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Back to school is definitely a transition from our free and relaxing summer schedule but our new routine with three kids in different schools is exhausting. It is a juggling act or maybe dominos. We have to be ready and out the door by 6:55 AM or everyone will be late, if one domino falls, the rest will follow. The toughest transition for me is making sure it all runs seamlessly. From breakfast to dinner I make sure to have it all planned out.
I have come up with a few tips, tricks and must-have products from P.C. Richard & Son to make the morning routine easy and stress-free. As always, my secret is to be prepared. When I plan ahead and tie up loose ends it saves on time and I am better equipped to handle any surprises along the way.
Planning ahead means getting lunches, clothes picked out and bags packed the night before. Even for myself, especially if I have a busy day with meetings and appointments. That extra time it takes to tidy up, pick out clothes or make lunch and pack bags is essential in the morning especially when everyone is moving at a sleepy pace. Sometimes I have to kick it into high gear with the help of my virtual assistant Google Home and put on some music to get my sleepy-heads moving. With Google Home I can also find out the weather and traffic reports while I buzz around the apartment getting everyone ready.
I typically wake before the kids so I can sit and mentally prepare for my day while I drink coffee in peace. Those few moments in the morning are so precious. I used to grab coffee on-the-go because I didn’t have time to brew it at home. Buying coffee becomes an expensive and time-consuming habit but I have been using my Keurig and it is the easiest part of my morning. I can toss a coffee pod in and brush my teeth while it brews. Thank you technology! And as I type this I am watching my WiFi connected iRobot Roomba zip around the apartment vacuuming up a few dust bunnies—yet another task I have assigned to the robots to free up more time in the morning.
For my prep work I use a Cuisinart Indoor Grill to make the kids lunch sandwiches the night before and store them in the fridge. I make breakfast smoothies in the morning but I don’t have to cut up the fruits or veggies (another time saver) because the Hamilton Beach Speed Blender does the trick. The smoothies taste amazing but they are definitely not breakfast-dessert. I make sure to pack them with plenty of greens, like spinach and kale to balance out the bananas and berries.
And you know I already have dinner sorted before we leave the house…on especially busy days I rely on my Crock-Pot Slow Cooker to take yet another thing off my plate. I have an amazing recipe that the kids LOVE.
TEX MEX CHICKEN
3 chicken breasts
2 cans salsa (I bought whole foods brand which has way less sodium than most)
1 can black beans
1 cup frozen corn
Cheddar cheese to garnish
Lay the chicken breasts on bottom of crock pot. Season them with salt, pepper, and little olive oil. Pour the salsa on top. Set on high for 4 hours. After two hours add the beans and corn. You can totally add them early on but the beans sometimes become mush. After 4 hours take chicken breasts out and shred them and return to pot. Mix well. Serve as a stew and top with avocado and cheese.
*Also makes great leftover burritos just add tortillas and rice!
Even though I may look like a mad woman spinning all over the place; I promise there is a method to this madness along with plenty of tools and time savers to help me keep it all moving smoothly. P.C. Richard & Son is one of those classic stores that has everything you need to make your life easier and gives me more time to spend doing the things I love!