posted in Giveaways

Making Mornings Easier to Manage


A typical weekday in our house begins at the ridiculous hour of 5:45 a.m. The alarm buzzes, announcing that it’s time for me to attempt to rouse my 11-year-old middle-schooler from his slumber in a still-darkened house. My gentle shakes and cheers of “Good Morning!” are met with groans and covers thrown back over his head. I remind him of our “no video game rule” (out of bed by 6:05 or no video-game-time after school–hey, it works!). He pulls on his clothes (set out the night before to make our morning go as smoothly as possible) and heads downstairs for breakfast.

At this point, I’ve got a very crabby child who is not happy to be up before the sun. We need breakfast to be efficient and quick if I’m going to get him out the door to meet his carpool at 7:00 a.m. And since it takes a middle-schooler between 20 and 30 minutes to brush teeth (there’s a lot of looking in the mirror and fiddling with hair), anything that makes our lives easier to manage in the morning — including breakfast food –is welcome. I’m hoping a warm, home-baked muffin and fresh fruit will catapult my little guy into a mood worthy of being around other people.

He spies the LAND O LAKESยฎ Butter with Canola Oil, a favorite to spread on muffins and toast. Why does he like it so much? It’s soft and spreadable butter… and it won’t make his giant Blueberry Muffin fall apart when knife meets crumb.

I’ve always stocked tub butters in my fridge. I’m grateful for this particular LAND O LAKES product because it has just three simple ingredients: sweet cream, canola oil and salt (if you check out the other brands, they have long lists of ingredients that are hard to pronounce). The tub is hand-held. Right out of the refrigerator, the product scoops onto the knife smoothly and easily. And if its fresh, butter taste wakes up my groggy pre-teen and puts a smile on his face, then that’s a bonus too!

There’s no waiting for a chunk of cold butter to soften and melt. The canola oil mixed with the sweet cream is what makes this product creamy, soft and spreadable, making melting into those nooks and crannies pretty much immediate.

On mornings when I’m feeling energetic, I whip up eggs or these Breakfast Quesadillas for breakfast … starting with just a smidge of the LAND O LAKESยฎ Butter with Canola Oil in the pan. Easy and convenient.

Later in the morning, my husband treks downstairs, freshly showered and ready for coffee and his daily English muffin.

My husband doesn’t have a whole lot of patience for making his own breakfast, but English muffins he can handle. Have you ever tried to spread a chunk of cold butter on an English muffin? It doesn’t work out so well. A spreadable product makes his life easier!

And on mornings where I’m up before the hint of dawn is even a thought, I make stacks of Buttermilk Pancakes for my guys. We prefer them with a good dose of soft, spreadable LAND O LAKESยฎ Butter with Canola Oil (again, the chunky cold stuff doesn’t work so well here) before dousing them in maple syrup too.

LAND O LAKESยฎ Butter with Canola Oil is soft and sweet and buttery and salty and ready for spreading on anything. It definitely makes our mornings just a little bit easier. We love the convenience of it and it’s delicious too! And now for the giveaway!

For a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card: In the comments below, please share a tip or trick or recipe that makes your mornings easier.

No duplicate comments.You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

  1. Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
  2. Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry”; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
  3. Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
  4. For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to get back to me, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 2/19 – 3/3/13.

This giveaway is now closed! The randomly selected winner is Carol Gray- commenter #534. Congrats! You have been emailed and will have 48 hours to respond to the email before another winner is chosen. Thanks to all for entering!

576 Responses to “Making Mornings Easier to Manage”

  1. postedFeb 19, 2013 3:39 AM

    I like to leave out my mugs that I will use for my juice and oatmeal the night before. You have really sold me on this Land o Lakes product! We are a butter only family but I am going to snatch up a container of this when I go shopping!

  2. postedFeb 19, 2013 3:56 AM
    Karen S.

    I love Land o Lakes butter, it is a staple here at my house. I’ve recently discovered when you whip it with a little honey, and spread it on warm toast, it’s heaven!

  3. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:21 AM

    preparing my lunch the night before!

  4. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:25 AM

    I prepare everything (clothes, lunch, etc.) the night before so that all I have to do is roll out of bed!

  5. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:30 AM

    Prepping lunch the night before sure helps – I don’t have to think about it at 6am that way! Also, using leftover hot water for coffee to also warm up my mug while the coffee brews. It keeps the coffee hotter longer.

  6. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:33 AM

    I have the coffeemaker brew automatically in the morning so it’s ready to go when I get up.

  7. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:34 AM
  8. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:35 AM

    a tip or trick or recipe that makes your mornings easier = have lunches already packed and lined up in the fridge & ready to grab & GO!

  9. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:49 AM
    Amy G. H.

    I make my lunch the night before so there is one less thing I need to think about. Once I am ready to go, I grab my lunch box out of the fridge and I am off!

  10. postedFeb 19, 2013 4:56 AM

    15 minutes on the exercise bike. Gets my juices flowing!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:01 AM

    I make my next day lunch as soon as I get home from work and my hubby preps the coffee so its ready in the morning.

  12. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:12 AM

    I prep as much as I can the night before…breakfast chosen so I can have it on the table when I roll my girls out of bed, clothes laid out for them, lunches started, water bottles filled.

  13. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:20 AM

    We are not morning people in my house, we can generally be labelled as night owls. What makes my mornings easier is a rigid nighttime schedule during which I go to bed hours earlier than I normally would.

  14. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:26 AM

    I make the coffee every night and set the timer. I also try to make my lunch the night before, pack the daycare bag and layout my outfit as well as my daughters. Strategically place the gear by the door and I feel efficient before I go to bed!!

  15. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:28 AM

    Organizing what I need for the morning the night before definitely helps to make my mornings much easier!

  16. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:30 AM

    I tweeted about the giveaway!

  17. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:36 AM

    I prepare and pack my breakfast and lunch for work the night before so all I have to do is go in the morning.

  18. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:37 AM

    I am new to your site, I am really enjoying it. I will try this butter. It does look easier then the hard stick we use.

  19. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:37 AM

    refrigerator oatmeal ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. postedFeb 19, 2013 5:53 AM

    My mornings are easier when I don’t have to get kids ready to go. ๐Ÿ™‚ On the mornings I do we have a section in the closet for each day of the week for clothes. Also, a good breakfast cookie recipe for when we don’t make enough time and need to eat breakfast in the car.

  21. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:17 AM

    When I make muffins, I premix all the dry ingredients in a bowl and place the paper liners in the muffin pans before I go to bed.

  22. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:20 AM
    Carrie N

    I make lunch the night before and get out my glasses and bowls for the next morning. I LOVE the Land o Lakes butter. I buy the regular with the red cap and the cinnamon sugar and i have been forcing myself not to buy the honey flavor lately but i think it’s a losing battle.

  23. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:23 AM

    I prep the coffee maker the night before, pack my lunch, and make sure everything is in the diaper bag for my two kiddos — make the mornings much smoother!!

  24. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:25 AM

    We wake up at 5am every morning and have to be super quiet since the baby is still sleeping. So, on the weekends we make extra batches of pancakes and waffles for an easy reheating on the weekdays! ๐Ÿ˜€

  25. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:35 AM

    Prepping as much as possible the night before! And usually on Sundays – so we have a good assortment for the week. I love to make extra pancakes and waffles and stock the freezer with them.

  26. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:37 AM

    I often eat breakfast in class and have lunch prepped the night before. Typically I decide what I want to wear during 1 snooze (which is always inevitable)…

  27. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:38 AM

    I always prep the coffee the night before…all I have to do when I wake up is flip the switch!

  28. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:39 AM
    Paula B.

    I’m with you: getting organized the night before is also my key to those mornings when I have to leave for school at six or seven a.m.! Anything that’s been taken out of my book bag the night before goes back in there prior to bedtime. Cell phone is charged in the evening and replaced in my pocketbook. Any new stuff that must go to school for the next day is placed where it will not be left behind, maybe even goes to the car. And, of course, the clothes are ready to jump into; hey, It’s tough even for teachers to be ready at the crack of dawn! Oh, and that “new” butter, I am addicted to it, what a great flavor – just saw it in my friend’s fridge and we were both singing its praises, yum.

  29. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:50 AM
    Kim P

    It’s all in the prep. I get up at 4am every day and jump on the treadmill to start off the day. Coffee, fruit and a muffin or toast is ready when I’m done.

  30. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:55 AM

    Getting ready to go prior to waking our children is a key to success in our house. It provides us with the total focus we need to get them ready and happy for the day ahead.

  31. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:57 AM

    We set the coffee pot up the night before.

  32. postedFeb 19, 2013 6:57 AM
    Elizabeth F.

    It’s just me in the house so I don’t have to prepare for anything! But what I enjoy is setting up the night before my tea tray, tea pot and cozy, a pretty tea cup, the container of loose Yorkshire Gold and my tea sock. …’s all ready to go in the morning, just to start the kettle to boil. This way, I indulge my organizational nature and my love of the tea ritual!

  33. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:02 AM
    Carol F.

    I set up the coffee before I go to bed and make sure lunches are made and waiting in the morning to be grabbed on the way out the door.

  34. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:03 AM

    Coffee ALWAYS makes my morning easier to manage ๐Ÿ™‚

  35. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:09 AM

    Like you, we set the clothes out the night before and then basically we just stick to our routine. Doing the same thing every day, while boring, helps us stay on track! I also bring the clothes downstairs (I have little ones), so that we can just put the clothes on right after breakfast, saving us a trip back upstairs.

  36. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:10 AM

    Laying out outfits the night before!

  37. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:18 AM

    I like to make breakfast burritos, sandwiches, pizza or casserole in advance. Then all we have to do is heat it up and eat it in the morning. The high school boys prefer burritos or sandwiches as they can grab them as they are heading out the door and eat them on the way to school.

  38. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:19 AM

    Prepare as much as you can the night before!

  39. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:23 AM
    Mary O

    Making lunches and laying out clothes the night before.

  40. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:25 AM

    Hot chocolate makes all mornings brighter, with the addition of homemade muffins, breads, or one of my favorites — baked oatmeal!

  41. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:27 AM
    Carole Resnick

    Since I am the only one in the house that drinks coffee I prepare in a Keurig—hot in winter or iced in summer.

  42. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:29 AM

    I blogged about this giveaway.

  43. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:32 AM

    I know that Ensure is really for older people or sick people but we always keep a pack or so on hand and in the fridge for a quick breakfast on the go! It helps tremendously, especially when I have to run to court!

  44. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:35 AM

    $100 is always handy

  45. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:37 AM

    I am a slow mover in the mornings so I tend to lay out my clothes the night before as well so that the looming decision of what to wear doesn’t overcome me so early in the day.

  46. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:39 AM

    I make healthy breakfast treats (like banana brownies or oatmeal muffins) and store them in the freezer. That way, if I’m running late I can just microwave one for a quick breakfast (they’re good frozen, too!)

  47. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:47 AM
    Lisa Thomas

    I make sure and lay out everyone’s clothes the night before (yes, even my husband’s). I’ve found that simple step helps make the morning run a bit smoother. If I’m really on top of things I’ll even pack my lunch the night before.

  48. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:50 AM
    Kelly Curtin

    I pre make and freeze English muffin breakfast sandwiches. Pop in the microwave for 1 minute and I’m out the door!

  49. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:50 AM
    April V

    Make as much as possible the night before, and have a breakfast “station” where the kids can grab-n-go on the way to school!

  50. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:51 AM

    Setting my alarm 10 minutes before I actually need to get up, seems to help! Also knowing that if I work out in the morning, I don’t have to do it after work so I can relax. BIG plus ๐Ÿ™‚

  51. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:52 AM

    I make oatmeal for the week on Sundays!

  52. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:55 AM

    I grew up on Land O Lakes, I am a dairy farmers daughter so all of our milk went to Land O Lakes!!! I love their butter!!! I am a quick riser out of bed so getting up really isn’t a hardship to me and usually make eggs of some sort for myself.

  53. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:56 AM

    My mornings are easier when I have written a to-do list the day before.

  54. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:56 AM


  55. postedFeb 19, 2013 7:57 AM

    I pack my gym bag and put it in my car so I have no excuses for skipping in the AM, I also make a batch of hard boiled eggs and bacon for the week that I can just grab and go!

  56. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:10 AM

    I lay out my clothes the night before and put my lunch in the fridge so that I can grab it and go.

  57. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:13 AM

    having a menu plan for the week is really key around here!

  58. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:13 AM

    I always pick out my clothes and pack my lunch the night before.

  59. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:22 AM

    I make Pumpkin pancakes the night before then pop them into the freezer, so when I am short on time in the morning getting the kids ready for school, I just pull them out of freezer and pop them into the mircrowave to heat up. Kids are happy to get a warm breakfast on those cold mornings!

  60. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:22 AM

    i get everything i need in the morning ready the night before.

  61. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:24 AM
    Kari M

    I set up the coffee maker the night before on the timer so it’s ready when I come downstairs. My 4-year-old needs to be dressed and ready before she can have breakfast because it takes her forever to eat!

  62. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:24 AM
  63. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:25 AM

    I use a sturdy, large (24 – 32 oz) cup with a wide bottom for making smoothies with my immersion blender. The ingredients can move better and get blended well in the large cup. Gives me a big, filling smoothie with quick clean up.

  64. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:25 AM
    Laura in Texas

    We always try to lay everything out the night before so ven if the kids are on autopilot, there is no rush for finding school objects or breakfast.

  65. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:28 AM

    I make the pancake batter the night before, so that all I have to do is cook them in the morning.

  66. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:38 AM

    Put my oatmeal in bowl, and put my instant coffee ( yuk, I know!) in coffee cup the night before.

  67. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:48 AM

    My mornings are easier when I make the pancakes batter the night before and keep it in refrigerator. Then in the morning I can cook pancakes really quick.

  68. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:49 AM

    I always have my coffee press ready to go and my breakfast bowl out (sometimes the oats already measured into the bowl!)

  69. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:50 AM
  70. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:51 AM


  71. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:51 AM

    If you can eat your breakfast at work, do so! I am unable to kill two birds with one stone that way. A little oatmeal and pb.

  72. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:55 AM

    I make my lunch the night before and set up the coffee maker so all I have to do in the morning is turn it to on!

  73. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:57 AM
    Suzann Knudsen

    Sunday afternoons are usually reserved for prepping whatever I can for the coming week. The b/f used to be a pop-tart-for-breakfast kind of guy, but since we started keeping a container of fresh sliced strawberries and blueberries around, he’ll do a container of yogurt with a generous serving of fruit. I’ll usually make a low fat veggie quiche and then just reheat portions in the mornings.

    It does take a little time on Sunday to do all the prep work but I think it’s worth it in the long run to know that I’m not reaching for something much less healthy as I speed out the door.

  74. postedFeb 19, 2013 8:59 AM

    Get everything ready the night before – breakfast, lunch, outfit, etc.

  75. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:00 AM

    I always lay out my gym clothes the night before so I can have them ready right away without searching!

  76. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:00 AM

    I try to pack our lunches right after dinner. This saves me around precious 5-7 mins in the mornings!

  77. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:10 AM

    I like to make my omelets a night or 2 before so I just have to heat them up in the microwave. Same goes for pancakes ๐Ÿ™‚ Your photo is making me crave them!!

  78. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:15 AM

    I try to make muffins the day before, crockpot oatmeal the day before and then make it into perfect portions that can be reheated.Lunches are always made while im prepping dinner ..I am all about making whatever I can the night or a few days before..breakfast casseroles are the best and my keurig coffee maker is a life saver,quick coffee to get started in the morning !!

  79. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:17 AM
    Julie H.

    Mornings got 100 times easier once I sucked it up and started getting up a half hour earlier!

  80. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:19 AM

    Pre-portioned frozen ingredients for my green monster breakfast smoothies! Can’t get through the day without it.

  81. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:25 AM

    ever since i got my vitmix, breakfast smoothies have been easy, quick, and of course super healthy.

  82. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:34 AM

    A tip I can provide is to make whole wheat banana muffins ahead of time. Then just pop in the microwave in the morning!

  83. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:44 AM
    Meg Looney

    I always turn my light on right away, so that way I don’t fall back asleep! Also, I listen to music and always eat breakfast.

  84. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:57 AM

    My ritual is getting the coffee pot ready the night before, preparing my daughter’s school uniform the night before and checking the fridge and cabinets to make sure there is something breakfast worthy for my daughter. My husband and I are not picky breakfast eaters but our daughter is. I can have a banana cake made the night before as breakfast – I’m game for almost anything but super hearty foodf ro breakfast.

    Also, key to getting through any morning drama is going to bed early every night!

  85. postedFeb 19, 2013 9:58 AM

    I like to make my fruit smoothies the night before and keep them in a thermos in the fridge so they are just as cold and they taste the same!

  86. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:11 AM

    I make my breakfast and lunch the night before, and prep my coffee maker and set out my work clothes. They’re things that only take a few minutes, but that means I can use those minutes for something else in the morning!

  87. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:12 AM

    To make my mornings easier, I wake up to my 400 thread count sheets.. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it would make, But waking up to a soft, warm and comfortable bed makes me feel refreshed for the day!

  88. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:15 AM
    Talia Tieman

    I make a lovely breakfast quiche on Sundays that keeps throughout the week. I slice it up into the appropriate portions, slap them in a Tupperware, and I am on my merry way every morning during the week. It also gives me another 15 minutes to sleep so its worth making on Sundays!

  89. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:20 AM

    I have my bags packed and ready by the door, and I pick out my outfit the night before to ease decision making in the morning.

  90. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:22 AM

    My toddler sleeps til 10 so my mornings aren’t too difficult, but I do try it maximize that time by getting the dishes done, etc but also enjoying a cup of coffee in the quiet. And thanks to this post, I now want pancakes for an afternoon snack!

  91. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:28 AM

    I like to prepare as much as possible the night before. Crockpot and freezer breakfasts make everything easier!

  92. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:32 AM

    We microwave egg beaters for about a minute with a laughing cow cheese wedge any veggies in the fridge. Easy breakfast and fills us up for a good chunk of the morning!

  93. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:35 AM
    Janice E

    Clothing/accessories selected – coffeemaker set to go – alarm clock on – breakfast ready!

  94. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:49 AM
    Linda K

    I make a batch or two of muffins and freeze them so when I am running really late I can throw one in the microwave and I have a hot healthy muffin.

  95. postedFeb 19, 2013 10:50 AM

    i’m a giant nerd and always wake up way earlier than i need to, but at least that way, i’m never rushing around. ๐Ÿ™‚

  96. postedFeb 19, 2013 11:02 AM

    NOT waking up early makes my mornings easier ๐Ÿ˜›

  97. postedFeb 19, 2013 11:09 AM

    I make my mornings easier by cutting up and packing fruits with raisins and nuts the night before. I have this as my snack the next day. This prevents me from reaching out to unhealthy snacks when I need a boost of energy.

  98. postedFeb 19, 2013 11:09 AM
    Kim N.

    I will make whatever breakfast and lunch items that can be premade. Outfits are set aside.

  99. postedFeb 19, 2013 11:13 AM

    I make my mornings easier by almost always having the same breakfast: cereal with blueberries and toast with peanut butter. Sounds boring, but I love it, and I don’t have to think about what to make right when I wake up!

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