This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of On-Cor. The opinions and text are all mine.
You can read my full disclosure policy here. I hope your new year is off to a great start! While the weather in January is not my favorite, the vibe definitely is: new beginnings are so invigorating. Like most people, I’ve set some resolutions but they’re more like goals for me. Things I want to improve upon this year. I have health, wealth, learning, and family goals. And one of my family goals this year is to spend more quality time together.
3 Tips for Creating More Quality Family Time
My kids are growing up so fast. They all do, right? But mine are on that cusp of the teenage years (ages 8 and 12) and I can feel the gap widening. So I’m making a point to make the most of these years we have left with the kids at home so we’ll all look back at the times we spent together (and not the times we spent rushing through every night and messing around on our screens). My family is with me – we all have the same goal – and this is how we’re planning to tackle it to make 2018 the year of more family memories.
Make Mealtime Memory Time: On-Cor Frozen Entrées
One of the biggest stressors for me on weeknights is dinner. This is doubly true if I don’t take the time to meal plan (ahem…another ‘resolution’). But sitting down together as a family for dinner has always been a must for me. It’s sometimes the one time of day all four of us are together without other distractions. So I’m definitely utilizing quick and easy meal ideas to carry on the daily dinner without stressing myself too much. One of my favorite easy dinner ideas are On-Cor frozen entrées. They are delicious and almost ZERO work for me, which gives me so much more time with my family. Plus they are meals I feel good about serving. On-Cor has recently enhanced their products to satisfy the needs of moms looking for convenient, quality dinner solutions for their families. Raising my hand over here! This one, the Penne Pasta and Meatballs with Tomato Sauce is one of our family favorites. It now has 25 percent more meat, which you can see right on the packaging (I love that they make it easy to know exactly what you’re giving your family). And that’s a win for us because my son will tell you, the meatballs are the best part! Doesn’t that look so good? The kids scarfed it right down. This isn’t some fancy, esoteric, crazy recipe you’d never cook on your own. It’s just really, really good food. And it’s food that brings the family to the table. Mission accomplished, without mom driving herself crazy. And here’s the best part for me (besides a dinner everyone loves): On-Cor entrées are so easy to serve that it frees me up to do something more important, like spend time with the kids. They take care of the prep work so I can take care of making memories. And clean up is a total breeze, too, so there’s even more for me to focus on other things. So how do I make meal time into memory time? Definitely the #1 goal is to bring everyone to the table to eat together. An added bonus with On-Cor is that because they’ve pretty much done all the work, I have all that time saved on prep, the cooking is totally hands-off for me, and the clean-up is a snap so I can instead use that time to hang with the kids. Sometimes that means quizzing my son on his math facts. Sometimes it means my daughter can show me her book project for English class. And other times it means we all lay on the floor with the dog and just chill out together. You don’t have to be doing something profound and planned to get that quality time in. Find the moments and grab ’em!
Make Your Evenings Count
On those really busy nights when you’re rushing from work to home to practice, it feels like the kids go to bed without you ever having connected with them. I’m trying to make at least some time to really be present with them. I read to my kids (yes, even my 12 year old) every night and just those 10-15 minutes are enough to end the day feeling like we had some quality time together. On the nights when we actually don’t have practice or something to rush off to, I try to make the evenings count. It doesn’t have to be some great big organized activity, but let me tell you, if I yell “Who wants to race me in Mario Kart?” those kids will come running. Play a game together, watch a movie, even kill two birds with one stone and run a few errands. Monopoly and popcorn have become one of our favorites. We have yet to finish a game, but… One thing my husband and I have been trying to do more is split the kids up and each spend time with one of them. For us, we are able to really connect with the child we’re with when the sibling isn’t around. This isn’t ALL the time (we still all do most things together), but once in a while it’s a nice change in dynamic.
Get Away Together
As my kids get older and spend more time in their rooms, with their friends, texting on their devices (you know the drill), I find that one of the best ways for all of us to really connect is to travel together. I’m a big believer in experiences over things, and though I love me a week-long Caribbean vacation, I’m not talking about breaking the bank here. Just plan something. Plan a weekend away. Go to the glow-in-the-dark mini golf place. Go do something new, see something new. I think the anticipation and planning can be as exciting as the getaway itself. And when you take everyone out of the home environment and there are no dishes or laundry, computer, ipod, or Xboxes there to distract you from being together, this is when memories are made. Pick a weekend and run away together! Having something to look forward to is part of the joy of the trip.
The generous folks at On-Cor are sponsoring an awesome giveaway for my readers to make it easy for you to start implementing some of these ideas for creating more quality family time this year, too! One winner will get this prize pack valued at $200! The prize includes:
- (1) Coupon Valid for One Free On-Cor Entrée
- (1) Children’s Apron
- (1) Kitchen Tools Set
- (1) Children’s Baking Cookbook
- (1) Board Game
- (1) Popcorn Maker
- (1) Popcorn Bowl
This giveaway is open to US residents ages 18+ only and will end at 11:59pm ET on January 19, 2018. Good luck!