There’s no occasion quite like the holidays to remind you just how little time you have in a day. This is a reality Kirsten Martin and Anne-Marie Gabrini, Lifestyle Management Experts and Co-Founders of K+A Personal Concierge, are all-too-familiar with. “We’re all time-starved,” says Martin. “Nowadays, everyone is about ‘Keeping Up With the Joneses.’ But we’re all starting to realize that’s not necessarily possible, and we need to find balance in our lives.”
Martin and Gabrini felt inspired to launch their concierge service after experiencing their share of trials and tribulations as busy moms balancing home life with the demands of the corporate world. “Our goal is to make life easier for our clients,” Martin says. “We help busy people by taking their to-do list and getting it done for them.”
It’s a service especially needed during a stressful holiday season. After all, the holidays are a time to be enjoyed, and yet too often we find ourselves spending our days feeling overwhelmed by all of the cooking, cleaning, shopping and wrapping left to do. “We’re hardwired to believe we should be doing it all ourselves,” says Martin. “But if we take a look at everything we’re doing and what’s causing us stress, we can prioritize what we actually enjoy doing versus what we can outsource.”
From party planning to laundry services, the lifestyle managers at K+A Personal Concierge have you covered. They’ll have your holiday meals prepared, and all gifts purchased, wrapped and placed beneath the tree (or shipped to family overseas) without requiring you to think twice about it. But they also encourage clients to explore any and all ways of outsourcing mundane tasks over the holidays. In addition to hiring a K+A lifestyle manager directly, here are some services they suggest considering:
Grocery Delivery and Meal Preparation
Services such as Grocery Gateway by Longo’s, or Click and Collect by Loblaws, will save you time shopping for holiday meals. For a small fee, you can order your groceries online and have them delivered straight to your home or to your car in the parking lot. Meal planning and preparation services such as HelloFresh and Chef’s Plate can also make life a lot easier leading up to the holidays. Simply choose from the online menu and have new recipes with all of the necessary ingredients delivered fresh each week. Supperworks is an enticing option for those looking to stock up on freezer meals.
You can visit the Newmarket location to prep the meals yourself, or have the staff do it for you for an additional fee.
Online Shopping and Gift Wrapping
If you’re doing your holiday shopping at the mall, consider taking advantage of the gift-wrapping services available. Not only does your donation go towards a good cause, but you’ll also feel a weight lifted when you return home with your gifts beautifully disguised and decorated (rather than having to face the pile of wrapping paper and ribbon days or weeks later).
Many people take advantage of online shopping when it comes to crossing gifts off of their list. But have you thought about using it for everyday items as well? “Use Amazon Alexa or Google Home to schedule automatic deliveries for paper towels, toilet paper, any home essentials needed this time of year,” advises Martin.
Buy Wine Online
Chances are you’ve experienced the busy parking lots and long lines at the LCBO as everyone scrambles to re-stock their wine rack before the holidays. The good news is, this too can be ordered online and delivered ahead of time. When you order online from the LCBO, you can choose between home delivery and store pick up. But it’s not the only service available to Ontario wine enthusiasts. WineOnline.ca ships a wide variety of wine and craft beer all across Ontario.
“It’s about leveraging the technology we have around us today and using it to our advantage,” says Martin. She explains that planning ahead and getting creative with your holiday budget can go a long way in making this time of year more enjoyable for the whole family. “Years ago, we used to ask for help all the time. Now, everyone feels they need to do it themselves. But you need to think of yourself too. You’re a better person for it.”
by Charlotte Ottaway
K+A Personal Concierge
Click and Collect by Loblaws