Lunches for the Littles

“I love packing lunches every day!”- said no mom ever. It’s really not THAT bad, but when you have the pickiest kids on the planet, it’s tough to get creative and switch up the menu each day. This year we have two of the three girls in school full time (1st grade + Prek4) and I made sure to start the school year off with semi-healthy and fun lunches. Uncrustables and mini bags of goldfish may be in my near future, but so far so good! 😉 I turn on my “happy morning” playlist, diffuser, sip on my coffee and get these done as quickly as possible.

I order all of our groceries on Sundays thru Shipt. (Click here if you want a coupon) I enjoy shopping, but am also all about being smart and selfish about my family time. If that means I get an extra hour to be with family on the weekend instead of being at Publix, sign me up! Anyways, I make sure we have enough of a variety of fruits and snacks for the lunches. The protein/veggies are the tough part. When your kid thinks hummus is “yucky” you have to think outside the box. I use these cookie cutters to make fun shapes for sandwiches + cheese/veggies. Now that Harper is reading pretty well, I pack her a daily lunch box joke for giggles and fun with her friends. My mom packed me a note every single day growing up and it always brightened my day! Harper told me she’s collecting the jokes in her desk to make a joke book at the end of the year- the pressure is on now to never miss a day or I won’t hear the end of it.

Main Item Ideas: PB sandwich with banana slices and Nutella, turkey or ham and cheese on a Hawaiian roll, cheese and crackers, classic PB & J, turkey and cheese roll-ups, Greek yogurt with granola

Fruit Ideas: grapes, strawberries, blueberries apple slices, Cuties, banana slices

Veggie Ideas: baby carrots, cucumber slices with a dash of salt, celery with PB and raisins (ants on a log), the end. yep, no other veggies will be consumed my the Brower girls.

Snack Ideas: PB Ritz Bitz, Pirates Booty, goldfish, Pik-Nik sticks, Veggie straws, pretzels, pistachios, string cheese, applesauce, rice cakes, granola bars, Skinny Pop popcorn

Sweet Treat Ideas: Teddy Grahams with 2-3 mini marshmallows, Annie’s fruit snacks, yogurt covered raisins, animal cookies – I don’t want the teachers to hate me so I only fill the smallest part of the Bentgo box with a treat. #sugarbuzz

Here are examples of the last seven school lunches I’ve made for you to use as inspiration! These Bentgo boxes are the best and are way cheaper then the ones with 5+ trays (I just add a cold pack to the outside zipper of the lunchbox). So many of my friend’s kids are not picky eaters but it’s still fun to share ideas with each other so that no one is getting bored. What are some of you favorite go-to’s for lunches?

Summer Book List

I am a total book worm. I love to read at night to unwind and you can always find a book with me on road trips and vacation. It takes me a lot longer to get through books these days because once my head hits the pillow I’m usually OUT. Kindles are not my thing, I love holding a good ‘ol book with pages and dream of having a library wall in my house one day-please tell me I’m not the only one. One of my favorite things to do is read with the girls and now, have Harper read to her sisters. We have books everywhere in our house and I am always on the hunt for new favorites. Ikea floating shelves are in the girls bedroom & playroom and I choose fun “seasonal” books to decorate them with. Here are a few of the girls favorites from this summer, as well as what I’m currently reading (links below). Tell us all your favorites. Fall list coming soon!

The Wonderful Fluffy Little Squishy // Lola Dutch // Virginia Wolf // Miss Lina’s Ballerinas // Cat & Bunny // I Had a Favorite Dress
The Pink Umbrella // Extra Yarn // Home // Gaston (Gaston and Friends) // Mary Poppins // The Honeybee // Julia, Child // The Fox Wish // You Belong Here
100 Days to Brave // Where the Crawdads Sing

Ava’s 2nd BEE day

This birthday hit me HARD, knowing I will never have another “baby” or one-year old. Instead of crying (too much) about it, I decided to throw a sweet & memorable party for our girl. Ava has been coined “queen bee” in our house since day one so it was only fitting to throw a 2nd “bee-day” for her. If you are searching for an easy and fun theme for a birthday, go with this one- you can run wild with it!

Decorations: I kept the decorations pretty simple and let the flowers be the focal point. Costco has the BEST bunches of flowers for cheap so I made my own boutiques with daisies and other wild flowers. Pearl and Jane has the CUTEST felt garlands and the bee one will be fun to use for the girls playhouse.

I made a super simple bee hive out of popsicle sticks and downloaded the bees & flowers from Etsy. My mom found a black and white gingham table runner on sale at Hobby Lobby and I love the way it looked on the food table!

Food/Desserts: Publix for all the pinwheels, subs, and cheese platter because who’s got time for that ?! Harper wanted to make her “famous” PB& J for all the kids so we used a hexagon cookie cutter to go with the theme. Sam’s has really tasty (and cheap) cupcakes so I just added candy bees from Amazon to make them festive. Bee Hive party mix with chocolate Teddy Grahams, Honeycomb cereal and marshmallows was a huge hit for the kiddos. The CAKE. A friend of mine makes the best cakes and brought my vision to life – My Sweet Addiction Cakes.

Drinks: The party was at 11am so naturally, The Bees Knees (mimosas) were in order. “Lemon Nectar” lemonade for the kids was served in empty honey bear bottles found on Amazon and most kids wanted to take home with them.

Party Favors: Sorry, I am that mom who hates party favors because it’s usually slime that gets stuck in hair or whistles that I want to throw out the van window. LOL. We sent our guests home with a darling cookie (or two) and they didn’t disappoint. I love supporting small businesses when I can and A Cookie Shoppe in Estero was amazing!

We had such a sweet day celebrating our queen bee!! #queenbeeturns2

Empty Honey Bear Bottles

Bee Felt Garland: https://www.etsy.com/listing/692683874/bee-felt-ball-garland-bunting-banner-50

Bee Party Backdrop: https://www.etsy.com/listing/689923097/bee-party-backdrop