Monday, September 9, 2013

Lunch overload

Tonight is the first night I have *had* to make 3 lunches. I also had to make a snack for baby. It was a long evening of lunch making while finishing up dinner. I am hoping that after a few days of packing 3 lunches I will get into the grove a little more and it won't take me forever.

Baby starts daycare tomorrow and I have no idea how happy they will be about his food. It's all sticky, mushy finger foods. But. it's what he eats at home to hopefully it will be alright there.

For snack he has some cut kiwi and strawberry cheesecake muffins. Lunch is some PB&J, cucumbers and pepperoni, watermelon, cereal bar, and some raisins.

The big boy was so in love with dinner that I decided to scrap the meat and cheese roll ups I was going to do in favour of leftover dinner. 

He has, mandarin oranges, cucumbers with pepperoni, raisins, a Kinder chocolate hippo, some muffins, and left over salsa chicken with tortilla chips. 

As usual, the husband take left over dinner for lunch ( I love easy lunches) 

Mr. has left over salsa chicken, black beans, half a cheese stick, hot sauce that hurts my nose, and some chocolate covered almonds. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I make tiny kids

My kids are super tiny. Together they weighed 10.3 at birth, that's tiny for 2 boys. I am always trying to find ways to give them a protein packed lunch to help them pack on the pounds since my almost 3yo is still in 12-18 month clothes.

I opt for a lot of protein in his lunches since I give him fatty foods (the good kinda) for dinner and he also drinks protein shakes with daddy at night. Now, my kids love eggs, but I am a little worried about how they will do in lunches. So what's a mom to do? Enter breakfast sausages! These bad boys were on sale for 2/$5 and they also had .50 ¢ coupons on the packages, so I bought a bunch, cooked them and threw them in the freezer. Instant protein for breakfast and lunch. Woohoo!

Mister Mister took, 2 jelly sandwiches with cheese toppers, 2 sausages with dip dip, fresh pears with sprinkles. cucumbers and baby pepperoni salad. yogurt covered raisins, and a apple cinnamon cereal bar.
The only thing left in the box when he got home from camp were the picks and baran sheets!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The spice of life

Every Monday we eat either black bean taco salad or taco meat with refried beans, not much of a variety but it's a family favourite. That means I always had to keep taco seasoning on hand. Not anymore! Here's a filler free taco seasoning recipe that you can make in a big batch and store in an air tight container 

Taco Seasoning 
1 tbs chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper - use half if you don't like spicy
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

Mix well and add 2 tbs and 2/3c of water to meat

Being from the north, I ate a tong of chili in my lifetime. It's the perfect comfort food during a blizzard and it lasts forever in the fridge. I got sick of buying that packaged as well so I came up with my own concoction. It's pretty good if I do say so myself!  

Chili seasoning
 1 tsp basil
1 tbs onion powder
4 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tbs red pepper flakes
1 tbs garlic powder
2 tsp sugar
2 tbs flour
mix well and add to chili!
you can make a bunch ahead and store. Use 1/3 c per pot 

BTW this song was going on over and over in my head while I was writing this. 

Video lunch!

A few days ago I entered the "What's in your lunchbox contest" put on by My Military Savings. Hopefully I will win that gift card ;)
I thought I would give video blogging a try and this was the perfect chance to try it out! I hope you guys forgive my shaky hands, I have tremors sometimes and they kinda get annoying!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Vacations stress me out

I have been bugging the husband to take the kids and I to Sea World, and he finally did.

So I was stoked and planning meals, finding hotels and getting everything settled when he informs me that we would be leaving in 3 days time. OMG I panicked and had no idea how I was going to clean/pack/cook all in 3 days. I managed to get everything done and even had the stamina to snap a few pictures of our travel bentos.

I bet a few of you are thinking what could I possibly have to plan aside from getting our butts so Sea World, well.
Any time we travel I beg for a hotel that offers a hot breakfast as well have a kitchenette in the room. Why? Because the little extra money you spend on that room will save you from having to eat out every night. It is especially a lifesaver if you kids are not used to fast food. Trust me.

I packed our "on the road" food in our easy lunch boxes because I feel they travel the best, and there are 4 of them and 4 of us so it works.
Big A's lunch

A lunch for the teething baby

A ton of meat for the low carbing husband

We finally made it to the hotel and I refused to cook so I gave in to my wild side and we had some Asian take out. I got back to the hotel, hastily made Sea World bentos and passed out because I knew while the park would be fun for the kids, it would be stressful for me.

Little side note about the hotel, it was amazing! We had 2 actual bedrooms with adjoining baths, a full kitchen, dining room, and a decent living room. I love spreading out on a vacation, and hate being super quite after 7pm when the kids pass out.
Nice breakfast for the kids before the big day
Creepy hallway

I researched and called Sea World to find out their outside food and drink policy because I really didn't want to pay $7 for a hot dog for my kids. After being directed to a gillion people I still don't know what a "reasonable amount" of bottled water is, it's 102 in Texas I vote 10 bottles per person. They were a little more lenient with foods, just small snacks and no loaves of bread. I packed 2 lunches like this for Sea World and some snack bars to hold us over in lines and mad dashes to shows.

PB , cereal, pizza, and star grilled cheeses. 
All and all it was great trip, but I am not anxious to spend 10 hours anywhere out side with 2 toddlers ever again.
This was after 7 hours, I'm surprised no one is screaming

Guess where I want to go next.... in about 5 years

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm a slacker

For the past few days it has been between 101° - 105° here. It's hot. I'm from the north and can not function in this heat. Hopefully that explains my lack of posting. It's just too hot to not sit directly under an air vent. Lame, I know.

I'm kinda embarrased by today's bento. Big A insisted that I draw on the cheese that topped the sandwiches even though I explained cheese and food markers do not work well. Oh well, whateves I don't have to eat it.

He had
mini jelly sandwiches
cheese toppers
cereal bar
2 sausages
blueberry applesauce
and some oranges.
Of course the tomatoes went uneaten

Everything was devoured, except the tomatoes. So I was pretty jazzed. 

Since it's Wednesday, we go to the pool after camp. I couldn't being the usual snack of fruit because I was picking up a friends kid who is one picky eater. Instead we all has some yogurt covered raisins, veggie sticks (minus Big A he had a cereal bar) and some fruit cookies. Just the right amount of food to keep them fueled for cannon balls without the tummy cramps ;) 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Your kids have nerdy parents when..

I was beyond excited to get Star Wars bento accessories, and over the moon when I found the cutest Star Wars box the other day. I knew I had to use them for Monday Madness.
I don't have any Star Wars cutters, that needs to change, so I had to work around that. Hopefully it works. The husband approved and even told me how he wanted the sandwich decorated ;)

Big A has
Cream cheese and jelly death star
1/3 organic pop tart
Sausage link
1/2 fruit cup
Chocolate granola crunch thing
Cheese sabers
Cucumber stars
and a few fruit snacks

I am in love

I couldn't help but use that fabric. This totally makes my day. I think after this I shall geek out at least once a month. Sounds good right? 

Blast from the past

Who remembers dunkaroos? If you were alive in the 90's I'm sure you do. I crave them, almost on a daily basis. Especially pregnant, I wanted to take a bath in them. A friend actually found some for our road trip to Texas when I was pregnant with  Lil A. It was amazing.

I set out to buy some on amazon and they were all sold out :( But there were a gillion recipes on Google so I set out to try one. I have no idea who actually created it, if you do lemme know and I'll link them ;)

What you need for cookie goodness is
1 box funfetti cake mix - just the mix
1/2 tub cool whip - low fat, sugar free, chocolate, it really doesn't matter
1 c - 1 1/2 c plain vanilla yogurt - all I had was Greek and it really didn't taste that off
Animal crackers, cinnamon teddy grahams, really any cookie to  dip with

** Use sugar free yogurt and cool whip to make a low cal snack! Really, it's low cal.

Mix everything together in a big old bowl and chill for a few hours or overnight. The DIG IN!

Doesn't that look amazing?!

Beware of sneaky kids while making this

My kids were gone by the time this was ready, so I tested it out on my friends' kids and I think it was a hit. Go whip up a batch for that next pot luck/office party you have to go to. I guarantee you won't have any leftovers. 

She was totally digging it

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I am so addicted

I am so addicted to making bentos I can not go in a store without looking for cute things to add to a lunch, or anything that can be used as a bento box.

On my third store of the day, the BX for you military folks, I only went to get a fancy candle and they had bento boxes just sitting on the end cap screaming at me to come look at them. Look I did, and I also bought 2 of the 3 they had to offer ;)

They are so pretty, how could I say no?

Green - $7   Blue $8

The green one is my fav but I couldn't really get a picture of it opened. The bottom is undivided and the top part has 3 sections. It came with this weird water bottle that looks like a plastic flask that I don't think I'll be using. 
The Star Wars one I just had to get. I have some Star Wars bento picks, but no cutters and this will be the perfect box to use them in! It opens all trasnformers style with a compartment for a sandwich and 3 sides. You can't move the dividers, but I think I can live with that. 

I can not wait to play with these! If you can get to AAFES I suggest you check them out! They had tons of pink and purple for the girly girls and Monsters Inc ones like the Star Wars box. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I love lists

You all know I do a major grocery trip once a month and stay away from the store until another month rolls around. I've had people ask my how the heck I do it. Well, here it goes!

In order to make a month's long shopping list, you need to plan a months worth of meals. I only need to plan dinner since we all eat the same things for breakfast everyday, daddy takes left over dinner for lunch, and the kids live on sandwiches and extra left over lunches. Totally works for our family.

Plan out a detailed list of your dinners to include any side you are having. I always use a calender.

Once you have your meals planned, go through each meal and tally up the items you need. Like for this month, I need 5 lbs of ground beef and 1 thing of asparagus

Make your list, check it twice and add any and all non perishables that you will need like diapers, cereal, soap, and candy for mommy ;)

Once you have that list (told you I like lists) go through your pantry, fridge and freezer and adjust numbers based on what you already have. There is no need to buy more meat/veggies if you won't eat them this month

So here is where the fun part comes in. Now you need to organize the list for the grocery store, I go to 3. That means I have to know what I buy at each store and separate the list accordingly.

No idea what that top part says, the husband speaks Serbian, I do not. 

I have my book divided by store and just fill in what I need from each place like this 

Then I can just go on my merry way and check off my list as I go. I never forget anything, and thanks to the power of planning my family can eat a delicious dinner every night with no "OMG WE DON'T HAVE ONIONS" at about 5:15. 

Also, making lists is a great way to find out where you impulse buys are and adjust the budget if I need to. If something is not on my list, I add it when I get home so I can chastise myself for buying that bag of chips that no one will eat. If my budget is a little high one month, I can look back so see where/how I bought or spent more and adjust on that. 

Lists make me happy, and so does feeding 3 men on a budget. Hope you agree! 

Saran wrap and your fridge

I am preparing for a massive shopping trip (check back later for that post) and I always clean my fridge before a trip, always. I hate my current fridge, and being in Military housing, I have no choice. It's one of those side by sides with the fake glass shelves? Well you know what? The consolidation on those bad boys always make my fridge look absolutely disgusting, and sticky finger prints seem to fuse to the shelves. I really do hate these fridges.
I had to do something before I pulled out all my hair. Then, it came to me. Press and seal saran wrap! I've never actually used it, but I know people that swear by it.

I forced asked the husband to pick some up on his way home and I am so stinking happy.

Just take out the shelves (one at a time) clean and stick the stuff on! I had some issues with it at first, but I simply wet the edge of the shelves and it stuck like magical glue. I know the package says to use a dry surface, but the cold wasn't helping things!

The light blew as soon as I opened  the door. Grrr

It looks kinda funky, but I tested it out and it was amazing! I spilled some sticky canned fruit and it didn't leak on my nice clean shelves. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

A sleepy bento snack

I am so tired, I really should have napped while Big A was at camp and Lil A was sleeping.
But, I had to get stuff done, so I didn't and I totally regret it.

There was about 3.2 minutes until Big A got home from camp and I *had* to feed him something that resembled a snack. I threw a bunch of finger foods in a box with some picks and have officially called it a day.

He got some
Watermelon balls
Zucchini slices - which I really hoped he would at least try

BAM, snack is served

Of course he didn't want to even try the zucchini and wanted more watermelon, that didn't happen. All the has to do is eat one little slice. But NOPE!

And now if you will excuse me, I have to go lay in the doorway to the kids room so I know they are safe and can maybe catch a 5 minute nap.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Last Friday in July. Almost fall right?

It's July in Texas, and it's hot. Like fry an egg on the sidewalk hot. The last thing I wanted to do was hang out in the kitchen and put together a bento for tomorrow.
Soo I did this lickity split and hightailed my self out there as fast as I could.

This is what I ended up with while sweating and cursing the placement of the air vents.
I threw some boat stuff together and really hope it looks awesome enough for Big A to eat.

He has
Jelly and cream cheese cut in half to fit
vanilla filled cookie
3/4 cereal bar with fruit leather cut outs
1/4 meatloaf muffin
Vienna sausages
in the first box

Oranges in the other box

Hopefully he eats it all. He should, but it's really too hot for me to think about that right now.

Excuse me, I must go take a bath in ice water

Gettin ready to cool down in the pool!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pizza night! It must be a Friday

Fridays equal pizza in a lot of households, mine included. Being from New York I love a good pizza and could eat it every night. Buy my wallet did not like it when we ate pizza at least once a week so I had to fix the situation.

After many failed store bought crusts and silly recipes from the interwebs I came up with a fantastic thin crust recipe.
I guarantee this will turn out right every time if you follow the directions, no guess work involved


For super delicious crust you need 
1/4oz packet active dry yeast
1/4 tsp sugar
3/4c water
1 3/4 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp onion salt/powder
1 tsp garlic salt/powder
*or season to your taste 

Preheat oven with pizza stone to 500
Microwave water for 2 minutes 
Dissolve sugar and yeast in water and let rest for 7 minutes or until it look like this 

In a mixer with a dough hook, or bowl combine flour and seasonings

Combine yeast with flour mixture until it sets in a semi formed lump/ball

Roll dough out on a well floured surface until as thin/thick as you like

Then cut into squares/shapes if you so desire. We all like out pizza a little differently so we cut it

Bake the crust for 4 minutes, quickly take it out and add toppings 
* if desired heat up butter with garlic and spread on the crust for crunchy amazingness 

Throw it back in the oven for 6-8 minutes and BAM perfect pizza. Promise 

In case you missed it the first time
For dessert we had graham crackers topped with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips!  I was in love 

And FYI when working with flour you should really wear an apron. trust me 
Why yes, yes I am a Spartan AROO 


EAT YOU VEGGIES before mommy breaks

Big A has been boycotting his veggies like the plague. He refuses to eat them. I can not figure out what the heck is going on with him. So, of course he gets them at every meal to try and prompt him to eat. No amount of dip dip and cute picks are working.

For the past two days I have given him mixed veggies for lunch and dinner. Still no dice. What is a mom supposed to do, aside from forcing them in his mouth? And I am pretty sure that would be child abuse.

Thursday's dinner was cantaloupe, steak fingers, mixed veggies, and a cheese lion. He ate everything except for the veggies.
Eww mommy. He wouldn't even try the veggies
Friday's finger foods were basically Thursday dinner reheated. He asked for it, and it saved me time so I rolled with it. Steak fingers, mixed veggie kebab, mandarin oranges (babies), and rabbit and bear cheese.
It's a rabbit, promise 
I was planning on making Lil A a lunch as well, but he passed out in the car on the way home from the doctors. Guess I'm off the hook for that one!

I love how he sleeps with his arm behind his head. Too cute.

Kick butt chicken

Need some pep in your dinner? Getting sick of marinating chicken the same old way because your kids have sensitive taste buds?
Forget the kids (not really) and make you some kick butt chicken with two simple ingredients, aside from the chicken. 


You need 

1/2 c Italian dressing
1/3 - 1/2 c of red hot sauce 

Mix them together and marinate your amazing chicken, while the kids boring chicken is marinating in plain Italian dressing.

Cook like you normally would in the oven or on the grill and watch as a party happens in your mouth

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Wednesday is special pool day with us a bunch of friends. Mainly because they have a Military discount for my friends who weren't cool like me and bought a season pass. So with summer camp, my run, and the pool there isn't a lot of bento and cute food making at the T house on Wednesdays. They still get bentos, but they are much simpler and easier to throw in a diaper bag.

Also, there isn't a lot of internet action going on either. We don't watch TV or even have cable for that matter, so completely unplugging and just being with your kids is an amazing thing.

The kids got to eat their snack in peace, without me taking pictures of it. Big A actually tried to pose for me even thought I didn't have the camera. Aww.
 I got to put my phone down and not worry about emails/tweets/texts for a few hours.

Basically, turn the stuff off and and bask in the glory of the day.
Just remember to reapply sunscreen on yourself after you slather the kids.

Clothes made my cry


A blah Tuesday

I've totally been slacking with snack and lunch pictures, but it was oh so nice to hang with the kids without technology

Without further ado, here is Tuesdays lunch. He had a pretty hefty snack and he wouldn't let me add anything else to his lunch. Guess he wasn't that hungry.
It was a PB&J bagel sandwich, half a giant marshmallow with fruit leather, a cantaloupe slice and *homemade* grapefruit apple sauce with sprinkles.

I love making applesauce. I have jars upon jars in my pantry from my 40 lb of apples I got for only $15!!!

The husband man is working a crazy shift and is requiring both lunch and dinner bentos each day, so to save meat money, the kids get to pig out on finger foods.
For dinner they had fish sticks, mixed veggies, another melon slice, and a froggie made out of cheese.
The veggies proved to be a nightmare. This kid just started refusing them all of a sudden. It's driving me bonkers.