Monday, September 22, 2014

Applegate HALF TIME Review {with Giveaway}



I am passionate about packing healthy, well balanced lunches for my kids. But there are those mornings when I wish there was a quick solution to lunch packing that was healthy and delicious. Because we all wake up with a head cold sometimes  have bad mornings sometimes and having a healthy lunch solution at hand can be a huge time saver!

This is why I am so excited that my favorite companies (Applegate, Annie's Homegrown and Stonyfield Organics) have teamed up to bring you HALF TIME - a lunch you can feel good about!


HALF TIME is available in 3 varieties:
  • Turkey & Cheese
  • Ham & Cheese, and 
  • Bologna & Cheese

So we put HALF TIME to the test (actually the hungry Tween test. One hungry 12 year old vs HALF TIME Ham and American Cheese):


I have to admit that I was not sure if this would be enough food to feed my 12 year old son for lunch. BUT, I was pleasantly surprised when he finished and told me that he loved it AND that it was enough for lunch! He loved making cracker stackers and with the yogurt and cookies he felt full but not weighed down. SUCCESS!


What we loved:
  • made with organic and natural ingredients
  • free of preservatives, artificial flavors or colors
  • all animals are raised humanely and without antibiotics
  • the combination of yogurt, fruit snack and crackers with meat and cheese
  • includes familiar brands we already buy
  • enough for a tween for lunch
What to keep in mind:
  • it does not include a drink (this was NOT an issue for me since my kids carry a water bottle to school every day) but it might make a difference to you.
  • the current price is about $5 at our local Target, so a little on the pricey side. I still think it is worth the extra money to have a healthy lunch in the fridge for a busy morning or a better to-go food for car trips, after school activities, field trips, museum outings or ball park visits.

Would you like to try HALF TIME? Win an awesome prize pack!

Included in your prize package is everything pictured above:
  • All three varieties of HALF TIME: Turkey & Cheese, Ham & Cheese, and Bologna & Cheese
  • A draw-your-own lunch bag
  • A set of permanent markers
  • Coupons
  • Activity book
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Open to US addresses only. Winner will be notified via email and has 24 h to claim their prize before a new winner is drawn. Good luck!

Disclaimer: Applegate provided me with a free HALF TIME snack kit. All opinions are my own.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Yumbox Lunches for the week of 9/15 - 9/19


Here is our round up of Yumbox lunches for this week. My daughter chose one of our German lunchboxes twice this week so I only have three lunch ideas for you but there will be more again next week since the Yumbox seems to just consistently work best for her.

1.) Yumbox Flower Lunch

Yumbox Schoollunch Ideas - mamabelly.com

We packed a flowery lunch containing:
  • carrots
  • strawberry yogurt
  • Annie's cheddar bunnies
  • kiwi
  • 1/2 bag of fruit snack and
  • a stamped flower sandwich

2.) I Have My Eyes On You Lunch

Yumbox Schoollunch Ideas - mamabelly.com

A silly mismatched lunch containing:
  • three Energy Bites
  • peach yogurt
  • Snikiddy Mac'n'Cheese Puffs
  • carrots
  • 1/2 bag of fruit snack
  • and a stamped Minnie Mouse sandwich 

3.) The Pudding Yumbox

Yumbox Schoollunch Ideas - mamabelly.com

This funny pudding Yumbox is packed with:
  • pudding set right in the tray
  • celery and grape tomatoes
  • Annie's snack mix
  • kiwi
  • 1/2 bag of fruit snacks
  • and a stamped Hello Kitty sandwich
How was your week? 

If you want to pack your own Yumbox lunches you can find what I used here (contains affiliate links):



Thursday, September 18, 2014

Easy Lunch Ideas in Easylunchboxes


Somehow week 3 of the beginning of school is the hardest so far. Trying to keep up with everyone's schedule is harder then I thought now that I have 4 kids in 3 different schools (of course all with different school hours). I am still packing lunches every day (unless there is Macaroni and Cheese on the school menu and all four kids are batting their eye lashes to convince me to let them buy). How are you doing with week 3? Leave me a comment at the end of the post. I'd love to know your tips and tricks to stay organized and on top of things or hear what did not go so well this week!

But back to lunch. Here are some lunches from this week. All in our Easylunchboxes for quick assembly line lunch packing:


My kids love the idea of Uncrustables so I often make my own (less expensive and so much healthier!). This lunch is packed for a superhero and contains:
  • a Hulk pocket sandwich
  • cheese crackers
  • strawberries
  • a kid sized cereal bar and a few fruit snacks



Have a Tween at home? They love big lunches and for this Easylunchbox lunch I packed:
  • cheddar crackers
  • grapes 
  • a large pepperoni, spinach grinder
  • a small container with veggie dip 
  • and celery to dip



We all need a pick me up mid-week so I made pudding and let it set right in the Easylunchboxes over night. I sealed the compartment with a small piece of press&seal plastic wrap to prevent leaking and they all came home with huge smiles that afternoon. I also packed:
  • snack mix
  • a big wrap with turkey, cheese and spinach
  • grape tomatoes and
  • a fruit snack 




Tuesday, September 16, 2014

National Guacamole Day #GuacitForward



Happy National Guacamole Day! I have partnered with Wholly Guacamole® and Laptop Lunches to celebrate this fun holiday (we all need a reason to celebrate with guacamole, am I right? Psst, find the giveaway from last week or at the end of this post and win some yummy guacamole and Laptop Lunches Bento Buddies!)!

Wholly Guacamole® wants to celebrate National Guacamole Day this year by paying it forward and they need your help!



Use the hashtag #GuacitForward on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share how you are paying it forward! Together we can put a lot of smiles on people's faces! 

So, how did we celebrate National Guacamole Day?


We packed a fun Guacamole lunch in our Laptop Lunches Bento Box:
  • Classic Wholly Guacamole® mini
  • tortilla chips
  • ham, cheese, salad and hummus wraps and 
  • baby carrots and a piece of last night's corn
I also added a matching Lunchbox Love Card to encourage my kids to #GuacitForward today!



And to celebrate National Guacamole Day, you can win some fun Wholly Guacamole® and Laptop Lunches goodies:

  • 3 Guacamole Trays (various flavors)
  • 2 mini cups (various flavors)
  • Chip Clip
  • Avocado Squeezie

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 15, 2014

Louise Loves Art - 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 four children's book authors and check out the wonderful Literary Interviews with Mr. Pig himself! And if you want to find out more about Louise or are curious about what might be in her pockets right now, head over to her special interview!



Louise Love Art - written and illustrated by Kelly Light - is a beautifully illustrated book about the importance of creativity in all forms. In Louise's own words: "I love art! It's my imagination on the outside."


But working on a masterpiece is hard sometimes when your little brother is working on his own masterpiece at the same time. This sweet and imaginative story is a great book for all budding artist out there! My kids really enjoyed this book and could relate to the sister-brother relationship in this book (with four kids there is always a lot happening at once). As you can see our copy is well loved already and I know this book will be read many more times to come.


To celebrate all creativity we packed an Easylunchboxes lunch anyone could imagine for lunch:
  • strawberries with a purple crayon decoration
  • corn puffs with fruit leather hand prints
  • and a Louise chocolate filled tortilla with melted chocolate and fruit leather decorations


Hope everyone's week is filled with creativity. Happy Reading!

If you want to make your own Louise Loves Art lunch, check out what I used to make my lunch (contains affiliate links):



Friday, September 12, 2014

National Guacamole Day Celebration with Wholly Guacamole and Laptop Lunches {with GIVEAWAY}


National Guacamole Day is this coming up this Tuesday and Wholly Guacamole® is celebrating by giving back to the community and encouraging others to do the same! With their #GuacitForward campaign Wholly Guacamole® wants to encourage everyone to pay it forward! They are also spotlighting their partners who contribute to charity and pay it forward. Wholly Guacamole® and Laptop Lunches have teamed up for an amazing Giveaway and you can win some fun and yummy lunch stuff while giving back!


Doesn't this Shrimp pasta salad look delicious? For fun lunch ideas using Wholly Guacamole® head over to their website. When you get there, select Lunch ideas and you can scroll through all the Grown-Up and Kid's lunch ideas. If you click on the recipe name, a convenient shopping list pops up to make it easier to pack your own yummy Wholly Guacamole® lunch!

I let my kids look at all the fun lunch ideas and this deconstructed Nacho lunch was their favorite. I am glad there is an easy printable list on Wholly Guacamole®'s website and I am always looking for new lunch packing ideas. Would your kids love this?

For more ideas on how to pack a great National Guacamole Lunch go to Wholly Guacamole®.

And to find out more on how to  #GuacitForward:



So what can you win?

  • 3 Guacamole Trays (various flavors)
  • 2 mini cups (various flavors)
  • Chip Clip
  • Avocado Squeezie


Enter my easy giveaway below! Good Luck!

(Shipping address has to be in contiguous United States).


Winner will be notified via email and has 24 h to claim their prize before I will draw a new winner!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Joe and Sparky Go to School - 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 four children's book authors and check out the wonderful Literary Interviews with Mr. Pig himself! Plus, if you want to know why the interview with Joe and Sparky turned out to be a little awkward, head over to Mr. Pig's interview!

Literary Lunch for School: JOE AND SPARKY GO TO SCHOOL - mamabelly.com

Do your kids have the back to school jitters? You can help make them feel better about school by reading "Joe and Sparky Go to School" by Jamie Michalak and illustrated by Frank Remkiewicz to them. You can be sure that the giggles won't stop! My kids loved to imagine what would happen if Joe and Sparky came to their school and they all have their own favorite parts in the book!

Literary Lunch for School: JOE AND SPARKY GO TO SCHOOL - mamabelly.com

This book is so funny and sweet and the two mismatched friends can make everyone relate! Sparky, the turtle, is cautious and careful and his fun-seeking friend Joe, the giraffe, loves to discover new things. When Sparky gets stuck on the roof of a visiting school bus the friends learn quickly that there is a lot to learn about school. Who knew the math peas were not a snack?
My kids especially love the part in the book when all the kids (and Joe and Sparky) get send for a bathroom break and Joe and Sparky discover the "magic pond." 

Literary Lunch for School: JOE AND SPARKY GO TO SCHOOL - mamabelly.com

To celebrate back to school we packed a Joe and Sparky lunch for school in our Easylunchboxes:
  • gold cheddar stars which Joe so badly wants to earn at school
  • a green Sparky turtle kiwi
  • and of course a Joe the giraffe peanut butter and jelly sandwich

Literary Lunch for School: JOE AND SPARKY GO TO SCHOOL - mamabelly.com

We love this book (as you can see from last year's post) and I highly recommend the entire Joe and Sparky series! They are a great read for all ages but best read aloud for the best giggle fun!

Want to make your own Joe and Sparky lunch? Here is what I used (contains affiliate links):



 

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