Prepping for College and Dorm Life PART 1

Prepping for College and Dorm Life


Graduation Season is coming to an end.  I still can’t believe how quickly the 2015-2016 School Year went?  It’s the closing of one chapter and the beginning  of another.  So it seemed like the perfect time  to start Our Getting Ready for College and Dorm Life Series.

Back to school shopping has always been a big part of prepping for the new year.  Only this year in addition to school supplies and clothing, if you are off to college, your list is gonna be a bit bulkier.  So rather than wait, let’s get started.

Dorm Rooms tend to be a considerably smaller space than you are used to working with.  Even if you had your own room, chances are that you didn’t have to confine everything you owned into one tiny area.  So now, not only are you sharing a room but your square footage has greatly diminished.

If I could offer a teeny bit of advice, if at all possible coordinate and commiserate with your room mate.  It’s no use wasting valuable real estate by having duplicates of the same item.  Unless of course, you are a germ-a-phobe and you already know that sharing just isn’t gong to work for you.  And, if that is the case, I am not sure that the dorm experience is one that you are going to enjoy.

One of the things that I missed the most when I went off to college were the comforts of home, and Mom’s home cooking.  So although you probably won’t be whipping up any gourmet meals in your room, having options makes all the difference.   After all there will be days when you don’t make it to the cafeteria in time or you just want a late night snack.

Here’s our list of Small Kitchen Appliance Must Haves for Your Dorm Room.

Small Appliances for Your Dorm Room

Photo Sources: Bed Bath & Beyond

  1. Keurig® 2.0 K250 Coffee Brewing System
  2.  Hamilton Beach Electric Can Opener
  3. Koolatron BC-46SS 1.7 cu. ft. Kool Compressor Compact Refrigerator
  4. Hamilton Beach® 6-Slice Toaster Oven
  5. Oster® 1.1-Cubic Foot Digital Microwave Oven

Stay Tuned for Next Weeks  “Must Haves”.


Thanksgiving After Thanksgiving

Meal Planning for when you are not Hosting a Holiday.


We all know the best part of Thanksgiving, next to the joy of seeing friends and family and really tasty fattening food, is the left overs.   So what happens, when you aren’t the one cooking/hosting, and you’re heading home that afternoon? When you have Thanksgiving away from home, chances are you are going to head home empty handed.

So this year, I decided to pull together a pseudo Thanksgiving meal.  What the heck does that mean?  It means that I was going to cook a meal that takes far less time, but that could resemble a Thanksgiving Meal to the untrained eye and maybe even untrained pallet.

Of course, I made this decision far too close to crunch time(Tuesday night), so that meant that I had just a short time to determine what exactly that meant.  So I decided to put together a small menu that I thought I could pull off with ease, and we would  have a great meal when we returned home.

My Original Thoughts – Turkey Breasts from HoneyBaked Ham, Green Bean Casserole, Baked Mac and Cheese, Some Jazzed Up Stuffing, Pepperidge Farm Chocolate Cake.. Yum

The Actual Menu – (I just couldn’t talk myself into getting in that HoneyBaked Ham line the day before Thanksgiving.)

Italian Chicken Breasts, Green Bean Casserole, Baked Mac and Cheese, Some Jazzed Up Stuffing, and Pound Cake.. Still Yum.

I know you are probably shaking your head, and thinking , you have to Meal Plan, even when you aren’t Meal Planning.  But, such is the life of Mommy.

What does your family eat after they get home, when you aren’t hosting for the holidays?



Some Like it Hot!!

I love HOT BREAKFAST!!  But, I don’t necessarily LOVE to make it.  I am absolutely not a morning person, and in the AM, I am most comfortable GRUMBLING until after I have had my STRONG COFFEE.

Breakfast Ideas that Start the Night Before - Give Your Family a Hot Meal without having to Cook in the AM

That being said, I don’t have the luxury of doing that anymore now that I have little ones to get up and get dressed.  The other day a girlfriend of mine told me that she got guilt-ed into making breakfast for her kids when a coworker told her that she makes her kid’s hot breakfast EVERY DAY!!  She went on to ask if my kids eat Oatmeal.  Which they don’t and to tell me that she was preparing Oatmeal in her Crock Pot(that night), so that they could eat in the morning.

This got me to thinking about all the different meals that I could prepare for breakfast the night before.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not about to change into June Cleaver over night.  But, I wouldn’t mind finding something I could throw in the Slow Cooker on a Friday or Saturday night, since I normally try to make Hot Breakfast for the Whole Family on the Weekend!!

We are pretty traditional when it comes to our Breakfast Foods.  The usual, Turkey Bacon, Sausage, Eggs, Toast or Biscuits.  I sometimes get a little fancy, when afforded the luxury of sleeping in with omelettes and quiche, but not often, since I tend to be the only one eating it.

Soo… after doing some Pinterest Hunting, these are some recipes that I am putting in my arsenal.  I am adding them to my Fall Bucket List, and will updpate you all on how Easy they are, but more importantly how they go over with the Fam!!

Do you cook breakfast in the Crockpot?  What’s your go to Breakfast?

Crock Pot French Toast

Copy Cat Cracker Barrel Hash Brown Casserole

Breakfast Casserole –** I have already tried this one several times, but not in a while.  I should tell you that it always RETURNS BIG REVIEWS.  I have even taken it to work before for Department Breakfasts and everyone  loved it!!

Road “Tripping” with Kids

Recently my family of four packed into our SUV for a 7 hour trip to Orlando. I have had several people ask me how I did it.  I’m not always sure how to answer that question. Since (a) They are too young to stay home alone (b) Gas vs. (4) Plane Tickets is not really a comparison (c) We do what we have to do.  That being said, if the destination is not somewhere I really really want to go (as was the case this trip), I would most likely opt to stay home.


All that aside,  just like everything else I have a process.

1.  Plan Plan Plan – which for me translates to list list list.  Which brings me back to Springpad (A SP Fave App).  I have a running list of what each member of the family needs for trips, this way I don’t have to constantly recreate the wheel.  I pull up that list.  Add or Delete depending on the length of the trip, conditions, etc.  Then print each list and use it to pack and prepare.


2. Matter – Things that Matter – when traveling with little ones you need stuff.  Toys, Books, Crayons, Markers, DVD’s, Pillows Blankets, Tablets, iPads, Mobile Hot Spots, etc etc.   Even if you pack what you think is an arsenal, at some point be aware that the novelty of all these items new or old will wear off.  And, if you have children like mine you will have to deal with some bickering, whining and maybe even some tears.  Disclaimer: My little ones are 8 and 3.

3.  Bathroom Prep – I so love this subject, NOT!!  Let’s face it Public Bathrooms generally SUCK. Hubby and I have talked about creating an App just for this very reason.  But, since I have yet to find it, if its a route you have traveled before make note of the cleaner more pleasant bathroom stops.  And, then BE PREPARED.   I always travel with Lysol, Wet Wipes, Toilet Tissue, Paper Towels and Garbage Bags.  I wanna add gloves but, I don’t want you all to think I am OCD!!  Even if I am, a little.

4.  Snacks and Drinks – Last. but not least, because this is the most important part, sometimes the only way to get some silence is to put food in their mouths.  Think ahead, try to get the snacks that will create the least amount of mayhem and mess.  Use your own discretion,  I go for Individually packaged snacks, snacks lower in sugar, drinks lower in sugar, and smaller fluid oz, so as to avoid several bathroom stops.

It is by no means, the Road Trips of yesteryear with your girlfriends.  But, even through the tears, you are making memories just the same.

Welcome to my World!!

I don’t know why, but there is something about this time of the year that makes me giddy!! I don’t know if its the fact that my two favorite family holidays are right around the corner, or the fact that even at my age, I still get caught up in the magic of the season and all that it means.

That being said, I have been busy preparing and decorating for the holidays!! Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing some great seasonal recipes, and even some ideas for how to make this time with your family even more special.