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Packing Hot Lunches for Cool Weather

September 15, 2017 By · No Comments

After a long, hot summer, we all look forward to those first crisp fall days. And with it our menus change.  Packing Hot Lunches For The First Cool Fall Days doesn’t have to be hard.  Why not change the lunch you pack for your kids as well. Salads, wraps, and cold sandwiches are great late summer options, but when the temperatures start to drop, your little ones will appreciate a hot dish in their lunch box.

Soup And A Hot Sandwich

One of my favorite school lunches as a kid was tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwiches. Who doesn’t love soup and a hot sandwich for lunch on a cool, crisp, fall day? If you thought those were outside your packed lunch capabilities, think again. All it takes is a small thermos, some aluminum foil and ideally an insulated lunch box.

Make the soup the day before from scratch, or heat up some canned soup in the morning, right before school. Get it piping hot, and if possible, run some hot or even boiling water in the thermos first to get everything as warm as possible. Pour the soup into the thermos and sit it in the insulated lunch box. Don’t forget to pack a spoon. Lastly, make the hot sandwich. Grilled cheese or grilled ham and cheese are always a favorite around here, as are any type of Panini. Fix the sandwich as usual and then wrap it in several layers of aluminum foil. If you’re worried about the bread getting soggy, wrap it in a paper towel first, then the foil. Keep the sandwich in the insulated lunch box and everything should be staying toasty warm for hours. Mix and match the soup and sandwich combos for endless portable lunch possibilities.

Chili and Stew

You’re not limited to only soup. A nice hearty stew or a bowl of chili with some corn chips or a side of fresh cornbread make a nice addition to any lunch box. Make a batch of your favorite chili or stew and put it in your kids’ lunch boxes for the following days.

Another great option is to freeze it in smaller portions and take them out as needed to add to lunch boxes. This is also a great time for you to take lunch to work or keep a bowl at home to reheat at lunchtime. As with the soup, we talked about earlier, you can get a short thermos, run hot water in it, and then fill it with the piping hot chili or stew. That will keep the lunch warm until well past lunchtime.

Leftovers Galore

Last but not least, don’t forget about leftovers. They make for great lunchbox additions. There are wide-mouthed thermos out there that can hold a variety of leftover food from pasta dishes to things like fried rice, or anything you can think of that would work well put in a bowl.

If your child has access to a microwave, you can pack just about any leftover that can then be heated at school. Find a few microwave-safe plastic containers that work well and fit your child’s lunch box and you’re good to go.

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3 Tips to Encourage a Reluctant Reader

September 1, 2017 By · No Comments

Disclosure: There are affiliate links in this post, if you click on it I might make a few coins.

School is in session! Is your child not wanting to pick up a book and read? As a mom to five, I’ve had a little experience in this area, at least when it came to my boys. There’s hope out there and right at your fingertips.

1. Early Bedtime/Reading– Now this isn’t one you MUST do, that is as long as your child suddenly gets the “energy” to read his/her book. Typically no child wants to go to bed early unless they are REALLY tried. Have a normal bedtime routine in place on days they do NOT want to read have an early to bed rule and after you tuck them in ask them “Would you like lights out or would you like to stay up and read for a bit?”

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Make School Lunches They Won’t Trade!

August 26, 2017 By · No Comments

Make Your Kids Lunch Exciting so they won’t want to trade it!

School has already started up in some states while it’ll still be a few weeks in others. Get ready to start the daily routine of packing your child’s lunchbox. Parents and kids both hate the topic of lunchboxes but it is a very important task. Instead of starting your morning off with a headache find out what your kid likes and compromise. No one wants the same boring lunch every single day, change it up a bit. Here are some ideas to make lunches your child will love.


Don’t just slap two pieces of bread together and smother on the peanut butter and jelly for your child’s lunch. Make it fun! Cut the crust off it and slice them into four small squares. If you take sandwich ingredients and put them on a skewer, you get a fun-to-eat meal that can pack a lot of variety. Here are some suggestions:

* Bread and cheese cubes
* Fresh fruit and a small container with some cool whip
* Chicken chunks, cheese cubes and pineapple slices
* Small cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and turkey chunks
* Pineapple, ham, and Swiss cheese cubes
* Pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, bread cubes, and green peppers
* Cubes sandwich pieces (make the sandwich, then cut it into cubes), fruit, and vegetables
* Shortcake pieces, strawberries and cool whip for dessert [Read more…]

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Using Time Wisely to Spend More Time with Family

August 22, 2017 By · No Comments

Disclosure: This is a guest post, throughout this article you might find affiliate links. If you click on the links I will make a few cents. 

As a full-time working mama and also with a freelance resume business (MKS Resume Services), I try to take advantage of pockets of time that I have away from my family so when I am home I can be fully present. Below are my tips that work for me and my family:

Master your To-Do list: Every day I layout my todo list on a (very high-tech) yellow sticky note and work through each item, feeling satisfied as I cross each item off and keeps me focused on one day at a time. I keep paper lists at home for the house to organize running groceries, pharmacy, and errands.

Getting Organized:  My personal business meetings and my work appointments are combined on my phone’s calendar so I can keep track of the dual roles all of us mamas have! We also put our family plans in our shared calendars so we are never double booked.

It takes a Village- a 2017 Village: At home, I try to outsource almost everything! I order groceries online and have them delivered, Amazon – Prime Pantry helps us eliminate running errands and allows me to spend more quality time together on the weekends when no one is at work or at daycare (Thank God for Amazon Prime and their speedy shipping). I subscribe to stitch fix so I don’t even have to surf the web online to buy clothes, I send the family dry cleaning out via delivery also, they pick it up and drop it off at my front porch- no time for ironing in this house!  I also find that doing a light cleaning on Wednesdays after work helps the cleaning workload by the time the weekend comes. My next step is to hire a cleaning person to help us out.

Take your commute to the next level: I use my 45-minute commute each way on the train to respond to work emails, schedule meetings and promote on my resume business from my phone and laptop. That way when I get to the office, I can begin on projects right away.

Working it 9-5: I bring my lunch from home everyday, so I don’t have to waste time out of the office searching for food and work straight through my lunch so I can leave work on time to be home for bedtime.  I try to avoid 4:30 meetings the best I can so I don’t get stuck in the office after hours.

After-hours: Like all mamas, I wait for after the youngest one’s bedtime for catching up on work, my business and binge-watching Netflix. Maybe even have a conversation with my husband?

Working on my fitness: I try (keyword try) to run in the mornings with my dog before the family is up for the day. I also leave light hand weights in my bathroom to do a quick 10-minute full-body workout while the shower heats up before and after work. Multitasking to the fullest!

I am no means an expert, nor have I been doing this parenting thing for very long- my daughter is 14 months old, but I am always searching for quick tips so hopefully someone can get one idea that might help their busy family.

For mamas reentering the workforce or looking to make a career change, I can help. MKS Resume Services offers customized cover letters, resumes, and interview prep. Check us out: www.mksresumeservices.com

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3 Ways to Spend Quality Time Together Outdoors

August 9, 2017 By · No Comments


Enjoy those summer days with your kids, whether they are in school or about to go back to school. Those summer days can quickly come to an end as they get busy with their own lives, get ready to graduate and/or eventually move away. You want to capture and freeze those times when you get it. I know you are probably thinking you have all the time in the world. I know, I was you at one point. Make the most out of them.

I’m the mom to five, so trust me when I say I am going through all these phases all at once. I just had my oldest join the military, move away and comes to visit whenever he can. I also have a Senior in high school, she gets to come home after lunch so we use that time wisely. I also have two others in school and one at home. This means my time can be all over the place, but it also means I can make sure each one gets that valuable time they need with me.

This week we picked one day to go to the park. You’ll see in the photos that we had a good time. Continue to read to find out 3 ways you can spend quality time outdoors with your family.

  1.  Go for a Walk– Every day I either walk with one of the kids to the mail box or to the store. The store is across the street and we normally need something anyways. This gives me time to talk with them and learn how things are going. It also tells my child that they are important and I want to hear about their life. Now that school is back in session that is so important to make sure they know you care.
  2. Picnic at the Park– My Senior and I knew we wanted to take Nicoli (he’s 4) to the park one afternoon, so we made a date. I prepared a quick lunch, nothing heavy since we knew he’d want to play hard. Make sure to bring things that are on-the-go and light if you are walking. So in our lunch was sandwiches, applesauce, grapes, water (mom) and both of them got Danimals on the go snacks. Nicoli is currently obsessed after seeing them on tv he thinks Bongo is going to jump out of them.

    While preparing for the park you also want to make sure your child has dressed appropriately for the weather. If it looks like it will rain make sure to bring a light jacket just in case. If it looks hot you don’t want them in a sweater.  Always make sure to touch the playground equipment before allowing them to go on them. Just because they are plastic does NOT mean they won’t heat up (they will). Finally, keep them hydrated, even if the sun is behind clouds it can be hotter than you anticipate.

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