gloves and hats, stocking stuffers, or holiday gift wrap quite yet, it isn’t too early to start thinking about Christmas ~ let alone getting organized for it.

One of the most stressful parts of the holiday season is the additional amount of “information” we are responsible for on top of our daily routine. This additional coordination can feel like piling another “full time job” on top of our existing “full time job” and we simply don’t have the additional hours in the day to keep up.
Keeping track of all of this additional information in an organized manner is THE KEY to maintaining a sense of “peace and calm” in this season of “hustle and bustle.” One way to keep all of this pulled together is in a “Holiday Planning Handbook.”


Holiday handbooks are customized to meet your specific planning needs, decorated with gorgeous specialty paper, and personalized with a name or monogram of your choice. After all, it is impossible to stay on budget or keep track of what we have already done in our holiday planning, let alone remember for whom we have already purchased gifts, if we don’t keep our holiday information organized.

A plan of action before each holiday season does take some effort, but organizing your “plans & ideas” will have the payoff of a much smoother season, a well balanced budget and the ability to know where you left off for next year!

What’s in my “Holiday Planning Handbook”? Yours can be customized to meet your specific planning needs.
• A family needs assessment
• A detailed budget (groceries, family gifts, teacher gifts, neighbors and friends)
• A detailed gift list (I shop for impact, think local & stay In budget)
• Meal plans for family gathering and a pre-planned grocery list
• Contacts for my holiday card list
• Magazine clippings for gift & decorating ideas
• A record of all receipts to accurately track against my budget & keep for returns
• A gift log so I can avoid repeats next year & add to collections I have started
• A section for Christmas morning to store user manuals for the “new gifts & toys”
• Packing lists for holiday travel
• I also savor the memories by keeping one holiday card I have sent throughout the years plus one photo of the children with Santa and store it in my binder to cherish for years to come.

For your “Holiday Planning Handbook” contact us at (704) 724-9108 or

Lori Martin
The Purple Martin & Co.
Founder & Chief Operating Mom


The Luxury of Enough

By Robin McCoy.

Examples abound of the idea that not only is enough, enough, but just enough is an incredible luxury.

In her beautiful book, The Simple Home, Sarah Nettleston illustrates this way of thinking. In her small backyard garden in Brooklyn, Susan Gregory Thomas, provides a living example.  At Simplicity, we impart these concepts to our clients every day of the week.

Contentment arises when we feel gratitude for what we have, not angst for what we don’t.  Happiness comes from the simple pleasures of home and hearth, not from acquiring ever more things and riches.

Simplifying your life requires a good deal of introspection and honesty.

Consider these possible paths from The Simple House.


  1. Simple is Enough. Needs and wants are not the same.
  2. Simple is Flexible. There are many paths to achieving your goal.  Be creative.  Share ideas.  Ask for help.
  3. Simple is Thrifty and Sustainable.  Remember our Brooklyn gardener…
  4. Simple is- well, Simple. Are you overscheduled and over   “stuffed”.  Streamlining your home and your life might be just the ticket to reducing hassle, stress and chaos.



Organize Your Information

Beautiful example of Autumn Holiday Notebooks


The Purple Martin & Co. is an information organizational company catering to the needs of busy moms in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Based on the known fact that moms keep too much information in their heads and electronic devices, Lori Martin decided to start a business to help moms find a better solution to organizing their family data in a shareable format.

The Purple Martin & Co. creates customized family handbooks to meet each mom’s unique needs.  We capture everything from medical basics to carpool schedules to which child prefers to go to bed with the lights on.  As moms we tend to underestimate the amount of knowledge we possess and forget to communicate much of it to husbands, babysitters, mothers-in-law, etc.

Through an in-home consultation, we take the time to fully understand your information needs.  After carefully listening to your individual requirements, we will guide you through the different ways we can capture your “life of paper”.  Your “mommy data” is then put into a handbook customized to your specifications.

If you are a busy mom with a dreaded “pile” of family information (think that awful drawer you keep crumpled business cards in, the scribbled family schedule you hand to a babysitter with misinformation on it, the four different phone directories you have to reference and can occasionally NOT find) The Purple Martin & Co. can help.

In addition to family notebooks, The Purple Martin & Co. offers beautiful, custom notebooks for recipes, vacation homes, memory keeper books, and more.