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Back-to-School: Food Storage

19 Aug

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Along with packing a lunch comes how will you store the food in the lunch bag.  Whether you are making the most of the last weeks of summer with picnics in the park or preparing for the upcoming school year, below are food storage containers must-haves:

Thermos Insulated Containers:

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The four images of the containers came from Thermos.

I remember using Thermos lunch boxes and containers as a child.  In fact, I just found my Campbell’s soup container from my childhood. I loved the container because when I saw it, It meant that I had something other than the usual sandwich.  As I prepare to pack a lunch for my daughter everyday, I have thought about what to pack so she won’t get tired of eating the same lunch everyday.  Ideas are Mac & Cheese, Meatballs, Soup, pasta or leftovers from the night before.   Thermos insulated containers will keep food warm (or cold) until lunch time with their double wall vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention.  We will be heading back to school with these great containers; the Food Jar with Microwavable Container (4 hours hot, 6 hours cold), the Flip Top Food Jar (5 hours hot, 7 hours cold), and the Stainless King Food Jar with Spoon (7 hours hot, 9 hours cold).  We gave our Thermos containers a try with a picnic in the park and now my daughter is VERY excited for the possibilities of what she can bring for her school lunch.  If your child likes designs check out Thermos FUNtainers and Foogo containers.  Make sure to check out the beautiful designs from Dwell Studio for Thermos!  Easy to hand wash!

Zak Designs ChillPak Sandwich and Snack Containers:

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Top two images from Zak designs

We use these awesome containers all the time.  Perfect for keeping on-the-go lunches cool with the ice pack you place on top of your food, inside the container. Not only is the ChillPak Sandwich container great for keeping sandwiches cool, it is also the perfect size for two slices of watermelon, my daughters favorite fruit!  The snack container is the perfect size for an individual pack of hummus and pita chips, carrots, or cucumber.  I was also able to fit 1/2 a sandwich, hummus, cucumber and tomato into the sandwich container.   My girls love Zak Designs because they can choose from some of their favorite characters like Disney princesses to make meal time fun.  Hand wash these containers and ice packs.

Itzy Ritzy Reusable Snack and Everything Bag:

Three images on the left from Itzy Ritzy.

Three images on the left from Itzy Ritzy.

I recently learned about Itzy Ritzy.  I love this bag because it comes in so many beautiful designs for girls and cool designs for boys.  The Itzy Ritzy snack bag comes in two sizes and is machine washable, making it easy to reuse for snacks like crackers, grapes, or add a sweet treat with a little note in you child’s lunch.  The bags have a 100% cotton exterior and waterproof lining interior to keep a special message from getting wet.  They also refer to them as an everything bag because you can use it for iPods and headphones when you head to the beach.  I can also fit my daughters epi-pen, training device and instructions to keep it all together in her backpack or to carry to lunch.  Enter to win an Itzy Ritzy snack bag and Balance Bar mini energy bars here.

Smart Planet Collapsible Eco Lunch Box 

Image from amazon

Image from amazon

I have not tried this container yet but I did purchase one and it’s on the way.  I love that it collapses and won’t take up too much room in the cabinet.  The container has 3 compartments for food and includes a “spork” untensil.  Can’t wait to try this container out this fall!

Disclaimer:  I received samples from Zak Designs for a past post, a sample from Itzy Rizty and a sample from Thermos.  This did not alter my opinions about the product.  Any information in italics came from the brands website.

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Thirsty Thurday: Bottles To Keep Hydrated

25 Jul

20130725-115313.jpgWe just returned from a very hot week in the Outer Banks. I can’t really complain about the heat because we did not have a drop of rain and stayed on the beach from morning to night with brief breaks inside to snack or eat.  With the amount of time we were playing in the sun, it was extremely important to make sure we were drinking enough water and fluids.  I have never seen my girls go through so many water bottles.  We went through 1/2 a case of water a day and quite a few Fruitables.  After seeing how much we were drinking, it was better to take re-useable bottles.  Here are some of our favorites to help keep hydrated during the remaining summer days whether at the beach, at the park, at the pool, running in the backyard, or running errands to get ready for back-to-school (see below image):

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1. Cool Gear Inc Can:  Fun for parents and kids, this 16 oz can keeps drinks cold up to 6 hours and is fun to use to keep hydrated in the sun.  Fill with water, iced coffee for mommy, juice or follow the cute drink recipe on the back of the can. On my trip, I rceived lots of compliments on my can and many asking where to get one. You can find them at Walmart, and Bed, Bath and Beond.   Cool Gear Inc also has a variety of other fun bottles you and your family will love.

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2. Tervis Water Bottle:  Also great for parents and kids because of the many great designs and holds up to 24 ounces of water, perfect for long outings and very hot days.

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3. Pottery Barn Kids Klean Kanteen:  Love the adorable styles.  This bottle can be personalized.  It is the perfect size for little ones on the go.

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5. Thermos Smoke Hydration Bottle:  This is my oldest daughters favorite because she loves the flip top carrying loop.  It is great for adults too. The bottle holds up to 24 ounces of water with a leak-proof proof lid and a rotating meter lets you monitor your daily water consumption.

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4. Stephen Joseph Little Squirts:  We have not used this bottle but my daughter saw it recently and asked for it as a birthday/ back-to-school gift.  The cute pouches are re-usable, freezeable, foldable and perfect for a quick drink on-the-go!

Image from Stephen Joseph

Image from Stephen Joseph

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received samples from Tervis, Thermos, and Cool Gear Inc.  All opinions expressed are my own.  All information about the products came from the company websites.  Unless noted, all images were taken by Tastefully Childish.

Tommee Tippee Spill Proof Cup (Review)

19 Mar

Picture 6

The adorable designs would be great for an Easter basket stuffer!

The adorable designs would be great for an Easter basket stuffer!

My girls have the busiest schedule.  We are constantly on-the-go whether we are headed to school, play dates, or dance classes.  I usually throw a sippy cup of water for the girls in my purse or stroller and run out the door.  More times than not, water ends up all over the place.  I recently received the Tommee Tippee Spill Proof Cup.  The girls love the adorable designs of their cups and ask to use them all the time.  The other day I put them in my bag to take to dance and to my surprise they didn’t spill.  I had my oldest daughter turn hers upside down and shake it to see if water would come out and it didn’t. Ideal for Toddlers on-the-go.

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20130319-211752.jpgAbout the cup (info from the Tommee Tippee website):

Our Explora Truly Spill Proof Drink Cup has a sipper spout specially designed to help your toddler practice open-cup drinking – and it’s non spill. The Truly Spill Proof Drink Cup looks just like a fashionable grown-up cup, with a sipper spout that encourages open-cup drinking action. What’s more, it’s insulated too, so your toddler’s drinks stay cooler, fresher and more thirst-quenching for longer.

  • Lid interchangeable with all Easiflow cups
  • Insulated to keep drink cooler for longer
  • 9 oz. Truly Spill Proof Drink Cup – great for on-the-go drinking
  • Dishwasher, microwave and sterilizer safe
  • Suitable for babies aged 12 months +
  • BPA-free

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  I received a set of cups for the purpose of this review.  All opinions expressed are my own.  Information in italics are from the Tommee Tippee Website.

Friday Fun: Popcorn Pals

18 Jan

20130117-202720.jpgFriday nights used to mean a late night out with friends, now they mean snuggling on the couch as a family and watching movies. Of course, we have to have popcorn with our movie otherwise it wouldn’t feel like a movie theater. I had to share these amazing popcorn bowls because many friends have asked where I bought them. My mom purchased them for my girls when we went to Disney World last year. I have searched online because they would make a great gift and are perfect for movie nights. I found these adorable Disney popcorn buckets at Your WDW Store. The set includes four small buckets (Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy) and one large bucket with Mickey and friends. These buckets will also come in handy for National Popcorn Day which is celebrated tomorrow. 🙂

Image from Your WDW Store.

Image from Your WDW Store.

Disclaimer: I have never ordered from this site. It was the only place I have found other than at Walt Disney World parks to purchase these adorable popcorn buckets.

Bed Time Wars

27 Jul

Bed time is the hardest time for us, especially in the summer.  Last night, we started our bed time routine at 5:30 and yet my youngest was still awake at 10 o’clock.  Our bedtime routine usually consists of a bath, brushing teeth, some IPAD time on the couch, then we slowly transition to the bedroom for a book and a game of 5 things (we come up with 5 things and the girls make a story).  And yes it is the 4 of us in the room on the bed. It usually takes an hour to an hour and a half to get both of the girls to sleep. Recently, both have left the room wanting water, a trip to the bathroom, or one last book.  It is a very tiring process, leaving little time for my husband and I to catch up on shows and talk. The next issue is the middle of the night, at least one if not both of the girls comes crawling into our room and we have to bring them back or give into little feet kicking us in the back.  And then comes morning…sometimes my friends are still at the bar when the girls are waking up for the day.  I try to tell them that 5 is not a reasonable time, especially when they go to bed at 10 some nights but they are full of energy (the kind I get when I have my triple shot latte).  How in the world do I get them in bed at a reasonable time, to sleep through the night, and stay in bed until a reasonable time?

I was shopping yesterday and stumbled across the Zazoo Kids Photo Clock.  The clock has a display of a sun when it is a proper time to be awake and a moon when it is time to rest or be sleeping.  I have heard about a similar clock but what I love about the Zazoo Clock is that it can be personalized and if the alarm clock does not work for the girls it can be used to play music, videos, and audio books.  It can also be used as a cute digital picture frame.  See the Zazoo website for more information.  It retails for around 89.99.  A little more than I would like to spend but if it will get my girls to have a regular sleep schedule it’s worth every cent. Now I just have to decide if I want to try it. 🙂

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  All photos and information about the product is from the Zazoo website.

Silly Goose….

24 May

My 2-year-old runs around telling my 3 1/2-year-old and her daddy that they are a “silly goose”. She has quite a personality and is always acting “silly” so I may have called her a “silly goose” once and now she has it stuck in her head. Last week, I was at a Stella and Dot / Rowe party and purchased a great pair of earrings from Stella and Dot stylist, Brianne, and scooped up a couple of the Jane Jenni plates from Wendy, founder of Rowe (a new company with unique gifts and awesome vintage jewelry). I was so torn on which plates to choose for the girls(see photo on right). I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I am HORRIBLE at making decisions. I ended up passing up the “silly goose” because I didn’t like the color and went with “social butterfly” for my 3 1/2-year-old, and “cutie pie”, for my 2-year-old.

When I got home I started re-thinking my decision so I decided to look up Jane Jenni to see if I could order the “silly goose” plate online. Well, I found so many adorable products: lunch boxes, forks, cups and plates with so many fun personalities that remind me of my girls and now I am back to being indecisive again.

I spy a father’s day gift…my husband reads the girls Goldilocks every night before bed . Image from Jane Jenni

Love this lunchbox! Image from Jane Jenni

Party Animal Fork/ Cupcake Topper. Image from Jane Jenni

What is your favorite Jane Jenni?

What’s your personality? Image from Jane Jenni

Choosing their favorites.

“When Life Gives You Lemons, Make Lemonade”

13 Apr

When ever we go out to eat Maddie always asks for lemonade.  While I was visiting my parents a few weeks ago, it was about 80 degrees one day and there were a few girls with a lemonade stand at the end of the street.  It got me excited for warm weather and made me want to move to the suburbs so the girls could set up  their own lemonade stand on hot summer days.    I was looking through a Chasing Fireflies catalog I got in the mail and came across the cutest lemonade stand supplies.  I started thinking about how the girls could set up their stand and found recipes for snacks they could make to sell.  I’m not sure who is more excited about the idea of having a stand, me or the girls. Here is the stand I have in mind for US for the day we move to the suburbs or maybe we’ll just take a trip to my parents and set one up there:

Cardboard lemonade stand $78 (Image from chasing-fireflies.com)

Personalized decals for lemonade stand...I wish I could put two names on there. $28 (Image from chasing-fireflies.com)

Lemonade dispenser $128 (Image from chasing-fireflies.com)

What we would have:

Lemonade (flavors would change)  Maddie loves strawberry lemonade.  Here is a recipe I found from Emeril on foodnetwork.com.  We are going to try this weekend because the forecast says 80 on Sunday and Monday.

Image from foodnetwork.com

SkinnyTaste’s Pink Lemonade Confetti Cupcakes:  The girls saw the picture of these cupcakes and wanted to go out and get one.  I am definitely going to make these for them soon and would be perfect if they have a lemonade stand.

Image from SkinnyTaste.com

Taste of Home’s Soft Lemonade Cookies:

Image from tasteofhome.com

Lemon Square Bars from AllRecipes.com:

Image from allrecipes.com

All this recipe searching is making want to start baking all these delicious treats.  The girls and I better get to the store to get the ingredients. 🙂

Soup From A Straw

10 Apr

Eating Beet Soup with Mushroom Ravioli

My girls LOVE soup so much they could eat it for every meal.  It doesn’t matter what vegetables are in it they will slurp it all up.  The only problem with soup: it is challenging for them to eat.  They get frustrated when the broth falls off their spoon when they attempt to take a bite.  It usually takes a few tries before they get a good bite and then the soup contents usually end up EVERYWHERE.  Recently, the girls started using a straw to drink the broth and then they use their spoon to eat the rest of the contents of the soup whether it is pasta, veggies or meat.  It has worked out well and has left their table clean.  Last night the girls had soup for dinner.  While they were eating I decided I would surf the web for a straw/ spoon combination so they don’t have to keep switching back and forth between straw and spoon.  I came across the Sip-N-Spoon Straw during my search.  It looks ideal for cereal, milkshakes, smoothies, and SOUP.  I will have to get a set for the girls.

Sip-N-Spoon Straw (Image from perpetualkid.com)

Eating Out: Cups for Kids, Meals for Kids, Why Not Utensils for Kids??

5 Mar

Whenever we go out to eat, the girls have difficulty using the adult size utensils and throughout the meal one or more of their utensils usually ends up on the floor. I always wonder why kid-friendly restaurants have kids cups, kids meals but never any kids utensils. Over the weekend, I was looking through a One Step Ahead magazine and stumbled across this child size flatware set that would be perfect for restaurants to set for children who dine.  Unlike most utensils for kids which are bright-colored or have a character on them, this set is made of “durable, high-gloss stainless steel which inspire grown-up manners” (One Step Ahead).  I am going to have to invest in a set for when we play “Fancy Restaurant“, when we have friends over for a nice dinner, or to take with us when we go out to eat.  Kid-friendly restaurants should definitely consider investing this great utensil set.

Image from One Step Ahead

Disclaimer:  I did not receive compensation for this post. All opinions expressed are my own.

It’s a plane, It’s a train, It’s… Time to Eat!

16 Feb

I have a few baby showers to go to over the next couple of months.  I came across this adorable Oogaa mealtime set which would go perfectly with a food theme gift.  Unfortunately I had already purchased gifts off their registry or I would have definitely bought this set.  The Oogaa mealtime set is perfect for babies learning to eat as they are introduced to new foods.  I can’t even tell you how many times I pretended the spoon was a plane and had to “ZOOOOOMMMMM” it into the girls mouths.  I never did a train “chugging” into the tunnel (mouth), but I am sure they would love that too.  I still find myself “pretending” to get them to eat the last couple of bites.  Not only does it help get the food into their mouth but they get a kick out of it too.  Maddie saw me writing this post and asked for this set.

The Oogaa mealtime set retails for $16.99 and comes with a 9oz bowl and 2 spoons (1 plane and 1 train).  The spoons and bowl are silicone and come in a variety of colors.  They are safe for dishwasher, microwave, oven, freezer & electric sterilizers (Oogaa.com).  

Image from Oogaa.com

Disclaimer: I did not receive compensation for this post.  All opinions expressed are my own.  I have never seen or used this product up close, but it was too cute not to share.