Food Prepping – Back To School Edition

What does it mean to food prep?

 

For me food prepping (preparing food ahead of time) is a way to keep my sanity during the busy school weeks. When we have food prepped and ready to go for lunches, dinners, snacks and breakfasts, we not only save time, we save money!

 

I typically grocery shop on a Friday or Saturday and food prep on Sunday afternoons.  Sunday’s are slower days for us and it’s relaxing for me to be in the kitchen making good food for the week ahead. Get the whole family on board to help. Littles love to help in the kitchen, and big kids can help you cook!

 

What food items do I prep ahead?

 

Meat. Even though I eat vegan, I prep meat for my family. I will cook up all the chicken, beef, turkey burger, bacon, sausage etc. all on one day. Then I freeze it into portions for quick meal prep for spaghetti, tacos, chili, breakfasts, or whatever is on the menu for the week.

*Side note: our trash cans go out on Monday night, so when I cook up all the meat on Sunday, there’s no stinky wrappers sitting in the trash can all week!

 

Veggies. I wash, dry, cut up and prep all the veggies I can. We use these for salads, lunch boxes, snacks, fajitas, you name it!

 

Fruit. You’ve seen my vinegar wash for strawberries and blueberries. I buy in bulk, dump them into a large bowl. Cover with water and pour in 1/4 to 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar (with the mother), stir and let set for one hour. Drain, rinse and set out on a towel to air dry completely. Then I put into mini serving reusable baggies for lunches or snacks.

*Side note: fruit has to be completely dry before putting back in the fridge.

 

Snacks: I buy snacks in bulk and portion them into smaller reusable baggies This saves money and time each morning. When you have a grab and go section in your pantry it makes packing lunches a breeze!

 

Muffins: I like to make a double batch of muffins (any kind) to freeze. Perfect for breakfast, snacks, or to have on hand for guests. They freeze so well.

 

Steel Cut Oats/Pancakes: I make a large batch of oatmeal and heat up a little each morning for breakfast. Add honey, walnuts and cinnamon for the yummiest breakfast ever. You can also do the same for pancakes; make a huge batch on Saturday or Sunday and freeze the rest…pop them in the toaster and you have a quick, hot, and home made breakfast!

 

Quinoa/Grains: I also will make up a batch of quinoa, lentils, rice, or couscous, etc. They make a great side dish when you add veggies, are good in salads, soups, tacos, etc. Having them made up ahead of time makes weeknight meal prep go quickly.

 

Chili/Soup: I love to make a big batch of chili or soup for dinner on Sunday. Freeze the rest and you’ve got a quick dinner all ready to go. Add a salad and bread and you’re done.

 

What do I use to freeze my food in?

 

I have slowing been phasing out plastic baggies and switching to reusable baggies whenever possible. Last week I showed you all the reusable lunch box inserts we have for the grandkids.  Today I’ll show you the reusable silicone baggies I love and use daily.

*Side note: they are dishwasher safe, but I prefer to hand wash and dry them.

 

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Half gallon reusable baggies made of silicone. Thick and durable! Perfect for freezing soups and chilis. I also use them to freeze cooked up meat of any kind. They hold a ton! So easy to have it already cooked up and ready to add to any recipe.

 

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Keep all your frozen bags in this clear bin for easy access, not to mention great freezer organization.

 

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Here are the reusable baggies I love and use. You can write a name in Sharpie for each member of your family. Wash and dry to use again and again.

 

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These are my favorite reusable snack size bags. Portion out the perfect snack and reuse and reuse and reuse.

 

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I love keeping other snack items in the fridge using this divided turn table. I keep one in my fridge and one in my pantry. Easy access to grab and go, or to help littles pack their own lunches.

Fridge:

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Pantry:

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Use these bins and labels to keep fresh foods contained and accessible as well. Be sure and measure your fridge first. These bins come in lots of different sizes to fit any space.

 

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Now what?

Well, you’ve spent one afternoon cooking and prepping. Sit back and enjoy the rest of the week. Trust me, food prepping works. I was a teacher when my kids were younger. Our weekdays were jam packed with school work, activities, sports, you name it. By having a plan for each week, it saved my sanity not to mention my time and money. It takes a little getting used to at first, but if you start simple and stay consistent with it, you’ll soon be a food prep pro!

 

Need help? I’m an email away.

 

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

 

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Playroom Update

I’ve wanted to update my grandkids’ playroom for over a year now lol! I have ideas swirling in my head but literally no time to implement them. Kind of like #thecobblerskidshavenoshoes lol!

My organizing business has taken off, and I’m not mad about it. In fact I just finished up my last year of teaching to pursue this passion turned business full time.

But with the help of The Container Store I was able to tackle one section of the playroom this week.

 

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I am blessed to have four of our five granddaughters here in McKinney, and they love playing dolls and being mommies. Makes my heart happy!

So when 3 Sprouts came out with these sheep bins I jumped at the chance to use them for all the doll accessories!

 

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They have several animal designs to pick from and they are all so cute! And speaking of cute, how adorable is this happy hippo box ?

 

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This will be perfect in the playroom to hold all the dress up clothes! You can find the adorable box here. There are also several animal designs to pick from!

 

And last but not least, and maybe my favorite, is this canvas deer bin! 

 

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I put one in the room where my grandkids sleep to use as a hamper! The inside is coated so we can use it for wet pool towels too! Have you seen this line at The Container Store? I’m in love with it! As a teacher and organizer I can tell you that kids play better longer when they have a controlled (organized and clean) environment in which to play!

I can also tell you that my grandkids were soooo excited when they saw the updated playroom! And Neat Freak Nana is happy that everything has a home to live!

 

Need help organizing your home? I’m an email away!

 

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

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The Home Edit

I’m so excited to show you the new T.H.E. organization products from iDesign at The Container Store!

I’ve been sitting on this fun secret for a while, and now I get to share it with you!

If you don’t know who The Home Edit girls are click the link to see! They are organizing guru’s from Nashville, TN that have taken the organization world by storm. They just published a book and now have a line of products at The Container Store. #GOALS!

 

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Today I’m going to show you their craft room/school room/play room products! I tried them out with my grandkids and they gave the new products two thumbs up.

 

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My grandson loves all things lego so these large divided drawers were a perfect solution. He loves color coding as much as I do! He can easily find the pieces he needs to make his lego creations!

 

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He built this little house and garage complete with a car that has lights on it!

The Home Edit kids label pack made this organizer and label lover so happy! They are easy to peel and stick, and come off just as easy! They designed label packs  for your whole home too!

 

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I love that the lego sheets fit the top of these stacking drawers perfectly!

 

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I chose these canisters to hold his lego vehicles and back stock pieces. They stack for easy storage. The labels help my grandson find what he needs, and also reminds him where the pieces go when he is finished.

 

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He could literally make lego creations all day, and I love that!! Legos over TV at Nana’s house ;-).

 

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My granddaughters love creating art, so I couldn’t think of a better way to store art supples than with these divided turn tables.  I’ve always loved these iDesign turntables, but T.H.E. girls made them better with removable dividers and a storage cup!

 

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The cup allows you to take a specific item out easily! The labels help the kids know where everything goes when they are done!

 

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As a teacher, these would be AMAZING in a school room! Set one on each table and let the students create to their hearts content! Hint: great teacher appreciation gift!

 

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One last thing I want to show you is this smaller turn table that I use to hold play doh and play doh tools. The sides are lower but still spin for easy access…. I get giddy just thinking of ways to use these new products all over my home!

Head to The Container Store today to see all the amazing designs T.H.E. girls created. Don’t have The Container Store near you? Visit their website! They deliver right to your door!

These products are kid tested and teacher approved!

 

Want help organizing your home?  I’m ready to help you today!

 

Lisa

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Using Your Gifts

I believe we are all born with a special gift.

 

 

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I am a wife, mother, sister, daughter, grammy-nana, teacher and friend, and I love all those jobs the Lord has given me…but I am happiest and most fulfilled when I am sharing my gifts with others. 

 

Last June when I launched Neat Freak McKinney I felt called to use my gift of organization, empathy, and compassion with others.

 

I can walk into the craziest of homes and find ways to bring them peace and order. It doesn’t frazzle me, but rather makes me excited to offer help. That is my gift.

 

I love learning from other women and feel so loved when they share their gifts with me…what is your special gift? Who are you sharing it with today?

 

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Be yourself, use your gifts, don’t wish your gift away, share what YOU were given.

 

And if you need help, I’m here.

 

Lisa 

 

Calling All Teachers

Did you know I’m a teacher as well as a professional organizer?

And this week, I was able to combine my love for both!

Cupboard before:

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Cupboard After:

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Teacher In Service, classroom set up, and Meet the Teacher Night makes for a long week! But, I am blessed to work alongside these amazing women, we are a TEAM!

 

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The nice thing about starting with a blank slate each year, is that it motivates you to do better. Every year I want to build on the previous lesson plans, and add a little something new to the mix. If I never purged or organized my classroom, it would feel stale and I wouldn’t be inspired to come up with new ideas.

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The same is true in your home. Mixing things up every now and again makes it feel fresh and rejuvenates your soul.

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Start with something small, a closet, or a dresser. Take everything out, sort it. Donate what you don’t use, or wear. Only put back what you truly love. 

The same goes in your classroom, Teachers.

If you don’t use it or love it, why is it in your room?

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After you have put back only what you use and love, label it. It looks pretty and makes it easy to find what you need. 

Teachers, how many times have you said “oh no, my lesson plans are NOT working?” Sometimes we need to switch gears mid sentence lol! When everything is labeled, you can quickly find exactly what you need. The same is true at home.

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Get inspired, start fresh this year!  I can, and would love to help you.

 

Blessed school year y’all!

Lisa