Friday, August 18, 2017

Back To School Tips

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Tips for going back to school

1. Plan your first week out so your kids know what to expect. Kids need to know where and when they are being dropped off. Ask them what questions they might have and have them work with you to get a feel about how it will go. 

2. Lunch Meal Plan for the week and execute it on Sunday. The kids are picking out the things they like and we are getting it ready on Sunday so during the week , they can just grab and go for their lunches.

3.  Backpack checklist. 
My seven year old needs this so I created this checklist for him to have on his backpack. He is pretty good about remembering the stuff he needs to bring home but in the morning we sometimes forget. 

I am just printing up, laminating and attaching with a key ring on his backpack. My kids also know if they forget something on here, that I will not bring it up to them. You forget you lunch, well than you buy lunch. Homework is your responsibility to make sure it is done and put in your backpack. 

4. Have a evening checklist of things to do like getting backpacks semi ready, lunch kits ready to pack and of course clothes ready for the morning. This five minutes of stuff will help lower stress for the morning. 

5. Enjoy the time and try not to stress about it. The first week of school can be stressful for everyone so find ways to have fun with it and understand there re things you can and can't control; Buses run late don't  fret, car rider line is super long don't fret, and the tons of paper work work at tackling it in a logical means. 

The first week is all about setting a good routine and hopefully some of these tips will help you to get in. good groove. Also adjust as needed because things change. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The H*LL of School Lunches

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Note: This post contains affiliate links. 

I hate school lunches and I am starting my 7th yes 7th year of packing them for my kids who hate everything we have packed. Packing school lunches sucks. My kids get burned out, I get burned out. They don't don't like to buy at school because it isn't great food (they keep changing the the rules for school lunches). You have to worry about allergies even if your kids don't have any. You have to do it every single darn stinking day. It is hard and painful. I actually might like to get a shot than have to pack lunches. Packing lunch day in and day out is the pure definition of insanity. 

So with that I need help and lots of it.  I need a way to make it easy on me, a variety of items for the kids to choose from and find a way we don't all burn out on it. Here is my great school lunch experiment that I m trying this school year. I need to make it easy one me and more in the kids hands when it comes to being responsible for the own lunches.

As you all know I am a planner for my meals and lunch should be no exception with this but it gets hard so very hard. Have you gotten how hard I think it is.

A plan has been put in place for school lunches this year and let's hope that this "experiment" can work and become part of our weekly routine and that the kids don't feel so burned out on PB &J's.

First and foremost, I scoured Pinterest for ideas for lunch planning and well let's say there are so many ideas and options. You can easily get overwhelmed with it so stick with what jumps out at you for your comfort level.

The one thing I found that I really liked was creating fridge lunch containers where I can stick a week's worth of lunch items in there for the kids to grab and go. I think this will help in having them decide what they want for the day.

Here are my bins and yes they are already labeled.

My kids have already started using them for the fruits and veggies. 

Every Sunday, I am "planning" on working on making 5 lunches per kid for the week. 

The ideas I have for the first two weeks are as follows:

School Lunch Menu
Week 1                                                                        Week 2

      Mini pizza                                                                   Crescent roll ups
PB & J                                                                          PB & J
                            Turkey roll ups                                                            Turkey Lunchables                                                     
Chicken Nuggets                                                         Nuggets
Corn Dog bites                                                            Turkey wrap

These are all things I know my kids will eat. I also switched it up with two hot items for the kids. They really wanted to have something hot a few times a week. I purchased a thermos like this:

So I put on a few things that can be heated up for school. My daughter did her test run of hot food for her camp last week and she said it worked well but of course she had a few adjustments. 

I have containers that I can build things like homemade lunchables and mini pizza kits. As much as I love the ease of prepackaged meals and yes they come in handy when I am super burned out, the effort of making one is really not much more. 

For the Turkey Lunchables:

Cut Cheese
Cut Turkey

For the Mini Pizza

A deli round
shredded cheese
pepperoni slices
tomato sauce

The dollar store has tons of cute containers to store. I got the tiny ones for stuff like the cheese and tomato sauce so when the lunches are being tossed about things stay where they are suppose to. 

I also can use them for condiments like BBQ sauce and mustard. I think BBQ sauce actually runs through my kid's veins she eats so much of it. I should take stock in Sweet Baby Ray's because that is here favorite.

I also have a snack station that the kids can pick out from as well.  I figure that if the kids have choices in lunch and  have some say in what they want, that maybe just maybe that this might go easier for everyone. 

I have a chart for my fridge as well where the kids are suppose to pick one thing from each category so that they get a balanced diet and that they aren't packing all sweets (yes I have spot checked to find  a lunch of mostly desserts in the past).

I am really hoping that by...

1. Doing weekly planning.
2. Have the kids have some say in what we make. 
3. They are responsible for packing their lunch.

I will keep everyone updated on this experiment and let you all know how it is going. I really hope we have keep this up for the long haul!

Tanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Ten Things I Can't Live Without...

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This post contains affiliate links!

Just ten things that I can't live without might be a hard list to have. Okay the basics, I can't live without my family but I am not sticking them on my list. My ten things are my favorite things that I think make my day to day life go easier. I have included links and reasons why I do love these things. This isn't a ranking either because that would make it even harder to do.

10. The instant Pot

I have been raving about this cooking device for over a year. I purchased it last year on Prime day and use it at east once a week and sometimes twice a week. I use it for soups, desserts, and meals. The hubby jokes that I cook most everything in it. 

My favorite and easiest is the 4 minute potato salad. 

Just peel and dice up your potatoes, toss in the instant pot with 2-3 eggs and about a cup of water, and high pressure for 4 minutes. Drain the potatoes and eggs to make your desired type of potato salad than. We like mustard in our house. 

So super easy and it is so nice during the summer time when I don't have to heat up the oven to cook roasts or meatloaf. 

9. MAMBI's Happy Planner (all sizes)

Yep I have become one of those people with multiple planners. I have three yes three MAMBI  Happy Planners and I love each one for each of their uses.

I have the classic which I use for planning and keeping schedules. Each line is dedicated to a family member and yes I decorate. I have a mini for journaling and recently just got the Big one that is for Memory Planning which is the new line. I usually take Sunday's to plan and keep up with my memories for the week. This takes about an hour but I remember the good and the bad of our lives.

8. Meal Planning

Did you see my post here about meal planning. I would crumble if I didn't meal plan. See above that my nature is planning. I like to know what I am doing for the week and plan accordingly. We are busy people between work, school, and sports. So having a plan is something I need to have or you will find me in a weird state.

7.  Cameras

I am a camera nut and have them sitting around the house so I can snap away. My iPhone is wonderful for that and their are so many great apps to edit pictures. I love the shoe line from Adobe and another favorite is XXX. 

I also have a Zip printer to print up photos for my planner and scrapbooking. 

I also have the Snap Camera as well to have in my pocket for fun selfies. 

6. Music

I don't really watch a lot of tv but I love to listen to music so my little Echo dot comes in handy for listening. I LOVE this little thing so much and it is used every single day for music, information, alarms and even as a intercom between everyone in the house. 

Lately my hubby likes to ask it to give compliments and Chuck Norris facts because you know Chuck Norris's tears cure cancer but Chuck has never cried.

Have to say seeing Chuck Norris in person this past summer was a highlight. He was charming and full of great stories. 

5. My Label Maker

Where was this all my life. I label everything and honestly there isn't a day that goes by that I don't use it. I actually have two of them, one for home and one for the office. I love using my label maker with clear label tape and than sticking it over Washi tape for a decorative look. I use it in my planner, scrapbooking, the kids stuff and the pantry. It make it so much easier for everyone to find things. I pull that bad boy out for about everything. 

4. The Cricut Machine

I know there is a ton of debate between the Cricut and the Silhouette machines. I lean toward Cricut because I had the original one which was okay. I used it on occasion but once I got the new Cricut, I was hooked. I do everything with it and there are times I use it each and every day to do something. Lately I make HTV shirts because my hubby likes unique and funny shirts. The nerdier the better for him. I also love that I can print and cut with it so I can make my stickers for my planner. I pretty much have used this machine for everything and anything.

3. Books

I love to read and am always have book with in  arms reach. I love that I can carry a book or two or three with me at any given time because of my phone. If I am waiting on something, I pull out my phone and read. I love how reading g helps take a person to far off places and opens the imagination. I am currently rereading Seveneves and Ready Player One. These are two of my favorite all time books. I love that I can share with my kids books to. My daughter read The Giver recently and is hooked. 

2. Anything nerdy

I know I could live with out it but being Nerdy is just part of me. I reference nerdy things, I drink out of nerdy coffee cups and wear nerdy shirts. Note that my hubby also likes nerdy shirts. 

1. Myself

Yes the one thing that drives me up the wall but is pretty awesome is myself. I love how I am and the things that I like to do. I know for some my things might be odd but I love when I throw a Dr. Who reference into something and people get it. Being one with oneself is the best thing we can't live with out. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Back to School 2017

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This post contains "affiliate" links.

School is "almost" here and I am skipping around in excitement. Not that I don't love spending time with my kids but they need school ad the structure/schedule that comes with it. No more sleeping till 9 or 10. Up by 6 for the girl and 6:30 for the boy. We are dealing with two schools this year. Boy is still in grade school but the Girl starts middle school.

I keep asking myself when did that happen. How do I have a 6th and 2nd grader all of a sudden. I mean it seems the Girl just started kindergarten like yesterday but I have a 11 and 7 year old who will turn 12 and 8 this school year plus 40 is right round the corner of me!

Back to school planning honestly starts for me in mid July because I need to time to get my stuff together plus usually good sales are happening. Girl needs uniforms this year so they were on sale in mid July plus good deals for the boy. I figured let's just knock that out of the park.

Supplies are a whole other issue. I started a few years ago to just get the school pack which is so much easier but middle school doesn't have it plus the girls asked me not to even if they did, so we needed to get all of that stuff. We started slow, getting an item here and there. I found good deals on lunch boxes and thermos as well.

The other big thing is getting organized for back to school. Honestly this is more summer cleaning up and getting us in a good mindset.

My list of to do felt like a mile long and well I went about tackling it.

Things that I needed to do:

1. Update our Family command center.
I wanted to have something with more information that last year. As much as I love the area, it needed a update to fit our family better. You can check out the post from last year.

Here is the update:

It is spread out more and I updated our weekly calendar with more room for each day. The only thing I bought was hr letter board that says "Make Everyday Count". I figure we can update it as needed. It is sort of our school theme for this year. 

2. The Kids bedrooms. I did the boys back in June so it was pretty good and we had somewhat did the girls but it was still crazy bad. We pulled clothes, got a new hanging organizer. I got one like this one. 

It is great to store all her polos and pants. We still had room left over for other things like her shorts. 
This is a big help in getting her stuff sorted. 

Also I got her a hanging shoe rack for the back of her closet door to store all of her leggings. This is a must have if you or your daughter wears leggings. It was the best thing to organize them all. 

The boy was pretty simple and I use a hanging rack as well for his shorts and pants. He can just pull his shorts out and pick a shirt for himself to wear. He is super independent so this is up his alley. 

3. Fridge organization. 

My fridge got a deep cleaning and organization in order to prep for school lunches. I purchased this really nice bins from Amazon last year and still love how they function though I did switch things around some this year.

I also purchased inexpensive clear plastic shoe boxes that you can get most places for a buck. I labeled each one for main course, fruit, veggie and drink so the kids can just go in and grab their items for the day. We are planning on doing meal prep on Sunday so everything is ready to go for the week. I am "hoping" this makes it less stressful overall. 

4. Family Contracts for behavior and chores. 

We are really needing this one and it is still a work in progress with the kids. My kids have been slacking big time and they need to right their path. Nothing says fun like a  tween with an attitude.

I went to various websites and composed a contract that outlines our expectations, responsibilities for the house and punishments. My kids think everything is unfair so hopefully this will help with that. 

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Bad habits

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We all have bad habits and sometimes we need to work on them.

Let's see what mine are:

1. I eat to much junk food. I really need to work at getting better at eating the right things. We all do. 

2. I swear way to much and my hubby says it isn't good around the kids. I know and I wish I would get better on this. I try hard to not do it but sometimes a good swear word helps a lot!

3. Bossy, I am super bossy which helps in some situations and others can make it worst. 

4. Doing everything on my own which is a blessing and a curse. I need help but it can be so hard because I like to do it my way. 

Let's be honest that if I wrote all my habits down like anyone, I could easily fill pages and pages of stuff. We all just are trying together by and do our best.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, July 30, 2017

The Meaning of Mommiedom

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Let's be honest that finding a catchy title for your blog is hard.  I thought long and hard with the name for mine and one day it hit me- Mommiedom.

Why because as a Mom we...

1. Rule our little kingdom of mini people.
2. We sometimes have to rule with an iron fist while sometimes a gentle touch.
3. Sometimes we feel like the evil queen and sometimes we feel like Snow and Cindy as we clean and clean.

For me it is all about finding the fun, laughter and sometimes the brutal honesty of what it is like to be a Mom in this day and age.

People think I got it all together and most times, I am failing but I try to look decent while doing it. 

I yell to much, my kids eat more junk they I would like, I am more jugdy than I should be and I know my kids ARE far from perfect.

There are lots of things I would like to change but there are lots of things that work for us. 

I give it my all and a lot of the time the return is very little which is being a Mom!

I wish sometimes it was totally different and than their are times I love it and won't change it for the world!

That's what my Mommiedom is all about!

Friday, July 28, 2017

My Most Pinned Pin

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Every once in a great while I look to see what my most pinned pin is and when it hit 200 remind I was so excited.

Honestly I haven't looked in ages but noticed that it was just pinned again so I went to see what it was up to. I was half expecting it to maybe like 500 but it was over 2000 times.

2000 times this pin here.
has been re pinned and saved to others boards.

It was one of the simplest and easy crafts to do. It was a test run for my Pinterest parties that we have a few times a year!

So take a look at my super simple craft pin and if you are interested in the actual post, you can view it here.

The post alone also has over 2500 views now I need to get all my posts that many! 

This amazes me so much and thanks for stopping by!