Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Back-to-School & A Giveaway

This is sponsored content by BlogHer and Kelloggs.


M&TSchool-NutellaCookiePost

One of the hardest things about bidding farewell to summer is the necessity of fitting life into a succinct schedule. Gone are the mornings of eating breakfast in pajamas, showering late in the day, and lingering at the breakfast table to chat. Rather, the morning routine is compressed into one short hour before leaping into the car, Dukes of Hazards-style (well, almost), and rolling off out of the garage on time. Last year, we always seemed to be in a rush and tempers flared as the minutes ticked by. I am determined to change that this year.

The last thing my kids need is a mum and dad yelling at them to "Hurry up!" as they prepare for a day at school. To avoid the inevitable rush, I now attempt to have as many of the morning to-do items checked off the night before. Here are some tips that make our morning routine go smoothly (relatively-speaking):

1) Each night, I make sandwiches for the boys, wrap up some carrot sticks and a snack, and place them in the fridge - one pile for each boy. Lunch bags are placed on the counter so that we just have to place the lunches inside in the morning before the bags are tucked away in backpacks.

2) The boys are responsible for placing completed homework in their backpacks, along with anything else they would like to take (e.g., soccer or football).

3) The breakfast table is set with place mats, napkins, bowls, and utensils.

4) On the kitchen counter, we lay out the breakfast choices which are usually a whole wheat bagel, whole wheat muffins, or cereal. My husband and I typically eat Kellogg's Raisin Bran or Smart Start, while our eldest son chooses Rice Krispies. All that is left to do in the morning is pour the cereal, chop some fresh fruit, and pour the milk. We are adamant about eating a good breakfast each morning to insure a healthy start to the day. From research, we know that children that skip breakfast miss out on more than one-third of the day's recommended vitamins and minerals.

5) Each morning, the boys hope for a few minutes of playtime before heading off to school. They know, however, that there are certain things that they must complete in time for that happen - get dressed, brush hair and teeth, and put on shoes. The promise of playtime is a very effective motivator for completing these tasks.

For a chance to win a $100 Visa gift card, please answer the following question in the comments section:

"What are your tips for making your mornings go smoothly?"

Please, no duplicate comments.
You may receive an additional entry by linking on twitter and leaving a link in the comments.
You may receive an additional entry by blogging about this contest and leaving a link in the comments.
This giveaway is open to US Residents aged 18 and older
Winners will be selected via random draw, and will notified by e-mail, so please be sure that you leave an email address.
You have 48 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.

Please head to the BlogHer.com Kellogg exclusive offers page for 24 additional chances to win a $100 Visa gift card.

This giveaway will run from 9/14 - 9/20/2010.

For more information on Kellogg's, head to www.loveyourcereal.com.

Please see the official rules for this giveaway.

Mom’s Breakfast Club was started to help educate moms and families about kids’ cereal and share the scoop on their nutritional benefits and ingredients. To learn more about the program, visit www.loveyourcereal.com.
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135 comments:

Mami2jcn said...

So far things haven't gone too smoothly, because we're still adjusting (especially my kindergartener). I have their bookbags and lunchboxes packed the night before, and have their outfits laid out for them.

mami2jcn at gmail dot com

Kim said...

What helps my morning go smoothly? I try to have the kids clothes all out and ready to go the night before. I have the back packs waiting at the front door. I give the boys a really well balanced breakfast to help their day start off right.
kimprine1 @ yahoo.com

eula said...

I also pack lunch the night before and make sure my purse has everything I need for the next day. Or I place everything I need in a pile on my desk so I know to take it before I go. bluealue(at)gmail(dot)com.

oneordinaryday said...

Homemade pancakes made in huge batches, then frozen! They start my kiddos' days off with a nice warm, healthy breakfast.
And no tv is a biggie too.

Anonymous said...

I have a family calendar in the kitchen with everyone's schedules as well as a daily checklist for each family member! tracietrump@yahoo.com

Patrice said...

I delegate some of the jobs, so it's not all on me. It helps them learn to be more responsible and to do things for each other.

patrice@everydayruralty.com

Kelly Massman said...

Eat something quick-like cereal!
kmassman gmail

Liz said...

Do as much as you can the night before. clothes picked out, lunch made, etc.

lizgiver at gmail dot com

Liz said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/lizgiver/status/24511894137

lizgiver at gmail dot com

Liz said...

I blogged about the giveaway
http://giveawayobsession.blogspot.com/2010/09/more-giveaways-to-check-out.html

lizgiver at gmail dot com

KaHolly said...

Good planning the night before, a happy attitude, and a healthy breakfast ready to go! A regular schedule for bedtime, homework time, and leisure time. It was always difficult to ‘give up the kids’ at the end of the summer because we had so much fun. Always tried to extend the fun by planning little adventures over the weekends while the weather remained nice into the fall. Arts and crafts during the winter months.

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

I also prep and prepare lunches the night before, such as cutting up lots of carrots and celery for the next few days, slicing all bagles for their sandwiches, add whatever dry snacks to their lunch bags. We also pick out what clothes they want to wear along with their shoes (so we're not hunting for them in the AM).

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

I RT using your tweet button =)

Rachelle @ "Mommy? I'm Hungry!" said...

oops, this is my link @MommyImHungry for Tweeting:

http://twitter.com/MommyImHungry/status/24513186300

Nicole said...

If we are in a rush in the morning cereal and bananas are awesome ways to make our mornings go smoothly!

pittsy82@hotmail.com

Nicole said...

Tweeted http://twitter.com/pittsy82/status/24526219062

pittsy82@hotmail.com

Sprinkled with Flour said...

For us, planning the night before is key. Clothes are laid out, backpack is packed and in the car already, breakfast is planned and everything ready to go. Nothing slows down your morning quite like having to search for things at the last second:)

sprinkledwithflour@yahoo.com

Sprinkled with Flour said...

I also tweeted about your giveaway:)

C's Mommy said...

We try and do as much as possible the night before! No one in our house is a morning person and being prepared is the only way we are getting there!!!

Some Lucky Dog said...

Prepare, prepare, prepare!! Do everything you can the night before! Pick out school clothes for the next day, get homework into backpack, make sure everything that needs signed it signed, plan for breakfast and lunches for the next day!

someluckydog at gmail dot com

Some Lucky Dog said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/someluckydog/status/24546826240

someluckydog at gmail dot com

Some Lucky Dog said...

I blogged about the contest!
http://someluckydog.blogspot.com/2010/09/giveaways-this-week-at-moms-breakfast.html

someluckydog at gmail dot com

allysmama said...

I always make sure clothes are laid out,lunches are prepped, backpacks are ready and the kitchen is clean before I go to bed. This USUALLY makes my morning go smoother!
thanks
bleatham*at*gmail.com

allysmama said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/sleatham1/status/24550903287
bleatham*at*gmail.com

Robin M. said...

Doing as much as possible the night before... clothes, school stuff, lunch, etc.

Wander said...

You're very organized!

I have teens. They are pretty good about having their act together.

I just have to manage everyone.

We're not morning people!

Kerry said...

I'm with you - our lunches are packed the night before. And our clothes are laid out and ready to go for the morning also.
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Kerry said...

tweeted: http://twitter.com/KerryBishop/status/24584717488
nuthouse(at)centurytel(dot)net

Charlene Canfield said...

I get up earlier than my son and try to get everything done for me before I wake him up. Then most of my time is centered around him.
cjcmommy@gmail.com

Charlene Canfield said...

I tweeted @ http://twitter.com/cjcmommy/status/24587263508
cjcmommy@gmail.com

Betty N said...

We always did everything we could the night before; lunches made, homework done and checked, clothes for next day laid out, etc

Paige said...

We do Carnation Instant Breakfast in the morning!

Ninja Panda said...

I am SO not a morning person, so eating a full breakfast during the work week is NOT gonna happen, lol. I do however, grab a banana or protein bar on the way out the door. You can usually find me munching on those during my morning commute. =)

ninjapandawedding(at)gmail(dot)com

Brooke said...

I take care of the dogs before I take care of anyone else, even myself. Once they're done, the morning is a lot smoother. A lot.
shutterboo at gmail dot com

Betty N said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/Grandma3710/status/24607540414

Just call me b said...

If I have things done the night before, it makes it easy. Lunch boxes out and ready, papers signed, field trip forms complete, etc....it goes so much smoother!

Anonymous said...

A good morning means a good breakfast. My kiddos are super huge fans of cereal! I always like to add fruit into the mix as well!
Tara E.
giveawayblogs@gmail.com

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

Backpacks are packed the night before and, fortunately, my daughter likes to eat the same thing every morning - for years it has been Multi-Grain Cheerios and milk!
shescookin @ gmail.com

Priscilla - said...

I tweeted it! http://twitter.com/shescookin/status/24635444512

Anonymous said...

COFFEEE!

laurahamp@gmail.com

John said...

I have to get up earlier in the mornings and prepare all things.

jdrombo at ayhoo dot com

Isabelle said...

I prepare everything in the evening so in the morning we are all set.

iamfirestar AT yahoo DOT com

Anne J said...

My kids are old enough to get themselves ready, I just make sure they wake up.
ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

Anne J said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/lunaj1456/status/24720330205

ajolly1456 at gmail dot com

yardsailor said...

I don't have to do this anymore, children are all grown, but I always had a checklist, that I would boringly repeat every morning. Lunch,or money, homework, sneakers,jacket. Ask my kids, they still chant it back to me when they are leaving my house!

Tabathia said...

They get up starting at 6 am and start getting ready, I have a breakfast schedule set up or we discuss it the night before. They know to start eating breakfast at 7 am and to be dressed by then
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Tabathia said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/ChelleB36/status/24755796994
tbarrettno1 at gmail dot com

Susan C. said...

I try to get everything organized the night before, too. Bags packed, clothes picked out, etc. Makes the mornings MUCH easier.

sodahoney said...

The key in our house is pre plannng and responsibility sharing. Menus are planned a week ahead and everyone has their rhesponsibilies.

sodahoney said...

tweet http://twitter.com/sodahoney/status/24765776051

sodahoney said...

Blogged http://sodahoney.blogspot.com/2010/09/giveaways-ending-sept-20-to-sept-27.html

Amber said...

Our mornings go smoothly with quick and easy breakfasts like cereal and fruit.

shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com

Amber said...

I tweeted:
http://twitter.com/lipstickncandy/status/24767847418

shevilkenevil1 at aol dot com

Anonymous said...

Just by waking up earlier than my daughter makes the morning go by smoothly.
MCantu1019@aol.com

fostertam said...

When my step daughter was school aged we made sure she took a shower the night before instead of in the am (because she stayed in there so long!) and picked out her clothes the night before also

won said...

We do what we can the night before, which actually includes quite a bit!

And in the mornings, we try to be gentle and cooperative with one another, and have a decent breakfast before starting the day.

won said...

http://twitter.com/#!/won2x/status/24785015784

Thank you!

fostertam said...

I pick out and iron my clothes the night before--always take my shower in the evening so I can have maximum time to get ready in am

JC said...

Get everything ready the night before helps me a lot.

JC said...

http://twitter.com/tcarolinep/status/24794352371

JC said...

blogged.http://tcarolinep.blogspot.com/2010/09/giveaway-points-of-review_17.html

Eva said...

I make sure that the night before, we get a lot of sleep so we can actually wake up in the mornings and not be late to school!
evil_eva12 at hotmail dot com

Katie said...

We lay out clothes, pack snacks and backpacks, etc. But it's still a mad rush b/c my daughter is really slow but we try to let her sleep as late as possible b/c she also needs a lot of sleep.

kt1969 at comcast dot net

Katie said...

Tweeted:

http://twitter.com/Skaketgirl/status/24800500393

kt1969 at comcast dot net

Deb said...

My husband and I divide and conquer. He gets the boys breakfast. I get their teeth brushed and dressed. He packs the lunches. I pack the backpacks. I leave for work. He takes them to the bus. He leaves for work. Clockwork.

gmissycat said...

Kids to bed early, takes them a while to go to sleep but give them a bowl of warm oatmeal first and a glass of milk for their tummies!
gmissycat@yahoo.com

gmissycat said...

Tweeted giveaway!
http://twitter.com/gmissycat/status/24810898421
gmissycat@yahoo.com

Dolphin Girl said...

We get as much done as possible the night before. Showers, bags packed, clothes picked out. . .

Dolphin Girl said...

http://twitter.com/kdolphins7/status/24823078089

Leah @ A Butterfly In My Stomach said...

For a smooth morning, get the kids to be early. Have a chore chart on their wall beside bed as a visual reminder of what is to be done. Hardest part: INFORCING IT!

leahforlove(at)aol(dot)com

jakiesmom said...

i make sure my sons backpack is ready the night before
nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

Anonymous said...

Packing lunches the night before and keeping breakfast simple is our strategy!

~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com

Anonymous said...

http://twitter.com/tigergal01/status/24861037871

tweet!

~eunice b
tigergal01 @gmail .com

floating said...

We try to pick out clothes the night befoer and have shoes and back pack by the door, this dont always work but it is our goal for easier mornings.

susan1215 said...

We make sure backpacks are packed the night before and we have quick breakfast foods like cereal, toast and yogurt

s2s2 at comcast dot net

susan1215 said...

http://twitter.com/susan1215/status/24896880229

sy said...

we stock up on lots of cereal so we can always grab those for breakfast.
songyueyu at gmail

sy said...

i tweeted http://twitter.com/syytta/status/24898477615

Deanna G. said...

I just try and get as many things done as I can the night before.

(email in profile)

Deanna G. said...

Tweeted the giveaway:

http://twitter.com/calidreamin87/status/24898736522

Nicole said...

I make sure to put all dirty dishes in the dishwasher and run it at night. Mornings go so much easier if we have the kitchen cleaned up the night before. I will also set out bowls, spoons, cereal, bread, fruit the night before so it is ready to go.
nbalogh522 at gmail dot com

Nicole said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/maybaby522/status/24900949150
nbalogh522 at gmail dot com

marybug2 said...

Get everything done the night before and a quick bowl of cereal and out the door we go.
marybug2@yahoo.com

marybug2 said...

I tweeted your giveaway
http://twitter.com/marybug2/status/24903747524
marybug2@yahoo.com

katychick said...

Wake your kids up WAY ahead of time- let them slowly wake up to cartoons-then get into high gear- changing clothes- eating breakfast and etc..
tcogbill at live dot com

jillyrh said...

My tip is to pack lunches and backpacks the night before

jillyrh said...

Tweeted

http://twitter.com/jillyrh/status/24913231074

Terri said...

Have everything ready to go the night before00clothes out and go through their backpacks.
whitbrit AT gmail DOT com

LAMusing said...

I don't have kids, but I lay out my clothes the night before so I don't have to make decisions while still half asleep. Also I leave at least 10 minutes earlier than I NEED to - I hate stressing out in traffic

adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Norma said...

my daughter is grown now, but when she was still in school I always made sure her lunch was packed the night befre, and she layed out her clothes and homework so we were ready to go - no hunting for school books or looking for a shirt that was probably in the laundry!

bingomamanorma(at)gmail(dot)com

LAMusing said...

tweet! http://twitter.com/LAMusing/status/24919306909
adrianecoros(at)gmail(dot)com

Bri said...

We make school / work days easier by getting up 30 - 45 minutes earlier than we need to, giving us plenty of time to get ready and prepare for the day :)

jeweledfantasy(at)gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I will make breakfast foods on Sundays that can be reheated each morning. Sometime it is pancakes, waffles, or breakfast burritos. That way the family can have these foods without getting myself frazzled every morning trying to cook a big breakfast.

mmburdette22@yahoo.com

Tracey said...

Like you, I try to have as much as possible done the night before!

DG said...

Getting a good night's sleep (by 8:30 the latest) and a high fiber cereal breakfast help the mornings go by easily. Also, really sticking to a schedule helps rather than summer anything goes attitude :)

dreamzz12[at}aol{dot}com

DG said...

tweeted!

http://twitter.com/DeeGee13/status/24956522300

dreamzz12{at]aol{dot}com

Barbarawr said...

We get everything ready the night before so it's get up, get dressed, andget out. We can do it in 12 minutes - LOL. Breakfast is a bagel surreptitiously eaten in her first period class.

Email address is in blogger profile

Barbarawr said...

I tweeted http://twitter.com/bsw529/status/24958300951

Email address is in blogger profile

DG said...

http://deegee13.xanga.com/733080904/breakfast-campaign-giveaways/

blogged! :)

dreamzz12{at]aol{dot}com

Deb ~ tnshadylady said...

Like you, I like to get everything ready the night before (especially clothes) so there's no harried running around looking for things at the last minute.

Deb ~ tnshadylady said...

http://twitter.com/tnshadylady/status/24960302026

Shel said...

We lay out clothes and find missing shoes the night before so there's no search-and-destroy mission in the mornings. I also make my daughter shower before going to bed so we're not so rushed in the morning.

shel704 at aol dot com

Shel said...

Tweeted:
http://twitter.com/auntiethesis/status/24963276705

shel704 at aol dot com

Samantha said...

The best way to get our morning to run smoothly has been to be as prepared as possible the night before. My daughter takes her shower and lays out her clothes at night and I pack her lunch and get her backpack ready. We even decide how she will wear her hair and what she wants for breakfast before we go to bed. The mornings are usually flawless when that is done.
Thanks!
Samantha Daleo
jamesmadison1974@gmail.com
or
jamesmadison1974 at gmail dot com

PauleyD said...

We prepare ahead of time. We set out their uniforms the night before, and have most of their lunch packed ahead of time.

pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

PauleyD said...

http://twitter.com/lpauld68/status/24974761045

pauleyd68 (at) yahoo (dot) com

Angel Jacklyn said...

Start breakfast before waking up everyone else because the smell of bacon and eggs helps to stir them up.
kytah00@yahoo.com

Angel Jacklyn said...

Tweeted for you!
http://twitter.com/kytah00/status/24981284122
kytah00@yahoo.com

Tracey said...

I tweeted the giveaway - http://twitter.com/GirlstoGrow/status/24982172588

Megan said...

This is our first year to have to worry about the mornings. I've homeschooled my kids until this year and now have two going to a private school (still homeschooling the other two). The biggest stress buster we have in the morning is the scheduled bathroom time that we do NOT deviate from. If you miss your scheduled shower time, you've missed it. We're about 5 weeks in so far and it's working great.

cdabs said...

Picking out the day's clothes the night before makes a huge difference.

Kim said...

We make sure the backpacks are filled and the breakfast basics are on the table the night before.

Annette D said...

I try to do as much as possible the night before, I lay out clothes and as much of the lunches as possible ready.

Annette D said...

tweeted http://twitter.com/annedoggett/status/24986598666

Nancy White said...

Three Words: Pop Tart Mondays! Everybody gets their favorite flavor as we ease our way into the work/school week.

Racingjourno said...

Sticking to a routine keeps things moving smoothly.

scoopster(nospam)at yahoo dot com

Racingjourno said...

Tweeted http://twitter.com/LuigiFranco/status/24995105511

scoopster(nospam)at yahoo dot com

slehan said...

I don't do mornings very well so I have to get everything ready the night before. Thanks for the contest.

slehan said...

blogged: http://slehan.blogspot.com/2010/09/win-100-moms-breakfast-club.html

slehan said...

http://twitter.com/slehan/status/25002744288

swisspotluck said...

The number one thing we do is get everything prepared or ready to go the night before. Mornings have never been my friend and so if things are left to be done in the morning they often get overlooked or forgotten or done not so well. Things just go smoother when not done in semi-consciousness.

swisspotluck said...

I tweeted about this as well:
http://twitter.com/swisspotluck/status/25012238996

trishden said...

Hello, we make sure all homework and papers that must go back to school is done the night before and neatly packed away in the backpack with lunch money or lunch ready in the fridge, clothes are laid out for the next day and we've already discussed what's for breakfast. Then when morning comes, they take their showers and show up to the table about 20 minutes before the bus comes and everything goes pretty smothly. Thanks for a great giveaway!
trishden948(at)yahoo(dot)com

trishden said...

I tweeted on Twitter here:
http://twitter.com/trishden/status/25013822128

Thanks!
trishden
trishden948(at)yahoo(dot)com

07violet said...

preparing the night before and having simple things like cereal or oatmeal with fruit

alterna7 at hotmail dot com

Lori said...

Ben Franklin- "Early to bed early to rise I think the rest is keeps a man healthy wealthy and wise, no?)" and that works for my kids.
lkziegler[at]gmail[dot]com

Beana said...

Our smoothest mornings are when lunch is already packed, 2 sippies of milk are in the fridge and Mom gets up on time!! When I'm rushed and stressed, the kids act out more and protest the morning routine.

Patty said...

I know this sounds counter-intuitive, but since I KNOW I am not a morning person, I actually set my alarm earlier than I need to. This gives me the chance to move slower, think slower, and let my brain awaken at its own pace. I find I am much less frazzled when I can indulge in SLOW...

Tracy R said...

I set aside enough "me time" for coffee first. It really helps me focus on the rest of the morning.

Tracy R said...

I tweeted
http://twitter.com/tracylr233/status/25062607713

sisinpacific said...

get up and go chart. They have a arrow with velcro that they move along so I don't harp on them every morning about the same thing.

PS it would be nice if you could post the winner of your contests. Just fun to know.

Julie said...

The only left going to school is my daughter who is a junior in h.s…but I am lucky-she always plans out her outfit the night before,her books in her packback etc.
thanks for the giveaway
aunteegem@yahoo.com

Hannah said...

I don't have kids in school, so I can't give tips for making things easier with kids!
I make my mornings easier by planning them out the night before, making sure clothes are ironed and breakfast is decided.

aigcanada7 at hotmail dot com

Hannah said...

http://twitter.com/achrissmile/status/25093597532

aigcanada7 at hotmail dot com

Karate Mom said...

Sticking to our routine makes things go smoothly. As homeschoolers, we don't have to be out of the house by a certain time, but we do have certain things that need to be done before we start school and we don't waver from that