Oct 25, 2014

Build a Better Lunchbox for your Picky Preschooler

I know we all want the best for our kids and that includes feeding them good foods and staying away from sugary foods and foods that contains preservatives which I call "sometimes foods" . Whether you eat organic or not, load your kids up with the good foods and build a better lunchbox for them. My post here is mainly about feeding preschooler (they are so picky), but can be adapted to Elementary and up.

Photo source: Ecolunchboxes.com
I'm trying to start a movement called #sometimesfoods  - sometimes foods are foods that you only let your kids eat "sometimes", i.e. pizza, cupcakes, piece of cake, cookies, chips, etc. Sound good? Brody, my pre-ker sure wishes he'd never told me about what Coach Erin told his class at gym last month. Read my story "Preschool Learning: "Sometimes Foods"

Little stinker is now resisting good foods and says "sometimes foods" is all he wants. Perhaps I'm running it into the ground with him. I'm going to have to ease up...but I love the term and what it means. It just makes sense to me.

So, fill your kid's lunchbox with healthy foods (from the list below) and try to refrain from putting "sometimes foods" in the box!!

Source came from Whole Foods store magazine + My choice.

Whole wheat tortillas
Multi-grain English Muffins
100% Whole grain bread
Whole grain pita bread

All fruits of course, but "berries" are the best.
Also, try Kiwi
Apricots (dry dried ones - mixed in with nuts)

Almond butter
Sunflower seeds
Tahiti butter
*Make up a bag of mixed nuts from this group

My son likes Pistachios which are not on the list. I just cracked them open for him and place in bag.

String cheese or square
Hard-boiled egg
Hummus (a little messy for preschool though)
Tuna (if they like it)
Beans (mine loves northern beans)
lunch meat - ham, turkey, chicken - but watch the ingredients

I'll try to be realistic here.
Snap Pea pods (they are delicious cold)
(try combining a few of these in a bag)
...and by all means try all kinds of vetetables

Okay, so you see where I'm going with this list. All healthy. A couple of points to consider for foods to be the healthiest though. You may not worry as much as I do about all the preservatives that are found in our foods today, but be sure to READ the INGREDIENTS. So many additives are hidden in the foods we eat and feed our kids. ALSO, if your preschool doesn't do this, ask them to leave the foods inside the lunchbox that your child does not eat - that way you know what he or she is eating and not eating.

Good luck. Feeding a 4 year old is not easy anyways as they are so picky...but feeding a 4 year old healthy foods can be a struggle. Stay away from those #sometimesfoods !

Here's what I put in Brody's lunchbox - of course I mix it up. I only have to make his lunch twice a week...no problem. I also don't always include a sandwich.

  • Half sandwich of jelly and butter - he loves it
  • Rice cake with almond butter
  • Mixed nuts
  • Pistachios (by themselves)
  • Natural apple sauce
  • Banana
  • Raisins (I put them in with nuts)
  • Gluten-free chips
  • Juice with the less amount of sugar, like The Honest Brand
  • Cheese
  • Berries for sure!
  • Water (and not juice)
  • A few carrot sticks
  • Gluten-free cereal (loves the crunch)
Love to hear your suggestions! Comment on!!

Sleep Better with a Companion from Dream Team Pets

I was given a Dream Team Pet to facilitate this post. All opinions are my own. 

Do your kids have trouble sleeping at night? Do they have bad dreams or don't want to sleep alone? Maybe a sleep companion from Dream Team Pets will help! {See 30% off code below for an adorable plush pet

Have you heard of Dream Team Pets? They are plush pets that are designed to help your child sleep better at night. Every young child needs a stuffed animal or two to sleep with, right? Mine has about 4 or 5 he sleeps with every night. Dream Team Pets goes a step further and provides a book and certificate with their adorable pets. There's a Lion, (pictured above), a pink kitten and an adorable dog. Kids reward their pet with stickers and the certificate for a good night's sleep. Parents can read the short book to them and there's also a place in the back to fill out about your pet. Just darling!! But does it really help?

My little one always wants to sleep with me when daddy is away on business. I think that's pretty normal. But what happens is .....when daddy comes home he still wants to sleep with me (us)...and that's not going to work. We have a king bed, but this little guy likes to move about and squirm way too much, and hubby and I get no sleep. We are not co-sleepers by any means, and don't want to get that started, so that's why I thought "Lionel" would be good for him. 

It's not a bad idea to buy stuffed animals for the purpose of helping your child sleep in his or her own bed, and through the night, but not sure if that's the only thing that will help. With mine, it's not helping, he insists that he either sleep with me or I sleep with him. I try to reassure him that everything is going to be okay and that it's best that he sleep in his own bed and in his own room. I do believe this is a phase he's going through and that he'll grow out of it. He's just not having it!! So what do we do...we get Lionel the Lion and hope that snuggling with him will help!!!

On another note - recently, I bought him a Frankenstein costume online for Halloween (he saw it and wanted it). It's really cute and not scary at all. BUT...he said he had a bad dream about Frankenstein and now he will not wear his costume. He has no costume now to wear for Halloween or at pre-k next week...sheeesh!! HELP!!

Perhaps a Dream Team Pet will help your little one sleep better at night. Here's a coupon. 

DON'T FORGET - My Readers receive 30% Off Dream Team Pets with Promo Code: USFGUIDE

Hey readers, if you have any suggestions for me to help Brody WANT to sleep in his own bed, I'd love to hear them.

Oct 23, 2014

BEST of the BEST - DFW Bloggers - Check them out!!

I'm excited to share with you a group of awesome bloggers in my neck of the woods. North Texas that is. These ladies and gents are top notch and I love to read what they are up to, and thought you might too. We come from all arrays of life and you're sure to find something interesting on each blog. I'd love it if /when you do find something that interest you, you'll leave me a comment here and let me know all about it....I'd probably like to read it too!!  

Dallas Bloggers Bare Feet on the DashboardBare Feet on the Dashboard

Becca Short Eby Bare Feet on the Dashboard evokes a life of freedom through frugal living, travel, faith, crafts, creative pursuits, activities for families and kids, and so much more. Share in the adventure on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Dallas Bloggers Baby Boomer RantsBaby Boomer Rants

Dian Farmer Dian is a Dallas Mom and Blogger who is passionate about sharing her tips with women of all ages. As a Baby Boomer she has years of experience to share to help others succeed in life. Growth of spirit, family and impact in her community are important pieces of Dian's life and she is excited to share her tips with you!

Dallas Bloggers Carrie ElleCarrie Elle

Carrie Lindsey Carrie Lindsey is a Dallas mom who blogs about parenting, “mom life,” and family-friendly activities in the Dallas area at Carrie Elle. From simple crafts to easy recipes to meal planning (and everything in between!), Carrie blogs for the busy mom. She also offers blog coaching for new bloggers and sells Meal Planners in her Etsy shop.

Dallas Bloggers Coupon Crazy MommyCoupon Crazy Mommy

Natalie Emmert Reid Digging through all the deals to find the BEST ways to help you save money online, in the grocery stores, drug stores and more! The Coupon Crazy Mommy has been teaching couponing classes around the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex for nearly 10 years and is a regular guest on WFAA's “Good Morning Texas.”

Dallas Bloggers Digital Mom BlogDigital Mom Blog

Molly Thornberg Digital Mom Blog is your online hub for technology, parenting and geekery. From tech reviews of the latest gadgets to the woes of raising toddlers: Digital Mom, Molly Thornberg delivers real-life with this blog for the modern mom. Follow Digital Mom Blog on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Easy Green MomEasy Green Mom

Amber Sorrells Amber is a Fort Worth wife and mom of 3 boys. She is passionate about sharing how her family lives green and hopes to inspire others to take little steps to being more Eco-friendly. On Easy Green Mom she shares tips for living green, gluten free recipes, cloth diaper tips, DIY crafts, and new Eco-friendly products. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

Dallas Bloggers Family eGuideFamily eGuide

Valerie Preston Family eGuide is an online guide to affordable family-friendly events, activities, and services in the northern suburbs of Dallas/Fort Worth. Winner of "Best Publication" in Denton County 2014! Contact us about promoting your event or business. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram!  

Dallas Bloggers Geek GlamGeek Glam

Stephanie Drenka Geek Glam is a personal style blog authored by Stephanie Drenka. Created to eliminate the misconception that geek and chic are mutually exclusive attributes, Geek Glam combines Stephanie's love of gaming, fashion, beauty, and pop culture.

Giggles GaloreGiggles Galore

Mariah Leeson With a passion for celebrating Mariah created Giggles Galore,www.gigglesgalore.net, a lifestyle blog that focuses on creative parties, DIY crafts, recipes and tip and hints for making the ordinary extraordinary one creative project at a time. Mariah loves collaborating with brands and can be reached at mariah@gigglesgalore.net or follow her onFacebook,Instagram,Twitter and Pinterest.

Dallas Bloggers Grocery Shop for Free at the MartGrocery Shop for FREE at The Mart

Aarn Farmer Aarn is a husband, father of 4, and grandfather of 3, with one on the way. He is also the author of a coupon & deal blog all about shopping and saving at Walmart. If you’re looking to save money at Walmart, this is the place you want to be. From weekly $1 and under deals to a searchable coupon database, he has it all. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest so you don’t miss a deal.

Dallas Bloggers Jenns RAQJenn's RAQ

Jennifer Land Jenn is a homeschooling mother to many in Fort Worth, Texas. Whether she’s blogging about her kids, their favorite toys and curriculum, food, or about local Dallas / Fort Worth events, she’s keeping it Real And Quirky! Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Dallas Bloggers Julie is Coco and CocoaJulie is Coco and Cocoa

Julie Julie is a Mom, knitter, crafter, and food enthusiast. She is is married to the love of her life and together they have three boys, twin teenagers and a pre-schooler. Julie is passionate about everything handmade is proud to call Fort Worth home. Find her on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.

Dallas Bloggers LifeatFortyLife at Forty

Angela Williamson Join sisters, Angela and Brady Lee, as they share two completely different lifestyles at 40. Although both were born and raised in MN, Angela now resides in TX. Follow them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Dallas Bloggers Life with Captain FussybucketsLife With Captain Fussybuckets

Gena Gena is a thirty something mother of three young boys and a youth minister’s wife. She is a homeschooler and home gardener who loves to blog about parenting, cooking, going green, and the occasional crafts for kids and DIY. Follow Life With Captain Fussybuckets on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Dallas Bloggers MamaChallengeMamaChallenge

Autumn Rose Reo Texas blogger,TV contributor, PR pro, and mother of two (including a son with aCongenital Heart Defect), Autumn Rose Reo is always on the search for REAL SOLUTIONS for REAL MOMS. From things to do, eat, wear and buy, she’s always cookin’ up something fun, resourceful and good to know! See what challenge she is taking on today on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or email her at autumn (@) mamachallenge.com.

Dallas Bloggers Milk and CuddlesMilk and Cuddles

Shannon Schmid Shannon, traded in her sensible NYC Television producer shoes (they were best for taking the subway), for a pair of Texas Cowboy boots! Shannon blogs about many subjects including Travel, Recipes, Technology & Events. Shannon is PR friendly, and also the author of American and Irish. Find her: Twitter, Facebook, & YouTube among other places. Milkandcuddles (@)gmail.com

Dallas Bloggers Mommie Again PlusMommie... Again PLUS

Kim Croisant Kim, a 50+Influencer and a Mommie "Again" to her youngest grandchild, is an advocate for healthy living. Follow her journey on eating organic, growing a garden for the first time, ridding her cupboards of all GMO foods and trying to survive menopause!

Dallas Bloggers My Crazy SavingsMyCRAZYSavings

Courtney Solstad Mommy to three little princesses, I love the flexible schedule that blogging has allotted me. I live in North Dallas and proudly serve as a Deal Pro with Savings.com, Pampers Baby Board Member, Collective Bias Advisory Team, and Sea World Wildside Blogger. I love connecting with brands and sharing ways to live well for less with my readers. I am passionate about being debt free and enriching the lives around me.

Dallas Bloggers Pounds 4 PenniesPounds4Pennies

Amy Greene Amy Greene lives in the Dallas area with her husband and three children. She enjoys teaching people how to make DIY crafts, homemade recipes and parties on a budget at Pounds4Pennies. Amy writes about how easy it can be to have a simple, healthy and greener lifestyle. She provides easy tips and trick for everyone to save money to be healthy and green.

Dallas Bloggers Tales of Beauty for AshesTales of Beauty for Ashes

Becky Becky traded in her teaching degree for diapers and dishes. Her blog, Tales of Beauty for Ashes, has tricks for anything from how to have a better marriage, to a better way to organize measuring cups. When not writing, you might find her reading a book, playing in the kitchen or loving on her family. Find her on Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

Dallas Bloggers The Nerds WifeThe Nerd's Wife

Arena Blake Arena is the wife of a Nerd and mom of a toddler who loves his Star Wars blankie a little too much. She is passionate about showcasing brands through creative crafts, recipes, and tutorials on her Dallas mom blog. She lives in the suburbs north of Dallas with her family. You can email her at thenerdswife@gmail.com or follow her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Dallas Bloggers Three Different DirectionsThree Different Directions

Tammy Litke Three Different Directions, is a lifestyle blog about home & family, recipes, travel, electronics & other things we enjoy in life. Tammy likes to hear from PR and companies to collaborate with brands and can be reached at, tammy@threedifferentdirections.com. Find her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.

Weekends Count

Jennifer and Tony A PR friendly, Texas #millennialfamily #travel & activity blog. We are located in the Fort Worth, TX area focused on making the MOST out of the weekend! After working HARD in the week as busy professors and we always seek to enjoy a great work-life balance. We also love to travel with our family to visit hotels and museums, researching new vacations, reading, shopping online, eating healthy foods, taking pictures on our iPhones, and gardening! Remember to follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, or Facebook.

6 Steps to the Perfect Carved Pumpkin

1. Cut off the top

2. Scoop out the insides

3. Carve out the eyes

4. Carve out the nose

5. Carve out the mouth

6. Place a candle inside (optional)

Pretty simple....uh? Happy Halloween!!
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