Making Sure You Look and Feel Great is Time Well Spent

A Guest Post by Cheryl Cvetan, Owner of A La Mode on the Road

For 11 years, I owned A La Mode in West Trenton, a fashion boutique that evolved into A La Mode on the Road after Superstorm Sandy. I’ll never forget the feeling of devastation when I walked into the store after the storm and saw clothes dripping with dirty, muddy water.

My inventory was covered by insurance, but the physical store would take months to repair and the landlord was dragging his feet. He eventually fixed the roof but did nothing to remediate the mold throughout the store. While the store was in shambles, holiday inventory was arriving daily and my customers didn’t know what to do.


I decided to move the new shipments to my house. I invited customers to my house and brought merchandise to their homes. This business model took off, and A La Mode on the Road was born.

Ever since then, I’ve been offering personal styling on a one-to-one basis, helping people put outfits together and organize their wardrobes. I sell high-end specialty items, mostly out of New York, that you can’t find at the mall. Some customers will host open house events and invite me to bring my merchandise for a group of friends to see and try on.

I first met Ann Laurie from Time Well Spent soon after this change in my business when we were both volunteering for PEI Kids in Lawrenceville, an organization that works to prevent child abuse and provide a safe environment for all children.

Ann Laurie pointed out that our services complemented each other’s perfectly, so we should work together. It was a great idea.

In addition to being a style consultant, I help people organize their closets and other parts of their homes. My experience in retail management has been a big help.

When I operated the store, I would go to the Javits Center in New York, leave with a huge load of merchandise, and organize it in a 600-square foot store in a way that’s both functional and visually appealing. I bring that artistic eye and experience to the closets and homes of Time Well Spent customers.

For example, while I was waiting for a pest control company at a customer’s home recently, I decorated the house for Halloween, and then I went back to decorate for Christmas. It’s another artistic outlet that I love sharing with people.

A La Mode on the Road continues to grow, and I look forward to helping people create wardrobes that make them feel more confident and special. At the same time, I’m excited to partner with Ann Laurie and the Time Well Spent team, and I hope to meet you soon!

Contact us at Time Well Spent to find out more about Cheryl’s services. We can help you get your wardrobe organized and looking fabulous!

Giving the Gift of Time, Our Most Precious Commodity

giftcertificatesThere are two general groups of holiday shoppers. The first group, for the sake of convenience, gives everyone gift cards. The second group loves to shop for stuff.

When I say “stuff,” I’m talking about gadgets, toys, tools, electronics, appliances, clothes, furniture, artwork or anything else that they hope will make someone’s jaw drop.

Last year, I talked about how a shared experience is a gift that will be remembered and cherished forever. I’m still a firm believer in that, especially for kids who are overloaded with stuff at this time of year.

This year, I’m recommending a gift that just about everyone on the face of the earth could use more of – time. It’s our most precious commodity because we have so little to spare.

Gift cards are great, but how many times have you received a gift card that sat in a junk drawer because you forgot it was there or you just didn’t have time to enjoy it?

How many times have you received “stuff” that you would love to use or play with – if only you had the time?

The beauty of giving someone the gift of time is that it comes with total freedom to do whatever they want with it. It’s the most personal gift you can give.

Continue reading

The Most Wonderful and Stressful Time of the Year!

ChristmasPresentsWhen my daughter, Michele, was three years old, she stayed home with Daddy while I went Christmas shopping with a girlfriend. Of course, we didn’t get started shopping until we had put in a full day’s work. When I finally got home well after 10 pm, my girlfriend and I walked through the door with our arms full of packages and shopping bags.

All of a sudden, my little girl pops up, puts her finger to her mouth and says, “Shhh, Daddy’s sleeping!”

It was one of those moments where I was totally frazzled and exhausted but couldn’t help laughing hysterically. Now that I think about it, I wonder if there was a concierge to do my Christmas shopping for me more than 20 years ago!

According the National Retail Federation, American families will spend an average of $684 on holiday gifts this year. That’s a lot of stuff. And a lot of time shopping.

Even if you do most of your shopping online, it doesn’t happen in one sitting. You also have to open packages as they arrive at your door and keep everything organized.

I don’t think I’ve ever met a person who wraps gifts as they buy them, so you should set aside at least a couple of hours for wrapping. Of course, you have to buy wrapping paper, gift bags, tape and tags.
Is your card list up to date? Has anyone moved? Are you planning to design and order cards with photos of your kids or grandkids? You’ll have to allow an extra week or so to have them printed and shipped before you stuff them in envelopes, address them, add postage and bring them to the post office.
Most people pull the Christmas tree out of the attic or basement around Thanksgiving, which begins the monumental task of decorating. From outdoor lights to antique figurines to stockings hung by the chimney with care, decorating can take a full day or even a weekend.

HolidayDessertsAre you hosting out-of-town guests? That means you can’t dump everything in the spare bedroom to get it out of sight. The room has to be clean, and you should probably put fresh linens on the bed.

Are you hosting a family gathering or planning the office holiday party? Time to start figuring out the menu and a schedule for cooking and baking. If you’re in charge of the office party, I hope you’ve settled on a venue by now.

I really hope you’re rewarding yourself with a vacation during the holidays. Some people think it just adds to the stress, but once you book the flight and accommodations, figure out airport transportation and pack, it will be totally worth it.

Welcome to the holiday season! It’s the most wonderful – and stressful – time of the year. But we can help. Contact us so we can help you create a to-do list and let Time Well Spent take care of some of these tasks for you.

Why Put Off Till Tomorrow What We Can Do for You Today?

All of us have been guilty of procrastination.

Whether it was work you didn’t feel like doing, an exercise program you didn’t feel like starting, a phone call you didn’t feel like making, or a tedious little task you’ve been avoiding like the plague, everyone has put things off from time to time.

The problem with procrastination is that you’re assuming you’ll have time tomorrow to accomplish the task you should be doing today.

That’s not always the case.

How many times have you felt like you’ve finally gotten ahead of things at work, only to have an avalanche of stuff fall onto your lap in a matter of 15 minutes? At the bottom of that avalanche is that one thing you could have gotten done but chose to avoid.

Suppose you need to do a few things around the house, but you decide to put it off until the weekend. By some miracle, you have no weekend plans for the first time in months.

Then life throws you a curve. Your son or daughter tells you on Friday that they need your help with a major school project that’s due Monday, and a big storm leaves a foot of leaves on your front lawn.
So much for the free weekend.

Procrastination is a pattern of behavior, at work or at home, that leads to stress, burnout, frustration and feelings of guilt.

If you have a tendency to put things off, you can do one of two things. You can eliminate the option to do things tomorrow by sticking to your to-do list and forcing yourself to do them today.

Or you can hand your to-do list to Time Well Spent.
If you don’t want to cram so many things into one day, you want to avoid certain tasks completely, or you would rather spend time doing things you enjoy, call us.

A concierge and personal errand service like Time Well Spent exists to fill these needs. We specialize in to-do lists. Our job is to give you the time and freedom to do the things that make you happy – or make you money.

If you can’t seem to find enough time to do the things you really want to be doing, let Time Well Spent create that time for you.

After all, why put off till tomorrow what we can do for you today?

My Story from the Front Lines of the American Heart Walk

My girlfriend was the picture of health. She worked out every day and ate the right things. In her mid-50’s she had a major stroke.

At first, I was mad. She had just been to the doctor for a physical checkup and was given a clean bill of health. She was far too young and her health was far too strong for her to have a stroke.

It was a long road back. She was forced to relearn simple things that we take for granted. Although she’s still partially paralyzed and unable to drive, I’ll always be grateful for one thing.

She lived.

This November, seven years after her stroke, I look forward to flying down to Florida to see my friend and going on a road trip through Savannah, Charleston and other places throughout the South. I don’t know if she would be here to enjoy this trip with me if it wasn’t for the incredible work of the American Heart Association. Continue reading

How Breathing Life into a Decrepit Bathroom Changed My World

BathroomTowards the end of my career in the glamorous world of New Jersey state government, I was moved back to the main office building where I started my career. In fact, it was the very same floor where I began working for the state 30 years earlier.

Although the building had been improved through major renovations over the years, I noticed a few things that bothered me.

First, I realized that the ladies’ restroom was exactly the same as it was when I was in high school! It even had the same big lounge chair that people would lie down on if they felt sick.

This whole scene made me a little sick. The entire bathroom was disgusting.

The next thing I noticed was that the women who used this ancient bathroom didn’t talk to each other. They didn’t even say “hello.” We saw each other all of the time, but we didn’t really know each other.

Even though I knew I was reaching the end of my rope with the state, I was determined to not let this situation bring me down any further. Continue reading

You’re Given Vacation Time for a Reason. Use it!

Parent and Daughter wading in oceanAt the beginning of the summer of 2013, I wrote a blog post about why you need to plan a vacation now. Now, with summer 2014 winding down, it looks like there will be a lot of vacation days left on the table. Again.

According to a study from GfK Public Affairs and Corporate Communications and the U.S. Travel Association, four in ten employees will not use all of their vacation days. And people wonder why they always feel tired and stressed.

So why aren’t people taking vacations?

  • 40 percent of respondents dread returning to a pile of work after vacation.
  • 35 percent say nobody else can do their job.
  • 20 percent are worried that taking time off will make them seem replaceable.

That last one infuriates me. People shouldn’t feel like their jobs could be jeopardized because they take a week for themselves and their families. Unfortunately, this type of insecurity is often driven by the company culture. Continue reading