Urban Picnic, too cool!

I saw this in a magazine and loved the idea!  This Urban Picnic Box contains four small trays and bowls, utensil set, compostable trays, recycled napkins, & an eco-friendly garbage bag… love it!  The styles are Urban Picnic (looks like a boom box), Today’s Date (has a couple on the box) & Office Escape (looks like a briefcase), and it is only $25!

Go to www.Boxsal.com to order.



Adorable chart to teach your children the days of the week, weather, & more!

A great gift my friend gave my son was from the Leaps & Bounds catalogue called. “My First Daily Planner”.  It is a fabric embroidered planner to hang with velcro pieces.

From the time my son was in nursery school, and to this day in first grade, we go over the days of the week, month, year, and weather which he still loves. ( I have it hung in the kitchen window where he and my daughter can both enjoy it.)

This is a great way to have teachable moments, for you could say, “If yesterday was Monday, what is today?”, as well as discuss the weather, and what their schedule for the day will be, etc.

Children desire a routine, and it helps to unlock the mystery of the day, & can prevent a few meltdowns, lol!



Dinner short cuts…

As a Foodie & a mother of two who likes to cook, I have to take short cuts daily.

In the past seven years I have learned so much, like either prepping things the night before, or while one of my children was napping, or at school I usually prep dinner (which makes it easier I think).  It is hard to juggle the world, but having short cuts is a great way to continue cooking healthy for your family, and is less stressful.

In a busy over-scheduled world, it is harder to make meals that one would like to in a short amount of time.  That is why TRADER JOE’S is one of my BIGGEST secrets to aid in quick and HEALTHY meals.

The following products are AMAZING!

Frozen Food Section: Swear by the Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice (3 pre-cooked bags of rice that heats in the microwave for 3 minutes!), Trader Joe’s Organic Jasmine Rice (same as above info), Trader Joe’s Mac & Cheese (for those last resort meals), gourmet pizza with truffle is divine for parties, and there is are many great products depending on your likes.

Trader Joe’s also carries many other products like grilled veggies, pre-cooked turkey and regular meatballs, grilled chicken all of which I haven’t tried, but again, great shortcuts.  Depending on your family’s tastes, there is so much to choose from, so head down that aisle and take a look!

Dairy Section: Love their Organic Vanilla yogurt for kids comes in cups or large containers, as well as Shaved Parmesan for salads and pastas, great cheese section for entertaining too!  (Their Organic dairy products are wonderful and prices much less than most markets as well.)

Fresh Produce Section: All of the Organic produce is great, and I love the diced butternut squash (easy to prepare), their “Complete Salad Baby Spinach” (includes cranberries, candied pecans, Miner’s Blue Cheese & a raspberry vinaigrette), bagged spinach (easy to saute or steam), cut Organic brocoli, Pre-cut sweet potatoes (great to bake instead of french fries), and there is so much more like pre cut veggies ir washed bagged veggies (which cut prepping time drastically), so check it out!

Snacks: They have prepackaged nuts & dried fruits in portioned sizes, as well as bars for the kids, baked chips, which are great to throw in a diaper bag or a quick healthy snack in the car!

Depending on your personal tastes, Trader Joes is a great place to find short cuts, so go to www.traderjoes.com for locations.

Aside from Trader Joe’s, when I make soups or sauces, I always make a double recipe, so that I can freeze them for future meals.  Another great tip, is when you make chicken cutlets, fish cutlets, meatballs, pancakes, french toast, or muffins, let them cool, then wrap them individually in parchment paper, and put them in a freezer Ziplock and freeze for future meals for the kids. (I just defrost them in the microwave, and it is a healthy & quick alturnative versus the drive-through.)



Get monthly updates about recalls…

There is this great FREE website that sends a monthly email regarding recalls on children’s products, which is so important.  It is called, “Kids in Danger” and everyone with children should sign up at www.KidsInDanger.org.

Things are made so differently now a days, and it is good to know the latest recalled products.  (This site features recalls from infant to children’s products.)  Please send this blog topic to all of your friends who have children, for it is important to be updated.  Thank you.