Summer Break at My House 
If you’re like me, panic began to set in as soon as the kids asked to be checked out the last days of school. Where did the time go and why are the last days of school not really last days?  Before you know it, the last week will be optional and then what?!  Mental preparation was required for what was soon to befall the Maggiore household!   I frantically began reading Mommy blogs, starting grocery lists, jotting down potential activities with shaking hands, tears watering down my freshly poured sauvignon blanc.  I glanced around the house in a moment of silence to say goodbye to any sort of order or cleanliness for the next 6 months.  Weeks, I mean; that’s right, only weeks Kelly.  (Slap own cheek and repeat after me: “Pull yourself together little mamma!“). Now scratch through all that junk food on your list and we can get through this together…the food part at least.
  • Whole grain pasta with canned, rinsed garbanzo beans and a small bottle of zesty Italian dressing.  Mix and serve cold or warm.  Pack it, save it, eat it for lunch or with dinner and a salad.
* Barilla makes pasta pouches that can be microwaved in 3 minutes! Score!
  • Leftover rotisserie chicken, skin removed, a bit of mayo, a dab of Dijon, 1/2 tsp sugar, a splash of lemon juice and a few dashes of garlic powder thrown into a food processor.  Set the food processor bowl on the table with spoons and whole grain crackers.  Done!  Oh, don’t forget to remove the chopping blade before handing over the bowl.  That’s a mistake that could turn a good chicken salad into a bloody chicken salad.  Ewe.
* if you’re feeling extra mumsy, throw in some toasted walnuts and halved grapes
  • Top open-faced bagels with your favorite marinara, shredded cheese, and any other pizza toppings your kids like.  Pop them in the toaster oven until the cheese is melted and yell at the top of your lungs, “SOUPS ON”!!  Oh, that’s what I do. You can do whatever you do (I like to yell when no one is in trouble.  It takes my anxiety down a notch.  Just a notch).
*you get an extra cookie if you throw some vegetables on top of those bagels. Leftover peppers and onions from Taco Tuesday will do. Be sure to keep lots of healthy(er) canned soups, low-fat yogurt, reduced-fat string cheese, guac and lots of pre-washed fruit (don’t pre-wash berries unless you want mush for smoothies. Smoothies!!  Bonus idea for b’fast, lunch or dinner!!). In the pantry, keep popcorn, whole grain Goldfish, mini Kind bars, pretzels, tortilla chips, pistachios, flavored almonds and loads and I mean loads of paper plates. This should keep your head above the crap thrown aimlessly on your floor for now.  Meanwhile, if I can just figure out how to get the dried slime off my couch cushion…  
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