Back To School Routines: Food Prepping

This time of year brings a shift in all our homes. Wether you have kids going back to school or not, summer routines come to an end.

As a teacher, I personally love this time of year. It brings me a renewed resolve to start fresh! I love setting up my classroom, making new lesson plans and welcoming the change that’s about to happen.

Two ways I stay organized during the school year is by food prepping, and sticking to my daily routines.

Food Prepping:

Every Sunday evening, I prep food for school lunches and dinners for the week ahead. Involving your kids in this teaches them about food, helps them feel included, and makes them feel proud to help accomplish an “adult task”. They also get a bonus lesson in math while measuring.

 

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I usually cook double of whatever recipe I am making. For instance, I will cook a huge roast or two, or a double batch of ground turkey seasoned with onions and garlic. This creates a base for so many dishes.

I also make up a large batch of quinoa, brown rice, steel cut oats, and hard boiled eggs. I use these as a base for lunches, adding to salads, side dishes for dinner and breakfast every day. 

  • Quinoa: add to salads, soups, or with veggies for a side dish
  • Brown rice: base for tacos, in salads, or with veggies and chicken for dinner
  • Steel Cut Oats: warm up a portion each morning, add fruit, nuts, honey
  • Hard boiled eggs: breakfast with an avocado, or add to salads

Putting my lunch in individual dishes helps make packing up every morning before school a breeze.

After dinner, have the kids help you pack their lunch box for the next day while you’re cleaning up. Letting them make choices usually ensures they will eat what is packed.

 

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Teaching kids to cook is a life skill they will cherish. When supervised, they really can do a lot of things in the kitchen.

Some of my favorite childhood memories are of cooking with both of my grandmas. They made everything from scratch, and taught me to do the same. I think back to those times with the fondest of memories. I love passing it down to my own grandkids.

Other food prep that I like to do weekly includes:

  • washing fruit
  • washing and cutting up veggies
  • baking healthy snacks and freezing for later
  • food shopping once a week

 

Planning ahead makes those busy week days so much easier. You always have something on had for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Try it for a week and see for yourself.

Tomorrow, I’ll be back with daily routines and schedules to make your days easier! 

Need help, but don’t know where to start? Email me, I’m here for you.

 

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

Whole Home Project, Day 5

Today was the final day of my whole home project with this special family. As you recall, a family health crisis turned this sweet family upside down, literally and figuratively.

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On Day 5, we held a family meeting, kids included. We talked about the importance of everyone in the family being on board. I impressed on them that this had to be a life change, or else their home would end up like it was before I came.

The kids listened and participated in the meeting. They desired to have a happy, organized home. When they returned home after being away all week, they noticed the difference, and were really excited about it.

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After the family meeting, we moved upstairs to tackle their rooms.

 

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They worked tirelessly and without complaining for a solid three hours. We sorted, purged, rearranged, and restyled their collections. The results were astonishing!

 

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We talked about how it was important to not “just clean” their rooms, but to keep them neat, tidy and organized on a daily basis.

Everything in their room now has a form and function. Their fun collections are neatly contained and easily accessible.

 

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Now their son can find what he needs on his desk, as well as have space to do crafts or homework. When like items are stored together, it is easier to find what you need.

 

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Craft items that get used more frequently were stored under the bed in a container, and his National Geographic magazine collection, used more infrequently, found a pretty home, all together.

 

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The before and after pics show just how hard the kids worked. They were proud of their rooms, and want to keep them organized and picked up on a daily basis.

Their mom sent me a sweet note the week after letting me know of the progress the entire family was making on keeping their home neat and tidy. Something to be proud of!!

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I will do a thirty day follow up with this family, can’t wait to encourage them to keep up the great work!

Need help with your home? The hardest part is asking, the rest is all GOOD!

I’m ready to help you today,

Lisa

 

Whole Home Project, Day 4

Day 4 was all about the kids’ rooms.

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Mom and I worked a day in each room before the kids came home. She wanted to have some control over purging without them there.

When I arrived Saturday morning, we held a family meeting. We discussed the importance of not just cleaning up, but creating new habits.

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I started in the little girl’s room. We had a trash sack, a donate sack, and a pile of things to go through. She was a champ! She quickly made decisions and was willing to let things go. Neat Freak Jr!! Lol!

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She loves nature, collecting beautiful rocks, journaling and her pets.  We grouped like items together and contained the collections into one area. Before, they were scattered about the room and not easy to find.

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The after pics are astonishing. She worked so hard and was SO HAPPY with her new room arrangement.

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Check back tomorrow for the boy’s room before and afters. They are just as good!

Ready to tackle your mess? I can help you! Email or msg me today and let’s get started! You won’t regret it.

I love people, not their “stuff”,

Lisa

Whole Home Project Day 3

Day three we moved to the family room. This room was cluttered, but not overwhelming like the other rooms. We knocked this out in a couple of hours.

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Organizing isn’t just about “cleaning” a room. It’s about having a rhyme and a reason for everything in that room.

Everything has a place and a purpose or it doesn’t stay.

Rooms don’t stay organized unless I teach my clients and their families why I do what I do.

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As with the other rooms, we take out anything that doesn’t belong in that space.

It finds a home elsewhere or it gets donated or sold.

What is left are only the things that belong in the space.

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Rhyme, reason, organized.

Ready to tackle your biggest mess?

I’m ready to help you today,

Lisa

PS Day 4 & 5 tomorrow!

Whole Home Project Day 1 & 2

A health crisis turned this busy home upside down, literally and figuratively.

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Life got messy quick. Days went by, months went by, years went by.

They were drowning in stuff and clutter. It took a lot of courage to finally ask for help.

They booked me for an entire week. Their kids were away the first half, letting Mom and Dad make decisions without interference.

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We took one room at a time. One foot in front of the other. It’s all you can do when there is so much to do and you are overwhelmed.

Mom and Dad worked tirelessly along side of me.

Sorting, purging, donating.

As each room became organized, I could see their excitement mounting.

They had A LOT of homework each night. They put in the time and effort, and it started to show!

They took my suggestions to heart. That first night they got rid of their torn, worn couch that “poofed” feathers everywhere, and went out and bought two new chairs!

They couldn’t wait to show me the next day!

 

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By day two, things were taking shape. They had their front room and formal dining room/school room back!

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This is a great story, but it’s not over yet…

Come back tomorrow to see Day 3!

Need help?

I’m ready to organize your home today,

Lisa

 

Home Office Closet

Last week I traveled to beautiful Sunnyvale, TX to continue helping a client organize her new home.

They have been in the house a couple of months. As they have unpacked boxes, things have just been “placed” but not organized.

 

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The first thing I always do is empty the space I am organizing. That way I can sort like items, edit items that don’t belong, and throw away any broken items.

 

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Then, with the homeowners help, I put back in only the things that belong. We create a rhyme and reason for everything. In this case, mom and dad share this home office. It is used to house office supplies, file tubs, cameras, etc. They also store all the devices for their kids, up high, out of reach.

 

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Here is the office after I organized it, and helped her unpack the rest of the boxes.

 

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Their homework was to go through the stack of personal papers, shredding or filing as needed. They also had a box of loose pictures that needed to be sorted, put in scrapbooks or photo albums.

I helped her clear off her beautiful desk too… but as happens sometimes, I get ‘in the zone’ and forget to take a picture. Trust me it was good ;-).

I’m ready to help you today,

Lisa

Pantry Redo

Saturday, I travelled to Celina, TX to help organize a pantry.

This is the before:

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My client had an inspiration picture that she found on Pinterest. Her goal was to have a pantry like this..

 

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My client shopped for bins and containers from the inspiration pictures. She found most at Ikea, Hobby Lobby and Home Goods.

If time is an issue, I do personal shopping for my clients ;-).

 

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The first thing I always do is empty the space I’m organizing. I clean shelves, sort like items, throw away anything broken or expired.

Then we start putting things back in, creating areas for baking, dinner ideas, fruits, veggies, spices, paper goods, etc.

 

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The clear containers below, from Ikea and Hobby Lobby, are perfect are for rice, oats, nuts, cereal, raisons, etc.

Labels make things easy to find.

 

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After I left, my client was inspired to keep going. She went out and bought more bins, moved some things around and made it her own! That is my goal. To help clients make changes and choices that best fit their lifestyle. What works for me doesn’t always work for them.

She sent me pictures, she was so happy.

 

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More labels are on their way to her as she came up with some new bin ideas!

 

Before >>>>After

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Contact me today if you want to get organized!

I’m ready to help you,

Lisa

Storing Home Made Play Dough

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My grand kids and my preschool students LOVE play dough. I used to be that mom that disliked play dough……sorry my darling grown children, lol! It was messy, stuck in the carpet, crumbled, dried out fast, and the smell was icky.

Fast forward to my days teaching preschool and this home made recipe I received from my Sister-in-Love from Idaho. It’s the best home made recipe I’ve ever tried. It’s fail proof and smells divine. Not to mention it holds it’s shape for weeks.

At home I store it in these cute old play dough cups.  I keep them in this fun candle holder I bought at Frisco Mercantile a few years back. Joanna Gaines uses these holders for crayons in her show, Fixer Upper. “Wanna be Joanna” lol.

Here’s the recipe as I promised on IG and FB this morning:

  • 2 1/2 cups white flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 packages any color Kool-aid/generic is fine
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • combine in a glass or metal bowl, mix well, keep stored in air tight container for up to three weeks.

Let me know what your favorite recipe is!

Happy Monday,

Lisa

 

Little Girl’s Bedroom

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I travelled to beautiful Sunnyvale, TX this week.

My client has been in her new home for a few months. When the movers came, they placed furniture and items in the rooms they belonged in, and that’s where they have stayed.

Momma is busy with four children under 7! Neat Freak to her rescue!

The goals for today were the home office, and their daughter’s bedroom.

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Upon entering the room, my eyes go everywhere, assessing and editing as I look.

There was a bookshelf under the window, next to the bookshelf. I knew immediately that it needed to be moved or taken out of the room.

Too much furniture in a room makes it appear small and cluttered.

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Mom wanted it to stay for storage, so I turned it on it’s side and made a vertical bookshelf next to her desk.

We moved all the games to the hutch, nicely stored behind the doors. I then separated books and knickknacks to both hutch and bookcase, creating a lighter feel.

She has labeled boxes for all her items now. Doesn’t every girl need a box of tiaras?!!

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I then turned my attention to the “corner of Barbies”. These needed to be moved out of the corner. Physical clutter makes the brain feel cluttered.

Mom wanted to use the extra linen closet for her daughter’s toy storage. Perfect!

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I dumped all the Barbie and American Girl stuff out on the floor to sort. Sorting and throwing away any broken pieces.

I created a shelf for each category. All American Girl clothes and accessories are stored in that pretty red case.

All Barbie dolls are in one bin, all Barbie clothes and accessories are in another, and all Disney Character dolls in another.

Games that need adult supervision are on the top shelf.

And of course we made room for bath towels.

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After:

The room and closet now have form and function. Whenever she wants to play, she can take down a bin and play. Easy to clean up and easy to find.

All her dress up clothes are stored in a zipper bag under her bed!

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Mom and Daughter were so pleased! Mom sent this video to me later that night. (sorry about the quality, it’s what I received). But listen to C’s excited comments!

 

 

Happy Mom, happy daughter, happy neat freak 😉

Ready to help you today,

Lisa

 

Farm House Pantry

 

I had the pleasure on Tuesday, of driving up to beautiful Anna, TX, to work on a pantry. This pantry is a farm house lover’s dream. It has a screen door and window with a view!

 

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My client wanted to freshen up the space, get everything off the floor, and create rhyme and reason to her pantry.

 

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We started by emptying out all items, cleaning the shelves, and creating a space that made sense to my clients needs.

 

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We then combined like items.  Canned peaches and jams (put up by her husband-so awesome), spices, oils, vinegars, etc. onto the shelves. We used these stadium shelves, clear boxes, and clear lazy susan’s, (my personal favorite) that she purchase at Target.

 

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I labeled these jars for her but forgot to take a picture!

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We then turned our attention to her serving dishes. We stored according to like items. Serving platters and bowls in one section,  serving plates and cups into another, all small appliances together, etc.

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Next, we organized her spice cabinet.

 

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Labeling all the canisters, and organizing into sections like “baking”, cookbooks, spices, etc.

 

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Displaying all like things together, like her cookbooks, makes it pretty too!

 

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My client now has a completely organized pantry, with a clean floor, and room to spare. Her spice cabinet is now cleaned, labeled, and organized. She can find anything she needs, and actually has an empty shelf!!

This was the sweetest client ever, she served me a bowl of fresh, home grown peaches that were the best I’ve ever had! She offered to make me lunch, and then sent me home with a bag of just picked tomatoes and more peaches from her garden.

 

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I love my job, I love meeting people in their homes, and I love the kindness and joy that we share making their spaces productive and beautiful.

I think making some peach salsa is on my agenda today!!

I’m ready to help you today,

Lisa