Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Roundup: 14 From 2014!

Happy New Year (2 weeks ago)!! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday with family and friends, and I also hope that reflecting on the past year brings many cherished memories to hold dear. For us, this is especially true. This year brought a new home, a new adventure with the beginning of Kindergarten, and most importantly, a new member to our family.. a beautiful baby girl. It will be hard to top this year. But, with so much happening this year, other parts of my life took a major back seat. My neglected blog is one of those things. Time to respark the love affair.. not necessarily with cooking and packing lunches, because believe it or not, I've been doing all that.. but the actual sharing of what I've been up to. In an effort to bring you up to speed, rather than do a recap of the 14 most popular posts of 2014, I'm doing some favorites, but also some clean up and posting of things from the past year that never got to make their debut. I'm doing it on the 14th to really get the point across. No, it has nothing to do with the fact that it took me two weeks to pull together this post... why would you think that?! Anyways, enjoy, and I look forward to sharing more with you this year, and getting out there to see what everyone else has been up to, as well. Here's to a wonderful 2015! I can't wait to see what it has in store!

JANUARY - Our year started off just as crazy as it ended. On January 2nd, we sold our house of 16 years. This month also marked Zoe's 5th birthday! Major, major stuff! So, this picture is from a previously posted lunch from her birthday. See the full post and details here.
birthday yogurt
Chobani Greek yogurt frozen into shapes using silicone molds. Yum! (Photo below from the birthday cake, complete with fondant dinosaurs, of course!)
dinosaur fondant

FEBRUARY - Valentine's Day! Yup, seems like a good excuse for a 'hearty' lunch, doesn't it? This is one from last year made in a muffin tin. Read the full post here.
Valentine muffin tin meal
Orange vanilla Greek yogurt, raisins, chocolate chip cookie, cucumber, leftover rice pilaf and baked chicken, and shredded cheddar jack cheese, topped off with some fun heart picks.

MARCH -Simplicity. There were lots of lunches like that this month as we were working on getting in a new home. Just quick, yummy, fun, and done.
Nibble tray lunch
Cucumber w/ a bear pick, Trader Joe's Cheddar Rockets, Swiss cheese, olive/caper mix, grapes, and smoked turkey, all in our Nibble Tray.

APRIL - Technically still 'homeless' and living with my mom made it very difficult to nest before baby arrived, so I had to spend that energy making things for her instead. Two projects were born... 2 nice mid-weight blankets that I use every single day. Seriously, love these things! And, burp cloths. While, I thought I'd never use this pain in the arse to make lovely things, when we transitioned to bottles, they too became and are a daily necessity. Plus, come on now.. they are so cute!
baby blanket
To make these blankets, I used this tutorial from Greener Grass. I used flannel and minky dot and they were super easy. I absolutely love this fabric, too. I could so see a room decorated with these colors and whimsical forest patterns.
baby blanket
burp cloths
For the burp cloths, I used my own mash-up of the tutorial found here at Diary of a Quilter and the one here at The Happy Scraps. The biggest thing I can say is that you have to prewash, dry, and iron all the fabric, including the cloth diapers. This is absolutely not a step to skip. I used flannel pieces and made a general measurement and used the cereal box tip for ironing. You'll see what I mean if you look at the tutorials. They were tedious, but turned out so cute. Seriously.. I want another baby just to use more burp cloths! Will I make you some? Um.. hell no. I would never make them again without some serious incentives.
burp cloths

I even managed to bust out a few bibs with scraps. These were super simple too, and I found a great free template here at Craftaholics Anonymous, but I will admit that I made my mommy sew all the snaps on.
baby bibs diy

MAY - We moved into our new house AND our baby girl was born! Yup.. it was pretty much nuts!
GoGreen baby bento
For hubby - Baby turkey, cheddar, and green apple bagels (both traditional baby colors included since we didn't know what gender we were having), baby Triscuits with Babybel cheese, baby peppers, cucumber, and carrots with guacamole, little Chobani bite yogurt, and Vita Coco to drink, all packed in our GoGreen lunchbox.
easylunchboxes baby bento
For the kiddo - baby bagel with cream cheese, strawberries (baby elephant picks too), cinnamon almonds, baby jelly beans, baby triscuits with Babybel cheese, baby carrots, cucumber, and pepper, all in our favorite EasyLunchboxes.

JUNE - In the summer, I'm all about salads, and taco salad is a favorite. Ours is meat free and always uses Russsian dressing. Yum!
Easylunchboxes bento
Taco salad (chips packed separate), black beans, dressing in our mini dipper, and sesame sticks, all packed in our Easylunchboxes.

JULY -Snack boxes are in full swing around here in the summer, and we got in some great practice and ideas for when school would start, too. Almost always packed and stashed for easy access when in need of a quick snack, an on the go treat, or a last second pick me up when lounging by the pool, these things are more popular than 'actual' lunches. Here are a few examples.
Kindergarten snack box
Cucumber, grapes, and caramel Pirate's Booty in our Lock&Lock box.
Kindergarten snack box
 Mini croissant with Trader Joe cookie butter and slivered almonds.

Kindergarten snack box
Trader Joe's peanut butter pretzels, apple slices, and candy corn (yes we have it year round, thanks to our realtor, mixed with peanuts .. omg so good and tastes just like a Payday candy bar)

AUGUST -With an abundance of zucchini and an obsession with butterscotch, this bread was destined to be born last summer. It is amazing. That is all. Get the recipe here.
Butterscotch Zucchini bread

SEPTEMBER - And, let the Kindergarten adventure begin!
Apple bento
'Apple' cucumbers in cup, checkerboard apple, peanut butter and apple jelly sandwich w/ leaf, apple Pirate's Booty.

OCTOBER - Happy Halloween!
Halloween Lunchbots
Turkey pepperoni in cup, orange bell pepper, Goldfish crackers in Mini Dipper, Muenster cheese, and a chocolate in polkadot container, all in a Lunchbots Trio.

NOVEMBER - Can anyone say leftover turkey with a twist?
Easylunchboxes bento
Grapes, Greek pasta salad, smoked turkey on ciabatta with spinach, Swiss, Dijon, and cream cheese, all in our Easylunchboxes.

DECEMBER - Merry Christmas!
Christmas bento
Smoked turkey with tree picks, cucumber 'trees', holiday Wheat Thins, and Swiss cheese 'trees', all packed in our Sassy box.
 A little 'cheesy' snack for the Kindergarten class! How cute are they? And that's that, then. Here's to 2015!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Giving Thanks

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was a mix of family, fun and filled with firsts.. baby's first Thanksgiving, first time in the high chair, first 'real' food (grandma's sweet potatoes).. and sadly, baby's first tooth. I can't tell you why exactly I stuck my finger in baby's mouth last night, but I did. And what I felt was not expected AT ALL. A little tooth has broken through. What?! She just turned 6 months like 2 days ago.. how is this possible? Things are moving too quickly for mama... slow down little one. Slow down! Love these girls.. so much to be thankful for, for sure!

Zoe's Lunchbox Zoe's Lunchbox Thanksgiving lunchbots
Lunch before the holiday break - Turkey pepperoni, provolone cheese, cucumbers, bell peppers, ranch dip in container, mini cream puff, and veggie straws.

And in other news... Ruby the Elf has arrived. She must have had a long night since she just tucked herself right in bed with the kiddo. We also set up a 3rd advent calendar (we also have a magnet board and the traditional one with chocolates behind the little doors) this year based on one we saw on Teach Mama. Ours has a little treat in each Kcup.. candy, barrettes, erasers, stickers.. a variety of little goodies. I just used a bit of white glue to attach the tissue, which seemed way easier than hot glue. It turned out pretty cute, so hopefully it functions well too.
advent craft

In this lunch...

Friday, November 7, 2014

Wrapping Up Halloween

This lunch was from Halloween day, and when I asked what the kiddo wanted.. hands down, 'mummy dog'. These are so easy to make and just as good cold as hot, so they work out well packed in the lunchbox. Yum.
Lunchbots Halloween bento
Mozzarella cheese, pickles, orange bell pepper, crescent wrapped 'mummy' dog and mustard/ketchup in container.

One more Halloween lunch. I use the silicone ice molds for yogurt all the time, but applesauce works great too in them. By lunchtime, they are still icy, but not solid, and so yummy.
Halloween Bento
Frozen applesauce with cinnamon, cheese quesadilla, mini candy bar, and salsa/sour cream in container.
Kindergarten Snack Box
PM Snack - Mini pretzel crisps and celery with peanut butter.

In these lunches...

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