First grade, week two!

Elliott is taking a more active role in expressing her lunchtime desires this year--it's almost as if she just now had the realization that she could make specific requests!  She really likes the "homemade lunchables" concept, though I think she sometimes wishes I'd just buy the packaged stuff for her. Kids.

Lunches this week:
Tuna salad and crackers, rainbow fruit and veggie box.
DIY lunchable, veggies and leftover caramelized peaches and apples.
Crackers, pepperoni and cheddar chunks, veggies and lentil hummus, blueberries.
Leftover buttermilk mashed potatoes, grapes and blueberries, veggies and spinach dip.

Elliott's librarian asked me (hey Ms. Darlene!) "Does she really eat that?"  The answer is yes!  She doesn't always eat all of it, and some things are refused (this week, it was the spinach dip--little sis loves it, big sis hates it!) but more or less, this is what she eats.

So, what's in your lunchbox?

First Week of First Grade - Bento packing is baaaaack!

Unintentionally, I took the entire summer off!  I guess I don't have a whole lot to say when I'm not packing lunches.  Oh, who am I kidding, I always have too much to say.

I can't believe my Elliott is now in first grade.  She was not excited to go back to school, but she really enjoyed her first week and her outlook is now a bit more optimistic.  Yay! Ain't nothing more discouraging than a kiddo who isn't looking forward to first grade...I mean, she has A LOT of years ahead!

On to lunches.  

Mickey Mouse English muffin pizza, strawberries, grapes, veggies.
Oranges, carrots, peaches, Wheat Thins, pepperoni, ham & muenster.
PB& celery, watermelon, oranges, cream cheese and raspberry jam pinwheels.
Rainbow fruit & veg, organic white cheddar puffs, salami, Triscuits and a cheese wedge.

What are your kiddos begging for in their lunches?  Elliott was thrilled with the English muffin pizzas and the organic cheese puffs (an Aldi knock-off of Pirate's Booty).  


Bentos for the last week of school.

Just because school's out doesn't mean I'm done with bento-packing.  I'm hypothesizing that our bentos will come along on many picnics and beach days, and that I'll often pack lunches ahead at night so that there are fewer things to do during the day.  There's nothing worse to kids than swimming and having to come in, shivering in the A/C and waiting while Mom preps lunch.  Hopefully a grab-and-go lunch packed the night before means that I can be a more fun Mom this summer (you know, hypothetically).

For now, I'm sharing the lunches from the last week of school.  Elliott is beside herself enthusiastic that school is no longer in session.  Monday alone, we swam 3 different times.  Need I explain her enthusiasm?

Muenster, honeydew, crackers, ham, Biscoff cookie.
Grilled turkey and cheese, carrot sticks, carrot sticks, kiwi, cheese stick.
Salami and ham, muenster, grapes, crackers.
Cole slaw, cucumber chunk, raspberries, hot dog (mother of the year, I know, I know).

Worth noting is that I try to make sure all of our deli meats are free of sodium nitrates/nitrites.  All of the meats you see in this photo are exactly that, even the hot dog.  Yeah, I realize that it's still a hot dog, but hopefully the lack of additives makes it more of a win. ; )

Last week in Bento.

The Goodbyn small meal containers have definitely surpassed the Goodbyn Bynto as my favorite.  I like that I can pack them to the brim and they come home empty, as if it contains exactly the right amount of food for my hungry 5-year-old.

Cheese stick, ham chunks, pretzels, honeydew.
Egg salad, Triscuits, hummus-stuffed pepper, kiwi, blackberries.
Blackberries, chips, homemade Catalina dressing and taco salad leftovers.

My kiddos have been enjoying berries and nuts a lot for snack lately, and I count it a huge snacking success.  The Goodbyn snack containers (and small meal containers) are on clearance on the company website, so stock up before they're gone--I promise you won't regret it.  (And no, Goodbyn doesn't sponsor my posts, I really just love their colorful and functional containers.)

Pictured in the snack containers is:
Pepitas & blackberries.
Raspberries and sunflower seeds.

Boring Bentos.

I know that bloggers are supposed to come up with super-exciting titles for their posts, and they're also supposed to post regularly and do everything cute-to-the-max.  Well, welcome to my real world.  Things are done with love, not necessarily cuteness, and definitely not perfection.  But done is better than not done, and anything done with love is worth mentioning.  In other words, please forgive the post title.  ; )

Here are the lunch deets:

1. Homemade naan, ham, cucumbers, cheese wedge, honeydew. 
2. Carrots, peanut butter, apples, ham sandwich, green olives, boiled eggs.
3. Plain yogurt with homemade jam, grapes, cheese wedge, Triscuits, ham, green olive.
4. Grapes, carrots, hummus, chicken potstickers.


Spring Craft Organizing Made Easy

Because of Florida's climate, there just ain't no such thing as Spring.  We go from HOT to ehh, it's kind of cool, to HOT and friends let me tell you, it's already summer here.  It's a great excuse to forego Spring cleaning.  This year, however, I was asked to participate in Spring Cleaning Made Easy with QVC and I always appreciate a little kick in the rear to get myself going, so I accepted the offer. 

QVC had many offerings of spring cleaning and organization products, but the spinning cosmetic organizer intrigued me the most... only, I have like, no cosmetics.  I have two lipsticks (one of which was a gift---maybe sending a hint my way?), one mascara, and three vials of BareMinerals at any given time.  That's literally all I have in terms of cosmetics... but craft supplies?  Yep.  That's where I have a bountiful collection.  I immediately saw the potential for the spinning cosmetic organizer to be a great asset to my Project Life stash.
Project Life is a pocket-based memory keeping system and it is how I document my family's stories and memories.  Almost two years ago, my sister-in-law at age 35 was diagnosed with a brain tumor.  I haven't mentioned it before here, but it was a real shock to our family, as you can imagine.  She's been through so many things--surgeries, rough treatments, and everything in between and will continue to do so.  There's nothing that puts your own mortality before you like finding out a loved one has such an illness.  It was at the point that Angie was diagnosed with brain cancer that I determined to be a memory keeper for my family. I realized that life is fragile, and I really felt the need to get my photos off the computer and into something tangible for the sake of my daughters.  A photo album seemed like not quite enough, but true scrapbooking was too daunting a task--and that's when I found Project Life.  The happiest of happy mediums.

Here are some examples of my Project Life pages--can you see how the journaling is integrated right along with the photos?   I really love it.
Regrettably, I do not have a dedicated craft space.  I know, first world problems, right?  My supplies are locked away in various closets and small spaces, so when I get in the mood to craft, gathering my supplies becomes quite the production, and don't even get me started on having to put it all away after I'm finished.  Not my favorite, for sure.  The spinning organizer houses all of my Project Life stash from my Studio Calico kits. (Studio Calico offers awesome monthly subscription packages for supplies--it has proven to be a fun way to build up my Project Life stash.)

 In order to customize my spinning organizer to accommodate my supplies, I simply added a large rubber band that runs the circumference of the lower portion--it prevents my cards and supplies from shifting and falling out.  Simple adaptation, right?  The slotted portions that are meant to hold small eye shadow compacts are great for housing stamps and washi tape.

The top tray is removable in case you want to grab just your tall items like markers, pens and brushes.  The spinning cosmetic organizer is a great fit for the typical 3x4", 4x4" and 4x6" sized cards for Project Life.

So yes, this is a cosmetic organizer and I can tell it'd be great for cosmetics if that's your thing--but for a crafter, an organizer like this is very useful and practical.  I'm smitten, honestly.  All of my supplies are within arms reach and they're all housed in one place, rather than being in separate boxes and places.  When I'm in the mood to work on my Project Life album, it's as simple as pulling out this one organizer instead of multiple boxes.

Thanks, to Jill for inviting me to get a bit of Spring organizing done--it wouldn't have happened without your prompting!  And on that note, we have company this weekend and it's about time to get off the computer and into cleaning mode.  See?  All I need is a kick in the pants and I'll eventually get things done. ; )

Jill Bauer, QVC’s Home-Savvy Hostess, hosts the network’s popular show, “You’re Home with Jill®” and provides fans with simple solutions for their busy lives through innovative products, a library of stress-free DIY projects, and crowd-pleasing recipes. Fans can connect with Jill on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram @jillbauerqvc.

Disclaimer: I received the Spinning Cosmetic Organizer at no cost; Tristin & Company has no relationship with QVC that could materially affect the weight consumers place on my review.  And yep, there are affiliate links in this post.  

This week in Bento.

I just scored a great deal on some Goodbyn Small Meal boxes and I've really enjoyed packing these bentos this week.  The boxes look small and to compensate, I've filled these small meal boxes to the gill.  They hold quite a bit of food--definitely enough quantity and plenty of variety, too.  Overall, I'm pretty stoked about these boxes. 
For some reason, Elliott has been uncharacteristically enthusiastic about her lunches this week.  While I'd like to take credit for the success, it's probably just the new boxes that have caused the spike in enthusiasm.  But a girl can dream, right?

1. Clementine, honeydew, fried rice, hard-boiled bunny egg, muenster slices.
2. Carrots and honey-mustard, grapes, cocoa almonds, Applegate Farms ham, crackers, cheese wedge.
3. Grapes, chia pudding, ham and cream cheese pinwheels, olives, carrots.
4. Ham, crackers, apple/craisin/sunflower seed/yogurt/cinnamon salad.

What lunches are your kids loving lately?

Yep, there are affiliate links in this post.

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