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Thursday, August 10, 2017


Back To School Lunch

It's that time of the year again which has always been a bittersweet time for me - Back To School! Today is the first day of school for us and Nikolai will be in Grade 7, all advance classes.
We had a blast during our summer holidays, mostly traveling, which has become our summer tradition over the years. While we were fully equipped with GPS and On Star, Nikolai is such an excellent navigator that even before I could get unpacked from the most recent trip he opened the map and started charting the next!

Lunch packing? I've no idea where to start; could I have lost my lunch packing mojo before or during the summer break? I do know when to start, and when is now. I've always found it to be great fun to make a cute lunch for him on the first day of school. This will be his first bento of this school year as I get back into groove, slowly but surely.

First Day Of Back To School Lunch. Pencil themed.

In this bento lunch:  I made a couple of sandwiches in the shape of the classic yellow No.2 pencil. Mild cheddar cheese trimmed in a zig-zag pattern covers most of it, a sandwich meat eraser part with the band made from the end of the loaf makes up one end, a bit of raisin makes the tip. Also in the main section is a granola bar. In the two other sections I included some organic baby carrots and some red and green grapes. This bento was packed in his Easylunchboxes.

I wish all of you a great start to another school year and your children great success with their studies.


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Tuesday, August 1, 2017


Review: Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag

I am totally ecstatic to share my high opinion of these great bags. Sailor Bags is a maker of premiere quality bags of genuine sailcloth with that fun and fashionable nautical theme. They are excellent for conveniently transporting everything from what might be needed for a short overnight at a beach resort to taking to school.

Their bags are truly beautiful not only in appearance but also in function!

Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag Review

Now in middle school years, our son has become a backpack expert, and he has chosen the Backpack / Silver Spinnaker Daypack featured here. Hubby has forsaken his other bags and briefcase for the Tri-Sail Messenger described in this post, and I am thinking of all kinds of fun places to take the Newport Square Duffel.

Their Silver Spinnaker Daypack is just one of the designs among many in their selection of backpacks and shoulder bags. It has three large compartments which are great for books, clothing and other needed items. It even has a built-in, soft-lined laptop sleeve in one that is fully-padded and should fit any laptop computer up to 17 inch size. The front compartment has multiple interior pockets, including a zippered pocket, for organizing all of those charging cables, ear phones, stylus pens and other accessories.

Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag Review

On the sides are mesh pockets for water bottles, sun protection lotion, or flip-flops; here in Florida such features are important! Also very much appreciated are the contoured, padded shoulder straps and back panels made of ventilated, moisture-wicking mesh, which makes this bag a joy to use.

Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag Review

This bag is made from the finest materials with top of the line trim. The outer fabric is made from lightweight and durable rip-stop which is both water and stain resistant. They use YKK zippers and hardware, super tough webbing, and meticulous construction which you will appreciate forever. They are so well made that Sailor Bags confidently offer a guarantee for life.

The outside dimensions are approximately 19"H x 13"W x 5"D, but somehow the inside seems even bigger!

The Tri-Sail Messenger, shown below, fits hubby's Apple laptop like it was tailor made for it. He especially likes the wide and comfortable shoulder strap with its non slip shoulder pad and the many extra compartments of different sizes for taking along charger, portable drives and other peripherals.

Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag Review

Hubby says the zig-zag sewing is first rate and I think the bright colors have that young and sporting look. As with the backpack, construction is meticulous, and has a guarantee for life.

Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag Review

In the photos above you can see that they have one zippered pocket inside and handy hook and loop closures for the many other compartments and also the cover flap which keeps things where they belong and yet easy to access.

For me one of the true pleasures is the impromptu overnight or weekend getaway. Our whole family loves them and living in Florida provides year-round opportunities to stuff a small bag with a couple changes of clothes, toiletries, maybe a camera, and enjoy another adventure. I honestly can't remember or imagine a bag that captures the spirit and serves the function quite like this smaller Newport Square Duffel. Like the others, it is made with their genuine sailcloth exterior, marine grade zippers, corrosion-resistant metal hardware, brightly colored and tough webbing with their signature sail maker's zig-zag stitching.

Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag Review

In addition to the spacious main compartment there is a very convenient front pocket for easy access to smaller items like keys and phone.

The outside dimensions are 9 inches high by 14 inches wide and 7 inches in diameter. I like the size which is easy to carry, holds what I need to take and still has some space for souvenirs. Whether for after school activities or a fun weekend this is a bag that we will use often!

Sailor Bags Backpack, Messenger Bag and Duffel Bag Review

Bags like these, along with many other styles and sizes can be found at the Sailor Bags website. I also want to mention that almost any product you find on at their site can be personalized using their custom embroidery option.

Sailor Bags are truly well made and we especially love that they are so lightweight and great looking!

Disclosure: Sailor Bags generously provided me with the items for review without cost to me. Other than receiving the items, I have not received any compensation to write this review. All opinions are my own.
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Wednesday, May 10, 2017


4 Easy Lunches in Leak-Proof Bentgo Kids Lunchbox

It's already May and this will be the last month of school for this year. Where did the time go? I've still been packing school lunches daily, but have not been snapping the pictures since they are real simple lunches with mostly leftovers or simple sandwiches. It's also time to start discussing and planning for our vacations! Yippie!

Blogging has to be put on the back burner now since there are back to back activities, concerts, award ceremony and more. All are great fun, but time consuming. Good news flash: Nikolai's exams are over and everything is back to normal, especially the sleep schedule, so I don't expect to be hearing "why do I need to go to bed so early, mom?"

4 Easy Lunches in Leak-Proof Bentgo Kids Lunchbox

Here are four easy lunches, all packed in our leak-proof Bentgo lunchbox. Some are simple but still cute, they were brightened up by cute cupcake picks and mini cookie cutters.

Bears on circle sandwiches school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 1: A couple of circle shaped sandwiches cut with my circle cookie cutter, topped with a couple of Cheddar bears for which I used our mini cutter to create. The sides were cheddar crackers, fruit snacks, grapes, a large strawberry and sugar snap peas.

Simple sandwiches school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 2: Sandwiches, Rice Krispie bar, organic baby carrots, celery sticks, fruit snacks, Annie's organic crackers and grapes with a cute Snoopy cupcake ring.

Panda circle sandwiches school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 3: A couple of circle shaped sandwiches with cute panda face cut-outs created with my cutter/ stamper set. Sides were cheddar crackers, rice krispie, fruit snacks, baby carrots, grapes with a Panda pick.

Roll Up ham and cheese school lunch in leak proof Bentgo lunchbox

Bento lunch 4: Roll up ham and cheese. These were made by rolling the ham around slices of Gouda cheese. Sides were baby carrots, Ritz crackers, fruit snacks and grapes.

When does Summer break start for your kids?
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Wednesday, April 19, 2017


Soccer and Basketball Themed Lunches

We had a great Spring Break and Easter. Now, once again, it's back to basics, and I can't wait for our Summer break! These lunches were enjoyed by Nikolai months ago or perhaps from last school year, lol. Seriously, I have a bunch of photos of lunches which he enjoyed last school year which I haven't posted.

From our Lunch Punch Sporty set, I have created a football and baseball lunches along with these soccer and basketball themed lunches.

The first one featured in this post is the basketball lunch. The sandwich is cut and stamped with the basketball cutter/stamper from the set and combined with a granola bar and sliced string cheese and put into a silicone cup. Another silicone cup was used for the grapes. Organic baby carrots and cucumber slices complete this lunch which was packed in an Easylunchboxes container.

Basketball themed school lunch.

The second lunch for this post was also packed in an Easylunchboxes. It features a sandwich cut and stamped as a soccer ball combined with a Babybel cheese in the main section. Green grapes are above right with a soccer ball pick in a silicone cup and on the left are some cheese crackers.

Soccer themed school lunch.

These are a couple more examples to show that fun lunches can be made in a jiffy with a few picks and a small set of cutters and stampers.

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Thursday, April 6, 2017


2 Easter Bunny Lunches, Super Easy

I am SO excited that we will be on Spring Break beginning next week! When I contemplated making Easter themed lunches I wasn't really excited about the task of getting out my Easter collection of cookie cutters, cute picks and more. Luckily, I had a few in my everyday bento accessories cupboard and this is what I came up with. Quick and real easy!

This first one includes a sandwich with impressions of Easter bunnies, some organic baby carrots with leaf picks, seedless grapes with a carrot pick some Annie's organic bunny shaped crackers and Cadbury mini chocolate eggs, and in the center there are fruit snacks. As you can see, on occasion I include chocolate in moderation. The stamp and cute leaf picks are from Bento USA, they carry a huge selection of cute bento items.

Easter bunny stamped sandwich lunch in a Planetbox

In the second bento, pictured below, I included a basic sandwich again but this time I decorated it with a baran sheet. To the left I put apple slices, Annie's organic cheddar bunnies and some fruit snacks. Above the sandwich are a granola bar with a bunny baran and a Babybel cheese. It certainly isn't the most elaborate lunch I've shared, but it was ready in a a few minutes. I always believe that when a child opens their lunch, even the most simple extra touch can make it special. The baran sheets are also from Bento USA.

Simple bunny themed lunch in a Planetbox

Both of these lunches were packed in our PlanetBox Rover.

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Monday, April 3, 2017


2 Non Sandwich Lunches In Leak Proof Yumbox

Nikolai loves lunchables style lunches and I'm guessing that he likes to assemble them at school.:) Lately, he has been asking for Ritz crackers almost daily and according to him, a majority of his friends also pack them for their lunches. Of course, I'm always happy to oblige.

Both of these lunches were packed in his leak-proof Yumbox panino.

Butterfly themed lunchables in leak-proof Yumbox

In this bento lunch: Main compartment contains nitrate free salami topped with a butterfly shaped smoked Gouda cheese, slices of mozzarella string cheese in our favorite square silicone cup, Ritz crackers and a small pecan pie. His sides were sugar snap peas topped with another slice of butterfly shaped cheese, fruit snacks, and seedless grapes.

I've been using these eye picks a lot lately. It brightens up any simple lunches and they are super adorable.

Tortilla wraps for school lunch in leakproof Yumbox

In this bento lunch: A couple of tortilla roll-ups secured with cute eye picks, Pirate's booty, fruit snacks, goldfish crackers and organic apple sauce. Apple sauce is one of those foods that require a leak-proof container like this Yumbox. Fun lunch! Easy peasy!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017


Review: Modes4u Bento Box, Squishy and Easter Bunny bento

I am very pleased that Modes4u has provided me with some wonderful items for me to show in today's post. I am also very happy for this opportunity to encourage you to see the many really cute and fun items you can find at Modes4u. They make available a wide assortment of bento boxes, one of which I used to pack this lunch. They also offer a great collection of bento accessories which can quickly add that extra dash of cuteness to your presentation. Their site is a great wonderland and I recommend it as one of those must see websites!

For this bento I made some bunny sandwiches which were shaped with a cutter and stamper set. As they are small, I stacked up two pairs of them and included a granola bar on the left side section. The right side section I filled with organic baby carrots, some red seedless grapes and a section of apple that I cut to the shape of rabbit ears.

Bunny bento lunch, Modes4u bento box and squishy review

This lunch was packed in a biscuit bento box that looks so much like an ice cream sandwich that you almost want to take a bite out of it. It is one of the many great bento boxes you can find in their bento collection.


Biscuit bento box by Modes4u

Picks, like the little pink bunny one that I used for this lunch, baran dividers, cutters, sauce containers and much, much more are awaiting your visit to their accessories pages.
Did that French cruller look so yummy you could almost smell it? No, that delicious looking pastry alongside the bento is not a real French cruller even though it looks so wonderfully tasty and mouth watering.

It is one of the fantastic Kawaii squishies from the huge collection that can be found in their Squishies pages.

Squishy by Modes4u

 You can't imagine how much fun I've had looking at all their goodies!

Modes4u Bento Box, Squishy and Easter Bunny bento

Make yourself a cup (or perhaps even a pot?) of coffee or tea before you start scrolling through their amazing site with huge selection of cute bento accessories, squishies and much more. Happy shopping!

Disclosure: Modes4u generously provided me with the products for review without cost to me. All opinions are my own.
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Tuesday, March 14, 2017


Fun Lunches With UpChefs Sandwich Cutters

Recently I was very pleased to received a set of very cute cutters from UpChefs, which I was happy to put to good use straight away.

First, however, while I am not one who attaches labels to others or would illogically categorize them, I have discovered that some "picky" eaters, which Nikolai can be at times, will eat better when the lunch is presented in a fun or cute style. Sometimes these little things can make a big difference!

UpChefs have come to the market with a set of cutters that can make cuteness easy and quickly attainable. Their cutter set includes nine sandwich bread or cookie cutters, which offer a great variety of options, and also two additional smaller cutters that can be used for fruits or vegetables. These will make a most welcome addition to my collection.

The lunch shown below is just one example of the many ways these cutters can quickly make an otherwise unremarkable sandwich into a fun meal for your children.

Dolphins fun lunch created with UpChefs sandwich cutter

In this lunch is a sandwich cut into a heart and pair of dolphins using one of the cutters from UpChefs, strawberry and orange slices with a dolphin pick, Babybel cheese with a dolphin cut into the wax covering, and a granola bar. I used the small heart shape veggie cutter for the center cheese heart and added candy eyes for the dolphins.
This lunch was packed in his Planetbox rover.

Here is a picture of their set of cutters from which you can make sandwiches or cookies shaped like hearts, butterflies, dolphins, dinosaurs, elephants, puzzle pieces, a star, transportation vehicles, and a dog with his house. It even includes the small cutters which can make little hearts and flowers.

( photo courtesy of UpChefs )

Here is another lunch for which I used the transportation cutter from the UpChefs set to cut the sandwich into shapes, added cheese rectangles for windows for the boat, and made imprints with the bigger end of a chopstick to make portholes for that extra touch, added a string cheese along side and used the other sections of our Easylunchboxes container for carrots, apple wedges with a traffic light pick in a square silicone cup.

Transportation themed lunch created with UpChefs sandwich cutter

As some of you might have discovered, it is more rewarding to discover and implement a helpful solution than to worry over a problem, and if getting your child interested in eating his or her lunch is one of yours, then this cutter collection from UpChefs might be a great help.

A discount of 10% is available by using the code JMP5EDRG  at checkout.

Let me add that while those with a "picky" eater might benefit most, just about everybody enjoys a bit of fun with their lunch!

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017


Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

This seems like a good time for me to post this amazing recipe that I found on pinterest, and have used so many times. Our entire family, our friends, co-workers all loved them, and I've made them for many parties as well. This recipe only requires three ingredients which makes it totally my kind of easy recipe! You can have them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea time or really anytime of the day. They are so tasty!

I baked some the other day for breakfast and packed a couple of them into Nikolai's Easylunchboxes for this school lunch.

Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

Here is the recipe which I used.

Ingredients:
  • 8-oz can refrigerated crescent roll dough. I used Pillsbury brand 
  • 8 slices of deli ham 
  • 8 slices of cheddar cheese (you can use any other cheese that you prefer)
Method:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Separate dough into 8 equal pieces (they usually separate into triangles)
  3. Place 1 slice of ham and 1 slice of cheese (folded in half) on the larger end of the triangle.
  4. Roll the crescent up with the ham and cheese inside, and place it tip side down on a baking sheet ( I line it with aluminum foil for easy clean-up).
  5. Bake for 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown.
  6. Enjoy! 
Nikolai doesn't mind eating lunch foods at room temp or cold , thus, I send some in his lunchbox. In the above lunchbox I have used some of my eyes picks to give them a fun appearance and added goldfish crackers and some seedless grapes in the other sections.

In the lunch shown below, I have also included a couple of tasty Ham and Cheese Crescent Roll-ups, this time choosing airplane and truck picks. This time I have cheddar bunnies and orange slices in the other sections. This lunch was also packed in our Easylunchboxes.

EASY Ham and Cheese Crescents Roll-Ups For Lunch With Recipe

Seldom do I follow a recipe exactly as I find it. I like to add a tweak here or there to suit my own taste, and I think this recipe is perfect for that. Try something different in place of the ham, perhaps smoked turkey, try it with Swiss or Asiago cheeses. At home you might enjoy experimenting with different dips or side dish combinations. Be adventurous and have fun!

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Wednesday, March 1, 2017


4 Puzzle Themed School Lunches

It's already March, where did February go? Nikolai has joined another after school club and they end at the most hectic time of the day whereby traffic is the heaviest as for many office hours end then.

I planned to post these lunches last summer, but as usual, got sidetracked with other holiday themed posts. These lunches were created with our lunch punch puzzle set. I always find myself reaching out to them especially during busy days when I feel like packing something fun for Nikolai.

4 Puzzle Themed School Lunches. Lunch Punch cutter set.

Below are four puzzle themed lunches created with four different cutters from the set.

Puzzle themed lunch in Yumbox Panino

Bento lunch 1: Main compartment of this lunch contains a puzzle sandwich topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese with a cereal bar on the top. Sides that I included are apple pieces, cucumber slices and raisins. This lunch was packed in our leak-proof Yumbox panino.

Puzzle themed lunch in Bentology living bentobox

Bento lunch 2: This bento lunch featured sandwiches cut into puzzle piece shapes and a colorful collection of sides which were organic baby carrots, cucumber slices, orange slices, mini cheese crackers, and on the far right, a mozzarella cheese stick. This lunch was packed in a Bentology Living bento box.

Puzzle lunch in Planetbox rover

Bento lunch 3: Simple puzzle shaped nutella sandwiches with a roll-up of ham and cheese for the main section, a granola bar, some red grapes, organic baby carrots with a cute eye pick surround some yogurt covered raisins in this Planetbox Rover.

Puzzle themed lunch in leak proof Bentgo bento box

Bento lunch 4: Here I have some pandas with the puzzle. Puzzle piece shaped sandwiches and a granola bar are accompanied by a couple of panda baran while a panda pick joins the collection of red grapes. Some applesauce and baby carrots complete the circle around the yogurt covered raisins in the center compartment of our leak-proof Bentgo Kids lunchbox.

Besides having in common the theme of the puzzle piece shaped sandwiches, these examples also share the ease with which you can combine healthy foods with a fun presentation to make lunch time special.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017


I Love You Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

Happy Valentine's Day! For this wonderful day, I packed a fun I ❤️️ You bento lunch for Nikolai. These three simple, yet powerful words are used very often by our family. We say it quite frequently, even sometimes when just passing each other in the hallway.

I Love You Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

In this bento lunch: I used my alphabet cookie cutter for the lettering and a small heart cutter for the ❤️️, which I used to top the two stacked sandwich halves. Alongside are cucumber slices which I also cut into heart shapes and put in a red silicone cup. These are in the main section along with an organic granola bar cut into half. He also had Annie's organic cheddar snacks and a silicone cup full of watermelon cut into heart shapes in the other sections. This lunch was packed in our Easylunchboxes.

Do you have any plans for this Valentine's Day? Since it falls on a weekday, we made reservations for dinner and will try not to stay up too late. I wish that it's a holiday!!!
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Thursday, February 9, 2017


Smiley Face EMOJI Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

I can't believe it's already February! Last month just flew by like a mist, or perhaps a blizzard! Love is in the air as Valentine's Day approaches, and I love heart shaped foods, and nearly all things pink and red. This year I started making Valentine's theme lunch a little later than expected and I hope to pack at least one or two more themed lunches. You can find my previous years Valentine's Day lunches HERE.

My first Valentine's Day bento of this year is a smiley face EMOJI. 😍

Smiley Face EMOJI Valentine's Day fun school lunch.

In this bento lunch: Emoji sandwich with fruit leather heart eyes and nori smiley mouth. Below and alongside are a granola bar and cheese sticks. In the other sections are organic baby carrots with heart shapes cut from cucumber, slices of apple one of which made a nice red heart shape. This lunch is packed in an Easylunchboxes container.
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