FOUR TIPS TO KEEPING YOUR ENERGY LEVELS UP

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Energy is a elusive concept.  One day, you’re ontop of the world, ready to run for hours and the other you are flat on your face lying on your living room floor. There are ebbs and flows and finding a good balance between the two sides can be a difficult and daunting task.  Throw in homeschooling, keeping your home tidy and attempting to blog during the wee hours of the night, and you have yourself a recipe for the inevitable crash.
I have found that there are a few things that help me balance out my energy levels throughout  the day and I am sharing those with you today!
Here are my four tips to keeping your energy levels up:
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BEDTIME ROUTINES AND A FREE PRINTABLE

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We have been looking forward to the first day of school for some time now. Grace is officially starting kindergarten and Haddon is convinced that he too will be starting school. During our school days, we like to have a routine to keep us focused and on track. This also works well for the kiddos at night. I’ve noticed that when Grace knows what to expect, our day and our evenings, run much smoother.

Our morning routines are a little different for Grace and for Haddon. They both wake up at the same time, but they have different tasks throughout the day that are tailored to their school, their extra curricular activities and Haddon’s nap time. Their evening routines are identical, which makes things a whole lot easier for me.

I thought I’d share with you what our evenings look like and share a FREE printable for you to download and use with your kiddos.  This bedtime routine is super easy to follow and fun for the kids.  I like to print one out and use a sheet protector to slide the printable right in.  In the evenings, I let Grace and Haddon check off what they’ve done.  Giving them an opportunity to use dry erase markers always gets them really excited.

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HOMESICK AND GRANDMOTHER’S ROASTED CHICKEN

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It’s no surprise that I love to cook.  We have a complete section dedicated just to food on this blog, I share food recipes on my Instagram, and a lot of my work is food related.  However, the most fun I have around this topic revolves around cooking for my family. I feel like cooking is a lot like sharing a group hug with those you love. There is love, emotion, and intimacy that goes with sharing a meal.  It’s a labor of love and affection for those around you.

Today I’m sharing with you our favorite and most requested chicken recipe. It’s a recipe that has been passed down from generations.  It’s simple, nutritious, and it always reminds us of home. This may be the reason why we make it so much. Whenever we’re feeling a little bit homesick I’ll whip this recipe right up, add a side of mashed potatoes and we are transported right back to grandma’s kitchen.

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MY MOM’S LASAGNA WITH A TWIST

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Hey friends today I’m sharing an easy weeknight meal with you using simple ingredients that can be picked up at your local Walmart. Now, just because it’s easy, does not mean that it’s lacking in flavor. This recipe is packed with spices that have been passed down from my mom and it’s comfort food at its finest.  It’s also a super easy weeknight meal that’s perfect for when our kiddos are headed back to school using Campbell Soup Company’s back to school products.  Yum!

My mom is a fabulous cook. Growing up, she was able to use whatever ingredients she had at hand to make delicious feasts for a family of six. That’s right, three growing boys to feed and myself. She had a way of bringing simple meals to life and infused her children with Latin flavor that runs deep down.  There was soul, there was love, there was pride, and she told a story with every meal she made,  from her classic arepas to her hayacas during the holidays. One of my favorite dishes that she makes is a Spanish lasagna. She learned to make it when she was a little girl following in her dad’s footsteps, and anytime she made it, it would take hours of labor and love. These days, I try to bring in her love for food and recreate the recipes she has passed down but with my own twist.  I want to share with you my take on her Spanish lasagna.  This is a recipe that I whip up during our busy weeknights. It’s quick, but it packed with the same flavors that remind me of home.
 

Ingredients

1 lb.  ground beef

1 medium onion, chopped

1 jar (24 oz.) Prego® Italian Sauce. I like using Prego® Italian Sauce, because it adds a great base flavor for this dish.  It has a perfect balance of sweet and savory Italian flavors and it’s simple and easy for a weeknight.

1 tbs of dry thyme

1 tbs of dry oregano

2 tbs of chopped up basil

2 cups of shredded parmesan cheese, divided

15 oz container of ricotta cheese

1 egg, beaten

1 package of lasagna, noodles cooked (see package for instructions)

salt and pepper to taste

4 tbs of olive oil

Directions

  • preheat oven to 350°F
  • brown the beef in a large skillet coated with 2 tbs of olive oil on medium-high heat
  • meanwhile, mix ricotta,  1/2 cup parmesan cheese and egg until blended
  • add the onions to the skillet and cook until the onion is a bit translucent
  • add pasta sauce and simmer for another five minutes and add they dried thyme, salt and pepper to taste
  • take sauce off the stove and add fresh basil
  • assemble:  spread 1 cup meat sauce onto bottom of 13×9-inch baking dish; top with layers of lasagna noodles, 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture and 1 cup meat sauce. Repeat layers twice. Top with remaining noodles, meat sauce and cheese
  • cover with foil sprayed with cooking spray
  • bake for one hour or until heated through, removing foil after 45 min
  • let stand for at least 10 minutes before serving
  • enjoy!

Along with Prego® Italian Sauce, I also pick up V8 Splash® because it’s packed with a good source of essential antioxidants, great taste and nutrients.  A trick I learned from my mom is to keep a can of Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Soup to enhance the flavors of your dishes and I always have some in my pantry.

Want to try this recipe? Hover over the pictures and you can get them right off this post!

If you’re like me, and want more weeknight meal inspirations you can click here to visit theCampbell’s Shortcut Meals website and get more back to school meal inspiration.

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