Blueberry Apple

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The holidays are just creeping up on us here, now, aren't they? I've been shopping for the holidays like crazy, but not as most of you would think. This year I've decided to do something different. This year, to purchase gifts, I have been selling things from our home on our city Facebook swap, and I made a promise to myself that the budget for holiday gifts would be the money I make on what I sell. And not only that, but ALL the gifts I would buy would be second hand (if possible).
So what have I sold? I've sold a few of my high-end handbags, but I've also sold some of our clothing and shoes. I've sold gently used toys and books. I've sold homegoods. And what have I bought? I've bought a lot of books because they will each get a-book-a-night for Hanukkah (and at the rate I've gone, they may just get two-books-a-night). I've bought two balance bikes. I've bought puzzles and some clothing. From the very beginning, I really wanted to get Harper a dollhouse. You know, the ones that are huge and expensive! I've been trying to find one second hand for months, and I was about to give up when I got news that my husband's boss was getting rid of a dollhouse that his 11 year old girl no longer wanted. AMAZING! And what did he want for it? Nothing. Free!! The only money we spent was the gas and tolls it took to get into Brooklyn. We are so excited. The last thing on our list now is a yellow (it must be yellow!) Mini-Kick Scooter for our Adler. I'm starting to think that we will not be getting one of these second hand, but I have some credit towards Amazon that I may use instead. Whew. So that's our plan. Any good ideas you have for the holidays? I'd love to hear them!
Harper's lunch here is in an EasyLunchboxes container. She has slices of apple cut out with a mini-flower Stainless Steel Vegetable Cutter. She also has blueberries and Trader Joe's Oyster Crackers. Harper is still on the Bugs On Some Bark kick, so she is eating cucumbers slices with cream cheese and dried cranberries. For a little treat, she has yogurt covered pretzels, also from Trader Joe's.

Halloween Spiders

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Halloween is almost upon us, and I'm here to give you some ideas for your lunches. By now, you've pretty much run out of time to get any Halloween lunch tools that you'd need to buy online (unless you have Amazon Prime and you can get it in two days!). Here, I've put together a great Halloween themed lunch that doesn't require any real advance planning. It's all about spider rings! Head on over to Party City to get a bag of spider rings and throw them in your usual lunch! Your kids will LOVE them.

Harper's lunch here is in an EasyLunchboxes container. She has cucumber and cream cheese spiders with carrot legs and Sun-Maid Golden Raisin eyes. She also has a clementine pulled apart in a Wilton Square Baking Cup with a spider ring in the middle. The crackers are Trader Joe's Oyster crackers with a Brach's Pumpkin Candy Corn in the middle.

Can you guess what Harper ate first? Nope, it wasn't the pumpkin! She saved that for last. FOR REAL!

Go-GURT Dracula

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Go-GURT Dracula, spiders and bats are wild, even this lunch doesn't frighten a child.

I was so lucky to find a Dracula Go-GURT in our recent yogurt tube box! That's one of the things we like best about Go-GURT - not only are the tubes totally convenient, but they are fun! We love seeing the different designs, and Harper was super excited to see a Halloween-like design with her Halloween lunch!

Harper's lunch here is in an old bento box I had laying around. You can find boxes like these on the bento supplies site All Things for Sale. I LOVEEEEE this site! Harper is eating baby carrots with Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps. She also has a clementine, a batty shaped hard-boiled egg and a Go-GURT Yogurt Tube. The two little spiders are cheapo spider rings I found at Party City. The green square silicone cups are made by Wilton.

Batty Egg

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The countdown to Halloween is on. This year, Harper is going to dress up like a cupcake, and her almost-2 year old brother will be a cookie. She decided on this costume last month, and I decided to have a theme and dress her little brother similarly sweet. Last week, she realized that one of her little girlfriends is dressing as Elsa and she tried to change her mind on me. "Nope. Nope. Nope.", I said to her, "What will your brother be to match you?" She said he will be Olaf. No way am I trying to put together new costumes two weeks before the big day. And besides, Harper and brother are set to be the sweetest costumes ever. Pun totally intended.

So enough about costumes and a difficult four year old. Have you got your lunch supplies ready for the holiday? If not, I have some tips to get you there!

Harper's lunch here is in a Yumbox Lunchbox Container. She has snap peas and a batty shaped hard-boiled egg in a Kitchen Supply Silicone Baking Cup. The egg was created by using the CuteZcute Animal Palz Mini Sandwich and Egg Press. This set is a must have for cute mini sandwiches and hard-boiled eggs! She also has a clementine (we LOVEEEE clementines in our house!) and green grapes with a very fun Frankenstein Ring. The little crackers are Trader Joe's Organic Mini Cheese Sandwich Crackers, and if you look closely, you'll see a tiny little Ghoulie Gummy Tummies soft candy, also from Trader Joe's.

Simchat Torah

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Harper goes to a Jewish preschool and has been learning a lot about all the Jewish holidays. This is the first year that I feel she really understands (and is interested) in learning about what each of the holidays mean. Aside from the fact that her preschool has been closed many days this past month for all the Jewish holidays, she has really enjoyed what her teachers have been discussing in class. This week is Simchat Torah, and she brought home her own little handmade Torah that she made in class. She was so so soooo excited to show me this little felt Torah she made. And it was then that I realized I had a Torah cookie cutter stashed in a drawer somewhere. I had bought it for 25 cents at a garage sale just for times like these! (Keep your eyes open at those garage sales, people! You never know what treasures you may find!!)

Harper's lunch here is in an EasyLunchboxes container. She has a peanut butter and honey sandwich in the shape of a Torah. You can pick a up a Torah Cookie Cutter for your little one over at Amazon. She also has snap peas in a Kitchen Supplies Silicone Cup, green grapes and The Laughing Cow Original Creamy Swiss Cheese Wedge. On the cheese is a "Let's Party" sticker, because, Simchat Torah is a celebration, and well, us Jewish people LOVE to party.

Bugs On Some Bark

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So you know "ants on a log?" It's peanut butter and raisins on top of celery. Usually a HUGE hit with kids. Well, not Harper. Harper does not like celery (and neither does her mommy or daddy!). So I spinned the "ants on a log" recipe and I'm calling mine "bugs on some bark". So you wanna know what I created? How about cream cheese and dried cranberries on top of cucumber? YEP! That's what I did. And it was such a huge hit with Harper that I made it four days in a row. This was the first one she got. I will be posting others in days to come. ENJOY!

Harper's lunch is in an ECOlunchbox Three-in-One. She has Driscoll's raspberries, blueberries and strawberries. She also has Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers, carrots, and "bugs on some bark".

 

Winking Egg

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Well, hello there! I've been taking a little break from blogging, but I haven't been taking a break from making lunches. I have so many ideas coming your way! Did you know that I post on Instagram and Facebook even when I'm not posting on the blog? Follow me over on those social media sites for some ideas. You'll even get to sneak a peak of my personal life!

Harper's lunch here is in a YumBox Lunchbox Container. She has snap peas and a hard-boiled egg with some Fun Eye Picks. She also has Ritz Whole Wheat Crackers, strawberry hearts, and cherry tomatoes. If you look closely, Harper's Laughing Cow Creamy Original Swiss Cheese has a sticker on it! So much fun to put stickers on food wrappers for an extra surprise.

Elmo Lunch

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Our last weekend of Summer was spend at Sesame Place in Pennsylvania! We went last year for the same Labor Day weekend and had the best time! This year, well, it wasn't as fabulous, but the kids had fun nonetheless. That's what matters, right?

Did you know that I started doing bento for Harper's lunches in an Elmo sandwich container? Well, now you do! This exact container was the start of it all. I was using so many little plastic baggies to prepare Harper's lunches and I knew I needed to come up with a more environmentally friendly solution. Harper's Geema (my mom) knew she loved Elmo and bought her this fun container. I had no idea what I would do with it, but then my mind started running wild, and my lunch packing creations were born.

Here, I have a lunch for Adler, our sweet 21 month old boy. In his Elmo Sandwich Box, he has hummus in a Kitchen Supplies Silicone Cup. He also has yellow pepper slices, a clementine, and Keebler Club Crackers. He also has a Go-GURT yogurt tube.

Cashew Chex Mix

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Chex Cereal isn't just good for breakfast in the morning, it's good for snacking too. As you can see, I love coming up with creative snacking ideas for my kids. Last month, I shared a Chocolate Chex Trail-Mix recipe that was delicious! And today, I'm back again with another recipe to share with you.

CASHEW CHEX-MIX
Yields 4 cups

Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of Rice Chex
1/2 cup of dry roasted cashews
1/2 cup of chocolate covered sunflower seeds
1/4 cup of BROOKSIDE Dark Chocolate Acai and Blueberries
1/4 cup of dried cranberries
 

Instructions: Mix all the ingredients together and enjoy!

End-of-Summer Snacking

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Are you and your family planning an end-of-summer getaway? Are you trying to figure out some easy snacks to take along on the ride? Packing snacks is easy! What we do in our home is we pack one of our EasyLunchboxes with dry snacks, and we pack another with veggies and fruit. It doesn't take much planning. Just open up your pantry and chose a bunch of different things you already have.

Harper still has another week before she starts school! I know most kids are already back, but we are getting to enjoy another week here at home before the craziness of the school year begins. I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine, but I've also enjoyed the spontaneous days we've had. Here's to another summer gone! Whew! What a great summer it was.

 

Challah Bunny

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Is that a toddler lunch? Well, yes! Yes, it is! I'm gradually going to start giving you ideas for your little one under the age of 2! If you didn't already know, we have a little boy named Adler who also eats. Yeah, really! He's a bit pickier than Harper so you won't be finding a salad with 8 different veggies, but I try! I try try try. I once read that even though your child isn't interested in a certain food, it doesn't mean you should stop giving it to them completely. The article said that it could take up to 20 times for a child to try a food he/she is unfamiliar with. I know it's a lot of food on the floor, but keep trying!

Adler's lunch is on a sectioned plate I got at Target. I LOVE THESE PLATES and they are cheap! He has a peanut butter and honey sandwich on challah bread (yum!) surrounded by Annie's Homegrown Bunny Graham Friends. He also has raspberries, blueberries and blackberries (the blackberries were a mess on the floor and all over his clothing but believe it or not, it DOES NOT STAIN!). He also has cucumber slices.

Cherry Salad

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I am a super lucky mom to have a daughter who eats so well. From the very start, I was feeding her all types of pureed fruits and veggies. Whether or not it's because of that, I'll never know. But I truly believe that if you give them a couple of things they love in each lunch and one thing they're not too sure of, at least you know they are eating. And making it colorful doesn't hurt, believe me!

Harper's lunch is in an ECOlunchbox Three-in-One container. She has Creamy Original Swiss Laughing Cow Cheese with a flower sticker (she LOVES when I do this), Ritz Crackers and cherries. I also made her a salad with all her favorites.  The bear is a Sauce Container that holds a bit of ranch dressing.

Go-GURT Pineapple Frog

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Go-GURT Yogurt with a pineapple frog, likes eating ham rolls while singing a song.

Harper's lunch is in an EasyLunchboxes container. She has ham and cheese roll-ups and pineapple chunks. The pineapple is in a yellow silicone cup that I found in the Target $1 bins! Check out those dollar bins! The super cute little frog was found in a Package of Animal Food Picks. She also has a Go-GURT yogurt tube, yellow cherry tomatoes, crackers, and a couple of pieces of salt-water taffy that we brought home from a trip. I gave her two pieces - one for her and one to share with a friend.

Go-GURT Egg

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Go-GURT Yogurt with an egg that winks, it's good to eat your lunch he thinks.

Another Go-GURT lunch in full effect here! Adding Go-GURT to a lunch is a perfect way to add dairy, and is yummy too! What child doesn't like yogurt?! And it's in a tube which makes it super easy to eat.

Here, Harper has her lunch in a Yumbox container. For her veggie, she has orange cherry tomatoes, and for her fruit, she has green grapes. She also has a winking hard boiled egg and some chocolate covered sunflower seeds. I found the Fun Eye Bento Food Picks at a super cool website called All Things For Sale. For some crunch, she has chinese noodles. And for her dairy, she has a Go-GURT yogurt tube.

Go-GURT Painter

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Go-GURT Painter got it right from the start, yells "YAY! This lunch is a work of art!".

I've said in previous posts that one of our favorite things about Go-GURT yogurt is the design of the packaging. They are so bright and colorful and are SO MUCH FUN. You should try to see what little rhymes you can create.

Harper's lunch here is in a simple square lunchbox. I created separate sections by using Wilton Silicone Baking Squares. For veggies, she has yellow pepper and cucumber slices. For fruit, she has pineapple and cantaloupe. For grains, she has crackers. For dairy/protein, she has a Go-GURT Strawberry Banana Burst yogurt tube.

Tomato Pepper

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I've been here the first half of August giving you ideas and tips for back-to-school lunches! We are half way through, and I promise to fill you with even more information in the upcoming weeks, so check back with us!

Of course, it is good for a child to eat their entire lunch! Parents have asked me what I do to make sure that Harper eats her lunch! What parent enjoys opening up their child's lunchbox to see a lot of uneaten food? Not ME! To make sure this doesn't happen, I try to add a couple of Harper's favorites in each lunch. If I'm worried about her possibly not eating her vegetable, then I'll make sure she has her favorite fruit. That way, I know she will eat SOMETHING.

Harper's lunch here is in an EasyLunchboxes container (our favorite!). She has a cream cheese stuffed mini pepper, cherry tomatoes, cheddar cheese squares and turkey rolls all housed in Wilton Square Silicone Baking Cups. For her fruit, she has blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. For a little added crunch, I hooked her up with some Simply Cheetos White Cheddar Puffs (dang, those things are good!!).

 

Go-GURT Shark

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Go-GURT Shark is all in a panic, that broccoli man is quite gigantic!

It's SHARK WEEK, and I'm here to bring you a fun shark week Go-GURT lunch! YEAH! We just love the designs found on Go-GURT tubes. It's definitely one of our many favorite things about Go-GURT. Harper enjoys the fact that I come up with little themes around the artwork on each tube. Here, you'll see that there is a shark, so to keep up with the "ocean" theme, I made Harper a starfish peanut butter sandwich, and a fun broccoli sea creature. Nothing too fancy, because you know how I don't usually DO fancy. HA! Harper's lunch also includes yellow cherry tomatoes and blueberries.

Go-GURT Kitty

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Go-GURT Kitty in the tree, likes to snack on carrots and cheese!

If you haven't already heard, I am an official Go-GURT Lunchbox blogger! YAY! I have partnered with Go-GURT to bring you some fabulous lunch packing ideas for the upcoming school year. Please make sure to check back in with me throughout the month of August for some cool and fun ideas!

For lunch, Harper has a hardboiled egg sitting in a Small Silicone Food Cup, and watermelon cut in the shape of flowers. I created the flower shapes by using Stainless Steel Vegetable Cutters. She also has carrot sticks and string cheese that I cut into bits. She also has Berry Blue Blast Go-GURT.

Melon Chicken

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What's that you say? It's a Daddy lunch? Well, yes. Yes, it is! Today's lunch here is for my husband. Nothing fancy. We had rotisserie chicken left over and I made some chicken salad with it! Super easy. Just shred up the leftover chicken, add some green grapes cut in half, a little salt and pepper, and some Miracle Whip, and WAHLAH instant fabulous lunch for yourself or your husband.

Charlie's (that's my husband!) lunch is in an EasyLunchboxes container. He has homemade chicken salad in a huge silicone cup that I found in the $1 bins at Target. He has orange pepper slices and orange and red cherry tomatoes, as well as honeydew melon chunks and some Pepperidge Farm Classic Water crackers.