Posts Tagged: mama time

Back-to-school blues or celebration? + Contest!

It’s nearly here. It’s really happening. The day many parents have been waiting for – the day the children return to school. Elementary school, or high school, it makes no difference, this time of year is fraught with mixed emotions. Children and parents everywhere are both excited and nervous.

So, as a mama who has six kids to get out the door, I thought I’d take what I’ve learned over the years and create a FREE e-book to help other parents out. Because let’s face it we all like to get free stuff and we could all use a little help this time of year! Yes there are many free books online but this one is chock full of great advice such as transitioning from summer mode to back to school, how to deal with social issues and of course, some of my favourite products for back to school shopping.

Make this the year that back to school goes smoothly with school organization tips! Download your free Ultimate Back to School Guide here!

 

More free stuff – a contest!

Another product that makes back to school easier of course, are our labels. But if you haven’t already bought your Ultimate Back to School Combo or are in need of another don’t panic! Since time is running out on this combo offered only until Sept 30th, I’ve decided to have a give-away.

Simply comment below and let us know how you’re feeling about sending the kids back to school and you’ll be entered to win your very own Ultimate Back to School Combo!

This contest is open from 8pm EST August 31 to 11:59pm EST September 1, 2014

 

Dinner time Debates: How to Take the Stress out of Supper

They always love the food they plant!

People often ask what it is like to feed half dozen kids. Feeding families can be a “thing” and many parents report that dinner time can be the most stressful time of the day. I decided early on that I didn’t want meal time to create anxiety for me or my kids, so here are my few tips for relaxing and enjoying  fun family meals.

-          I don’t let myself get upset if the kids turn their noses up at what is being served for dinner. There’s enough variety that they’re going to like something on the menu.  As long as they try one bite of what is being served up, they are welcome to fill their bellies with the raw carrots on the table. No one has starved yet.

-          We keep meals simple and kid friendly. The Daddy-o works out of town during the week and I’m not a foodie, so this adult is happy to make easy dinner recipes and eat with the kiddos.

-          For me, the only thing more annoying than cooking is coming up with fast recipes and meal ideas.  I have a four week meal planner posted in the kitchen for everyone to see. It makes for effective shopping, creates less wasted food and saves me from hearing, “what’s for dinner?” six times a day.

Here is an example of my September meal plan filled with quick recipes. I use one of our quick dinner ideas on Wednesdays because the kids have hot lunches at school that day. I also try to have something they all like on a Monday, because let’s face it – Mondays can be tough. On the last Friday of the month, we order in. The menu is based on different children’s preferences and the evening activity schedule. Some meals are faster to prepare and clean up. Those are meals we have on nights where we have to be at music, dance, hockey and taekwondo right after dinner.

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Week 1 Fish and Chips/raw veg Chicken drumsticks/mashed potato/corn Breakfast for dinner (eggs/bacon) Pasta: spaghetti and meatballs Home-made pizza/raw veg
Week 2 Salmon/ asparagus/noodles Chicken breast/ mashed spuds/corn Homemade soup Pasta: pesto Chicken and Cesar salad
Week 3 Tacos Butter chicken and rice Salad wraps Chicken snitzel/roast potatoes/tomato and avocado salsa Hotdogs and hamburgers/salad
Week 4 Cheesy pasta Ribs/noodles/corn on the cob Crepes and omelets Bangers and mash/ peas ORDER IN

Substitutes: curried sausage, chili, perogies, Swedish meatballs and rice, lasagna.

How does your family survive the dinner hour? Do you have any quick and easy dinner ideas or meal planner tips that make this time of day less stressful in your house?

 

About the Author:

Julie Cole Mabel's Labels

Julie Cole

Julie Cole is co-founder of Mabel’s Labels Inc., the leading provider of kids’ labels, and a proud mom of six.

How can our first-born be turning 18 already?

As our daughter’s birthday quickly approached, my husband and I have been wondering for the past few weeks, Can she really be 18 already? It really doesn’t seem like THAT long ago when we were taking her to the library for story-time and pushing her on the swings. Now, she’s borrowing the car, holding down a part-time job and graduating from high school.

How do you celebrate your child officially entering adulthood? What are the best gifts for teenage girls? My husband and I batted around birthday gift ideas for her. We thought about a mother/daughter trip or jewellery. We wanted something special to mark the occasion. We kept prying for ideas and asking her how she wanted to celebrate. She was really no help, until a few days before her birthday when she texted me that she knew what she wanted for her birthday. A tattoo. Yikes.

Not really being into tattoos myself, (read “From Catastrophe to Connection”), I reacted immediately with a, “Hmm…what ELSE do you think you’d like?” and tried hard to think of ANY other teen birthday ideas that might be the perfect gift.

On the morning of her birthday, I filled a special jar labeled, “18 Random Things About You,” with little slips of paper with all the amazing and quirky things that we love about her. She read each one and then lined all the pieces of paper up and took a picture of them. I wrote my traditional birthday letter to her recounting the previous year and marveling at what an incredible person she was growing up to be. We made plans for a special dinner out. My husband made the card below and handed her the key to the Mustang convertible to drive all day. She squealed with excitement, immediately got dressed, and headed out to visit friends and drive around town in the shiny red convertible.

And what about the tattoo?

As an official adult, she didn’t need our permission to get a tattoo. Knowing that she would be getting one anyway, we gave her a card printed with the lyrics to a Beatle song that my husband and I had at our wedding, along with some money tucked in for her tattoo. She made the appointment and a few days later got a tattoo that read, “In My Life” the same Beatles song from our wedding, something that she’d dreamt about getting for years. I hope she loves it forever and that when she glances down at it, knows how much she means in OUR lives and that we love her with all our hearts.

What’s the best birthday gift you’ve ever given one of your children? Do you have any special birthday traditions?

About the Author:

Karen Pearson is one of the friendly voices you’ll hear on the other end of the phone when calling Customer Service at Mabel’s Labels. She enjoys writing about her family, which includes a husband, 3 kids and a rescue dog from Greece.

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