Thursday, January 30, 2014

National Soup Month -Thermos Review

National Soup Month - a Thermos Review from

This month is National Soup Month and many of you participated in voting for your favorite soup over at the Thermos Facebook page. And the results are in:

National Soup Month - a Thermos Review from

Chicken Noodle Soup won! 
We are celebrating with a Chicken Noodle Soup School Lunch and a Thermos Review!

National Soup Month - a Thermos Review from

Thermos sent me their Vacuum Insulated 16 oz Matte Black Food Jar with Folding Spoon to help celebrate National Soup Month! It keeps your food hot for up to 7h and can keep foods cold for up to 9h. It also stays cool to the touch with hot liquids and is condensation-free with cold!!

National Soup Month - a Thermos Review from

I love the wide mouth opening for easy filling and easy cleaning and especially the full-size, folding stainless steel spoon tucked into the lid! No more forgotten utensils! No more lost spoons!

National Soup Month - a Thermos Review from

The lid is sized so it can double as a serving bowl for example for yogurt, fruit or pasta! 

National Soup Month - a Thermos Review from

The food jar is made of unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior which means in can stand up to not being tossed in the car, your bag or really anywhere.

National Soup Month - a Thermos Review from

So what did we end up packing for lunch?
Chicken Noodle Soup Lunch packed in a Thermos Food Jar and a Lunchbot Trio -

The food jar is available in Matte Black (shown) and Midnight Blue on and also at (may contain affiliate links):

Disclaimer: Thermos sent me the food jar for review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

PURE glass water bottle GIVEAWAY

PURE glass water bottle review -

I try to be conscientious about drinking enough water and always carry a water bottle with me. I have many water bottles and but no one water bottle works for me perfectly. Some don't fit easily in the car, some don't hold enough to take along for more then a work out and some are just plain hard to clean.

I was thrilled when Precidio asked me to review their PURE water bottle! I had some doubt if a glass water bottle would work for me since I am always on-the-go with at least one of my kids and a glass water bottle surely had to be handled with care. Right? WRONG!

PURE glass water bottle review -

Not only is the PURE water bottle nontoxic, easy to clean, easy to maintain and easy to recycle, it is also shatter proof. A SHATTER PROOF glass water bottle? Yes! It is made from tough to break borosilicate glass that can withstand high impact. And here’s the best part, should the glass ever break, the Safe-Shell coating keeps all the shards contained and away from human touch! It will also contain the liquid inside so not only are you and your kids and pets safe from the shards but your drink is also contained should you drop your bottle at the gym, yoga or work (no embarrassing moment of having to mop up iced coffee off your gym floor with your towel - not that that has ever happened...).

PURE glass water bottle review -

In addition to all the above PURE is made with 100% recycled glass. Your beverages stay naturally colder, hotter and fresher longer (which I can attest to after having forgotten my aqua fresca in my gym bag for three days! No more molded and icky plastic bottles!) I also like the fact that water kept in a glass bottle never taste like plastic (which often happens in other bottles) and if you drink a lot of fruit water like me you will appreciate that glass does not take on the flavor of the drink carried in it. So no matter what you fill your PURE glass water bottle with after washing your bottle it will be fresh again and no odors will linger!

PURE glass water bottle review -

The 20 ounce (600 ml) size of the PURE bottle is just right for me. I will refill it a few times during the day but it will last long enough for a work out and an errand or simply to take along on a busy day. I love the timeless design and the sleekness of the bottle as well which makes taking it anywhere fun!

PURE glass water bottle review -

The 2” opening of the PURE bottle is ideal for adding ice and fruit wedges (which I love doing - especially frozen fruit). The bottle lid is made with Eastman Tritan (a BPA free material that is completely safe for contact with food). 

PURE glass water bottle review -

I also find this bottle much easier to drink from when on the move (literally). I can easily pour a big gulp in my mouth while running on the treadmill without having to stop or while chasing my preschooler around the playground. Perfect for any Mom or Dad on the move.

PURE glass water bottle review -

Another big plus for me is the fact that the bottle fits in any standard sized cup holder which means it fits in my car and I can bring it along on car trips, on the way to the gym and to pick up the kids without having to pack it away in fear of it falling out of the cup holder because the bottom is too big.

PURE glass water bottle review -

I love flavored water but don't want the added sugar and flavors. So I make aqua frescas in my PURE bottle. Here are two of my favorites:

PURE glass water bottle review {cucumber lemon water recipe} -
  • Fill water bottle 3/4 full with cold filtered water. 
  • Add three lemon slices, 4 leaves of mint and about three slices of cucumber, halfed. 
  • Put in fridge for at least 2 h but best over night. 
  • Enjoy this crisp and refreshing water on hot days or after work outs.

PURE glass water bottle review {strawberry lemon water recipe} -
  • Fill water bottle 3/4 full. 
  • Add frozen strawberry slices and a few drops of lemon juice. 
  • Refrigerate for at least 2 h but best over night. The natural sugar of the strawberries makes this a lightly sweet and fruity water perfect for any day!

To sum up - here are my pros for owning a PURE water bottle:
  • nontoxic due to BPA and Phtalate free coating 
  • easy to clean
  • easy to maintain and 
  • easy to recycle and 100% recyclable
  • shatter proof thanks to borosilicate glass and safe-shell coating
  • made from 100% recycled glass
  • keeps your beverage hotter, colder and fresher longer
  • easy to drink from spout
  • an different non-flip top is available HERE as an assessory
  • large mouth opening is ideal for adding ice cubes and fruit wedges
  • taste purity since mo taste will transfer to the bottle
  • sleek design 
  • fits in any standard cup holder
Things to think about:
  • Why don't you have one yet? 

WANT TO WIN ONE? Enter here! Open to both Canada and US Residents!

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The winner will be notified via email and has 24 h to respond and claim the prize or another winner is drawn!

Disclaimer: Precidio sent me the PURE glass water bottle to review. I have received no further compensation. All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Hummus Lunch in Easylunchboxes with {Recipe}

My Middle Schooler loves home made hummus and asked for a lunch with hummus "boats". 
We packed lunch in our Easylunchboxes
  • strawberries
  • pita chips
  • home made Hummus in Romaine lettuce boats

Hummus {Recipe} - kid friendly
adapted from this recipe to make it kid friendly


1 can of chickpeas, drained
1 TBS Tahini
1-2 tsp lemon juice


Place all ingredients in your food processor. Process until ingredients form a paste - about 20 sec. Add 1/8 -1/4 cup of water - slowly - until hummus becomes creamy. I have found that the amount of water you need to add depends on the chickpeas. No can is ever exactly the same. Serve as is or with a sprinkle of paprika and oil.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Morning Lunches

Star school Lunch in a yubo lunchbox -

A simple lunch for a hectic Monday morning in our yubo:
  • a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a star cut out
  • a cereal bar
  • grapes and strawberries
  • vanilla yogurt
  • and to dress up the yogurt: granola and chocolate chips
Happy Monday, y'all!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Baby Penguins Love Their Mama - a Literary Lunch

This post was previously published at The Little Crooked Cottage for Literary Lunch. Head over to this entertaining blog run by four children's book authors and a pig who celebrate authors, illustrators and their creations!

Baby Penguins Love Their Mama by Melissa Guion is a sweet book about a busy Penguin Mama wondering if her kids know just how much she loves them. And they do! Surprising her with a sweet gesture of their own after a busy busy week.

Penguin School Lunch in Easylunchboxes -

We packed a lunch-to-go in our Easylunchboxes for a busy day:
  • strawberries with a little penguin hiding in the leaves
  • popcorn with a sneaky penguin hiding Mama's surprise 
  • and of course a Mama Penguin nut butter sandwich and some of her o-lovely penguin babies (made with olives and cream cheese)!
Penguin School Lunch in Easylunchboxes -

The olive baby penguins were so easy to make and such a fun snack. You can find them all over Pinterest but my favorite tutorial is this one from Foodie with Family! 

Penguin School Lunch in Easylunchboxes -

You can hide little book characters in your kids lunches even without making 8-20 olive penguins if you don't have the time. Isn't this penguin so cute?

Penguin School Lunch in Easylunchboxes -

I love visiting my local cake store as well since they always have new cupcake rings or toppers I can quickly use for the kid's lunches!

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

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

American Girl Doll Valentine's GIVEAWAY

Back by popular demand is another American Girl Doll & Wardrobe giveaway. Our first one was so successful that we've decided to make it a series. This second giveaway is Valentine's theme. This fabulous giveaway is brought to you by the following co-hosts, sponsors, & contributors~

1. Diana of Diana Rambles - Diana aka FreeStyleMama, the host of this giveaway, is a self-described creative crafty mama of 3 who blogs about food, crafts, family & fun. She also is a blog designer & seamstress.
2. Amy of SewsNBows - Amy is a fabric hoarder and sewing pattern collector who enjoys sewing children's clothing and accessories. Her beautiful creations are showcased on her blog.
3. Charlotte of Saving with Charlotte - Saving with Charlotte is family friendly and if it doesn't pass the grandma test, it doesn't get posted on my blog. Charlotte blogs about a variety of topics, including: Kids Crafts & Activities, DIY, Simple Household Solutions, Recipes, Misc. Deals & Promotions, Product Reviews, Free Samples, and Much More!
4. Linda of Crafts a la mode - Linda loves to make things.. crafts, DIY, even fun food.
5. Lisa of Crazy Adventures in Parenting - Lisa Douglas is an Army wife raising seven kids sharing humorous parental war-stories, yummy homemade family-friendly recipes, craft tutorials, hilarious family videos, and much more at Lisa's on a journey to savor every "small" moment, finding the humor in the joy in everything (even diapers and laundry).
6. Lynn of Turnips 2 Tangerines - Turnips 2 Tangerines is Lynn's Little Kitchen in the Big Woods of Northern WI is where she shares with you, her family tested and approved recipes, kitchen tips and many adventures traveling throughout Wisconsin.
7. Stephanie of The Tip Toe Fairy - Stephanie is a stay-at-home mommy to 3.  She blogs about crafting, cupcakes, book reviews, and more.
8. Stephanie of A Geek in Glasses - Stephanie loves all things Vintage and crafty and her house shows it. She just got AG Doll Molly McIntire for Christmas because she wants to have a Victory Garden and loves all things 1940's!!!
9. Gina of Gina's Craft Corner - This blog follows Gina on her journey as she learns to sew.  She mainly focuses on turning upcycled material into something beautiful.
10. Kristin of A Thrifter in Disguise - A self-described thrifter, Kristen blogs about finding creative ways to find savings without sacrificing style. A mom of 3, she loves creating crafts and activities to keep her kids busy.
11. KC of The Real Thing with the Coake Family - KC is a stay at home mom of two cuties who are 11 and 7. She blogs at The Real Thing with the Coake Family which is about living the creative life with her family, while keeping it real along the way.
12. Laura of Laura Kelly's INKlings - Laura Kelly is a licensed artist and creative project designer in addition to being the resident dyesigner for the Rit Studio and an inaugural member of The Sharpie Squad.  She blogs her journey with hopes of inspiring and stimulating creativity in others.
13. Jenny of Learning and Growing the Piwi Way - Jenny is a proud wife and mama who enjoys blogging about teaching her kids, the books she reads and food. With another job relocation always just over the horizon life most of the projects she writes about are an attempt to distract her from packing.
14. Janine of Janine's Confessions of A Mommyaholic - Janine is a wife and mom to two little girls 16 months apart. She blogs about being a mom and so much more, and also designs blogs and offers blogging advice.
15. Corinna of For My Love Of -Corinna is a bold and eclectic DIY decorator. She loves to reinvent and create pretty things and blogs about it at for my love of blog.

Emily of Naptime Creations  Harriet of Posh on a Budget
Ayelet of The Graceful Rose  Millie & Kristina of 2 Crochet Hooks
Nina of Mamabelly's Lunches with Love  Sonnet of SohoSonnet Creative Living
 Lisa of Chronically Content  Barbara of Barbara's Beat

FreeStyleMama - 2 dresses  SewsNBows - 2 outfits
CatsMeow1 - dress  The Graceful Rose - dress & headband
The Tip Toe Fairy - tutu & fairy wings   Gina's Craft Corner - doll tote
Domestic Bliss Squared - crocheted accessories   Tickie's Time - coat & boots
  xoxo Grandma - dress & necklace   2 Crochet Hooks - poncho & accessories
Eden Ava Couture - complete outfit   GiGi's Doll Creations - bedding
Meatloaf and Melodrama - outfit   Keema Kids - outfit

Pixie Dust Doll Clothes - outfit   Two It Yourself - matching chair envelopes
Doll It Up - complete outfit   Laura Kelly's INKlings - ladybug costume

Enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter entry form below.
US & Canada Only. Official Rules at bottom of the entry form.
Bonus entries unlocked after required entry.
The more entries, the better chance you have of winning.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Winnie the Pooh Bento {with Link Up}

Tomorrow is A. A. Milne's Birthday and we are celebrating with a Winnie the Pooh bento lunch!

"How do you spell 'love'?" - Piglet
"You don't spell feel it." - Pooh 
― A.A. Milne

A Winnie the Pooh bento {with link party} -

We packed a lunch for a walk in the Hundred Acre woods:
  • a Winnie the Pooh chocolate spread sandwich with cinnamon and jelly details
  • a few Goldfish
  • strawberries and 
  • a half and apple with a heart carve out.
This lunch was also posted at The Little Crooked Cottage, home to four children’s book authors and a pig. It’s also a children’s book blog dedicated to celebrating authors, illustrators, and their creations! Go check them out HERE and stay awhile! 

A Winnie the Pooh bento {with link party} and tutorial -

I made the Winnie the Pooh sandwich using my CuteZCute Animal Friends Cutter.

A Winnie the Pooh bento {with link party} and tutorial -

After filling the sandwich I melted cinnamon chips and piped the face onto the sandwich. I also added a few dots of strawberry jelly for the cheeks. Then I added the Goldfish and fruit and the bento box was packed. Very fast and easy :)

What I used to make this lunch (contains affiliate links):
If you have a Winnie the Pooh themed lunch or bento please feel free to link up to my linky party!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

GF Nut-Free Cereal Bars

I am always searching for healthy afternoon snacks and fun things to pack in the kids' lunchboxes. Since cereal bars are one of their favorite snack right now I was trying to make a fun but healthy and nut-free (for school) version at home.

Searching through all the amazing recipes on Pinterest I decided that it should be an easy, no-bake, whip up quickly before school lets out cereal bar.

And without dried fruit since my kids simply won't eat them.

The end product was a gluten-free, nut-free, crunchy cereal bar with glaze (all cereal bars need a glaze in this house!).

Recipe adapted from Sun-Maid


1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon gluten free vanilla extract
2-1/2 cups gluten free rice cereal
2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Whole Grain Rolled Oats (uncooked)
3/4 cup Enjoy Life Semi-Sweet Mini Chocolate Chips


Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper.
Place WOWBUTTER, honey and brown sugar in large microwave-safe bowl.
Heat on high power for 2 minutes until bubbly and heated through. Remove bowl from microwave.
Add vanilla; stir until mixture is smooth.
Add cereal, oats and raisins. Gently stir WITHOUT CRUSHING cereal.
Press warm mixture very firmly into prepared pan. 
Melt two more tablespoons of WOWBUTTER in a small microwave-safe bowl for 30 sec.
Stir until liquid.
Fill carefully into a small Ziploc bag.
Pipe over cereal bars.
Cool at room temperature or refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Lift out of pan, cut into bars.
Store bars in plastic wrap or tightly covered container, at room temperature or in refrigerator.

Makes 16 bars 
(I doubled the recipe and had enough for a 13x9 dish plus a 6x6 (so we could eat some immediately and safe some for school)


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