Tuesday, August 31, 2010

bento lunch: bunny love in a Lock & Lock

Lunch for my 3rd grade boy. The bunny cutters are new and he thinks they are really cute. So do I! :)

bunny love Lock & Lock

Clockwise from top left:
- pickles
- wheat crackers with cheddar cheese
- strawberries
- grapes and carrots

The bunny shapes are from this cute mini-cutter set I ordered from JList.

The funny bunny picks the grapes are on are from the very first set of bento picks I bought - from ebay, nearly 3 years ago. I'm not sure this specific set is still available, but these picks are still at the top of my favorites list!

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Monday, August 30, 2010

Laptop Lunches brunch on-the-go :)

We had such a busy weekend! This was my little girl's brunch on Saturday!

breakfast in Laptop Lunches

In her Laptop Lunches box she had:
- strawberries and orange slices
- bacon bologna roll-ups (I couldn't believe we were out of bacon - bummer!)
- plain yogurt
- Earth's Best organic blueberry mini-waffles
- homemade blueberry syrup

Paige ended up wanting the blueberry syrup stirred into her yogurt and dipped her waffles in the yogurt. Interesting. ;-)

The yogurt spot has two small pieces of barran covering the yogurt to help contain any mess while transporting, but since *I* was the one carrying the Laptop Lunches, we didn't really have to worry about any tipping. ;-) The yogurt was really thick to begin with and didn't make any mess at all.

The Earth's Best mini-waffles (both blueberry and plain) are a family favorite. They are delicious and so easy! I used my free Earth's Best product coupon to "buy" our box - and you can do the same! Check out the giveaway going on now full of all sorts of yummy foods to get your own!! :)


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Friday, August 27, 2010

fed up with lunch - Mrs. Q asks, I answer!



Mrs. Q over at the Fed Up with School Lunch blog has posted some interesting discussion questions all about school lunch as part of a lunch revolution "blog party" and "twitter party". Fun stuff! Right up my little lunch-nerd alley. :)

How is “Back to School” going for your family?
If I could describe it in one word it would be "phew!". It's been crazy town!
The logistics of juggling four kids, three in school, two different schools, three different schedules is a little overwhelming. We were rezoned to a brand new elementary school this year which my two older boys attend, so there are a lot of new teachers to meet and procedures to learn. In the two weeks and two days since we've been back in school there has been a heaping amount of school drama involving a lot of unexpected upheaval and tears. I think we are in for some smooth sailing ahead, but we still have some waves to get over first.
Oh, and in the midst of all this we've had over two dozen lunches packed! ;-)

Is school lunch important part of your child’s day?
Hmm. Let me ask him....
LOL
Okay, his response was, and I quote: "yes, lunch is a very important part of my day because if I didn't have lunch I'd have a tummy ache and feel tired and get a headache."

•What is school lunch like at your school or your child’s school?It's pretty typical school fare. Nothing to write home about. If the kids don't like the entree they can choose to get a packaged PB&J (you know THE ONES...sort of goes along with "Detestables") and icee instead. At least that's how it was at their last elementary school, which is in the same district. I suspect something may be different this year because we have some major nut-allergic kids in school his year and we are supposed to be nut-free.

One thing I am totally stoked about is our new school is a GREEN school and the cafeteria is stocked with reusable lunch trays! (YAY!!!)

•Do you pack lunch for your kids and what do you pack?
LOL - Um, yes, I pack lunch for my kids. Maybe you have seen my blog? anotherlunch.com ? ;-)

•Do you write notes in your kid’s lunches and what do you write?
Yes! So fun! I write jokes, riddles, fun facts, and little love notes of various degrees of mushiness. I'm so happy to even have my own collection of free down-loadable lunch notes that were custom illustrated to match my blog! :)

•What are some of your favorite lunch recipes (kid-friendly or adult-friendly)?
It really depends on who I am packing my lunch for. A unanimous favorite for the whole family are our homemade granola bars and granola bites.

•What are some products that you use when you pack lunch?
Just take a look around. :) Reusable lunch containers, bento boxes, silicone cups to contain foods within the bento boxes, little food picks to hold small pieces of food, etc.! My goal in packing lunches is to make it waste-free and to create a pleasant presentation to make it appealing for my little lunch eaters. :)


Now, how about YOU? I'd love to hear about what all of you have to say! If you take Mrs. Q's interview, please post a link to your answers here in the comments so I can check it out! :)
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YUMMY food giveaway & MORE!

I am very excited to share this with you guys. I have a feeling this post might get long-winded. It's totally worth it, stay with me here! :)

To find out all about the yumminess in store for you, click here to read all about it! :)
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Thursday, August 26, 2010

tools of the trade, part 4: ice packs

I never planned to have a segment on ice packs for the "Tools of the Trade" series, but I have been getting so many comments, both here and on Facebook, asking about ice packs that I thought it might be a good idea. :)

I'm often asked, "do you use some kind of ice pack to keep the food cold?"
- Yes! Every single time the bento box leaves our house it leaves in a lunchbox with an icepack.

Another oft asked question: "does their food really stay cold enough with an ice pack?"
- Yes! An insulated lunchbag with a couple good quality ice packs in a temperature controlled environment (i.e. their classrooms!) is going to stay nice and cold for hours. The only time I'm worried about the temperature of their lunch is when they are on their field trips with the required (and dreaded!) "fully disposable lunch". ;-)

There are a lot of ice packs on the market to choose from. Some are cute and some are plain. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Likewise, the quality and function varies quite a bit as well.

First, a couple ice packs I'm not a big fan of:
non-recommended ice packs

These ice packs rank high on CUTE, but pretty low on function, I'm afraid.

Mr. Happy Face here has many friends. You may have seen (or own) his buddies in the shapes baseballs, basketballs, soccer balls, turtles, and more! They come with a hard case exterior, which is nice, but they all have a shape issue. This type of ice pack is always squat and fat. Hard to place in a lunchbox in a manner that it can still make contact with the food. Also, this kind of ice pack doesn't keep its cool very long. Although we have a lot of affection for old Mr. Happy Face, he is most frequently used in our house for owies and booboos.

And dear Hello Kitty. How I adore Hello Kitty. I bought this Hello Kitty (Target Dollar Spot) knowing full well that it was useless as an ice pack, but I have little will power when it comes to her. These show up in the Dollar Spot at Target frequently, featuring all sorts of kid-geared characters on them.
Why do I say this icepack is useless? Well, first of all, they don't stay chilled very long. But worse, they are not durable AT.ALL. Daily use of this type of ice pack will lead to a leaking oozing weird slimy gel situation within a month or two, if you are lucky, I guarantee it. You'll end up encasing it in a plastic baggie to try to prolong its life. And then you will replace that plastic baggie, or double-baggie it over and over again before you finally throw the ice pack in the trash. I guarantee it. Just don't go there. There are better options.

This type of icepack is my #1 favorite.
my preferred ice packs
These ice packs are a nice size and shape. They are long and wide enough to provide a lot of chill, but thin enough so that they don't add too much bulk. I also like that they are hard-sided, condensation will form on the surface, but the goo inside is sealed up well and does not leak out.
The blue one in this photo is a Medela icepack that came with a breast pump I bought when my first child was an infant. That ice pack (and I have three others just like it) are going on nine years old! They have been dropped out of the freezer onto the cement garage floor, kicked across our tile kitchen floor, used very heavily these past nine years, and they are still in perfect shape! VERY good quality, I highly, highly recommend them. They also keep cold longer than any other ice pack I've tried. They come home after a full day of school still partially frozen.

The pink one in this photo came as part of a 4 pack from Target's Dollar Spot (in the $2.50 section (what's up with that?)) last year during Back-to-School time. I only got one pack of them because I was skeptical of the quality, but it turns out they are really great! They do not stay as cold as the Medela ones (still better than the Mr. Happy Face variety, though), but the exterior case is durable and the size is perfect (as is the price). I was hoping they would pop back up in the Dollar Spot again this year, but no such luck. If you do happen to spy them there, grab up a pack - they are worth it!

Look at the difference here in the width of the ice packs:
icepack width

The Mr. Happy Face variety are nearly double the width of the other hard-case ice packs. That extra girth can really be an issue when it comes to packing a lunchbox.
Lastly, flexible ice blanket:
flexible ice blanket
This is an ice "blanket" that is made of a series of connected gel packs. You can cut the cells out allowing you to make custom-sized ice pack segments.
I bought this originally so that I could use single cells of it inside a bento box, but didn't really find that suited my packing style at all. However, this ice blanket is really handy for use in the Goodbyn compartments. I don't really use these ice packs for any other use, though I do find them to be more durable than other soft-sided ice packs. They thaw out quickly and can't be counted on keeping things well chilled for very long. On the days my kids take their Goodbyns to school these ice packs come home at room temperature, not the least bit cold to the touch, but Ethan reports his food is still cold at lunch time. And being that he is my temperature-fussy kid, I take his word for it.

And that, my friends, is my 2 cents on ice packs! :)

For more "Tools of the Trade" lunch supply topics check out:
"tools of the trade, part 1: picks"
"tools of the trade, part 2: boxes"
"tools of the trade, part 3: lunchboxes & lunchbags"


Mabel's Labels Original Sticky Labels
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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

PlanetBox lunch with an edible nametag!

Ethan's lunch for the day.

PlanetBox for Ethan

In the large section is cereal bar, granola bar, pretzels and fruit leather.

Working around the PlanetBox is also carrots, striped granny smith apple, and the prettiest little organic strawberries I have ever seen since moving to TN from CA (almost five years ago)! Those strawberries are perfect.

The fruit leather is the "leftover" from Monday's Chicka Chicka Boom Boom snack. It's the "negative" of some of the letters that were used in that muffin tin meal. I strategically made words of some of the letters before cutting them out to make the "scraps" more appealing. :)
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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Lunchbots bento: super quick little lunch

This is a pretty good example of a bento box packed in a big big hurry. :)

Lunchbots preschooler lunch

In our Duo Lunchbots box was the following for my little lady on her way to preschool:
- hummus sandwich
- fruit leather
- cheddar cheese (hacked quickly into bite-sized pieces) ;-)
- Goldfish crackers
- strawberries and grapes

The fruit leather was already cut into cute shapes and left sealed in the pantry. I will often cut a few strips into shapes when I have time to kill so that when I don't have extra time (like this day when I was in a big big hurry!) I can just grab what I need quickly.   Adding a "cute element" to a bento lunch doesn't need to be a time consuming task!

This bento was whipped together in 5 minutes. That included the time it took for me to wash the strawberries and grapes (which I do thoroughly with Fit fruit/veggie wash, so that takes about a full minute of time), and hunting down a new bag of Goldfish from our supply pantry in the laundry room after finding the kitchen canister empty. ;-) 

Five minutes from start to finish to pack a waste-free bento lunch to go. It is time well spent. :)


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Sunday, August 22, 2010

MTM - Chicka Chicka Boom Boom!

It's Muffin Tin Monday time again!
This week the scheduled themes started back up, with this week's assignment being "abc / alphabet".

My favorite alphabet book of all time is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. :)

ccbb2


This classic is well loved in our home. Our books (yes, we have more than one copy!) are well worn, the Scholastic video is frequently played (you can see an excerpt to the cute video here!), and we sing the song all the time!

I definitely wanted to pay homage to Chicka Chicka Boom Boom with this ABC muffin tin meal! This ended up being so much fun to make and my three older kids all LOVED it. :)   Ethan and Paige both snacked on it together, humming the familiar tune while they munched. Owen was so excited that he just had to get the dvd out and watch it...and his very loud singing was soon filling the whole house. ;-)

MTM chicka chicka boom boom


The coconut tree:
- large pretzel rod trunk
- granny smith apple for tree fronds
- grapes for coconuts

The letters:
- small letters scattered all around are all various flavors of fruit leather
- the square letter cookies in the middle spots are Newman's Own alphabet cookies
- big letter A is cheddar cheese
- big letter Z is open-faced bologna sandwich

The alphabet cutters I used to cut the tiny letters out are from JList (you need all 3 sets for the whole alphabet). I like the ones from JList because they are plastic. There is no fear of rusting and I don't feel I have to baby them as much as I do metal cutters.
If plastic or JList isn't your thing Wilton makes a nice set of metal ones. Just make sure you dry them well after using! :) 

Want to see what other "abc" muffin tin meals were made for Muffin Tin Monday? Click on over to the official home of the Muffin Tin Mom to check them out. :)

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Saturday, August 21, 2010

a blog-header-inspired bento & a special sursprise for YOU! :)

This bento idea has been rolling around in my noggin for a very long time. Ever since Mariah DeMarco showed me the first rough drafts of my blog design she was whipping up I've been thinking about making a bento of it. This whole bento box is inspired by my new header/title/logo!

blog header bento

We have the fruit leather star, smiling fishies, smiling orange, checkered apple, kiwi flower, cheddar and summer sausage cubes on a giraffe pick, swiss cheese and peas!

Let me just say here that I think this was the hardest bento I've ever put together. I never expected it to be. I had assumed it would be easy peasy since all the foods were already chosen for me - I just had to pop them into place. Not so! I had the hardest time getting everything to fit. The first box I tried was too small. As was the second and third box too! I finally ended up in this Sassy box, but it was a little too big (see all the gaps?!). It took me so much longer than I had expected that I had my kids all arriving home from school just as I was finishing up and there was just no more time left to mess with it anymore. Pictures were snapped and then my little girl descended upon the bento and devoured it quickly.

I think this bento will be revisited and redone at some point. I can't rest until I have my header-inspired bento done right! ;-)

And now for YOUR special surprise! Just take a look at these precious Another Lunch lunchbox notes my friend Mariah made for you! :)

lunchboxprintables

This is available as a FREE printable download. Sweet little love notes to tuck into your sweet little one's lunchbox. :) I hope you enjoy them! It would be so nice of you to pop over to Mariah's blog and give her a little love by saying "thanks!". It would totally make her day. :)
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Friday, August 20, 2010

preschooler lunchy lunch

My little girl is attending a different preschool this year. Last year she had school twice a week for five hours a day and needed a packed lunch. This year she goes four days a week for three hours a day and does not need to take a lunch. She goes to school right at lunchtime though, 12:30. I'm still trying to sort out our morning activities, but on this day we were running errands before school and she had this lunch while sitting in a shopping cart at Super Target. ;-)
preschool sassiness

On the left:
- homemade pizza pocket
- two pieces of butterfly-shaped havarti cheese slices
- organic yogurt covered raisins
- Garden of Eatin' organic multigrain Popped Tortillas

On the right:
- blackberries in silicone cup with litte kitty mini-fork
- pickles and two cherry tomatoes

The Popped Tortillas are a new thing we are trying out. There are 18 grams of whole grains, 3 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein per serving. Not too shabby for a crunchy snack!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

bento lunch: first Lock & Lock of 3rd grade

This is the first Lock & Lock bento of 3rd grade and it certainly won't be the last!
3rd grade Lock & Lock
Clockwise from top left: pickles, wheat crackers with cheddar cheese stars, grapes, fishies.

I really love the convenience of this box. It's always packs up in a flash and holds just the right amount of food so that Ethan eats all the food completely and is perfectly satisfied. I've been using this "4 square" (as I call it) Lock & Lock since he was in Kindergarten and it is still one of my top choices. :)

Someone always asks "where did you get those little boxes that fit in there so perfectly?" and the answer is - they come with it! It's sold that way as a set. :) And though I most often to use all 4 inner boxes with this Lock & Lock, it is nice to have the option of removing a couple for more versatility in lunch packing. By leaving out two of the squares you can easily fit in a whole sandwich if you cut the sandwich in half and stack the halves!

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

sleepy morning waste-free lunch

We are trying to get back into the swing of things here. Our morning routine still needs some fine tuning to start running smoothly. This was the fourth day of school and my oldest son has already missed the bus twice. LOL Yeah, like I said, we need to work on that. ;-)

Due to the morning mayhem's hustle and bustle I have been churning out very simple no-frills lunches. And today was no exception.

Ethan's lunch:
3rd grade EasyLunchboxes

Packed in an EasyLunchboxes container, he has from left to right: granola bar, cereal bar, stone-ground wheat crackers and the silicone cup holds cheddar cheese. The small section at top right contains pickles and the bottom right section is baby carrots.

Where's the fruit?

I'm so glad you asked. :)

Fruit!!
For his morning snack he took a Thermos Funtainer stuffed full of strawberries and kiwi fruit. I decided that would be ample fruit for the school day. And he'll have a pear when he gets home (one of his favorite fruits, but he is very against eating pears at school. No idea why. He's kinda weird like that.)

Whether you are still getting into the school-time swing of things (like me!) or having your last days of summer break, I hope you are having a great time (and getting more sleep than me!) LOL *yawn*


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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

look at me! look at me! it's the NEW me! :)

Notice anything different about me today? :)

Whoohoooo! Another Lunch has had a makeover! Bye-bye pieced together hodge-podge blog, helllloooo cutie-patootie-pie blog!

This blog redesign has been in progress for quite some time! It all started when I asked a beautiful friend of mine, Mariah DeMarco (who just so happens to be a famous illustrator) if she'd be willing to make me an avatar. She not only replied with an enthusiastic "I'd be happy to!", but upped the ante by saying, "and would you like a new header, too?". Would I ever! Little did I know that an avatar and header would blossom into a whole new look from head (cutest header ever!) to toe (check out the darling footer)!

And let me be clear here, when I call Mariah a "friend", that's not bloggy talk for "someone I've exchanged cordial emails with and occasionally tweet to", oh no. When I say "friend" I mean we went to high school together, rode the same bus, borrowed each other's clothes, crushed on the same boys (she always got 'em, I'm not kidding about her being beautiful!). When I say friend I'm talking about someone I truly care for, respect, and admire. Mariah has always been an artist, and to see how she's followed her dreams and achieved success in doing so fills me with so much joy!

All the sweet artwork you see here, every single pixel, is from the hand and imagination of Mariah. Incredible isn't it? To be able to create such beauty from thin air? It blows me away. :)

At some point during this process, as Mariah continued to churn out image after image of adorable bento lunchy illustration for me, the realization hit me that I wasn't going to be able to handle the task of implementing the art into my blog by myself. Now, I can hack HTML code with some directions by my side, but I knew I was not going to be able to do Mariah's art any justice. I needed someone who could do more than muddle their way through HTML. I needed someone that could take Mariah's work and put it in place to allow it to shine!

I don't know how I got so lucky to find Shalon. But boy, did I get lucky! You might have seen her name over there in the left column listed as a blog author for awhile. She's been working behind the scenes to get this new look in place! Shalon of Pretty Lovely Design is everything I was looking for in a blog designer. I poured over her portfolio, I visited the sites she designed, and was immediately drawn to her crisp and clean blog style. I knew she'd be the perfect candidate to put Mariah's illustrations into a great blog layout. Shalon took a huge heap of image files and turned them into this. This pretty, lovely, little blog.

Shalon has been wonderful to work with. WONDERFUL! She has been friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and patient... and her skills speak for themselves. I highly recommend contacting her if you have any bloggy projects you'd like designed!

Thank you, Shalon! It has been my pleasure to work with you!

Mariah, and her charming artwork, can be found on her blog, "Paper & Pomegranates", Facebook, and Flickr. If you are interested in hiring this sweet-spirited sensational artist you can contact her via her website or find her at Aeolidia.

Mariah, from the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU.
Not only thanks for this blog you've made delightful nor for the support and enthusiasm you've given me since its' inception, but more so, thank you for just being you. You have inspired me over the years more than you will ever know. It is my privilege to know you. Big hugs, dear friend of mine. I completely and utterly adore you. XOXOXO
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Monday, August 16, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - seaside

This is the last "free" week for Muffin Tin Monday before the scheduled themes begin again! I've had this one in mind all summer but kept putting it off! Unfortunately, this muffin tin meal just didn't turn out the way I had hoped. Oh, well. You win some, you lose some. ;-)

MTM - by the seashore

Top row:
- sand pail
- fishy crackers
- octopus shaped hot dog

Bottom row:
- strawberries (I figure if Sponge Bob can have a pineapple under the sea, we can have strawberries!)
- lobster quesadilla
- fish shaped hard boiled egg

The lowlights:
The bottom row occupants! All of them!
The lobster cookie cutter I used is from a set of Williams Sonoma cutters I got a few years ago. It's super adorable, but it has very blunt edges that are not ideal for cutting through a crispy tortilla.

The boiled egg didn't fully form in the mold and then a fishy cracker totally jumped ship and remained undetected until I was loading these pictures! I guess a stowaway does still lend itself to the theme, somewhat...

And the strawberries? So uninspired! I had a cute idea for that muffin spot, but forgot to pick something up at the grocery store that I needed to pull it off. Maybe next time!

The highlights:
sand bucket of yum
This cute little sandpail! The bucket is a mini cup that is from a bento shop. I filled it with vanilla yogurt and topped that with graham cracker crumbs.

cute lil octodog
Cute little octodog! I've made these before, but this is my favorite one yet. :) I continue to have a tricky time getting all 8 legs cut, this one only has six. I kinda started to understand why someone would want to have that little octodog cutting tool
(JList link) for easy tentacle making, until I realized after looking it up that it only makes 6 legs too! LOL

As always, you can go to the official Muffin Tin Monday site to see other muffin tin meals. Next week the scheduled themes begin again, starting with "alphabet/ABC". Hope to see you there! :)
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Friday, August 13, 2010

waste-free bento lunch: PlanetBox, take 2

The 2nd lunch of 3rd grade. Again, Ethan really wanted to take his new box, so I still haven't had time to adequately play with it yet. This weekend, it's MINE. All mine. And I won't be sharing. ;-)

2nd day of 3rd grade lunch

Clockwise from top left:
*small container of sunflower kernels, carrots
* raspberries and grapes
* the brown zone: cereal bar, granola bar, pretzel sticks
* star-shaped cheddar cheese and a peppered turkey roll-up
* tiny middle section holds one frosted animal cookie

More milk went along in a Thermos Funtainer (Spiderman, in case you are wondering, though we also have two Batmans and a Hello Kitty...).
Ethan reported that it was still "cold as ice" at lunchtime. I keep the empty Funtainer in the fridge (with no lid) overnight and fill with milk in the morning where I then pop it in the freezer until it's time to load the backpacks (so about 20 minutes). Works like a charm every time to keep beverages very well chilled!
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

waste-free bento lunch: for my new 3rd grader

I have a 3rd grader? How did that happen?!! It really doesn't seem that long ago that I was making Ethan's very first ever school lunches for Kindergarten!
So, my kids went back to school today! Well, my two big boys did anyway. My daughter starts preschool tomorrow. :)

The first day of school was also our first day of using this new box. I ordered it later than I meant to and I really wasn't sure it was going to arrive in time, but it did, just barely! I haven't had any time to really check it out and see how it's going to pan out for us. I don't usually send new containers to school without having the kids use it at home or with me on outings a few times first so I can catch any issues that could be a problem at school. But Ethan begged to use it. Fingers crossed all goes well! I'll tell you more about it after I have some more time to play with it. :)

1st day of 3rd grade lunch

Working from the top left and going clockwise:
* baby carrots and cheddar cheese (small piece of barran separates them)
* grapes on swizzle sticks (so glad to see they fit in that spot, I wasn't sure they would!)
* mini saltine crackers, granola bar, cereal bar
* raspberries
* semi-sweet chocolate chips in the tiny middle treat section

He also took milk in a Thermos Funtainer cup - those things insulate so well!

Still shaking my head in disbelief that I have a third grader. Gosh, time really does fly!!

When are all of you going back to school?

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

announcing the Lunch Punch giveaway winners!

It's the moment you've all been waiting for! The winners of the Lunch Punch giveaway!! Yes, winners (plural!)!!! More than one winner! SURPRISE!!

Are you SO excited? Are you?
I AM!!! :)

The GRAND PRIZE winner of the Lunch Punch giveaway is....

Lunch Punch GRAND PRIZE winner!

Comment #46:
Fullscreen capture 8112010 33245 AM

As the GRAND PRIZE winner Shannah wins not only the new Sand*wishes and VrrRRM! sets, but also Critter Cutters and the Match & Munch puzzle set!! That's every single Lunch Punch set!!!!
LunchPunchmosaic

Congratulations, Shannah!!! :)

But that's not all! The marvelous, wonderful wizard of Lunch Punch (that would be Kiersten), had a few tricks up her sleeve. :) So besides the official grand prize winner, we have 10 more winners too!!!

The runner-up winners, are all getting both the new Sand*wishes set and the new VrrRRRM! set! Woooohoooo!!! Isn't Lunch Punch FANTATIC?!!

The extra 10 lucky peeps were not selected by random.org. Just so you know. My comment section does not have numbering enabled and I was not going to count through almost 400 comments ten times (and then ten more to double-check my counting!). These winners were selected by the following method:

* I left the room and allowed my husband to man my computer.

* As my husband scrolled up and down through the comment pages my kids took turns jabbing their fingers at the monitor to pick the ten extra winners.

Okey dokey, without further ado.... if your comment is pictured, you are a winner!

1.
LP contest winners - 1.bmp

2.
LP contest winner - 2.bmp

3.
LP contest winner - 3

4.
LP contest winners - 4.bmp

5.
LP contest winner - 5.bmp

6.
LP contest winner - 6

7.
LP contest winner - 7

8.
LP  contest winner - 8.bmp

9.
LP contest winner - 9.bmp

10.
LP contest winner - 10

CONGRATULAIONS!!! I'm so happy for you all! :)

Everyone together now, "LUNCH PUNCH ROCKS!!!" ... a little louder next time, I couldn't quite hear you. ;-) You can always visit Lunch Punch on Facebook and tell them how awesome they are there too! :)

If you are a winner please email me at anotherlunch@gmail.com with your name and mailing address. Also, if you could please tell me your "screen name" as is shown here along with what # you are in this list, that would be very helpful for me to keep track of who is who! THANKS!!!

Winners have until Saturday, August 14 to contact me to collect their Lunch Punch prize. After that point I'll have my children smudge up my computer screen again to pick another winner. ;-)
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Apps for Healthy Kids :)

Hello you guys! I want to take a minute to chat with you about something and to ask a favor of you!

So, here's the scoop:

signature_logo
Maggie LaBarbera is a nurse and a mother who started NourishInteractive.com, a free bilingual nutrition website for kids. She launched this website in 2008 because of her concern about the growing problem of childhood obesity. Childhood obesity is at the forefront of the national news with 60% of our children overweight or obese. The website provides parents, educators, and children with interactive games and nutrition tools that make learning about healthy eating FUN!

Michelle Obama also believes that we need creative and fun solutions that will engage children and help them form healthy habits. That is why she held a national contest “Apps for Healthy Kids” part of the “Let’s Move” national campaign.

NourishInteractive.com has entered the “Chef Solus Food Pyramid Adventure” game in the Apps for Healthy Kids contest. Maggie needs your support to win. A vote for her game is a vote for helping prevent childhood obesity.

It will only take a few minutes of your time so please support this important cause! Our children are counting on you! :) You can vote for the Nourish Interactive game by clicking here. Please vote before August 14th, contest ends on Saturday!

Moms on a Mission! Apps for Healthy Kids!!

So there you have it. Check out Chef Solus and the Pyramid Adventure game and if you'd like to support the cause, please vote! I did! :)
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Muffin Tin Monday - fit for a princess!

It's muffin tin monday time again! Before the scheduled themes start back up I'm trying to squeeze in all my own theme notions! This one is a princess themed muffin tin meal, for my own little miss lady. :)

Muffin Tin Monday - pretty pretty princess

Top row:
- cheddar cheese princess slipper with a mozzarella bow
- princess bling, a very special princess treat - a Ring Pop
- magic wands (cucumber stars with carrot stick handles)

Bottom row:
- the royal sapphires (otherwise known as blueberries)
- princess tiara sandwich with fruit leather jewels
- applesauce with some of the Fairy Godmother's magic sprinkles :)

The princess crown sandwich is made using one of the sandwich cutters from the new Lunch Punch set, "Sand*wishes" (is that a darling name, or what?!).
Sandwishes_intro

Super adorable, right? Wouldn't you love your own set? Well! You are in luck! Because it just so happens that Another Lunch is having a giveaway for this sweet Sand*wishes set and new VrrrM! set too! Stop by the Lunch Punch giveaway post to enter! :)

Also, as always, to check out some other muffin tin meals head on over to the home of the Muffin Tin Mom to take a look!
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Sunday, August 8, 2010

Laptop Lunch for my little lady

This was a lunch for my girl on a day of errands and running all around town.
Laptop Lunches quesadilla and salad

Packed in her Laptop Lunches box she had:
- a salad of spinach, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes
- homemade ranch dressing
- cheese quesadilla
- veggie straw crunchy things
- blueberries

The magenta container that holds a salad comes with its own lid to seal that section. I found that the little dip container holding the salad dressing (that also comes with its own lid) prevented the magenta box lid from sealing, so the dip container was moved to the teal quesadilla box before the lid of the outer container was closed.

If you are interested in purchasing Laptop Lunches for your waste-free lunch packing needs, you can use the coupon code "anotherlunch" to save 10% off your entire purchase at LaptopLunches.com! :) They just added an array of colorful Klean Kanteen reusable stainless bottles to their online store, too. We are big fans of Klean Kanteen here!
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Saturday, August 7, 2010

bento lunch: bye bye birdie

This was the ill-fated lunch my 8-year-old son had yesterday. The bento that went bye-bye. How appropriate the background paper ended up being - rather than scratch my head trying to come up with a post title for minutes on end, this one was just wrote itself. ;-)
summer ELB


Before the EasyLunchboxes bento hit the ground Ethan had a grilled cheese sandwich, SunChips and sunflower kernels in the big section; sliced kiwi fruit, carrots and homemade ranch in the smaller sections.

Not all was lost in the tipped bento fiasco. Just a few SunChips, a couple carrots and most of the sunflower kernels were lost in the battle for elbow room. Just five more days til that school bell rings! ;-)


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Friday, August 6, 2010

sassy summertime slider bento

Hello everyone! Sorry for the lack of posting lately. Our summer vacation is coming to an end and I think we've hit the summertime doldrums. My kids are sick of each other and I am sick of them trashing the house craving some semblance of schedule and a return to routines!

Anywho, today I kicked the kids out of the house set up some fun water slide and kiddie pool action in the backyard invited the kids to have lunch on the deck. This was my little girl's lunch. Bento boxes work well for outside picnics because the food doesn't go sliding off the edge easily, like it can on a plate. Of course, bento boxes can be knocked off the edge of a table and dumped all over the ground just the same. Which is precisely what happened to my 8 year-old's bento when a squabble over who had more elbow space broke out between him and his 3 year-old sister. Sigh!

Summertime bento packed in a Sassy box:
summer sassy bento
On the left side is a peanut butter & jelly sandwich on a slider bun with a piece of heart-shaped organic strawberry fruit leather on top; a couple garlic pretzel thins, tiny silicone dish of organic yogurt covered raisins.

On the right side: blueberries, Babybell cheese, garden fresh cucumbers (with a sprinkle of cracked pepper).

Don't miss the stupendous Lunch Punch giveaway going on now! Two of the *new* Lunch Punch sets to be given to one lucky winner!!
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Tuesday, August 3, 2010

it's time for a Lunch Punch giveaway!

LunchPunch logo

I am so very excited to be hosting a giveaway for one of my FAVORITE lunch products to ever rock my little lunch-making world. If you've been around this bento lunch blog for any length of time, you KNOW I'm not just blowing smoke about Lunch Punch. I use them all the time! I overflow with big puffy heart affection for these adorable sandwich cutters.

Want to hear more about how YOU can win some fancy dancy Lunch Punch sets? Click here to enter!!! :)
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