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Thanksgiving hacks: 10 easy ways to save time in the kitchen

5. Cook your turkey while you sleep.

Thanksgiving hacks: 10 easy ways to save time in the kitchen

Last year was the first time I hosted family for Thanksgiving, and as every holiday host can tell you, it's a major undertaking. Between the side dishes, the desserts and the turkey, it's easy to get overwhelmed and find yourself pressed for time getting everything done. But it doesn't have to be that way!

This year, check out these Thanksgiving food hacks to save time on your family's meal.

1. Use a slow cooker

You can use your slow cooker for the mashed potatoes, green bean casserole or even your turkey. This allows you to prep these items ahead of time and frees up your oven or stovetop for preparing other dishes.

2. Make your Thanksgiving dinner a potluck

Take some of the pressure off yourself as the host! Take your guests up on any offers to prepare a side dish or dessert. Or discuss the potluck idea ahead of time and hand out assignments for all the Thanksgiving must-haves to your guests. This will save you tons of time on preparation and saves money as well.

3. Tape recipes on the cabinets in plain sight

Instead of spreading your recipes out all over your counter to get buried under ingredients or spilled on, tape them all up on your cabinets. With the recipes in plain sight, you can zip through them quickly without pausing for Where did I put the recipe? searches.

4. Use your microwave

You can speed up your mashed potatoes by microwaving them instead of boiling them. You can also warm rolls and anything else in need of little heat by popping it into the microwave.

5. Cook your turkey while you sleep

Do a quick search online for an overnight turkey recipe and you'll find several great options for cooking your turkey overnight while you sleep. Here is one I like. This Thanksgiving food hack will save you tons of time and oven space while producing a perfectly done turkey for your family dinner.

6. Skip the potato peeler

Check out this simple hack for peeling potatoes without spending half your day peeling the skins off. By boiling your potatoes whole and then shocking them in cold water, the skins peel right off! You can also consider mashing potatoes with the skins on, which is something many members of my family actually like.

7. Make your vegetable side dishes a day (or more) ahead

Do a quick search for freezer-friendly make-ahead Thanksgiving side dishes. Or check out this list for some options. You'll save yourself several hours in the kitchen on the big day by preparing and freezing your side dishes before the holiday.

8. Lay out your kitchen tools in advance

Before you start cooking your Thanksgiving dinner, assemble all of the ingredients, pots, pans, baking dishes, measuring cups and utensils you will need for the meal. You can even get this stuff organized the night before if you plan to start cooking first thing in the morning. Having everything laid out and ready to go will save you a ton of time when you don't have to go searching for every little thing while you cook.

9. Serve dinner buffet style

Rather than spending the first half of your Thanksgiving dinner plating and serving the meal, arrange the food on a table or your countertops and make it self-serve. This way everyone can sit down to eat at roughly the same time and start enjoying their meal and each other's company.

10. Learn to let go

Thanksgiving is about being grateful and spending time with loved ones. If your meal doesn't turn out perfectly or you don't get all the decorations done in time, don't let that spoil your enjoyment of the holiday. Enjoy yourself and the meal you've worked so hard to prepare!

Originally posted on Organized Mom.

By its very nature, motherhood requires some lifestyle adjustments: Instead of staying up late with friends, you get up early for snuggles with your baby. Instead of spontaneous date nights with your honey, you take afternoon family strolls with your little love. Instead of running out of the house with just your keys and phone, you only leave with a fully loaded diaper bag.

For breastfeeding or pumping mamas, there is an additional layer of consideration around when, how and how much your baby will eat. Thankfully, when it comes to effective solutions for nursing or bottle-feeding your baby, Dr. Brown's puts the considerations of mamas and their babies first with products that help with every step of the process—from comfortably adjusting to nursing your newborn to introducing a bottle to efficiently pumping.

With countless hours spent breastfeeding, pumping and bottle-feeding, the editors at Motherly know the secret to success is having dependable supplies that can help you feed your baby in a way that matches lifestyle.

Here are 9 breastfeeding and pumping products to help you no matter what the day holds.

Customflow™ Double Electric Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's electric pump

For efficient, productive pumping sessions, a double electric breast pump will help you get the job done as quickly as possible. Quiet for nighttime pumping sessions and compact for bringing along to work, this double pump puts you in control with fully adjustable settings.

$159.99

Hands-Free Pumping Bra

Dr. Brown''s hands free pumping bra

Especially in the early days, feeding your baby can feel like a pretty consuming task. A hands-free pumping bra will help you reclaim some of your precious time while pumping—and all mamas will know just how valuable more time can be!

$29.99

Manual Breast Pump with SoftShape™ Silicone Shield

Dr. Brown's manual breast pump

If you live a life that sometimes takes you away from electrical outlets (that's most of us!), then you'll absolutely want a manual breast pump in your arsenal. With two pumping modes to promote efficient milk expression and a comfort-fitted shield, a manual pump is simply the most convenient pump to take along and use. Although it may not get as much glory as an electric pump, we really appreciate how quick and easy this manual pump is to use—and how liberating it is not to stress about finding a power supply.

$29.99

Nipple Shields and Sterilization Case

Dr. Brown's nipple shields

There is a bit of a learning curve to breastfeeding—for both mamas and babies. Thankfully, even if there are some physical challenges (like inverted nipples or a baby's tongue tie) or nursing doesn't click right away, silicone nipple shields can be a huge help. With a convenient carry case that can be sterilized in the microwave, you don't have to worry about germs or bacteria either. 🙌

$9.99

Silicone One-Piece Breast Pump

Dr. Brown's silicone pump

When you are feeding your baby on one breast, the other can still experience milk letdown—which means it's a golden opportunity to save some additional milk. With a silent, hands-free silicone pump, you can easily collect milk while nursing.

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Breast to Bottle Pump & Store Feeding Set

After a lifetime of nursing from the breast, introducing a bottle can be a bit of a strange experience for babies. Dr. Brown's Options+™ and slow flow bottle nipples were designed with this in mind to make the introduction to bottles smooth and pleasant for parents and babies. As a set that seamlessly works together from pumping to storing milk to bottle feeding, you don't have to stress about having everything you need to keep your baby fed and happy either.

$24.99

Washable Breast Pads

washable breast pads

Mamas' bodies are amazingly made to help breast milk flow when it's in demand—but occasionally also at other times. Especially as your supply is establishing or your breasts are fuller as the length between feeding sessions increase, it's helpful to use washable nursing pads to prevent breast milk from leaking through your bra.

$8.99

Breast Milk Storage Bags

Dr. Brown's milk storage bags

The essential for mamas who do any pumping, breast milk storage bags allow you to easily and safely seal expressed milk in the refrigerator or freezer. Dr. Brown's™ Breast Milk Storage Bags take it even further with extra thick walls that block out scents from other food items and feature an ultra secure lock to prevent leaking.

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Watch one mama's review of the new Dr. Brown's breastfeeding line here:

This article was sponsored by Dr. Brown's. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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There is rightfully a lot of emphasis on preparing for the arrival of a new baby. The clothes! The nursery furniture! The gear! But, the thing about a baby registry is, well, your kids will keep on growing. Before you know it, they'll have new needs—and you'll probably have to foot the bill for the products yourself.

Thankfully, you don't have to break the bank when shopping for toddler products. Here are our favorite high-quality, budget-friendly finds to help with everything from meal time to bath time for the toddler set.

Comforts Fruit Crisps Variety Pack

Comforts fruit snacks

If there is one thing to know about toddlers, it is this: They love snacks. Keeping a variety on hand is easy when the pack already comes that way! Plus, we sure do appreciate that freeze-dried fruit is a healthier alternative to fruit snacks.

Comforts Electrolyte Drink

Comforts electrolyte drink

Between running (or toddling!) around all day and potentially developing a pickier palate, many toddlers can use a bit of extra help with replenishing their electrolytes—especially after they've experienced a tummy bug. We suggest keeping an electrolyte drink on hand.

Comforts Training Pants

Comforts training pants

When the time comes to start potty training, it sure helps to have some training pants on hand. If they didn't make it to the potty in time, these can help them learn their body's cues.

Comforts Nite Pants

comforts nite pants

Even when your toddler gets the hang of using the toilet during the day, nighttime training typically takes several months longer than day-time training. In the meantime, nite pants will still help them feel like the growing, big kid they are.

Comforts Baby Lotion

comforts baby lotion

Running, jumping, playing in sand, splashing in water—the daily life of a toddler can definitely irritate their skin! Help put a protective barrier between their delicate skin and the things they come into contact with every day with nourishing lotion.

Another great tip? Shopping the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices—and follow along on social media to see product releases and news at @comfortsforbaby.

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

Our Partners

Errands and showers are not self-care for moms

Thinking they are is what's burning moms out.

A friend and I bump into each other at Target nearly every time we go. We don't pre-plan this; we must just be on the same paper towel use cycle or something. Really, I think there was a stretch where I saw her at Target five times in a row.

We've turned it into a bit of a running joke. "Yeah," I say sarcastically, "We needed paper towels so you know, I had to come to Target… for two hours of alone time."

She'll laugh and reply, "Oh yes, we were out of… um… paper clips. So here I am, shopping without the kids. Heaven!"

Now don't get me wrong. I adore my trips to Target (and based on the fullness of my cart when I leave, I am pretty sure Target adores my trips there, too).

But my little running joke with my friend is actually a big problem. Because why is the absence of paper towels the thing that prompts me to get a break? And why on earth is buying paper towels considered a break for moms?

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