That Time We Somehow Removed Old Vomit and New Dirt from the Same Spot on the Carpet

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Carbona. All opinions are my own.

If you've ever had kids, or more specifically carpet in a kids' room, you will get where I'm coming from. For the last year, and up until recently, we had a carpet stain on display for all to see in our boys' room. That is until we found this magical cleaning elixir called Carbona 2-in-1 Carpet Cleaner. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.

It was about twelve months ago and it was one of those nights where according to the clock it was coming to an end, but you had a feeling that it was only the beginning. You see my oldest son said he had an upset stomach. At first we thought we has just trying to get out of eating his vegetables at dinner. However, after a good deal of complaining we got him ready for bed along with our other kids. But as any parent knows, just because you get your kids ready for bed, it doesn't mean that sleep is coming.

Well it wasn't long after we put our boys into their bunkbeds that we hear the oldest, laying on the top bunk, telling us he "doesn't feel so good." About 1.34 seconds after that he lost his dinner. Through the bars of his bunk bed. Onto the carpet. Well my wife and I divided and conquered. She cleaned the bed while I cleaned the carpet. Or at least I tried to clean the carpet. Then I tried again the next day. Then my wife tried after that. Let's just say that long after my son had won the battle against his upset stomach, the vomit had won the war against our carpet. Fast forward a year and we had pretty much given up on removing the stain, resigning ourselves to the fact that it had become a grim reminder of that fateful night where we tried in vain to get my son to finish his vegetables.


But that isn't the end of the story. A few weeks ago, my youngest (the one with the mud smeared feet in the photo above) decided to go from the backyard directly to his room, sloshing through the old stain and creating a new one. While on one hand we were grateful to cover up the old stain, mud wasn't exactly the most ideal way to conceal it. However, after many failed attempts we decided to try a cleaner that we had only recently discovered. It is called Carbona 2-1 Oxy-Powered Carpet Cleaner. We figured we might as well try it since nothing else had worked.

Ant-Man and The Wasp Lunch

Monday, July 9, 2018

Loot Crate

I've been wanting to make this lunch for awhile. Ever since the first Ant-Man came out, he has been one of my son's favorite superheroes. That movie was pretty hilarious and I can't wait to see the Ant-Man and The Wasp, it looks just as good. So even though it's summertime I thought it would be fun to make this lunch.

This Ant-Man lunch includes some fruit, a treat (his mask), a sandwich with a Wasp on top, and a big ant. Read below for how I made it, but one other thing that I'm excited about is that Loot Crate is featuring Ant-Man and The Wasp in their subscription box this month. Not only that but the superheroes are teaming up with The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Bill and Ted. I have been a fan of Loot Crate for awhile and can't wait to see this box especially because it includes two collectible t-shirts. If you know me, you know I love my graphic tees. So you can head to their website and subscribe by July 19th to get our own box! Click on the link here. You can even get 10% off by using code LUNCHBOXDAD.
Loot Crate

Parent Hack: Removing Those Summer Road Trip Shirt Stains

Thursday, July 5, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Carbona. All opinions are my own.
Carbona Stain Devils

We've all had those crazy thoughts, right? You know the ones. The thoughts where we think, "Let's just pile everyone into the car and drive!" It happens to the best of us. We load the entire family up and take off for the day. This usually happens in the summertime and we go to the amusement park, the fair, or the city two hours away that has the best aquarium in the state. It's a great way to bond, find out how much patience we have, listen to that annoying kids' music soundtrack 5,000 more times, and taste some fun roadside food.

If we're honest these road trips probably sound a lot better when we're planning them than when we grasp the reality of the cleanup situation when we arrive home. The car pretty much needs to be hosed out on the inside, there's a mystery substance stuck in your hair, and you're almost positive that your kids have more food on their clothes than in their stomachs. The truth of the matter is that these occasional day trips are part of parenting and they create memories that your kids will talk about forever.

Since the memories are worth the work, I want to give you one parent hack that we recently discovered to help with the road trip stain apocalypse. One of the hardest things to clean is the mashed in food on your kids' clothes. I know, I know, sometimes you wonder if you should just throw out the clothes instead of scrubbing them. Don't do it. You can rescue them! What has helped us is a product called Carbona Stain Devils. The crazy thing is that Carbona makes Stain Devils specially formulated for each stain. I learned that the cleaner that can get out ice cream is not the same as the one that can remove grease. This is why multipurpose stain removers aren't that effective. Let me show you how we used them to clean up our kids recently.

4th of July Fruit Kabobs and Yogurt Dip

Saturday, June 30, 2018

4th of july recipes

I have loved the 4th of July ever since I was a kid. It was great having a day of celebration but my favorite part of Independence Day was always the food...well and the fireworks. I'll be honest, now that I'm older, and we live in an area where awesome fireworks are legal, they are what I look forward to the most. However a close second is still the food! I thought I would make a recipe that is not only festive, but is great for parties. Check out my recipe video below for 4th of July Fruit Kabobs and Yogurt Dip to find out how to make this edible American flag for your next neighborhood get together!

Monster's Inc. Sully and Mike Smoothie Bowls!

Sunday, June 10, 2018

How to make Monster's Inc. Mike and Sully Smoothie Bowls!

Since it's summertime, and school's out, I thought it would be the perfect season to try to make some fun smoothie bowls. I've seen smoothie bowls all over Instagram but I have never made one. Of course we've made healthy smoothies before but they are pretty standard. I figured it was about time to up my game. Mike Wazowski and Sully from Monster's Inc. have been on my mind lately so I decided to make them my test subjects.

These definitely weren't as easy as I thought they would be but they also weren't super difficult either. The hard part is making the faces quickly before the smoothie melts. So I recommend making the two smoothies first and then putting them in the freezer to stay thick and icy. Still interested? Here is how you make them.

How to make Monster's Inc. Mike and Sully Smoothie Bowls!

Ingredients: Yogurt, banana, ice, green matcha, blue matcha (thanks to for sending me some to try out), apples, chia seeds, dried cherries, cream cheese.

1. Blend ice, yogurt, peeled apple (or any other white fruit), and banana. The amount you put in really depends on how thick you want your smoothie so I would start out with a conservative amount and go from there. After it's blended, drop in some matcha. You will want to start with a little and then add more to get the desired color.

2. For Sully's eyebrows and nose, and Mike's eye, you will want to separate a small amount of smoothie and add more blue matcha to create a deeper color blue. Then, put some small globs on parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and stick in the freezer. This will help you create the facial features. Once the globs are frozen, proceed to the next step.

3. Pour smoothies into each bowl. Cut out Sully's frozen features and place them on his face. Sprinkle chia seeds on top for his mouth and horns. His teeth and white's of his eyes are apple. Finish Sully by placing a dried cherry on for each eye. Cut a few tiny cherry pieces out for his nostrils and put them in place.

4. To finish Mike, sprinkle chia seeds on top for his mouth and chin. The white of his eye and horns are made from apple. Place the frozen blue smoothie circle that you made earlier on top of the apple and then top with a dried cherry after that. Finish with a little drop of cream cheese on top of the cherry.

Pin this Smoothie!
How to make Monster's Inc. Mike and Sully Smoothie Bowls!

5 Quick Tips to Clean Your Car for the Next Family Road Trip

Monday, June 4, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Swiffer. All opinions are my own.
5 Quick Tips to Clean Your Car for the Next Family Road Trip
As parents, we know that our car can quickly become a science experiment. Whether it's carpooling to and from school, the fun drive on a holiday weekend, or the week long summer road trip, our family cars can get disgusting. If you are like me, I don't even want to look at what the backseat looks like, much less clean it up.

This is where these cleaning tips come in. They don't take long to do and and your kids can even help out. As you can see from the video below, even my four-year-old loves using the Swiffer Duster! Speaking of which, you won't need many supplies or complicated steps to accomplish these. Just a few minutes and probably tools that you have laying around the house anyway. So watch our short video below and let me know what your favorite tips are!

How to Make a Snow White Lunch

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

How to make a Disney Princess Snow White lunch for your kids

It's the last week of school so I had to do something really special for my daughter's lunch. She has loved Snow White ever since she was a few years old but I have never done a Snow White lunch for her. I've made Rapunzel, Elsa, and Belle, but not this original Disney Princess. I still remember when, during our first trip to Disneyland, my daughter dressed up like Snow White and then met her. My daughter was stunned and couldn't take her eyes off of her. It was the kind of moment that as a parent you remember forever!

I based the sandwich and poison apple on Disney's Snow White. However, the gemstones were inspired by riding the Seven Dwarf's Mine Train at The Magic Kingdom in Disney World. I made her hair out of black olives because my daughter loves black olives. Like she could eat a can at every meal type love. I made the whole lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.
How to make a Disney Princess Snow White lunch for your kids

3 Ways That Your Kids Can Easily Clean Up Dog Hair Around the House

Thursday, May 24, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Swiffer. All opinions are my own.
3 Ways That Your Kids Can Easily Clean Up Dog Hair Around the House

What is the first thing that comes to mind when you see the photo above? I can tell you for me it's the loving way that my son looks at our dog. After all, we've had Shasta longer than my son has been alive. In fact, we adopted our dog so long ago that even my oldest child wasn't around yet. We figured our new puppy would be fun, loving, and good with kids. What we never thought about was how much he would shed. Call us naive, but it never really crossed our minds. Looking back, when you have a dog that has pretty much half his body weight in fur, then you should probably know that some of that will end up on the floor...and the carpet...and the furniture...and your clothes.

The thing about that is having everything covered in fur doesn't have to become the way that you live. We have tried many things over the years, but these are our best tips for picking up that dog fur. Because this is a blog based around parenting, and #ShedHappens on a daily basis, we also wanted to make sure to give you tips that your kids can also do to help around the house.

Not only that, but I want to save you money as well by giving you a coupon code from Target for Swiffer to help you pick up that dog hair while staying within your budget. You can also use it within the cartwheel app. Just CLICK HERE to save $2 on a Swiffer starter kit and keep reading for the tips!

3 Ways That Your Kids Can Easily Clean Up Dog Hair Around the House

Guardians Of the Galaxy Star-Lord Happy Birthday Lunch

Monday, May 21, 2018


It's my son's eighth birthday this week, and if there's one thing he can't get enough of, it's super heroes. He is dying to see the rest of the Marvel movies, but we are moving a little slower than some. We just watched Guardians of the Galaxy 2, and he thought it was hilarious. So I thought a Star-Lord (also known as Peter) lunch was in order. We've already done a Groot lunch so this was next in line. I've never done a birthday/character crossover lunch, so this is a first!

I went with Star-Lord's mask, cassette tape with a birthday mix instead of awesome mix, and a cupcake with a candle. It was all made in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. It has a few more treats than normal, but since it's his birthday I think it's okay this time. I hope it makes his birthday a little happier and I hope you enjoy it as well.

Disney Pluto the Dog Lunch

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Mickey Mouse

Is there any cuter Disney character than Pluto? I mean, he's always ready to play, is continually happy, and seems to constantly be up for an adventure. Sure he gets himself in the occasional jam but Mickey Mouse can't stay mad at him. It's just impossible not to love this dog. It's for these reasons that I thought my kids would love to get a Pluto lunch for school.

This Pluto sandwich lunch is basically just a few cuts of cheese, similar to my Donald Duck lunch. I also like that I was able to include a good amount of fruit and vegetables. I created it in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. See below for all the ingredients and directions!

How to Make a Disney Donald Duck Lunch

Monday, May 7, 2018

Mickey Mouse

Icon. Legend. Hero. Cranky duck. If you don't love Donald Duck how can you even call yourself a human being? I think he sometimes gets forgotten in, or at least ranked lower in, Disney lore. Don't make that mistake. If you have ever been to Toontown in Disneyland you know he has the coolest house by far. How can you beat living on a ship? Sure he has a temper (what duck doesn't), but I thought it was about time that I recognize the genius that is Donald Duck.

From his dapper way of dressing, to his intellectual vocabulary, I had so many options to highlight. I ended up landing on a simple footprint and his uniform, and put it all in an Easy Lunch Boxes container. I hope my kids enjoy it and I hope you will as well. It is pretty easy to make once you see what I used in each container. To see the ingredients, scroll down to read the recipe below!

Star Wars Chewbacca Lunch With Video Tutorial

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Chewbacca has always been one of my family's favorite Star Wars characters. This was also the first Star Wars school lunch that I ever made my daughter, and it happens to be one of the most popular on my blog. After making it the first time, and making it again for Steve Harvey when I appeared on his show, I finally decided to recreate it for you with a video tutorial. Hopefully this can show you that it is actually really easy to make and perfect for a school lunch, or even for May the 4th Star Wars Day! I hope you watch the video below and have fun with it. Be sure to share with your Star Wars loving friends!

Star Wars Han Solo Lunch

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Solo a Star Wars Story

"I know."
"Sometimes I amaze even myself."
"I don't know, fly casual!"
"Don't everyone thank me at once."

These are only a few of the great lines uttered by the famous Han Solo while traveling the galaxy saving the Rebellion, and sometimes being a scoundrel. No matter what, it's always entertaining. Since my kids and I always crack up at Han, and the new Solo movie is coming out soon, I figure it was about time to figure out how to make a Han Solo lunch.

There are a few key pieces to this meal so I made a video to show the Chewbacca part. You can view it below. You can find out how I made the rest by reading my instructions below. I made this lunch in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.

Harry Potter Dumbledore Lunch

Monday, April 23, 2018

The Harry Potter series has so many fantastic characters that it's hard to pick one to feature. The good news is that both of my older kids love it so it gives an endless supply of ideas for lunches and special treats. For today's lunch I wanted to highlight Dumbledore because he is such an interesting part of the series. I wanted to show his fierceness and wild side that he exhibits when the situation calls for it. While he has a soft side for Harry, Hermione, and Ron, he is always quick to step up and lead. I hope my kids remember how important that is when they are faced with tough decisions at school. Maybe this lunch will help!

I created it in an Easy Lunch Boxes container and also made a video showing how I put Dumbledore together. Watch the video first, and then check out the recipe to see the ingredients and how I made the rest of the lunch!

Incredibles 2 Lunch Tutorials

Monday, April 16, 2018

How to make Disney Pixar Incredibles 2 fun lunches for your kids!

I feel like if there was any movie that my kids have been addicted to on-and-off for their entire lives, it's The Incredibles. My older kids know it backwards and forwards, all of them have watched it as we have driven across country, and we even wore out one DVD copy of it. Our family even dressed up as The Incredibles one year for Halloween. Don't believe me? See the photo below. So it goes without saying that we are super excited for Incredibles 2 to come out!

If you are as big of fans of the movie as we are, you are going to want to check out the photos and ingredients for these fun lunches below. Each of my kids got a different character. Mr. Incredible goes to my oldest son, Elastigirl is my daughter's, and my youngest son will get Jack-Jack. I think that my kids are going to be so pumped to open them up at school tomorrow! What do you think?

How to make Disney Pixar Incredibles 2 fun lunches for your kids!

How to make Disney Pixar Incredibles 2 fun lunches for your kids!

Does This Fall Under Your Definition of Family?

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

#KiaFamily #TheNewKia

When I say the word "family," what comes to mind? Maybe it's when you got your first glimpse of your wife as she walked down the aisle. Maybe it's the moment your child burst onto the scene and your life changed forever. Maybe it's when you and your siblings secretly spied on your parents while they hurriedly wrapped your presents on Christmas Eve. Or maybe it's one those rare times where you met a new friend for the first time and you instantly started finishing each other's sentences. Which is it for you?

I had an experience recently that reminded me about how that family feel can come in numerous shapes, sizes, forms, and functions. Basically, if you're looking to keep your definition of the term "family" locked in a small box, then you're likely to miss out on some of extremely meaningful relationships. I don't normally write about anything outside of food and family, and while this might seem like it's about travel and cars, I would say this post most assuredly falls smack dab into the family side of things, just not in the traditional sense.

#KiaFamily #TheNewKia

Whole30 Applegate Bacon Wrapped Onion Ring Avocados

Monday, April 9, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Applegate. All opinions are my own. 
How to make Whole30 Bacon Wrapped Onion Ring Avocados

Bacon. Yes, I said it. I mean most times that is all I need to know when I see the ingredients to a meal. Ever been to an all-bacon restaurant? Yep, I have. If you're like me, you are always looking for an excuse to add bacon to your plate. It's pretty much the same with my kids as well. For awhile we thought that my youngest was a vegetarian. Then we found the one meat he would devour. It was bacon. Can you relate to my family?

This is why I was so excited to actually find a Whole30 approved no sugar bacon made by Applegate. So if you are trying to stick to a Whole30 plan, this is the bacon that you want to look for the next time you're at the store. In fact, this entire recipe is Whole30 approved so you know this masterpiece will not only curb your bacon fix, it will also fit into your meal plan. Applegate actually has a new partnership with Whole30 and a huge selection of natural and organic products to help make clean eating easier. I know I would make this a regular part of my family's weekly menu! So how do you make this tasty treat? Just watch the video below to find out how to create the bacon wrapped onion rings and read the recipe to learn how to make the rest.

Sherlock Gnomes Lunch For Your Kids!

Monday, March 12, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Paramount Pictures. All opinions are my own. 

My entire family gets so excited when we find a fun movie that we can all go see on a Saturday morning. Usually, we all get up and my wife and I surprise our kids by telling them that we are going to get ready and go see a film at our local theatre. Because this is one of our favorite things to do as a family, we can't wait for March 23rd when Sherlock Gnomes hits the big screen! My kids have been watching the trailer for weeks now and they can barely contain themselves. Have you seen the trailer yet? Watch it below!

A Wrinkle in Time Mrs. Which Lunch

Monday, March 5, 2018

Oprah Winfrey

One of my favorite things to do is to read with my kids before bed. It was what my dad did with me when I was young. I still remember him reading A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle to me. This year, I jumped at the chance to read it with my daughter. She loved it so much that we also read A Wind at the Door, and will eventually read the entire series. When she saw that A Wrinkle in Time was about to come out in the movie theatre, she was beside herself with excitement. She cannot wait to see it! I also can't wait to see it with her.

I love the fact that it is a story with a young female lead, Meg Murry (played by Storm Reid), who is smart and brave. It encourages girls, like my daughter, that they can succeed and be the strong heroes in their own life. Of course, some of the other main characters are the eccentric Mrs. Which (played by Oprah Winfrey), Mrs. Whatsit (played by Reese Witherspoon), and Mrs. Who (played by Mindy Kaling).

The Flash School Lunch!

Monday, February 26, 2018

DC Comics

If you haven't been reading my blog for very long, you should know that superheroes are a huge part of my kids' lives. They go through stages of who is their favorite and usually it changes by the day. However, my son has really taken a liking to The Flash lately. It might be because him and I have started watching the show together on Netflix. He was too young to watch it when it first came out on the CW network, so we are catching up on the series together now.

What I love about watching shows together, with any of my kids, is that it opens up doors to conversations that we wouldn't have otherwise. A good rule for yourself is to come up with questions during the show that you can ask your kids after. Don't just mindlessly consume, but mindfully interact with what you and your kids are putting into your heads. With The Flash, there are plenty of topics to discuss along the lines of helping friends, putting family first, making the best decisions, etc. I can't wait to see how my son reacts to what is coming in later seasons! Of course, he also wants to watch Justice League now. Until then, he gets this lunch to take to school. Below is how I made it.

Peter Rabbit Lunch

Monday, February 12, 2018

Peter Rabbit movie

Like many people, my family and I were so excited to see the Peter Rabbit movie this weekend. As a big fan of the books growing up, and after seeing the previews, and we couldn't wait to see it. We didn't read anything about the movie going into it but it we thought it would be a great time out. So in retrospect this lunch is just as much about the books as it is about the movie.

How to Make a PJ Masks Gekko Lunch

Monday, January 22, 2018

Paw Patrol

Out of time and energy but your kids still want a PJ Masks lunch? Maybe your kids are just addicted to PJ Masks like mine are? I'm actually not sure if my youngest enjoys Paw Patrol or PJ Masks more. All I know is that I usually have both theme songs stuck in my head. Is it normal for a grown man to know the names of Cat Boy, Gekko, and Owlette? Oh well, I'm sure if you're a parent you can relate.

This lunch is actually really easy because you are just turning a pear into a PJ Mask. I was stressed for time with this one so I took the easy way out but I like how it turned out. You can find out how to make a Gekko lunch for your own kids by following my directions below. I created this in an Easy Lunch Boxes container.

Star Wars Roasted Porg Lunch

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi

You know that feeling you get when your stomach is growling, there's a chill in the night air, and all you are wishing for is to light up the BBQ and have yourself some nice roasted Porg? What? You mean you can't relate to that? Well, you know who can? That's right, Chewbacca. Chewie knows that sometimes nothing hits the spot like Porg over an open fire. If you have no idea what I'm talking about you need to go watch Star Wars Episode VIII, The Last Jedi immediately.

I know that it hasn't received as much fanfare as Episode VII The Force Awakens but my kids and I loved it. Of course some of the parts they loved the most included the cute furry (feathery?) creatures known as Porgs. As soon as I saw them, I knew I would eventually be making a Porg lunch. However, when I saw the scene where (spoiler alert) Chewie roasted one like a chicken, I also knew that my lunch would take a dark turn. Why did I go this direction with the lunch? Because it was one of the funniest scenes in the movie! The looks that Porgs give Chewie are hilarious! You just have to watch the film. Until then, just make this Porg lunch for your kids. It is simple to throw together and it will feed their inner Resistance! FYI I used an Easy Lunch Boxes container for this one.

Paddington 2 Marmalade Sandwich Lunch

Monday, January 8, 2018

This is a sponsored post in partnership with Warner Bros. Pictures. 
Paddington 2 Movie

I think we all have childhood memories of certain iconic characters from books, movies, and tv shows. Paddington Bear is certainly high on the list for many of us! I remember reading the books and being introduced to the joys of marmalade at a young age. My kids recently discovered Paddington the movie and have been streaming it over and over. Because of their new found love for the bear, and also because Paddington 2 comes out in theaters this Friday, January 12th, I thought it was time to create a Paddington school lunch.

I am pretty sure this recipe would be Paddington approved since it features a marmalade sandwich, plus there are easy homemade chips in the shape of the note from his coat! Will you take your kids to go see Paddington 2? The first Paddington was one of the most successful family films of all-time, and this sequel currently has 100% on Rotten Tomatoes! So stream the original Paddington to make a perfect family night at home before you hit the theater for a family night out watching Paddington 2. I know that Paddington sure brightens our kids' day and their world! You can get tickets to see Paddington 2 now by just visiting Don't forget to scroll down and download the FREE Paddington activity sheets that I have linked right after my Paddington Bear lunch recipe below!

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