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 http://www.easylunchboxes.com/

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 ;)


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