Archive | November, 2010

Pass-or-Fail Mornings

Mornings are the most hectic time of my day. I can’t help the way my mind works, but I have found myself actually grading how well I did that morning: did I “pass” or “fail?” I don’t grade myself based on whether or not we got there on time, or if I forgot an important item (that’s going to happen from time to time). Rather, if I kept my cool and my smile, I got the “pass.”

Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of “fails” and it leaves me feeling like I want a do-over for that morning. To help ensure I have more pass than fail days, I keep organization at the forefront of my routine. The more organized I am, the more smoothly my morning is, and the more time I have for last-minute tasks.

Here are some tips to ensure a smooth-running morning:

1.     Go through and organize backpacks the night before. Nothing will jam up your morning like a last minute unsigned permission slip or notice that it’s “pajama day.”

2.     Keep backpacks, coats and other school items in the same spot so kids aren’t off searching for them at the last minute.

3.     Pick out clothes the night before and be sure to check the weather.

4.     Establish clear routines for your children … the more they help, the easier it is for you.

5.     Give kids incentives to help you stay on task.

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The Bridge

There are so many great cookbooks on the market today. Everywhere we turn we’re bombarded with advertisements for the latest and greatest recipes, from books to magazines and to television cooking and talk shows, there’s certainly no shortage of new and fabulous recipes out there. So why is it that when I asked a group of busy moms what their biggest challenge was when preparing family dinners, “just knowing what to make” was at the top of their list?

I believe that organization is the bridge that brings all of these great recipes from the media to the dinner table. Most busy moms simply don’t have the time to bring all of those fabulous recipes to the dinner table. Unfortunately, what most of them don’t realize is that without organization, they end up spending more time in the end scrambling for last-minute solutions.

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Reincarnating the Leftover

If your family is like mine, they sometimes snub the idea of eating leftovers. What you’re often left with is a lot of food to throw out at the end of the week. Monday night’s lemon-pepper pork chops may have been fabulous, but lose their appeal when the label “leftover” is placed on them. However, when those same pork chops are reincarnated into Pork-Fried Rice on Wednesday, they take on new meaning. Your London Broil may become your Philly Cheesesteak sandwich, and your vegetable sauté may become the topping on your Thai Shrimp Pizza, or your Rice Pilaf may become your Egg Fried Rice.

Don’t throw away your leftovers. Give them a whole new life and taste appeal.

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2 Ways to Balance Dinner (and a Hectic Family Schedule)

If you’re like me, family time during dinner is important, and as busy parents, we have hectic family schedules. All moms are working moms, whether we work at home or at the office, and we’re all playing that balancing game to “do it all.” Outside of work, we want more time to do things like get to the gym (or actually finish reading a book), and spend more quality time with our families.

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