Sunday, March 29, 2009

Cool kid snacks/lunches

It's nearly the end of the school year and my kids are showing some resistance to taking healthy lunches to school.

Usually their lunchboxes follow this regular skeleton:
- Mots for Tots juice box (watered down apple juice)
- Sandwich
- Something from the fruit drawer (I have different fruits chopped and ready to go in the crisper drawer)
- Something from the pantry snack box - we do a lot of Annies Cheddar Bunnies and TLC's crackers.

They don't get a morning snack and their afternoon snack is supplied by the school.

Joshua is nearly 7 now and he's been eye-balling his friends' less than healthy lunchbox treats. Today we went out and picked out a few things that add a little fun to the lunchboxes. I'll try to add some lunch-on-the-run posts to the blog for the realistic mother on the go. I worked some seriously long hours last week, so many of the treats in my kids' lunchboxes will probably be pre-packaged items this week as I continue to catch up on things around the house that did not get done last week.

Mouse vs. House

Movie night this weekend had us watching Stuart Little. We've read this book as a family and are a big E.B. White fan. However, it's been over a year since we've read this book, so the story line wasn't as fresh in our minds as it could have been. When Stuart gets kidnapped, Joshua began to cry because it was so sad. He's such my tender hearted one.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that the Dad in Stuart Little is played by Hugh Laurie aka House. I was thrilled to see Hugh Laurie in a more family friendly role. Just as I began to breath a sigh of relief that he wasn't going to be calling anyone a "moron", the bad cats began to use words that I would prefer not be a regular part of my children's vocabulary.

Overall, it was a cute movie, a sweet story and at least it wasn't a cartoon!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Modesty Help

I was talking to a friend of mine the other day about modesty in our children. Especially little girls. The conversation came after I was disgusted from a shopping trip to Target to get my newly 5 year old little girl some shorts to wear this summer. All of the shorts are little short-shorts. I'm really looking for a Bermuda short type style for her. She loves to run and climb and tumble and often times in short-shorts I can see clear up her shorts to her underpants. Anyhow, the conversation swayed away from modesty in our children, to modesty as adults.

I have to admit that my pet peeve is "peeping" bra straps. Or *eek* even worse, no bra when one is really needed. I came across the Strap Perfect at Wal-greens one day last week and decided to give it a try. I have a few favorite bras that seem to creep down my shoulders after a few hours. The Strap Perfect was fantastic. I was able to wear a one of my favorite tank tops out with the kids over the weekend and my bra straps stayed put. I felt much more comfortable knowing that not everyone could see my teal colored bra - I still want to wear fun/funky underclothes (you know, keeping the whole spice alive after 10 years of marriage), but I don't really want to share my choice in underclothes with everyone that I pass by. So in that respect, I really like the Strap Perfect and recommend it if you've got some slipping shoulder straps.

Friday, March 13, 2009

I totally splurged!!

I splurged today. I spent $80 on a CHI flat iron. I love it - my hair is straight and shiny. I really needed to either cut my hair or find something to give it some oomph. After my $8 box of light brown hair color and my 3 minutes of straightening my hair, I feel like a whole new woman. I really didn't want to cut my hair, since I'd like to see it just a bit longer.

(Oh, why the hair color you ask. I'm 33 and no grey hairs. Somehow the sunshine is fading/stripping my brown hair into an orange-like carrot top hair color. I wear a hat most of the time when I am outside for fun with the kids at the park. I'm sure I get this from my mom. Her hair is red - but a much prettier auburn color, not carrot-top color. And my grandmother died in her 70s without any greys.)

My caveat is that I love red hair. My husband was a flaming red head when we met. I just like my dark brown eyes with dark brown hair.

Spoiler Free - Movie Recommendation: Radio

It was movie night tonight at our house. We watched the movie Radio - staring Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Ed Harris.

There were a few parts that made my very loving 6 year old son weep. He does not like to see any kind of meanness or bullying.

I don't want to spoil too much of the movie, but the bottom line is that this is a fantastic family movie. I get tired of sassy, sarcastic animated movies - so I was thrilled when this movie came in my red Netflix envelope.

Tasty Crockpot Chicken and Beans

Now that I'm getting into my groove of being a full-time working mom, I'm anxious to use my crockpot more often to give me a hand with getting dinner started. This week I made a no-recipe discovery that was incredibly yummy!

Put in crockpot:
4 frozen chicken breasts
3 cans of black beans
1 can of Rotel (the tomatoes with the chilies)
1/2 can of water

Cook all day on low (around 8 or so hours).

The original plan was to either shred the chicken with forks and scoop the mix into burritos - add melted cheese and sour cream.

Instead, the kids asked to dip - so I added a little bit of cheese to everybody's individual bowls and some scoop chips on the side. It really had the potential to be so much healthier - but heck, it was so very delicious!

MFT - Food from the Deli

Another My Favorite Thing... I've read multiple different times about people using food from the deli and using it as a base for their meal. Instead of building dinner around the deli, I used my deli purchase to make some take-to-work lunches.

I purchased a cooked roisserie chicken (seasoned with lemon pepper) from my grocery store (on sale, of course) for $4.99. I chopped and diced and de-boned and did all sorts of fun things with my chicken to get every piece of meat off of it. I know some people would boil what was left to make stock, but, remember, I'm taking baby steps.

Since the chicken was already flavored nicely with the lemon pepper, I chose to just stuff some whole wheat pitas with the chicken meat, lettuce, tomato and a little bit of mustard. It was fantastic!!

Potato Salad

Yummy! It's hot, hot, hot for what we are used to during the winter time. Hubby loves to have cold salads in the fridge for when he comes in from working on the yard. Right now he's taking chunks of leave to relandscape the backyard. Ingredients:

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 cups cubed potatoes, cooked
2 hard-cooked eggs, chopped
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup dill pickle relish

1. Mix mayo, mustard, celery seed, salt and pepper in large bowl.

2. Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly. Cover.

3. Refrigerate several hours or until chilled.

Notice Megan's packed cheeks. The girl loves potato salad!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


We've had an extreemely busy week. For the first time in a long time, my hubby has been home for 10 days and counting now. Funny, most of my friends can't quite get their lives figured out when their husbands leave...we're just the opposite. Our whole routine gets flipped upside down and we spend so much time just hanging out (as opposed to following my cleaning schedule or prepping for meals after kids go to bed, etc). So while it's been Spring Break for my kids, I have to admit, we've all taken a little bit of a break.

One of our favorite quick meals is Haystacks. We've eaten them at least 3 times this week!


-Fritos (oh, yes, let me clarify that Fritos is a must, if you use some other kind of corn chip, it's just not the forget about healthy for just a little bit!)
- Bush's chili beans, no beef (2 cans)
- Vegetarian refried beans (non-veg ones are way high in fat, so even if you aren't trying to go veg - I'd still recommend vegetarian ones to make up for the Fritos! )
- chopped lettuce
- chopped tomatoes
- chopped olives
- shredded cheese
- salsa
- fat free sour cream
- guacamole

1. Mix the 2 beans, warm up.

2. Put everything in serving bowls and line up in the order listed.

3. Send everyone down the line buffet style to make the perfect haystack. The Fritos must go on the bottom, then the beans, then the rest.

Super easy. My kids really enjoy making their own haystack.