Meal Plan Monday

August 22
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Happy Monday!  I hope you’ve are having a good start to your week.  I had a busy but very productive and fun weekend.  We spent most of the day Saturday working in our yard and cleaning our house.  It was so exhausting but so nice to get done!   Then Sunday, we had a pool party at our house with our small group–which was so much fun!  Before the pool party, I made sure to have my menu planned and grocery shopping done for the week.  By the way, did you see, How To Organize Your Pantry Like  A Pro, that I posted Friday? Make sure you check that out for some of my best tips for getting your pantry organized!

This is another busy week for our family -shocker! But, I have some delicious and fun dinners planned. Here’s my Meal Plan Monday link up with Org Junkie:

How To Organize Your Pantry Like A Pro

August 19
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Pantries are one of those trouble areas in most homes.  If you are blessed enough to have a pantry, chances are that you don’t know what half of the stuff in there is.  Maybe you try to organize it but every time you go to Costco, your pantry ends up looking like you’re stocking up for Armageddon.  Well, I love pantries and I absolutely LOVE organizing pantries!  I’m not exactly sure what it is–maybe it’s the puzzle of  figuring  out how everything can best fit for optimum form and function, or that organized pantries have such an immediate, significant impact on families.

Meal Plan Monday

August 15

It’s Monday and I’m back with another meal plan for the week.  My kids are starting school this week and I have to say I’m excited.  These next few weeks are going to be crazy busy for us so I’m going to need especially easy meals.  This week, I’m trying quite a few of new recipes, all from my favorite food blog, Our Best Bites.  I’ve never once been disappointed in one of their recipes, and you’ll notice if you follow my meal plans that I use their recipes quite a bit.  I sometimes tweak them to make them a little “healthier” but I will always tell you that when I share a recipe with you.

Meal Plan Monday

August 8
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Well, it’s Monday–again!  How did that happen?  I’m not going to lie, the week flew by for me.  This is officially the last full week of summer break for my kids and it’s pretty packed!  I’m trying to schedule some time this week to just slow down and soak in the last little bit of time I have at home with my kids.  Having a meal plan is one of the tools that helps me be able to carve out time to spend with my kids.

6 Ways To Get Ready For Back To School

August 5
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It’s officially the end of summer for most of you and the beginning of back to school time.  Now you are either limping to the finish line of summer and can’t wait for the kids to be back in school, or you can’t believe how fast summer went by and are wishing for just a few more weeks with the kids.  Either way, getting ready for back to school is here.  I am somewhere in between–I LOVE summer and getting to spend more time with my kids, but I do LOVE the structure and routine (shocker!) of the kids being in school.

I was thinking about all the ways I like to prepare for getting back to school and wrote down a list of all the major things I do before they walk in that first day.  Today, I’m going to share a list of 6 tasks that I believe are  important when preparing for the first of school.  This by no means is an exhaustive list, but just some key tasks that can make life easier for you and the kids as you ease back into a routine.

  1.  Combine school supply lists into one master list.  If you have several school supply lists to shop from, it’s worth the extra time to go through each list and create one master list.  You will find that there are repeating supplies on several of the lists.  For example,  each list might have red pens, dry erase markers, no.2 pencils, etc.  Just tally up how many from each list so when you’re in the store buying the supplies you know exactly how many no.2 pencils, etc.  you need for all of your kids and you’re not having to check 3 separate lists.
  2. Take advantage of tax-free shopping.  If your state participates in tax-free shopping, this is a perfect opportunity to stock up on other essential items, like socks and underwear,  for the school year.  My friend Teri does this every year for her kids!
  3. Start easing into a routine. A couple of weeks before school starts, I like to start getting my kids, and myself, used to getting back into a routine.  One thing we do is start going to bed a little earlier so there bodies can adjust before school starts and it’s not such a big shock to their system on the first day.  It can be hard enough for some kids to wake up and get moving, so I always recommend getting them to bed earlier so they can get the sleep they need to wake up earlier in the morning.
  4. Clean backpacks and lunch boxes.  I am not the person who buys an new backpack and lunch box every year.  I decided when my kids started kindergarten that I was going to take the time to research and purchase higher quality backpacks and lunch boxes so that they would last for the long haul.  Now, it did take me a while to find the lunch boxes and supplies that I liked best, but I finally have them! I will put links to my favorite supplies at the end of this post.  So, before going back to  school it’s a great time to clean the back packs (because, eww!) and lunch boxes.
  5. Make a weekly lunch menu and stock up.  If your kids take lunch to school, it really is a time and sanity saver to plan out their lunches for the week.  You can totally get them involved in this process and in the making of the school lunches.  I am always a advocate for making a plan!  You can always change it if you need to.  Once you have your plan, go grocery shopping and stock up!  Don’t forget to stock up on after-school snacks as well!
  6. Celebrate the first day of school.  This is something I started doing a long time ago.  We always celebrate the last day of school, why not the first?  I want the start of school to be exciting and special for my kids.  It’s going to come with some natural anxiety and first day jitters, so I want to help ease that as much as possible.  On the first day, I always make a special breakfast like pancakes, waffles, or french toast, with bacon or sausage.  I also like to play fun music (usually Kids Bop) while we’re getting ready!

My favorite Backpacks and Lunch boxes:

Wildkin Double Decker Lunch Box*

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox*

LL Bean Backpack

If you want to read more about organizing kids lunches read Stress-free school lunches and My Favorite Lunch Box Essentials.

I hope this helps you as you prepare for back to school.  What are some ways you get ready for the start of school?

*This post contains some affiliate links which means I get paid a small percentage should you choose to purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you, yippee!

Meal Plan Monday

August 1
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Well, well, well…It’s been a couple of weeks since I posted my Meal Plan Monday.  I could go on to tell you how I’ve been super busy organizing for clients, and I’ve really been trying to soak up these last few weeks of summer with my kids, while all of that is true, I really just needed a break.  So, I’ve had my little break and my family survived on I really don’t know what, and I’m back with a super easy, quick, and summery meal plan!

My Dirty Little Laundry Secret

July 21

LAUNDRY!  I hear from most every mom out there that laundry is never-ending and often times out of control.  It is generally one of the most dreaded household chores.  And,  if your kids play multiple sports or, say your husband coaches soccer (I wouldn’t know anything about that) the laundry can pile up in a single day!  Don’t even get me started on missing socks.  But, it has to get done, and someone has to do it. When I win the lottery (I’ve never actually played), I will pay someone else to do the laundry, but until then, it’s up to me.

Several months ago, my friend Mridu, who happens to be a great professional organizer, posted about her time-saving laundry tip and it changed my life!  Do you want to know what it is?

Beautifully Organized Girl’s Closet – Home Organizing

July 14
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So, we’ve been in our house 2 years now.  We’ve made some small changes here and there but mostly we’ve just been living in it the way it was when we bought it.  The one thing I have been itching to change since we’ve moved in is the kids’ closets.  They were your basic closet that the builder put in when the house was built back in 1998. (Ah, remember good ole ’98, almost 20 years ago!) I can’t even.  My brain does not compute how much time has gone past.

Meal Plan Monday

July 11
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Hey! Happy Monday! It’s Allison, back after a two week break from meal planning.  I didn’t actually plan on taking a two week break, it just worked out that way, and it was kind of nice. Although, I (and my family) am ready to get back to meal planning and having something other than sandwiches for dinner.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, creating a meal plan is one of the best ways to have a more organized home.  It creates a domino effect.–When you have a meal plan, you have an organized grocery list, when you have an organized grocery list, you don’t make multiple trips to the store, and so on, and so on.

I will say that my two week hiatus came at the perfect time, though–I’ve  been super busy with clients and preparing for my daughter’s 6th birthday party (which I’ll be writing about soon).

Meal Plan Monday

July 4
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Hi everyone, Happy Fourth of July!  After another busy week, we are enjoying having a long weekend to relax, spend time with neighbors and friends, and work on some house projects.  Last week Allison let me share our menu from the week before because I hadn’t made a meal plan yet. After posting that meal plan, I decided to go ahead and figure out what we wanted to eat for the upcoming week, and that’s what I’m giving you today.  I tried several new-to-me recipes and they were all winners! And I have to say, even though I tend to be less, ahem, structured than Allison, I really enjoyed having a menu plan to follow this week. Hopefully you can find some recipes you like and help make your dinner time a little less stressful as well!