Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Infamous Ratsos - a Literary Lunch


This lunch is also posted over at The Little Crooked Cottage as a Literary Lunch. Head over to the fabulous blog of three children's book authors and check out the wonderful Literary Interviews with Mr. Pig himself!


Meet Louie and Ralphie Ratso from Kara LaReau's new book THE INFAMOUS RATSOS, illustrated by Matt Myers:


Louie and Ralphie Ratso want to be TOUGH just like their Dad after their Mom dies. And they will show everybody how tough they are! The only problem is that every time they try to be tough and hard, they actually end up doing a good deed and show kindness and friendship. What will their Dad think when he hears what they have done? Would he want them to be more like him?


We packed an infamously tough lunch to accompany the book:
  • Tiny Crawley's hat on cheese crackers
  • Mrs. Porcupini's cereal bar soap 
  • Mr. O'Hare's hot chocolate pudding
  • and the Infamous Ratso Sandwich for Florinda Rabbitski : grilled cheddar with beets and pickled mushrooms! Yum-O!




Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Race Car Dreams - Blog Tour



I am part of a wonderful blog tour today, introducing RACE CAR DREAMS by the fabulous Sharon Chriscoe. My kids immediately fell in love with this sweet story of a little race car getting ready for bed!


My kids love cars, especially race cars and it is so fun to read this rhyming book to them. Going through our all too familiar bedtime routine in car terms is simply delightful and such a fun change to regular bedtime books.


To match this fun book we made a sleeping peanut butter and jelly race car sandwich with melted chocolate and jelly decorations. Served with a warm glass of bed, the best toddler food to guarantee race car filled dreams!


To see and read more about RACE CAR DREAMS follow along in our Blog Book Tour:

9/7 MomReadIt
9/14 MamaBelly

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Beautiful - Literary Blog Tour


This post contains affiliate links.


BEAUTIFUL written by Stacy McAnulty is an amazing book for young girls! It redefines beauty as something already inside of everyone. EVERY girl is beautiful! It encourages girls to embrace who they are and reach for the stars!


I particularly love that the words itself might not sound any different to what girls hear every day. But paired with the beautiful illustrations by Joanne Lew Vriethoff, the words suddenly mean so much more!


I loved reading this book to my daughter and see her eyes widen when she realized what the words really meant! Every girl should have this book!

If you want to read more about BEAUTIFUL, check out the Blog Tour below:

BEAUTIFUL Blog Tour

9/3 MomReadIt
9/8 MamaBelly


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lunch for your High School Athlete (with THERMOS)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. Thermos provided the Hydration Bottle but all opinions are my own.

Back to School is in full swing but the heat index is still almost in the triple digits here. For the first time, I am packing lunch for a high schooler and one who also plays football and practices for 3+ hours every day after school. With some trial and error we found what works for us for lunch and I wanted to share our finds with you!


1. WATER 

Water (and I mean lots of it) was our first priority with temperatures still in the high 90s. Thermos sent us their 64 Ounce Foam Insulated Hydration Bottle and believe me: it is the best water jug we have EVER tried! Even in 100 degree weather, standing on the football field for more than 3 hours, the jug kept the water cold (even the ice was not completely melted!!).


On a few milder days, the Hydration bottle kept the water cold from 5 am all the way until the afternoon. This is really one of those finds that was a huge help during the double sessions (7 am to 3 pm practices). I could always be sure that his water was cold!


We love the safety features that prevent accidental spilling:




  • Hygienic push-button, flip-up lid with hygienic hard spout
  • Locking latch for extra security


  • And of course the convenient carrying handle that folds down when not in use!



    2. FOOD - WHAT'S FOR LUNCH

    Now that we had found a great water jug solution, I was trying to find lunch ideas that would keep him field during school and for practice. I discovered the amazing cookbook FEED ZONE and there are so many amazing recipes for athletes. I eventually purchased FEED ZONE PORTABLES and especially the rice cakes have worked great for my family. Packed in our trusted Easylunchboxes!


    Here is a video on how to make the rice cakes:



    We make them with whatever we have in the house, although I do follow the original recipe most times. This time however, I added turkey, spinach, and onions only and topped it with a little bit of cheese.


    We have tried them with white and brown rice and once they cool down, they will stay compact and transport well.

    Sunday, August 7, 2016

    Review: Goodbyn Bynto and Hero {with GIVEAWAY}



    Goodbyn Review - mamabelly.com

    If you read my blog regularly, you know that we love our Goodbyn lunch containers! They were the very first containers I bought for my kids and they have proven to be one of our favorites over time. 

    Goodbyn Review - mamabelly.com

    Besides the obvious plus points of the Goodbyn (carrying handle, dishwasher safe and leak proof), I love that the Bynto is easy to open for my kids even though it is still leak proof and my kids love the bright colors and convenience of being able to carry it without a lunch bag.

    Goodbyn Review - mamabelly.com

    We packed this lovely purple Bynto with;
    • a peanut butter sandwich on multi grain bread
    • grapes and a stamped banana
    • mini peppers

    Goodbyn Review - mamabelly.com

    The Goodbyn Hero is truly a Hero! We love that it comes with two dippers which makes packing a breakfast style lunchbox a breeze. Just like the Bynto, this lunchbox is so versatile. You can pack a lot or a little and there is even room for a Goodbyn bottle!

    Goodbyn Review - mamabelly.com

    Why do we love these Goodbyn containers?
    • They are easy to wash (Top rack dishwasher safe)
    • made FDA-approved Materials
    • BPA- and phthalate free
    • easy to open for little kids
    • fun and colorful
    • hold up throughout the school year! We had ours for years!
    • 100% Recyclable

    Goodbyn Review - mamabelly.com


      This Goodbyn Hero contains:
    • grapes
    • cheese
    • vanilla yogurt
    • peanut butter sushi
    • a Larabar and
    • a few pieces of cereal to eat with the yogurt

    WANT A CHANCE TO WIN THESE TWO? Enter my giveaway below:

    a Rafflecopter giveaway 

    Disclaimer: 

    Open to US residents only. Winners will be notified via email. Winners have 24h to respond before a new winner is drawn. Good luck!

    Goodbyn sent me a Goodbyn Bynto and Hero to review. All opinions are my own.


    Wednesday, July 20, 2016

    Summer Lunches


    This post was previously posted on the Bentology website. This post contains affiliate links.

    Bentology Summer Lunches - mamabelly.com

    Even though it is summer we are still packing lunches for work, camp and trips to the beach and pool. I love going shopping with my kids this time of year so they can pick out fresh fruit and vegetables for their lunches!

    Bentology Summer Lunches - mamabelly.com

    This summer lunch contains:
    • a simple herb salad and cheese wrap, 
    • a mini pepper, 
    • blueberry yogurt topped with fresh blueberries and 
    • a few farm fresh strawberries. 

    The perfect lunch for work!


    Bentology Summer Lunches - mamabelly.com

    My kids prefer smaller portions and a variety of choices. The Bentology Bento Lunch Box makes packing several food groups so easy. No matter if you are packing for camp, school, or a day at the pool, with the right prep you can pack this lunchbox in under 5 min!

    This colorful lunch contains:
    • a mini pepper and baby carrots, 
    • blueberries with a few raspberries, 
    • strawberries, 
    • Goldfish crackers,
    • three mini stamped ice cream sandwiches filled with nut butter and 
    • yogurt topped with fresh raspberries. 
    Here a few tips to make packing lunches a little easier:
    • Pick out the fruits and veggies you plan to pack with your kids at the store. They are more likely to eat them if they got to decide which ones to pack or try.
    • Prep prep prep! Wash the fruits and veggies when you get home and store them in a container in the fridge ready to go. That way healthy snacks are always available and you save time when making lunch. I often shop and prep on Sundays so I am ready for the week. 
    • It is so much easier to plan and pack at night after the kids are in bed then in the morning when you are rushing out the door! So, pre-pack what you can and store the Laptop Lunches containers in either your fridge or on the counter until you need them.
    Bentology Summer Lunches - mamabelly.com


    • --> I filled the containers that need to be refrigerated the night before and placed them in the fridge. Take advantage of the fact that two of the Laptop Lunches containers have lids (but you can also cover the containers with plastic foil if need be). I highly recommend the Bento Buddies if you pack lunch every day since you get 4 lidded containers in the set! I filled one container with crackers and pre-cut the bread to save time in the morning as well. I used a fondant plunger to make the ice cream shaped bread but even a simple cookie cutter can make lunch more fun! I started with one star shaped cookie cutter 2 years ago. I just place the bread back into the bread bag and seal it. That way I only need to fill the sandwich in the morning. With a little prep packing a healthy and colorful lunch is fast and fun!

    • Don't forget last night's left overs! They make great lunches the next day!
    • Always have some healthy snacks in the fridge you can add to your lunchbox in the morning when your are short on time.
    • Freeze juice pouches or to go yogurts to keep your lunchbox cold and the drink and food fresh on hot summer days!
    Bentology Summer Lunches - mamabelly.com

    ThisBentology bento box contains:
    • left over macaroni and cheese with carrot flowers
    • cheese crackers
    • fruit gummies
    • a peach, sliced
    • a yogurt to go and
    • a frozen juice pouch to keep the lunch cold until it's time to eat
    Have a great summer!



    Friday, June 10, 2016

    Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars - a Literary Lunch




    I have a very special literary lunch for you today! The amazing Maria Gianferrari has written another wonderful Penny & Jelly book and this time the adventure takes them outside.


    Penny gets invited to a slumber under the stars event at the community center and starts to make plans on what she will need. Penny cannot wait to see the stars in the sky! But then she realizes that pets are not allowed at the sleep over and Jelly will have to stay home. Can Penny make a Jelly to bring out of cotton balls? or Recycling? Find out what Penny and jelly come up with and if they slumber under the stars that night!


    We made a yummy campfire snack to match Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars:
    • yummy swiss cheese stars
    • Penny & Jelly chocolate and marshmellow sandwiches with fruit snack decorations.
    BUT WAIT! Are you curious to find out how Penny & Jelly solve the "no pets allowed" dilemma?

    Win a copy of the new book HERE:


    a Rafflecopter giveaway



    Maria writes both fiction and nonfiction picture books from her sunny, book-lined study in northern Virginia, with dog, Becca as her muse. Maria’s debut picture book, Penny & Jelly: The School Show, illustrated by Thyra Heder, was released in July 2015 (HMH Books for Young Readers); a companion book, Penny & Jelly Slumber Under the Stars, will be released in June. Her debut nonfiction book, Coyote Moon, illustrated by Bagram Ibatoulline, will be published by Roaring Brook Press in July, and Aladdin Books for Young Readers will publish Officer Katz & Houndini: A Tale of Two Tails in October. Maria has five additional books forthcoming from Roaring Brook Press, Boyds Mills Press and GP Putnam’s Sons. To learn more about Maria, visit her website: mariagianferrari.com and on Facebook.
    And you can visit Penny & Jelly at their website: http://www.pennyandjelly.com/

    And check out all of these stops on the the official Penny & Jelly blog tour:
    Extra feature:


     

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