Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Healthy Leftover Lunches

Getting back into a routine after a long weekend can be hard so I kept lunch packing simple today and packed left overs from last night's dinner.

Grab & Snack Easylunchbox for School - mamabelly.com

My second Grader has his Easylunchbox packed with a "grab and snack" box since I know at lunch he will be busy catching up with his friends. This way he can just reach and grab and hopefully he can get a good lunch while chatting! His box is packed with:
  • a protein cereal bar
  • cheese crackers
  • cherry tomatoes
  • left over pepperoni pizza
  • cucumber spears and
  • three round peanut butter and jelly mini sandwiches 

Healthy Easylunchbox for work - mamabelly.com

I packed lunch for myself as well. After a weekend of BBQs and yummy foods I am trying to get back on track with a healthy Easylunchbox for Mom. I packed myself:
  • left over fruit salad with yogurt and a few mint leaves
  • bagel chips and
  • an arugula and romaine salad with cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, parsley, cilantro and mint. I packed a simple olive oil, salt & pepper and lemon juice vinagrette to go with the salad.
Things I used to make this lunch (contains affiliate links):

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

A Sweet Treat Lunch

Are Tuesdays harder than Mondays in your house, too? No one was motivated for school and everyone was dragging their feet to get ready. Since I had a few treats from my trip to IKEA yesterday I packed them a fun lunch to sweeten their day:

A Sweet Treat School Lunch in Easylunchboxes with Matkins - mamabelly.com

We packed our Easylunchboxes with:

A Sweet Treat School Lunch in Easylunchboxes with Matkins - mamabelly.com

I also packed our rockin' Groovy Guitar Matkin (review coming soon!) and hope that makes them feel a little more enthusiastic about being in school!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Number One Sam - 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!

Sam is the best race-car driver in history. But racing isn’t just a sport for Sam - it is to him what makes him Sam. So when he loses to his best friend Maggie the elephant, he’s lost. Will he be number one again? And what prize would he have to pay to win? Find out in Greg Pizzoli's new book NUMBER ONE SAM!

We made a winning and fun lunch for Sam on one of our Eco-Products square plates:

A simple cream cheese and jelly sandwich with colored cream cheese, sprinkles and melted chocolate decorations. I hand cut all the bread with a sharp kitchen knife and used the melted chocolate, cream cheese and crust to create Sam.

The illustrations in this new book are so fun with an eye pleasing "cupcake color" color scheme, personable characters and simple drawings that reminded me of my favorite childhood books!

You can learn more about Number One Sam in this adorable trailer here:

NUMBER ONE SAM will be released tomorrow and you can get your copy here (contains affiliate link):

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Polar Bear Bento Box Lunch

We just got this adorable polar bear bento box from All Things For Sale and I already love it since it has a gel filled lid you can freeze over night - no ice pack needed! We took full advantage and packed home made hummus with carrots and celery for lunch! 

Everything fit perfectly into our Fluf lunch bag (don't forget to enter my giveaway HERE) and we also packed a MyColdCup thermal container with ice water, a yogurt and another container with:

  • Goldfish crackers, 
  • a CuteZCute Panda sandwich, 
  • a mini cereal bar 
  • and a few orange slices.

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

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fluf Review and Giveaway

Looking for a versatile, bigger-than-standart, washable lunch bag one day I came across Fluf and I knew it would be the perfect lunch bag for us! Are you sick of rinsing and disinfecting those nasty lunch bags? I sure am! And with 4 kids and 3 not-always-so-careful boys I do a lot of wiping and scrubbing! Not any more:

photo credit: www.fluf.ca

Yes! That's right! You can simply rinse this bag in the sink thanks to it's wipeable, water-resistant lining, for easy rinsing in between washes. It is fully machine washable, Moms! No more scrubbing those masty lunch bag folds! Just toss in the wash and let it get clean there!

Plus easy to open and close snaps make this bag great for all ages!

I also love the fact that there is a space to write your name (so the bag comes back home every time you send it ;)

But wait! There is more! Not only is is super easy to clean and did I mention machine washable? It is also very roomy and folds flat when not in use! I have a middle schooler who likes to not only pack his lunchbox and drink but an additional water bottle or thermos for hydration during the day. Most other lunch bags cannot accomodate two drink containers - never mind a thermos and water bottle while still being sleek enough for a middle school locker (have you seen these lockers by the way? They are about 3 inches wide!).

Well, if you don't have a Tween carrying extra water you might have a Preschooler or Kindergartner or even a child in Day Care who needs extra stuff every day. Our Fluf bag often looks like this as well:

or like this when we have to rush from after school to sports:

This lunch bag really is as versatile as our needs! 

And in addition to all the above it is made out of 100% organic cotton, printed with low-impact, azo-free dyes, the food liner is phthalate-, bpa- and lead-free and besides ample room it has easy snaps to open and close the bag!

So, would you like to win one? Then head over to Fluf look at their designs and find the bag you would love to win!

Unlock the Giveaway Widget by liking Fluf on Facebook and then enter the giveaway here:

Only open to US and Canada Residents. Winner will be notified via email and has 24 h to respond to claim their prize or the winner will be redrawn! GOOD LUCK!

Disclaimer: I received a free Fluf lunch bag to review. All opinions are my own!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics REVIEW

Disclaimer: I was sent free product for the review. All opinions are my own.

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose Free REVIEW - www.mamabelly.com

I grew up in Germany close to the French border and I grew up LOVING cheese - but especially goat cheese. So I cannot tell you how excited I was when I got the chance to review both Redwood Hill Farm goat milk products and Lactose Free Green Valley Organics! Plus, both product lines are easy to digest - Green Valley Organics is lactose free and perfect for those who are lactose intolerant, and Redwood Hill Farm goat milk products are naturally lower in lactose than traditional cow dairy.

Getting to know both companies made my desire to work with them even bigger:

  • Redwood Hill Farm is an award-winning, Grade A goat dairy farm and creamery located in Sonoma County, California. Committed to making the best tasting and least processed artisan goat cheese, yogurt and kefir, the family-owned and operated company uses solar power to sustainably produce all its goat products. Redwood Hill Farm proudly became the nation’s first Certified Humane® goat dairy in 2005.*

  • Also located in Sonoma County, Green Valley Organics® is dedicated to producing the purest, best tasting milk for their lactose free yogurt, kefir and sour cream. And, while their craftsmanship and sustainable approach do make our products special, it really all starts with the farm. Their farms are peaceful places where pride for the farm life spans generations. At Diamond W Dairy, brothers Ron and Ken Wilson along with their wives Kathy and Clairette, do things the old fashioned way. The land has been in their family since the 1920s. With 13 farm hands and family members, Diamond W has 1,750 acres of prime grazing land that nurtures their award-winning Holsteins. The cows aren’t the only award winners, though. Diamond W has also been awarded Sonoma County Dairy of the Year. With a farm like this, how could you not create delicious, creamy yogurt, kefir and sour cream that people – especially lactose intolerant people – will enjoy wholeheartedly?*

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose Free REVIEW - www.mamabelly.com

We drink a lot of kefir since it is naturally 99.9% lactose free and we have some lactose food sensitivities in the family. Since we already LOVE kefir I introduced both new kefirs first to my kids. The Green Vally Organic kefir was gone before I could even take a picture despite the fact that it was not flavored! My kids drank it mixed with a little homemade strawberry syrup and the rest vanished in a morning smoothie...

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose Free REVIEW - www.mamabelly.com

I wasn't sure if the goat milk kefir was similar in taste to regular kefir so I made a Orange Mango Pineapple Smoothie with the Mango Orange Pineapple goat milk kefir, frozen mango, coconut milk, and orange juice and it was amazing! Plus, my kids simply grabbed the bottle of the counter and poured some kefir while waiting for the smoothie to finish and I got 4 pairs of thumbs up. We enjoyed this kefir immensely as a smoothie and just plain as well. It does not have a strong taste so if you want to switch to goat milk kefir you do not have to fear that it would taste any different then regular kefir (just simply better!).

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose Free REVIEW - www.mamabelly.com

The other big hit in our house was the sour cream from Green Vally Organics. We love sour cream for cooking and as toppings for soups and stews. Green Valley Organics Sour Cream is lactose free (hooray!) and the quality is beyond anything we have tried before. It looked like very high quality greek yogurt and the taste and texture was superior to any of our regular favorites. And we are not alone! Green Valley Organics Lactose Free Sour Cream was recently named a Winner in CLEAN EATING Magazine's 3rd Annual "Clean Choice Awards."

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose Free REVIEW - www.mamabelly.com

Did I mention that I LOVE cheese? Especially goat cheese? I love the strong and intense flavor and the creaminess. We enjoyed both the Redwood Hill Farm with simply fresh fruit and a drizzle of honey. With a glass of red wine the perfect ending to a busy summer day!

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose Free REVIEW - www.mamabelly.com

Both the Green Valley Organics yogurts and Redwood Hill Farm yogurts were great in taste. I loved both and enjoyed trying them. My kids did not prefer the Redwood Hill Farms yogurt at first since it has a sour after taste similar to kefir. BUT,...

Redwood Hill Farm & Green Valley Organics Lactose Free REVIEW - www.mamabelly.com

... frozen it was a huge success! And who can resist when the yogurt smiles back?

And we are not the only ones loving these products! Redwood Hill Farm and Green Valley Organics yogurts are both featured as winners in REAL SIMPLE Magazine's "road test: yogurt" in the May 2014 issue :)

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I am Otter - 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!

What happens when an Otter and his Teddy open a Toast Restaurant? Of course, all the toys line up to get seated and try the fantastic toast menu! Sit down, grab a plate and meet Otter (and Teddy, of course!) from the new book I AM OTTER written by Sam Garton

I AM OTTER Literary Lunch in our Planetbox Shuttle - mamabelly.com

We packed our Planetbox Shuttle with a lunch for toast fans of all ages:
  • a checkered table cloth apple
  • organic strawberry yogurt dessert with Teddy and edible food color decorations
  • and of course TOAST: white, swirled and pumpernickel toast filled with ham & cheese, peanut butter & jelly and lettuce & bacon
  • a few broccoli florets (hopefully not just for decoration) 

To find out more about Otter, Otter Keeper and of course Teddy you can watch this adorable video trailer for I AM OTTER:

and you can find the book available on Amazon!

I AM OTTER Literary Lunch in our Planetbox Shuttle - mamabelly.com

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


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