Wednesday, January 30, 2019

School Lunch Ideas + Yumbox Love

Hey, Friends!  Everyone is home today because all of the schools and colleges are closed!!  It's SO COLD - I'm talking a high of 4 today.  Yikes!!  Stay warm.

My five year old has been using a Yumbox lunchbox for 1.5 years.  She loves it.  I love it.  We're all big fans.  She uses a thermos for ice water every day and I pack her lunch every single day.  She made me promise to never, ever make her eat school lunch - ha!  I love that they are almost zero waste, that I don't have to use any ziploc bags or Saran wrap to keep her food items separate.

I've mentioned this before, but I have a very specific mission for packing lunches.  I want to send a healthy meal with her to school and I want to fill her lunch box with favorites so that it feels like a


in the middle of her day.  I do the same thing for my husband.

Who wouldn't love a hug from home half way through the day!?!?!

I have a pretty good routine going for packing lunches.  Here are a few tips:
1. Always pack lunches the night before.  Some times I pack lunches right after dinner as I'm cleaning up the kitchen or sometimes I do it after everyone goes to bed.  Either way, lunches ALWAYS get packed the night before so that I do not have to think about it in the morning.  I have three Yumboxes that we rotate all week long.  I hand wash them (even though they are dishwasher safe for the top rack) and always have at least one clean and ready to go.

2. Meal plan & Grocery shop regularly.
I make an effort every week to have lots of healthy options on hand for lunches and meals.  I do all the grocery shopping at our house.  If I don't shop/plan, then none of us eat great.  I happily take on this responsibility for my family because A. I love to cook and B. I love taking care of my family.  It isn't always a ton of fun to do all the shopping, but I enjoy it more when I have a happy heart about taking good care of my family.

3. Get feedback.
What did they love or hate in their lunches?  Make changes accordingly.

4. Avoid grumbling about this task.
The other day Olive told me that her lunch was the highlight of her day and it made my day.  It makes me so happy to hear that she feels loved, cared for and special when I do this for her.  Which brings me to the point of not complaining about the dishes or the task of packing lunches.

5. Prep food
I chop carrots in bulk, keep apples washed and ready to chop in the fridge, have a drawer with all my lunch making supplies in it and  set up a routine.

Hope those are helpful as you're packing lunches for your family!

Here are some inspiration pictures of lunches from January:
I try to post them on my IG stories during the week.  Follow along @polkadottyplace if you're interested in seeing more lunch ideas.

Snap peas & crunchy veggies.
Oreos are always a welcomed treat.
I found these cute heart food picks at Dollar Tree.

Hummus & Carrots
White cheddar and sharp cheddar cheese cubes

Cucumber spears
Wheat Thins

Taco Lunch - tortilla chips, taco meat balls & cheese cubes
Fresh cute pinapple
Mini shell plain cooked pasta

Skinny Pop Popcorn
Cucumber slices, strawberries and turkey sausage links

I rarely make baked goods for lunch boxes, but this week I had some extra pumpkin chocolate chip cookies to add into the lunch box.

We tried and loved Aldi pretzel sticks
Fun size Hershey bar

Cheese cubes, crackers and turkey pepperoni
cooked noodles
Honey Crisp apple slices

Mini forks are a fun way to keep germy hands off of food.  I found these by the toothpicks at Meijer.

Chex mix is always a hit

Sandwich bites - half a sandwich cut into thirds or fourths.
Fritos and cheese cubes
We love these lunch boxes!!  Hope you got some new ideas for packing school lunches.

What are your kid's favorite lunch box items??  I'm always up for new ideas.

Our favorite lunch packing supplies on Amazon:

These are THE BEST thermoses for kids.  They are insulated and easy for both my 2 and 5 year old to use.  They hold up really well for school, home and sports.

I also keep one of these hand sanitizer jelly wraps on her backpack and her lunchbox.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Walmart Wardrobe

I know it seems odd to find stylish outfits at Walmart, but I promise that it's very possible.

The Time and Tru brand is AMAZING. 

The prices are under $20 from everything from sweaters, to tops, to jackets.  There are so many affordable, fashionable items.  I think the sizes are true to size and I've seen everything from XS to XXL.  A little something for everyone.  I'd highly recommend trying on the tops before buying them.  I've been surprised (both good and bad) when I try on items. 

I love to buy tops from Walmart.  Almost all of them have been the Time and Tru brand lately.  I usually spend more on my denim and then try to find more affordable top options.  The quality is pretty good.  The Time and Tru tops that I own have all washed and worn well.

I'm excited to talk to you about this Time and Tru Women's Woven Popover today.  It comes in at least 6 different colors and patterns.  It's so pretty on - even prettier than I was expecting!

Here's the link in case you can't find it in store Walmart Woven Popover

Fletcher took one look at these shirts and said, "Mom, dees shirts are BEAUTIFUL!!"  Kid knows my style!  Here are a few of the options.  There were florals, gingham and several solid colors.  SO many pretty options for spring for just $11.86.

Let's have a little Wal-Mart dressing room try on sesh:
(Let's not talk about all the times that Fletcher opened the dressing room door while I was trying on all these cute things...)

I LOVED this floral.  It's even prettier in person.  Head over to my instagram (@polkadottyplace) to see a close up of the fabric.  I also loved the length of these sleeves.  I get annoyed with long sleeves that are bell sleeves, but 3/4 bell sleeves seem so fun!  I am wearing my normal size.  The material is not very stretchy.

The sleeves really calm down and lay flat when you arms are down.  Won't this be so cute for Spring!?!

I also loved this bright floral.  I came home with both of theses.  I was tempted to buy the gingham, too.  However, it was too similar to a shirt I already own.  I'm trying really hard to just add a couple pieces to my wardrobe every season that I LOVE.  And I loved both of these tops.  Fletcher gave them both two thumbs up.

I also saw this Time and Tru jean jacket for $18.  It was so soft!  I liked the color, the price and the jean material, but I didn't 100% love it on me.  It's a great deal if you love the fit on you.

I spotted these gorgeous No Boundaries dress/robe combos.  I LOVED the colors and the patterns, but the style wasn't really for me.  I originally thought they were robes/night gowns, but they were in the regular clothes sections.  I'm still thinking they're more appropriate for bedtime than daytime, but check them out if you're interested.  Maybe even good swim suit cover ups??

Have you found anything cute at Walmart lately??

My friend Justine recently posted about all of the great fashion finds that she spotted at Wal-Mart.  I was really hoping to find that rainbow hello sweater, but no such luck in my stores. 
 Justine's Weekly Wal-Mart Finds

Monday, January 28, 2019

Healthy Egg Muffins

Good morning!  Hope you all had a great weekend :)

I have a long list of recipes that I'm hoping to try this year.  I love to cook and nothing makes me happier than finding a new recipe my family loves.  The sweet lady who leads my Bible study makes us the yummiest egg muffins every week.  She assures us that they're so easy and we all love them.  They're basically an omelet, but so much easier.  You could bake them as full size muffins, in a square baking dish or as mini muffins.  I prefer mini muffins since they bake so quickly.  Plus, it's so convenient to bake once and then reheat them for easy meals all week long.


4 large eggs
Splash of milk
Jimmy Dean turkey sausage crumbles
handful of chopped spinach
sharp white cheddar cheese cut into small cubes
diced onion
diced sweet peppers
salt and pepper
Montreal Steak seasoning

Recipe makes approx 16 MINI muffins


Scramble the eggs and milk together.  Add salt and pepper.  Chop all veggies into small pieces.  Add veggies to egg mix.  Stir until well combined.  Grease your muffin tin really well or else these egg muffins will stick.  Use a cookie scoop to fill each muffin tin.  Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes depending on how browned you like your muffins.

Let cool and serve.

I refrigerated the egg muffins in a glass container and microwaved them a couple different times for easy lunches.  The texture of the eggs was great.  I'm excited to make these regularly changing up the add in ingredients to keep things interesting.

I'm anxious to try other toppings for the egg muffins:
ham & sharp cheddar cheese
ham & swiss
ham & veggies
turkey sausage and tons of veggies
roasted veggies
roasted sweet potatoes
and so much more!!

These two cuties told me the egg muffins looked nasty.  To be fair, they seem to hate all versions of eggs I have ever served them.  They seem to only like eggs in cakes and cookies.  Maybe one day they'll come around.  

What toppings would you add to your egg muffins?

Linking up with Heather for Hello Monday!

Friday, January 25, 2019

January Highlights

It's hard to believe that we're already wrapping up January!  It's been a good month with lots of highlights.  My house is decorated for Valentine's Day so bring on February.

We are still loving having Charcuterie Boards for dinner.  I pile on all the meats, cheeses, crackers, fruits and veggies.  My whole family LOVES this meal.  It's such easy clean up and prep.  We've been doing them about once a week.

Breakfast bowls for lunch.  I roast the sweet potatoes, onions and peppers in advance.  Cook the eggs.  Add everything into the skillet to warm it up and top with a tiny big of cheese and avocado.  So good and so filling.

Olive started tennis last week!  She LOVED it and looked so cute out there on the court.  We picked up a tennis racket for her this week and she's been practicing a lot.

We had two snowy weekends in a row.  We only got a couple of inches this last time.  It was still fun, but it was too cold to stay outside for very long.

Snowy inspired lunch :)

I had a moment where I caught a glimpse of life with big kids this week.  Olive snuck into the kitchen to set the dinner table for us.  She took care of everything - plates, silverware and napkins with a centerpiece.  She was so proud of herself.  It's fun to see her get older and be so excited to help.

Fletcher and I are back in the routine of going to his science class a couple times a month.  We learned all about shadows and then grabbed some grilled cheese for lunch.

Grandma Olive celebrated her 100th day of school.  She LOVED coming up with her grandma outfit.  She insisted on all the accessories, all the pink, the cane and we loaded her hair up with dry shmapoo to turn it gray.  She looked so cute.  Her teacher called her the cutest grandma she'd ever seen :)

We had to run a quick errand to the local police department.  Fletcher begged to stroll through the parking lot to admire their vehicles.  He was so excited!

We got a Keurig for Christmas and are loving it.  It has a frother so it's been really fun to learn how to make lattes at home.  I'm basically a pro now :)

Our children's museum recently added in a ropes course.  You have to be fairly tall and brave to do it.  We headed there one afternoon when Kevin was off for break.  He and Olive made a great team.  They were both extra brave.  Fletcher was so sad to have to sit on the sidelines.  It was really fun (and slightly scary) to watch :)

I go to the museum with kids all the time so it feels extra special when Kevin tags along.

Olive loves pushing Fletcher on the swings.

These two coordinating for church.

A friend sent us home with a couple of bags of boy things her son had outgrown.  Fletcher thought this dinosaur costume was SO COOL.  

We headed to a local arcade for some half off fun :)

We took a super quick road trip to meet up with my mom in the middle of the week.  Fletcher was thrilled to have a quick meal with Mimi.

 We introduced the kids to hibachi.  They LOVED it!

It's time to link up with my favorite blogging buddies for High Five for Friday.  Join us with up to 3 different blog posts and be sure to look around to find some new blog friends.

Becky @  By BMG Blog
Della @ Della Devoted
Tif @ Bright on a Budget
Whitney P @ Come Home for Comfort