Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Earth Day - ECO Products Review


ECO-Products asked me to review a few of their products and when best to post the review on Earth Day! Disposable plates and cups are a reality in our busy family of six. No matter if it is a busy night full of sports practices, spring break or simply a busy weekend. Disposable plates more times then not help me stay sane during busy mealtimes (I use them infrequently but still often enough to want to make an eco-friendly choice). I am advocating for a waste-free and eco-friendly life style on my blog and you may wonder why I choose to talk about disposable dinner ware.

Sustainable disposables sound like an oxymoron, but we do live in a consumer culture where disposables are simply every present. From coffee to-go to fast food restaurants and at home. What we can do is support the companies that try to provide sustainable disposables that are better for our earth.

ECO-Products Earth day Review - mamabelly.com

We have tried many "eco-friendly" disposables and more often then not the quality of the plates and cups were simply disappointing. Who wants dinner served on a soggy paper plate?

ECO-Products Earth day Review - mamabelly.com

The ECO-Products plates are different! I was impressed by the look and quality of the Square Sugar cane Plates! They look elegant and we tested serving several foods that easily make regular paper plates soggy. We were pleasantly surprised how amazing they were! No matter if salad, appetizers, breakfast or lunch the plates held up!


This meal left hardly any residue on the plate! We love these plates and will buy them again! Even when we have guests over since the Square Sugarcane Plates are stylish alternatives to traditional paper or polystyrene plates and held up better then any of the plates we tried before. 

ECO-Products Earth day Review - mamabelly.com
Toasted bagel with white and green cream cheese and blue sugar.

Plus, these plates are highly versatile, strong, and cut-resistant. Sugarcane fiber products are BPI certified compostable and made from a 100% reclaimed and renewable material.

ECO-Products Earth day Review - mamabelly.com

The Sugarcane Divided Plates are a strong, grease and cut resistant alternative to traditional plastic or polystyrene. Sugarcane fiber products are BPI certified compostable and made from a 100% reclaimed and renewable material. They are also great for hot food, microwave friendly and compostable!

ECO-Products Earth day Review - mamabelly.com

We used the Divided Plates a lot during spring break for quick lunches at home and the kids were pleased how strong they were and that they keep their food apart!

Shown here:
  • 1 egg (halved)
  • Kosher Dill Petites Pickles
  • an apples and cherry fruit salad
  • and an Elephant ham and mustard sandwich

ECO-Products Earth day Review - mamabelly.com

ECO-Products also sent us some of their Plantware® Cutlery! I just love the fun color choices! The Plantware® Utensils are renewable & compostable and is the only choice for compostable cutlery with a high-heat tolerance. New formulation offers strength and heat tolerance up to 200° F without relying on unsustainable virgin plastic resources. 100% renewable, BPI certified compostable and ASTM compliant.

ECO-Products Earth day Review - mamabelly.com

We also tested the 10 oz This is Why™ Hot Cups! We very rarely use paper cups and I forgot to ask for lids so I could not test out how practical they are on the go but I was pleased with they ability to stay strong with hot and cold liquids. They feature stunning imagery from the natural world and are both renewable and compostable. This means that cup was made from materials that can be regrown again and again, and after its useful life, the entire cup can be returned to the Earth as compost. 

Overall we loved:
  • that ECO-Products are made with renewable and compostable materials
  • I loved seeing the Carbon Footprint for each produst on the site!
  • All products were high quality, stylish and versatile
  • You can find the products both at ECO-Products and Amazon



    Monday, April 14, 2014

    No Slurping, No Burping! - a Literary Lunch

    Disclaimer: The publisher provided this book to me at no cost. However, all opinions are my own!

    This lunch is also posted over at The Little Crooked Cottage as a Literary Lunch for Mr. Pig's interview with Evie, Simon and Father.. Head over to the fabulous blog of four children's book authors and check out the interview with Evie, Simon and Father to find out what they have in their pockets right now!


    Looking for a fun book to teach kids table manners? Kara LaReau's NO SLURPING, NO BURPING! is a funny book teaching kids in a silly way how to mind their table manners! 


    My kids loves that Father was the one making all the mistakes and could relate to his frustrations trying to remember EVERY table manner rule Evie and Simon (his kids) tried to teach. 


    Eating fettuccine or spaghetti is messy after all. Although Father does brings messy pasta eating to a whole new level when he tries to eat all the mushrooms at one time ;) My kids loved this page!! They giggled and giggled imagining trying to wind a whole plate of pasta on a fork and trying to eat it. This page inspired our matching Literary Lunch for today!


    This lunch to-go in our Planetbox Shuttle for Father should keep him reminded of table etiquette:
    • Evie, Simon and Dog grapes (someone after all has to make sure Father minds his manners)
    • Spaghetti in a fancy dish with garlic bread utensils and of course a white tablecloth
    • and a sweet chocolate biscuit reminder: No slurping, No Burping!

    What I used to make this lunch (contains affiliate links):




    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    LOOK! Lunch!


    We woke up tired on a foggy and rainy day. I think I will need a lot of coffee today to get going.


    I packed my 3rd grader a silly lunch with:
    • strawberries
    • vanilla yogurt with sprinkles
    • a cereal bar
    • grapes
    • and a Hulk and Captain America PBJ sandwiches
    What I used to make this lunch (contains affiliate links):

    Monday, March 31, 2014

    Extraordinary Warren: A Super Chicken - Literary Lunch

    Disclaimer: The publisher provided this book to me at no cost. However, all opinions are my own!

    This lunch is also posted over at The Little Crooked Cottage as a Literary Lunch for Mr. Pig's interview with Warren. Head over to the fabulous blog of four children's book authors and check out the interview with Warren to find out what he would bring in case he would get stranded on a deserted island!

    The new book EXTRAORDINARY WARREN: A SUPER CHICKEN written by Sarah Dillard is the extraordinary story of the ordinary chicken, Warren, the run-of-the-mill rat, Millard, and Egg, an everyday egg waiting to hatch. When Warren, Millard, and Egg meet, their ordinary, run-of-the-mill, everyday lives become EXTRAORDINARY!


    Warren, the chicken, is bored with life on the farm and wants to feel special. He runs into Millard, the rat, who is also bored. Bored looking through trash for a good meal. He hungers for a "Chicken Supreme" and through a misunderstanding Warren finally feels special. Until he realizes that Chicken Supreme is food (who eats chicken??) and has to go on to rescue his friends on the farm with his new friend Egg. Will they succeed? 


    You don't have to be extraordinary to enjoy this lunch packed in our Planetbox Shuttle:
    • A Millard the Rat chocolate spread sandwich with melted chocolate details 
    • fresh strawberries wrapped in newspaper for Millard to find in the trash
    • Extraordinary Warren Mac 'n' Cheese with carrot and apple details 
    • Egg (his friend) filled with a little treat 
    • and an apple and carrot salad with the hatched Egg - his new sidekick 

    My kids really loved this book! The illustrations are wonderful and they loved reading all the speech and thought bubbles while I read them the book. This book makes reading fun since it is a chapter book but interspersed with graphic novel style illustrations. My reluctant 2nd grade reader was feeling so proud when he read this chapter book all by himself!

    What I used to make this lunch (contains affiliate links):



    Tuesday, March 25, 2014

    Arnold and Thomas Thins Review {with Giveaway}



    Sandwich Thins®, Pocket Thins® and Bagel Thins® provided me with coupons for free product and a gift card for my recipe ingredients. All opinions in this post are my own.

    I love bread! All bread! And so does my family. However, my kids cannot finish a whole bagel at school for lunch and I, well, shouldn't eat a whole bagel by myself if I don't want to spend endless hours trying to work it back off. That is why I was very excited when Arnold®, Brownberry® and Oroweat® Sandwich Thins®, Pocket Thins® and Thomas’® Bagel Thins® reached out to me to see if I wanted to try their new Weight Watchers® endorsed Thins. With 110 calories or less, and options including Healthy Multi-grain, Flax & Fiber, and 100% Whole Wheat, the recipe possibilities are endless.

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    As you can see from the picture All Arnold®, Brownberry® and Oroweat® Sandwich Thins® Rolls are 100 calories, cholesterol-free foods, containing zero grams of Trans Fat and no high fructose corn syrup. Plus they are only a 3 PointsPlus VALUE® according to Weight Watchers®! The available varieties are 100% Whole Wheat, Healthy Multi-grain, Honey Wheat and Flax & Fiber.

    The Bagel Thins® are 110 calories, cholesterol-free, low in fat and contain zero grams of Trans Fat as well. They are a 3 PointsPlus VALUE® like the Sandwich Thins and are available in the following varieties: Plain, 100% Whole Wheat, Cinnamon Raisin and Everything.

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    The Pocket Thins® are 100 calories as well, a cholesterol-free foods, containing zero grams of Trans Fat and no high fructose corn syrup. They also have the same 3 PointsPlus VALUE®.

    After learning all the positives of the products there was only one way to find out if we would like the taste as well: Pack lunch!

    I made three different recipes and packed them for lunch to see what my family would think:


    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    What you need:
    Recipe can be found here.

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    How to make it:



    The result:

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com
    Packed in Easylunchboxes

    We loved the Sandwich Thins! They are a great alternative to bread or a roll and besides the fact that they are only 100 calories EVERYONE liked the taste! Paired with the curried chicken it was a great addition to our lunch rotation!


    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    What you need:

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    How to make it:


    The Result:

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com
    Packed in Easylunchboxes

    Breakfast for Lunch is always a hit at our house but now I can actually enjoy a bagel without the guilt! The kids were able to finish the bagels at school as well and lightly toasted they were a new favorite!

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    What you need:

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com

    How to make it:


    The Result:

    Arnold and Thomas' Thins Review {+Giveaway} - mamabelly.com
    Packed in Easylunchboxes

    I love Pita Pockets for lunch but I have to say I really enjoyed the Italian Herb Pocket Thins since they had less calories but a lot more flavor! The kids preferred the plain ones over the Italian Herb ones but that just means more for me ;)

    Overall: We loved all the Arnold and Thomas Thins products we tried and want to give you a chance to win both coupons for free products and a $25 Visa gift card of you own so you can either recreate the recipes above or your own!

    a Rafflecopter giveaway



    Wednesday, March 19, 2014

    Storybook Bento: Origami Yoda


    March is National Reading Month and Laptop Lunches asked us to help them celebrate with a storybook bento! We love our Literary Lunch series and the kids were excited to be able to pick the book themselves this time! They picked their current favorite: The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger!


    The Strange Case of Origami Yoda is about the good and bad dynamics of a sixth-grade class and Dwight, an unpopular kid, who talks to his friends via an origami finger puppet of Yoda. If that's not already strange enough - Origami Yoda is surprisingly wise and on point. He predicts the date of a pop quiz, guesses who stole the classroom Shakespeare bust, and saves a classmate from popularity-crushing embarrassment with some well-timed advice. Tommy, Dwight's classmate, sets out to figure out how Origami Yoda can be so wise when Dwight is...well...so clueless. This is a great and fun book for kids 8-12. You can even learn how to fold your own Origami Yoda! We truly love this series and have reached book four in the series. Join us in reading this witty series of books any middle schooler with a love of Star Wars is surely to enjoy!


    Our Origami Yoda Laptop Lunches Bento Box lunch is filled with:
    • Broccoli and cheese stars
    • an Origami Yoda Pepperoni and Salad wrap with a green grape light saber
    • kiwi and strawberries with more light sabers ( you can never have enough of those!)
    • and a Star Wars swirled yogurt with a Yoda wafer (thanks, Sis!)
    What we used to make this lunch (contains affiliate links):

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014

    A Fun Din Din Platter Lunch


    We have rediscovered the Innobaby Din Din Platter for ourselves. My preschooler is so busy these days she often gets up from snack or lunch (mostly after second helpings - we do require the kids to sit and eat with us) to play Frozen or feed her stuffed rescued animals and the food gets easily forgotten. Thanks to the lid however, she will put the lid on and the food will stay fresh until she has time to come back for more ;)


    Our Din Din Platter Lunch includes:

    • mini cucumber slices
    • Minion cheese crackers
    • sliced strawberries sprinkled with a pinch of sugar
    • pepperoni slices and a 
    • mini roll with mayonnaise (she loves putting together her own sandwich)
    Things I used to make this lunch (contains affiliate links):

     

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