Healthy Lunches and a Laptop Lunches Lunch Box Review : “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.” ― Virginia Woolf

By August 26, 2014 Giveaways , Discounts and Reviews
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Packing an unhealthy lunch is easier than packing a healthy one. All those single serving chip bags and chocolate chip cookies are cheap and at an arms reach on every grocery store end cap but science tells us healthy eating habits start young. Packing a healthy lunch your kids will eat isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Check HERE and HERE for some ideas to get you started.

Color: Kids like bright colors. Packing items of varying together adds visual interest. I often pack strawberries and blackberries together because they look nice next to each other. A trio of bell peppers is also another big hit in our house.
Texture: Varying textures makes eating an experience. Having a variety of textures in one lunch box encourages kids to eat a variety of items but avoid sending new textures or textures you know aren’t a hit  in the lunchbox and keep the experimentation for home where its easier to curtail waste.
Involvement: Let your kids pick what goes in their lunch. A simple would you like an apple or an orange can be the catalyst for healthy eating. My preschooler is big on picking between two given options because it makes her feel more grown up.

We also really try to cut down on our throw away habits, like an over-use of ziploc bags and disposable containers. To do that we’ve embraced lunch box systems, often called bento boxes, where the containers nest together, creating compartments that separate foods from each other.In an effort to find the best bento, I reached out to several highly rated lunch box companies and requested samples. This is the first of a series of reviews that eventually be aggregated into a single post weighing each against the others. For the sake of full disclosure, I did receive the Laptop Lunches Bistro  Bento Box 2.0  free of charge in return for my review of the product. Everything included in this review are my own unfiltered beliefs about the integrity and usability of this product.

Laptop Lunches Bistro Bento Box

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Pros:
Sturdy and Made in the USA:  The build quality is fantastic. Ours has been dropped multiple times and still looks brand new, despite the abuse. The plastic is thick and sturdy but doesn’t contain any lead, BPA, so I don’t have to worry about harmful chemicals leaching into my daughter’s food every day. That “Made in the USA” stamp means that the company is required to actually follow laws regarding the materials they use and are legally required to adhere to safety laws that companies outside of the United States often see as recommendations and suffer no legal ramifications for ignoring.

The Colors: I love all the different color combinations available. I’m not gonna lie, when asked to pick one it took me a while and I ended up just letting Harper decide.

Leak Proof: Surprisingly, it’s pretty hard to find lunch boxes that will claim to be leakproof and fulfill that promise. The Laptop Lunches Bento Box does that. The seals are tight and getting the lids off is a bit of a pain so yo know they aren’t going to pop off on their own.

A Spot for Silverwear: This is pretty novel but most bento boxes have no wear to put silverwear but this one has a slot on the right hand side where you can slip some in so your lunch can be completely self contained.

Options: Because the pieces all come out of the lunchbox, you have options. In fact this is one of the rare bento box lunch boxes I’ve found with a spot that fits a regular sized sandwich!

Easy to Clean: For those most part, this lunch box is easy to clean, Everything wipes out easily and the texture on the inside is smooth so food doesn’t really want to stick to it.  We don’t have a dishwasher, unless you count Guy, but according the their website all the components are dishwasher safe.

Laptop Lunches Bisto Bento Box Jazz

Cons:
Lots of Moving Parts: While I love the versitiliy of this lunch box, there are a lot of parts and because of that it is important to be hyper vigilant about fully assembling the entire lunch box before it gets put away and makes it easier to lose things.

Size: It doesn’t fit into either of my daughter’s lunch boxes. Neither Iron Man nor the Disney princess brigade could hold this one which is an issue because my daughter doesn’t have access to a fridge at school and thus her lunch boxes have to be stuffed with ice packs to keep everything cool though out the day.

Better Suited for Big Kids: This lunchbox seems much better suited for older children or adults who have the strength to actually open the lunch box and the internal containers. Since I work from home and my husband already has a dedicated lunch box, I’m not sure this will get much use until my daughter is older and can actually open and close it by herself.

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On Repeat One, Volume 4 : “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.” -Bob Marley

By August 18, 2014 Media, Music, On Repeat One
Little Girls Dresses Up at Snow White at Disneyland

Can you guess where we are headed today. You’re a smart cookie, I bet you figured it out. Guy and I both worked over the weekend and since my cousin is visiting from Michigan we are rewarding ourselves with a Disney day to recover from the seriousness of adult life. Don’t worry this playlist isn’t a Disney singalong (that’s for next week). Instead it’s One Repeat One : Volume 4 ,a playlist to get you pumped even though it’s Monday. Harper calls these the dancing in your underwear songs because she rarely wears anything more than her princess undies so 90% of our dance parties are underwear dance parties. So take a few minutes, forget about the work week you have waiting for you, shake your butt, and stomp your feet. As always, warning for some swears.

1: Happy {Pharrell Williams} 2: D.A.N.C.E. {Justice} 3: Build Me Up Buttercup {Gary Lewis and the Playboys}  4: Heads Will Roll {Yeah Yeah Yeahs} 5: Young, Wild & Free {Snoop dog and Wiz Khalifa featuring Bruno Mars} 6: Hot Mess {Cobra Starship} 7: Tongue Tied {Grouplove} 8:Starships {Nicki Minaj} 9:You Make My Dreams {Hall and Oates} 10: Thrift Shop {Macklemore and Ryan Lewis featuring Wanz} 11: Gold Digger {Kanye West} 12: Give A Hater a Hug {Watsky featuring Wax} 13: Fancy {Iggy Azalea featuring Charlie XCX}

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San Diego Comic-Con 2014 : “I love witches and magic and dress-up and make-believe.” – Helena Bonham Carter

By August 15, 2014 Do : San Diego, Le Guppy, Local Gems : San Diego, Travel
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San Diego Comic-Con 2014 has been over for a couple weeks now and I finally got a second to look through my pictures and select a few (more than a few) photos of our weekend. I spent most of this year following Harper’s lead as she was old enough to walk this year without the Beco or a stroller (which is nearly always a huge mistake at Comic-Con). Anyway, since I was letting her do her thing, we hung out at the Legos booth building stuff for quite a while and after that there was a lot of wandering, the great Snoopy discovery and about an hour spent watching the videos that were playing over the Star Wars booth. Luckily, the giant dragon head at the Weta booth enticed Harper over and I had the chance to check out some of the amazing stuff they had on display. There were My Little Pony toys, and naps, and poolside snacks, and a break from the crazy at the park across the street where Harper got brave and climbed all the way to the very top of the structure for the very first time.  That was just day one which was Friday for us!

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Saturday was Harper’s birthday and she spent most of it looking for parking. The other half she spent posing as her alter ego, Batgirl, which she took very seriously. Otherwise there were cupcakes, and swimming with her friend, and pizza, and seeing people we really don’t see often enough.Sunday morning we got breakfast with some dear friends who have since moved to LA (we are heartbroken) and caught up after a super busy few weeks. The rest Sunday was spent in panels including the Harry Potter Fandom panle and the world premiere of my dad’s most recent work, Tom and Jerry : The Lost Dragon which is due out on DVD and BluRay September 2nd. It’s super cute and Harper absolutely loved it.  I don’t have too many pictures from Sunday as we were busy learning, listening, and being entertained so I just put the pictures from both days together.

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Happy 4th Birthday Harp! : “Of all things love is the most potent.” –Maria Montessori

By August 11, 2014 Family and Friends, Just Me, Le Guppy, Letters to My Daughter, Motherhood
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Dear Harper,

Before you, I had a lot of ideas about what being a parent would mean. Some of them were right, most of them were wrong. Now, looking back over the landscape of motherhood as it stretches out four years behind me,  I see the inches you’ve grown and pounds you’ve gained. I see voluminous tears leaking through your long lashes and the thrill of a head thrown back in unabashed laughter. I see a parade of my own mistakes. I see myself clumsy and tired and overwhelmed and I see you graciously and joyously accepting the fact that I am still figuring out how to be a mom, even now four years in. Mostly I see a beautiful, intelligent, observant, funny, sassy little girl, who despite all my shortcomings as a parent, never ever fails to amaze with her bravery, her friendliness or her intellect.

This year has also been profoundly difficult for you. Losing Cooper was your first real glimpse into the permanence of death and even though he’s been gone for 4 months you still cry at night sometimes. It’s made you explicitly aware of the possibility that those close to you could potentially die at any moment. With that knowledge has come fear, especially when one of us is alone.  Still your ability to process the reality of the situation and mourn deeply personal losses has shown grace beyond your years. You truly astound me with your ability to understand. and simplify some of life’s greatest quandaries.

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This year your birthday was on  a Saturday and it was Comic-Con weekend . You wanted to dress up and so you decided Batgirl was who you wanted to be. You were a big hit and we had an awesome time walking around, posing, and yes even getting in some time with the Gotham Police Department.  We also had cupcakes with friends and family which meant dessert before dinner! And then we went swimming with your friend Thomas and his parents at the hotel swimming pool. Oh, and we had a pizza party. It was awesome. I’m pretty sure it was everything you wanted it to be.

Your interests have blossomed. Right now you are obsessed with all things sparkly and pink, Hello Kitty, princess everything especially Frozen, riding your scooter, My Little Pony, Batman, Young Justice, and Bulbasaur from Pokemon. You love to make projects for the people you love and send out lots of mail. You spend a lot of time outside in your sandbox and looking up at the sky dreaming of going in an airplane for your next great adventure. Lately you’ve been digging Indian food but you aren’t sold on sushi yet. Still I have to give you bonus point for trying it every time without fail. You’ve excelled at dance, had two recitals in the last year and just started hip hop which you are claiming is your favorite. You keep telling us that when you grow up you want to be a “ballerina without a mustache”. Whatever you do, I know it’ll be amazing.

And damn kid, life with you is never boring. You’ve got a big heart and a hard head. I’m trying desperately not to use my psychic powers to look at what life together will look like in another 10 years time. I know I’m in for a lifetime of you calling me on my BS and I guess when I really think about it, I wouldn’t have it any other way. But don’t ask me when you are in the midst of a particularly violent tirade, because I will tell you otherwise.

Happy 4th Birthday Harp! I love you to the moon and back or as you would say, I love you 44 million!
<3 Mama

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