New Parents, How Often Do You Feel Like This?

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Many Emotions of a Father with a New Baby

As a dad with a new baby I have exhibited all of these emotions in the past month.  I know some of you can relate so I thought you might enjoy this!  Feel free to share your stories in the comments below.

#fatherhood

A Man Sized Leftover Lunch For Parents

A Man Sized Leftover Lunch

It doesn't have to be difficult or time consuming to pack a healthy lunch for yourself!  Sometimes, as parents, we think packing a lunch is more brain bending than doing astrophysics.  It doesn't have to be.  I not only only pack my daughter's lunch but I try and regularly pack a healthy lunch for myself as well.  I enjoy a good hamburger from 5 Guys as much as the next person, but it isn't the best for my waistline or wallet.  Notice I didn't say In-N-Out Burger?  That place is as overrated as the 49er's quarterback Colin Kaepernick.  

If you want to save yourself some time and money by not eating out all the time follow these three big tips:

Tip one: Pack leftovers from the night before.  Just make an extra piece of chicken or a little bit more pasta and you will have a great meal the next day!  The lunch above was my dinner from the previous day.  It literally took three minutes to take the food from the pan and put it directly into the lunch box.  It was plenty of food and pretty healthy at the same time.  The slab of salmon was a good size and I just popped the whole thing into the microwave at work.  I was totally filled up.  You can also easily adjust portions accordingly in a box like I used.

Tip two: Prep side dishes at the beginning of the week.  You can cut up a bunch of fresh fruit or vegetables and put them in a reusable container in the fridge.  If you do this it only takes seconds to move them into your lunch container at night. 

Tip three: Find a convenient lunchbox that works for you.  I used an Easy Lunch Boxes container for the meal above.  It holds plenty of food for me, is contained all-in-one, and you can easily see what you are packing.  This is important to try and make a balanced meal for yourself.  So find a container that is right for you.

Ok, parents (I'm talking to you guys) no more excuses.  You can still have the occasional burger out, but why spend the money AND the time everyday?  Who has time for that anyway?  For more tips for fun lunches and products that make a parent's life easier use the buttons to the right to follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

#bento #lbdbento

The Big Game Lunch

Monday, January 27, 2014


So the Big Game is here (almost) and I can't wait.  The football, the commercials, the parties, its a fun day.  I also loved that my daughter told me yesterday that she wanted to watch football with me.  For that reason I made her this Big Game lunch.  I don't want to risk any copyright infringement but you know what game I'm talking about.  

This is a fairly easy lunch made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.  You can probably also tell what team my family is rooting for.  We are actually Oakland Raider fans so there is no way we can cheer for the Broncos.  It is Seahawks all the way for us.  If you want to see the Raider lunch I made last year, CLICK HERE.  Have fun and remember to follow me on all my social media sites to get so much more great stuff!


Ingredients:
--2 slices of bread
--String cheese, and other types of your favorite cheese
--Healthy lunch meat
--Celery sticks
--Peanut butter
--Roasted seaweed snack
--Popcorn, different colors if desired
--Optional: molds to make cheese Lego referee and football player and food coloring






Directions:
1.  Lay down slice of bread on the bottom of main dish.  Put meat and cheese on top of half the bread.  Cut other piece of bread in the shape of a football.  Put on top of cheese.
2.  Spread peanut butter on celery slices.  Place first row peanut butter up.  Put second row peanut butter down.  Celery slices will stick together and be the football field.
3.  Tear string cheese into pieces.  Put three strings on celery for line markers and then place one long and four short pieces on the football bread.
4.  Cut a 5 and 0 out of another white cheese.  Place on the celery for the 50 yard line.
5.  If desired, make lego shaped cheese guys with a silicone mold.  It is available online many places,  Use food coloring and a toothpick to decorate.
6.  Cut roasted seaweed snack into a football jersey shape.  It is basically a shirt shape.  Put two strips of cheese on for numbers and two strips on for stripes around the shoulders.  Place in side dish.
7.  In second side dish, place colored popcorn.  You can use your favorite teams colors or just use plain popcorn.  What's a sporting event without this!

I hope you have a great party and next year will be the Raider's year, I'm sure of it!



#bento #lbdbento

WaterWipes are the only wipes you will ever need!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Disclosure: I was provided with this opportunity thanks to WaterWipes and Mommy Bag Marketing, Inc. They sent me this product to review. I also received other compensation for this post, however, the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.
WaterWipes are the best natural baby wipes #shop

You know the feeling.  The one where you know your child needs to be changed yet every ounce of you is resisting it.  It's not because you don't love your baby.  It's because you are dreading the mess that comes with the diaper change.  Obviously there are some diaper messes that are unavoidable but it's the ease of cleanup that makes all the difference for a parent.  I love introducing products to my readers that help make parents' lives easier and WaterWipes are that kind of product.

After having three kids, I couldn't imagine my life without wipes.  My family takes wipes everywhere.  We rely on them to clean faces, wash hands, and with a new baby...change loads of diapers!  The problem with regular wipes is that they are thin and full of chemicals.  When WaterWipes sent me their product to review I expected it to be like every other wipe.  I was wrong.  They call themselves "the world's purest baby wipes."  I never realized how many chemicals were in your standard wipe.  Why would you want to use those chemicals on yourself and especially your baby?  WaterWipes are 99.9% water with .1% fruit extract.  You can't get much more natural than that!

WaterWipes help prevent diaper rash #shop

The next thing I noticed was how they felt when I took them out of their container to help change a diaper.  The WaterWipes were thick and felt like they could take care of more of the stuff that you just don't want to touch when changing a baby.  My wife thought the exact same thing.  With standard wipes we would need two to three for a diaper change but we found ourselves only needing one WaterWipe to change our newborn!  A WaterWipe just handled the mess that much better.  They have also helped to prevent diaper rash on our newborn.  WaterWipes do cost a little more, but when you use less wipes it evens out.  For about the same cost, wouldn't you want to use a superior product, especially when your kids are involved?

The other big plus using WaterWipes is that I find that they don't leave a residue or odor on my hands afterwards.  This was always the reason that I hated using wipes before becoming a parent.  Why would I want a scent on my hands that reminds me I just changed my baby's diaper?  

The next important thing my family uses these wipes for is...pretty much anything to do with my other kids!  Every time we go to restaurants or the park we bring our wipes along with us.  My seven year old and three year old are amazing kids, but they also make amazing messes.  We use WaterWipes to clean up sticky hands and faces so that the mess doesn't transfer to our clothes or car on the way home.  

WaterWipes are great sensitive skin wipes #shop

My wife has been using WaterWipes Facial Wipes to clean off her makeup at night.  They work perfect and just like the baby wipes are natural and 99.9% pure.  They are fragrance and alcohol free.  She loves them.

As you can tell our family has been impressed with WaterWipes.  This is how much we like them, however.  The first packages were sent to me for free to try out, but once we tried them, we had to get more.  We bought a whole new case of WaterWipes because we didn't want to use another brand when we ran out of the free packages that were sent to us.  My family thinks that they are the best natural wipes around.  WaterWipes come in packages of sixty wipes and are readily available at your local Walgreens.  You can find out more about WaterWipes by going to their website HERE and by watching the short video below!



#parentproductreviews

A New Baby Lunch!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


In case you missed the news, my wife and I had a new baby a few weeks ago.  If you are counting, that makes three kids now.  I know some of you are particular about weeks, so it was three weeks ago my new son was born.  We are not one of those couples that says, "Our baby is 452 weeks old."  If you are, great, my mind just doesn't work that way and I can't count do that addition on a moments notice.  Regardless, I thought it would be fun to send my daughter to school with a lunch from me AND her new brother.  I wanted her to remember that not only does her daddy love her, her baby brother does as well!

This is actually a very simple lunch and is made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.  I also just returned from a day at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.  They decided to give me a press pass so I was able to get in and see a bunch of new food products that I am so excited to introduce you to.  Unfortunately for you, this will have to wait for a bit.  I know, mean, aren't I?  Have a great week, and make sure you are following me on Twitter and Pinterest so you can get all my updates, I have been on both sites quite a bit lately!



Ingredients:
--2 slices whole wheat bread
--1 hard boiled egg, peeled
--1 slice cheddar cheese
--3 leaves of lettuce
--1 piece of turkey meat
--1 serving fat-free Greek yogurt
--4-5 strawberries
--1 handful dried fruit (I used cranberries and blueberries)
--1 piece of string cheese
--1 small piece of dried mango
--black food coloring





Directions:
1.  Cut baby head out of bread slice.  Its just an oval with ears.  Cut another piece in the shape of chest and arms.  It looks like a capital "P."  The last piece is the last legs and they are just an "L."  Use the first three pieces to cut out a copy of each one.
2.  Trim hard boiled egg on one side so it resembles a diaper as shown in picture.
3.  Cut the letters "I" and "U" out of cheddar cheese.
4. Slice strawberries in half and trim them into the shape of a heart.
5.  Use lettuce to cover the background and place turkey under the lettuce.  
6.  Draw simple facial features on with black food coloring and a toothpick.  Arrange bread pieces on top of lettuce with hard boiled egg as the diaper.  Put in cheese letters with one strawberry heart.
7.  The bread, turkey, and cheese can be put together to make a sandwich.  In one side dish place most of the strawberries with the Greek yogurt on top of them.  Put last two strawberry hearts on top of the yogurt.
8.  Cut string cheese to fit in a second side dish.  Draw on the word "milk" with black food coloring and a toothpick.  Cut a simple nipple shape out dried mango and secure to top of string cheese with a toothpick.  This make the bottle.  Place dried fruit in the dish and then put the bottle on top of that.  This sounds like a lot of directions but believe me they are easy and go quickly.  Have fun!

#lbdbento

No lunch today but check back tomorrow and follow on social media

Monday, January 20, 2014

Today is a holiday so no new lunch today but I will be posting one tomorrow.  I  am going to the Fancy Food Show today in San Francisco so follow me on Twitter and Facebook to find out about some great new food items I see there.

Also, please enter my giveaways for LifeOiL and the $50 gift card to Whole Foods.  Both of those end soon and you can scroll down to find the posts to enter under my recent posts.  Have a great day!

Super Seven Layer Dip and Super Kids Platter for Your Next Party

Sunday, January 19, 2014


Tyson Super Moments Seven Layer Dip #AD #SuperMoments #cbias

Whenever you throw a party for the football playoffs, and especially the Big Game, you need there to be plenty of Super Moments for it to be a success. At my recent party, Tyson and Kraft teamed up to help the football food to be a winner. The game on TV was entertaining, but the real action was in the kitchen where people were raving about our game day recipes for Super Seven Layer Dip and Super Kids Platter.

Between the breaks in the game, people couldn't wait to get back to the appetizer table to get more of my Super Seven Layer Dip. They loved the combination of the Chicken Strips and Southwest Ranch! It is so simple and tasty your party guests will call you their MVP! The recipe is below and believe me you are going to want this at your next football party, or maybe even just for lunch today!

Tyson Super Moments Seven Layer Dip ingredients #SuperMoments #ad #cbias

Super Seven Layer Dip
Ingredients:
4 Chicken Strips, 1 cup Kraft Taco Bell Southwest Ranch, 1 can refried beans, 1/2 cup salsa, 3/4 cup shredded cheese, 1 tomato diced, 1 avocado diced

Directions:
Cook Chicken strips according to package directions and let cool completely. Chop chicken into bite sized pieces. Mix together beans and salsa. Layer ingredients in the order listed here: Bean mix, Kraft dip, Tomatoes, Avocados, Chicken, Cheese, Olives. Cover and place in refrigerator to keep cool until ready to serve.

To see exactly what each layer looked like as we were building the dip, please watch the very short video below. This will show you exactly how to do it!


I also put together some food that was kid friendly and very fun. Kids all have different tastes and love playing with their food. The Super Kids Platter has tastes for every kid! It features Popcorn Chicken (what kid doesn't love that) and Kraft Velveeta Cheesy Ranch. The kids all had a blast and they got to make their own funny or monster faces with the food from the platter. This dish was a win for every kid at our party!


Tyson Super Moments Super Kids Platter #SuperMoments #ad #cbias

Super Kids Platter

Ingredients:
Popcorn Chicken, Kraft Velveeta Cheesy Ranch Dip, Hard boiled eggs, Sliced carrots, Sliced cucumbers, Black olives, String cheese, Orange segments, Celery sticks, Grape tomatoes, Broccoli

Directions:
Put Kraft Dip into bowl for dipping. Cook Popcorn Chicken according to package instructions. Arrange all ingredients on a large platter. Let kids pick the food that they want and encourage them to have fun making their own funny faces or monster faces. Let them get creative and then tell them they can eat their creations!
Kids eating Tyson Super Moments Super Kids Platter #SuperMoments #ad #cbias
Hopefully your football party has as many great Super Moments and tasty food as mine did! Remember, its not a party without great food and with these two recipes you wont have to worry about the food because it will be a hit!

Tyson Chicken and Kraft Ranch Dip #SuperMoments #cbias #ad
#lbdbento

Sneak Peek & Giveaway! Find out how you can make these two Healthy and Tasty lunches for your kids!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Here is a Sneak Peek into the two lunches I will be showing you how to make at my bento lunch class at Whole Foods Fremont this next Tuesday evening, January 21st at 6pm!  They will be made from the freshest ingredients and your kids will love them!  You just might love them as well.  All of these ingredients can be found right at your local Whole Foods Market!

I will show you step-by-step how to make these lunches, give you tips for making lunchtime easy, and demonstrate tools to save you time and reduce waste. 

Both meals are made in Laptop Lunches reusable lunchboxes.  These are terrific choices to make lunches in for kids and adults.  A representative from Laptop lunches will also be there to answer any questions you might have about their products.  These are available to buy at Whole Foods as well!





Every family who attends this FREE class will also receive a copy of my ebook, Adventures in Lunchboxing!  


Please email me through the "Contact Me" button on my blog with any questions.  To register for the class please email FremontEven[email protected].




YOU CAN WIN A FREE $50 GIFT CARD COURTESY OF WHOLE FOODS MARKET FREMONT RIGHT NOW!  Just enter using the Rafflecopter Widget below!  You must be a resident of the continental United States to win.




a Rafflecopter giveaway



People Magazine Featured Lunchbox Dad!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Did you happen to catch Lunchbox Dad on People Magazine's website?  They did a whole article on a few dads who make lunchtime fun.  I was honored to be included alongside some great fathers.  If you haven't seen it yet, click the link below and give it a read.  If you have a minute, leave comment about how much you appreciate dads!  

If you made your way over here from the People.com article, its great to have you!  Also, thanks to everyone for sharing my Open Letter From A Parent To My Starbucks Barista post from Wednesday.  As I write this, It has been shared on Facebook almost 700 times!  Unbelievable!  If you haven't checked that out yet, just scroll down and read it.  Have a great day!

An Open Letter From A Parent To My Starbucks Barista

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

An open letter from a parent to my Starbucks barista

To My Starbucks Barista Today:

I don't know you very well, but I know I wasn't very talkative today.  You see I'm a dad.  And I just stayed up all night with my newborn.  I also have two other kids and I just dropped one off at school.  All this to say that I wish I could have returned your witty banter with some of my own.  However, all I could muster were three words--Grande Nonfat Cappuccino.  

I was also fresh off paternity leave and on my way to the first of two staff meetings this morning.  I really needed my coffee.  I mean badly.  Seriously I don't know if I have ever needed it more than this morning.  I know that you've probably been up since before the sun rose over Mission Peak.  Is that where it rises?  I have no idea but you probably do because of your countless mornings going to work and seeing it.  My last two weeks have all blurred together and I'm just trying to make it through today.  Regardless, just like me you were probably trying to blink away the sleep and so we have something in common.  

I just want to say I appreciate you trying to get me to talk, being understanding that I don't have the words, and trying to brighten my morning anyway.  I know you don't always get the thanks you deserve.  People are on their phones, thinking about their responsibilities for the day, and generally being, well, the type of customer you don't want to deal with.  Except for that one guy who is always way too chipper in the mornings.  You know the one.  

Well, you should know that I wasn't trying to be cranky, or impatient, I was just exhausted from my two week old's party all last night.  The party that lasted from 12 am to 5 am and only him and I were invited to.  The party where he only wanted to be held, or cuddled, or set down, or...well you get the idea.  I was just needing the caffeinated goodness you always provide me in my most desperate of times--like this morning.  Hopefully you could see that hollow, needy look in my eyes.  Hopefully you could tell that you were my hope to make it through this morning.

I needed you and you came through, like you always do.  I would have paid twenty times the amount that you charged me this morning.  Thanks for not making me pay that, by the way.  Thanks for understanding that being a parent sometimes leaves my like this.  Thanks for treating me like I was the happiest, most chipper, and friendliest customer of the morning.  To you I raise my recyclable Starbucks paper cup and hope that me being able to mutter, "Have a good day," was enough.  For that one shining moment this morning, you were my hero.

Your Biggest Fan,
The Lunchbox Dad

#fatherhood

Lighten up With LifeOiL and Win 3 Bottles Of Your Own!

Disclosure: I was provided with this opportunity thanks to LifeOiL and Mommy Bag Marketing, Inc. They sent me this product to review, cook with, and give away. I also received other compensation for this post, however, the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.
Lighten up with LifeOiL

The new year is great time to change our unhealthy habits and to start eating better.  One way to do that is by cooking using healthier ingredients.  LifeOiL is here to help you on your quest to make great tasting food and to eat healthier.  My family and I have used LifeOil in so many ways for baking and cooking.  Its flavor has never disappointed us.  For my family, we don't use anything else.  If you want to see a tasty example of how we use it, check out my previous post showing you how to make your own Simple Winter Roasted Vegetable Medley.


LifeOiL Simple Winter Roasted Vegetable Medley #shop

On their website LifeOiL says, "LifeOiL is now available for healthier frying, baking, sautéing and salads. This is the first all-purpose cooking oil formulated with a natural blend of sunflower, safflower, and olive oil. LifeOiL is light in taste and appearance, and supplies more Vitamin E than any other vegetable oil."  This oil is also cholesterol free and contains zero trans fats.  LifeOiL can be found in your local Walmart and Albertsons Supermarket.  You can find them online at www.lifeoils.com, facebook.com/lifeoils, twitter.com/chooselifeoil, and pinterest.com/lifeoil.


Thanks to the people at LifeOiL you can now win three bottles of their healthy and flavorful cooking oil!  All you need to do is enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To see more about what LifeOiL is about check out their video below:

I Lose Inspiration & Run Out Of Time Too!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Leftovers lunch in a yubo

I have been flooded with sick kids, a newborn baby, and sleeplessness so I will have a new lunch later this week.  My daughter hasn't even been back to school yet because she has been so sick with the flu.  So I decided to post this leftover lunch from awhile back.  I kept this around to show that I lose inspiration and run out of time too.  This was an easy lunch (I used Lunch Punch Sandwich Cutters) but my daughter still loved it.  You know why?  Because I made it special for her.  

I'm even showing you something I have never showed before.  I am showing the note that I include with every lunch.  I try and help her feel special not only with the lunch but with words.  You may not always have time to make a fun lunch, but there is always a minute to tell your kids that you love them!  I made this lunch in a yubo lunchbox with Lunchbox Love notes.


This is a simple lunch.  I cut out a meat and cheese sandwich with Lunch Punch cutters.  I then surrounded it with dried cranberries and carrot sticks.  For the sides I put in nonfat Greek yogurt and strawberries.  

I did something special and easy with the strawberries, I cut them into hearts.  It is simple and effective.

For the Lunchbox Love note, I used the back to write my note on.  See, I even have bad handwriting!

Have a great day and don't forget about Facebook and Twitter!  I have been tweeting a lot about parenting and having fun with it so I would love it if you would follow me there.
Lunchbox Love Notes and yubo

Come Be Part of My Bento Class!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Exciting news!  If you are in my area on January 21st I will be teaching a FREE Bento class at Whole Foods in Fremont, CA.  It will be about 45 minutes long and I will show you how to make a couple fun and healthy lunches for or with your kids.  I will also give some tips and present show some tools for making lunch making easier on you.  Plus you could win some prizes as well.  

Even if you cannot make it I am giving a little preview in a post coming up and you will have a chance to win a free gift card to Whole Foods!  Sound like fun?  Keep checking back but click the Facebook link below to take you to more info on how to sign up for the class

An Amazing Snack to Give A Little Pick Me Up

Monday, January 6, 2014

Here is a healthy snack that has some great tasting Brownie Brittle in it!

I have been addicted to Brownie Brittle lately and I came up with this idea to make a snack out of it.  Sheila G's, the creator of Brownie Brittle, sent me some samples and I couldn't get enough of it.  It tastes like crispy cookie pieces but with the flavor of brownies.  I didn't agree to do a post or anything else, but after I had some I thought my readers would want to know about this.  I also love Greek yogurt, and have it almost every morning for breakfast.  The extra protein and vitamins make it a perfect part of my breakfast.  Since I love both, I thought, why not put the two together?

Brownie Brittle

I have to tell you my favorite flavor of Brownie Brittle is the Salted Caramel but this will work with whatever flavor you want.  Brownie Brittle is made of all natural ingredients and broken into small pieces so it gives just enough sweetness and crunch to make the texture and taste of this snack magical.  You can also make the snack with whatever berries you like.  I used strawberries and also tried it with blueberries, however, raspberries or blackberries would work as well.  Take this to work, or eat it at home, it doesn't matter.  It is a great pick me up to get you through the mid morning or afternoon.

Just spoon your favorite nonfat Greek yogurt into a bowl and top with strawberries and a few crumbles of Brownie Brittle.  You can use as much or as little as you want depending on your taste.  When you mix all three ingredients together it makes a pretty healthy snack for adults and kids.  Just don't blame me when you crave it all the time and I won't tell if you keep this to yourself and don't serve it to your kids, it's our little secret.  Check out the Brownie Brittle website HERE to find out where to buy it in your area.

Brownie Brittle Healthy Yogurt Snack

Disclosure: Sheila G's Brownie Brittle sent me this product to review. I have received no other compensation for this post and the opinions I’m expressing here are solely my own.
#lbdbento
 
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