Archive for November, 2013

Simple Make & Take Lunch – Eat right!

Friday, November 29th, 2013

make and take lunch

Sometimes things take a little effort but it doesn’t mean that it is hard or that it takes too much time! Let’s face it, a little effort is worth it sometimes, isn’t it?

With the holiday season now in full swing it gets harder and harder to control eating habits. Time is a commodity  and right now it is often used to check items off of the holiday to do list. Eating right becomes a secondary thought until New Year’s rolls around. Instead it becomes easy to fall prey to fast food, holiday treats and non-stop feasting! However, with a little effort we can all try to avoid , WELL OK at least try to minimize this pitfall! For instance, bringing my lunch insures that I will eat healthy AND have plenty of time to run my holiday errands on my lunch hour! The amount of effort I took to make this lunch ahead of time was well worth it!

My make and take lunch was packed in a Laptop Lunches container and includes:

  • Sliced mango
  • Pretzel thins
  • Salad with a rolled chicken “rose” in the middle (dressing in the small blue container)
  • Yogurt parfait  (this blue container has a lid to hold in messy food)

The yogurt parfait is layered with sliced bananas, vanilla greek yogurt and topped with cherry berry granola from Naturebox.

Black Friday special – Laptop Lunches are on sale right now for the holidays. A very rare sale and a great gift to yourself, don’t miss out!

laptop lunches sale


Tell me, what are you doing to eat right during the holidays?


Want one? Lunchbox used in this post is available here (affiliate links):

100+ Stocking Ideas for Tween & Teen Girls

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

 100+ teen girl stocking ideas


This is a little off topic from lunch I know. Yet, I can’t help but to share! Recently I have had the opportunity to share thoughts on gift giving with some friends. I have 4 children and have spent many hours pondering what to put in stockings or give as a gift for the holidays. I must admit gift giving is something that I enjoy and quite honestly spending large amounts of time pondering it does thrill me! So I thought over the next 4 weeks as the holidays draw near, I would occasionally share some of my gift ideas. My oldest is 16 years old now and thinking up her gifts is such a throw back to all the things that I loved when I was her age. So this is where we start, 100+ ideas for teen/tween girl’s stocking. I have purposely skipped over food items because those are usually pretty easy to figure out! My own teenage daughter has reviewed this list and given her approval!

Health & Beauty

1. Nail Polish
2. Nail Polish Remover
3. Manicure Kit
4. Nail File
5. Nail Decals
6. Hair Brush
7. Shampoo (travel size or full)
8. Conditioner (travel size or full)
9. Hairspray
10. Hair Ties
11. Head Bands
12. Hair Elastics
13. Bobby Pins
14. Lip Gloss
15. Chapstick
16. Eye Shadow
17. Eye Liner
18. Blush
19. Mascara
20. Makeup Remover
21. Makeup Brushes
22. Makeup Bag
23. Face Wash
24. Face Mask / Face Peel Packets
25. Moisturizer
26. Body Lotion
27. Body Wash
28. Scented Hand Sanitizer
29. Scented Deodorant
30. Perfume (sample or full)
31. Roll On Perfume Stick
32. Compact Mirror
33. Toothbrush
34. Band-Aids (colored or themed)
35. Pocket Tissues (colored or themed)

Accessories & Wearables

36. Stretchy Gloves
37. Winter Hat
38. Sunglasses
39. Necklace
40. Bracelet
41. Earrings
42. Ring
43. Scarf
44. Boot Socks/Leg Warmers
45. Slipper Socks
46. Knee-Highs
47. Tights
48. Keyring / Key Chain
49. Wallet
50. Umbrella

Mobile & Music

51. Cell Phone Case
52. Electronic Screen wipes
53. Phone or Mp3 Charger
54. Charger Cover / Decal
55. iTunes Gift Card
56. Cell Phone Wristlet
57. Wireless Speakers
58. Earbuds or Headphones
59. Amazon Giftcard

Books & Stationary

60. Colored Gel Pens
61. Colored Pencils
62. Pencil Case
63. Pencil Sharpener
64. Markers
65. Post-It Notes
66. Post-it Flags
67. Journal
68. Planner
69. Notebook
70. Stickers
71. Stencils
72. Bookmark
73. Book Light
74. Books (tween or teen fiction)
75. Drawing or Doodle Books
76. Magazines
77. Mandala Coloring Books
78. Sudoku Book
79. Barnes & Nobles Gift Card
80. Mini Stapler
81. Mini Washi Tape

Sports & Athletic

82. Water Bottle
83. Athletic Socks
84. Pedometer
85. Phone / MP3 Armband
86. Sports Cami
87. Sun Block
88. Sweat Bands
89. Sports Watch
90. Reusable Snack Bags

Decorator or Crafter

91. Picture Frames
92. Decorative Air Freshener
93. Vinyl Wall Decals or Words
94. Command Hooks
95. Figurine / Knick Knack
96. Hot Glue Gun
97. Night Light
98. Pillow Case
99. Foldable Cloth Storage Bin
100. Small Vase
101. Craft Store Gift Certificate
102. Mini Measuring Tape

Social & Entertainment

103. Movie Theater Passes or Gift Card
104. Frozen Yogurt Gift Card
105. Mall Gift Card
106. Gas Station Gift Card (for older drivers)
107. Hot Beverage Cup
108. Money

I have categorized the items so not only could you create a themed stocking but you could pull a number of items from a category together and create a themed gift bag. For instance for the “organizer” in your life you could pull together gel pens, a planner, a doodle book, stickers, Post-it flags, washi tape and a mini stapler. Many people decorate their planners as they would a scrapbook. It is a snapshot of one’s life after all! You could even hop over to Pinterest, search for your subject and print out instructions or a picture to go with your gift.

I don’t suggest you try to get all 100+ items in a stocking lol! I hope that you’ll forgive and enjoy my foray into the subject of gift giving! Tis the season after all!


Need more Gift Ideas? (Links below and contained within the article may contain affiliate information. This blogger may or may not receive a commission on any purchases.)

BBQ Quesadilla & Salad for the Office

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

bbq quesadilla & salad for work b

With two working parents it can truly be a challenge to figure out what we are going to eat each night. Common sense tells me having a plan is best whether a detailed menu for the week or simply a list of all the things I could make from what I have. Not only does this make certain my family has an economical and healthy dinner, it also helps to make certain Mom & Dad have lunch the next day. Leftovers for lunch can be a working parent’s best lunch friend! One of the meals that routinely make our regular menu cycle is the BBQ Quesadilla. Actually this is one of my 16 year old daughter’s favorite dinners. This meal is super simple to make and can be on the table in 30 minutes or so easily! I am going to give you instructions for the working parent “cheat” method!

BBQ Filling:

Sliced red & green peppers
Sliced onions (you can pre-chop and store your peppers and onions in a container on shopping day, then you’ll be ready to cook or buy pre-chopped)
Sliced, shredded or cubed cooked chicken (I cheat and use Perdue Chicken Shortcuts, again you’ll be ready to cook if your chicken is prepped in advance)
BBQ Sauce (use your favorite)
Salt & Pepper
Cooking spray
Optional Black beans

Also needed:

Shredded cheese (Mexican blend or your preferred)
4-6 large tortillas

Heat your frying pan on the stove then hit with a generous amount of cooking spray. Add your peppers and onions and stir fry until they begin to soften. Add in your cooked chicken, add salt and pepper then hit with some BBQ sauce. Add black beans now if you desire. I haven’t given a measurement for the sauce because you can add as little or as much as you want. I tend to make my filling slightly on the drier side but everything is well coated. Stir fry until well heated then remove from the burner. To assemble spray one side of a large tortilla lightly with cooking spray. Lay flat (cooking spray side down)and add some filling on top of half of the tortilla. Then add a generous handful of shredded cheese and fold the tortilla in half pressing down to be sure it stays closed. You should be able to assemble 4-6 quesadillas depending on how much filling you add to each one. Bake on a cookie sheet at 350 for about 7-10 minutes, flip each quesadilla over and bake for another 7 minutes or so, the cooking spray will help “fry and brown” the outside of the tortilla. Watch for the edges of your tortillas getting too brown and crisp! Remove from oven and allow to cool before slicing each tortilla into quarters or thirds if you prefer. Note: you can easily double this recipe if you have a large family or desire leftovers as I do! Serve with salad, salsa and sour cream.

To pack this meal for lunch I added a handful of salad to my Easylunchboxes first, with a generous amount of tomatoes.  I topped each salad with half of a quesadilla (I packed one for myself and one for my husband). To the smaller compartments I added broken tortilla chips and fresh mango cubes. I also packed a sour cream and salsa mixed dressing in a small container (not pictured). At lunch time you simply remove the quesadilla, heat then return to the container and top with the dressing. I actually heat the quesadilla on the lid of the container since it heats in seconds!


Want one now? Products used in this post can be purchased through the links below (this post contains affiliate links and this blogger may earn a commission on any sales):


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