Back to school today. Deep sigh. Where did the summer go?! I know many parents couldn't wait for their children to go back to school, but I am sooo not looking forward to early mornings and the hectic school run.
My younger son was quite pleased to go to school, I wonder how long his enthusiasm will last?!
Are you all geared up for the new academic year? I passed by the Clarks yesterday, and saw through the open doors that there was a big commotion inside, I could have never guessed so many people could fit in in such a small space. I'm not being critical that they left it so late to buy new shoes. I bought Eddie's plimsolls for PE just today.
Does the start of the new school term feel like doom to you or quite the opposite - a fresh start for new plans and ideas?
Rachel's Organic - the leading brand of premium quality yogurts - has teamed up with Nutribullet, which took the world of foodies by storm, asking bloggers to share their tips for a perfect morning. When they asked me to take part in the challenge, I confess my first thought was: are they sure they got in touch with the right person?
Perfect mornings? Do they even exist? Our mornings, especially during the school term, are a very hectic affair.
Yet there are some tips and hacks we all might use for a less stressful morning routine.
They are carved in stone of course, but they work for us. And please keep in mind, I'm not the most organised person.
So, what do I do to make our mornings a little bit less stressful?
I imagine most parents prepare their children's uniforms and sports' kits on the eve. I also prepare the lunchbox in the evening and keep it in the fridge overnight.
My five top tips for a happier morning:
1. Set up your alarm clock for 10 minutes earlier, so that you don't have to jump out of bed as soon as the alarm goes off. You will have some time to yourself to stretch in bed a bit and postpone the inevitable just for a little bit.
2. I feel rather sorry for my kids, when it's time to wake them up. I remember how much I hated getting up for school when I was a child. When it's time to wake up my younger one, I gently scoop him out of bed and kiss him, he sits on my lap for a few minutes with his eyes still closed, and I hug and gently rock him. Then he's ready to open his eyes and face the world. These are our moments of togetherness.
That's my second tip - don't forget the cuddles.
3. Music. Get an energy vibe from music. When I'm preparing our quick breakfast in the morning, I switch on the radio. Classic FM is my favourite radio channel. A beautiful piece of music gives me so much pleasure and joy. Sometimes I even dance to the music, especially if noone's around to see me.
4. Don't skip your breakfast. If there is no time to cook, grab a couple of cereal biscuits or a small pot of yogurt. I make the biggest cup of tea for myself, as I always wake up feeling thirsty.
Recently Rachel's Organic has launched a new Limited Edition Organic Low Fat Caramel Latte yogurt as well as a range of Rachel's Greek Style Breakfast Pots.
Breakfast pots are convenient to us: they are a combination of creamy smooth yogurt with a crunchy granola. These new flavours are an optimum breakfast meal in a hurry and a great way to start your day.
5. While you're eating your breakfast, read the latest post or two from your favourite blog(s).
Limited Edition Organic Low Fat Caramel Latte yogurt has been inspired by the culture of coffehouses. This is a smooth lush yogurt made with the real coffee. All you coffee lovers will find it utterly irresistible.
It is lovely on its own, but also works beautifully in recipes. Just the other day I baked a batch of yogurt cupcakes with the new yogurt, and they were delicious.
If you fancy trying these cupcakes, here is the recipe:
Yogurt cupcakes (makes 10)
3 medium eggs
150g caster sugar
150g yogurt (e.g. Rachel's Caramel Latte yogurt)
175g self-raising flour
2tbsp ground almonds, heaped
115g butter, melted and cooled a bit
for the frosting:
butter and icing sugar in equal proportions (about 300g each) with a drop of vanilla
In a deep mixing bowl beat the eggs with the sugar, add yogurt, flour, ground almonds and melted and slightly cooled butter. Mix well. Pour the cake batter into paper muffin cases inserted into a muffin baking tray. Cook at 180C for about 20 minutes until golden.
Let them cool completely before decorating with the buttercream frosting. I used a mix of icing sugar and softened butter, beaten with a little bit of vanilla essence for flavour.
These are tasty cupcakes, with a hint of caramel latte. Perfect with a cup of coffee or tea, any time of the day, even breakfast, if you fancy a sweet treat for breakfast.
Disclosure: I received several vouchers to buy new flavours of yogurt for the purposes of testing and reviewing.