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Top Ten Tuesday: Weekday Meals

The new school year had begun ( or at least it will in a few days )! Things are about to get really busy around here. The key to success and your sanity is getting, and staying, organized. So, let's talk weekday dinners. There's nothing worse than coming home after a crazy day, to a house full of exhauseted family members, and no plan for what to put on the table. We've rounded up 10 fast, exhaustion proof meals, that are (mostly) healthy and inexpensive. Have a favorite weekday meal? Please post it in the comments section! Sharing is caring. 

 Web stir fry TTT

Top Ten Weekday Meals

 

  1. Embrace the slow cooker. There are millions of slow cooker recipes out there. Why? Because it's easy to prep, easy to clean up, and all you have to do is set it and leave. If you're looking for a few new recipes to try, check out this top ten list we shared.  Protip: if you don’t like the way slow cookers soften veggies, add them a few minutes before seving. 

  2. Batch cook and freeze. There are so. many. meals. that are totally freezable. The next time you make spaghetti sauce, soup, calzones, lasagna, stuffed shells, curry, or chilli, triple the recipe. Let the extra food cool and freeze it in labled ziplock bags. The next time you're running late or forgot to prep dinner, there will be several meals in the freezer ready to be warmed up. Bonus: This keeps you from wasting time, money and calories on take out!

  3. Sandwiches. There's no rule that says you have to have a traditional meal for it to be a good, solid dinner. Seriously, throw sandwich night in your meal plan. It's perfect for nights where you're driving the kiddos around to practice or don't have the energy to cook. Looking for something more fun than a PB and J ( we LOVE those by the way)? Check out this top ten list of sandwich recipes we're digging. 

  4. Roast chicken and salad. I'm not suggesting you cook a chicken. I'm suggesting you grab a rotisserie chicken and bag of premixed salad from a grocery store on your way home, or whenever you do your weekly grocery run. The best part is that you can use the leftovers for sandwiches the next day!

  5. Stir fry. Wok+ veggies + protien + Soy sauce. Toss it over rice. Done. 

  6. Make pasta a little more interesting. We're not hating on angel hair and a jar of marinara. We grew up on that stuff! However, if you're getting a bit bored with spaghetti night, try cacio e pepe or spaghetti with peas and parmesan. Both recipes are suuuper easy and just the thing to shake up a weekday staple. 

  7. Taco Tuesday is the champion of weekday meals for reason. It's delicious, frugal, and easy. If you don't already observe Taco Tuesday make this the year to get on board!

  8. Shakshuka (poached eggs in tomato sauce)- We stumbled upon this easy, tasty recipe last year and can't get enough of it. It's also a great brunch dish!

  9. Sheet pan dinners- They're the new one pot dinner, guys. Pinterest is losing its collective mind over sheet pan meals. Check it out for yourself and let us know which ones you've tried and love!

  10. Mac and cheese with hotdogs. Seriously. Sometimes you just need to embrace the blue box after a hard day, and hug your kids. Not every meal will be perfect and that's okay. So keep a extra box of mac and cheese handy and hey, if you're feeling extra sassy turn the hot dog into an octopus. It's totaly Pin worthy :)

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Things To Do Before School Starts

It's here, guys. The end of summer is nigh and the school year is fresh upon us. Are you ready? Please don't go into this next season feeling overwhelmed and unprepared! We've rounded up 10 easy ways to get a handle on this coming school year and help you make the most of these busy coming weeks.

You got this!

 TTT school starts small

 

Top Ten Things To Do Before School Starts

 

1) Fit in one last trip to Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, or the beach. Give those season passes a workout!

2) Try on last year’s pants. It’s amazing how fast those kids grow. You don’t want to be caught (literally) without pants when the first cold snap hits!

3) Inventory the condition of everyone’s outerwear. Rain boots, snow boots, coats, jackets, umbrellas, snow pants, backpacks... Write down what fits, what’s torn, and what completely worn. Keep that list handy for clearance sales, yard sales, hand-me-down opportunities, etc.

4) Get your master calendar in order. Write down all teacher work days, holidays, half days, doctors appointments, try-outs, travel games, everything! It’s amazing how one forgotten half-day can throw your entire week out of whack.

5) Start sleeping on your school schedule. You don’t want to fight with wide awake kids at 9:00pm or drag cranky kids out of bed at 6:00am, if you can help it! Sleep is everything.

6) Start writing down flexible meal plans. Nothing set in stone, but something to give you an idea of what a typical day will look like and cost. For example:

Kiddos- Breakfast: yogurt, fruit, milk / Lunch: deli slices, string cheese, veggies, milk ( bought at school ) / Snack: goldfish and grapes / Dinner: tacos and raw veggies.

Parents- Breakfast: coffee, hardboiled egg, banana/ Lunch: leftovers or salad / Snack: Larabar or string cheese and fruit / Dinner: tacos and raw veggies.

Having this list tells me that each week I will probably need to prep veggies and hard boil eggs, make sure I have clean coffee thermoses, and put money in my child’s school account for milk. Be mindful of weekly events like Friday pizza night, Sunday brunch at mom’s, pizza day at school, birthdays, etc. That way you don’t over buy at the grocery store, you can keep staples like frozen pizza on deck, and keep an eye out for deals on items you always buy (I’m looking at you Goldfish).

7) Establish your zones. Have a spot for homework, a spot to keep important papers, and a work-free area to decompress. All three are equally important.

8) Upload your pictures. Do you use Shutterfly, mpix, or snapfish? Upload your favorite pictures from this summer and keep them in a marked folder, for easy access. The future you will be eternally grateful.

9) Get the necessary out of the way. Make sure you have all your little one’s shots and records updated, and all necessary paperwork completed before the school year starts.

10) Reflect. Come together as a family and discuss what your favorite parts about this summer have been and what you're looking forward to this coming school year. Bonus points for writing your answers down in a journal or scrapbook.

 

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Pouches' Community Corner

This month Pouches poked her head into an exciting new program for teens interested in law enforcement.

pouches explorers

The long running Spotsylvania Sheriff’s cadet program has reorganized as a Boy Scout Explorer troop, said Sgt. Blackington, who took over the program in February 2017.

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