Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CuteZCute sandwich cutter review!

Taia has a CuteZCute frog and pig sandwich along with some flower carrots and apples, grapes and animal crackers.

CuteZCute sent me this super amazing animal cutter to try out! Taia and I love it! It's so easy to use that even Taia can make sandwiches with it! She's been asking to make cookies with it! We'll have to try some soon! The all in one set includes a panda, frog, pig and cat! And even a little tool to get food out of the smaller crevices. That's the problem I've had with other food cutters! The cutter will cut bread, fruits, veggies, meat and cheese and much more! We love our CuteZCute! Even I can make animal lunches!

The CuteZCute is great for a beginner bento-er! You get 4 animals to start your bento collection!!


Thursday, October 18, 2012

Spooky lunches!

Dean and I made lunch for Taia and her BFF yesterday. They thought having matching lunches was SO cool! They had grapes, trail mix, a bat sandwich (painted with all natural food dyes!) and some bat carrots and a candied grapefruit ghost! They also had applesauce and a banana.
This is Taia's lunch from Monday. Sadly, she liked this more than most lunches that I spend tons of time on... Good thing I have a stockpile of picks! She had two sandwiches (one Trader Joe's almond chocolate spread and one peanut butter,) carrots, trail mix, grapes and applesauce.

Check out the Bento Bloggers and Friends Halloween blog hop!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Country Bob's All Purpose Sauce Giveaway!

Anyone who knows me knows that I am OBSESSED with Country Bob's. I literally put it on everything. Fries, steak, burgers, brisket, eggs, hash browns... EVERYTHING. The most interesting thing we've eaten it with lately is Chicken Fried Steak.... We ran out of gravy and Country Bob's was awesome on it! :) We make breakfast skillet meals on the weekends and I love my Country Bob's on the side for dipping!

I'm not sure what inspired me to take this picture but it makes me smile!


I discovered Country Bob's completely by accident! I signed up for a free coupon and it sat in my purse for literally almost a year!! Once I tasted it, I kicked myself for not redeeming my coupon sooner! From that first bottle, I started buying them 2 at a time! Now I've discovered that Amazon sells 6 packs....that I can have delivered to my door.... AWESOME! (Links below)

I actually had a friend FaceBook me about Country Bob's the other day... And that's not the first time! Everyone that comes to my house is forced to try it. And I guarantee they go buy some for their own kitchens!

We keep 2 bottles at a time in the house at all times!  Dean panics if I run out. I don't eat ketchup anymore because this sauce has ruined it for me.  

When I was presented with the opportunity to review Country Bob's, I jumped on it! I was so excited! And to top it off, they are offering 2 bottles for 2 winners!!

I want to try some of the other Country Bob's products. I know I'll love them!

The funny part of this review is that some of my readers are going to think my gushing is completely false. But my friends and family are going to laugh because they know how in love with it I am!


Win 2 bottles of your own in the VERY easy entry Rafflecopter Giveaway! 

How we survive a busy week!

I know it's been a while since I posted and I apologize! I've gone back to work full time. I still manage to take pictures of Taia's cutest lunches so I am going to try my best to get back to regular posts! For now, here are some of the things that we are doing to make the nights and mornings easier!

 We made our own breakfast burritos! I completely forgot to get a picture of the finished products! But they were so yummy that we decided to make some breakfast biscuit and croissant sandwiches! It's nice knowing exactly what is in your breakfast! And Taia loved picking the different ingredient combinations!
 I've also started packing her lunches on Sunday nights for the entire week! It saves me time at night and in the mornings so I'm not rushing around trying to get everything ready at the last minute!

 I also have water bottles for each day of the week. It is so nice having them ready and available. She will go grab one during the day when she's thirsty also. I want another set of them! The best part is that her daddy obsesses over keeping them in the fridge and full at all times! So I don't have to worry about them being dirty or not in the fridge! My Easy Lunch Boxes are PERFECT for packing in advance! There are some great tips of at MOMables that I've found very helpful!

What tricks and tips do you have to make meals easier during those busy weeks?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Did I mention.....

Have I mentioned how EXCITED I am about this cookbook? If you haven't checked it out yet, YOU MUST!!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

MOMables Review and GIVEAWAY!

I am so excited to be able to share MOMables with you all! Have you ever been in a PB&J rut? We have! Well, without the J because Taia refuses to try jelly. But there have been weeks where she eats peanut butter everyday because I can't THINK of anything else or I just don't have time to put together a shopping list! Enter MOMables! For a VERY minimal fee you get access to a weekly menu AND shopping list. "My kids won't eat everything on that menu." Ok, great. So use your imagination! Get them to try new things! The menus and shopping list are a jumping off point to make your week easier! The main thing I have gained from MOMables is packing an entire week on Sunday afternoon! It saves me so many headaches on weeknights!! There are lots and tips and tricks posted to make it painless! It takes me about 25 minutes on Sunday afternoons now vs. 10-15 minutes a NIGHT! That is amazing. Especially with work, family time and all of my volunteering.

This is my take her the homemade lunchable. This is for Tuesday in honor of the first football game that she'll cheer for for the season.. Taia prefers chips to crackers. So she has blue whale fin chips, ham footballs, apples, carrot flowers, cheese and fruit leather footballs.
This is my take on the MOMables pinwheels! Taia won't eat mayo so we used ham and cheese in tortillas. She will only eat a few at a time so I got TWO lunches out of one rolled tortilla!

Now is your chance to win a 3 month subscription! Just enter using the rafflecopter form below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Easy Lunch Boxes Mini Dippers are here!

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Easy Lunch Boxes. We use them EVERY DAY. But I have a hard time finding a little sauce or snack container to fit in them (or any other bento box) that won't spill.

PROBLEM SOLVED! Check out the new Easy Lunch Boxes Mini Dippers that fit perfectly inside Easy Lunch Boxes! They are leakproof and easy for little hands to open! They are perfect for my olive oil dressing for my spinach salads,  yogurt dip for apples or anything small or liquidy that needs a container! Taia likes to take nuts and berries that don't require one of the small sections so these are perfect!
While you're over at Amazon buying your mini dippers, grab a copy of the Easy Lunch Boxes cookbook that I have recipes in! I'm so excited! It is SO AWESOME! 

It's here! It's here! The cookbook is here!

Remember when I mentioned Easy Lunch Boxes cookbook I have recipes in? You know, the one I haven't shut up about for months?!


You can get your copy NOW! It's available on Amazon and at bookstores everywhere!

I am ecstatic to be a part of this amazing cookbook with such an impressive group of contributors! 

 The recipes, tips and pictures are wonderful!!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chobani Review and GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

I love Greek Yogurt. Not only for the health aspect but I love mixing it with fruit! As far as yogurt goes, Chobani has always been at the top of my list. So when my family was offered the opportunity to review Chobani Champions, I jumped on the opportunity! Chobani Champions is Greek yogurt designed especially for kids! The hands down favorite flavor in our house was the Chocolate Chunk. (Mommy preferred Honey-Nana but I kept on a game face so no one else would know how amazing it was!) Very Berry was a close second! Taia thought they were dessert! What a great and healthy dessert!! Champions is made with all natural ingredients and is a good source of Protein, Calcium and Vitamin D! And very importantly for us, NO ARTIFICIAL DYES! Most yogurt geared towards kids is FULL of fakes colors!! THANK YOU CHOBANI!!!  We pack it in lunches, for after cheer-leading snacks and keep them on hand any chance we get! 

The available flavors are:
Chocolate Chunk
Orange Vanilla
Verry Berry

Check out the Chobani Coupons Here!

Now is your chance to win one of two boxes of Chobani yogurt! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Taia attended a Circus Camp this summer. She had so much fun!

Dean and I made her this lunch. Dean had a blast making the marshmallow clown. Of course it's a CampFire brand marshmallow because they don't use Blue 1! They also have Chocolate Craft Studio food color. She also has an elephant on a ball sandwich and some grapes and blueberries with a clown pick.

Taia had the part of "Tiger jumping through the hoop in fire" in the circus on the last day. They sent a note home requesting that the tiger kids wear orange and black clothes on Friday. Dean couldn't just send her in regular clothes. So he marked off the stripe designs with painters tape and spray painted them on! The belly was added to cover the spot where we ripped off the pumpkin! Ha!

This is a lunch that Dean made for her. A kid made fun of it so she refused to eat it. But we thought it was adorable! (There was a lot of salami under there! :) )

We can't wait for the camps next summer!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crack and Cheese!

There's a restaurant in Key West called Finnegan's Wake. They have the BEST Mac and Cheese that we have EVER had! EVER. The locals joke that they put crack in their cheese because you just can't get enough of it. It's THAT good. We missed it so much that we wanted to make our own mac and cheese. It's nothing like theirs. But it's our own version. Yummy.

It's nothing fancy. Like most of our meals, there's no real recipe. It's all "to taste!" 

We boiled some pasta. Put some blackening seasoning on some chicken strips and let them sit for about 25 minutes. Then cooked them on the stove top in a pan until cooked through and cut into pieces. We then mixed the hot, drained pasta with A LOT of chedder, some crazy cool spicy cheese from Sam's and monterey jack cheese. I would guess 16 oz total? We stirred 2 eggs, a bunch of random (again - your own tastes) spices and about 1/2 cup of milk together) and mixed this with the cheese and pasta mixture. Then we put it in the casserole dish, put it in the oven at 375 for about 20 minutes. We then topped it with cheese, some bread crumbs, chopped tomatoes and the cooked blackened chicken and popped it back in the oven for another 8 min and then 2-4 on broil. It came out amazing! When we want leftovers, we add a little milk, stir in and reheat. MMM!! DELICIOUS!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Funky Squash Parmesan!

We found this beautiful squash at the Farmer's Market one day. The man that we got it from mentioned that he knew someone that used it similar to eggplant in Eggplant Parmesan.

Of course we took that as a challenge to make our own awesome take on Squash Parmesan!

We used a combination of seasoned bread crumbs (seasoned to your taste - we like everything super spicy...) seasoned flour and seasoned eggs.

We breaded the squash and fried it in the fancy new deep fryer that Dean got for his birthday!
Isn't that just gorgeous?!?!
We made some chicken for the non- squash lovers. (Taia was one of those and even she ate some of the "Circle chicken" and loved it!!)
Here are some pictures of the finished plates! We used regular jarred pasta sauce, added some spices to taste and topped the squash with sauce and cheese!

Taia loved her yummy dinner!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Tropical- Ish!

My bento-blogger friends have been showering me with picks lately! I'm loving it!

This lunch is really nothing super special but looks super cute because of some of my new tropical picks and Taia loved it!!

Taia had:
-grapes and blueberries
-salami with a palm tree pick
-Trader Joe's mini toasts with vanilla and chocolate cream cheese
-cheese stick with a pineapple ring
-jellybeans in the cupcake container (I found those at Kohl's in the after Easter section for near nothing for a pretty large package. There were cupakes, ice cream and a few others!)

I can't wait to share more lunches made with my new picks with you all! We just haven't had a lot of use for bentos lately! I have a few posts in the works though!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Taia's homemade Abacus!

This is not food related but I do think it is related to Taia's diet. When she doesn't have food dyes in her system, she is able to concentrate and do amazing things! 
Taia decided last week that she wanted to build an Abacus! Grandma offered to buy her one and Taia asked "what's an abacus?" When Grandma told her, she responded "We don't need to buy one! I can make one!" And proceeded to tell her how she was going to make it! WITHOUT EVER SEEING ONE!

She drew up her plans. Notice that she even drew scissors and a hole punch (that's what the odd thing in the top right is! It actually looks like my crop-o-dile!)  She has been hanging out with her daddy too much! He draws out every project in advance! 

The outer decorations, a very important part! 

She was actually having fun, I swear!

Very proudly showing off her new abacus! And she is using it for math that's way above her level. 
We are so proud of our baby girl. 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dye Free Jello cups

During Taia's "Under The Sea" camp, they served blue jello with Swedish Fish. Of course, that is pure food coloring so I had to come up with something dye free!!

I didn't have time to shop for dye free fish or the energy to make dye free fish gummies. So I stuck a fish pick in it and sent along some chocolate covered sunflower seeds! She was thrilled!

I started off with this Recipe.
Instead of using concentrate, I used a jug of grape juice and poured it in muffin cups!

Taia LOVED it!

I put the finished product in a cupcake carrier and sent it with her lunch and she loved it!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Day 3 of camp + mom and dad's lunches!

 Dean and I have been taking our lunches a lot more lately. 
They're not really picture worthy so I don't post about them much! 
I had:
-Sweet peppers
-Turkey and provalone sandwich. ( I left them open and toasted the bread first so they wouldn't get super soggy... It SORT of worked. )
-The little spoon over the peppers is a ZAK! spoon. I found a set of 4 at Tuesday morning. I love their picks and was thrilled to find the mini spoons!

 Dean had:
-Chex Mix
-Homemade slaw ( ZAK! spoon for the slaw)
-Chicken and provalone sandwich.

For tomorrow, Taia has:

-Mini sandwich skewers made with my Fun Bites Cube It.
-Cheez Its

She also has several drinks and snacks!! 

PLEASE excuse my awful cell phone pictures on my countertops. 
It's complete laziness! I promise to get better!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Under The Sea Camp, Day 2!

I sent tons of extra food today for camp. 2 drinks. When I picked Taia up, the teacher asked me to send a snack tomorrow because Taia got hungry today. I informed her that I sent 3 snacks on top of Taia's lunch today. She told me that I did not.... Taia was very hungry because she didn't have enough food?!?! So I opened her lunchbox and she still has a FULL Easy Lunch Box, a bag of goldfish, and a banana!  I showed the teachers (by this point, two were involved) and they were all "OH!" Seriously, they didn't CHECK before accusing me of not sending enough? Apparently she told them that she didn't have a "snack." She told me that she thought everything in the lunchbox was her lunch and she should've had a different carrier for a snack? Ah well. 

So tomorrow she has:
-Pop Chips
-Some dye free treats a friend gave her
-Nutella sandwich ( I thought about making it cute with some cheese shapes or something but it's been a long day...)

For snacktime:
-A snack box of grapes for later
- Cheez-its

3 thermoses:
-Fruit Juice

HOPEFULLY she has enough for tomorrow! :)

Monday, May 28, 2012


Those of you that KNOW me knew that it was 
coming. And MORE are coming. :) I LOVE IT! 

Taia loved this lunch! It's for tomorrow but I showed her in advance!
She has:
-Chips (requested)
-Trader Joe's Jelly Beans (DYE FREE of course!!)
-Grape Tomatoes on a Flamingo Pick
-A Fresh, locally grown carrot! (She has eaten at least 8 of these this weekend because "that's how bunnies eat them!!! Awesome! )
-Open Faced Salami, Ham (smooth salami - Taia speak....) and 'Mingo (more Taia speak) cheese sandwich on a potato roll! 

All in all, I LOVE this lunch! Taia loves this lunch! Dean asked for a similar lunch for tomorrow! MOMMY, PASS! :) Opposed to my usual "MOMMY, FAILS!" 


Under the Sea Camp this week!

I am looking forward to Taia's Under The Sea camp this week! The last few weeks of school were so busy that I didn't put much effort into her lunches. And I have missed them! I'm trying to come up with some unique ideas for Ocean themed lunches! Knowing me, I'll wind up with sandwiches with cheese creatures on top. But hey, they're still cute!

Anywho- I just wanted to check in and let y'all know I'm still here!!! Look for a guest post or two coming up!!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Salami and Ice Cream?

 Taia discovered a new love for salami this weekend. Not the healthiest thing in the world, but it's not chicken nuggets! Progress! She has:

  • Trader Joe's Pita Crackers
  • Cheese Stick
  • Salami on an Ice Cream pick
  • Carrots
  • Ice Cream Shaped Watermelon

Dean and I also have bentos for tomorrow!! I only took a picture of his due to multi-tasking and it turned out fuzzy! He has:
  • Salsalito turkey sandwich on Ciabatta bread
  • Wholly Moly Spicy Guacamole with some Tostitos.  
Mine is almost the same except mine has Mexican Crumbling cheese and instead of guacamole, I have a Mexican Layer dip!