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Showing posts from September, 2012

mommy thoughts: chore chart and reward system

I don't know about other moms, but I was having such a difficult time getting my daughter to brush her teeth in the morning. I can ask Miss C to brush her teeth and remind her a bazillion times. She'll retreat to the bathroom and 10 minutes later, still not be done. "Oh, I have to go potty," "I'm just washing hands!" "I have to rearrange my bows in my bow holder" "I have to wash my barbie's hair!" After many many mornings of expasperation, I looked online for reward charts and methods. There are a ton ideas out there on different mommy or craft blogs. Here are a few ideas that inspired me: Pom Pom Reward Jar from Busy Kids = Happy Mom
DIY washi tape reward jars by Omiyage
Reward System by Signature Moms

Most of the chore charts I've seen are too complicated or too simple for my 5 year old. She does help us clean on cleaning days (typically Saturday morning), and she does not have chores yet with the exception of picking up her …

Panda Love

This is a set of brand spankin' new cutters called CuteZCute. This versatile cutter can be used as a sandwich cutter, cookie cutter/stamp, rice mold and more! Each set comes with the head and panda, kitty, frog and piggy faces. It also comes with that handy dandy pick to push out the food from the little detailed holes. Miss C absolutely LOVED this!


Panda Grape Jelly Sandwich with hard boiled egg whites,  cheese cubes, blueberries and raspberries
Banana bread, tomatoes, turkey rolls and cheese cubes, grapes and peanuts in a Panda container.

We also love our new Trio Lunchbot!  It is stainless steel, a great alternative to plastic boxes. It may look small and compact, but it holds a lot more food than you think it will!

For these lunches, I used:

Pizza "lunchables" featuring Mini Dippers

In lieu of buying a Lunchables Cheese Pizza, I made Miss C the our version using Pita bread, cheese and pizza sauce. Complete with green peppers and cherries.
EasyLunchBoxes introduced a new product called Mini-Dippers. Because of the easy-to-open-by-little-kiddos feature of the ELBs, they are not leakproof, but these Mini-Dippers are both leak-resistant and easy to open by little hands! A set of Mini-Dippers contain eight (8) BPA-free, dishwasher-safe sauce/dip containers with lids.

Edited to add that this in my 100th post!!! :)

mommy's salads

Salad with chicken and cheddar sausage  packed in Lock&Lock rectangular divided container
Salad with turkey roll ups  and miniature bananas with tomato hearts ♥ packed in EasyLunchBox
Salad with pork dumplings packed in a disposable Gladware bowl.

Talk Like a Pirate Day (and a huge giveaway!)

ARGGH!!!  AHOY THERE, MATEYS! Okay. And that's pretty much all the Pirate I know. In honor of Talk Like a Pirate Day, my bento friends and I put together a fun hop with an opportunity to find some booty--a giveaway! But you must go through the Hop's instructions to find out what that treasure (prize) is! 
Miss C's lunch: Ocean: blue spaghetti (buttered pasta w/parmesan cheese) with goldfishies
with extra parmesan cheese inside Pirate Pig
Pirate Ship: Ham ship with breadstick mast, turkey sail, and cucumber portholes Cucumbers with a gold chocolate coin and pirate sword skewered grapes
(packed in an EasyLunchBox

We love pirate themes. Miss C's 4th birthday party last year was a girly pirates!
Every Blogger Buccaneer in this here Hop has a piece of the treasure map! Collect each piece and put them together in the right order to find the treasure! You'll want some parchment and a quill, to keep a log with each clue and each number, because there are 39 scurvy pirates running…

portable photo studio

Last year, I had perfect lighting, at 8am, the sun was up giving me natural light to take pictures. I had a perfect setup in our master bedroom, the only southeast window at our house, and I was able to take pretty good pictures despite my lack of photography skills and knowledge. This year, Miss C gets on the bus early and the sun is not even up yet! I have no natural light at 6:30am, so I have to take indoor pictures with a flash. Also, I just don't have time to edit pictures, I have to take pictures straight from the camera and upload them the watermarking software (that watermarks in batches-which is a time saver!) I finally invested in a Table Top Photo Studio Photo Light Box. It was inexpensive and would have been cheaper than a DIY light box. Notice the EasyLunchBox Mini Dippers I got in the mail the same day as the light box! It was like Christmas morning! :) 
No flash, no light box
With flash, no light box.  Notice how greasy the brussel sprouts look and the background i…

Grilled Chicken

Miss C's lunch: Grilled chicken cubes, grilled vegetables, pretzel braids with blueberries and Angry Birds graham crackers packed in her Hello Kitty 2-tiered lunch box
Mommy's lunch:  Grilled chicken  over a bed of grilled vegetables (zuchinni, tomatoes, cauliflower) blueberries and a hardboiled egg (afternoon snack) packed in an EasyLunchBox


Chicken and mushrooms

Chicken & mushroom over rice with Greek yogurt and an apple
Daddy made this easy chicken and mushroom dish.  He cooked chicken breasts and let it simmer in a can of cream of mushroom soup and added fresh mushrooms. It is one of Miss C's favorites. She loves mushrooms.  

Easy recipes for a busy week!

My husband and I both work full time. I am blessed with a husband that can and will cook during the week. Normally, since he gets off work earlier than I do, he'll dinner before I get home (Yes, I'm lucky, and I love him, and he's all MINE!).  Once in a while, I try to put something in the Crockpot or put something together the night before... but I have to admit, that's a rare occasion. Grilling, slow-cooker, casseroles, and stir-fries are our go-to dinner options weekly. 
Easy Peasy Dinners = Easy Peasy Leftover Lunches
Salsa chicken, greek yogurt and carrots
Crockpot Salsa Chicken 4 frozen chicken boneless breasts
1 jar of salsa  1 pint of sour cream  1 can of black beans Place chicken in the crockpot, pour the salsa, sour cream, and beans. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken. Serve as chicken tacos with tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, and other preferred toppings.
Grilled chicken sausages, steamed edamame,  baked sweet potato fries, and watermel…

School Menu Inspiration

Sometimes I draw inspiration from the school menu. I know Miss C loves sloppy joes and when the school menu calls for sloppy joes that day, we will make sloppy joes for dinner so we can pack leftovers for lunch the next day. Miss C and I reviewed the menu and so she can pick when she would like to eat school lunch. There were only 4 for the month of September, and I'm sure she will change her mind and will ask for a packed lunch instead. And I'm totally fine with that. :) 

School lunch menu: pepperoni pizza, california blend veg, and blue jello Miss C had leftover pizza and cinnamon from her dinner at Chili's.
I added carrots, mushrooms (her choice of veggie) and cherry tomatoes packed in a 2-tier bento box.
School lunch menu:  Smoky links, peas & carrots, sherbet Miss C loves scrambled eggs with salsa, with toast, greek yogurt, and watermelon.

Your favorite lunch and Winner!

Mommy Lunch:  hardboiled eggs, celery, carrots, tomatoes w/yogurt-based ranch dressing blueberries and greek yogurt drizzled with honey
Wow! Based on your comments on the last post, the majority's favorite lunch are salads! I love a good salad! My guilty-pleasure salad would be the Oriental Fried Chicken Salad from Applebees. My favorite homemade salad would be a taco salad with romaine lettuce, pico de gallo, salsa and sour cream.
We have giveaway winner! 
JAMMIE B!  Contact me by the end of the day on Friday (9-6) with your info so I can mail you your prize.  And I am now craving a turkey club sandwich with bacon and a bowl of creamy chicken noodle soup. :)