May and then June

May // Andrew + Caroline

Looking back over the last two or three years, the blog always goes pretty silent this time of year.

It must be the weather. I’m trying to soak up every last day of warm, comfortable temperatures before the blazing heat rolls in. This time of year also brings the end of school craziness and laziness and I just want to sit on the back patio with a glass of cool white wine and watch the kiddos run around and not hurt each other.

Caroline // May

Well, now that it’s June it’s hotter than hot outside, and I don’t want to go out there for even a minute. So I guess I can come back to the blog. Ha!

What have we been up to?

Andrew graduated from Pre-K and I held back tears for days. I’m just so very proud of him. It sure is a good thing Caroline is still at our little school because otherwise I would have been a sad, sad mama.

These are their last day of school photos.

I LOVE them. The kids and the photos.

May // Andrew

I’ve been really lousy at picking up the camera since I bailed on my 365 Project, but these photos reminded me of why I started in the first place. (I may get back to it after this little break.)

May // Caroline

Here’s a bold statement:

I’ve decided that this is the summer I’m going to teach myself to cook.

Which means I’m spending hours and hours in the kitchen. I’ve been really motivated lately to feed myself and my family wholesome, nutrient filled foods rather than so much of the junk that is readily available to us these days. While it’s a whole lot easier to pop some Tyson chicken nuggets in the oven than it is to dice up my own chicken, dredge it in whole wheat breadcrumbs and olive oil and bake it, I know exactly what I’m cooking when I do that. And it’s delicious!

I’ve found that the key to the cooking is planning (and confidence, but I think that takes time). I’m becoming a meal planner! Finally, after all this time I think it’s going to stick.

I’m also keeping real stock of what’s in my refrigerator. All this produce and meat really eats up the budget, and I’ve been much better than I used to be about making sure we actually eat the foods we buy.

But I have to be realistic too. I’m not going to cook gourmet, healthy meals seven nights a week even as much fun as I’m having learning new recipes. So I’m cutting myself some slack and penciling in one day for leftovers and one day for takeout. I can’t go overboard and burnout!

Also my kids are still picky-ish, especially Caroline, and they just flat out refuse to eat so many things. I can’t get too fancy around here! Ha!

I’ve been inspired by lots of lovely ladies to clean up our meals and do more cooking at home. Instigram is full of foodie accounts, but I really enjoy Andrea at @GwynethMadeMeDoIt. She’s so real and cooks for her family, and isn’t super restrictive or preachy. She just cooks good, healthy foods and encourages us along the way. I also get lots of great tidbits from Madeline at @MadelineNutrition. She’s a certified nutrition consultant and shares helpful tips and recipes on all kinds of products and foods.

So if I’m not around here, you can probably find me in my kitchen, dicing and chopping and sauteing and making vegetables taste really, really good. :)

Caroline // May

Simple Bentos // April 28 – May 8

Y’all, we’re down to our very last week of school!

I am both thrilled and terrified. Ha!

If you’re looking for a little bit of lunch inspiration for your last few days of school, here you go. I have to say I feel like I’ve lost steam with the creative lunch packing these last few days, but they’re still cute and the kids love ’em anyway.

April 28, 2014

Simple Bento Lunches // Personalized

Andrew had a cute little lunch just for him this Monday. He had a cut up turkey dog, cinnamon bread in a flower shaped cup, carrots, a handful of purple grapes and a few cheerios. I included two dipping cups with ketchup and dressing. He loves finding his initials in his lunchbox!

April 29, 2014

Simple Bentos // Hello Kitty Sandwich

Caroline took this adorable lunch packed in our Lunchbots Duo. I cut her ham sandwich using the animal shape from the CuteZCute set and topped it with a Hello Kitty piece. The bottom container held green grapes and sliced strawberries and a heart shaped cup with Cheerios. I added a few Hello Kitty picks as well.

Simple Bentos // Goodbyn Dinosaurs

This lunch was completely directed by Andrew and it was kind of a mess. Ha! He ended up with shredded wheat, peanut butter celery, a sliced egg and strawberries in the Goodbyn container. He then decided it needed dinosaurs so we topped it with a happy dino topper and a flag. Then at the last minute he decided he wanted leftover pizza in his thermos so it was a big lunch and he didn’t eat much of it. Sometimes I think having TOO much food can overwhelm him.

May 1, 2014

Simple Bentos // Butterfly in an #EasyLunchbox

This little butterfly lunch for Caroline was just adorable! I added giant sprinkles to the butterfly wings and used carrot sticks for the antennae. The other containers of this Easy Lunchbox held Cheerios and raspberries with a mini bumblebee pick. So cute!

Simple Bentos // Texas Pride

I packed a sandwich for Andrew too. This Texas cutter is one of my favorites! Our babysitter gave it to us, and I just love it! It splits the sandwich into pieces and I added the star on top. But I can’t find it online anywhere. :( I also included a star shaped cup filled with raspberries and the other two cups from the Yubo set included yogurt and spicy corn sticks from our NatureBox snacks.

May 5, 2014

Simple Bentos // Cinco De Mayo Style

Ole! This little Mexican-style lunch was so fun for Cinco De Mayo! It was all packed in our Laptop Lunches box. I divided one of the big compartments with two silicone cups and filled them with corn and black beans. The other big container held tortilla chips and homemade guac. I added a little “fiesta” to sliced watermelon and tossed in a few peanut butter bites I made over the weekend using this recipe. I LOVED them but the kids were kind of meh about them.

May 6, 2014

Simple Bentos // Spiderman Style

Andrew’s been begging for superhero sandwiches for almost every lunch lately. This day I decided to go with the Spiderman theme. This lunch was packed in our Lunchbots Trio. He had two Spiderman stamped sandwiches, a star cup holding Avengers chocolate crackers, sliced cucumbers, stripey apples and a dots cup for dipping. I included a blue spider which Andrew loved!

Simple Bentos // Hello Kitty

How adorable is this? I LOVE making a Hello Kitty sandwich for Caroline.  I again used our CuteZCute cutter to make the kitty cat and added a little bow. She also had sliced apples and a heart cup of Cheerios. The Hello Kitty picks can be found here. It was all packed in the Duo.

May 8, 2014

Simple Bentos // Mini Box Preschool Style

Caroline had a tiny little lunch this day. It was packed in this darling two-tier panda box. The bottom layer held  watermelon and ham slices. On the top, a tiny flower cup held yogurt covered raisins next to a handful of  goldfish. It wasn’t quite enough food so I included a Plum smoothie. She loves these!

Simple Bentos // Superheroes

Andrew had yet another superhero lunch. This one was packed in our other panda box. The bottom layer held ham roll-ups in a silicone cup and more Avengers crackers. The top layer held watermelon and cucumber slices. I included a few superhero rings to jazz it up.

I have TWO lunches left to pack for this school year. Andrew will need lunch for a week or two of summer camps, but other than that I have the summer off!

I’ll be back with the last weeks of school lunches for y’all soon.

Enjoy!

Kids Summer Essentials Giveaway!

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It’s feeling a lot like summer here in Dallas!

Summer to me means sweaty, happy kids, dinner outside and pushed back bedtimes. We spend as much time as we can outside in the summer and we especially enjoy a warm evening in the backyard.

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And don’t forget to stop by these other great blogs for a chance to win even more summer fun!

Love and Marriage 
Life Over C’s
Trust Me, I’m a Mom
The Chirping Moms

I hope it feels like summer where you are!