How To Get My Back to School Hairstyle

Hello Lovely,

Going back to school is a HUGE event! The uniforms, the snacks, the traffic! AHHHHHHHHH! It's a nightmare. This year I changed schools so I had a lot of anxiety to deal with. Of course, I wanted to make a great first impression, so I needed the right back to school look. It took FOREVER to plan the right outfit, but with a lot of strategic pre-planning, I survived my first week on my new job! YAY!

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One of the ways I pre-planned was with a new protective style. I fell in love with this style when I saw it on Tamera Mowry on Pinterest, and thought it would be beautiful but simple! When I told my stylist she was super excited and immediately onboard. The sides are straightforward: two braids that join at the end. We weren't completely sure about the front middle section so I allowed my stylist to freestyle and she did not disappoint! I only expected this to last the first week of school, but it's still holding up pretty well thanks to my awesome stylist!

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This hairstyle is inspired by a hairstyle Tamera Mowry rocked. I scoured the internet looking for other angles of this hairstyle but found none so my hairstylist had to improvise just a little. She always gets my vision and I love her for that! After a wash and deep treatment, we stretched my hair, then started styling. Check out the video below to see the full details on my back to school hairstyle. It's super easy to do and would be perfect for semi-formal functions. After all, what's classier than a high ponytail?

Quick and Easy Back to School Lunches

Hello Lovely,

So the kids are back to school and you're back to standing in the kitchen every morning scratching your head. What in the world are the kids going to eat for lunch? For many parents the answer is simple: the kids can buy lunch at the cafeteria. But for others who don't go that route, coming up with a lunch item every day for their kids can be a real task. No one wants to hear, "That again?!" from their kids. And even as adults, you want to be excited about what you're going to have for lunch. So here are five quick and easy lunch recipes I've tried over the years, that I've rounded up for you to make that morning prep a little easier.

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Make Healthy Lunches Exciting with These Chickpea Sandwiches

These easy chickpea salad sandwiches will definitely shake things up a bit and keep you full all day long! This creamy chickpea salad can be made in advance and stored in the fridge, so its ready to go whenever you need to pack a quick lunch. The salad is also really easy to customise so feel free to use whatever veggies you have in the fridge and add fresh herbs, spices, cheese and whatever else you need to see you through the work week.
 

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CALIFORNIA INSPIRED CHICKEN FLATBREAD

This recipe mimics a California chicken flatbread with juicy chicken, bacon, mushrooms, tomato, cilantro, and sweet yet savoury balsamic vinagrette! 

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Vegan Spinach & Mushroom Grilled Cheese Sandwich

There's no beating the classic grilled cheese sandwich for lunch. But trust me, this is not your mama's grilled cheese! It's fresh, fun and cheesy! It's a great combination of flavours. Imagine a spinach dip between two buttery slices of bread. Absolute bliss!
 

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Turkey Burrito Lunch Bowls (Meal Prep)

Trust me when I say you will not have time to prepare food every single morning if you expect to make it to school and work on time without sacrificing some major sleep. But fear not! This lunch recipe can be meal prepped and is super easy to put together. All you'll need is ground turkey, brown rice (or cauliflower rice) and a vegetable. You can even add cheese if you want.

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Grab-and-Go Salad

Rushing through the usual morning routine, we often have to choose between healthy and fast when it comes to our meals: especially lunch.  An easy way to combine both ideals is to prep a salad the night before and place it where you can have quick access the next day. Using the basic lettuce and tomatoes, you can add fun ingredients such as cranberries, carrots , celery and cheese with the added protein of chicken , turkey or ham.  One of the best parts of this salad: Shaking it up!  By adding a vinaigrette based dressing the night before or right before eating the salad, you can quickly combine the salad and dressing in 3 – 4 quick shakes.
 

Quick and Easy Back-to-School Snacks For The Kids

Hello Lovely,

Kids are back to school and you’re back to your routine. Even though I'm a full-grown, college-educated adult with no kids of my own, the start of September is still back-to-school season for me, because I'm a school counsellor. All three recipes below are healthy, nutritious and most importantly, tasty enough for even the pickiest eaters. These are convenient make-ahead recipes even for the busiest parents!
 

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Beck's Crackers

Seasoning saltines using an altered method from Joanna Gaines friend Beck, makes crisp, buttery crackers that are great with creamy dips like my hummus. They're also really yummy on top of soups or salads. I like them for parties and kids school snacks because they're easy to make and can be prepared in advance. In fact, these taste better if you eat them a day or four later. And they can be so filling, they're sure to be a huge hit!

  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 0.7 ounce envelopes dry Italian or Mediterranean dressing mix
  • 1 tablespoon crush red pepper flakes (leave out if you or the kiddos don't like pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill (not necessary if you use the Mediterranean mix)
  • 1 1lb box saltine crackers
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. In a large (14-16 cup) deep container, with a tight-fitting lid, combine the oil, lemon juice, dressing mix, pepper flakes and dill. Whisk to combine.
  2. Add the crackers and turn them over a few times to ensure they are fully coated. Let stand for 5 minutes, turning the crackers over twice.
  3. Place the crackers on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes, allow to cool then store for tomorrow's snack!
  4. To make the hummus, mix one can of chickpeas with remaining oil mixture (about 1/4 cup) and 3 tablespoons parmesan cheese in a food processor.
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Apple Cheese Wraps (serves 4 )

Do you remember eating Lunchables as a kid? I never liked them. I liked the idea behind it but it always tasted fake (not to mention my parents complained about the price). If you have kids who love Lunchables, why not save money by making it yourself? It's so easy and so much healthier because you'll know exactly what's in it. This snack covers all of the critical food groups with fibre, protein and good carbs. The best part? It's fully customisable. Add nuts or grapes or whatever else you like for added health benefits.
 

Prep Time: 2 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 apple
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 2 slices cheddar cheese, cut in half
  • 2 slices pre-sliced deli turkey or ham, cut in half

Preparation

1. Slice the apple into 1/2 inch thick slices. Rub the apple with the lemon wedge to prevent from going brown.

2. Slice the cheddar cheese into 1/2 inch wide slices and the ham in 1/2 or in 1/4 (the ham needs to be large enough to wrap around the apple). 

3. Place an apple slice and a cheese slice on top of the deli meat and fold over deli meat to wrap.

4. Serves with crackers and a dip of your choice for a satisfying on the go snack.

 

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Gluten Free Sandwich on a Stick

It's the kids' turn to pack their own lunches. Introduce them to this submarine skewer and they'll have a blast expressing their creativity and sliding on their favorite sandwich ingredients. Best of all, it's practically mess-free since the dressings will have to be on the side—no knives, squirting, or spreading required.
Prep Times:

20 minutes

Yield:

4 servings

Ingredients:

8 (6-inch) skewers
4 oz. deli sliced lemon chicken or smoked turkey breast
1 cup chopped arugula or spinach
4 oz. your favourite cheese, cut into small squares
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 cup small dill pickles
3/4 cup ranch dressing or deli mustard (optional)

Preparation:

1. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.

2 Thread skewers with chicken (or turkey) arugula, cheese, tomatoes and pickles. Serve with ranch dressing or mustard for dipping.

 

Tuesday Ten: 10 Quick and Easy Back to School Breakfasts

Hello Lovely,

For many of you, school has been in session for weeks, but for some of you, school just started yesterday. Wherever you're at in your school journey, I'm sure the hardest part of getting ready for school in the morning is meal preparation. If you struggle with meal prep and ideas like me, here are ten awesome breakfast items you can try when you're in a jam, or prep ahead of time, in very little time.

1. PUMPKIN BANANA QUINOA BREAKFAST

Have you heard?  Quinoa breakfast is the new oatmeal.  If you haven’t tried quinoa for breakfast yet, let your obsession begin here.  This Pumpkin Banana Quinoa breakfast is creamy, lightly sweet, and perfectly spiced for fall.  You’re going to love it. 

2. Lemon-Garlic Shrimp and Grits

This quick and easy shrimp and grits recipe will wow your family as a week night meal, breakfast or impress guests at a dinner party.

3. SNAP CHALLENGE: SPINACH RICE BREAKFAST BOWLS

The basic formula is rice, greens, a soft boiled egg, and a splash of hot sauce. You can use different types of rice, different seasonings, different types of sautéed greens, and even different kinds of fat.

4. Breakfast Patty Melt

Go beyond basic bacon, egg and cheese with our fun-to-make spin on the classic. Mix up the buns and fillings and stack up something delicious and healthy today!

5. KALE VEGGIE MINI FRITTATA

This kale veggie mini frittata recipe is the perfect breakfast to fuel you up with the goodness of veggies and eggs. Tender pan cooked veggies are arranged in a muffin pan and a mixture of eggs, herbs and kale is poured over them. These mini goodness bites are baked and served on whole grain toast breads with a sprinkle of parmesan and more kale—the classic egg breakfast made easy, healthy and delicious!

6. Chocolate Hazelnut Waffles

Breakfast is served with this quick and easy dish that you can whip up in 20 minutes before heading out the door!  It'll make you feel like you're having dessert for breakfast!

7. Arugula and Cheese Muffins

These quirky savoury muffins will make vegetarian guests feel extra special – and meat eaters will love them too.

8. BACON & EGG BREAKFAST MUFFINS

Bacon and eggs...in a muffin! These are great for "grab and go". This makes 4 large muffins (Texas muffin tin size - Note 3). This recipe isn't suitable for ordinary size muffin tins as it isn't large enough to hold the egg and batter.

9. Ham and Smoked Gouda Grilled Cheese Breakfast Sandwich

This recipe gets tons of flavor thanks to Arla Dofino Smoked Gouda. The cheese is simply their regular Gouda that gets it’s smoky flavor from a dance with hickory wood chips. Because it’s a softer cheese it melts like a dream.

10. FRITTAFFLE

The latest egg creation are these Frittaffles. That’s right, Frittaffles – a breakfast fusion offrittatasand waffles

I hope these items serve to be an inspiration to you and help you to move faster in the mornings! If you attempt any of these recipes, don't hesitate to share your photos and experience by emailing me at xxoliviarussellxx@gmail.com.