Look! It’s A Lunch.

17 Dec


The morning light isn’t great this time of year so my lunch posting tends to slack a little bit.

I did manage to snap a decent pic of one of Cam’s lunches earlier this week so I thought I’d share it with you guys in case you need some lunch inspiration.

This lunch was packed in her super cute little pink house bento box and contained sweet peppers, two clementines, veggie straws, and a sandwich cut into tiny hearts (and one square) and sealed so the filling doesn’t squish out.


15 Dec


For anyone who visits this blog solely for the meal plans, I haven’t forgotten about you!

Last weekend was just too busy with my brother’s wedding happening to get any blogging done but I’m back this week with a few simple and delicious dinner ideas for you.

Hopefully you will find something here that inspires your meal planning.

Lots of ingredients are pulling double duty this week. That’s one of the ways I save money and make sure nothing goes to waste.

Here’s what’s on the menu this week:


1. Taco Pizza Rolls – I can’t wait to try these because I’m always looking for new ways to get guacamole into my mouth. There can never be too much guacamole! Also it’s tacos and pizza. I have a feeling these will be a big deal around here. I’m going to smash some black beans to add to the dough too before I roll it up.


Photo Credit

2. Moving Day Pizza – I don’t know why it took me so long to think of this one! I’m going to top flattened bread dough (already in my freezer and makes great pizza!) with some of the ingredients from my Moving Day Pasta (onion, sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes, kalamata olives, roasted red pepper, and feta cheese) top with mozzarella and call it dinner!

3. Tortellini Soup – I’ve tried this one and it’s delicious. It also makes quite a bit so it’s perfect if you need to feed a crowd or if you want lots of leftovers, like me! Since it contains kale and tomatoes it’s basically a salad. All you need is a loaf of crusty bread to go with it. I do like to add diced tomatoes to my soup but you certainly don’t have to.

tuscan-tortellini-soupPhoto Credit

4. Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Sauce - Over pasta. ‘Nuff said.

Chicken in a Creamy Parmesan and Sundried Tomato Sauce 800 5212Photo Credit

5. Stuffed French Bread – My husband’s favorite food is sandwiches so he gets really excited when I make sandwiches for dinner. This is one of his favorites and I have to say, it’s one of mine too. It’s delicious! Just remember to double up on the napkins for this one! It’s messy but it’s so worth it. We’ll just have chips on the side.

My version is a little different from the original recipe. I like to simmer a sliced onion and a sliced green bell pepper in beer and a little Worcestershire sauce until the liquid has evaporated and the veggies are super soft. Then I add the cooked ground beef back in, add a few dollops of sour cream and stir to combine. I also use provolone and mozzarella because that’s what I usually have. I don’t use celery or the extra milk and I used Cuban bread the last time I made it because I’m a rebel!

stuffed-french-bread-main-682x1024Photo Credit


6. Leftovers

7. Leftovers - Again? I know. I only planned five meals this week because between the chicken and the soup, we’ll have plenty left over. We’ll have a little extra filling from the stuffed french bread sandwiches too so I may put that over rice or just make more sandwiches.


Here’s what I had to grab from the store this week. Items not listed were already on hand.


  • 1.25 lb ground beef to be split into two dinners (taco pizza & stuffed french bread) $5.58
  • shredded lettuce $1.99
  • tomato $.80
  • green bell pepper $1.29
  • sun-dried tomatoes $2.50
  • marinated artichokes $1.69
  • kalamata olives $3.89
  • chicken broth: $1.30
  • 8 oz mozzarella cheese $1.75
  • sour cream: $.99
  • 1 lb kale: 1.99
  • 1 pint half & half: $1.89
  • frozen tortellini: $3.29
  • parmesan cheese wedge: $4.58
  • bucatini pasta: $1.69
  • Cuban bread: $2.59

Total: $37.81


  • *white wine: $2.97
  • 2 lbs chicken: $6.99

Total: $9.96

Total spent this week: $47.77


Yes, this wine is really cheap but it’s actually pretty good. I’m not a wine drinker so this bottle will be used for cooking and the hubs will drink the rest.



Last Week’s Lunches

9 Dec

Last week was pretty hectic around here so I didn’t get a chance to post any lunches.

I did somehow manage to snap pics of three of Cam’s lunches from last week so here they are in no particular order of importance:


This lunch had to be from either Monday or Tuesday because that’s when Cam has P.E. and I distinctly remember laying what was left of the cookies out on the counter and trying to make a word out of the few letters that were left. “JOG” was the best I could do and I figured it was appropriate given that Cam’s class was taking their fitness tests that week. Lots of jogging was to be expected.

Lunch was packed in her Good Lunchbox by Sugarbooger and contained a chicken sandwich on Hawaiian bread, sliced sweet peppers, carrot sticks, veggie straws, and three Orange Chocolate Beet Bitsy’s Brainfood cookies (look for more info on those coming soon).


For Friday’s lunch, I packed a cute koala sandwich that I made with this cutter, a Babybel, three Zucchini Gingerbread Carrot Bitsy’s Brainfood cookies, veggie chips, and celery bites filled with cream cheese and topped with flax seeds. There are a couple of chocolate covered almonds in the cute little box.

Lunch was packed in an Easy Lunchbox.


We were out-of-town Friday night and all day Saturday for my brother’s wedding so I packed Cam’s lunch and snacks since I had no idea what or when or where we’d be eating.

Her Laptop Lunches Lunchbox contains a blueberry muffin, sliced sweet peppers, sliced celery and carrots, lots of strawberries, fruit and cereal bars, and two Babybels.

I also packed bottled water and her reusable cup so I didn’t have to worry about drinks for her.


Clearly she had no problem settling into her new digs.


2 Dec

On the way home from pre-k every afternoon, I would ask Camryn how her day was.

She’d tell me what they did, who she played with, what they had for snack. The usual stuff.

Then one day she told me that she had been partnered with a girl named Mady and that Mady thought she was a princess.

So I asked her what was wrong with that and I’ll never forget what she said to me next: “I don’t care for princesses.”

And she never has. My daughter isn’t into fairies, dolls, princesses, Barbies, or most of the other gender specific toys marketed to girls.

When she was younger, any time we’d go into a toy store, she always headed for the dinosaurs and electronics.

cam & t-rex.52

My baby and her pal, “Mr. T”

In fact, the only female character she ever really identified with was Tinkerbell who is basically an engineer.

And (you may want to sit for this one) she’s only seen Frozen once.


I know.

It was on the Disney Channel one night and when I asked if she wanted to watch it again, her response was “I’ve already seen it so I’m good.”

However, if How It’s Made is on, I guarantee she’s standing in front of the television giving that program her full attention.

In all fairness she does have a huge Barbie Dream House but I think she was more interested in the construction of the house than the actual playing with Barbies in it.

So any time I shop for gifts for her, I’m always disappointed in the lack of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) toys that are actually geared toward girls.

Then I thought, I can’t be the only parent of a little girl who is more interested in the engineering and construction of a house rather than actually playing house.

So this year, I’ve put together a list of toys, games, books, and other items that would make great gifts for any girl whether she’s a sparkly pink princess in training or an aspiring rocket scientist.

I’ve included links to the manufacturer’s websites in some cases so that you can learn more about the product but almost all of these items can be found on amazon.com.

Happy Shopping!


The Young Scientist Club – Science kits and games for kids 3-12. Lots to choose from.

Thames and Kosmos Science Kits – Tons of cool stuff to choose from here. I’ll bet their candy chemistry kit is pretty popular.

ScienceWiz – Activity kits for every scientific interest.

Be Amazing Science Kits – The Big Bag of Science or any of the Test Tube Discoveries kits would make a great gift.

Smartlab Toys – These are just cool. Especially this one.

Minimuseum Pocket Sized Collections of Rare Specimens – Okay, this one is pretty expensive but I think that any girl who was interested in fossils or specimens would be super excited to receive this.

Microscope & Slides – This one’s a no-brainer for a young scientist.

Baking Sets – Bet you didn’t see this one coming. Since baking requires precise math that includes addition, subtraction, fractions and time followed by a series of chemical reactions, a baking set fits perfectly in this category.

Technology & Engineering

Lego Friends – If your little lady loves to build but also loves all things girlie, this is the set for her. Cam has a few of these sets and plays with them often.

Lego Creator – My husband has already put in a request for the Mountain Hut so that he and Cam can put it together in their blanket fort.

Lego Minecraft – I’m not super involved in the whole Minecraft situation going on in my house right now but from what I understand from Camryn, it involves construction, chemistry, and problem solving so I can see why she loves it.

Zoob Challenge Moving Mind Building Modeling System – With this system kids can design their own creations or follow the instructions and build contraptions to solve 26 challenges like making a ball bounce into a target.

Goldie Blox – Story and construction sets geared specifically toward girls! I love this concept. Kids read the story and follow the included instructions to construct some pretty cool contraptions.

Roominate – I wasn’t too impressed with these until I watched one of the videos. Then I understood the appeal. Not only can kids build a customizable dollhouse out of the modular pieces, but they can also wire windmills, carousels, elevators, lamps, and so many other things. Pretty cool. It’s also got some pretty great reviews on amazon.com.

Learning Resources Candy Construction – Because it’s cute.

K’NEX Amazin’ 8 Coaster Building Set – Use 448 pieces to build your own motorized roller coaster. How cool!

SmartLab Toys Weird and Wacky Contraption Lab – This reminds me of that game, Mouse Trap (which would also be a good addition to this list). The 60 parts can be mixed and matched to create an unlimited number of contraptions. This way kiddos won’t get bored too quickly.

4M ProductsA robot you make from a soda can? Neat-o.

Snap Circuits Jr. – Kids can build over 100 electronic projects and no tools are needed because everything just snaps together!

LaQ kits

Connectagons – These are all pretty cool but I especially like this set.


Marble Mazes

Magna Tiles



Math Magic – At least 15 math tricks, puzzles and games.

Hot Dots – Interactive math lessons for your child’s grade level.

Inchimals – For ages 3 and up. Teaches simple math and measurement.

Tangrams – Great for kids who like puzzles.

Learning Wrap-Ups – Kids wrap the string from the problem on the left to the answer on the right and then flip it over to see if they got it right. Great for practicing basic math independently. Would make a great stocking stuffer.

Music & Books

They Might Be Giants Here Comes Science cd & animated dvd – This is going in Cam’s stocking!

What Is It? Musical Math & Science

Ballads for the Age of Science

Super Smart Science Series – All of these are on my wish list for Cam.

Bedtime Math – Cam loves to chat me up every night at bedtime so I think this book would be a great way to get some math practice into a convo or two.

Rosie Revere, Engineer – For obvious reasons.

On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein – A great read with adorable illustrations.

Any of David A. Adler’s math books for kids – David A. Adler’s children’s math books were a favorite of Cam’s.

Girls Think of Everything: Stories of Ingenious Inventions by Women


BrainBox Card Games – Lots of subjects to choose from including: Math Memory, Science, and Inventions.

Robot Turtles – Teaches programming fundamentals to kids 4 and up.

Professor Noggin’s Trivia Card Games – Lots of great choices that would fall under STEM.

Suspend by Melissa and Doug


Math Noodlers – There is also a version for kids in grades 4-5.

Clothes & Accessories

Because our girls deserve better than this.

More Than Just a Princess T-shirt and Hoodie from Goldieblox – Yes to both!

Graphic Tees from Land’s EndThis one is pretty cute and so is this one.

Cool Science T-shirts

Any of these

Love this one for so many reasons.

Either this shirt or this one, found on Etsy.

Tattly Designy Temporary Tattoos (Science Set) – What kid doesn’t like temporary tattoos? These are so cool that I would even wear them.


A day at a local zoo or aquarium would be a great gift.

Or if you can swing it, how about a membership to her local science museum?

30 Nov

meal plan 11-30-14


If you’re in need of some simple and inexpensive dinner ideas for next week, you’ve come to the right place!

I actually left this week’s meal planning up to my husband and daughter because I had so many errands to run over the last few days.

I think they did a great job.

Here’s what we’ll be having, in no particular order of course.


1. Tacos – Tacos are Camryn’s favorite dinner so I think this one may have been her idea. She’ll take the leftovers to school for lunch with tortilla chips instead of taco shells. I already had plenty of cheese and several tomatoes that needed to be used up so this one was a great idea.

2. My Veggie Soup – This soup has lots of veggies in it. It’s also really easy to make. Like, ridiculously easy. I’ll post the recipe later this week. We’ll probably have grilled cheese sandwiches on the side. Yum! The leftovers will probably go along with Cam to school for lunch the next day.

3. Oven Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes, Veggies

oven fried chickenphoto credit

I’m looking forward to trying a new recipe for oven fried chicken this week. Since I’ll have plenty of  green beans, corn, carrots, and peas left in the freezer that didn’t go into my veggie soup, I’ll just serve those remaining veggies with this meal.

4. Spaghetti - I use my mom’s sauce recipe which is fantastic. It also makes a ton so I usually freeze half to use another time. It’s one of those recipes with no measurements. You just keep adding things until it tastes right. One day I’ll get around to posting it here because it really is delicious.

5. Leftovers

6. Wedding Rehearsal Dinner - My brother is getting married next weekend and my parents are hosting the rehearsal dinner. I think we’re having BBQ so I’m pretty excited about that.

7. Wedding Buffet! - Another night that I don’t have to cook or reheat leftovers and there’s an open bar and free cake!? Yes please.


Here’s what I had to pick up during my shopping trip this week. Items not listed were already on hand.



  • 2 bell peppers (orange & yellow): $1.29
  • celery: $1.29
  • organic free range chicken broth: $1.69
  • canellini beans: .69
  • organic diced tomatoes: $1.49
  • frozen corn: .89
  • frozen peas: .89

Total: $8.23


  • 4 russet potatoes: $2.69
  • bagged shredded lettuce: $1.99
  • spaghetti rigati: $1.39
  • tomato paste: .60
  • tomato sauce: .40
  • taco shells: $1.89
  • frozen green beans: $1.39
  • 2 lbs chicken breasts: $6.79
  • 2 lbs ground beef: $9.08
  • 1 lb Italian sausage: $4.99
  • organic carrots: $1.29
  • Worcestershire sauce: $1.69

Total: $34.19

Total spent this week: $42.42


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