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    Thanksgiving is two weeks away, so most of you are likely busy planning out dinners, shopping, and cleaning.  Then once the dishes are done from your turkey dinner, everyone’s holiday rush begins.
    I always try to prepare as far in advance as possible, for the holidays.  This allows me to be able to enjoy the season so much more with the kids, because it is such a magical time of year.  I love the feeling that is in the air, when your not stuck in the mall!  There is only 4 weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas so I like to save time on the everyday errands and holiday chores whenever possible, so that I can pack the 4 weeks with family fun.

    Mommy Time Saving Tips for the Holiday Season:
    1. Plan ahead, If you haven’t started planning, start now!  
    I have already sat down and made out my Christmas list along with having the kids prepare their letters to Santa.  This way I already know exactly what needs to be purchased, I’ve also added everything on my shopping list to my shopping carts online.  This way once I compare the black Friday ads, which are already available online, anything that’s not on sale I can purchase quickly and have delivered right to my door.  I also created a Pinterest board of activities, crafts, and outings that I plan to do this year, aside from my regular board that is completely packed and overwhelming.  This board is more condensed and an easy and organized resource to check on when planning my week.
    I have also pulled aside the Christmas decorations that will be going up this year.  I had to pull out the Halloween decor last month and October is a lot less stressful than November and December, so I pulled the Christmas decorations out and sorted them into an area of the basement.
    2.  Plan ahead each week, I like to take every Sunday afternoon while the kids are unwinding from the weekend and sit down with my calendar and lists.  I plan out my meals, shopping needs, errands, work stuff, exc. so that I can look at my planner and know exactly what my week has in store for me.
    I also go into the kid’s rooms and plan out their outfit for the week and lay everything out.  This saves me from the hassle of doing it each day through out the week.  I also do this for myself if I have outings during the week that go beyond a yoga pant wearing day.
    3. Start your days early and be ready to go.  The holiday season also equals winter, which means it is dark by dinner time.  For me, this means my mind starts shutting off as my body thinks its the middle of the night.  So I need to take advantage of as much of the day light as I can, this means I do something I really hate, I wake up early.  Not only do I get out of bed early, but I get up and get ready to go.  
    I shower at night which saves me from having to shower and blow dry my hair in the morning.  I shower before bed which gives me some me time to enjoy it and de-stress, instead of rushing through it mid day before I head out the door.  I also let my hair air dry overnight so that I not only save time in the day, I also get to cut down on the heat damage being done to my hair.  I run a straightener through it in the morning or use a curling wand and I’m done.
    I also get dressed and get my sneakers on, so my hairs done, I’m dressed and ready to go for anything that pops up through out the day.  No more getting the kids on the bus in my pj’s, during this extra busy time of year I am dressed and heading out first thing to get any errands done that need to completed during the day.  This way its all out of the way as early as possible.
    4.  Get appointments out of the way first thing in the morning.  I’m up and dressed, so I try to schedule any appointments as early as possible.  This also prevents me from falling back and wanting to stay in bed late.
    I also make sure to keep errands that can be done on the go or from my phone packed in my pocketbook.  I am constantly waiting in doctors waiting rooms, sitting at hair appointments, or have my husband driving us somewhere.  During this time of year, I don’t want to waist anytime so I get things done on the run, instead of sitting at the kitchen table wasting an extra hour or two paying bills or declining DVD subscriptions.
    5.  Don’t waste time while doing errands.  Keep a list on your phone,  I keep my shopping list and errands list on my phone and add to it constantly so I don’t have to worry about forgetting anything or my list for that matter.  
    I also take advantage of apps, I have often thought about buying something and second guessed myself wondering if it’s cheaper somewhere else.  Now I use price comparing shopping apps, so I can see what price point things are everywhere.
    6.  Smart and quick cleaning.  Do routine cleaning a few times a day.  Run through the house in the morning, afternoon, and after the kids are in bed and clean up quickly.  This prevents any room from becoming a huge project.
    The bathroom is the room I hate to clean the most, so I am always looking for short cuts to getting it done.  I clean the bathtub with magic erasers most of the time, so I keep one in the shower.  That way I can clean the tub while I’m already taking a shower.  It gets it done while I’m already standing in the shower letting my hair soak in the conditioner anyways.  It’s great multi-tasking.
    7. Meal plan with quick and easy meals that the family likes.  I save all my over the top cooking for Christmas day and any parties before hand.  During an average week, I don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen making a meal, so I stock up on easy options that still fills everyone up with happy bellies.
    One of our go to meals is NESTLÉ® STOUFFER’S® Family Size Entreés Lasagna with Meat Sauce.  My family loves pasta, particularly lasagna and NESTLÉ® STOUFFER’S® Family Size Entreés makes it easy to give them one of their favorite dinner options easily during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
    We usually pair it with an easy side like baked asparagus.
    My Easy Baked Lasagna Recipe:
    Wash and cut asparagus, place on aluminum foil.
    Add 4 tbsp butter to the top of the asparagus
    Top with salt, pepper, garlic pepper, and Italian seasoning.
    Wrap with foil.
     place on baking sheet and cook along with the lasagna at 375 degrees.  Bake for 70 minutes, flipping the asparagus half way through.
    Everything is finished cooking at once, and ready to eat.  Easy peasy!
    The NESTLÉ® STOUFFER’S® Family Size Entreés Lasagna with Meat Sauce is on roll back at Walmart through 12/31, so now is the time to stock up your families quick dinner options.
    Be sure to check out more delicious recipes to pair with STOUFFER’S® Lasagna at the Flavorful Moments Pinterest board. I’d love to hear about your favorite side dish recipe!

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