Being organised in the kitchen is so important when our kids head back to school! I find if my kitchen, meal plans and supplies are not stocked for the week ahead than there is way to fail when getting meal on the table and lunch boxes out the door.
To help you get started with back to school lunch boxes here are my top tips:
- Meal planning – every Sunday make a meal plan for the week that way you can add in your nights out, kids activities – if you want to be super organised try making a separate one for the kids lunchboxes if that helps – Click here for my meal plan I use
- Smart cooking – when planning your meals try and make something that you could re-use in another meal – I also try and make 4 meals a week that I can either use to make another meal or simply have leftovers!
- Shopping list – YOU NEED A shopping list – that way you know what you need to buy and avoid the snacks that you think you need (plus save money) – if you have a really busy schedule you can also try ordering online from your favourite local grocer or supermarket. I am a list kind of girl so I don’t like using my phone but if your phone is your daily checklist there are so many great app’s that you can download – Woolworths and Coles both have one as well.
- Cook in bulk – this will save you time during the week, especially if you have a lot of activities on after school or working full time. Sunday is usually my food prep day where I bake a healthy cake/slice – cook some meatballs or bake a chicken for their sandwiches!
- Food Prep – On Sundays you can cut up vegetable sticks for the first 3 days of the week and make a yummy fruit salad! Try and get as much done as possible. A friend of mine has all her lunches sorted for the week and stores them in her fridge so this might work for you as well.
Let’s get organised and make our life easier – Mums we are on a mission #mummymetime to have more time for mum so if this is something that you struggle with or need help improving on, I hope these tips are helpful. If you have helpful tips that you would like to share please comment below as I would love to hear how organised your kitchen and prep is.
We are only a couple of weeks away from school starting back in Australia, so I thought I would share with you some of the information that I have been researching about a getting my 3 little vikings back into a good sleep routine. As well as what I am currently doing to ensure that they are well rested to start the new school year! If you are like me during the school holidays I am a little bit more relaxed around their bedtime as we love sitting outside at night eating our dinner, the kids are having fun jumping on the trampoline while the parents sit back and enjoy catching up with a glass of wine! Now that we are reaching the end of the school holidays I am slowly getting my kids back into a good routine so that they are ready to take on the new school year! Here is what I am implementing in my household this week:
> The National Sleep Foundation state that around 2 weeks before school starts, we should slowly start working with our children to implement a school/age appropriate sleep schedule… Having 3 kids at different ages I had to refresh my memory on how much sleep each child needs so I have found this sleep guide helpful. This is what I will be aiming for 2 yr > 7pm to 6am >>>>>>>>> 4yr> 7.30pm to 6am >>>>>>>>>8yr> 8pm to 6.30am … I am hoping that this routine will give both my husband and I some time to spend with each child on reading them a book and give them some 1:1 time with each child.
> Sticking to the schedule – Once my kids are in this routine I try and stick to this from Sunday to Thursday as Friday and Saturday nights we are usually out or having a family movie night! Plus when my kids are in a routine I find our house runs a lot smoother.
> Sleep time routine – Having a great bedtime routine is a great way for the kids to get them ready for bedtime so I actually start the sleep time routine from their dinner time. We usually have dinner between 5.30pm and 6pm depending on sport/work commitments. Once dinner is finished say at around 6.30pm – the kids will have their bath, brush their teeth, get their pj’s on and they are allowed to either play or watch some tv whilst I clean up the kitchen. From 7pm we start the bedtime routine and depending on who is taking the kids to bed the other parent will sit with the other 2. I think having a good routine leading up to bedtime it allow the kids to know exactly what to expect and their won’t be any surprises.
> Natural Sleep Support – If you have followed me for any length of time you know that I am an essential oil believer and user. I have used them consistently for about one year now, and sleep time is no exception. Here is how I use essential oils to support a healthy night sleep for my kids:
FOR THE GIRLS – Serenity blend – Serenity is a beautiful blend for girls that is both calming and relaxing. Depending on what kind of day my daughter has had I either add a cup of epsom salt and a few drop of serenity to the bath or I put a few drops on her pillow before bed and her cuddly toy – sometimes she won’t go to sleep without it.
FOR THE BOYS – Lavender + Balance blend (creates a sense of calm and grounding) – I have made up a roller bottle topped with coconut and the a few drops of each oil. I then rub it on the soles of their feet and and on their pillow before they bedtime. They have also become a little obsessed with the oil.. but i definitely think it helps with grounding my boys.. I did try having a diffuser in their room but they always seem to find it and tip the water all over the floor so maybe in a few years. Sometimes if I have had a full on day I add a few drops of Balance to the bath or diffuse it while they eat their dinner #2boys20monthsapart
> Nutrition – Well like you going to bed on a full stomach is uncomfortable and makes it hard to go to sleep, so it is definitely the same for kids. I try and allow at least 1.5hrs before bedtime for their food to digest. And it is best to avoid any sugary drinks at dinner time or before bed as they don’t need the extra energy trust me. Water is what you will see on my families dinner table 🙂
Not sure about you but sometimes my kids complain that they are “still hungry” before bed so they can choose between some yoghurt, a glass of milk, a piece of bread with avocado or peanut butter or a banana.
I would love to hear about what you do to encourage a good night sleep in your household.
If you have any questions or would like to get your hands on the bedtime essential oils feel free to reach out as I am more than happy to help!
Sunday afternoons usually consist of the kids playing in the backyard with their Far (dad) and their mum busy prepping for the week to come! I actually call this “mummy needs to be organised” it gives me the chance to plan the week ahead, prep for school lunches, get creative in the kitchen and clean out my neglected fridge.
Tomatoes are best stored out on the bench until ripen and used, however I find when the tomatoes are over ripe I put them in the fridge as they keep better until I use them in one of my meals.
This week I had a few punnets of over ripe tomatoes that needed to be used and I thought I would share a few easy ways that you can use your over ripe tomatoes before you toss them in the bin or add them to your compost:
- Bolognese Sauce
Chop up the tomatoes into quarters then add directly to the pot after you cook up the meat! It is important that you let the sauce simmer for at least an hour on low heat so that it gives the tomato skins a chance to soften.
- Red Pasta Sauce
Add some water to a sauce pan and when the water boils add your tomatoes. Cook until the tomato skin starts to split then remove from water and drain. Now you will be able to remove the tomato skins to add/ blitz to your favourite homemade sauce.
- Tomatoes for breakfast
Perfect for those Sunday morning breakfasts! Halve the tomatoes and then add to the a roasting pan and bake for about for a few minutes and then season & oregano and then add to your eggs on toast. YUM
- Mediterranean or slow cooking
When I am putting together a yummy stew or my delicious Moroccan lamb, I often use over ripe tomatoes as I love the flavour that ripeness gives! With my morrocan lamb, I usually cut the tomatoes in quarters and use the tomatoes as my base of tagine.
- Blitz away & freeze
When my kids were babies I use to blitz the tomatoes up and store them in ice-cube trays. This was a great idea and made life handy when you are trying to add a little extra flavour to their steamed vegies or chicken dish! Raw blitz tomatoes can store from 4 to 6 months in the freezer.
Did you know? You are better off using the whole tomato as opposed to boiling and removing the skin, as there are plenty more nutrients in the skin that you want to nourish your body with such as lycopene and beta-carotene.