Sunday, January 31, 2010

PB and... whateva!

My son gets an interactive lunch tomorrow.  He's set to make peanut butter and crackers, peanut butter celery (with raisin ants!) and can spread the peanut butter on the apple slices if he would like.  There is also a homemade whole wheat blueberry, oat and flax muffin.
For giggles and grins, I made a peeky eye guy out of the apple.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

hard boiled egg hold up

My husband hard boiled the eggs last night and they were too hot to deal with, so I peeled and put them in the lunchboxes this morning. 
However, It was one of 'those' mornings today and I barely got the picture (terrible picture, too) before the bus came to get my son - forget having time to post before I had to head out the door for work with the girl in tow.
so, a little late, but here was today's lunch:

hard boiled eggs, carrot sticks, a few late july organic cheese crackers, half a pack of annie's honey bunnies, plain yogurt with ground flaxseed, blueberries and peaches.

shopping mini trip

This was last weekend, just a small trip to sprouts and central market.   It was purely to use up some great coupons which were about to expire and pick up a few good deals or needed items.  We also picked up a bunch of organic seed packs from central market for the garden!
not in the picture - organic dijon mustard, two gallons of milk

the organic apples were .99/lb
the lundberg rices were 3.49 - $2.00 coupon on each from the mambo sprouts book!
The rice cakes were .99 after coupons.

18.08 - central market
22.24 - sprouts
Total spent - 46.30
$10.55 in coupons used

Monday, January 25, 2010

moon and stars

The theme this week at my daughter's preschool is nighttime.  I love theme lunches!

I made a hot creamy rosemary polenta (polenta, cream cheese and rosemary) to go along with dinner tonight, and set some aside to go into a shallow container in the fridge (ok, i cheated... freezer).  Perfect for cutting into shapes!  I used the good ol' halloween cookie cutters to get the star and moon shape from the polenta and placed it on top of some triscuits... I really have no idea how this is going to go over.  The last time I made polenta, I made it plain and cut into shapes and drizzled a little syrup or honey on top.  My son loved it, my daughter, not so much.  So... I am serving it again, in a slightly different form and we'll see! 

Also in this lunch, salad with cranberries, cut orange chunks with a few star shaped kiwi and orange slices on top, some barbaras organic fruit cereal moons ( I think they are supposed to be bananas, but I'm calling them moons!) and a little raspberry vinaigrette for the salad.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

pirate pizza - arrrgh!

This a slice of homemade whole wheat pizza leftover from last nights dinner.   The orange has a treasure map with 'x' marking the spot.  I wouldn't normally let a sharpie marker anywhere near their food, but I figure the back of the orange would be fine.  The salad dressing and the pizza have nori skull and cross bone embellishments.  And the pirate cupcake holder is covering a pile of gold (and green and orange) veggie straws.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

shopping trip

I was able to just about skip a week... I made it till Friday.
This was a Tom Thumb run.  I was able to get some clearance dairy items and an organic blueberry juice for 50% off.   The sour cream we'll use in tacos this week, the cottage cheese has already been demolished (after school/work snack for all) and the milks will be gone before their date, I am sure.

Not the greatest pic, a few things are hidden - there are two sandwich rounds, a bag of onions, organic popcorn, celery, primotaglio lunch turkey, and eggs that are all hidding a little.

Total spent - 63.49

Total so far this month - 407.78

Our budget is $100 a week for organic/natural items.  I think we may be over this month since it is not quite a 5 week month - but that costco run a few weeks ago was filled with a lot of things that will save money in the long run.  For organic items, bulk at costco is definitely cheaper.  I am pretty sure between that and our beef stash, we are pretty well stocked and should come in under budget in February.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Laptop Lunches Discount Code

I guess I've done my fair share of free advertising for Laptop Lunches (the bento style lunchbox we use).  They contacted me asking if I would like to join their affliliate program... and of course, I did!

Use the code LUNCHBOXLIMBO  when you order of anything from the laptop lunches website.
You will get a discount of 10% off your order, and I will get credit for your purchase.

I don't think I need to go on and on about their products... you know I love them!
All the plastics are BPA free.

thermos lunch

Today my son is getting the rest of the butternut squash pasta with a container of carrots and a fruitabu all fruit strip.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

the lasts, and the puzzle flower

I waited till right before bed tonight to make lunches for tomorrow... bad idea.  I was in zombie mode.  I looked over at the fruit bowl and saw the last apple sitting there.  So, I got out my apple cutter and sliced it up.  My husband walked in the room and asked what I was going to make.  I looked at him with my clueless face.  I think that said it all, cause he rolled his sleeves up, opened the fridge and started spewing ideas.  "How about using the last of these sandwich rounds?"
"Excellent, now how can I fancy that up?"
"How about using the apple cutter and make a puzzle", the genius man said.

To my brain dead, sleep wanting, procrastinating self, it was like he just announced winning lottery numbers.

Looks more like a flower to me than a puzzle, so we'll just call it the puzzle flower.  Also thrown in with the last apple and last of the sandwich rounds, is the last of the edamame, the last of the banana chips, the last of the sesame sticks (they are hard to see... I mixed them in with the banana chips for sweet/salty combo - well, that and there were so few of each left).  Almost the last of the fruitabu strips, and the last of the spinach (well, there is a handful still in the container which is wilting away... but will be perfect for an after school green smoothie tomorrow).

so there you have it - the lasts, and the puzzle flower!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

cucumber bowl

When cutting up yesterdays cucumber for the cucumber chain, I cut the ends off to use for a cucumber bowl in todays lunch.  This idea also came from the Laptop Lunchbox User's guide. The cucumber bowl is filled with a dill dip for dipping the carrots.  I split yesterdays plain couscous into two dishes and made half lime/cilantro and half cinnamon/raisin.  I think you can guess which one this is!  The baby spinach salad is topped with almonds and the plain yogurt has a few frozen peaches on top.

Monday, January 18, 2010

cucumber chain

I was feeling not so creative today and pulled out the laptop lunchbox user's guide for some ideas.  I realized I had yet to try a cucumber chain and happened to have a cucumber in the fridge that needed to be eaten up!  The couscous has lime juice and fresh cilantro in it.  It was a dinner leftover.  We were surprised that the kids gobbled it up happily tonight, so they got it in their lunchboxes!

  The kiwi is sitting on top of some cut up frozen peaches.  The top container has blue cheese dressing to dip the cucumber and carrots in, and a fruitibu brand 'smooshed fruit' strip.  I bought these during the last grocery trip simply because they were half price.  I may go back to see if they have more - the kids like them and the ingredient list is all organic fruits.  No added sugar or anything else. 

Oatmeal makeover

Maybe it is because I am planning out my garden, or maybe it's because the weather here has been much warmer the last few days (tease!).  Or, it could be because I am a teacher and the excitement of the 'new' school year went out the window back in oh... October.   I don't know exactly why, but I keep finding myself thinking about summer food. Lots of fresh fruits, crisp salads on warm summer days, drinking ice cold smoothies out in the sun.  Grilling (ok, husband grilling) as the kids play in the play pool..... you get the idea.

BUT it is still January.  Lots of cold mornings still, even here in hot Texas.
So....   warm breakfast foods are still the way to go... for a few months anyhow.  But I know in my house, things are starting to get super mundane.  I let my kids mix rolled oats with the flavored pre-packaged organic oatmeal packs (to kinda dillute the sugar so to speak).  But it is getting rather boring...  and cold cereal on a cold morning is a turn off.

Julie at Practically Spent has some great ideas to de-bore your morning Oatmeal.  I had never thought of adding nut butters!  Check out all her ideas here -  Oatmeal Options
Thanks, Julie!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Garden planning time!!

I have big plans for the garden and big plans for this weekend.  I am spending this weekend researching, planning and prepping.  We hope to add two smaller raised beds in the back yard this year, and go bigger and better.  The weather is supposed to be nicer tomorrow so construction will be in full swing - we are going to go as organic as possible with materials, seeds, etc.   We are going to somewhat follow the 'square foot grdening' approach and divide the back beds into sections, building some trellis-like contraptions to get as many things growing vertically as we can. We need to figure out what will grow where and get the seeds and start planting indoors.  I peeked around many garden blogs last night and it looks like I am ALREADY a little behind... sheesh!

The main garden is on the side of our house (in the front yard) blocked from street view by the a/c units.  It seemed to be a good spot, but is right up against the house, so getting to all the plants seemed to be problematic.  The backyard spots will be more accessible.

My biggest fear is that I am going to just be investing a lot of time and energy to make a giant smorgasbord for my dog!!

But my hope is that we are able to produce enough fresh, organic foods for the rest of the family to eat!

Friday, January 15, 2010

half day=bag lunch

I sent the boy to school with a bag lunch.  They have a short lunchtime on half days and he will be home shortly after, so just an apple, some banana bread and a package of annies bunnies.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

chance for a cottonelle basket


 Here is the big Question - over or under?

my vote? -no question - OVER!  I can't stand when toilet paper is placed on the roll the 'wrong' way!

Click here to vote for yourself:

Which team are you? over or under?

leave a comment below to be entered to win 1 of 10 Cottonelle gift baskets randomly chosen on January 29, 2010 from all entries.

I am entering a contest for a month's worth of Cottonelle toilet paper as a member of the Mom Bloggers Club.  No other compensation was received for this post.

UPDATE : I WON!  I was one of the first 100 bloggers to respond !  I believe cottonelle will choose the 10 basket winners  from all blog comments made from all blogs who entered.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

tortilla chip salad bowl

This salad bowl is made using some of the corn tortillas we had leftover from the tortilla soup earlier this week.  Since these are already cooked tortillas (vs. the wheat flour ones I usually buy in dough form), I simply rolled them around in a little hot oil on the skillet to make them pliable.  Then I formed it around the bottom of a small pyrex container and placed in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

My daughter asked for cheese, and raisins on the salad and raspberry vinaigrette and almonds on the side.  The top right container is plain yogurt (yeah!  we've moved from vanilla to plain) with frozen blueberries, frozen peaches and some homemade maple almond granola on top.  The bottom container has the DORA edamame that the princess had to have.  These were a hit with my son the other day (without the dora packaging!) but the request for a little salt was made.  I wanted to keep the Dora package for my daughter, and luckily had a small salt package leftover from a restaurant.

GO Cowboys!

Here is a great example of a last minute morning made lunch and some quick cookie cutter-ing.

5 minutes on the clock, it was me against the big yellow can on wheels.  I checked out the playbook, and went for an classic move - a sandwich on top of a salad.  I've done that move a million times and it always scores points.  Of course I can't leave it as a plain sandwich - that just won't do....  but the clock is ticking and the boy only has shoes and teeth brushing to tackle before I rush him out the door.

I grab the giant tub of cookie cutters, not knowing the details of the plan - do I pass the sandwich on to the flower cutter - no way.  What's this?  A car... I would get too detailed.   hmmm, a helmet.  ok... ahhhh a star, now we are talking!  I grabbed them both, hustled back to the sandwich and made the cut.   Grabbed some carrots my husband had already cut (great teamwork - go defense!), squeezed out some blue cheese, cut a little lettuce star.... and showed the kid.

"OOOOOh, a Dallas Cowboy lunch"


but wait, 10 seconds on the clock, and an empty space in a container.  I grab two newman's ginger cookies, line them up, and kick them over to the empty spot.   EXTRA POINT!

The crowd (in my head) cheered!
The kid was named MVP and ran out to meet his fans (ok, the other kids on the bus) and sign autographs all day (ah, school work).

Monday, January 11, 2010

tortilla soup

Thanks to Michelle at foodie footsteps for posting the tortilla soup recipe she uses.  I decided to make a batch while the weather here in Texas was still cold.  It was wonderful! Here is a pic without the chicken... I took the picture then put the camera down NEXT to the cooked chicken - doh! 

I used white cheddar cheese and corn tortilla's freshly made from central market - they were still warm when I bought them!  yum!!

The kids SHOCKED me - they loved this (without the avocado).  They are both getting some in a thermos tomorrow for lunch.

Chicken pot pie

My husband and I made this together on Sunday.  It was a total joint effort - and we are both clueless on exact measurements so there is no 'recipe'.

Just a picture!

Mega shopping jan. 10-16

We were starting to run low of a lot of items from Costco.  There are a few things where the bulk organic version just comes out to be sooo much cheaper in the long run from Costco than at the regular stores. 
In many cases, buying smaller packages of an item from a grocery store and using multiple coupons is the way to go.... but not so much with the organics.   Either there just are not multiple coupons available or there just are not coupons available for certain brands at all.  That is 4 pounds of organic raisins (behind the bread loaves).  Buying organic raisins in small packages at the store would end up being almost double the price. 

The costco trip pictures always crack me up.  Everything is so big but when placed together they look average size.  That is a 10 pound bag of carrots (for $6!!)  And the organic veggie bags were huge, but next to everything else, they don't look so large.


Even though I had already spent the weekly budget (and then some) at costco, I still went to Kroger and Central Market and loaded up there too.  I should be able to finish out the rest of the month by spending very little - dairy and produce only.

KROGER -47.63
Total for this trip = 103.83
The barbara's cereals, country choice fit kids oatmeal, and fruitabu were all on closeout and were half price at Kroger.  Central Market sells their half gallons of milk 3 for $5 on Monday only.  That comes out to be 1 1/2 gallons for $5.  Great for Organic milk.  I bought three shampoos all marked down and with coupons.  They were each under $1.  I have not gone all organic on health and beauty items yet.  As for the toilet paper, the coupon says free roll of paper towels OR $1 off any other product.  I even TOLD the checker it is just $1 off and she still took off the full amount - $6.99! 
close ups of the same trip - (where did that ice cream come from?)

'going organic' update

It's been quite a while since I just... wrote. 
Here are some random ramblings as to where I am with the whole 'going organic thing'.

  • I've never been a super cook, so I feel so out of my element sometimes.  I sometimes feel like all the other shoppers at the grocery store are chefs and I am the bumbling idiot talking to myself in the store trying to figure out what to buy and what to do with it.
  • It costs less to make more items from scratch and to spread ingredients out over a few meals for maximum 'buck bang-age'. I NEED to learn to plan menus.  We've had a lot of 'breakfast for dinner' nights and that means I planned poorly.
  • I clean with vinegar, but still use other multi-surface cleaners for the bathrooms and floors.  I feel guilty for that and I think that is dumb.
  • Organic spreadable butter doesn't spread very well.
  • Organic chicken is hard to find and expensive.  My family actually misses eating chicken 4 nights a week!  I do miss the 1.69 a pound chicken days!
  • Kids are not given enough credit.  They like more healthy foods than you think.  On the flipside, Grandma pulls out the junk and they go nuts over it...
  • Kid menu's at restaurants are pretty awful.  We are learning to order from the adult menu and split the food between the two kids (thanks michelle for opening my eyes to that one).
  • Just because I eat mostly organic doesn't mean I don't shower and like to frolic barefoot through the tulips.  I am still the same person.  There is enough yuppie in there to balance out the hippie side.
  • My budget works for my family.  It allows me to create new, fun, healthy dishes and try foods that are a little more pricey.  The days of $150 a month for tons of groceries/household items just ain't gonna happen anymore.  I can't feel like I am competing with my former self.  
  • There needs to be more organic coupons out there.
  • Some days you make a cute lunch... some days you don't!
  • Some days your kids want the cute lunch... some days they don't!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

boring edamame

Spent the day with the family today - didn't spend much time on the lunchbox, so nothing cute or fancy today.

 So, I'll give you a little backstory instead...

My kids LOVE hot, steamed edamame in the pods with a little sea salt on top.  I am not sure if it is the fact that they can use their hands or  because they get to suck the soy beans out of the pods, but either way they love it.  Triple bonus points that it is green and healthy!

Well, the girl was with me the last time we were buying edamame.  DORA was on the bag.  We HAD to buy the DORA ones!  Well, dear dora was only on the bag of the organic pre-shelled edamame, not the 'suck 'em out' kind (Spongebob was on that bag).  I removed them from the Dora package, because Dora is not so cool to a second grade boy.

I'm not so sure how these are going to go over with all the fun taken out that goes along with the 'in the pod' variety.  I'll let you know how it goes!  To me, they look more like lima beans in this form.  BAD childhood memories of many a nights at the table staring at lima beans.  I shudder at the thought.

organic carrot sticks with blue cheese dip, a little blends yogurt, a homemade organic banana muffin, and a sliced organic kiwi finish off this lunch.

Friday, January 8, 2010

today gets yesterday's

We woke up to icy roads in our area, and so they canceled school in our district yesterday.  The lunch packed for yesterday went with my son today.  My daughter gets to enjoy hers at home with me today!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

puppy dog lunch

This is an almond butter and jelly sandwich.   I was able to get two sandwiches (one for each kid) out of two pieces of bread - I was so proud of myself...
Carrots, celery, crust scraps, were used to embellish.  He has a raisin eye.  A homemade banana muffin and yogurt finish this lunch.

I used a paper punch for the paw print on the carrot slice - a side note about that....  The paper punches I have, I only use on food - however, they are meant for paper.  I had never used this particular punch before and noticed it left a fleck of metal on the carrot.  I triple washed the carrot slice and didn't use the punch again.  I am on the hunt for food safe punches, now...

Yummi Bears Organic vitamin review

Just before the holidays, we received a few kinds of Hero Nutritionals, "Yummi Bears Organics" gummy vitamins to try.  The timing was perfect, because the huge-o-mungeous bottle of vitamins I purchased for the kids in our pre-organic days had dwindled down right around turkey time and the kids had been begging for new vitamins.  I had been putting it off because I wanted to look around see what my options were for organic versions.

We received three separate bottles; a Multi-vitamin, Brain Booster, and an Immunity shield.

The Pros:
  • The kids love them.  They remind me daily to take the vitamins.  If it were not for their asking, I would forget and skip days but they seem to always remember!  
  • All three flavors taste great (The brain booster variety has an 'old people vitamin' smell - but it didn't seem to phase my kids).  The positive to these looking and tasting like regular sugar coated gummi bears is they know they are only allowed a limited number each day and I think that helps teach them good habits of eating sweets in moderation when it comes to actual candy.  
  • They are organic, and free of any artificial color, flavors and preservatives as well as , just about any typical allergy causing ingredient (soy, yeast, milk, nuts, gluten, etc.)
  • No GMO's!!
  • They are made in the USA.
  • Did I mention that my kids love these!!!
The Cons:/concerns
  • Each bottle contains 90 bears.  The daily serving for the multi-vitamin and the brain booster varieties are 3 per day.  However, the daily serving for the Immunity shield variety is 6 bears per day.  That is 12 a day out the door for just my 2 children.  I think I would be more apt to save the immunity shield to have on hand when something 'funky' is going around at school or one child is sick and I want to try anything I can to keep the other healthy.  Otherwise, with daily use, the bottle would be empty in one week!
  • The first ingredient in all three is organic evaporated cane juice.  However, most kid centered vitamins have some sort of sweetener at the top of the ingredient list so this one isn't super concerning but I have always tried to avoid the gummy vitamins in the past so the sugar doesn't end up sitting in their teeth throughout the day.  I suppose this could be fixed easily by getting in the routine of taking the vitamins just before teeth brushing time.  We are trying to get into that routine around here!
  • As with any vitamin, these would need to be kept out of reach.  The multi-vitamin variety in particular tastes just like candy!
I would be likely to purchase just the multi-vitamin for daily use, and the immunity shield to have on hand, in the future!

 - no compensation was received for this review and all the opinions above are mine.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010


A dinosaur quesadilla on top of a bed of lettuce.   I used some of the scrap tortilla dough and ran it through a dinosaur punch I had before cooking.  Seeing the pic, I wish I cut the edges a little straighter, but I was doing 50 bajillion 'mom' things at once during the making of this lunch.

I was going for a 'dinosaur egg' with the larger kiwi.  It looked more like a dinosaur egg (from a side view) before I peeled the brown outside off  - would have like to have kept that on there for aesthetics, but practicality won cause I knew the boy would not be able to peel it so easily at school tomorrow - so it kinds looks more like a flower (?) oh well.  Carrots and blue cheese dip round out this lunch.

after the pic was taken, my son decided he wanted shredded cheese and almond slices on his salad - so those were added. 

Monday, January 4, 2010

two kids = two happy lunches!

My daughter's first day back after Christmas break is tomorrow.  Since her brother got a 'happy lunch' yesterday, she requested a happy 'sandwich' in her lunch today.
The happy face is carrot and celery pieces on top of an almond butter and blueberry jam sandwich.  Lots of cut celery and carrots for her to dip in a container of humus.   A chocolate (Newman O's) cookie tucked in the side, and a little blends yogurt to finish things off.

first January shopping trip

Ran up to my classroom today to change Christmas out for Winter in the decoration department and also to prepare for the week.
I hit the Kroger near my school.  I was hoping to find some great produce deals I read about on another blog... but I guess I didn't pay attention to the geographics - those deals were in another area. 
BUT all was not lost. 
I hit some great dairy mark downs and picked up a bunch off odds and ends.

The little blends yogurts were marked down, which is no problem since my kids always eat these in a few days.  On the inside of the box is a coupon for .75 off, so not only do I keep constantly finding these marked at half price or less, but I seem to always have a coupon - after coupons, I paid less than $1 for 8. It was for sure a throw back to my mega coupon days!  Love that rush.  The kefir is a seasonal flavor and it was marked down to .49.  These are usually over $3.  The milks were 2.99 a gallon and have almost another week before they hit their date.   The organic shredded cheese was a great price for organic cheese.  The oatmeal was on closeout (my kids mix this with rolled oats to cut the sugar). 

As for the cookies.... you see 'em?  the 'man O's' (Newman O's - I tried to cover them up, lol).  Not sure how those got in the cart...   but man was I glad they hopped in!  These are my new favorite chocolate on chocolate 'oreo's'.  (my favorite vanilla and chocolate are the ones by Late July ). 

Total for this trip - $45.76

Sunday, January 3, 2010

many smiles to you

This was my son's idea.  We did a happy face lunch a while ago but his entire idea revolved around the yellow baby bell cheese and at that time, we did not have any.  There was one last baby bell in the fridge tonight, so he decided the happy face lunch needed another go.
Fitting since school resumes tomorrow.  We all had a wonderful break, but our family was together non stop for two weeks and I think we are all ready to go back to our individual routines.  He said he loved being home but is happy to go back to school.  I LOVE that he is still in that age where he LOVES going to school! 

Orange (had to chop the bottom off after the pic was taken in order to close the lid), Pb&J on a sandwich round bread with nori smile.  Homemade almond maple granola, nori on a baby bell cheese with crackers, steamed garnet yam chunks with sprinkle of brown sugar and a cinnamon smile (my son made a template to use when shaking on the cinnamon).

December grocery shopping

OH december.
The month that costs the most.
Between tipping, gift exchanges, pot-lucks, donations, gifts, etc.  I feel like I should just hold my wallet open for the taking.
Here is my "Why we went over for December excuse list."
First of all, it is colder outside so we tended to stay home more on the weekends.  We've been making larger, heartier meals and tend to snack more when we are hanging out at home.  There were a few 'bring a dish' holiday parties, which means a few extra items added to our grocery bill.   We were all off of school and work for two whole weeks this month.  Add to it that we FINALLY got the cow and had to pay that bill..... yikes!

there was a trip to Kroger for about $125 (didn't get a pic).
A trip to costco for a few items -(lost this receipt but this was at least $50)

A shopping day to sprouts and central market $150.39

a Tom Thumb trip 89.42 (what the heck did I get for that ?? )

another small trip to central market $41.46 (that is a nice cut of salmon in the clear bag.  The salmon alone was $13 but kept us from eating out that night!)

and a Kroger run for $103.33

BUDGETED - $500 ($100 a week)

ACTUAL SPENT - $559.60

went over by about $60 - not as terrible as I was expecting, but still over.

As for the cow, we spent just over $300 for 150 pounds of beef.  That is just over $2 a pound.  It hit hard this month, but we knew the call was coming and were prepared.  Plus, it will last us for months to come!  I am not quite sure how to add that to the budget - it should be spread out for several months, I am just not sure how many?!    Luckily, since changing the way we eat, we have gotten used to not eating a lot of meat in general so it should stick around for a long time.

return of the aliens.... update

The week before Christmas break, I stopped by my son's school to drop something off.  I decided to give the lost and found one last looksie before break.  I figured whatever the contents of the large lost and found bin, they would be disposed of or donated to charity over break.

SURE ENOUGH... there it was.  The aliens were staring right at me! After many checks and re-checks of the lost and found bin, The alien laptop lunchbox had made it's way to the lost and found.  (pic above was taken when it was brand new)

Sheer joy and sheer horror all in one.

I took it home and opened it up.  UGH.  It had been missing for about a month.
Have you ever seen Mike Rowe in the show 'dirty jobs'?  He should have been hosting from my house that day.

Somewhere along the line, there must have been a smell.  I am guessing a teacher or custodian opened the lunchbox and disposed of the two smaller containers.  I was left with the awesome large green container, it's lid, and the two lids from the small containers.  The water bottle held water that day and was pretty funk free and the alien bag itself was not in too bad of shape.
Considering this (but apples in place of the broccoli) is the last lunch I packed in the lunchbox...  you can imagine the funk.

I soaked, then scrubbed, then used up all of my bleach to soak it some more in the hot texas sun, then re-washed, then ran through the dishwasher solo.

I have to say, I was impressed with the whole laptop lunchbox system.  It all came clean pretty easily... I just did triple duty to ease my germ-a-phobic mind.

If you've been following this pathetic saga, you know that during the MIA period, the wonderful people at Obentec, makers of the laptop lunchbox had also read my pathetic saga and sent me a new set of inner containers (buddies) and a great discount for the rest of my order.  After much back and forth, I bought a new carry bag with water bottle, and a new outer container.

So with the reappearance of the aliens, I had three large containers, three outer boxes, three carrybags, three water bottles,....   but only two kids.

SO, I gave my friend Michelle over at Foodie Footsteps the coveted large green inner box and the extra outer box for the 2.0 system.  I kept the alien carry case and water bottle as a back up.  Michelle, we expect great things from you now that you have the drool worthy big container!!


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