Making Family Mealtimes More Efficient

Deciding what you and your family will eat together each evening can often feel like an enormous task, as the battle between flavours, cuisines and ingredients is likely to divide the table. The act of preparing and cooking an entire meal is commonly a huge task that takes over an hour to complete, and it would seem that this hard work disappears within five minutes of said food hitting your children’s plates. Making family mealtimes more efficient is likely something that many parents have attempted to battle with in the past, yet it needn’t be as difficult as you might initially believe. There are several simple tips and tricks that you can make the most of to save time, money and stress, whilst still inspiring the delectable dishes yet. So, if you would like to find out more, then read on for some of the best steps that you can implement today!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image Source – Pexels

 

Plan In Advance

One of the best things that you can do to save both time and stress when preparing meals for your family is to plan in advance. Whether this means creating your own unique recipe book or menu that details a selection of different dishes to choose between, or the creation of a set schedule that can decide which meal will be eaten on which day – having a plan will offer you all of the guidance and support that you need. Preparing yourself in advance for each meal will be far easier if you know which dishes have been set or chosen for the week ahead, as you can buy each ingredient that you need beforehand rather than heading to the shop every single day. Planning in advance will also give your little ones the opportunity to express their dislike for certain meals, so you can create a more suitable solution without the usual rush and stress.

 

Buy Frozen Food

One smart way to encourage more efficient family meals is to buy frozen food. Cuisines such as frozen Asian food can be of such high quality, and the time and effort it requires to pop in the oven or microwave will be a completely different ballgame when compared to fresh preparation. You can find so many different cold options of your usual favourites, from pizzas to fruit and vegetables, and often the price is far more affordable too. Don’t be afraid to explore the frozen aisles in your local grocery store to identify which items are on offer, as you may be pleasantly surprised by the range available. You can even sign up to specialised food delivery services that bring frozen meals directly to your door, so there are many different options for you to uncover.

 

Making family meals more efficient has never been so simple when you are able to utilise the handy hacks detailed above. Whether you decide to make a meal plan or recipe menu to create a more detailed schedule to follow, or invest in some high quality frozen food that can be popped in the oven for a matter of minutes – it’s so easy to make a change!

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Groove Life Watch Band Review

 

Do you own a smart watch? Do you love purchasing customized bands to add a fashionable look to go with your outfits?

Whether it is an Apple, FitBit, Samsung etc…these are all the rave. I have an Apple Watch and I love to customize my bands. I have though ordered bands online that have broke or stretched out very quickly which is disappointing. A few years back I did a review on silicone rings from a company called Groove Life. They contacted me to let me know they now offer smart watch bands. I was so excited to receive and try out these bands.

Groove Life offers high-performance silicone watch bands for men and women. Groove Watch Bands are durable and breathable, yet surprisingly comfortable. The bands are available for Apple, Samsung and Fitbit type smart watches. They come in a variety of band styles, hardware colors and band sizes.

The band prices range from $39.95-$54.95. When the bands arrive to your door they are packaged in nice metal tins to hold the bands. This is great for storage when you aren’t using your bands.

When you order you will get to choose your hardware color. I have a rose gold apple watch so I chose rose gold hardware. The color matches almost perfectly to my watch. I love that the offer the hardware color so everything matches nicely. You can also choose if you want a shorter band or a longer band. I picked the shorter band and it fits perfectly with my narrow 38mm watch face.

Installing the bands on to my watch was simple and took seconds. The fit is perfect. The bands are super comfortable to wear (they are a bit stiff at first, but after a few days I noticed that they get more flexible) and even dry great once out of the shower/pool.

 

Not to mention that they have an AMAZING warranty! If you break it, stretch it or even lose it…they will replace it. How awesome is that?!

In conclusion, I am very impressed and happy with Groove Life watch bands. They are fashionable, comfortable and made of high quality material. With the outstanding warranty they have, I definitely do not mind spending $49.95 on a Groove Life watch band.

Please check out their site to see all of the awesome watch band colors and designs. Make sure to check out the Groove Life Silicone Rings available too!!!

 

*I was sent the mentioned product in exchange for this post. All opinions are my own. 

Marijean

My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

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Here’s How To Unwind After Working From Home

(Pixabay CC0)

COVID

At the time of writing, many of us have been forced to work from home due to COVID-19. However,  many of us work from home on a regular basis anyway, perhaps because our bosses allow remote working, or because we are running our own businesses.

While there are advantages to working from home – we can avoid the daily commute, for one – it can be difficult to unwind after our workday is over, especially if we have families to look after or if we are tempted to make a start on the next day’s workload. However, unwind we must, because we will then do much to protect our mental health, and we will have more energy for the next working day.

To help you unwind, here are some suggestions that we hope you find useful.

Go for a walk

If you have been stuck indoors all day, you might have had little opportunity to get some fresh air and exercise. This is why going for a walk is important, even if you’re tired after working, as you will be able to work off the stresses of the day. The endorphins that are released during exercise will also boost your energy and happiness levels, so you will positively impact the entirety of your wellbeing. If possible, go for a walk somewhere quiet and scenic, as the beauty around you will do much to soothe your senses.

Eat a good meal

You might be tempted to eat a processed or a takeaway meal after working, especially if you’re exhausted and you can’t be bothered to cook. However, you won’t feel the health benefits if you do, and that might impinge on your ability to relax properly. So, make the effort to eat something nutritious. It might be that you put something in the slow cooker in the morning, or you could prepare a meal the day before in readiness of your tired state. You’ll love this restaurant-style Dal Makhani recipe, for example. You will then feel better within yourself after eating something good, and you will better enjoy your relaxation time.

Disconnect from work

To fully unwind, you must disconnect from all things work-related. So, leave your paperwork in your home office space, turn off your work phone, ignore any work-related emails, and put a ban on conversations about work when you’re with your family or friends. You will then give yourself a mental break, and have more time to focus on other things, be that a good book, a movie, a restful bath, or time spent relaxing doing something with your loved ones.

Find a place of calm

It could be in the bath, your bedroom, or another quiet place in your home. Wherever it is, make sure that it’s your personal space and let others know that you need to have some me-time. You will then have the opportunity to collect your thoughts, regain feelings of peace, and have time to do whatever relaxes you, be that a peaceful nap, meditation or a hobby that helps you unwind.

Thanks for reading!

 

Anne

I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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Spring Gift Guide for Kids

Right now is the perfect time for children to have new and fun toys and activities to do at home. With Easter quickly approaching, below are a few of our favorites to entertain your kids.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salondooz from Headstart

Meet the Dooz on the block! The Salondooz are stylish and love to do the dooz! Rosie, Star, Tiffany, Poppy, Celeste and Coco each come in 2 unique dooz and outfits. Complete with poseable arms and legs to strike a pose! Open the stylish perfume bottle and discover one of 12 scented Salondooz and find your toolz to style the dooz.

 

 

 

 

Rubik’s Revolution from Super Impulse

The international hit game is back! Super Impulse is proud to reintroduce Rubik’s Revolution; incredibly popular and the winner of the 2008 Toy of the Year Award! Rubik’s Revolution offers six fast-paced, electronic games including LIGHT SPEED, in one device! Features include sounds, lights, and various skill levels that will keep you playing for hours! Rubik’s Revolution is both a one player and multiplayer game best for ages 5 to 105! Test your skills and beat your score or your friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sequence from Goliath Games

It’s fun, it’s challenging, it’s exciting, it’s Sequence! Play a card from your hand, and place a chip on a corresponding space on the game board. When you have five in a row, it’s a Sequence. Learn to block your opponents or remove their chips, and watch out for the Jacks – they’re wild! With a little strategy and luck, you’ll be a winner. For 2-12 players, ages 7 and up.

 

 

 

Play Dirt Bugs in a Jar from Play Visions

This unique molding compound feels almost exactly like real dirt, without the mess! With Play Dirt Bugs in a Jar, the fun becomes even more real with two included bug play figures to thrill the imagination and inspire all kinds of pretend play stories. Kids will feel like they’re really digging in the dirt – bugs and all! Age: 3+ MSRP: $7.99  Availability: Amazon, Walmart.com, and Specialty Store

 

 

 

Rummikub from Goliath Games

With more than 55 million units sold, Rummikub is one of the world’s best-selling and most-played games. Players take turns placing numbered tiles in runs or groups, Rummy style — the first player to use all of their tiles wins! Fast-paced, easy gameplay is ideal for people of different ages to play together. Rummikub reinforces STEM skills like sequencing, pattern recognition and planning. For 2-4 players, ages 8+ MSRP $14.99.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adventure Force Tsunami Drencher

The Adventure Force Tsunami Drencher by Buzz Bee Toys is perfect for any water warrior aiming for long distance soaking. This power pump water blaster can hold up to 30 ounces of water before streaming up to 51 feet in the air! Your enemy can kiss staying dry goodbye. Additional Notes: Available exclusively at Walmart. MSRP $14.97; Ages 8+

Air Warriors Sling Shot

 Aim for your targets with unmatched precision using the Air Warriors Sling Shot by Buzz Bee Toys! The best part? This sling shot blaster is so easy to use! Just pull back on the elastic band, aim, and release your dart. Score one for the winning team using its long distance darts – you’ll be able sling your shot far!Additional Notes: Includes blaster and 6 long distance darts. Available at Dollar General and Target. MSRP $4.99; Ages 6+

 

Marijean

My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

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Disney and Pixar’s ONWARD is available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere NOW and on Disney+ April 3rd in the U.S.

Since family movie time is in full swing now,  I am so excited to announce that the Disney/Pixar film ONWARD is now available to watch with your family!

 Disney and Pixar’s ONWARD is available to buy digitally and on Movies Anywhere for $19.99 and on Disney+ on April 3rd in the U.S.

In ONWARD, teenage elf brothers Ian and Barley Lightfoot (voices of Tom Holland and Chris Pratt) get an unexpected opportunity to spend one more day with their late dad, embarking on an extraordinary quest aboard Barley’s epic van Guinevere. Like any good quest, their journey is filled with magic spells, cryptic maps, impossible obstacles and unimaginable discoveries. But when the boys’ fearless mom Laurel (voice of Julia Louis-Dreyfus) realizes her sons are missing, she teams up with a part-lion, part-bat, part-scorpion, former warrior – aka The Manticore (voice of Octavia Spencer) – and heads off to find them. Perilous curses aside, this one magical day could mean more than any of them ever dreamed.

Check out the below activity and coloring sheets to print for the kids to get them excited!

Onward_Activity Sheets_

I cannot wait to see this movie with my kids!! Have you seen this movie? If so, leave a comment letting us know!

Marijean

My name is MJ. I have two wonderful children and work part time as well as volunteer at my children's school.

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