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Tuesday, August 27, 2019


10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

It's been a few weeks now since school started for us. I must admit that it was difficult to adjust to the new earlier wake up time, but we are getting used to it. We are super happy that Nikolai was selected to attend a collegiate high school, one of the best here in Florida, at which he will only study two years of high school and will then move to college course work for the next two. The effect is to complete both high school and the first two years of college at the same time which is like getting two years of free college. Another feature we all like is that it's a smaller school with excellent teachers, principal and staff. He wanted the challenge and we are confident that he will succeed. He loves it there! Happy child means happy parents. 😄

I've been packing lunches daily which is honestly a joy since I'd thought he might prefer school lunches in the future. They have been mostly lunches which were simple, quick and easy. Nikolai has always been a small eater, and he prefers a little bit of of this and a little bit of that in his lunchbox. I have a few lunchboxes which I go to whenever I am in a hurry and one of them is our Planetbox! The main reason is that I LOVE their divided compartments! Also, we have had our Planetbox since Nikolai was in Elementary school, and it's still in perfect condition. It's easy to pack, easy to wash, very durable and I'm confident it will last for many years to come!

I've combined several lunches I have packed for Nikolai in his Planetbox into this one post. They are quick and easy lunches which he had enjoyed a while back.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

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

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 1: Main compartment contains a sandwich with bear shaped cheese cut outs. I usually switch around the cheese and lunchmeat for his sandwich fillings. Sometimes it may also be PB&J, cream cheese or other spreads. Sides are apple slices, cucumber slices, baby carrots, Annie's organic fruit snacks and goldfish crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 2: I believe this was packed by my hubby, he loves to cut the bread into this shape. Sides are applesauce, baby carrots, yogurt star and cheese crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 3: Chococat topper on a simple sandwich, celery sticks (dip not pictured), apple slices, crackers and Annie's organic fruit snacks.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 4: It was half day at school and we packed a small lunch. Sandwich with a robot cupcake ring, grapes and crackers in our favorite square silicone cup. This lunch was packed in our smaller Planetbox Shuttle.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 5: Low on groceries lunch = pack what we can find in the fridge and pantry! Sandwich, crackers, string cheese, fruit snacks and rice krispies treat.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 6: Tortilla wraps and a cheese stick in the main compartment. Sides are grapes, peach slices, fruit snacks and goldfish crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 7: Another low on groceries lunch! High five stamped on sandwich, applesauce, cheese stick, Annie's organic fruit snacks and cheese crackers.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 8: Superman themed lunch with superman cupcake ring, yogurt, grapes, Babybel cheese and baby carrots.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 9: Panda mini pocket sandwiches which I used our Cutezcute stamper/ cutter to create, grapes with cute Panda picks, choc chips, popcorn and yogurt.

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox

Bento lunch 10: Again, either we are low on groceries or running late. Crackers, cheese slices, grapes and strawberry crepe.

As you can see, I do not always pack fancy lunches. Most days are leftovers or breakfast for lunch which I never bother taking pictures.

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

10 Quick and Easy School Lunch Ideas In Planetbox
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Thursday, August 8, 2019


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

Looking for the best lunchbox or insulated container for school? I've got you covered with this *long* post. Since I have packed many lunches and like to alternate among the many lunchboxes in our ever growing collection, I'll share my impressions of some of them along with the features that we like and some things to consider. I personally enjoy the variety of lunchboxes available and have a nice collection of them, but you need only those that meet your own needs.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

So, let's get started! This list is in no particular order.

1. Planetbox Rover

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The Planetbox Rover has five compartments and comes with both big and little dippers. It measures 10” x 7.5” x 1.5”

2. Planetbox Shuttle

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The PlanetBox Shuttle has two compartments and one dipper. It measures 7.75" x 5" x 2"

3. Planetbox Launch

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The PlanetBox Launch has three compartments and one dipper. It measures 10.3" x 7.5" x 2"
Each come with a colorful magnet set, perfect for personalizing. The lid is the hinged type and is secured with a metal snap-type latch, so it all remains together.
The price tag is on the high side but if you’re looking for a box that will last for years to come and that is completely plastic free, high quality and durable, this is the one for you. While the price is a bit more than some alternatives, the value more than justifies it when its quality and all of its many features are considered.

Features that we like:
- Made of stainless steel and there’s no worry about BPA.
- Dishwasher safe, eco-friendly and should last indefinitely.
- Compartments which provides variety and versatility.
- Cute magnet designs to choose from.
- The dippers are great containers to hold sauces, dips, yogurt etc that fit perfectly inside the Planetbox.

Things to consider:
- It's a little on the heavy side compared to other lunch boxes.
- Not for use in microwave.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in PlanetBoxes by clicking HERE.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The Yumbox Panino has a four compartment removable food tray which you can choose either with illustration or without illustrations. It is truly leak proof and I've sent yogurt, applesauce and dips without any problems.The main section is large enough to fit a sandwich or two cups of pasta, brown rice, salad or more. Two more half cup sections are ready to hold your sides and then there is a one ounce circular shaped section for any topping, dip, or treat. The removable tray is also ideal for meals or snacks at home. The box measures approx. 8.5 x 6.5 x 1.8 inches so it fits nicely in a standard size lunch tote.

Features that we like:
- It's leakproof! It seals very well to prevent wet foods from leaking onto other foods.
- It has an overall size which is convenient for backpacks or lunch totes.
- The removable tray is divided into sensible sized sections.
- It is dishwasher safe.
- All materials are BPA-free and phthalates-free.

Things to consider:
- Although I have never had the need or desire to microwave our Yumbox, their website claims that the Tritan tray of the newest version (after May 1, 2013), but not the outer shell, is microwavable.
- When using a dishwasher, Yumbox recommends using top rack only.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in Yumbox Panino by clicking HERE.

5. Easylunchboxes


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The Easylunchboxes container provide three sections for food which makes packing lunches easy.

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.
- In case you are wondering whether these are similar to those disposable ones sold in stores, the answer is NO. The Easylunchboxes are much higher quality, more durable, the lids are not flimsy.
- 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 sets come in classic and brights colors. The newest are the Urban colors which we love.
- The insulated lunch bag is great and I have even used it for carrying other boxes.

Things to consider:
- The boxes are not leak proof and do function best when carried in this Easylunchboxes insulated lunch bag.

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



20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The Bentgo kids has five compartments; largest compartment is good for sandwiches, leftovers, pasta, salad and more. The other compartments are perfect for fruits, veggies, snacks, yogurt, applesauce and dips.

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.

Things to consider:
- It's a little on the heavy side compared to other lunch boxes.

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


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags



20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
We personally own both the LunchBots Duo and Quad. LunchBots are made of stainless steel, come in various sizes and styles and with lids in cheerful colors.
We own the LunchBots duo for nine years now and it is still in perfect condition, well worth the price.

Features that we like:
- Divided compartments to keep food separate and not touching.
- The lids are easy to remove even for small hands.
- They are easy to clean, will not retain stains, odors or residues since it is stainless steel.
- Will last for a long time with proper care.
- Lead free, plastic free, BPA free, phthalate free, non toxic and waste free.

Things to consider:
- The containers are not leak proof.
- Not for use in microwave.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in LunchBots by clicking HERE.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The Go Green lunch box is a generously sized five compartment food container which even comes with a bottle that will hold eight ounces of your preferred drink.

It is truly leak proof due to their innovative design. Due to it's size, it fits best with the lunch bag that comes with it. The dimensions are 13in x 8in x 3 in.

Features that we like:
- It's leak-proof. The “turn n lock” knob and soft silicone bands were designed to make it leak-proof and airtight.
- The top and bottom are tethered together so I don’t have to worry about the lid getting lost or being forgotten at lunch.
- The drink bottle fits neatly inside the box and the bottle is stainless steel.
- Easy to unfasten retention clips allow lid to be separated for cleaning.
- It is BPA-free, Lead-free, PVC-free, and Phthalate-free.

Things to consider:
- Not recommended for dishwasher.
- It's best used with their own lunch bag since it's size is larger than most standard bags.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in the Go Green Lunch Box by clicking HERE.

10. Ecolunchbox Blue Water Bento Splash Box

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
Ecolunchbox blue water splash box is a leak-proof lunch box. Measures 6 1/2 by 4 3/4 inches by 2 inches tall.
Silicone lid and stainless container are free of plastic, BPA, and phthalates. The Splash Box’s blue lid is embossed with an ocean-inspired wave design. It also features easy-to-grip corner tabs for opening and closing. As for clean-up, all parts are dishwasher safe. The quality of this lunch box is excellent and I am sure that it will last for many years with proper care.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The ECOlunchbox is a stainless steel container and we own both the Solo Cube and Solo Rectangle versions. The Solo Cube measures 5 1/4 inches square, 1 7/8 inches deep, with 600ml capacity and the Solo Rectangle measures 4 3/4 inches wide, 6 3/4 inches long, and 2 inches deep with 850ml capacity.

Features that we like:
- Easy to open and close for small hands.
- Stainless steel will not retain stains, odors or residues and will last for a long time with proper care.
- Dishwasher safe.
- Lead free, plastic free, BPA free, phthalate free, non toxic and waste free.

Things to consider:
- The containers are not leak proof.
- Not for use in microwave.

**You can see my gallery of lunches packed in ECOlunchboxes by clicking HERE.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags


15. Thermos Stainless King - 16 oz

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags


Insulated containers are great for leftovers which are mainly dinner foods! We do soup, tortellini, pasta, gyoza, chicken nuggets, chili, meatballs, fried rice, fried noodles, mac & cheese, pizza (cut to fit), Jambalaya and more. We have several thermos jars, the FOOGO  has 12 oz capacity while the Funtainer is 10 oz capacity. We also have the Thermos Stainless King which holds 16 oz.

16. LunchBots 16oz Thermal Stainless Steel Wide Mouth Thermos

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

The 16 oz LunchBots thermal has a bowl like shape which is both easy to fill with foods such as chili, stews, pasta, soups and also makes it easy to use when eating. I love the inside of the lid which is stainless steel and without plastic coming into contact with hot food.

17. Warm and Tote Heated Meal Totes

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

This lunchbag helps keep food warm or cold for hours with the Microcore pac. There is plenty of space in the Warm and Tote, and with two compartments separated by an effective thermal divider, you can keep the lunch warm in one while you keep fruits or a beverage cool in the other.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
Warmables Neoprene Food Warmer Sleeves keep meals warm for hours.Their heat packs are filled with natural cherry pits, and do a truly remarkable job of retaining heat when used with the sleeve. The size of the sleeve is about 8"x 9", uses a Velcro closure, and is easily washable.

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags
The Planetbox carry bag is one of the bags that our son uses daily. It's designed to comfortably hold your PlanetBox Rover or Launch lunchbox or any other lunchbox that you have. Outside water bottle pouch holds water bottle with a 3-inch diameter or less. Outside snack pocket. Inner mesh pocket fits the ColdKit ice pack to keep your foods cold and inner elastic straps holds utensils.


20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

This premium medium capacity insulated lunch bag with shoulder strap is leak proof and thermal insulated. There are also side pouches to store your water bottle and front pocket to store extra items such as utensils and napkins. Available in many colors.

The above are just a few lunchboxes from our collection and this list does not include the many double tiered bento boxes, some of which can be seen HERE, or some really cute ones which can also be found on this blog.

Do you pack lunches for your kids or for yourself, and do you have a favorite lunch box?

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

20 Best Lunch Boxes For School + Thermos and Bags

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019


Review: Warmables Food Warmer Sleeve

The great people at Warmables generously offered us the opportunity to review their Food Warmer Sleeve, and I'm quite excited to share my experience with you in this post.

Warmables Food Warmer Sleeve Review

The photo below shows the beautiful pink sleeve and the two natural heat packs. The color is gorgeous!

Warmables Food Warmer Sleeve Review

The photos below show:

Photo 1 shows leftover shrimp fried rice in a 26 oz. container which easily fits into the sleeve. I heated the leftovers in a microwave safe plate before transferring them into the lunchbox.

Photo 2 shows that the sleeve opens wide for easy packing.

Photo 3 shows the container in the sleeve with the natural heat packs.

Photo 4 shows the sleeve packed, closed, and ready to go!

Warmables Food Warmer Sleeve Review

This great sleeve is perfect for keeping foods such as leftovers, meatballs, pasta, chicken nuggets, pizza, fried rice, and more warm, which kids and adults alike prefer.

The combination of their sleeve and heat packs do an excellent job of keeping foods warm until lunchtime, and you won't have to search out and wait your turn at a microwave when you should be enjoying your meal. It's a great idea for school, but also for the office, picnic or when traveling.

In the photo below you can see how nicely everything fits into our Warmables neoprene food warmer sleeve. Not only do I love how my food stayed warm till lunchtime, I also love the color of the sleeve. Y'all may already know that pink is my favorite color.

Warmables Food Warmer Sleeve Review

The sleeves from Warmables are manufactured by them in the USA using first grade insulated neoprene like that used in deep sea diving suits. Their heat packs are filled with natural cherry pits, and do a truly remarkable job of retaining heat when used with the sleeve. The size of the sleeve is about 8"x 9", uses a Velcro closure, and is easily washable.

Their kit is very easy to use. Simply fill a container which fits into the sleeve with your chosen hot food, then as the instructions describe, heat the cherry pit bags for 30 to 90 seconds (depending on microwave) removing them at 30 second intervals to test for temperature after a gentle shaking to even the heat. Then put the container along with the cherry pit bags into the pouch. At lunchtime you or your child will be able to enjoy a warm and tasty lunch just like you desired!

Currently Warmables has a special offer at their website. They have a coupon for 10% off orders over $50 when you use the coupon code 'warm' at checkout. I think you will really enjoy shopping at their site which has lots of fun and clever ideas. Shipping is free on their website.

Disclosure: Warmables generously provided me with the products for review without cost to me. All opinions are my own.
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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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