my life homemade


8/21/17

Pack the Perfect Lunch for Back to School

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. All opinions are mine alone. #PackThePerfectLunch #CollectiveBias

Even though my boys head back to school today, I have begun preparing for this day for a few weeks now. Possibly longer, but I didn't really want summer to end. I always pack their lunches for school and I try to pack them the night before or at least organize it the night before. There is nothing like 1st week of school tired when trying to throw together a lunch and then realizing you forgot to pack a drink or worse, a sandwich!

We live in north Texas and the weather here can be scorching hot and just because school heads back today, doesn't mean fall will come any sooner. So, it's essential to pack a thirst quenching drink like DASANI water. Plus, they come in the perfect size to fit in their lunch boxes to help me pack the perfect lunch for back to school.


Packing the perfect lunch for back to school does not have to be hard and time consuming, no matter what you have pinned on your pinterest boards. Kids do not get a whole lot of time to eat lunch these days. Our lunches last 20 minutes so function and taste are key. But, to personalize our lunches, I do like to throw in something fun to make their lunch special.


We love variety and to get that variety, I stopped by our local Tom Thumb and picked up some essentials for our back to school lunches. POWERADE, DASANI water, Honest Kids Organic Juice Drink, Toasty and Toast Chee snacks are all key to our lunches. Plus, I add in fruits and/or veggies, sandwiches and a sweet treat to finish up our perfect back to school lunch. Check out these great tips to pack the perfect lunch for back to school.


1. Making a sandwich? Whether peanut butter and jelly or turkey and cheese, use a sandwich cutter or even a larger cookie cutter to create fun shapes kids of all ages will love. I know my 3rd grader insists on this and even helps pick out the shape he wants.


2. I always add in a fruit in their lunches. Slice some apples and using a shaped veggie/fruit cutter, cut out some fun shapes. Can do the same with strawberries, bananas, melons, carrots, etc. The possiblities are endless.

3. Drinks are an essential part of our lunch box. If I don't pack the right drink they may not drink it so I have to make sure we have the perfect drink. I love to pack DASANI water or POWERADE. It quenches their thirst on a daily basis. Honest Kids organic juice drinks are also another go to favorite. Throw in a silly straw to make their drinks fun!

4. Snacks! This is probably the most important part of lunch. These can make or break your lunch box and whether or not your child comes home and says "Mom, can you pack that again tomorrow" or "Mom, please don't pack that again". Lance Toasty crackers and Lance Toast Chee crackers will for sure get encore showing in our lunch boxes.


5. Include a personal note. Since my oldest son started kindergarten, I added a note in his lunch box so he wouldn't feel so alone when he went off to school for the first time. It was a hit and here we are now entering 5th grade and 3rd grade and I still include a note each time. It doesn't have to be elaborate or anything fancy. They will appreciate the thought and love that you are thinking about them too.


6. Now that you have all the essentials, start packing. I like to use containers and reusuable silicone liners to keep all our items secure.


Head to your local Tom Thumb and pack the perfect lunch for school. Right now you can save $1.50 on any ONE Lance 8 count and larger sandwich packs when you buy any TWO participating DASANI, POWERADE or Honest Kids multipacks with tear-pad coupon found in-store. This IN-STORE coupon is available on the end-caps, so keep a look out. 

8/18/17

34 Summertime Food, Activities & Crafts From my Favorite Blogs



Summertime is in full swing and we are so excited to share some amazing summertime food, activities, crafts, and beauty tips. Summertime is for fun and fresh ideas.SoFab is sizzling with amazing ideas to make your summer even more enjoyable. I think you will love this round up of amazing summer time posts filled with ideas and yummy treats.

Food

1. Hawaiian Acai Bowl by Wanderzest
2. Margarita Bark recipe by Mom on the Side
3. Black Raspberry Frappé by (a)Musing Foodie
4. Strawberry Cheesecake Puffs by Moore or Less Cooking
5. Stay Hydrated during Migraines {Natural Pineapple Lime Electrolyte Drink} by Great Contradictions
6. ICED COCONUT MOCHA WITH STARBUCKS® by One Artsy Mama
7. Easy Oreo S’mores Ice Pops by Creative Cynchronicity
8. Spiked S’Mores Milkshakes by Sweet Lil You
9. Tropical Flavored Popsicles Forever Green Mom
10. Blueberry Microwave Mug Cake by LoveJaime
11. Cinnamon Roll Peach Bake by Julie Measures
12. Copycat Girl Scout S’mores Cookies by Honest & Truly!
13. London Broil Marinade Recipe by Saving You Dinero
14. Blueberry Pie recipe by Chaos Is Bliss

Crafts and Activities

15. 5 Ways to Prepare for a Road Trip with a Toddler by Nesheaholic.com
16. How to make a Flip Flop Welcome Sign by My UnEntitled Life
17. Make DIY Slime by Inspiring Momma
18. Top 10 Things to Pack for a Picnic by Finding Sanity In Our Crazy Life
19. Summer Travel Essentials by A Tiny Traveler Blog
20. Summer Fun Tie Dye Playdate by Crafty Mama in Me
21.DIY Patriotic Centerpieces by Happy Family Blog
22. Kool-Aid Dyed Yarn DIY Plant Pot by Organized 31
23. Summer Bucket List ideas for families by The Momma Diaries
24. Homemade Handprint Garden Stones by Ava's Alphabet
25. DIY Industrial Cooler Five Marigolds
26. Sip Back and Relax Wine Glasses by Happy Go Lucky
27. Family Pickle Canning — Sharing is Caring by Beauty Brite
28. Privacy Planters with Lattice DIYDanielle

Entertaining

29. Outdoor family game night by My Life Homemade
30. The Perfect Tournament Pairing-Modelo and Elotes by Southern Mom Loves
31. Pink flamingos Birthday Party by Five Marigolds
32. Chillin’ and Grillin’ Backyard Barbecue by Five Marigolds
33. Host an Americana Summer Picnic by Revel and Glitter

Beauty and Fashion

34. DIY: Soothing Orange and Chamomile Body Scrub (W/Free Printable Tea Envelope) Winter and Sparrow

8/8/17

{AD} Host a Back to School Breakfast

This post is written by me on behalf of Tyson Foods, Inc. All opinions are entirely my own. This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StockUpMakeSmiles #CollectiveBias

It's that time of year where we put away our swimsuits and beach bags and pull out the school uniforms and backpacks. The summer is winding down and we are celebrating the start of another school year. As my boys get older, back to school seems to be more and more hectic. With school supplies shopping, finding the best colors for our uniforms, the perfect lunch boxes, and of course, throw in the start of football practice, after school clubs, and our volunteer commitments, life gets busy!

But, that doesn't mean our breakfast has to be boring or rushed. I know I can give my two boys a delicious breakfast whether we are relaxing on a Sunday morning or rushing down the stairs after an early wake-up call on Monday morning, especially with the help from Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites that I found in the frozen breakfast section at Walmart.


To celebrate the start of our third and fifth year of school, I wanted to end the summer with a bang and start the year off on the right foot with a fun and simple back to school breakfast. Hosting a back to school breakfast, or breakfast in general, doesn't have to be a huge task. Grabbing a few important essentials, like the new Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites, a few sides, and some juice, you're good to go!


What you need:

  • Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites
  • Assorted fresh fruit
  • Bread, toasted
  • Milk and/or Juice
  • Syrup for dipping (optional)
  • School supplies for decoration
  • Mini chalkboards
  • Small dry erase boards used as plate chargers


Host the perfect Back to School Breakfast:



1. Set your table by adding mini chalkboards with their names written on them at their place settings. I used clear plates so the small dry erase boards I used as plate chargers would show through. This played double duty as an activity while they waited for their food or in between eating. I tossed in rulers around the table to complete the look.


2. Place markers and sharpened colored pencils in containers as your table centerpieces. They add amazing color to your table and are in easy reach for little hands that get busy.

3. Glass bottles with straws filled with milk and juice set at each place setting. Any cups will do but I preferred the clear glass so the milk and juice would stand out.



4. Add in an assortment of fresh fruit and sliced toast to give a variety of choices for breakfast.



5. The staple of our breakfast is, of course, Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites.


Now you can enjoy your breakfast favorites anytime with these yummy pancake and sausage bites. Add these to your morning routine to help save time when your schedule gets busy.

Plus, you can earn up to 600 kicks when you buy three (3) participating Tyson® products* at Walmart with the Shopkick app.
  • *Chicken nuggets, chicken strips, Any'tizers® Snacks, Grilled and Ready® items, Hillshire Farm® Lunchmeats, and Jimmy Dean® frozen breakfast items.

So, be sure to head to your local Walmart and pick up Jimmy Dean® Pancakes & Sausage Bites and everything you need to get a head start on your back to school breakfast and to get set for the new school year.

7/12/17

Mini Caprese Salad Bites

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #Chardonnation #NotableSummer #CollectiveBias.

(Msg 4 21+) It is summer here in North Texas and sometimes it can be down right miserable with the summer sun and Texas heat. That is why I absolutely love when the sun starts to set and the evening breeze blows in. It means I can head outside and relax on the patio with my loved ones and just enjoy the rest of the day. I will turn on our blue tooth speaker to enjoy some music, grab a few wine glasses and a bottle of Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay. Plus, I love throwing together these mini caprese salad bites to enjoy on a hot summer night.  


The mini caprese salad bites are so simple and easy to throw together for a perfect summer treat. I used my backyard garden for the fresh basil and tomatoes and added in the mozzerella to create this twist to a classic salad that I cannot get enough of. Plus, when paired with Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay. it makes for a fantastic summer evening on the patio. 


Ingredients:

  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Fresh Mozzerella Cheese bites
  • Fresh Basil Leaves
  • Olive Oile
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Wood Skewers/Cocktail Forks
How to Make:



1. In a small bowl, mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together. I didn't measure, just poured a few tablespoons, enough to cover the tomatoes.

2. Toss the tomatoes in the oil mix until completely covered. Set aside.


3. Grab a handful of fresh basil. I just grabbed some from our backyard garden, but grocery store basil works great too.


4. Using your skewers or wood forks, slide a mozzerella cheese bite on to the skewer, then follow with a single basil leaf. Finish with a round cherry tomato. Tip: Once tomato is attached to skewer, hold top of skewer, flip to side, and gently slice the bottom of the tomato so the bottom is flat.

5. Place each skewer bite onto a plate and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and serve with a refreshing glass of Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay.


DIY Wood Serving Tray

Create a simple DIY wood tray to serve your mini caprese salad bites by grabbing a piece of wood. I used a thick 2in x 18in piece of wood that I had laying around. I stained with my favorite wood stain and let dry at least 24 hours. I opted to not attach handles to the top sides of the wood to give it a sleeker look for the table. To finish out the tray, simply add some sticky felt rounds to the bottom to protect your surfaces. I sealed my wood with a waterproof sealant to protect from liquid stains and food.

How simple is that! This makes a wonderful addition to your table, brunch, party, or get together. I made my tray with items I already had on hand but can be easily made with just a few simple items available at any hardware store.


Notable is the 1st wine that highlights the flavor profiles on the front of the bottle, helping make the wine aisle a less confusing place. Wines vary in style, region, and taste, yet most labels don’t define the delightful flavor you’re about to sip. So when a wine showcases its taste prominently on the front label, it can lead you to the wine you wantAll you have to do is follow the flavor notes!



So, what are you waiting for? Head outside tonight so you too can relax and enjoy your summer evenings with a glass of Notable's Oaky & Buttery Chardonnay or Notable's Fruity & Crisp Chardonnay and these delicious mini caprese salad bites.
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