Tactics To Make Family Meals Easy As Pie (Without Actually Serving Pie)

When you are tasked with cooking and shopping for an entire family, things can get complicated. Especially if the kids demand meals different from what the adults are eating. Happily, the following tactics can help you make managing family meals as easy as possible, all without serving pie. Unless you want to of course, and then feel free! 😉 

Have a stack of recipes to work from 

The first way you can make it much easier to manage your family meals is to have a big pile of recipes that you know everyone likes collected together. In fact, by doing this you won’t only cut down the time and effort that it takes you to come up with meal ideas for the week, but you will have easy access to the ingredients you will need to buy as well. 

Of course, the best way to do this is to save any recipes that you find online as a PDF, and then print them out, adding them to an easy to access binder. You can even convert them into editable PDFs and add any changes or additions before you print them that will make sure your family loves the recipes even more as well. In fact, you only have to look into what the best PDF editor for Mac, or for PC is, and then install this on your computer at home to do this. Something that is much easier than most people realize, and can make your meal planning so much less stressful each week.  

Shop online 

Next, it can be very beneficial to shop online if you want to make managing family meals as easy as possible. The reason being that you can do your grocery shopping from the comfort of your own home, and don’t have to worry about dragging the kids around the supermarket, or having to fend off all of their requests, for toys, drinks, and sweets! 

In fact, if you install a shopping comparison app, you will be able to see in which supermarket your groceries will cost the least each week too. Something that can not only make your life easier but save you a pretty penny as well. 

Serve everyone the same meal 

Lastly, when it comes to managing family meals, I’m a firm believer in serving everyone the same thing. Yes, one child may love pizza, and the other always wants pasta, but there is a way around this. 

In fact, what you need to do is allow everyone in the family to choose one meal each week. Then they will always be sure of getting what they want, and you can avoid any arguments on not eating what is put in front of them on the days that aren’t their choice. 

Happily, what this system does is ensure that everyone in the family gets a varied and well-balanced diet as well. Especially if parents pick vegetable-heavy dishes like the one below, something that means this system is a vital tool in your making managing family meals easy toolbox.   

Here’s a pie recipe! 😉

A 5-Step Guide to Planning A Baby Shower

If you, or one of your best friends, are soon to be a new mother, it is expected that there will be a baby shower. This event gives family and friends an opportunity to celebrate the coming of the baby and to some, meet the new arrival. Planning such a joyous event needn’t be stressful.

expecting parents. Mum with baby bump

With that in mind, here are a few tips to ensure that the event goes off without a hitch.

Compile a Baby Gift List – This will ensure that the new mum gets a variation of essential items that she will need. This could be included in the invitation, which will ensure that every guest has the list, and the new mother will have everything she needs to take care of the baby.

The Invitations – Designing and printing baby shower invitations is made much easier by enlisting the help of an online provider. You simply choose the text that you want, select the paper and the design and they do the rest, sending you the required amount of invitations by post. You should allow at least 6 weeks notice to guests when planning a baby shower, which gives them adequate time to rearrange their schedule to fit with the chosen date.

Food & Drinks – You should consult with the mum to be and see what ideas she has. You could simply order a few pizzas and make a salad buffet. It really depends on how many people you are going to invite, and a buffet is much preferable to a sit-down meal. As you know the guests, you will have a good idea about their drink preferences, and make sure that you have a range of drinks that includes non-alcoholic beverages, as not everyone drinks. If you are lacking inspiration over the menu, there are some great buffet ideas for a baby shower, which might help you prepare a varied menu.

baby shower food table

The Venue – It might be that you plan to hold the event at the new mother’s home, or a good friend offers to host the party. Whatever you choose, there needs to be ample parking facilities for the guests. You could have the party outside, if it is summer, and you can combine the garden with the home, to give the guests a choice. If you have enough of a budget, you could hire a hall or a private room in a resort or hotel, but most people use a home, which is more convenient.

Plan a Surprise for the New Mum – It is never a good idea to spring a surprise baby shower on the new mum, as she really does need to prepare herself, but you can include a little surprise within the party, which she would definitely appreciate. This could come in the form of her favourite cocktail, or all of her friends could get together and perform a song and dance routine.

As the event planner, you should draw up a list of things to do, along with a deadline for each item, and with attractive invitations from an online provider, the party will be one to be remembered for all the right reasons.

How To Look After Your Body And Mind As A Busy Mum

Let’s be honest, being a Mum can be pretty hard. By the time you’ve finished with all of the chores that you have to do, and your work, and you’re all done making bathtime fun with your kids… finding the energy to enjoy some time to yourself – whilst looking after your body and mind – is pretty futile.

What are you going to do, anyway, when you just want to curl up into a ball on the sofa? Starting those new fitness moves you’ve seen on various blogs and insta all of a sudden doesn’t seem so appealing OR easy!

But there ARE many ways to look after your body and mind when you’re a busy Mum, and here are some of the best of them.

How To Look After Your Body And Mind As A Busy Mum

Water. Lots and lots of water

OK, we’ve heard this one floating (sorry) around a lot, but the truth is that water can help you to look after your body AND your mind. Not only does it give you more energy to take on that big-scary-Mum-day, but it also keeps your skin clean, and your body cleansed.

We need water for a multitude of reasons, and being dehydrated just isn’t good news. Ditch the coffee (OK, not all of the time) in favour of a water bottle, and try to keep one in your bag when you’re out and about.

You’ll be glad that you did because when you’ve got more energy, you feel like a goddess with super healthy skin.

Steer clear of the wine

Whilst most of us like to enjoy a glass of wine every now and again, it really doesn’t serve your body – especially your liver. Sure, there’s nothing wrong with alcohol in moderation, but if you’re going overboard, then it’s not great.

Unfortunately, a few Mums do turn to the vino for stress relief, but it could be impacting upon your sleeping habits (it’s hard to get into a deep sleep as a result), and making you feel a little more groggy the next day.

If you think that you’re stuck in a habit with this, then it’s a good idea to get in touch with an organisation like help4addiction.co.uk. Alcohol is also a depressant, which isn’t helpful in the long-run (lecture over).

Take some time out

The most important piece of advice in this entire guide is to take some time out, just for you. That’s right, nobody else, just you.

You want to go for a walk to think things through and listen to music? Do it! You want to take yourself out for dinner? Do that too. Whatever you decide to do, it’s a good idea to be alone for a while sometimes, just so you can get your thoughts together. Taking a step back could be exactly what you need.

Don’t stress, we’re not telling you to take yourself on a solo trip to the Bahamas for a few weeks. Just for a coffee (sorry, water), or to the park to read a book, or wherever it is that you can do to collect your thoughts.

Talk about your feelings

A lot of the time, we’re under this immense pressure to uphold the world around us as Mums. We think that admitting that things are hard, or that we need help, or that we’re simply not feeling good, shows that we’ve failed in some way.

If this sounds like your thought process, then you could look after your mind simply by saying, ‘I need a bit of help here, so that I can take some time to heal.’ That doesn’t mean that you’re running away from things, just because you need to spend an evening talking to a friend.

It simply means that you’re a human being, who feels things and sometimes struggles. Talking about this stuff is important.

Find your own self-care

OK, so we could talk about self-care until the cows come home, but the truth is that different things work for different people. Whilst there are some things that are guaranteed to help a little, like getting enough sleep, it is purely subjective.

You will find things that lift you up, and make you feel like your mind and body are in a good place. Just because Rachel at the school gates told you that yoga was like, really cool, doesn’t mean that you have to love it.

So…

If you want to look after your body and mind as a busy Mum, then remember these simple things… but ultimately, do what makes YOU feel great!).

Reasons Why You Should Start Saving Now To Better Your Family’s Future

saving for familys future
Working towards the future, there are all kinds of goals we might have in mind for our family. Invariably, many of these goals will be centered around our finances, because if we don’t have the money in our bank accounts, we might inhibit our future and our family’s future later on.

By setting saving goals early on, you can work towards bettering your family’s future today, for the benefit all of you.

#1: Saving for those nice-to-have things your family wants

You don’t need money to have a good time with your family, but let’s admit it, a bit of cash in our pockets certainly helps. Set goals for something specific then, such as those bucket list travel destinations you have in mind, or on home improvements, such as a games room for you and the kids, and you will all benefit. Memories will be created, fun will be had, and you will create bonding moments that will strengthen your relationships.

#2: Save your money for those important life events that may affect your family

Your daughter’s wedding? Your children’s college fees? Moving your family to a new home? Some of these saving goals may not be set in stone at the moment, but they might be one day. The sooner you start saving your money, the more you will have to support yourself and your children when these life events start becoming a reality.

#3: Save money to support yourself after your retirement

You don’t want to be financially dependent on your children when you are older, so you really do need to consider your retirement, no matter how far away it might be. By doing so, you won’t have to carry on working, you will be able to enjoy your retirement, and if you need extra care as you get older, you will be able to afford care homes such as Porthaven instead of landing yourself on your children’s doorstep.

#4: Save money to pay off your debts

If you are forever burdened by debt, you might not have the means to buy those nice-to-have things for your family, or for those important life events that may happen en route. You won’t have the means to put a lot of money into your retirement fund either, and that will limit your lifestyle later on. Debt can inhibit you in lots of different ways, so to ensure you aren’t beholden to them forever, start to put extra money into your savings to clear your debts, and use the debt advice here to climb out of the debt pit sooner.

#5: Save money for those emergency situations

Ideally, you should have two saving accounts: one account for your expected saving goals, and another for those life events that are unexpected. Your car might break down, for example, or you might lose your job. These events can eat into your regular savings, and that can scupper your family’s short and long-term future. Therefore, set up an emergency fund for those ‘just in case’ moments, and despite the personal setbacks, you might be able to soften the financial blow.

So, have you set up a savings account yet? We hope we have given you sufficient incentive here for you to do so. Shop around your local banks if you haven’t already done so, consider the advice here, and then start putting money away. Your family’s future depends on it!

Pregnant? Top Steps to Take to Ensure Your Baby’s Health

The best situation for any foetus is for its mother to prepare her body before it has ever been conceived. There are a lot of medications, for example, that help a grown adult but could increase the risk of congenital disabilities or a miscarriage. Then there is the damage that drinking, smoking, and other recreational drugs can do to the baby while it is developing. There is a lot you can do before, during, and even after to ensure your baby has the best shot at life, so start today by following these steps:

Contact Your Doctor

It is not always possible to consult your doctor and prepare your body before you get pregnant. Sometimes it is a mistake, other times unexpected. For example, perhaps you have been trying for a baby for so long that you gave up, only to then discover that the pregnancy finally happened. Either way, once you find out it is best to visit your doctor for a consultation so that you can:

Get off Any Dangerous Medication

There are a lot of different medications that can harm a foetus that you will need to stop taking immediately. An example includes anti-depressants. You will need to work with your doctor to manage your mental health without the medication while pregnant.

Start Taking the Right Vitamins

There are a lot of vitamins you can take that will help your baby’s health, like folic acid. Folic acid has been proven to help your baby develop correctly and reduces the risk of abnormalities.

Stay Healthy and Active

Though it may seem contradictory to be active while pregnant, you do need to try. Exercise is an important part of a healthy body, which means you need to stay active throughout the entire experience. This will also help you bounce back faster and return to your pre-pregnancy weight easier.

How to Further Safeguard Your Baby’s Health in the Future

All the hard work you put into being healthy will not go to waste. It will help your baby develop correctly so that he or she can enjoy a healthy life right from the start. Make your effort go further, however, by visiting biovaultfamily.com to see how easy and beneficial it is to store your baby’s stem cells now. If they have a life-threatening disease or other illness in the future, they will then be able to access their healthy stem cells. Stem cell research is flourishing right now, and for good reason. Give your baby the opportunity to take advantage of their health in the future by safeguarding it today.

Your baby’s development should be your utmost priority. Do all you can to make your body the perfect haven, and prepare yourself further by taking classes and even making preparations to provide your child with the best chance medically in the future. Do this, and you will already have given your new baby a bright future.

Organising Your House With A Kid Friendly System

Your house is the haven of your life, and there’s a lot of love and respect you put into those four walls. Your children, however, might not feel the same way about them, and forever leave their toys strewn around and put felt tip marker on the wall when they get too creative with their colouring book!

Kids can be messy, there’s no two ways around that, but if you have a proper organisation system that’s both effective and fun, you know your kids won’t have too much trouble in sticking to it! And that’s where a post like this can come in: here’s a couple of the best ways you can organise your house in a kid friendly system… or you can attempt to at least!

You can just imagine the mess that’ll be left after this! 

kids pillow fight

Have a ‘Dump Spot’

We don’t mean the rubbish bin, which can be overflowing when you’ve got 2 or more kids in the house, but an actual spot near the door or in the living room where kids can keep the things they need for tomorrow all in one place. It’s an easy way to make sure they’re grabbing everything they need for school in the morning, and never leaving without their maths book again.

You can assign boxes to this spot, to make sure each of your children has a designated area to put their things, whether it be their pencil case or their lunchbox. And it’s an easy way for you to make sure they start taking some responsibility – if they don’t grab what they need from a special spot that makes it easier for them to remember, they have no one to get stroppy with as a result!

Give Kids Their Own Areas

If your children feel like they’re never have any privacy or ownership over their own home, they’re not going to be too helpful in the organisation process. You want your children to always feel comfortable at home, and for example, teaching them that their toys belong to them means you keep them that bit happier. But on the other hand, it shows that their parents won’t be along to take them away or tidy them up, making them a little bit more responsible in the process…

After all, by teaching them that that area belongs to them and them alone, and that Mummy won’t be along to tidy it up if they lose a toy they love, they’ll do everything they need to to keep it clean and tidy! And companies like Contemporary Architects can help you out with introducing this idea to your home, whether it be via a secret room/hatch within their own bedrooms, or an entirely new playroom extension you’ve always wanted to add onto your house.

Ready to get organised, as well as have your kids onboard? Well, now’s your chance to make sure your kids are growing up happy and healthy, within a house they helped to create themselves!

Ways To Make Your Life As Mummy, Easier

Whether you’re a Mum to five children, or you’ve just got the one special little bundle of joy, one thing we all have in common is that we’re constantly running around after them. Being a Mum is an exhausting job in itself, and then of course there’s the housework, our jobs, our spouses, and also trying to fit time in for yourself. One thing that all parents are looking for, is how to make their lives easier with little hacks here and there, especially when it comes to cleaning. So take a look at these fabulous ways to make your life as Mummy, easier.

make life easier

Invest in Tougher Products

While it’s understandable that you want to save every spare penny, buying store own brands of cleaning products might not always get the job done. Those hard dried stains on your hob just won’t come off with a simple spray of antibacterial now! Take a look at these highly sought-after products to make your life much easier when cleaning:

  • Elbow grease – and not the hard work kind either. This product is amazing for use on hard surfaces and even fabric! Simply spray, wait a little while, and wipe clean.
  • Zoflora is a disinfectant that comes in a range of incredible smells. It can be used to go over surfaces that wouldn’t otherwise smell nice. With so many uses for Zoflora, and at such a cheap price, you can have your home germ free and smelling amazing in no time!
  • The Pink Stuff is a creamy paste that’s perfect for cutting through grime and grease. Popularly used on oven doors to make them come up completely clean, it can be used pretty much anywhere around the kitchen. Again, simply let it do its job and wipe away with a damp cloth. Job done!

Modify Your Home

Sometimes, the worst job when it comes to cleaning is trying to get stubborn stains out of carpets, so why have them in every room? Consider putting oak laminate flooring by Factory Direct Flooring in the rooms that your children (and you) eat and perform messy play in so that you’re able to simply sweep up, mop, and still have time for that cup of coffee you’ve been craving all day. The same goes for surfaces in your home, try to keep them easy to wipe clean so that you’re not spending hours cleaning up after everybody, and you can enjoy time with them instead.

Consider Alternative Ways of Keeping your Home Clean

Fed up of vacuuming? Yeah, pretty much everyone is these days! However, you can now invest in a robotic vacuum to do all of the work for you! Simply set it to the room(s) you want, and let it do the work for you! All you’ll have to do is empty it from time to time!

Get Everyone Involved

Finally, rather than playing maid to everyone, why not get them all involved? Create chore charts for your children. Teaching your children to take responsibility of chores at a young age will help them later in life, and also give you even more time to sit with your feet up and a mug of hot coffee.

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