The Easiest Hour is Lunch!

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The moms say it takes a village and they are right.  School was about to start and a group of us were talking about the challenge facing us all – school lunch.  I wanted my daughter to make her lunch the night before but all I heard was “Mom, what should I make, Mom, we don’t have any xxx(fill in the blank here), Mom, I’ll do it in the morning before school(we all know that won’t happen!).  So my friend Anne started a facebook group where all the moms could post their suggestions – healthy ideas, snack ideas, breakfast, lunch, easy dinners.  And then I read a post that smacked me in the face.  Make a menu.  Like they do at the public schools.  That was TOO EASY.

OK, so who hates it when you have to pack your lunch every night?  And you don’t know what to pack.  Well, me and my mom made a menu of all the things I like and we posted it on the fridge.  It tells me what to pack like a chicken caesar salad with chips and fruit and it’s so easy that you should go to your mom and ask her to make you one too.

 

We are now in week 4.  This super easy plan is a complete GAME CHANGER.  Create a word document, add pictures, dates to cross off and DONE.  If I am traveling for work, life becomes even easier for my husband since there are no questions.

Nicole, you have changed the way we function so THANK YOU!  The bonus – Nicole shared a photo of her pantry in our Facebook group.  Super organized with clear stackable containers.  So, of course, I had to do a quick Amazon search and buy them too.  Now everyone can grab a KIND bar, a bag of dried apricots or Pirate’s Booty and get lunch ready super fast!

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In Her Opinion: Cozi

stswy-momiconCozi
Ask my husband or closest friends about our schedule and they will make a joke about our shared Google calendar.  But I think they make fun because they wish they had something so easy to use to keep up with all of the activities they have to keep up with as a family.  Mom’s schedule, Dad’s schedule, kid schedules, school is closed, holidays, there is just too much.  We are a family of three but one Mom I know has many more schedules to track and she found a great way to stay super organized.

cozi“Parties, doctor appointments and play dates, oh My! Too many kids and not enough TIME!

So, I am a stay at home mom of 4 busy young children (ages 10,9,7 and 7). Between their stuff, my stuff and my husband’s, its enough to make anyone’s head spin. COZI to the rescue! I discovered this App a few years ago and it has changed our lives. It is a color coded calendar where each person has a different color assigned to their activities. You can look at the calendar for each person or the entire family at once. The app is FREE and available on iPhones and Android devices. You can also look at your calendar online at cozi.com and it all syncs together. So, my husband can add something from work or can easily see if there is a conflict without having to ask me. It’s really been a life saver for our family.”

 –  Kristin – Dallas Mom, Married with four kids

Thanks to Kristin for sharing a great tool they use as a family.  Below is the information for Cozi.  Let us know if you try it and how it works for your family!

Product Spotlight:
Cozi  –  The Must-have app for the modern family
Website: www.cozi.com
 

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Printable Calendars

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2016-printable-calendar-boring30 days in September, April, June……Yes, sometimes I do have to sing the calendar song I learned back in 1st grade.  Rather than singing in front of my colleagues, I refer to a pretty printable Year at a Glance calendar over my desk so I can book work travel, vacations and other activities.  I guess I could print the outlook calendar but it is SO BORING!  My answer is a quick Google search for links to some great blogs!

Here are a few of my favorite printable Year at a Glance calendars:

Blog:  Scattered Squirrel-
2016 Printable Year at a Glance Calendar

Blog:  Red Stamp-
2016 Printable Year at a Glance Calendar

Blog:  Live Creatively-
2016 Printable Year at a Glance Calendar

Blog:  Me and My Big Ideas-
2016 Printable Year at a Glance Calendar

Blog:  Hello Cuteness- 
2016 Printable Year at a Glance Calendar

Blog:  Eliza Ellis Its a beautiful life-
2016 Printable Year at a Glance Calendar

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The Lazy Refrigerator

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I recently read an article in Real Simple magazine on a month of organizing. Some suggestions were already in place at our house(wow-  didn’t realize we were that organized)- file your cookware(day 11), organize your drawers with dividers(day 13), add a new storage system using sticky notes to organize the linen closet(day 24) and save time in the closet by always putting empty hangers in one place(day 31).  But day 23 got me thinking.

My refrigerator ALWAYS turns into a mess within a week of organizing it.  Small bottles of minced garlic, horseradish, fig preserves…..all the little things that I have to hunt for around the big things.  So back to the article – day 23 suggested putting a lazy susan on the middle shelf. Hmm..was it that easy?  Would it help with the chaos behind the silver door?

imageI ran to Bed Bath and Beyond with my coupons and found two 12″ turntables(aka lazy susans).  After I arrived home, I pulled everything out of the shelves and doors(cleaned everything too), threw away anything that was expired or on its way out and organized by type.  I usually have drinks on the big shelf but they were moved to the door(easy to grab and put away).  I took the salad dressings off the door and put them on the top shelf where they fit perfectly and I had a few inches to spare on the side for pre-packaged items.  I did the same with the small containers I use for cooking(mustard, horseradish, preserves) and the stacked the eggs, cookies and cookie dough(for my special parfaits).  I left the very tall section at the bottom of the refrigerator for Tupperwares of fruit, leftovers, etc.  

Cooking and setting the table became much easier over the past few days.  Things went back in their place AND the chaos was gone.  WOW…this was just too easy of a fix for the frig!
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