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Thursday, July 18, 2019


Review: Sailor Bags Imperial Backpack and Briefcase

The wonderful people at Sailor Bags have sent us a couple of high quality items from their newest collection. We have had, used, and loved their bags for years, and I believe they are as fine as any bags you could ever hope to find.

Sailor Bags Imperial Backpack and Briefcase Review

They truly make beautiful bags. The fabrics are very tough, colors are great, and the styles are classic yet with all the latest features. Inside you'll find lots of pockets for all your things, those with zipper closures work very smoothly.

Sailor Bags Imperial Backpack and Briefcase Review

You'll notice, from the photo, that the strap on their Imperial small backpack has one of those zippers that converts easily and quickly between a single shoulder strap for a quick dash for the bus or train, and a double strap for school, a hike or the lake. Inside there are two main compartments with double zippers and waterproof linings with plenty of smaller pockets both inside and out to keep things organized. It is 12 inches high, 9.5 inches wide and 3.5 inches deep. Nikolai has taken this bag all over the country and we have found it to hold up to its name and exceed our high expectations, from the New York City subway to the peaks of the Smoky Mountains.

Sailor Bags Imperial Backpack and Briefcase Review

It has a simple, yet elegant appearance on the outside, and they pay very close attention to useful details inside. Some of these include the zipper enclosures and pockets, as mentioned previously.

Sailor Bags Imperial Backpack and Briefcase Review

Their Imperial briefcase is soft sided but very rugged. It has a padded section perfect for your laptop, a full length zipper, plenty of pockets inside and outside for accessories or other things and those adorable zipper pulls. It has outside dimensions of 12 inches high, 15 inches wide and 3.5 inches deep. 

Sailor Bags Imperial Backpack and Briefcase Review
As you can see from the photos below of Nikolai taken during a recent trip, Sailor Bags have an enduring classic style that compliments rather than clashes with your personal fashion or favorite colors.

Sailor Bags Imperial Backpack and Briefcase Review

As great as they look, and you should really have a look at their entire selection of sizes, shapes and colors, these are seriously useful bags, which are thoughtfully designed and constructed of the best materials and hardware. With Sailor Bags you are always ready to pack and go whether around town or around the world. We really love ours, and I believe you will love yours too!

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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Thursday, June 27, 2019


Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do

Greetings, and welcome to a new feature for this blog we'll call 'Travel'. As many of you already know, bentos are not only for school. The same concept and techniques used for preparing a healthy and enjoyable lunch for school days can also be used when preparing for work or other activities. One of our favorite other activities is traveling. We've had the joy of traveling to many wonderful places, some close enough to reach in an hour or two, some half way around the world. This new feature will be where we will share some of our favorite destinations as well as tips and tricks that might help you maximize the joy from your travels. 

Let's begin with one of the classic favorite destinations....
 
Summer is finally here in Florida, and to celebrate the start of this splendid season, we took a weekend trip down to Miami Beach for Memorial Day weekend. It's hard to believe that we live so close to Miami, yet we don't visit as often as many would think we do when we mention that we are from Florida. However, each time we visit, we always find something new to do!

Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do
The Hyatt Centric, seen from a parking garage.

During our weekend trip, we set up our "base camp" at the Hyatt Centric in South Beach. The hotel had a great view and was close to everything, including the beach and some great food.

Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do
The Las Olas Cafe, where we had breakfast.

We had breakfast at the Las Olas Cafe, a local favorite. I highly recommend the Cuban sandwich, as it is one of the best in Miami, and probably high-ranking in the state. Another favorite among us was the cafe con leech, which translates directly to coffee with milk. It kept us going to our next stop, the beach.

Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do
The Avalon and Beacon hotels on South Beach.

Some walking and Art Deco observing later, we finally reached the beach, where the Memorial Day air show was going on. 

Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do
A plane flies over the ocean during the Memorial Day air show.

Nikolai enjoyed the sunny weather and watching the planes fly by, but we left after about an hour so we could get to the Lincoln Road Mall, a mile-long pedestrian road lined with shops ranging from Anthropologie to Zara.

Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do
My Vineyard Vines hat and a Starbucks Pink Drink.
It got quite hot on the walk from the beach to Lincoln Road, so we stopped into Starbucks, where I had a trenta sized pink drink (Walking around 3 miles off of a cup of coffee makes you pretty thirsty haha). You may already know how much I love pink.

Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do
The National Geographic Fine Art Gallery on Lincoln Road.
One of our favorite stops along Lincoln Road was the National Geographic Fine Art Gallery, a place everyone, especially photographers, should visit to cool down or just to enjoy the wonderful photography displayed here. Another great place to stop in is Books and Books, a local bookstore with multiple locations around the Miami area. 

Why We Love Miami Beach and Fun Things To Do
Ladurée on Lincoln Road.
Before we headed back to the hotel, we stopped at Ladurée and got a few macarons, which we couldn't find back home due to there being not many store locations in the country. The macarons were one of the best my son has ever had, according to him, and we couldn't agree any less.

These are some of the activities we enjoyed during our weekend in Miami, however there is so much out there to discover. If you plan on visiting, remember to bring sunscreen. However, if needed, there are sunscreen dispensers around the beach.

And there you have it, our vacation highlights during our trip to Miami. Do you have any favorite activities to do in Miami? Let us know via social media or in the comments below!
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Tuesday, February 12, 2019


10 Non-Sandwich School Lunch Ideas In Easylunchboxes

Well, hello there! I hope everyone is doing well. We are in fantastic good cheer, though it has been just a little hectic like everyone else, especially during the holidays. Now we are planning a fun trip to Disney; it's high time that we use the free tickets which we received from them last year.

I'm still been packing lunches daily, with Nikolai packing his own at times, though often I don't bother to snap photos of them. To be sure, not ALL of them are wildly photogenic if you know what I mean!
I have combined several of Nikolai's lunches which were packed in his Easylunchboxes in this one post. They are non-sandwich lunches which he had enjoyed a while back. You can see that Easylunchboxes is one of the lunchboxes that we used quite often and it's one of our favorites. It's easy to pack, easy to wash and they are still in great condition after all these years.

10 Non-Sandwich School Lunch Ideas In Easylunchboxes

I'll try to describe what we included in each of these lunches.

Bagel face lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 1: Main compartment contains a cream cheese bagel which I added a couple of eye picks to look like a face and a cheese stick.  Sides are cucumber slices and orange slices.

French toast freezer stash lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 2: French toast from our freezer stash (Eggo brand) with a dragonfly pick and a spoon for his applesauce. Yes, there are hectic days or low on grocery days and we pack what we can find on hand. Sides are Babybel cheese on cheddar crackers and organic apple sauce in our leak-proof mini dipper.

Mickey and Friends roll-ups for lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 3: Mickey and Friends kebabs, crackers and organic granola bar in the main compartment. Sides are cucumber and apple slices.

Ham roll-ups for lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 4: Main compartment contains ham roll ups topped with a baran sheet, cheese stick and crackers. Sides are seedless grapes and organic baby carrots.

Pancake muffin, ham roll-ups lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 5: Homemade choc chip pancake muffin, baby carrots and I forgot what is in the small container (raisins maybe?). Sides are ham roll ups and watermelon chunks with a cute pick.

Easy cream cheese bagel for lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 6: Main section contains a cream cheese bagel, cheddar crackers and a granola bar. Sides are grapes and baby carrots.

DIY homemade lunchables in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 7: DIY homemade lunchables. I've been packing similar ones lately. Main compartment contains cheese slices and crackers in my favorite square silicone cups, nitrate free pepperoni slices and granola bar cut into half. Sides are blueberries and grapes.

Pita lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 8: Pita (stacked) with a cute panda baran sheet, granola bar and cheese crackers in the main compartment. Sides are applesauce and grapes.

Mini waffles breakfast for lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 9: Breakfast for lunch - Mini waffles, a cheese stick and a couple of eye picks...does this look like a butterfly? Sides are cheese crackers and grapes.

Crescent for lunch in Easylunchboxes

Bento lunch 10: A large crescent with eye picks and a granola bar in the main section. Sides are some crackers and apple slices.

These lunches are also quick and easy to pack!

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin.


10 Non-Sandwich School Lunch Ideas In Easylunchboxes

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Tuesday, October 9, 2018


5 Ways To Make Halloween MUMMY Themed Lunches

One of our favorite months of the year is here, October, which brings us cooler weather and Halloween! It's also time that we start thinking of fun foods to create, from cookies or cupcakes to school lunches.

Here are five ways that I've created Halloween MUMMY themed lunches in the past.

5 Ways To Make Halloween MUMMY Themed Lunches

The first two are quite similar, one I used a bear shaped cookie cutter and the other a gingerbread man cookie cutter.

Mummy Halloween Lunch with bear cookie cutter

In this bento lunch 1: Bear shaped sandwich topped with mozzarella cheese bandages, candy eyes and a spider cupcake ring. Organic baby carrots with a monster hand cupcake pick, Annie's organic fruit snack, seedless black grapes, orange yogurt topped with fruit leather which I free hand cut to look like Jack-O-Lantern. I included a Lunchbox love note with this lunch which was packed in a leak-proof Bentgo box.

Mummy Halloween Lunch with Gingerbread Man cookie cutter

In this bento lunch 2: Mummy shaped sandwich. I used a Gingerbread Man cookie cutter for the sandwich, candy eyes on nori face. Stripes of Provolone cheese for Mummy's wrappings. Seedless black grapes and cantaloupe. Sliced organic carrots and sliced cucumber.

Pizza is always popular with Nikolai, he doesn't mind eating them either hot or cold. I found a great recipe for pizza mummies from Weelicoius site and I found her instructions are very easy to follow. These pizzas are made from English muffins and the result was very tasty indeed, but I've also made some out of Pillsbury biscuit dough which you can find here.

Halloween Pizza Mummy and Jack-O-Lantern Pizza lunch

In this bento lunch 3: English muffin pizzas. The one on the left is Jack -O-Lantern with mozzarella cheese cut with my Jack-O-Lantern cutter. The other is a mummy pizza for which I used strips of string cheese and a couple slices of a black olive. Above and to the left are some organic baby carrots and to the right is a container of apple sauce decorated with a mummy cupcake ring. This lunch was packed in a Bentology living lunchbox.

In the next lunch, instead of using thin strips of cheese as I did before for the bandages, I tried something a bit different this time. I used tortilla to make some roll-ups and then cut another into thin strips to make the bandages. I found that it helps to stick them in place at the ends with just a tiny dab of honey or some other sticky condiments.

Halloween Mummy Tortilla Lunch

In this bento lunch 4: A couple of Mummy tortilla roll-ups with candy eyes. Top right: Seedless black grapes with a cute Mummy cupcake ring.
Bottom right: Edamame (Eat-a-mummy?) in a spider silicone cup.
Far right: Mozzarella string cheese, I used food safe marker for the facial details.

Mummy Halloween Lunch with circle cookie cutter

In this bento lunch 5: Mummy sandwich cut with a circle cookie cutter, provolone cheese cut for wrapping strips, nori and candy eyes.
Apple sauce with a grape big spider (body is one half of a large black grape, the other cut into legs). Peach slices. Edamame with a mummy cupcake ring. I also included a Lunchbox love note from the joke edition. LOL! What did the mummy say to the detective? Answer: Let's wrap this up!! This bento is packed in our ECOLunchbox Solo Cube.

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin.
Happy Halloween, everyone!

5 Ways To Make Halloween MUMMY Themed Lunches

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018


10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

First Day of Fall is around the corner. It's one of my favorite season of the year where food is concerned, lol. I love all fall flavors from pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie to pumpkin soup! It's also time to create some fun fall themed lunches for Nikolai.

It was great fun looking through all of the lunches which I've posted over the years. Here are 10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

These lunches are not in any particular order. I love them all because they were packed with love, and Nikolai enjoyed them!

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Fall leaves themed lunch is easy to create, all you need are a few cookie cutters. Details can be found HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Mouth watering looking at this lunch now. Couscous and shu mai lunch of which you can find the details HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Fall acorns and leaf bento lunch. The details can be found HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Maple leaves themed lunch, the cutter/ stamp is so easy to use and I love how the sandwiches turned out. Find the details HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Here is a squirrel and acorns themed lunch. Nikolai told me that the tail looked like a skunk tail! LOL! It's sometimes fun listening to his feedback. Details for this lunch can be found HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Here is a fall leaves and acorns themed lunch for which you can find the details HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

I love how the pumpkin sandwich turned out with the pumpernickel and rye bread. Details for this lunch can be found HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

What a friendly scarecrow! I think it's cute and not a bit scary! Details can be found HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Here is a simple FALL themed lunch for which you can find the details HERE.

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas

Squirrels, acorns and leaves, all in this cute fall themed lunch. The details can be found HERE.

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin. 
Happy Autumn, y'all!

10 Fall School Lunchbox Ideas


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Tuesday, August 28, 2018


25+ Lunches In Leak-Proof Bentgo Kids & Features That We Like

It's been two weeks since back to school for us, and we made it smoothly. I'm so glad that next week is Labor Day and we have a long weekend to take a short trip. Travel is a shared hobby or interest for our family and we seldom miss an opportunity for any kind of adventure. Nikolai once claimed that he learned to read from road signs and billboards besides books...could even be true! LOL!

Bentgo Kids is another leak-proof lunchbox that we have. Since the tray is removable, I believe you can use it as soon as a child is able to eat solid foods on a high chair. It has five compartments which are great for a variety of foods. The largest compartment is good for sandwiches, leftovers, pasta, salad and more. The other compartments are perfect for fruits, veggies, snacks, yogurt, applesauce and dips.

25+ Lunches In Leak-Proof Bentgo Kids & Features That We Like

Features that we like:

- It's leakproof! It seals very well to prevent wet foods from leaking onto other foods.
- Drop-proof, rubber-coated edges and sturdy design.
- The removable tray is divided into sensible sized sections.
- It is dishwasher safe.
- All materials are BPA-free and phthalates-free.

You can view my gallery of lunches packed in Bentgo Kids by clicking HERE.

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin.

25+ Lunches In Leak-Proof Bentgo Kids & Features That We Like

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Wednesday, August 8, 2018


10 First Day Back To School Lunches

It's the time of the year when we transition from sleeping late to adjusting back our alarm clocks to school days wake up time. It always feels that summer passes by quicker each year....I guess time flies when you are having so much fun.

Our school here in FL starts this coming Friday, and since it's TGIF, I'll be packing Nikolai a simple first day of school lunch, maybe recreate something from a previous year, I'm not sure for now. It's always nice to make a fun and special lunch for the first day of school, it's just one more way of letting Nikolai know that I'm thinking of him.

Here are 10 first day back to school lunchbox ideas. You can view the description of each HERE.

10 First Day Back To School Lunches

I hope y'all had a great summer, wish all of you a great start to another school year and your children great success with their studies!!

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin.

10 First Day Back To School Lunches


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Wednesday, August 1, 2018


200+ Lunches In Easylunchboxes & Features That We Like

Easylunchboxes, the name says it all! Their user friendly design makes them a family favorite lunchbox. It's one that you will be happy to have when it is time to grab, pack and go.

The Easylunchboxes containers provide three sections for food which makes packing lunches easy. The proportions of these sections is well thought out and, as you can see from the lunches I've packed in them, they seem perfect for a wide variety with enough capacity for a great meal. We own all three sets; the classic, brights and urban colors. In case you are wondering whether these are similar to those disposable ones sold in stores or imitations sold online, the answer is NO. The Easylunchboxes sets are much higher quality, more durable and the lids are not flimsy.

200+ Lunches In Easylunchboxes & Features That We Like

These are features that we like:

- The containers are microwave, freezer and dishwasher safe and they are made from BPA free, FDA approved, food-safe polypropylene plastic.
- The lids come in fun colors.
- Easy to open and close for small hands.
- They are quite economical, a set of four for around $14.
- The insulated lunch bag is great and I have even used it for carrying other boxes.

You can view my gallery of lunches packed in Easylunchboxes by clicking HERE.

Below is a collage that I made for those who might like to pin.

200+ Lunches In Easylunchboxes & Features That We Like


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