Monday, October 4, 2010

fig peeky eyes

I have not been in 'cutesy' lunch mode lately... I did a bunch of fall themed lunches last year like this one or this or this.  But it's the halloween ones I really have fun with!  There are a whole bunch here.

I decided to skip right over the fall and do a sneak 'peek' for halloween.  I am going to try to 'sneak' in a pair of eyes with lunch each day as a countdown of sorts to halloween.  Funny thing is, I don't overly love halloween - but I love the themed lunches and it is one theme I can really have fun with!

Turkey and provolone on whole wheat tortilla, yogurt with (not so) frozen blueberries, fig 'peeky eyes' with blueberry center on a bed of walnuts, celery sticks.

morning lunch blahs

Finally put pics on my computer today... only had one lunch on there.  The last few weeks have been kinda out of routine around here - been subbing, husband was out of town for three weeks, activities for the kids started, and on and on...  
 I got into the bad habit of making lunches in the mornings while still half asleep and short on time!  This is never good.  Definitely no 'cute' lunches and rarely time to get the camera out.  Plus, after a few days, they start to all look the same...

I did manage to snap this pic along the way!
Herb salad mix ( added dressing in a container after the pic), applesauce with cinnamon, orange slices, raisin and almond mix.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

baby spinach with feta and almonds, plum, veggie chips, newmans alphabet block cookies.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Goodbye summer! - strawberry rhubarb pie

Here we have ham and cheese rolls with crackers so the kids can make their own sandwiches.  I figure my two little monkeys eat with their hands anyhow.... when in Rome, right?!  Also some orange slices and a slice of their mom's kick butt homemade Strawberry Rhubarb pie. 
Our last house on the east coast had rhubarb growing rampant in a corner of the backyard. For the two years we lived in that house, I learned to make all sorts of rhubarb dishes in the summertime, but by far, our favorite was/is this pie!  We ate it all summer long - and yes, those were not our skinniest summers on record.  Some wiggle and jiggle was added to my life around that time!
Being in Texas, good rhubarb is harder to find.  But, occasionally I do -and an occasional pie isn't gonna hurt, right?!

Farewell summer strawberry/rhubarb pie - till we meet again my love!

Oh, how I love thee....

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
2 ready store bought or homemade pie crust pastry for a 9 inch pie

1 teaspoon orange zest
3 cups diced rhubarb
2 cups sliced fresh strawberries
1 cup white sugar
3 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon white sugar for decoration

1.Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C). Line a pie pan with bottom crust.

2.Mix together rhubarb, strawberries, orange zest, sugar, and tapioca. Spoon into crust. Roll out second crust, and place over the filling (make lattice top or cut slits in top crust) Seal the edges. Brush with milk, and sprinkle extra sugar on top.

3.Bake at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and bake for an additional 35 minutes.   Let cool and enjoy!

baby, baby, baby.

Nope, not pregnant.  Don't even entertain that thought....

I found these cute little organic baby grapes at central market.  I am sure they had a more sophisticated name, but I can't for the life of me remember what they were called.  So, they are now 'baby grapes' to us.  Along with baby grapes are 'baby block' Newman's own arrowroot cookies with a homemade pumpkin spice dip, and 'the crunchy lettuce' with some baby spinach added.  After the pic, I threw some feta cheese on top.

Monday, September 13, 2010

rainbow and flowers- ooops!

Most of the time I make their lunches exactly the same.  On this particular day, I had some subtle changes...  below is HER lunch.  She got tomatoes and her favorite strawberry dressing.  He didn't want either, so he got some veggie staws instead.  Her pears were cut into cutsie flowers - his left in chunks.  

OH did I get holy heck at the end of this school day!! THIS lunch went with HIM and the 'plain' lunch went with HER. OOOOOPS!


Grapfruit 'rainbows' with a sprinkle of sugar on top, romaine lettuce with pear slices, cheddar cheese strips, 'rain drop' tomatoes, and strawberry dressing.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

fruits and veggies

I try to balance out food groups, but every once in a while a lunch is heavy in one area or another.  This was a 'friday' lunch.  We were out of meat, cheese, bread....  so, this one is a little heavy in the fruit and veggie department.  I figure that is not such a bad thing :)
Veggie straws, applesauce with cinnamon, carrot, dried black mission figs, fruit strip

chocolate zucchini

This one isn't the prettiest lunch ever, but it does include some favorite items!  Some annies mac and cheese, banana, chocolate zucchini muffin, and a fruit strip.

For the Chocolate Zucchini muffin, I used the recipe found here and tweaked it a bit following some of 'reviewers' advice to make it healthier.  I cut back a little on the sugar and used no sugar added applesauce instead of the oil. 

A little side note on the banana - you don't see these in the lunches often, which may lead you to think my kids don't eat a lot of bananas.... the opposite.  They INHALE them.  I buy about 2 bunches weekly and they eat them at breakfast time or snacks.  This isn't the prettiest banana to put in the picture, but my kids don't care. 
 I know many children (and some adults) turn into banana snobs if they see a brown spot on the peel or the banana.   In my classroom, I would gush over the student with the brown spot on their banana and go overboard telling them how lucky they are that they got the banana with the sweet spot!  All of a sudden their sad face turned into a proud beaming smile.  

The Crunchy Kind

Over the last year or so, I have continued to serve salads to my kids.  It was not well recieved at first...some tears, a few rolls of the eyes, and some down right protests have occured in my house.  I found by letting them choose the toppings,  and by trying all different types of lettuce that eventually it would not be a cry fest when I served salad.  But, I never thought that it would be requested!  
I usually ask the kids if they have any ideas for their lunches when before going to store.  My daughter asked if I would buy some lettuce but only 'The Crunchy Kind' because it was her favorite.  Took me a few seconds in deep thought to realize that 'the crunchy kind' translates to 'romaine'! 

Romaine lettuce -a.k.a. 'the crunchy kind', vanilla bean yogurt with frozen blueberries, strawberry dressing, and a fruit strip.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

cowboy hat for my little buckeroo

At the start of the week, I made these puzzle sandwiches.  I made a hat and a boot.  The girl got the hat, the boy got the boot.  Turns out I messed that one up big time!  SHE had wanted the boot, HE had wanted the hat.  I had made the lunches in the morning, ( I hate when I wait!) and I just lovingly shoved one into each lunch box and sent them on their merry way. 

I used the hat cutter and piled 3 turkey and tortilla sandwiches on top of each other, added a little carrot circle and a star.  When I called him over to see his lunch he right away knew I was making up for my "mess up" earlier in the week, looked at me and grinned ear to ear.  I even got a very sincere "thank you, mommy."

Sometimes people ask WHY I take the time to make 'fancy' lunches even though they sometimes shake all over and do not look the same at lunchtime.  THAT is why.  He felt special, and all it cost me was a few extra minutes in the kitchen with a cookie cutter.

carrot 'wagon wheels', grapes, salad with feta and almonds, and cheese curds round out this lunch.

five senses

Five Senses
(Tune: Where is Thumbkin?)

Five senses, five senses
We have them. We have them.
Seeing, hearing, touching,
Tasting and smelling.
There are five. There are five.

That song was stuck in my head the ENTIRE time I was making this lunch.  I kinda wanted to jump from a tall bridge by the time I was finished.
My daughter is learning about the five senses at school, so she and I made a 'face salad' with eyes, nose, ears, mouth.  The number 5 was cut out of cheese and we added it to a hand cut out of turkey on a wheat tortilla.  A little container of 'tear drop' tomatoes and grapes and she is good to go!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

carrot puzzle

The OXO company sent me lots of gadgets to try out (review post coming soon).  One of those gadgets was a crinkle cutter thingamajig.  I used it to cut the carrots into small pieces.  The kids can fit them together like a puzzle!  (and btw, yes! I added hand sanitizer to their lunchboxes!)

Also for their clean hands to caress... turkey sandwich roll ups, a pluot, pickle slices, and vanilla bean yogurt with homemade raspberry maple granola (well, that one they need a spoon to eat.  Although, knowing my kids...)

This lunch (and many other great lunches) can be seen here

hello again! - the art of the leftover

We had hot dogs and mac and cheese as a 'busy night' dinner.  Since that is a favorite dinner for busy nights around here, I know it is always a hit as lunch leftovers.  I personally don't care for cold hot dogs, but my darlings will scarf them up any which way they are served.  So, I made sure there was plenty leftover for lunch! 

The hot dogs are the coleman's natural, annie's mac and cheese, organic raspberries, organic ketchup for the dogs, and a stretch island natural fruit roll-up.


The kids' school has a 'cowboy' theme to it.  Not too unusual for Texas.  To start off week two of school, I did a simple sandwich puzzle.  Instead of removing the shape cut with a cookie cutter, I left it in tack for the kids to remove. 

My daughter got the cowboy GIRL hat  below, and my son's sandwich was cut with a cowboy boot.  A simple green salad with some raspberries, no sugar added applesauce with cinnamon, and veggie straws finish off this lunch.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

shiny red apple

This is an 'upside down' or an 'inside out' sandwich.  I make the kids work for these!  The sandwich is open faced with a second layer of bread underneath that they place on top to make it.. well... a 'regular' sandwich.  Love this cause it is just a cut out sandwich, and is so simple to do!  If you have some cookie cutters, it is even easier.

He is going to think I am proving the 'easy to do' point by adding this, but truly that is not the case.  I just want to give credit... 
I was fighting a headache tonight and my husband jumped in and helped to make these!!  He cut the apple shapes freehand (awesome job, babe!), cut the stems and washed and cut the fruit and carrots.

Apple made with pb&j, carrot stem, cucumber leaf.  Also strawberries, carrots, grapes, noodles with a little Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sharpen your pencils!... another back to school lunch

I believe I first saw the pencil idea in some sort of parenting magazine, but it may have been somewhere online.  I really am not sure who to give the credit to... just know this wasn't from my brain first!

I used a strip of cheddar cheese for the pencil, ham for the 'wood' and eraser, and some all natural fruit strip pieces for the 'lead' and the 'no.2'.

Carrot strips, spinach salad with feta and a 'heart' strawberry, and little turkey and cheese open face sandwich letters ( a GREAT way to use up the bread ends, btw!)

I also used fruit strip to make an apple shape that is laying on top of homemade  store bought ambrosia salad.  I picked this up as a special treat for the kids cause they both love it.  Thought it might make a nice treat for a 'first week' lunch!

I don't know if I was just not with it tonight or what, but this little pencil gave me one heck of a time!  I had intended to make a few, but as you see in child no. 2's lunch....   I quit the pencil making business!  I snapped this pic to 'keep it real'.  I gave up on fancy lunch tonight!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to school / first day of Kindergarten!

Tomorrow is the big day around here!  To celebrate, my parents called the kids and want to take them out to a special "end of summer" / "back to school" dinner at a local restaurant. 

We love this restaurant, but know it is usually has slooooow service.  I don't anticipate tonight to be any different.  With showers, books and an early bedtime on tap after dinner, I went ahead and got lunches out of the way now.

This year, both kids are in school everyday.  Most likely they will get the same lunches each day, but I am sure there may be some exceptions to that. 

The only difference in their lunches for tomorrow is that her lunch has a 'K' for Kindergarten and his has the number '3' for 3rd grade!  His strawberries are not cut to look like hearts either cause "someone might see."  oh brother.
Spinach salad (I'll add dressing in the morning), strawberry hearts and a cucumber 'k', a bear naked brand cookie, Kiwi and strawberry on a thin layer of yogurt, and the orange chunks that look like cantaloupe is actually ORANGE WATERMELON we found at a local farmer's market.

everything is organic but the cookie in this lunch.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

New year, new lunchbox?!

My kids go back to school in just two weeks!  Last year, my daughter only went to preschool two days a week.  This year, she will be a big kindergartener and will attend school everyday like her brother.  More days = more lunches! 
Their lunchbags are still in great shape from last year, so we will be using those still... but I decided to get some more of the inner containers to fit our laptop lunchbox 2.0 sets.  That way, I can make lunch for the next day WHILE the kids are still at school... or in the off chance I am behind in the doing dishes ( not that I ever let that happen...).

I figured this was a great time to remind you that you can save 10% off your order with the code LUNCHBOXLIMBO at checkout at laptop lunches.  I almost forgot to use it myself when I placed my own order!!

I highly recommend the 2.0 version and an extra set of 'buddies'!
They are a little more expensive than a typical lunchbox, but I STILL have plastic baggies I bought at the start of LAST school year...  and the savings on buying food in bulk packaging instead of the pricier individual sizes -  totally worth the investment for the lunchbox!

If you are looking for a more inexpensive option - the 'easy lunchbox' is a great choice.  They come in sets of 4 and fit a standard six pack cooler bag, with room to add whole fruit/ice pack/drink.  They are not 'squishy' like some reusable plastics, but also not not quite as sturdy as the laptop lunchboxes (we had one crack already) and not leak proof. This can be solved with a little plastic wrap or press and seal over thicker liquids, or placing runny foods in a separate container.  The 'six pack style bag will allow room to do just that.   I really like using these for my quick morning lunches - or days I feel like doing less dishes!  You can find these at

Another option - I noticed potterybarn kids has a line of bento style containers this year!  The main bento box was not leak proof, so liquid/runny foods would need to be placed in a separate container or given the press and seal treatment.

What I was really impressed with was the thick, molded interior of their lunchboxes.  The slighlty harder sides would keep whole fruits safe, and the overall thickness would help keep food colder, longer.  The bento box fits perfectly inside the lunchbox... the bad news, the bento box fits perfectly inside the lunchbox.. no room for a drink, or a seperate container for liquidy/runny foods.  I'd be using press and seal allll the time which kinds defeats the point of going with a bento box! So, it is one or the other - bento box or seperate containers -   But gosh, the pb designs are cute!

Happy Lunchbox shopping!

All opinions above are mine... no compensation for talking about any of these products. 
 Coupon code mentioned above is part of an affiliate program.  I am provided a small percentage of orders made using code. very small.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Happy 'Lego' Birthday!

My son is into legos right now.  Actually, he is a lego FREAK right now.  They are the only toy he really even plays with.  So the lego theme was the way to go for his party.
For his birthday this year, we went in with a friend whose son shares the same birthday as my son and had a party at a local pool.  I planned to make cupcakes myself, but after traveling for a funeral that same week, I just went ahead and ordered from a local store bakery.  I found this really cool 'brick' candy and placed one into the frosting of each cupcake.  When doing the final head count, I freaked out a little.... I wasn't sure If I ordered enough cupcakes for all the invited guests and siblings.  Since we had the entire pool, we encouraged the entire family of the invited child to come and swim! 

So, I spent a minute in google land and came across a lego pool cake someone else had made.  Why invent the wheel?!  The idea was PERFECT!
I made the cake, assigned my son the task of finding lego people and making race flags.  We washed all the pieces and the other mom and I went to work decorating the cake. 
Here is the result....

Here is a pic of the lego candy cupcakes... didn't get a better pic cause I was too busy running the party!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

back to it!

As if you can't tell from the gap in posting dates, I took the summer off from this blog.

I thought I would write about other topics, but I either never had time or just didn't have anything to say! And anyhow, I think you check this out for the lunch ideas anyways :)

But since my children have a few more weeks till school starts, I figured I would catch up a little about our summer...

Every year I imagine a summer of sitting by the pool or a trip to the beach, a fruity drink in my hand and not a care in the world.
Every year the summer turns out to be a little different than I imagine.. this year, it was much different.

Our summer in a nutshell... airplane rides, car rides, a wedding, a funeral, and seeing lots of family.

We took a vacation to our old home town to see family, friends, old houses, and to celebrate the countries Independence.  We drove up the east coast to see my husbands family, and attend my husband's cousin's baseball themed wedding. We went to a butterfly museam, the eric carle museam, saw fireworks, the kids met cousins for the first time and we all ate... a lot! 

(at left, pics from the east coast visit)

After our return home, my granfather became quite ill.   After some time in the hospital and a grim prognosis, he lost his battle with old age and cancer.  I helped my mother with some of the arrangements and then we drove across Texas, out to the el paso desert for his honorable military funeral (he was career military - an american hero) and of course we saw even more extended family. 
(left - pics from our drive out to El Paso, Texas)

The day we drove back home, a friend flew into town and we spent the last week or so visiting. 

Next thing I know the back to school ads are everywhere and some kids are even already back to school! My children have a few weeks still, but whoa... where did the summer go?!

It was a busy summer, but... there were a few moments along the way which included fruity umbrella drinks ;)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Annabeth shared with me the lunchbags she created to hold the easy lunchboxes for her children.  Each one is made specifically for that child's interest or personality.

The easy lunchbox fits perfectly inside.

Love these! 
Here is a link to her blog where you can get a better look!

Friday, June 11, 2010

'you're gonna need a bigger boat'

Love that line in the movie Jaws!
duh dun,        duh dun,          duh dun duh dun duh dun..... ahhhhhh!

For the last day of science camp this week,  I put the shark theme into full effect. 

I cut a little shark out of the tortilla dough and it just didn't look right to me.  I looked over at the dough scraps and could see a shark shape just calling to be chiseled out.  I went to town but the end result was big.  So, I closed the containers (used a little press and seal to keep the fish and seaweed in tact for transport) and the shark was placed on top of the containers inside the blue lunchbox.

soooo, shark tortilla, salad with cucumber, carrot and cranberry (fish eyes).  A little yogurt with homemade granola, kiwi.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

polka dot butterfly - fun at home

I like making lunches at home at lunchtime.  In the mornings I am not always fully awake and in the evenings there are always 20 bajillion things going, all competing for my attention.  So I love our light schedule days where the kids can help make and design their own lunches.  There is no rush to make the bus or desire to just get it done and go to bed for the night.

My daughter got herself dressed today.  She picked out a butterfly shirt and a (non matching) matching butterfly skirt.  Of course both are pink.  She always picks pink.  I think she did a great job at putting this together!

Her 5 year old sense of fashion became our lunch inspiration today. 
She helped me make a butterfly sandwich.  we added strawberry polka-dots and the larger dots turned into a Caterpillar (her awesome idea!).

shark fin!

At my son's science camp today, the kids will be learning all about sharks!  They are going to be able to get an up close look at a shark and will get a shark's tooth to bring home.
Had to get a shark lunch in there!
shark fin sandwich, grape natural fruit strip wave, romaine lettuce with 'blood sauce' (good ol' raspberry vinaigrette), strawberries and a country choice organic cookie I found on clearance at the grocery store. 

this lunch (and many more yummy lunches) posted on 'what's for lunch, Wednesday'

after the store

My son is attending a summer science camp this week and has to bring a lunch.  I had big plans for theme lunches and somehow the week has flown by and left me in the dust!   I didn't even bother taking lunch pics the first few days this week because they all pretty much looked the same.  I had to forget about making theme lunches, it was a struggle to just make a decent lunch! We were out of all fresh fruits and veggies!
This was after the grocery store run...

A grapefruit wedge, cut apple, celery sticks, a homemade banana blueberry wheat muffin, vanilla yogurt with homemade granola.

Friday, June 4, 2010

strawberry shortcake

Found this lunch on my camera from earlier in the week.

My husband loves strawberry shortcake.  For his birthday we got all the fixings and made it as a dessert at home.  My son took some of the leftover angel food cake (the bad kind... store bought all the way) and strawberries to add on top (those are the good kind- fresh, organic).  Also in this lunch are cut celery sticks, ranch dip, spinach salad with raspberry vinaigrette... all organic, btw.

Last day of School Lunch

Today is the last day of school. 

For the last few days, the elementary school cafeteria has been making sack lunches for the kids.  The one I saw the other day contained an apple, bag of chips, cookie (peanut butter.. hmmmm... interesting.... ) and I am thinking there was a sandwich in there?  I can't remember exactly. 

Anyhow, I had big plans of making some of my elaborate, fancy schmancy theme lunches for the last week of school.... but the kid wanted to buy lunch.  This year, we've had some ups and downs with home lunches.  There was a time not long ago that I don't like to talk about so much.  It was when mom's lunches were not too cool and the school lunch called his name. 
We got over that and eventually, I won the home vs. school bought lunch contest this year (oh, it wasn't a contest?... sure..... whatever.  Go me, I won!). 

I can be sportsman like.  I let my son purchase lunch these last few days.
here is my effort towards today's lunch.

So is that it for the summer... hee hee, no!
Signed him up for a few weeks of summer camp - next week is science camp and lunches are to be brought from home.  They'll be learning about sharks and squids with a little CSI style mystery mixed in.... I see theme lunches in my future! woo hoo! (I need a life....).

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

What's for Lunch Wednesday

Shannnon, at 'What's for lunch at our house' is starting a weekly link-up called "What's for lunch, Wednesday".

Check it out, add your own lunch pics, or get tons of inspiration HERE.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

dirty dozen and clean 15

(pic - my daughter and I made a happy plate for lunch today!)

I was chatting with a friend just the other day about their switch to organic/natural foods.  I sent her a link with a list of certain fruits/veggies that they should make a priority to purchase only organic, and others where they could save their money and just buy conventionally.  I realized I did not have that list posted on my blog and so I sat down to do so.  Ironically, this morning I looked at a few blogs, and Lorrie at Natural on a budget had posted about this same subject. 

 She wrote exactly what I wanted to, and probably better.  So..
Here is a link to her post.

And because it should be on this site, here are the...

Dirty dozen= produce to buy organic because it is more likely to be contaminated.
1. Celery

2. Peaches

3. Strawberries

4. Apples

5. Blueberries

6. Nectarines

7. Bell Peppers

8. Spinach

9. Kale

10. Cherries

11. Potatoes

12. Grapes (Imported)

Clean 15 = items less likely contaminated and ok to buy conventionally grown.
1. Onions

2. Avocados

3. Sweet Corn

4. Pineapples

5. Mangoes

6. Sweet Peas

7. Asparagus

8. Kiwis

9. Cabbage

10. Eggplant

11. Cantaloupe

12. Watermelon

13. Grapefruit

14. Sweet Potato

15. Honeydew Melon

here is the complete list listed by EWG

and another great article (not sure their list is in order) from CNN.

memorial day lunch

Ok, so it is really a 'day after memorial day' lunch.

My parents and grandparents came over for a brunch yesterday.  This lunch has some of the leftovers from the brunch.  This is a pretty sweet lunch - sweeter than I would normally send, but oh well!

Spinach salad with raspberry dressing, cantaloupe and honeydew melons, my mom's homemade banana bread garnished with tiny blueberries and cut strawberries to make an American flag (used honey as 'glue'), and as we call it, my mom's 'lem-ongelo'  (lemon jello and whipped cream) with a strawberry heart.


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