Favorite Back To School Lunch Picks

Hi!

So I normally stick to crafty things here on my blog. However, after sharing on Instagram how I pack healthy lunches for my kids on Sundays throughout the year, I got a lot of requests for more info. A lot! So I thought I would do a quick post. Things are usually crazy and hectic around here, so prepping lunches is essential for us.

(You can see the pics I have shared on Instagram of me packing lunches HERE, HERE and HERE.)

Here are some of my favorite things for packing lunches:

(1.) and (2.) Reusable Bags – I put dry foods (sandwiches, dry homemade granola, etc.) in reusable bags that I can wash and use over and over all year long. This is a great way to avoid generating too much trash and the kids like them. I have used both the Itzy Ritzy and Bumkins options. Many different fun patterns and sizes are available. Lila loves the Disney Princess bags!

(3.) Reusable Water Bottle – No Leak! – I searched for a small water bottle that wouldn’t leak for my son’s lunch box for a long time. Finally found one, so I bought a few. (I am not a fan of plastic for food and drink storage, but I think it is safest for lunches for kids. My personal opinion. At home we use a lot of glass.)

(4.) Sistema Food Containers – I have a lot of these. Maybe 30 or more? (I have three kids I pack lunches for, and each lunch has two of these.) This way I can fill them all on Sunday and have them ready in the fridge for the week. Yes, it is a big initial investment, but I use them for years and prefer containers over baggies. These little guys hold hummus, veggies, fruit, etc. They come in bigger sizes and can sometimes be found at TJ Maxx or Home Goods. I use these guys for crafting storage, too.

(5.) Freezable Lunch Bag – This lunch bag is the coolest! The whole thing folds up and goes into the freezer. The walls keep the lunch cold! Love this! Lots of cute patterns and sizes, too. My kids really like this lunch bag. We have used this for a couple years now and they hold up well.

(6.) Reusable Napkins – I bought several reusable napkins from Etsy years ago and still use them. Again, less trash and they are simply cute. If you are crafty, you could sew your own.

(7.) Large Water Bottle – My older kids also take a large water bottle to use through the day. This one is great because it doesn’t get condensation on the outside and seals well. We have a few and use for sports, too.

(8.) Lunch Box Notes – I like to make notes and cards to put in the lunches. However – let’s face it – I don’t have time to do this every day. So I love sticking in a joke. Colin enjoys this. I also put in fun newspaper articles, comics, etc.

There are likely other more inexpensive options out there for some of these things. However, I have found all of these hold up well, so worth the investment. I don’t have to get anything new this year!

Every Sunday, we put together the lunches. I get everything together and put it in the fridge for the week. This saves me *a lot* of time in the mornings. I open all the containers and line them up… filling them quickly. The kids even help when they aren’t doing their activities.

Many people are curious what foods I include in the lunches. We eat pretty healthy here. I use the Fooducate App to make sure I chose the best options. (This app gives grades on how healthy foods are and offers best options. A must-have in the grocery store.) Here are some of our favorites:

  • Carrots
  • Hummus – homemade when possible.
  • Naan
  • Frozen Peas – put a handful in each container and they will unfreeze in the fridge.
  • Fruit – Raspberries, cantaloupe, and grapes hold up well pre-prepped. However, some fruits don’t hold up well pre-cut. I instead just prep these each morning.
  • Banana
  • Salmon – Leftover from dinner or smoked (occasionally).
  • Cheese – Cut from a block of cheese.
  • Cheerios
  • Leftover Pork Chop – from the night before – just cook extra
  • Homemade Granola
  • Celery
  • Fritos – Believe it or not, there are only 3 ingredients in these and are minimally processed – not too bad. Just occasionally.
  • Carrots
  • Raw Green Beans
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Greek Yogurt – Use the Fooducate App to make sure it is a good one.
  • Chicken – We will make a whole chicken for dinner and cook an extra to cut up for lunches.

If I think of more, I will add them. I would also LOVE to hear what you all have found works well for your kiddos. Please share in the comments below.

See you soon!

 

 

(Affiliate links used at no cost to you.)

 

 

 

Sale Alerts!

I will be back to my normal videos starting tomorrow. Yay! But in the meantime, I wanted to let you know of a few things:

25% OFF

Simon Says Stamp is having an incredible flash sale – 25% off all Simon-brand products! This is a great time to stock up on inks and cardstocks… or stamps and dies! The sale doesn’t last long so you have to move fast. Just head HERE and use the code “simon25″.

NEW MY FAVORITE THINGS

My Favorite Things has a new release tonight! Lots of good stuff worth checking out. I think the bears are my favorite. You can shop the new products HERE.

NEW ONLINE CARD CLASS

The newest Online Card Class is starting at the end of the month… Background Check. This class is all about fun ways to create backgrounds… and unique ways to incorporate them into your card designs. Stay tuned for sneak peeks! Hope to see you there.

That’s it for now. I do promise I will be back to sharing videos soon. My job as a momma takes the front seat in my life… and let’s just said I had a little extra driving to do lately. ;)

Have a great day!

 

(Affiliate links used.)

Update

Hello!

I am home! Vacation as wonderful. However, I left the next day for a mini business trip with my friend Kristina Werner. I just got home from that… and am not feeling well. I think I need to take it easy.

I will be back soon so share another video. Promise!

Thanks for your patience. xo

Update and Sale Alerts

Hello!

Just popping in to say that I am still on vacation but will have a video up again soon. I had one to share but something is wrong with it so I gotta get some time to fix it. (I only work on vacation a very tiny bit here and there when the kids are sleeping.)

Right now we are in the British Virgin Islands in my favorite spot in the whole wide world – Spring Bay on Virgin Gorda. It is amazing.

In the meantime, I wanted to share info on two great sales going on right now so you don’t miss out.

20% off Sizzix

Simon Says Stamp has all Sizzix products for 20% off HERE with the code SAVESIZ. This includes the new Sizzix Big Shot. (Ends July 1.)

20% off at My Favorite Things

Hurry! My Favorite Things is having 20% off their entire store and it ends today (6/27/15). Use code SALE20 when shopping HERE. (Check out THIS video if you want to see a close look at their newest products. I also recommend checking out their great cardstocks, including their variety packs HERE and HERE. They even have the MISTI stamping tool Deluxe pack that you can get with the discount!)

Enjoy! See you soon. xo

 

(Affiliate links used.)

Video: Coloring With Pigment Ink + GIVEAWAY

Hello and welcome! Today’s video shares how to do quick and fun coloring using pigment inks.

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. Affiliate links used. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

Getting a blended colored image is something many cardmakers (including me!) want so much on our cards. Today’s trick is perfect for this and it uses something many of us already have – pigment inks.

For these cards, I first stamped the fruit images from the Avery Elle Berry Good Stamp Set with VersaFine black ink and heat embossed with clear powder. Now it is time to color… with my fingers! I dabbed my finger in various colors of Avery Elle pigment ink and applied the color to the images, layering to blend. Don’t worry if you get too much color in certain areas -  you can use a cloth to wipe it away.

(Speaking of cleaning, it’s very easy to wipe the ink off your finger. I know some of you don’t like to get your hands inky, but this is an easy clean-up because pigment ink “sits on top of the surface” and doesn’t absorb and stain your fingers.)

Since pigment ink stays wet for a bit, I added clear embossing powder to the fruit… giving them a bit of shine and texture.

I used a die from the Avery Elle’s Just A Note die set to add a dotted frame around the fruit images. I like this die because it doesn’t cut but rather pierces dots… creating a focal point for your card.

I adhered the finished pieces together on a few Avery Elle top-folding-notecards using fun foam for dimension. By the way, I LOVE these notecards. You’ll be seeing me use these a lot in the future.

ADDITIONAL INSPIRATION

Here are some other fun links for you:

  • Looking for more ideas using these products? My friends at Avery Elle have a great blog HERE.
  • HERE is another video showing coloring with pigment inks.
  • Watch THIS and THIS to learn more about these pigment inks.

GIVEAWAY

I have TWO chances for you to win a great prize today! Super simple…

  1. For your chance to win TWO fabulous Avery Elle stamp sets, leave a comment here by 11:59pm EST on 3/17/15. (The winner’s name will be randomly selected and posted on my “Winners page” after the giveaway closes. International folks are eligible, too!)
  2. Head over to the Avery Elle Blog for your chance to win a $25 gift certificate! Just go HERE.

Good luck!

SUPPLIES

Interested in the products I used? To make them easy for you to find, I have listed them below. (Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here. Thanks to Avery Elle for these products!) Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), Amazon (AZ), Avery Elle (AE), etc.

 

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Video: Copic Markers + Distress Ink + Giveaway

Welcome! Today’s video shares how to add color to your stamped images using Copic Markers and Distress Inks. This method saves me a lot of time and gives good results.

[All supplies are linked to multiple sources in the thumbnails at the end of this post. To watch the video in HD on YouTube, click HERE.]

Oh my… aren’t these new You Make My Tail Wag and I Knead You stamp sets from My Favorite Things the cutest? I love that they released both at the same time… keeping both the dog people (like me) and the cat people (like most of my friends) happy! The images are perfect for the technique I shared today – mixing Copic Marker coloring with Distress Ink shading.

I started by quickly coloring the cat and dog with light brown Copic Markers. After cutting out the images, I applied Vintage Photo Distress Ink to the edges, which gives quick shading. That extra step really brings the images to life.

For the cat card, I added Copic colorless blender on his tummy to lighten up that area and cut slits around the cat’s paws to hold the string that I wrapped randomly around the card. I also applied Ranger’s Multi Matte Adhesive to the end of the string to make it curl up. To tie it all together, I stamped a coordinating yarn image repeatedly on to the note card… and used a playful sentiment.

OK… so this dog card? It cracks me up big time. I just love that you can see the back of the dog on the inside of the card! On the front of the card, I clear heat embossed the Paw Print Background and added a faux-stitched green border cut with an Inside and Out Diagonal Stitched Rectangle die.

Look at that cute image on the inside. So fun! And check out the good shading I got with Distress Inks on that dog‘s behind. :) It would also be fun to have him hanging on a window card or on a tree branch. Oh – and for you cat people (hee), the cat set has a sleeping kitty with front and back images so you can create a similar card.

Fun, huh? My Favorite Things knocked it outta the park with these sets! Be sure to check out their whole new release HERE. Lots of good stuff!

ADDITIONAL COPIC MARKER INSPIRATION

  • THIS post shares basic info on Copic Markers. It is an old post but the info stays the same!
  • THIS video focuses on Copic coloring.
  • THIS video shows a Copic colored background.

GIVEAWAY

I have a My Favorite Things stamp set and die set to giveaway to a lucky winner! For your chance, leave a comment here by 11:59pmEST on 3/12/15 for your chance. Good luck. (Winner’s name will be randomly picked and posted on my “Winners page” after the giveaway closes.)

SUPPLIES

Interested in the products I used? To make them easy for you to find, I have listed them below. (Affiliate and product disclosure can be found here.) Click on the letters below each picture to go to a favorite store: Simon Says Stamp (SSS), Ellen Hutson (EH), Amazon (AZ), etc.

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

 

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( SSS | EH )

 

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

 

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( SSS | EH )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( MFT )

 

 

 

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | AZ )

 

CLICK A SHOP:
( SSS | EH )