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Snack Time: Enjoy Life Decadent Bars (Review)

12 Sep
Image from Enjoy Life Foods

Image from Enjoy Life Foods

Yesterday was the first full day of school.  My daughter has lunch at 11:20 in the morning.  A little early for her, especially since school doesn’t get out until 3:05.  In addition to packing a lunch, she needs to pack a snack for the afternoon.  My daughter, has a peanut allergy and it’s hard to find easy snacks that are allergy friendly.  I have been a huge fan of Enjoy Life Products and was excited to learn more about the Decadent Bars.  The bars are the perfect size snack to add as a special treat in your child’s lunch box or for an afternoon snack.  Enjoy Life Decadent bars are gluten-free, free from the top eight allergens, verified by the Non-GMO project and available in four flavors (below).  Each bar is topped with a white or dark drizzle (depending on the flavor)-YUM.

Picture 19

Cherry Cobbler:

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Chocolate Sunbutter:

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Cinnamon Bun:

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S’Mores:

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Of the four flavors, S’Mores was the hit.  My daughter ate them all before I could snap a picture of the bar itself.  They satisfy her sweet tooth and are filling to hold her over until the end of the day!  She requested more for her school snack! Off to Whole Foods we will go for another box!  Find Enjoy LIfe Decadent Bars near you!

 

To learn more visit Enjoy Life or follow on Facebook and Twitter!

Disclaimer:  I received samples of all flavors for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are my own.  Any information in italics came from Enjoy Life.

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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.

A Princess Playdate

23 May
Image from Disney

Image from Disney

20130523-155743.jpgI don’t remember being as into Disney Princesses as my girls and their friends are.  Every play date it’s a battle of who gets to wear what princess costume and there are never duplicates of the same princess.  The other week, my daughters friend invited us over for a “Princess Lunch and Playdate”.  All the girls invited brought their own princess dress up costume.  I always like bringing snacks when other people have us over and I love coordinating the snacks if there is a theme.  Because it was a last-minute playdate, I had to come up with something quickly.  I decided on heart cheese wands for each princess.  They turned out really cute.  All you need is a block of cheese, a cookie cutter (if you don’t have a heart, a star would be cute too), lollipop sticks and ribbon.  Tie the ribbon around the lollipop sticks.  Next, slice the cheese to desired thickness, then cut out shapes. Place shape at top of the stick.  If you cut the cheese too thin it will crack.  I used sharp cheddar cheese but will use a mild or american cheese next time because some of the kids didn’t like the taste.  However, Sleeping Beauty didn’t mind it. :)

For the next Princess Playdate, here are a few ideas I found on Pinterest that are simple, yet fun: (click images to go to original sites):

Castle Sandwiches from Creative Kid Snacks:

Image from Creative Kids Snacks

Image from Creative Kids Snacks

Pretty Pink Drink from On To Baby. Not sure what they use in their drink but I would use pink lemonade, raspberries, and a lemon:

Image from On To Baby

Image from On To Baby

Princess parfait found on Catch My Party:

Image from Catch My Party

Images by Moxie Sox found on Catch My Party

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.

Ideas For Thanksgiving Fun

20 Nov

I always enjoyed sitting at the “kids table” when my entire family got together for meals over the Holidays.  It gave me a sense of independence and freedom from my parents and I got to sit with my older cousins, who I looked up to.  We are headed down to my parents in Virginia this year.  It’s the first time in a long time, I can’t even remember how long, that we will be getting together with extended family.  There will be about 60 people and I am excited for my girls to experience the “kids table” with the next generation cousins.  In the past, we got together at a family members house so the kids could run around in the yard or play in the basement.  With the number of people expected, we had to rent a place so I have been on Pinterest everyday trying to find ideas to spruce up the “kids table” and keep them entertained until it is time to eat.  Here are five ideas I found for Thanksgiving fun:

1.  Pin It: My girls love Pin the ____ games.  We decided to make a Pin the Gobbler on the Turkey game.  Each child will get a gobbler.  They will have to write what they are thankful for on it.  They will be blindfolded and will have try to pin it closest to where the gobbler goes. My daughter just finished coloring and is checking out how her gobbler will look.

2. Coloring is always great for keeping little ones entertained.  I love this crayon holder from parents.com.  Put a turkey at each seat or spread a few out on the table for sharing.  Make sure to leave some paper or print Thanksgiving Themed coloring pages.

Image from parents.com. Click to find out how to make this adorable Turkey.

2.  Let them Play: These finger puppets are adorable from The Idea Room are adorable and you can purchase the pattern for $2.50.

Image from The Idea Room

3. Mix it up: The kids can make this adorable Gratitude Turkey Treat Jar from Toddler Approved while they wait for dinner or dessert.  Fill it with a snack mix or left over Halloween candy as they suggest to take home.  My oldest came up with a mix using cheerios, raisins, dried cranberries, Brach’s Autumn Mix and Enjoy Life chocolate chips.

Image from Toddler Approved, click link to find out how to make.

4.  Save your place:  My oldest loves place cards.  She enjoys looking for her name and her sisters name.  Attempt to avoid arguing over who is sitting next to who by using adorable these adorable place cards from Dandee: A Happily Crafted Life. We are going to try cutting lollipop sticks so the little ones don’t poke themselves on the toothpick.

Image from Dandee: A Happily Crafted Life, click link to find out how to make.

5. Story Time:  Have the older kids read to the younger kids at the table.  A few fun Thanksgiving books we love are:

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Image from Barnes and Noble.

Sweet Snacking: Cinnamon and Chocolate Covered Pumpkin Seeds

16 Oct

Sweet Snacking!

I LOVE pumpkins! Once fall and pumpkin season are here I crave eating and drinking anything with pumpkin or pumpkin flavor. Last week I made a Lentil and Pumpkin Soup (I will post the recipe later this week) and decided to save the seeds from the sugar pie pumpkin so the girls could try them. When it was time to bake them, my older daughter asked if we could make them chocolate covered. I had never had chocolate covered pumpkin seeds but since she has a nut allergy and always asks for the chocolate covered nuts at the store, I thought why not give it a try because it could be a good alternative and a great activity to do together. The girls LOVED them and we had a lot of fun making them.

Directions:

Seeds:

Clean and save seeds from one sugar pie pumpkin.

Soak the seeds in water, drain and place on baking sheet.

Sprinkle sea salt over the seeds.

Bake at 300 for 30-45 minutes or until seeds are golden.

Put wax paper on top of plate and put seeds on top.

Chocolate:

Add 1/3 cup milk (or alternative for dairy allergy) and 3/4 cup chocolate chips (we used Enjoy Life) and heat on low, stirring occasionally until melted.

Mix in cinnamon when melted (to taste).

Once heated put a small amount in a bowl and let kids drizzle it on with a spoon or you can use a measuring cup to drizzle (or pour like my girls did) the chocolate onto the seeds.

**We had chocolate remaining and put it into two cupcake liners to make a home made chocolate bar for dessert later.