Archive for September, 2010

New name, new look, new web address

It was time to revamp my blog.

All new posts will be on the new site. All previous posts on this site have been moved as well.  

The new site is:

A Mindful Life – http://blog.amindfullife.us

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September 19, 2010 at 4:57 pm Leave a comment

Baking with a toddler

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September 17, 2010 at 12:01 pm Leave a comment

Name Bubbles – great labels for kids school gear

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Based on a couple recommendations from parents groups I belong to, I ordered a Daycare pack of labels from Name Bubbles since my daughter just started preschool and they ask that everything she bring to school be labeled. I liked the label choices and the fact that Name Bubbles uses non-toxic, soy-based ink. We have been using them for a couple weeks now and I have to say they work really well!! I am so pleased with them that I had to blog about it in case any of you are thinking about ordering labels for your kids.

You may be thinking a permanent marker will do just fine. And you are not wrong. But I say these labels are worth getting. I think I’d go bonkers trying to write my daughter’s name on all of her clothing and school gear (lunch box, containers, milk thermos and water bottles). All these things really add up. Now I just have to stick a label on whatever needs labeling as new items are brought to school. Easy as can be.

The designs are cute, yet clear. They have many sizes and shapes to choose from plus varieties that are dishwasher safe, laundry safe, water-resistant and even super tough to go onto shoes. Yes, I have been told that kids do indeed also lose shoes. They are very durable – they really do stay on (and looking good so far) in the dishwasher and laundry. And they are so easy to use, no more markers, not even ironing…just peel and stick.

The Bitty Bubbles are really the perfect size to stick onto clothing tags. They are small, yet easy to read. The Labels for Shoes seem to work well too, though they have only been on her shoes for about 2 weeks…they have survived really well though lots of sandbox time and running around. We use the Fun Bubbles and Mini Bubbles for her lunch box, food containers and drink bottles. We haven’t ordered any Alert labels yet, but I love the concept and will probably get some since my daughter is allergic to eggs and peanuts.

My daughter thinks they are fun and helps me put them on. An added bonus, is that the stickers are easy for her to recognize as meaning the item belongs to her at school, versus having to read a name written in black marker, like many other kids have. For instance, she can easily identify her water bottle at school even if 3 other kids have the same one.

I am actually quite surprised I haven’t noticed more kids as school with pre-printed labels on their belongings since they make life just a little bit easier for the parents, teachers and kids!

If you are concerned with putting your child’s full name on everything, or you have multiple kids and want to just order one batch of labels, you can simply just put your last name on them. Or, similarly, just their first name. Really any combo you feel works best for your needs.

The only two things I can think of that would improve on these is (1) to have a way to select your own colors for each portion of a label, versus picking from a set of color schemes and (2) to be able to upload you own image if you’d like to instead of only picking from their selection. With those two additions labels could be even more unique.

BTW, I haven’t tried any other labels for this purpose so I have nothing to compare to, but these just work so well!

Name Bubbles
http://www.namebubbles.com/

September 14, 2010 at 3:38 pm Leave a comment

A better lunchbox – healthy, sustainable and fun

Who knew packing a preschooler’s lunch would involve so much thought and leg work?

My little 2.5 year old started preschool this week (wow, that was fast) which also means packed lunches.  As soon as we sent in the deposit, I started researching safe, functional and fun lunch gear. I tend to be a planner and hate waiting till the last minute. In addition, I started thinking about what I would actually pack in her lunch box. How do I make it something that she will love to eat? and be able to eat on her own? Without being there to guide who through her meal, this was a big concern. Extra challenging since like most toddlers, she has gotten a lot more picky about what she eats. We are also trying to be as organic, local and sustainable as possible – or as I like to put it… people and planet friendly. I feel that should continue with school lunches. I am determined to keep her meals healthy, enjoyable and as organic and sustainable as possible. There is no reason a packed lunch can’t nurture her body and her love for great food. No lunchables for my little one.

It is no easy task to plan and prepare packed lunches for your kids, let alone healthy, waste-free ones. While I’m not an expert and will be learning as I go, given all of the energy and thought I’m putting into this, I thought I’d share these ideas with you. Maybe you’ll pick up a tip or two or get inspired to be more creative/sustainable with your child’s lunches or even have some great tips to share with me. Either way, I welcome you to follow this journal of a preschooler’s lunchbox.

I’ll include a list of everything in her meal and a photo. I’ll also include a report on how well she ate, incase you are wondering, “Did this kid actually eat this stuff?”. If you are interested in any recipes or techniques, let me know. I’m happy to share. Nothing is too complicated. I’m also planning on another blog entry just on the gear used. I found some great items and am looking forward to sharing. They have been working out so well this week.

I should also note that my daughter is allergic to eggs and peanuts, so nothing you see will have either. And she gets a thermos with 2% Straus organic milk with her lunch each day.

Week One

Tuesday: Sofie's First Day of School (14)

    • Homemade chicken fingers – organic free range chicken, dipped in organic milk, coated in a seasoned brown rice flour and corn starch mix, then pan fried in olive oil.
    • Organic white rice balls – shaped into a heart and star with a rice mold
    • Organic broccoli – steamed
    • Organic raspberries – from our farm CSA


    Consumption: She ate everything except the broccoli.

Wednesday:  IMG_6253

    • Pan seared organic pork chop – pounded thin, sprinkled with garlic salt and then pan seared in a little olive oil. Dice up for easy eating.
    • Organic spouted whole wheat sandwiches – toasted with a light smeared of organic cream cheese. Cut into flower shapes with a cookie cutter.
    • Organic strawberries – from our farm CSA share Eating With The Seasons
    • Organic edamame – steamed
    • Organic baby carrots – steamed


    Consumption: She ate everything except for 3 carrots and the toast. We were trying new bread this week…and well, we have decided that while we like their hamburger and hot dog buns, we aren’t thrilled with the bread. So I can’t fault her for not eating it. We’ll shop for a new kind to try this weekend.
     

Thursday: IMG_6259

    • Homemade organic brown-rice coated chicken fingers
    • Organic mini-pita bread
    • Organic peaches – from our fruit CSA share with Frog Hollow Farm
    • Organic Colby Cheese – I snuck this in after I took the photo, cubed and added in the peach container


    Consumption: She ate all the tomatoes, peaches, cheese and pita. But barely touched the rest. Sofie has a nose for fresh food, somehow she tends to gobble down what I prepare fresh for her and skips anything that had been in the fridge for a couple days. She also had a bit of a meltdown over something at school,
    which didn’t help. 

Friday: Sofie's school lunch - 2010 09 10 (4)

    • Boccalone Italian sausage – grilled the night before with our dinner, then sliced and served cold with this lunch
    • Trader Joe’s Multi grain crackers
    • Organic peaches – from our fruit CSA share with Frog Hollow Farm
    • Organic edamame – steamed and very very lightly salted with sea salt
    • Organic baby carrots – steamed and very very lightly salted with sea salt


    Consumption: She ate all the peaches and edamame, half of the sausage, a few crackers and one carrot.

September 10, 2010 at 4:24 pm Leave a comment


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