10 Tips To Survive Working From Home & Virtual Learning

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I’ve always dreamed of working from home. I could go on and on about all the perks that come with not having to go in the office to work. I’d have the luxury of sleeping in late, working in my most comfortable clothes, no morning traffic issues, and I’d have more time to spend with the kids before and after school. On top of that laundry would be done on my lunch breaks and dinner would be cooked at a reasonable time.

Well the virus came and turned all of our lives upside down. Can you guess what happened? I got to work from home…with my kids all day! My dream was crushed and then lit on fire when virtual learning was announced. You absolutely must be careful what you ask for. Never have I ever thought I would be working from home and essentially running a school at the same time! Impossible right? Nope!

To survive working from home and helping kids learn virtually you must have a plan or fail miserably like I did in the beginning. Oh I shed some tears because I wasn’t prepared for this challenge. It isn’t easy trying to fulfill work obligations while assisting young children with school. However, you can get your work done and help your kids succeed with online learning while keeping your sanity. Below are 10 tips that will help ease the pain.

1. Have A Routine

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A morning and night time routine is essential for everyone to follow. You and the kids will know exactly what needs to be done when waking up in the morning and before going to bed at night. My kids have an alarm set to wake up on their own at 8 a.m. brush their teeth and eat breakfast. I wake a little earlier and do the same but my morning routine includes a hot cup of medium roast coffee and opening all the blinds to let in sunlight. During this time I pray that I make it through the day with my sanity in tact.

In the evening the kids know what to do before bed. Now my teen is self sufficient but those little boys…yeah that’s a different story. What is it with young boys avoiding the shower?? Either way they reluctantly shower, brush their teeth, and read for 30 minutes before going to bed at 9 p.m. I try to be in bed by 11 p.m. so I can enjoy some free time after the kids are down for the night. I decompress by catching up on my favorite shows, browsing social media, and taking a hot shower.

2. Prep Food

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Having food prepared for you and the kids will save a lot of time and headache. When you have a busy day ahead it helps to have food prepared and ready to go. It cuts down on the kids constantly asking what they can have each day and you having to stop working and make it. Also, my kids school drops off breakfast and lunch Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. This helps me save time and money. Plus there are lots of healthy options to choose from.

If this isn’t available in your school district prepare your kids favorite breakfast items, snacks, and sandwiches ahead of time. They will be able to choose on their own when it’s time to eat. You may have to help younger children if they don’t have older siblings who can assist. I also prepare or have an idea of what I’m going to eat too. It’s easy to skip meals when there is so much going on in the day.

3. Help Kids Navigate Learning Sites

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Now I consider myself to be an intelligent adult. I can read, write, comprehend all that…well that’s what I thought until I had to help my kids with virtual learning. The teacher would assign something for my 2nd grader to do but we could never find the assignment. We were both lost! I’d log off from work and spend 30+ minutes looking for a worksheet online that I was sure didn’t exist. I’d often have to reach out to the teacher for help.

I’d get the instructions from her but it was like a treasure hunt! Go to the red icon on the learning platform, scroll down for 5 minutes, then click the weekly icon, after that find the Kazam link, then you’ll see the worksheet located in the file to the right….Yikes! This was hard for me so I see why my son was frustrated. The point here is to spend time with your kids navigating all learning platforms and be sure they write down login info for everything!

4. Separate Everyone

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I learned the hard way that it’s best for everyone to have their own dedicated work area…even you! Check out my article on creating a budget friendly office space. I really can’t believe I thought I’d be productive at the kitchen table with two young boys and a teen daughter near by in the family room. The boys would fight and irritate each other constantly and my daughter doesn’t like to use headphones. I couldn’t take the stress of fussing at them while trying to focus on work. I had to figure out something fast!

Everyone must social distance at home lol! I bought everything I needed to create a comfortable workspace in my bedroom. Since I moved from the kitchen table I was able to create more space between the boys at the table so they don’t bother each other. Yes, I was concerned about leaving the boys downstairs but I needed to have a quiet area to take calls and attend meetings. It’s not a perfect set up but it works. Plus I get in exercise running back and forth from my desk upstairs to the kitchen downstairs.

5. Expect Distractions

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This whole working from home thing with my kids while they learn online has been one of the biggest challenges of my life. I take my job seriously and I feel just as strongly about my children’s education. I felt defeated when I realized I couldn’t give my job 100% because I had to help my kids get acclimated to the new norm of home school. I would have to frequently log out of work for several hours at a time to assist the kids. It was frustrating but necessary.

Please understand that you will be distracted from work. There is no way around it with young kids. Knowing this fact helped me push through and plan the day better. I know the best time to tackle a difficult task for work would be after the kids are settled in class in the morning, during their lunch, or of course when school is over in the afternoon. Do your best to plan out your day based on your kids school schedule. You’ll likely find some time to be free from distractions for a while too.

6. Prepare For Technical Problems

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On the very first day of virtual learning my kids couldn’t get logged in for class. The system just couldn’t handle so many kids trying to sign in all at once and crashed. It took two days to be able to log in and access the learning platforms. That was beyond aggravating because the kids were so excited to see their friends faces and I spent what seemed like hours trying to fix a problem that I later found out was district wide. Ugh!

In the mist of troubleshooting I was given valuable information from school officials who tried to help. I got names, emails, and phone numbers of who to contact when having technical issues with Chrome Books or the learning platform. Get this info and keep it handy because you will more than likely have to use it one day. Technical issues are sure to happen that’s just life. It’s better to be prepared so you can quickly take action when needed.

7. Check-In With Kids

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Separating everyone seems to work best for my household. We’re able to focus more and not distract each other too much. However, it does require me to do some running around since my work area is upstairs and the kids are downstairs. Again this isn’t the best set up but it helps me keep some sanity and work on things that require me to be on the phone or in a Zoom meeting. Lots of check-ins are necessary.

I often check-in with the kids either by running down the stairs or yelling down the stairs to see if anyone needs help with anything. I also sneak up on them sometimes to make sure they are on task. I don’t worry much about my teen daughter much but those boys smh…one day I caught my 11 yr old watching YouTube instead of paying attention to his teacher. So check-in frequently especially when they least expect it.

8. Everyone Should Go To Recess

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Did I mention how frustrating all of this is? And that I cried some days? I think I did…Either way it’s true. I remember literally breaking down from the stress of it all. I wanted to give everything 100%. Unfortunately It would be impossible to give everything my full attention. It took time to accept this but I felt better once I did because there is only so much I can do as a single person. I obviously needed some cheering up.

One thing I would suggest is going outside for recess with your kids sometimes. After they eat lunch at school they usually have about 25-30 minutes of play time outside. I wanted to keep this up at home because we all spend too much time laying around on phones and computers. Joining my kids outside in the sunshine playing basketball, walking, or just watching them feels really good. It’s a much needed fun break for us all!

9. Sign Up For Alerts From Teachers

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Checking in on the kids allow me to help them with a task or make sure they’re doing what is expected of them from the teacher at the moment. But it doesn’t let me know that work is being completed. I’m so happy the kids teachers will notify me that an assignment is missing, incomplete, or that a low grade was received. This way I’m able to be on top of things and quickly nip it in the bud.

If you haven’t signed up to receive alerts and important announcements from your kids teachers you should do so today! Check to see if it’s offered. It makes things much easier when you’re trying to figure out which assignment is missing or which subject your child needs help with. You may also be notified of important dates for tests and upcoming projects which is super helpful.

10. Ask For Help

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You are not Superwoman or Superman with super powers so please don’t try to be. Trust me you’ll wear yourself out attempting to handle everything on your own. Even though I know this it doesn’t make it easier for me to reach out and ask for help from anybody. It makes me feel incompetent. Yeah I had to get over that fast because it was a real shit show over here for a while. I pulled myself together and thought about ways to make my life easier.

Asking for help was one way that eased the stress of attempting to juggle everything alone. My Goodness it was hard admitting that I couldn’t do this by myself. But I had to call in the cavalry which included a dad, a grandma, and a special man in my life. I was so thankful that I wasn’t judged. Everyone was so understanding and more than willing to offer a hand. So if things are tough or you just need time to catch up on work please ask for help.


These truly are challenging times for us all. It helps to know many parents across the nation are struggling to find balance in their homes just like me…I’m not alone. I’ve always wanted to work from home but I never imagined it being this way. I wasn’t prepared for having to work while helping the kids with school daily. I struggled a lot in the beginning but things are much better now that I have a plan in place.

Coming up with a plan was essential if I wanted to be successful with creating balance that worked for everyone. I thought about things I could do to help relieve stress and minimize distractions and came up with the list above. Think about a plan based on the dynamics of your family then put it into play. You’ll be on your way to more peace of mind and a system that allows everyone to get things done. Lastly, ask for help if it becomes too much. Don’t suffer in silence!


My Budget Friendly Office Space

I’ve always wanted an office space in my home. I don’t know I figured I would feel like an important business woman lol. I wanted to say to someone…step into my office…even if I was only saying it to the kids. Now that I’m required to work from home I figured it was time to make it happen. I was soooo excited to create a space that is alllll mines (hands rubbing together like an evil villain). No more annoying kitchen table for me.

As a mom I feel like I have to share just about everything I own with my children. This office was going to be mine and mine alone. There were so many decorating ideas floating around in this large beautiful head of mine. I wanted a really nice desk, a white leather chair, 2 huge computer monitors, fancy rose gold accessories, and expensive looking wall art. Unfortunately, I wasn’t working with a ballers budget or a large space.

I had to get what I could afford and I think I got some good stuff. You still have options if you don’t have much to spend on your office so don’t use money as an excuse not to get started. I was able to create a comfortable work space without breaking the bank. Staying within the budget for your home office is so important. It’s easy to get carried away buying more expensive items trying to be all cute.

My Home Office

Simple and Functional

So as you can see there are no rose gold accessories or huge fancy computer screens. Those things weren’t in the budget. Maybe one day I’ll have the office of my dreams but this will do for now. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out. I have everything I need to get things done for work. On top of that I no longer have to sit at the kitchen table and fuss at the kids to be quiet before my Zoom meetings.

Also, I’m in the process of trying to adopt a minimalist lifestyle. I didn’t want to clutter the space by over decorating. I tend to do that sometimes. Growing up my dad accumulated so much stuff from everywhere and never threw anything away. He was and still is something like a hoarder. I’m doing my best to reprogram my brain to be ok with only necessary items in my spaces. It helps me think clearly and I know exactly where everything is.

Look For Deals

After deciding what I was comfortable with spending I began to look for what I needed. I already had a pen holder and a calendar, which isn’t much lol. And I received the laptop from my job. If you don’t have a computer or need a new one now is the time to catch a great deal. Computers and laptops are usually on sale during back to school season.

Walmart, Best Buy, and Amazon are some great places to start looking. There may also be programs in your area that donate used computers to those in need. Walmart is my go to place for almost everything. That’s where my desk, chair, lamp, candle, and letter tray were purchased either at the store or online. Also, stores like Goodwill carry desks and chairs at very affordable prices.

Other small décor items were purchased from Hobby lobby and Family Dollar. The cute little plant came from Publix. I happen to see it on the way to the pharmacy while picking up a prescription for my mom. I was attracted to the bright green color and distinctive lines on the leaves. The ceramic pot design was perfect and just what I needed to add a pinch of simple flair. I don’t have a green thumb so I hope the little plant survives in my care.

Let’s Take A Closer Look

The Cost

The budget I set to create my wonderful little office was $300. Of course the desk was going to be the most expensive item so I didn’t want to spend more than $150 for it. I found this great L-shaped hutch desk online at Walmart.com for $139! It was a perfect fit for the nook in the corner of my bedroom. The chair was next on the list and it was $54. I like how the colors of the chair compliment the colors of the desk. I still need to get a chair mat. I’m going to ruin my carpet if I keep rolling around without one.

The LED lamp was only $6. It bends and twists but most importantly I don’t ever have to change the bulb! We’ll see how long it lasts. The black letter tray was $3.88. I needed something to keep loose papers and folders in. The wood choose happy sign was $4 from Family Dollar. That’s another great store to find low cost household and decorative items. Candles are a nice addition to any office. I purchased the Glade Cashmere Woods candle for $5. The scent is so intoxicating! My beautifully potted Publix plant was only $10. And lastly the globe was purchased from Hobby Lobby for $11. I need it to help plan my escape.

Mission Complete

Well almost complete. I still have to get that chair mat as soon as possible. It’s hard rolling around on carpet. Overall I’m proud of the finished product. Even when I purchase the mat I still come out under budget. So far the total I spent is around $230. If your budget is smaller stop by your local thrift store to see what treasures you can find.

Also, there are programs and organizations out there that can help you get a refurbished computer. Check out http://www.computerswithcauses.org. They’ll help you get a computer or accept a donated one If you want to help others. If you’re lucky you might find a good computer at the thrift store too. The ones worthy of buying usually don’t last long.

If you haven’t started planning to create your home office I hope this article provides some encouragement to do so. Having a dedicated space to work helps tremendously with productivity and staying organized at home. If you’re working with a small budget you still have plenty of budget friendly options. Incorporate things you already have at home and don’t forget to add pics of the family to look at for motivation on those tough days.



I wake up each day looking forward to my warm cup of coffee from my little red Keurig. It’s part of my morning routine. I take my coffee with a splash of almond milk and caramel creamer, but before I drink it I always close my eyes and inhale that warm, rich aroma. Ahhhhh! I look out the window to see if the sun is shining or if it’s a cloudy day. I listen to the birds sing. I savor those few seconds, then BAM! A child screams, a phone rings, or I hear a loud thud coming from the second floor where there’s a Fortnite battle in progress, never fails. My mind immediately snaps back to reality…back to quarantine, to working from home, to keeping the kids entertained, to negative news reports, to not browsing my favorite stores, to not traveling, to not really enjoying the summer, to the fear of my family getting sick, to the fear of where the world is headed. Heavy right? Very!

These are uncertain times that have many of us worried about our present circumstances as well as our future. These worries can cause us to feel hopeless or like me, extra anxious and cause us to rely on unhealthy habits for relief. Regardless, we must all strive to live a good happy life despite what’s going on around us. Some things are out of our control but we can control how we allow things to make us feel. Do your best to hang in there, be mindful of your habits, and stay motivated!

Hang In There

We all have fears and worries brought on by this new way of life. My message is simple, just hang in there. I’m certain there is something you lean on to get by, make it through the day, feel less or more of a feeling, help you out of bed, help you go to sleep, have something to look forward to, or help you through unbearable times. Times like…NOW!

That something could be a healthy coping mechanism like exercising or a hobby you enjoy. Unfortunately, we don’t always choose the best ways to cope which may include indulging in vices like drugs, alcohol, smoking, and unhealthy eating. It’s easy to slip into a dark hole of habits that aren’t necessarily good for us just to feel a little relief. I mean some people are truly struggling especially my friends who live alone. What exactly is a vice?

Immoral conduct, fault, shortcoming, a bad habit, defect

If your feel embarrassed about having vices, don’t. Even under normal life circumstances many us like to partake in activities that take the edge off. Maybe you enjoy drinking beer after work or smoking cigars. Personally I love a cold glass of sweet wine. But my real vice is sugar. Is there rehab for sugar addiction? Sign me up please! Seriously with many of us working from home it’s easy to overindulge in things that make us feel better.

Over the last few months I’ve had to call several companies to handle personal matters. I won’t name these well known businesses but I’ve spoken to at least 3 tipsy customer service agents during quarantine. These agents were from my bank, mortgage company, and insurance company. By the way it was very early in the day! Granted they were extra friendly and helpful but it was easy to tell they had a special boost that morning. I hope those calls aren’t picked for quality assurance or training purposes. 😆

Be Mindful

To be honest almost anything can be considered a vice as long as there are people who view the behavior as bad. For example, I enjoy sleeping in late which could be looked at as a shortcoming. Lots of people frown upon not waking up early because you appear to be lazy and unproductive. Trust I’m working on it and I believe there is room for improvement.

My beloved coffee could even be looked at as a vice. However, I’m more concerned with vices that can have a profound negative effect on someone’s life. Chain smoking, excessive drinking especially during work hours, or taking more medicine than prescribed by the doctor falls into that category.

You must be mindful of your daily activities and habits while spending more time at home. Not paying attention could cause you to spiral out of control jeopardizing your family, job, and overall health. I can do better myself especially with limiting comfort foods and increasing activity. I’m aware and making plans to choose healthier habits.

Stay Motivated

During these difficult times I understand how easy it can be to lean on unhealthy habits to feel better. This can stem from stress and even boredom. Yes, I have vices that temporarily help me relieve stress. I think we all do, some are healthy others not so much. Fortunately, there are several things we can do instead of overindulging in our sweet vices.

1. Develop a routine and stick to it! Having a routine can prevent you from turning to bad habits out of boredom and help you stay productive throughout the day. Plan out a morning routine, work day routine, and evening routine. Follow it everyday!

2. Don’t tempt yourself. Leave the wine and beer at the store until the weekend if you feel tempted to drink during the day. If you’re a smoker try to quit or take your smoke breaks at home the same way you would if you were at the office.

3. Stay active and present. Being occupied keeps your mind busy. Remember those routines in number 1? Also, be present and fully engaged in each task.

4. Talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Call a friend or family member. It can be a good distraction plus it feels good catching up with loved ones. The ones you actually like.

Final Thought

Hanging in there is easier said than done. Stress can weigh heavy on you and leave you feeling like there is no way out. However, you must fight the urge to overindulge in unhealthy coping mechanisms. Relief is only temporary. Do your best to find better ways to deal with negative feelings. Talking to a friend or family member and staying active are ways that can help.

Being mindful of your daily habits can help you keep yourself in check. Make plans to change any behaviors you feel could be holding you back from greatness. Most importantly stay motivated to continue doing better. Changing bad habits is hard and any small thing can push you off track. This is life, expect that to happen but get right back up and continue giving it your all!


3 Life-Changing Things I Wish I Knew Sooner

As a kid I couldn’t wait to become an adult. Mainly because I wanted the freedom to do what I wanted when I wanted. I’d be able to drive a car, eat as much cake as I could bare, and hang out with friends without worrying about a curfew. That’s what I thought being an adult was all about…Freedom! Well now I’m a real adult who is really traumatized! I can’t believe I wanted this so bad. I’d give anything to go back 😭. Well I’m here now but there are a few things I wish I’d known sooner especially concerning money.

Saving Money

Consistently saving money is one of the most important things you can do no matter what stage of life you’re in. When I would get money as a kid it would “burn a hole” in my pocket as they say. I would receive a small allowance from my parents by doing chores or earned money from family members by cleaning or helping with projects around the house. The money would already be spent before I even receive it smh. Let’s just say the neighborhood candy store owner knew my name. Oh and yes I was a heavy kid.

No one really sat me down and talked to me about the importance of saving money. So I learned the hard way that you should always, always, ALWAYS have money saved. Unfortunate circumstances are waiting around every corner as an adult. All you can do is just prepare yourself. In my early 20’s my apartment burned to the ground, my car died, and I went on beautiful cruise to the Bahamas BROKE! My 20’s were pretty damn difficult. Having money saved would have made things much better.

Now in my 30’s I understand the importance of having money saved for emergencies. I feel good that I’m prepared for whatever is lurking around the corner that’s gonna cost me. Recently, the hot water heater went out in my home. Thankfully I had the $2,000 to replace it and bring it up to code. It didn’t feel good having to suddenly fork out that kind of money but I had it and didn’t have to ask anyone. Please save money each time you get paid even if it’s only $10-$20. Every little bit adds up over time!

Interest Rates

Boy oh boy credit card interest rates…Do you even know how excited I was to be approved for my first credit card?! I can’t quite remember but I think the credit card limit was like $1,500. I initially thought of this as free money and you couldn’t tell me anything. I was a real adult with a credit card and tingled all over thinking about everything I could buy 🤑. Sooooo I bought everything $1,500 would allow lol. Clothes, shoes, FOOD etc. Unfortunately it wasn’t free money. The bills rolled in but never seemed to roll away.

I continued to pay the bill each month. However, the balance didn’t seem to reflect the amount I paid towards the bill. Yeah…that’s the moment I learned what an interest rate was. I believe my first card had an interest rate of 24%! Yikes! It took forever to pay the card off. Eventually I learned how to use credit cards responsibly. I’m super proud of that. Some adults continue to play the credit card game which keeps them in debt especially if it has a high interest rate. Check out this article on Investopedia for more information about credit card interest rates. (https://www.investopedia.com/articles/01/061301.asp)

Investing Money

This is a big one in my opinion! Now let me start by saying I’m not a financial advisor. This information is what I personally believe in and tactics I currently use. One way to put your money to work is by investing in the stock market. You must invest responsibly or you could risk losing everything. Before you start investing it’s best to gather and retain as much information as possible. Read books, go to YouTube University, or consult a professional.

Don’t blindly jump into investing like I did and lose money. I was under the impression I would automatically double, even triple my money! I started planning my early retirement because I was surely going to get rich quick. Yeah, NO! If it was that easy everyone would be retiring early. Seeing those numbers go up on my investments made me feel so accomplished. Oh but when they went down, way way down I felt like a failure. I couldn’t believe I lost over half of what I invested in such a short time.

  • Invest in reputable companies
  • Do your research before investing your precious dollars
  • Invest in companies you understand
  • Don’t put all your eggs in one basket (Diversify)
  • Focus on ETF’s Exchange Traded Funds to limit risk.

Think of Exchange Traded Funds as a bag of M&M’s. The bag is the actual ETF and the candy inside are different companies. This way I can instantly be diversified therefore limiting my risk. If one company is doing bad I wouldn’t be so affected. Check out this YouTube video on ETF’s. I love watching The Magic of Finance Channel. I’ve learned a lot about investing from Andrei Jikh. He explains investing well and is quite the entertainer. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co7ih4M4AAg)


You made it to the end yay! Let’s recap. It’s never too late to start saving. Something is sure to happen in life that will require a lump sum of money. It’s really important to be prepared. This is especially important for single parent households that operate on one income. Even if you’re only able to save $10 per paycheck something is better than nothing. For example, saving $10 per week multiplied by 52 weeks would give you $520 in a year. Next, credit cards can really get you in trouble financially. High interest rates will keep you in debt longer. Be sure to use credit cards responsibly. Lastly, do some research on investing in the stock market. ETF’s are a great starting point. Investing today can help secure your financial future. Also, don’t forget to share this financial information with your children and any young adults in your life.


Sheet Pan Honey Garlic Sausage and Veggies

I don’t know about you but I’m crazy about garlic! This meal is sure to keep the vampires away 😆 Then there’s the honey…my goodness this dish is so good. I could eat half the pan by myself smh.

The sausage and potatoes make this meal quite filling too. Although there is a bit of chopping involved it’s definitely worth it! You’ll love the crispy edges of the sausage followed by the sweet hint of honey in each bite.


  • 3 cups red potato diced
  • 8 oz fresh asparagus, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 12 mini sweet bell peppers, cut into halves
  • 15 ounces smoked sausage
  • Sea salt and pepper, to your taste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp raw honey
  • Parsley to garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees f.
  • Line a large sheet pan with aluminium foil
  • Place all the veggies and sausage in a large bowl.
  • Pour in the oil, honey, add in garlic and seasonings.
  • Toss to evenly coat everything.
  • Pour the veggies and sausage in a single layer on the sheet pan.
  • Bake for about 25 minutes, or until vegetables are crisp tender and sausage is browned.
  • Garnish with parsley

Sheet Pan Sesame Chicken and Veggies

I love to make super simple meals that are packed full of flavor. This is one of them! The kids enjoy it plus it helps when I’m trying to avoid a lot of carbs. I’m literally addicted to carbs smh.

The photo above is right before I put the food in the oven. It would have been great to have a picture of the finished product but we were so hungry the meal was attacked straight out of the oven. If you must have carbs, and sometimes I MUST, this meal goes great with white or brown rice.


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 pound of carrots, trimmed and sliced or a bag of baby carrots
  • 4  tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 4 cloves of minced garlic, or buy it already minced


  • Line the sheet pan with foil for easy clean up
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  • Toss all the ingredients together in a bowl.
  • Add the chicken to the center of the sheet pan.
  • Add the vegetables around it in an even, single layer
  • Cook for 30-35 minutes or until the chicken is browned and the vegetables are browned and crisp.