Wednesday, August 21, 2013

♪ Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? ♪

Sorry if I tricked you by my title. Nope! Today’s lunch does not feature that spongy under sea pineapple dweller…… It does, however include our ADORABLE  Dr. Sears Nibble Tray by ZAK! I just love this sweet little pineapple shaped food container and so does tiny princess K! She is obsessed with pineapples and by obsessed I don’t mean obsessed with eating them. (Although she does like to eat pineapple) Her obsession goes beyond a taste thing. She just loves pineapples. Pineapple pictures, pineapple figurines, and pretty much every pineapple thing she lays eyes on! ♥ Naturally when we first saw the nibble tray it was a given that we HAD to have one!

This post contains affiliate links

I’m pretty sure the target audience for the Dr. Sears Nibble Tray are toddlers. It’s a pretty small box, but it’s perfect for my tiny princesses, who tend to enjoy small amounts of a large variety.

Lunch for K in our Dr. Sears Nibble Tray! #Drsearsnibbletray #schoollunchideas #lunch #pinapple

Of course it was K that had lunch in the pineapple! She had: Four small star shaped PB&J sandwiches. These four sandwich cut out are equal to one whole sandwich. Cut cucumbers, organic carrot sticks, sun shaped colby cheese bites, chunked strawberries, two Trader Joe’s yogurt stars, and some ranch dip for the veggies!

Lunch for K in our Dr. Sears Nibble Tray! #Drsearsnibbletray #schoollunchideas #lunch #pinapple

She couldn’t resist grabbing a bite of cheese while I was snapping pictures! ♥

A chose and EasyLunchboxes lunch.

Lunch for A in our #EasyLunchboxes

She had: A honey butter fairy bread sandwich, carrot sticks, celery sticks, ranch for dipping, strawberry bites with a cantaloupe bunny on top, assorted red and green grapes, roasted vegetable ritz, and two Trader Joe’s yogurt stars.


Some things (or similar) I used to make these meals…

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Build Your Own Taco Tuesday

These lunches were not from today. In fact, they aren’t even lunches at all. They were dinners and even though they are not from today  (Tuesday), they were from Tuesday last week. I thought the title was very fitting. ;) (and I didn’t even plan it that way)

If you’re memory serves you correctly you will remember that last week my tiny princesses had their 1 week summer dance intensive. After dance we had to run straight to cheer practice, meaning there was no time for dinner in-between. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to brush up on my packed lunch, er, dinner making skills!

Karsyn didn’t really need a packed dinner, but she really likes eating her meals this way so I was happy to oblige. ♥ She chose our GoGreen lunchbox and I’m pretty glad she did. We haven’t used this one in so long!


She had: Two white corn hard taco shells, strawberries, seasoned taco meat, shredded colby cheese, soft taco shell cutouts to aid in keeping the meat and cheese in it’s place, diced cherry tomatoes with fresh cilantro, Velveeta shells and cheese with Rotel tomatoes, and a cute little mini strawberry muffin. ♥ The diced tomatoes were an experiment for K. She didn’t love them, but she did have one tomato slice on each of her tacos. :D


Allison’s dinner was packed in our PlanetBox Launch. She had: Shells and cheese with rotel tomatoes, a mini strawberry muffin, shredded colby cheese, seasoned taco meat, three whole cherry tomatoes, one yellow corn hard taco shell, and one soft flour tortilla taco shell. I also included some Taco Bell mild sauce. A LOVES her some Taco Bell sauce! ♥

Some things (or similar) I used to make these meals…

Monday, August 19, 2013

EasyLunchboxes go to the tractor show!

Yesterday my husband and I took the tiny princesses (and friend) on our annual summer trip to the Mid Michigan Old Gas Tractor Show. Hey, who says you have to be a boy to appreciate a tractor?!?! My tiny princesses LOVE them and I must say, I LOVE seeing them in their PINK cowgirl boots! ♥♥ As usual, there was a great time had by all, but this year we did something a little different….. Can you guess what that difference was?

EasyLunchboxes and tiny princess lunch box go to the tractor show! #tractorlunch #EasyLunchboxes #schoollunchideas

If you guessed that we avoided the expense and unhealthiness of all of the “county fair” type vendor foods, by packing our own nutritious and delicious meals…. then you guess correctly!  That’s right! I loaded up some ELB’s and we headed on our way.

For some reason I haven’t acquired any tractor cookie cutters, or fun tractor food picks. This made my girls super sad. :( I tried my best though, in keeping with the tractor theme by adding in a few farm animals and those famous tractor colors we all know and love!

And don’t worry, the princesses weren’t completely deprived of that “county fair flavor”


Yup! You saw it right. Your eyes are not deceiving you. COTTON CANDY GRAPES! Now, I’m pretty sure I might like cotton candy more than your average human. The sweet sugar spun treat brings back memories of childhood fairs. I literally take a bite, close my eyes, and I’m there! ♥ I don’t eat cotton candy nearly as much as I would like to, so when a fellow bento blogger brought these Cotton Candy Grapes from The Grapery to my attention I knew I had locate them. I scoured the interwebs and during my search I founds some great useful information….. One of them being that these grapes are in fact all NATURAL! No joke. No GMO! It was right then and there that it became my mission to find a place to purchase these unique grapes somewhere near my hometown. I searched and searched and called and called with no luck. Finally I stumbled upon Hiller’s Market in Northville, MI. This store is actually over an hour away from my home, but it just so happens that we have family that live in Northville and my girls happened to be visiting with their grandma who took them out for trip to their cousin’s house to swim! Let me tell you…. the choirs sang! I was SOOO excited, I couldn’t wait for my tiny princesses to get home so I could try them! Guess what? I tried them and they are divine! They taste and smell just like pink fluffy cotton candy! I was in cotton candy grapey heaven! When you first bite into the grape you immediately get a rush of cotton candy flavor, then is sort of switches over to a normal, less tart, grape flavor. After you swallow the familiar vanilla-ey cotton candy flavor returns. I’m drooling just thinking about it, and that’s a bad thing….. cause they are all gone. Whaaaaaa! :( No worries hopefully my husband will be going to Hillers after work today (he works out that way) to get me some more. I have heard of these cotton candy grapes costing up to $6.00/lbs. Which is pretty expensive, but to me would be so worth a special treat now and then! Luckily for us Hillers sells them at $2.99/lbs. That just means I get to buy more! ♥♥ 

Okay, okay. enough about grapes. You all came for the lunches, right? Since I’ve already talked your ears off typed your eyes off, I’ll try to keep this short!


The girls pretty much all had the same items with only minor differences.


The large compartment of our EasyLunchboxes held: Flower cut turkey sandwiches (with different condiments) stamped with a cute frog bread stamp, a few extra sandwich pieces cut using our FunBites Cube it and rolled in sugar sprinkles, carrots with ranch for dipping, homemade cheese crackers, just cotton candy grapes for A, only strawberries for k since she doesn’t like grapes (even cotton candy ones), and a mix of both fruits for A’s friend S.


The two smaller ELB compartments each held: A homemade strawberry muffin, yogurt for A, and applesauce for K and S in our EasyLunchbox mini dippers. ♥

Some things (or similar) I used to make these lunches…

Friday, August 16, 2013

LunchBots Dinners and Homemade Cheese Crackers!

This week my tiny princesses had their week long intensive at dance. Both girls danced for three and a half hours straight for four consecutive days. Normally this wouldn’t call for a packed dinner, but this summer it did. Tiny Princess A had dance from 2:00pm to 5:30pm and then had to go directly to her two hour cheer practice. I had to make sure my girl had fuel to accommodate the five and half hours of non stop activity. I also had to make sure said fuel was FAST. I love being able to provide mostly healthy  “fast food” meals for my tiny humans in the form of Bento!

BUT….. Before we get to the Bentos…….

You know those deliciously, crunchy, cheesy snack crackers? I know you do. Our kids love them! Am I right? I know my kids do and I’m pretty guilty myself, of being able to eat at least half a box in one sitting. Well, what if I told you that you could make your own cheese crackers? In your own kitchen. Right at home. It’s true, you can! And what if I told you that this scrumptious, cheesy, knockoff-ey goodness could be made with just four simple ingredients? That’s right! Only four ingredients. We decided to kick it up a notch though and used FIVE!  I know it, we're rebels! ;)

Homemade Cheese Crackers using ONLY four simple ingredients you probably have on hand!

I found the recipe on pinterest sometime back. The pin took me to a great blog called Divas Can Cook. I seriously got lost in there before I finally decided to get to work on creating my own cheese crackers!  We followed the Divas Can Cook recipe almost exactly with only a few minor changes. So, if you want to go with the recipe from Divas Can Cook click here….. If you would like to add our little changes keep reading.

Here’s what you need… Chances is are you already have everything on hand! I LOVE those kind of recipes. ♥ This is seriously so easy I have it memorized! Well, that and we have made them every day this week. ♥ (Remember, I’m a rebel. That’s why our version has 5 ingredients)

  • 1 cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese (Any shredded cheese will work. Colby just seems to be the cheese that we ALWAYS have on hand)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper Keep in mind that this last ingredient will add a good kick to your crackers. Depending on your tastes adding the pepper might be too spicy. My tiny princess LOVE spicy foods so this was a good thing for us.

Okay, now that you have all the ingredients ready: Add every last one of them to a food processor. Don’t have a food processor? No worries! Do a quick google search on alternatives for a food processor and you will find a ton of great ideas, that I’m sure will work for this recipe. Process until a dough forms. I have to admit that my dough never really formed in the processor. It was more like crumbly little bits. I was VERY temped to add milk or water and you totally could, but upon a hands on inspection of my dough crumbles I realized that just a little hand squishing formed a dough ball quite nicely, so I changed my mind about adding liquid.  Shape your dough into a disc, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for one hour. Remove dough from fridge and let it soften. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Roll dough onto a smooth surface until you get your desired thickness. The recipe suggest 1/8 inch thick, but we chose to make our a bit thicker. This dough is seriously a breeze to work with! It is perfect for letting your tiny humans roll it out all on their own. It’s not sticky hardly at all so it eliminated the frustration that my little cooking buddy often has when working with a more sticky type dough.  We chose not to go with your traditional square cheese cracker shape. Nope, I had my own custom cheese cracker cutter!


After you have cut your crackers how you wish place them on a foil lined baking sheet. Use a wooden skewer to add holes to the centers of your crackers. I’m pretty sure this step is unnecessary, but it sure is fun for the kids to do! ♥ Bake your crackers for approximately 12 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit on hot pan for a couple minutes before adding to a cooling rack. Crackers can be stored in an air tight containers for a few days, but if your family is anything like mine they won’t even last that long! ;)

Some of my other Bento blog friends have made homemade cheese crackers too…..

Check out THIS awesome post from Jenn of Bento For Kidlet. She uses her Funbites Cube It cutter to create the perfect square shapes with ease! *keep in mind that this is an older post so the Funbites giveaway is no longer active.*

Melissa from another lunch creates puzzle shaped crackers in THIS blog post. How fun!

Momables has a great cheese cracker recipe HERE and really gets you wondering about why you need all those extra ingredients in store bought crackers anyway! While you’re there be sure to check out the subscription lunch packing meal plan! It’s AWESOME!

OMGosh! How perfect would THESE be for the upcoming Halloween season? Astrid of Lunches Fit For A Kid shows you how to make Candy Corn shaped crackers.


Now onto the meals. I’ll try to keep it short. ♥ (yeah right)

I decided to pull out our LunchBots for these meals. I was sort of in the mood for a “Tiny Lunch Box Challenge” I really LOVE trying to fit as much food as I can in a tiny lunch box! Want your own LunchBots container? Click the add over on my right sidebar to be taken directly to the LunchBots site!

Dinner in our LunchBots! #lunchbots #schoollunchideas #bento

In her LunchBots duo tiny princess A had: A leftover grilled BBQ chicken leg, a few cucumbers hidden underneath a bed of baby carrots, ranch for dipping in our small Laptop Lunches lidded container, green and red grape mix, and of course homemade cheese crackers!

Tiny princess K technically didn’t need a packed meal since she had plenty of time to eat at home, but she LOVES Bento, so who am I to deny her requests!

Dinner in our LunchBots! #lunchbots #schoollunchideas #bento

In her LunchBots trio K had: Carrots, cucumbers, cantaloupe, turkey meatballs, ranch for veggie dipping in the small Laptop Lunches lidded container, ketchup for meatball dipping in the green sauce cup, Trader Joe’s yogurt stars, and homemade cheese crackers.

Some things I used to make these meals

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Laptop Lunches Review Including a shake test!

Yay! It’s another lunchbox review! Aren’t you excited? I sure am! I really love to review lunchboxes for my readers! I sure hope you like to read them as much as I like to write them. ♥♥


#LaptopLunches review! TPLB LOVES Laptop Lunches!

It’s true! We do! We love our Laptop Lunches! The Laptop Lunch Box was one of our very first lunchbox purchases. I had viewed many a bento blog which used them and quickly fell in love with the bright containers and endless possibilities. We started off with the purchase of the Purple Laptop Lunchbox and the Garden Laptop Lunch box. You can see a few of our lunches that were packed in these boxes in the photo above.

Imagine my surprised when the generous folks at Laptop Lunches offered us another lunchbox for this review! We of course chose pink this time around! ♥♥


The generous people at Laptop Lunches provided us with a pink Laptop Lunches box  for review. No other compensation was given for this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own or that of my children. This post does contain affiliate links.

Laptop Lunches Lunch Boxes are made from strong, durable, and safe plastic. They contain no lead and are free of BPA, phthalates, and PVC. Laptop Lunches are dishwasher (top rack only, without heat boost) and inner containers are microwave (without lids) safe. Want to know my favorite part about Laptop Lunches? They are USA made!

The EXACT lunchbox  as pictured above (as well as many others) can be purchased for $23.99. A really excellent price considering that this one lunchbox alone can eliminate the use of plastic snack bags forever! Each Laptop Lunches lunchbox comes complete with it’s own set of brightly colored inner containers. 2 large, 2 medium, and 1 small. 3 of the containers come with leak proof lids making those particular containers great for messy foods. Sure, there are a lot of extra pieces to wash, and heaven forbid, lose, but I personally am a container addict, so this doesn’t bother me a bit! In fact, one of the things I love most of all of the individual inner containers, is how easy it is to pack lunch ahead of time. It is very convenient to be able to separate refrigerated items from no refrigerated items with ease.  I can pack yogurt and/or fruit in one of the lidded containers the night before and then just pop them in the fridge while still being able to keep crackers or other non fridge items out. This saves me so much time in those hectic mornings when we are trying to get out the door on time. ♥

Laptop Lunches also provides lots of other products to complement your Laptop Lunchbox. Insulated lunch bags, water bottles, ice packs, and more! One of my personal favorite Laptop add on would have to be the Bento Buddies, and we don’t even have them yet! They are definitely next on my list of purchases. They are a set of extra containers including one larger container that could easily hold a full sized sandwich! ♥

Okay, how about some new Laptop Lunches lunchboxes that I have recently packed for my tiny princesses…


Tiny princess K chose the pink Laptop Lunchbox (courtesy of  Laptop Lunches) for her meal. She had… Chunked Colby cheese, some mini pepperoni rounds, Trader Joe’s sour cream and onion puffed corn, 2 Trader Joe’s yogurt stars, blueberry Greek yogurt with sprinkles, carrots with ranch for dipping in the small Laptop Lunches lidded container, a yummy berry mix, and few chunks of assorted melon. Another thing we really LOVE about the Laptop Lunches box is the side compartment which is PERFECT for utensils and a napkin! ♥

We decided to to a shake test with A’s Laptop Lunches meal and we think it was a great success!

Here is her meal before the shake…


She chose the Garden Laptop Lunches box that we purchased as one of our very first lunchbox purchases. She had… Blueberry yogurt with sprinkles, assorted grapes, carrot and snow peas with ranch for dipping, Colby cheese chunks, garden vegetable ritz crackers, Trader Joe’s yogurt stars, Trader Joe’s puffed corn, and a turkey sandwich.

As with our other shake tests, we gave the Laptop Lunches lunchbox a good hearty shake. So, if you ever wonder what our meals look like after traveling from home to school lunch table this might give you a better idea…


As usual the sprinkles were mixed into the yogurt, the seal food pick got somewhat buried in the grapes, and the yogurt starts shifted a bit, but all in all I think everything stayed together quite nicely. What do you think?

My tiny princesses give the Laptop Lunches lunchbox 4.5 out of 5 crowns. Wonder why 4.5? Well, my youngest tiny princess couldn’t quite give it all 5 crowns. The opening method can be a tad on the tricky side for younger lunchers. This should definitely be considered before your purchase. There is sort of an exact science for opening the box. I will say that once your child figures it out it’s easy as pie. It’s just a matter of getting there first. ♥♥ Other than that we have NO complaints. We love our Laptop Lunches boxes and my girls look forward to having lunch packed in them!

some things I used to make these meals…

Friday, August 2, 2013

Mickey, Yubo, and a little Lunchbox Love!

I have a friend. And she is fabulous! I don’t even know her in real life, but it feels like I do! She shares my Disney passion, and is my number one bento lunch supporter! ♥♥ It just so happens that she lives very close to the Disneyland Resort! Sometimes, she picks up special treats for me and my girls! Yesterday’s mail included a package with Mickey shaped pretzels! YUM! Of course my girls couldn’t wait to have a lunch packed with them in it!

We decided on some packed dinners rather than lunches. My oldest tiny princess started cheerleading practices on Monday. She practices 5 days a week for 2 hours per night. (6pm to 8pm) This is her 5th year in the program. I am going on my 4th year of coaching. From now until mid October our evenings are going to be pretty tight. Especially once school and dance start. We won’t be quite as busy as last year though, cause tiny princess K decided cheerleading just wasn’t for her.

Hidden Minnie #Yubo lunch! #schoollunchideas #bento #mickeymeal

The girls decided on their Yubo lunchboxes cause they love them so! ♥♥ Tiny princess A had: Carrot coins and one lone cherry tomato, ranch for dipping in the Mickey sauce cup, rolled chicken lunch meat, Mickey head pretzels, homemade chocolate pudding, a couple of apple slices, and some bunchkins grapes.


So, who noticed my “hidden Minnie? See it? Right there, in the carrots and tomato. ♥


K had a mouse themed Yubo too!

We LOVE our Yubo lunch box with some added Lunchbox Love! #Yubo #Lunchbox_Love #schoollunchideas #bento #mickey #lunch

She had: 2 small chicken/cheese sandwiches, 2 super small chicken/cheese sandwiches, (2 pieces of bread total) Mickey head pretzels, carrot coins, ranch for dipping, applesauce, and homemade chocolate pudding.


I also included a Lunchbox Love note in each of the meals. I love the messages and fun facts that are on each card! I can’t wait to get my hands on the new editions! Tiny princess A’s Lunchbox Love was not photographed.


I just love all the different combinations and layouts you can come up with when using the inner containers of the Yubo Lunchbox! It’s fantastic! I just adore endless possibilities! ♥♥


Some things I used to make these meals…