Sunday, August 17, 2014

Happiness Happens. Every Day.

[This post is sponsored by Happy Family brands. All opinions are my own.]
My kids make me happy. I know pretty much everyone feels that way. But it's true. Even when they're being annoying, I treasure my kids.

Every time I wake up to see their (hopefully) sleeping faces. Every time they smile. Every little giggle. Every proud "I did it!" Every time a face lights up when they see their lunch. Every delighted gasp when someone sees an airplane or a bunny or a puppy...
Happiness happens. Every day.

In honor of National Happiness Happens Day (which was August 8,) Happy Family brands will be spreading happiness for the rest of the month!

Happy Family wants to know how your family makes Happiness Happen! Tweet @happyfamily using the #HappinessHappens hashtag to let them know how happiness happens in your life!

Or submit a video of your baby laughing, dancing, smiling, giggling, or just being HAPPY! You could win: OXO Sprout high chair, Maclaren Mark II Umbrella Stroller or $250 Babies-R-Us gift card! 3 winners will be randomly selected on August 20 and 27.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Week of Lunchbox Love

School hasn't started here yet, but we got a little "trial run" with a week of all-day camp at Z's new school. So I made sure to send her with lots of love... and some fun riddles, thanks to the new Lunchbox Love Riddles cards

I used durable plastic playing card covers to protect the Lunchbox Love notes in her lunches, so they wouldn't get damp or messy. I like being able to re-use them!

I already featured the first three lunches in a previous post, so I'll start with the last two from that week!

[Disclaimer: I was sent several packs of the new Lunchbox Love sets]

GF waffle sticks w/Sunbutter and Enjoy Life chocolate chips; organic rainbow carrots, apples, blueberries
Thursday, 7/31/14 - Since Z's new school has a pool, they offer swim classes as part of their Summer program. So this riddle was perfect! ("What doesn't get any wetter, no matter how much rain falls on it?" Water!) 

I got an awesome deal on a waffle stick maker in the hopes that it would be easy to make lunchbox-friendly gluten-free waffles. And I was right! Win! To try and make some leftover waffle sticks into a healthy(er) lunch, I added some Sunbutter for protein. And Enjoy Life chocolate chips on top because they taste ah-mazing with Sunbutter, but also because they're less messy than syrup!

Organic apricot, dye-free Canadian Smarties, goat milk Gouda, olives, tomato sauce, toasted GF roll w/garlic salt
Friday, 8/1/14 - I'm usually too lazy to make a MOMables Pizzable, but as always, they're a big hit! This time I used a gluten-free roll and cut it into thirds to make perfect thin little pizza rounds. I toasted them up (because toasty is better!) and added a little garlic salt on the tops (also makes gluten-free bread taste better!)
I packed her sauce in a Mini Dipper, but then totally forgot to pack a utensil for spreading. Doh!

Since I try to pack a special treat every Friday, I included some chocolate Smarties that my friend Candy Girl sent from Canada. Our Smarties are some kind of pressed candy powder. But theirs are candy-coated chocolates. Plus they're made with natural flavors and colors up there! Someday, America... Some day.

Organic raspberries w/Enjoy Life chips, organic yellow carrots, Glutino crackers, organic pickles, tuna w/mayo 
Monday, 7/28/14 - Simple but classic - a deconstructed tuna fish sandwich! Tuna (with mayo) in a silicone heart cup and crackers, plus pickles. Because that's how Dadda makes her tuna sandwiches! Yum!
In addition to the pickles, I added some carrots cut with a tiny heart cutter.

Coconut Peanut Spread, Glutino crackers, cinnamon sugar pretzels, organic sugar snap peas and strawberries
Tuesday, 7/29/14 - Another popular lunch is the MOMables PB Cracker Stackers. While it takes more of her precious lunch time, Z really enjoys the more "interactive" lunches, where she assembles part of her meal.

Organic champagne grapes, homegrown green and purple beans, GF Sunbutter-jelly sandwich,
chocolate-covered blueberries, plus Chiquita Bites apples with grapes for snack
Wednesday, 7/30/14 - Back to basics with a (nut-free) PBJ. I kept it fun with the cupcake Lunch Punch though! 
I'm not 100% clear on how they do lunch at this new school, but from what I gather, the kids are allowed to snack on their lunch and/or snack throughout their free choice time. So I made sure to send healthy snacks every day as well. Some days I needed easy ones, so the Chiquita Bites packs were perfect! [Disclaimer: Chiquita sent me an assortment of Bites for free.]

Tools of the Trade
Biting the Hand        

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Packed Grown-up Lunches for Mama

Leftovers and salads for Mama! I love seeing all those beautiful natural colors when I eat my lunch... and the yummy treats too! Hahaha!

Kiwi berries, organic pear, organic sweet peppers, leftover shrimp Pad Thai, Enjoy Life S'mores bar
Friday, 4/4/14 - I had some leftover Pad Thai (I usually order shrimp when eating out, since I hate big globs of tofu the way restaurants serve it!) and a half-eaten pear (thanks to the toddler,) so this lunch practically packed itself! I don't like peppers, but eat them anyway, so I gave myself a yummy Enjoy Life Decadence S'Mores Bar for dessert! Hoo-rah!

Sweet peppers, homemade California roll, Cocomels, Ocho bar, dried mandarin slices, GF tamari sauce, candied ginger
Tuesday, 4/22/14 - We had gone to my sister's the previous weekend, and she made special gluten-free sushi just for meeeee! (And my kids and stuff. Whatever.) Her crab rolls are so good, I keep a bottle of gluten-free tamari at her house now, so she can use it to make her egg sheets before I even get there! (And cans of real crab meat, since the fake stuff has gluten, not to mention fake colors!)

More sweet peppers, so more treaties for me too! Yum! Chewy dried mandarin slices from Trader Joe's, dairy-free Cocomels (coconut milk caramels,) and a dairy-free Ocho coconut candy sample. Plus a piece of candied ginger (also from Trader Joe's.) It's a bit strong, so one piece is enough!

I packed extra gluten-free tamari sauce in my Mini Dipper. Omnomnom.

Salted almonds, The Good Beans roasted chickpeas, pepitas, GF Van's BBQ chips, organic salad
(lettuce, radish, carrots, tomatoes, raisins, chia and sunflower seeds, hemp hearts, rosemary vinaigrette)
Wednesday, 4/23/14 - This was a quickie lunch. Pre-chopped salad mix (I prep enough for a week or so all at once, when I remember to prep ahead...) and snackety snacks! I like crunchy.

Hail Merry Orange Rosemary Pecans, Snappea Crisps, organic apples, PBCo Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB,
organic salad (lettuce, radish, carrots, tomatoes, raisins, pine nuts, rosemary vinaigrette)
Thursday, 4/24/14 - I'd been having fun with my spiralizer, so tossed the scraps and smaller bits in my salad, along with some pine nuts leftover from a Plated meal kit. And my favorite - Peanut Butter Co Cinnamon Raisin Swirl with apples for dipping. Sooooo goooood!

PBCo Cinnamon Raisin Swirl PB, organic apples, organic salad (lettuce, watermelon radish, carrots, tomatoes, dried cranberries, chia and sunflower seeds, pine nuts, hemp hearts, rosemary vinaigrette)
Monday, 4/28/14 - Aaaand more spiralized veggies. And cinnamon peanut butter apples. I am a creature of habit...

Tools of the Trade
   Japanese Bento Silicone Food Cup 5pc 2 Sizes

Food for Thought

Linked up at
 Following In My Shoes Bento Lunches