Tuesday Talk!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Hi!! Happy Tuesday!!

How was your 3 day weekend?? The weather was gorgeous here in Indianapolis and we spent tons of time outside...including one last awesome day at the pool!!
While there are still a couple more weeks until the "official" first day of fall...I can't help but be a tiny bit depressed that summer is pretty much over :( 
I LOVE the heat, I don't mind sweating (HA!) and pool days with my kiddos are my FAVORITE. We are definitely looking forward to the changing leaves, pumpkins, Halloween and all the fun that fall brings...but I will be counting down the days until our pool opens again next Memorial Day weekend!! It is my happy place :)'s Tuesday and we're back to school after a long weekend. Isn't it always hard to jump back into the school/work routine after an extra fun weekend?? That first morning back to school ALWAYS feels extra crazy for us! One thing that is a HUGE help for me is planning and getting things done ahead of time. Wow. What a novel idea Justine! HA!
Seriously though- one of the reasons I am not what you would consider a "frazzled" mom is because I get 90% of what needs to be done for us to go somewhere DONE at least several hours before. For instance: PACKING SCHOOL LUNCHES.
It took me a while to find a groove with how and when I would pack my kiddos lunches...but this year I really figured out a system that works for me and has totally changed our after school routine (and the stress I used to feel)!

First- I use these super cute "bento" like boxes to pack my kids' lunches. I love the brand Easy Lunchbox and I also have this set. Both are very sturdy and I am pleased with both brands! I really hate wasting baggies and it's so easy to give these a quick wash. Also- I just think it's way more fun to eat your lunch out of a cute container like these! :) What has worked really well for me is having at least 8 boxes so that I can be making lunches for the next day while the girls are still at school. For the past couple of years, I only had 4 boxes- so I would have to wait until we got home from school, unload their lunchbox, wash their "bento box" and then pack everyone's lunches. Now- because I have 8 of them- I can get everything made ahead of time and when we get home from school, I take out their empty box and just pop their packed box into their lunch bag! This might seem REALLY simple- but it has been such a LIFESAVER for me. From the time we get home from school until dinner time is pretty chaotic between everyone being tired, getting homework done, going through backpacks, dealing with screaming and whining, feeding Marshall and getting dinner ready. NOT having to pack lunches on top of that has been HUGE for me and really decreased my stress (and crankiness) BIG TIME!
FYI: Even though James doesn't go to school- I still pack his lunch because it is SO much easier to have it already made. Especially if Marshall is hungry at the same time James is ready for lunch. I just strap James into his booster seat, take his lunch out of the fridge and DONE :)
Here's an idea of what I pack my kiddos for lunch. My two older girls also bring a snack to school. My daughter Cora is my least picky eater and I have a lot of fun packing her lunch. She LOVES fresh fruits and veggies and she also likes if I pack her whole wheat crackers, turkey pepperoni and string cheese in place of sandwich. I try to change it up for her every day because I know she really enjoys it :) My oldest daughter is PICKY. SO PICKY!!! I have found "healthy" items that I know she WILL eat and I just stick to those. Her lunches are pretty boring...but I know she is eating them and she likes them :) James is more of a "snacky" type of guy at he usually gets fruit, some goldfish (or penguins- they are Aldi's version of Goldfish crackers), some veggies and in this picture- he also got a little smoothie. My daughter Celine is right in the middle of Cora and Charlotte as far as picky goes. She will eat fresh cucumbers and carrots- but not fresh fruit. I am okay with that- for now :) It's all about balance! So she gets a applesauce fruit pouch...but I also always pack her carrots and cucumbers. 
Something I started doing this year is making the effort to write each of the girls a note and include a fun napkin in their lunch every day. I have done this occasionally over the past couple of years...but with Cora starting kindergarten and Celine eating lunch at school 2 days a week..I wanted to get in the habit of making sure all of my girls knew I was thinking about them! I filled up a ziploc bag with fun napkins (leftover from the MANY themed birthday parties we have had, two sticky notepads, a pen and a couple sheets of stickers and I keep the bag in the cabinet where I keep their bento boxes. That way- it's right there when I am packing every one's lunches and I don't have to scramble for my "lunch note" supplies :)
Unless my day is really crazy and Marshall doesn't take an afternoon nap- I pack every one's lunches during the boys' nap time. I also sometimes pack lunches while James is eating and Marshall is playing in the exersaucer. Because I have created a little "system" for myself- it really only takes about 15 minutes to get every one's lunches made and packed up! I put everything in the refrigerator and once my big girls get home from school- I put their lunches for the next day in the their box and wash the bento box they used that day. DONE AND DONE!
 We have a couple different lunch boxes that we use- Celine uses a Stephen Joseph lunchbox- very simple and cute! Charlotte and Cora use Pottery Barn Kids lunch bags- I got both of their bags when there was a sale on already clearance priced lunch boxes- because they are pricey NOT on sale :) And my FAVORITE lunch bag for myself is the Lunch Break Thermal tote. I am on the go A LOT and I always make sure I have healthy snacks packed for myself and James- and I pack it all up in my thermal lunch tote!!

WOW. How's that for a riveting blog post?!? HA!
Seriously though...I always love reading about "how" other moms/woman "do" I thought I would share how I "do" school lunches. Thanks for reading even if you wanted to doze off halfway through the post. HA!

Hope you have the BEST day!! It's a "short" week! YAY!

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Full Hands Full Heart


  1. Love seeing how other moms do life!! Question in the lunches - do the sandwiches get soggy making them a day in advance? Any tips there? Thanks!

    1. Hi Sarah!! The sandwiches do just fine! My girls only like plain cheese sandwiches and my daughter Cora likes cream cheese they are not elaborate masterpieces :) I feel like the storage container helps keep them fresh- and I am not making them more than 24 hours in advance. I periodically make my husband's lunch for him- and will make him a lunch meat sandwich- and he has never complained. I put a slice of cheese on each slice of bread, THEN put mustard and that seems to keep the bread from getting soggy. I wrap it in plastic wrap and it stays nice and fresh! Hope this helps!

  2. Love this post!! I still struggle with the whole lunch box packing!! I'm with Sarah...Do the sandwiches get soggy or the bread get stale??
    Great ideas! I am going to check out those bento boxes!

    1. Hey Heather- check out my comment above to Sarah! I have never had an issue with soggy bread or stale bread. I have found that peanut butter sandwiches are best when made the morning I do not make those ahead of time. My girls prefer plain cheese sandwiches though- so that is what I stick with during the school week :)

  3. This post was so helpful! We normally eat lunch at 11. Well, Cash starts school today & pick up isn't until 11:15-11:30. I think I need to make their lunches ahead of time, unless we are having leftovers, so that once we come in the house all I have to do is pull them out of the fridge. I'm going to check out those little boxes. Thanks!

  4. This is a great idea! I'm trying to be more creative with my kid's lunches this year. I definitely like the idea of eating out of a cute container vs. a ziplock baggie. Thanks for sharing your ideas!

  5. Thanks for doing a post on this, I have 3 girls so I know the struggle of getting lunches ready. I really like those boxes I will have to definitely check into those.

  6. I love seeing posts like this and seeing how moms handle real life, every day tasks!! So many good ideas shared here friend!

  7. I always learn so much from you! I love reading about your routine and lunch system. Smart thinking to go ahead and pack James a lunch so it's ready to pull out before he has a chance to get "hangry" :) I have done this occasionally for Olive and it's so nice to have it ready to go when we get home from morning activities. I need to start doing this more often to save both of us from getting frazzled. I always enjoy seeing lunch options and I know Olive would be thrilled to have popcorn as a side to her lunch :)

  8. I ordered these boxes today and will plan to try out your system as school mornings are not the time to be making lunches :) thanks for the ideas!

  9. I also use Easy Lunchboxes for my boys and I LOVE them! They truly are so easy- and I put mine in the dishwasher too and they've held up great. I'm a morning-of lunch packer, but it works better for my schedule since I'm up early for a 5:30am workout class. Laundry and lunch making are two things lots of moms complain about but I really enjoy! Now, cleaning the floors and helping with HW...different story! ;)

  10. I ordered these containers and they will be here tomorrow thanks to Amazon Prime!! =) Emma will love them for sure!!!!

  11. Give Connor all the fruit. He will not eat a veggie to save his life. We've tried. He is just such a picky eater. Oh well, I guess. We have a solid amount he will eat so we just stick with that.

  12. Great post about lunch making. Sometimes I use a similar plastic box and sometimes baggies. This year Jack is also trying a thermos occasionally for things like soup or spaghetios. I have a bag full of printable lunch notes, sticky notes and stickers. I love all your cute napkins too!


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