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3 Tips for Finding a Second Car

July 30, 2017 By · No Comments

 This is a sponsored post.

Kids are all back in school and husband is working his job during the day. What does that mean for me and my little one? Simple, we are stuck home. Last year this wasn’t an issue at all, we had a second vehicle which meant when we got bored we went and did something. Being stuck home during the end of summer heat means we are literally not leaving the house. It’s time to start looking for a second vehicle. Thankfully we’ve been down this road before and we know what to do.

Tip 1:  Know What You Want

Think about what it is you want or need. Sure everyone wants that dream car but that isn’t always ideal for that second vehicle you are needing? For me, no matter what it must have 5 seats, 4 for the kids and one for myself. For say my husband who would just need one to get to work he could have a 2 seat pick up truck. Technically, I could get a normal family car. If I would like something a little bigger so the whole family can go I do have to get a mini van or something along those lines if I don’t want to do the drive two cars to one location.

Checklist: 

  • What will it be used for? (hauling items, commute back and forth to work, chauffeuring children from one activity to another, grocery shopping, long road trips, camping, etc)
  • How much do you have to spend on one? (Willing to pay monthly payments? Or do you want a vehicle that you bought right off the bat?)
  • How much are you willing to put into a used vehicle to fix it up? (Oil leaks, new tires, breaks, etc)
  • How are you willing to drive to purchase a vehicle? (This will help in your search range)
  • What type of gas mileage are you looking at? (economy, van/suburban)
  • Will this be used for traveling long distances? (If you plan on traveling you might not want a car that has 100,000 miles on it)
  • What features do you want it to have?

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School Lunch Ideas Without the Sandwich

July 20, 2017 By · No Comments

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, if you purchase something from this page I will make a few cents. Have a great day!

Beyond The Sandwich – Mix It Up With Different Lunch Foods

 

When you think about packed school lunches, PB&J or ham and cheese sandwiches come to mind. While sandwiches certainly make for a nice school lunch, they are not your only option. Mix it up by fixing something different for your kids this school year.

Make It A Wrap

A quick and easy alternative to a sandwich is a wrap. Grab some tortillas and fix your child’s favourite sandwich as a wrap. Wraps are also great for adding lots of lettuce and extra veggies. Hummus and cucumbers make a delicious vegetarian lunch option.

When you’re done adding your toppings, roll it up like a burrito and if desired, cut it in half. The wrap is good as is, or you can pack a small serving of salad dressing to dip. Ranch is always a favourite around here. Just make sure you pack it in a small, airtight container so your child doesn’t end up with ranch all over her lunch box (ask me know I know).

Who Doesn’t Love Snack Food And Lunchables?

I have yet to meet a child that doesn’t love lunchables. But have you looked at the price of those found at the grocery store lately? Plus I’m not the biggest fan of the food options. Why not make your own version instead with fresh ingredients and food you know your child will eat. Start with some sandwich meat and cheese cut into bite-sized pieces. Add some fresh raw veggies like sliced cucumber, cherry tomatoes, and baby carrots. Throw in some fresh or dried fruit and you have a delicious, healthy, homemade version.

Of course you can turn any of your child’s favourite snack foods including popcorn, trail mix, crackers, cheese, fruits and veggies and the likes into lunch. Grab a container with lots of little dividers (bento boxes are perfect) and fill them up with kid-friendly favorites.

Healthy Salads For Lunch

Salads are another great lunch option, particularly for older children. Get a container with a tight fitting lid and add all your child’s favourite salad ingredients minus the dressing in there.

Start with a bed of lettuce greens, add raw veggies, croutons, bacon bits, nuts and seeds and the likes. Top it with a source of protein like cheese, hard-boiled egg, ham or turkey, or even some grilled chicken.

Pack dressing in a separate container along with a fork and napkin and lunch is done. You can assemble the salad the night before and store it in the fridge. The key is to make sure all your ingredients are very dry. If you’re washing your lettuce, use a salad spinner, or dry it on some paper towels before starting to pack it. Cutting everything into small bite-sized pieces will ensure that the lunch time salad is easy to eat.

 

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Creative Bento Box Ideas for Your Child’s Lunch!

July 19, 2017 By · No Comments

Get Creative With Bento Lunches

Have you heard of bento lunches and bento boxes? It’s a fun, fairly new trend in packed lunches that traces its origins to Japan. Bento is a traditional way for Japanese to pack single serve meals they can take with them to work or school. There they often consist of rice, fish or meat, and cooked or pickled vegetables. The container is usually rectangular with compartments for each dish.

Bento boxes are traditionally made of stainless steel, but you can also find plastic and even glass versions. These food containers with an international flair are usually square and have internal compartments that allow you to keep your food separate. This gives you a great canvas to get creative with food.

Yes, with Bento boxes it’s ok to play with the food and come up with some fun and creative lunches for the kids (or yourself). Cut the sandwiches into cute little shapes, make some fun roll-ups, and get creative with fresh fruit, raw veggies, cheese and the likes as sides.

If you are ready to get even more creative, do a quick search online for bento lunch ideas. You’ll find ideas from gourmet food to fun and quirky kid-friendly lunch ideas. Who knew that you could shape rice and make it look like an adorable panda? You’ll find entire Pinterest boards and Instagram accounts dedicated to creative bento boxes.

Of course, there’s no need to go all out. You can make delicious and eye-pleasing bento lunches by taking just a little care with how you place the food in the boxes and taking advantage of simple little tricks like pouring gold fish crackers or raisins into paper or silicone cupcake liners.

What I like best about bento lunches is that it gives you the opportunity to pack several small, snack like items into one lunch. Your child will have fun picking and choosing for lunch and you know he will still get a healthy meal. Plus what child doesn’t love a bunch of colorful finger food for lunch. Heck, you may even convince your picky eaters to try new fruits, veggies, cheeses and the likes if you cut them into cute little shapes.

Of course, these fun and delicious lunches aren’t just for kids. Order a couple of bento boxes and start packing your own lunch. You can go as simple or gourmet as you’d like. Or grab a few of your own favorite healthy snacks and call it lunch. The possibilities are almost endless with bento box lunches.

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4 Easy Tips to Organizing Lunches

July 18, 2017 By · No Comments

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, if you click on them I may make some cents. 

Simple Tips To Get Organized And Make Fixing Lunches Easier

There is nothing worse than running late in the morning and then desperately trying to figure out something you can put in your children’s lunch boxes. If you find yourself always in a hurry and getting angry, or end up buying school lunch because packing it seems like too much of a hassle, take a look at the tips below. They will help you get organized so fixing lunches becomes quick and easy.

Start With A List And Go Shopping

Start by sitting down with your kids and come up with a list of lunches they like. This could include sandwiches and wraps, or even homemade lunch-able, but it doesn’t have to stop there. If you add a thermos to the mix, you can suddenly pack reheated leftovers, homemade soup and the likes. The key is to find lunch foods and snacks that your kids will eat that are also easy to pack.
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Pack School Lunches Your Kids Will LOVE to Eat!

July 17, 2017 By · No Comments

Learn How To Pack School Lunches That Your Kids Will Actually Eat– and Won’t Trade for.

 

Summer is sadly coming to an end and school is about to start.  Yes, some of you will be shouting “Hurray.” while others will be sad to see the time end. Kids I’m sure will be counting down until they can see some of the friends they haven’t seen all year. But this also means it is time to start planning those lunches out and getting all the school supplies on that list.  Basically, it’s time to get back into a school year routine. Part of that routine in many households is packing school lunches. Yes, that sometimes dreadful task. Packed lunches are a great option when your child isn’t too fond of what the school has to offer or you want a little more control over what your child is eating.

This is good especially if your child has dietary restrictions or food allergies, packing lunches is a must. Surprisingly and thankfully because of this very reason I found out my son was actually allergic to peanut butter. Now he isn’t deathly allergic like some are but he does break out from head to toe. The other bonus to packing a lunch is that you get to pick what your kid eats, your lunch can be even healthier than the schools paid lunches for half the price. (of course, you have to follow school policy as well)

* Yes, they can become allergic to something overnight. The year before he was able to eat it and then suddenly he was allergic to it. We ruled it out after a week of him breaking out every day. 

Make it Fun!

Tossing a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a swiss roll and a banana is boring. No kid wants to eat the exact same thing every day, plus it isn’t all that healthy.  Find out what your kid likes, yes that means actually sitting down with them and asking them or having them to make a list of what they’d like. Have them jot down things they see other friends have, ask which fruits or vegetables they enjoy eating. If they’d like to see it packed a certain way, etc.  Packing a lunch every day doesn’t do any good if your child doesn’t eat it or ends up trading most of it away for junk food.

Get Your Child Involved with the Process

The best place to start is to get your child involved. Depending on the age of your kids, you could even put them in charge of making their own lunches. Not only do you know that they’ll pack something they will eat, being in charge of packing lunch will teach them responsibility.

Start by talking to your kids about what they want in their lunch box. Make a list of options and then head to the store so you have everything you need for the first week of school. Make sure they know they must eat at least one vegetable and fruit if that is something you want them to get on board with. Find out which ones they will eat and how they’d eat it. (Some kids like vegetables raw with dressing, others like them steamed) Getting the kids as involved as possible will make sure that they end up with lunches they will eat. For older kids that may mean making their own lunches (under your supervision of course) let them know that you will check.

Younger children can help. Even your kindergartener can wash grapes and put them into a container, or pick a snack for his lunch box. Get in the habit of making lunches together the night before. Over time you can give the kids more and more responsibility for their lunches. This alone will help make sure they eat what they’ve packed. After all, it’s the lunch they made. Along the way you’re teaching them independence and important life skills.

Of course you want to encourage your kids to pack and eat healthy foods. Insisting on all healthy, organic food options all the time may not be your best strategy though. Strike a balance and make compromises. If your kids pack and eat a healthy wrap or salad for example, let them have some cookies for dessert. Teach them to make good choices, but don’t freak out if they decide to pack some Cheetos or a pack of Oreo cookies. Your goal is to get them to eat fairly healthy and make smart food choices, not restrict all access to junk food, causing them to trade with friends for forbidden Twinkies.

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