Tag: blueberries

The Sunshine State (Lunches)

When you think of Florida, what comes to mind? Songs, like “Way down upon the Suwanee River”, “Welcome to Miami”, or “Margaritaville”? Do you think of all the dumb criminals that keep surfacing on almost every news station country-wide? Or about our balmy beaches? We have ALL of those things. And tomorrow, my Bigs gets to learn about them, in his study of our great state. Well, maybe not the criminals. We’ll save that for a rainy day. Excitingly enough, I get to be Co-op Parent in his class.

Here is my lunch for tomorrow:

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I packed blueberries, strawberries, a clementine, a hard boiled egg (on which I used my egg shaping kit to make it look like a bunny…because bunny eggs), S&P for the egg, snap peas, assorted raisins, Trader Joe’s mini peanut butter cups, and a few  TJ’s “Inner Beans” (which sounds horrific, but they are awesome).

For my Bigs:

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I confidently decided that I could not free-hand cut the shape of Florida on bread and went with a tropical fish PB&J instead. I drew details with my Food Writers. I also packed pumpernickel pretzel sticks, strawberries, blueberries, assorted raisins, a clementine (you can’t pack a FL themed lunch without citrus), TJ’s yogurt star cookies, and an organic yogurt squeezy thing. I added a surfboard, a few flamingo (my spirit animal) picks, and a palm tree for decoration.

And for my little Smalls:

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Going based on lunches alone, you might think I love my oldest son more than my youngest. Smalls’ lunches always look a little crappy. The truth is, this kid is so wishy-washy with food, I can’t even keep up. Tomorrow’s sad looking lunch consists of half a PB&J (which he tells me he only likes when he’s at school and won’t eat at home right now), a few carrots, pumpernickel pretzel sticks, assorted raisins, yogurt star cookies, and an organic yogurt squeezy thing. I also packed him a banana for snack.

If you need me, I’ll be looking for my large shaker of salt.

Kristin

USA VPK School Lunch

I am incredibly patriotic. I love my country. I love other countries as well. I think that there is much to be learned from all of them, and that it’s incredibly important to learn from them. And I happen to love learning about them and their cultures. I’ve traveled a lot outside of the States and loved every minute of it. But this isn’t about that. This is about my country. I remember being in kindergarten during the Gulf War and learning the words to my favorite “USA” song – “I’m proud to be an American”. I remember singing it with pride and getting goosebumps, even back then, like I still do. This week in school, my Bigs will be learning about Country, State, and Town. I am very excited for him to come home knowing a bit more American history (for the purposes of tomorrow’s lunch).

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I made a PB&J star and added detailing (my vultures boys ate the scraps). I also packed honey wheat pretzel sticks, a mixture of jumbo raisins, white yogurt raisins, and dried cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, and Trader Joe’s yogurt star cookies (I used only the white color for this lunch). I used USA-themed cupcake picks and rings for decoration.

Because, ‘Murica.

Kristin

Community Helper Themed Lunches – Part II (Fire & Rescue, cont.)

Tomorrow is the last day of Fire & Rescue in my Bigs’ class. They will get to see a fire truck, up close, get little badge stickers and fire hats. If my son used hashtags, he might use #bestfridayever. My little guy got to have the fire truck experience today and just about keeled over with happiness.

Here is Bigs’ lunch for tomorrow:

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I made a Fire & Rescue Dalmatian PB&J and used my Food Writers for the detailing. I wracked my brain for another fire day idea and a sweet friend at school suggested this. I am so happy with the way it came out. I also packed a mandarin orange, blueberries, strawberries, honey wheat pretzels, and Pocky for dessert. They sort of look like fire hoses if you squint. And use a boatload of imagination.

Have a great weekend,

Kristin

Community Helper Themed Lunches – Part II (Police)

This week continues the Community Helpers study for my Bigs’ class. They are learning about Police and Fire. I love this study. Fun fact: I worked in Law Enforcement for a bit (and many of my family members did as well, sworn and otherwise). I wasn’t in a sworn position, but had so much fun working with my cop buddies. I am still friends with many of them, so I am going to dedicate these next two Police lunches to them. I am so thankful for their selfless bravery and sacrifices each day.

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I used my ABC cutters to make out the word “POLICE” on some very wonky-shaped bread. I put PB&J on the inside and used red and blue sprinkles, so that they’d show through the word. I used my Food Writers to add flashing “reds and blues”. I also packed honey wheat pretzels, yogurt covered raisins, strawberries, blueberries, and a Campfire Cookie.

As my Smalls would say, “weeee ooooooo, weeeeeee oooooooo”.

Kristin

YAY Friday

Yippee. Tomorrow’s Friday.

Here’s a “Yay Friday” lunch:

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I packed a ham, cheese, and mayo gold star and party hat (details made with food safe spray and Food Writers), honey wheat pretzels, colby jack cheese stick, fruit salad (mandarin oranges, strawberries, blueberries, and red grapes), a Campfire Cookie, and one teeny, little Fairy Bite. I used party hat and clown picks to add some flair.

Rock on.

Kristin

Community Helper Themed Lunches – Part I

This week began the Community Helpers study for my Bigs. During the next few weeks, the students will take a deeper look into the occupations that do great and helpful things in our community – doctors and nurses, dentists, police, fire, mail and pizza delivery (LOVE that pizza delivery falls into “community helper” status #ourschoolforthewin), etc.

First up this week – Dentist!

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I made a peanut butter and jelly tooth. Yes, that’s right. A tooth. While I realize my free-hand cutting skillz require some work and leave quite a bit to be desired, I’m hopeful that my Bigs’ precious and sharp teacher was able to decipher what this thing was, when he inevitably would ask. I drew a toothbrush with toothpaste on it out of an index card, just for fun. I also packed raisins, Trader Joe’s honey wheat pretzels, half a mandarin orange, and apple smiles for dessert. For the apple smiles, I cut apple slices (used some mandarin orange juice on them to prevent browning), pat them dry, added peanut butter to the insides, and marshmallows for teeth. I think he loved it. I’ve done it before and it’s been a raging success. I also used my favorite lunchbox accoutrement – my toothpicks tooth picks. So fun!

And for Doctor Day:

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This is where you’ll find further evidence of my crapola drawing skillz. In hindsight, I maybe should have written, “ER” or something more legible. But hey, Bigs can’t read all that well, so for once, that’s in my favor. Here you have yet another PB&J, but this time, it’s shaped as a doctor’s office (squint, then you’ll see). I’ve also packed honey wheat pretzels, raisins, strawberries, blueberries, and a Campfire Cookie.

My Smalls will also be in school today. Here is his little lunch:

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PB&J, raisins, Campfire Cookie, pretzels, and strawberries (he’s on a no blueberry kick).

Happy Thursday,

Kristin

Sweet Week

I was a Baking Fool this past weekend (it’s an official title, of sorts). I needed some new lunchbox treats. That’s always a fun time for me, finding something new to bake. I chose two recipes that I’d had tucked away for some time – Fairy Bites (tiny, little, sprinkle-y shortbread squares) and Campfire Cookies (all the yummy components of s’mores).

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I’ve had these on my radar for a while and I was happy to finally be able to make them. They were so simple and easy to make and came out so cute.

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Lightly almond and super buttery, these cookies are sure to please almost everyone (as long as “everyone” likes lightly almond and super buttery and cookies, and if you don’t, I’m not sure I want to know you)!

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They are so adorably tiny, which makes them perfect for little hands. Or big hands, like mine. Either one.

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I probably definitely should have added more sprinkles.

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But, I am still very happy with the way they came out.  These are great lunchbox treats and would be so precious at a little tea party (which my boys would straight up annihilate, so I’ll be sticking with serving these in lunchboxes for them and eating directly from the cookie jar for me).

http://pinkpiccadillypastries.blogspot.com/2014/02/fairy-bites.html

Needing something with chocolate??

Me too. Always.

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I had also been wanting to make these Campfire Cookies for a long time. I LOVE s’mores. We have a life-long love affair, me and s’mores. And when the opportunity arises to eat them deconstructed or reconstructed, I’m in.

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These hearty cookies are made with both flour and graham cracker crumbs.

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They are chock full of Hershey’s milk chocolate and mini marshmallows.

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They were so ooey and gooey and melty, fresh out of the oven.

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I highly recommend these.

http://www.kevinandamanda.com/recipes/dessert/gooey-smores-cookies.html#_a5y_p=1384098

And continuing with the “sweet” theme, for Tuesday’s lunch…

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I packed a heart-shaped ham, cheese, and mayo sandwich, colby jack cheese, assorted raisins (LOVE Trader Joe’s raisins), strawberries, blueberries, and one Campfire Cookie.

Enjoy!

The Ferocious Fours & Lunch

Have you guys ever heard of the “Terrible Fours”? Apparently it’s a thing. It’s pretty terrible and it’s actually called the “Ferocious Fours”, according to my research. I did the research to make sure I wasn’t the only parent pulling out my newly highlighted locks, due to my four year old’s behavior. They are also referred to as the “f*****g fours”, but I don’t use that language (out loud). I thought the twos were bad. I really did. But nothing, NOTHING, could have prepared me for the fours. It’s been something else. Bigs’ desire to be independent, his unreasonable demands, his constant questioning of my authority, his flat out yelling “NO!” to everything I request him do, followed by some kind of caveman-esque grunt in anger…yes, it’s been something else. My Smalls is two now, so I can easily compare said phases, and I’m pretty sure the fours are worse. At least I can pick Smalls up and tote him or hold him down. When I pick up Bigs now, to remove him from the situation or to gently force him into timeout, he yells that I’m hurting him (which I’m not), and I get those looks from passerby-ers (if in public…they have a timeout spot everywhere we go, you know), you know the look. The “I’m going to call the authorities” look. No mind that my four year old just had a complete meltdown about me not letting him buy a toy, or eat ice cream, or have screen time after he’s given me a huge attitude or has even dared to swipe at me.

I’m going bald from all the hair I’m pulling out.

I must not be alone. I can’t be. The internet had actual articles on this phase. And everything on the internet is true, right?? RIGHT?

It’s times like these that are very discouraging for me, as a parent. I want to remember (and want my Bigs to remember) the great times, but it feels like the times are filled with bad attitudes and disciplining. I feel like a bad Mom a lot of the time. I know that’s partially par for the course. But I am ready for that to change. His behavior and my reactions to it. Constant works in progress, we are.

Earlier this morning, with the promise of a new day (after a particularly rough-behavior-weekend), I went to work making fun food for my Bigs’ lunchboxes this week. I baked up pizza rolls, mini chocolate chip cookies, and made homemade fruit snacks. I had big plans for a fun lunch for tomorrow. But alas, that Ferocious Four Behavior put the stop sticks down on my plans. As another consequence for that behavior (we also had to leave the mall immediately upon receiving the attitude, etc.) Bigs is not allowed to have a lunch dessert tomorrow. This make him sad. It’s happened before, so apparently it doesn’t make him sad enough to stop the attitude. But whatever. Someday he’ll be five. And this will be better. Right?

So, I packed him a “this will have to do” lunch. An “I still care about you and I’ll show it through your lunch, but you aren’t getting a dessert” lunch.

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I packed two pizza rolls (recipe in an upcoming blog post), some seasoned corn and peas, blueberries, plums, and some dried fruit (mandarin oranges and mango).

So here’s to a much better day, filled with good attitudes, fun lunches, and well-earned desserts.

Kristin

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest – Matthew 11:28

Unda Da Sea

Tomorrow is Friday – YAY! We made it through another week. For my Bigs’ lunch tomorrow, I wanted to do something extra fun. Fridays should be extra fun. So should Mondays. And maybe all the days in between. But for tomorrow, Friday, let’s focus on that.

I went Under the Sea crazy! I LOVE under the sea things.

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I made a PB&J and used an octopus cookie cutter to make the shape. I find it’s easier to get a “clean” shape when you use frozen bread (I always keep my bread in the freezer). I used a teeny bit of food safe spray (gold and green) to give this little guy some octopus-effect. I used candy eyes for the eyes (duh), an spread a teeny bit of peanut butter on the tentacles, so that the sequin sprinkles would stick to it. Can’t have an octopus without suckers, now, can you? I packed blueberry and champagne grape “bubbles”, sea cucumbers (pickles), and seasoned corn. And for dessert…look away those against highly processed foods…a Little Debbie Coral Reef Cake.

I can’t even.

Have a great night and almost TGIF!

Kristin

She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.
 – Proverbs 31:25

Abra-Kebab-ra

Tomorrow is my Bigs’ last day of school for the week. And what an exciting week he’s had! He’s looked for shapes on a scavenger hunt, he’s read lots of books, he’d made new friends, and he’s eaten SO many great lunches (HA! I HOPE he finds them to be great!).

For Friday’s lunch, I made kebabs. Kid kebabs.

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*I just realized I misspelled “kebab” in my picture. Ain’t nobody got time to fix that.*
I rolled up Applegate Naturals ham and cut it into pieces. I put them on a kebab stick, alternating the ham with pieces of colby jack cheese. I packed seasoned corn, cotton candy grapes, blueberries, Simply Go Gurt (I don’t typically let them have these, but every once in a while), and for dessert, peanut butter brownie balls (I had a made a pan of slightly under cooked brownies, studded with mini Reece’s cups, and rolled bite-sized pieces into balls).

PS! My Smalls had a GREAT first day and ate almost his entire little lunch!

Happy Almost Friday!

Kristin

Now therefore, our God, we thank you, and praise your glorious name.

– 1 Chronicles 29:13