gallamore west: school
Showing posts with label school. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school. Show all posts

Monday, August 25, 2014

Happy Kids, Healthy Lunches

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Del Monte, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DelMonteBTS  http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
Call me crazy, but I love having my boys home for a looooong summer.  Sending them Back to School fills me with nerves and excitement, and while my boys are away at school all day, I want them to know that I'm thinking of them, that I love them, and that I can't wait for them to come home.  Seriously.  I miss them like crazy.
One way that I can show love to my boys while they are away for the school day is to pack them a healthy lunch that will keep them full and focused.  We are a High Fructose Corn Syrup-free home, so I pack healthy lunches while still trying to have our boys lunches "fit in" with the crowd.
I try to make packing lunches easy to prep, healthy to eat, and fun to look at (because that makes it exciting to eat, even though it's healthy, right?)

Here are 5 easy things I do to make school lunches healthy and fun.


1- I buy BPA-free reusable containers from Walmart that fit perfectly into my boys lunch boxes.  It saves on having to use so many toss-away plastic bags, and it helps keep their lunches from getting smashed.  Here's what they look like...
2- My boys like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, so I make them fresh every morning and cut them into fun shapes.  Or even just little squares with the crust cut off because they're easier for little hands to pick up and eat this way.  Even though these look like ordinary PB & J, I make sure to buy all of my ingredients without High Fructose Corn Syrup.  Plus I use natural organic peanut butter and organic jelly.
3- Pack in the fruit any way I can!  Usually my boys complain that they don't have enough time to eat a whole apple or other whole fruit, but they always have time for a quick pouch of Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers.  With 1 1/2 servings of fruit per container, these squeezable pouches are a great way for kids to get their daily fruit servings in while at school.
4- Quick to grab "side dishes" of pretzels and baby carrots {or crackers and grapes, or celery and peanut butter} are great alternatives to a bag of greasy chips and cookies. 
5- Cute containers!  When I put food for the boys in fun little containers like these {cupcake liners, little baking cups, little drinking cups, etc.} the boys gobble it all up.  Kids like "kid-size" packaging, but that doesn't mean that I have to buy into buying "kid" food that is generally made with poor ingredients.
Ahhh, I'm sending my boys Back to School next week and they are SO excited to meet their new teachers, and reconnect with friends.  And I'm so happy to see them growing and developing their own personalities and their own wings to fly with... but I'll miss them!  I printed out this photo of them that I took on the last day of school in June with a fun border at Walmart last week for FREE to hang on the fridge.  And when I picked up my FREE photo, it came with a coupon for $1 off 2 Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers... a win-win for me! 
Right now until September 13th in select Walmart Super Centers and while supplies last, you can print your own photo of your kids for FREE and get your $1 off 2 packages of either Del Monte Fruit Burst Squeezers or Del Monte Fruit Cups too!  Just bring in your phone with the picture you would like printed, or send your picture to Walmart to get printed as a 5x7 with a Back to School border.  When you pick up your picture, you should see the Del Monte coupon enclosed. 
For more information about Del Monte, visit their website here.  Happy Back to School Time!  

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

5 Tips to Get Your Kids to School On Time with Homemade Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake Recipe!

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone.
#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias



Whether your kids are back in school already, or whether you're savoring those last few lazy days of summer {that's us!}, if you're a parent then you know how difficult it can be to get out the door and to school on time.  With 4 little ones, believe me I know all about that struggle!  I'm totally proud of our boys ZERO tardies last year though, so today I'm sharing my 5 Tips to Get Your Kids to School On Time EVERY DAY with you.  And if you're just here for this delicious Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake recipe, scroll down to find it in this post. 

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

Here's how we get to school on time every day...

1) Organize Your Space.  
Have a designated place for backpacks, lunch bags, homework, important school papers, and SHOES.  We seemed to have it all down to a science last year except for the shoes.  We were scrambling around searching for shoes too often.  This year, each boy now has their own wooden crate just below their backpack hook.  Every night BEFORE BED their shoes have to be in their crate.  It really does make for smoother mornings.  Each boy has their backpack hanging on a hook on the wall next to the door we walk out of each morning.  Every night before bed, all homework and papers returning to school are in the backpack= NO scrambling for papers in the morning.


#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

2)  Plan Clothing Choices The Night Before
Our two older boys pick out their own clothes to wear to school, and I still choose outfits for our younger two.  Regardless of that though, I make sure that we all have something clean and ready to wear the night before.  Just a quick peek in the older boys' drawers & closets to make sure they have something available to choose from the next morning helps us avoid the "I don't have anything to wear!" issue in the morning.  Yes, that can happen even in a house full of boys.


#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias


3)  Have An Organized Lunch Drawer.
#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

This "Lunch Drawer" helps me out so much in the mornings because it holds everything that I need to pack lunches in the morning {besides the food} all in one place- disposable plasticware, containers (I LOVE these IKEA containers because different sized containers use the same size lid so there is a lot less scrambling around for lids, lunch bags, insulated containers, etc.  I used to scramble around in different drawers and cupboards for all of these things until one day I decided to organize the drawer like this, and it helped our mornings go much smoother.

4)  Make a Morning To-Do List for Kids to Follow.


#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

I made these quick lists for our boys to follow during the school year last year.  It was amazing to me how something SO simple made such a big difference in how quickly they got ready.  They just went down the list and were ready in record time day after day.

5)  Eat a Healthy Breakfast... and make it easy with a Make Ahead recipe.

#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

I love a good "Make Ahead" recipe like my Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake because I can make it the night before, it's homemade so I know exactly what ingredients are in it, and my kids love that I make them special breakfast treats occasionally.  It also saves us time in the morning because everyone loves it and gobbles it down so quickly!  I especially love it because after we've brought the big boys to school, I get to come home and enjoy a second slice of it and it looks so fancy my pretty cake stand. Even a busy Monday morning can be fancy :) 

I make my Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake with Bigelow Tea because it's the best!  You can find it in the Coffee/Tea aisle at Walmart.  See how fun it is shopping with my boys during summer break?! 


#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

Bigelow is a 100% American owned company and it's tea plantation in Charlestown, SC is the nation's largest operating tea garden.  Guests are invited to the Charlestown Tea Plantation for weddings, tours, and more.  Sounds SO dreamy to me... I would LOVE to visit it.  It's a tea-riffic way to experience historic Southern culture and a living piece of American history!  Another reason I love buying Bigelow Tea at Walmart is because they support our troops.  Almost 4 million bags of tea have been sent to our overseas troops as part of Bigelow's Tea for Troops program


#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias

Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake Recipe

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup buttermilk made with lemon
(squeeze 1/2 tablespoon of fresh lemon into a 1/2 measuring cup, fill the rest of the measuring cup with milk, wait 5 minutes before adding to recipe)
4 tablespoons lemon rind, divided
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons freshly brewed Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon, divided
1 tablespoon sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  

CAKE:
Make your "buttermilk" with milk & lemon- set aside (as described above). Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in eggs, one at a time, until thoroughly mixed.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt.  Alternately add in buttermilk and flour to butter/sugar/eggs until combined.  Fold in 2 tablespoons fresh lemon rind and stir in 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice.  Pour into greased bundt pan and bake at 350 degrees until lightly browned, and top of cake bounces back when lightly touched.  Invert and cool on a wire rack.  

GLAZE:
Stir together powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon, and 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice.  Gently brush cake with 2 tablespoons of Bigelow Green Tea with Lemon, then drizzle glaze over the top letting it drip down the sides.

LEMON SUGAR TOPPING: 
Combine 1 tablespoon sugar with remaining lemon rind until combined well.  Sprinkle over your Lemon Tea Breakfast Cake.  


#AmericasTea #CollectiveBias


Store cake in a cool, dry place.  Best if eaten within a day or two, and SO good if heated in the microwave for about 20 seconds.  Enjoy! xoxo 


For more great recipes and tips using Bigelow Tea, visit the Pinterest Board here:



And to learn more about Bigelow Tea, visit them 
online/ Facebook/ Twitter

It does take a little bit of time to organize ourselves in the evenings, but I promise that it is well worth it for smoother, less stressful school mornings for myself and for my boys.  What tips do you have to get out the door to school on time?





Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Boredom Buster Station!

Awww, summer is finally here!  

Our boys seem to be among the last to get out for 
Summer Break, but finally...
Fun, carefree days of running in the sprinklers
eating popsicles,
swimming in the sun,
relaxing in the shade,
throwing water balloons,
playing with friends,
and amongst it all the dreaded words, 
"Mom, I'm BORED!"

Well, not this summer because I'm a step ahead of the game this time.  And I've got an answer to your Summer Boredom Blues... it's a Summer Boredom Buster Station & with a little prep on your part, you can keep your kids active, engaged, motivated and helping around the house all summer long!  

Kids need tools to get their brains flowing sometimes and they need goals to reach just like adults so I set up a little Summer Boredom Buster Station to help them find things to keep them busy this summer.  Not just "busy" though {because I could just park them in front of the TV, right?} but the activities in our Summer Boredom Buster Station will keep them learning, reading, sharing, playing games together, and yes, helping around the house!


Here's a breakdown of our station:

1st- A reminder that says "In Summer, the song sings itself" which I interpret as "Go with the flow & it's okay to have downtime."  Makes sense, right?  I got it from Carta Bella Paper via Pinterest {and my printer is almost out of ink so it came out purple instead of a chalkboard print... c'est la vie}

2- A pennant banner & reclaimed wood art, because those are obligatory items in any blog post.

3- Our Summer Fun chalkboard list.  I took an old cork board that one of my boys had written on with Sharpie {see picture at the bottom of the post} and gave it a quick coat of Rustoleum Chalkboard Spray Paint, then covered the ugly edges with washi tape.  We had a quick "Gallamore Meeting" with the boys to brainstorm things that we'd like to do this summer.  You can see a close-up of our list below.  I can't believe I forgot to write down the most important thing... boys stay the night at Nani & Papa's house!  That's one I'm looking forward to for sure.


The chalkboard came out really light & it's hard to see the writing from far away.  I think it's because I used a cork board for it, but it was free so I'm happy with how it came out.  The picture isn't doing it much justice.  And really, who puts "Read books" on their Summer Fun list?!  My reluctant reader suggested that one so of course I was thrilled to add it on there!

4- Clipboards for some fun "Out & About" summer stuff.  This summer we plan to do:

Click on the links above to get your child involved in these fun programs too.

 
5- A list of chores, because if they can't find anything else to do in our Summer Boredom Buster Station, there are always plenty of chores to be done around the house.  Nothing like a gentle nudge to find something fun to do, right?!  The boys have a daily chore too {it's usually something on this list that I choose for them} and we always sometimes {when Mom remembers} do our 10 minute Pick-Up at the end of the day, but occasionally they'll get a wild hair and want to do chores, so we brainstormed some extra age appropriate chores that they can do.


 6- Goals for each boy: For our 2 older boys, they have a few learning goals to work on over the summer to get them started off on the right foot for next school year.  Our 2 year old is working on his numbers, colors, shapes, and he's mastering potty training {whoop, whoop!!}  And our baby is switching from a bottle to a sippy cup. And of course, all four of them have that same last goal... 
keep being awesome! 


7- To help them reach their learning goals, I have some summer work from their teachers on a tray for each of them.  Every year when this kind of helpful stuff comes home, I usually put it in a pile & we forget about it until right before the next school year begins.  This year I'm on top of it {wahoo!}  I really do want them to work on a few things to get a jump start on the next school year like knowing the sight words for the year, and making sure they're up to speed on adding/subtracting (for our soon to be 1st grader) and multiplying/dividing (for our soon to be 3rd grader), and a few other things.

8- Supplies sharpened and ready for them.

9- Our Summer Boredom Buster Basket!  I love this thermal picnic basket because we are going to have once a week family picnics with Daddy after work {and it's currently on clearance at Michael's for $12.99- run and get one!}  Over the past couple of months, I've been slowing buying fun little things on sale here and there.  By the time the last day of school came, I had gathered enough books, games, water balloons, movies, and splash balls to put together this fun basket that I had it waiting on the table for the boys when they came home!  We've already put a lot of the items to good use, and I'll be restocking it throughout the summer with different things so that instead of them saying those dreaded words, "Mom, I'm BORED!" they can come to the basket & find something to entertain themselves instead. 


Not bad for a table that looked like this early yesterday, right? 

What are your plans for keeping your kids busy this summer?  I hope this Summer Boredom Buster Station gives you some ideas for helping you encourage your kids to find fun things to do this summer too!  I'm sharing it at some of my favorite party places! xoxo

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Goodbye Summer, Hola School!

These boys soaked in every last second that they could of this summer before starting school on Tuesday! 


Even though we miss Jake's preschool {it truly was a special place} I am soooo very happy that both of these sweeties are at the same school and on the same schedule.  They have been so excited to be at the same school.  We walk to school everyday, so I hardly even have to get in my car anymore  {yay for saving $ on gas... geesh!}


On Tuesday morning, our Kindergartener Jake was the 1st one up and out of bed, ready for his 1st day.  He wore his backpack around the house for half an hour before it was time to leave... so cute! 

 But when we got to school, my boys stilled seemed calm & relaxed, while I tried my best to hide it that I was a ball of nerves.  Our oldest started in a Multi-Age Technology Classroom, and our Kindergartener started in Spanish Immersion.  I was SO nervous for him.  We've practiced some Spanish over the summer, and have talked so much about what to expect and how it's okay that he won't understand at first.  But still... I imagined that tears would flow and I'd be stuck wondering if I made the right choice or not.  

But...

Have you ever been so incredibly pleased and proud of your kids that you just can't stop thinking about it?  Of course, there are plenty of "toys all over the floor" and "please stop whining" and "don't forget your manners" moments with kids, but forget all that for a minute.  

I'm talking about those beautiful, rare, amazing moments where you are so impressed that you can't even imagine why these amazing little people are entrusted to you?   

I have been amazed and humbled so far with my boys' attitudes in their new classrooms.  No tears, all smiles, and plenty of new knowledge shared with us at home.  

I mean, look at this little guy.  He went from two half-days at preschool to full-day total Spanish Immersion and he walks in for Day 2 like it's just no biggie.  


My heart is happy beyond words.

The night before school started, we read special books, including our favorite Back to School book, The Kissing Hand.  Have you read it?  I totally cry every time!  And I made these little Rice Krispie treat "kissing hands" for their after school snack on their 1st day.  I have a million and one cookie cutters, but I can't find my hand cookie cutter, so those were cut freehand... don't judge, I tried :))


The boys each brought their new teacher a cute little container from Target filled with lots of supplies and a little questionnaire from one of my favorite blogs, Thirty Handmade Days. It's super helpful to learn more about their favorite stuff now so we have ideas of what to get them for holidays, birthdays, and Teacher Appreciation Days! 

{sorry about that horrible lighting... I got to bed sooo late the night before school started!}

And, please no one tell Luke's big brothers that he really likes to "take care" of their fish while they're at school... yesterday I found his pacifier floating in their tank.  Oops!


Are your kids enjoying the new school year?  

Do you have any fun Back to School traditions 
that you look forward to each year?

Feel free to share your stories & 
traditions in the comments!! 

And I'd love to have you follow along here via Google Friend Connect or email {on my right sidebar}, or on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram or Twitter!  xoxo

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

3 things on my mind, plus a recipe...

I haven't posted in a whole week... 
where is the time going?!


We've been enjoying leisurely summer days for so long, and now all of a sudden, my boys start school in two weeks.  


Two different schools- both brand new for them.  
Akkk!!!  
Thankfully they don't seem to be nearly as nervous as I am :)  


So, to play a little catch up, 
here's what is on my mind...


1st: 
Today I went to the school office for my soon to be 1st grader to plead my case on why he MUST have the nicest 1st grade teacher there... nothing like being a pushy new mom, right?!  I can't help it.  He's a precious, sweet boy who has been in a little bubble so far in his education {and his whole life really}, and I am not ready for some meanie teacher to pop that bubble!


The secretary in the office looked SO familiar to me, and when she said, "You look so familiar to me..." I knew everything would be fine.  It turns out that we went to high school together!  I guess this really is a small town still.  And after talking to her,  I feel assured that he will be placed in the right classroom.  Don't let me down please, sweet Christina from high school... or I'll march in there again and I really don't want to be THAT mom :)


2nd:  
Natalie at A Turtle's Life for Me is precious to me too!  I mean, she's not my first born child, but I would march down to any school office for her too if needed :)  And I haven't even met her in real life!  I hopped on the computer today and saw THE SWEETEST post by Natalie, and it was all about me.  I seriously cried happy tears to think that she took all that time, effort, and thought to write a post about me.  Thank you Natalie!  And welcome to those of you who are new here at Gallamore West, and on Facebook, and on Pinterest thanks to Natalie's post.  I'm so glad you're here!
Isn't Natalie just the sweetest girl ever?!







3rd:
  I signed up to be a Scentsy consultant yesterday and I'm thrilled about it.  Nooooo, don't leave!!  I know that not everyone is into "selling" stuff, or in this case being sold something.  I totally get it because I'm not really into all that either.  So I promise you that Gallamore West will not turn into my platform to urge you to buy Scentsy products.  I do however think it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Actually, bread's not even this good... I think it's the greatest thing since cheesecake.  Now, that's good! :)   It's a product that I love and tell everyone about, so it seems a natural fit to sell it myself!


I love writing on my little blog here, so Gallamore West will still be about all the same stuff I've been writing about... 


every day joys 
 creating and crafting 
silly kiddos
sweet recipes 
traditions with our boys
and all that fun stuff.


I might just tell you about my monthly Scentsy specials up in the corner of my blog though in case you are interested in buying.  


Ohhh, and you all are learning just how much I love Pinterest, right?  
If not, check out my boards.  I'm a pinnin' fool :)


 And when I made {and LOVED} this Peanut Butter Cake last week that Natalie just happened to make too on the same weekend... I decided that I'd like to try a new recipe from Pinterest once a week or so, and bake it on Monday nights.  


Why Monday?  


So I can send some of the yumminess to work with the hubs, and also to school with the boys {my Pre-K boy is going 2 days a week only}.  This week I tried this recipe for Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake.   Seriously, any excuse to eat cake for breakfast is a winner in my book... it was delicious.  And oops, I didn't send a single piece out of the house!
image from alexandracooks.com


Buttermilk Blueberry Breakfast Cake
Recipe and pictures from alexandracooks.com


{I didn't have any lemons so I skipped the lemon zest, 
and mine needed to cook for about 47 minutes}.



Serves 6-8
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 tsp. lemon zest or more — zest from 1 large lemon
7/8 cup + 1 T. sugar
1 egg, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 cups fresh blueberries
½ cup buttermilk
1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Cream butter with lemon zest and 7/8 cup of the sugar until light and fluffy.
2. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until combined. Meanwhile, toss the blueberries with ¼ cup of flour, then whisk together the remaining flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Add the flour mixture to the batter a little at a time, alternating with the buttermilk. Fold in the blueberries.
4. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (or something similar) with butter or coat with non-stick spray. Spread batter into pan. Sprinkle batter with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Bake for 35 minutes. (Note: Some of you have found this cake needs much more time in the oven, so don’t be afraid to cook it for 10 minutes longer, if need be. Just check with a toothpick every 5 minutes or so.) Check with a toothpick for doneness. If necessary, return pan to oven for a couple of more minutes. Let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.


YUM!!  
So, I think that catches me up a little... 
Thank you again, Natalie for helping get my Facebook page to 300 fans.  You are such a sweetheart!  I have an ADORABLE giveaway post coming tonight!!! :)

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