Snacking, Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

SB+J Bento Lunchbox

We go to a 100% nut-free school, so soynut or sunbutter is what we use on sandwiches. We love the flavor of WOW butter. Some studies suggest too much soy can lead to an increase in estrogen levels, so we mix up soynut and sunbutter frequently.

This bento contains:

  • Small fruit salad of canned Mandarin oranges and raspberries.
  • BoomChickaPop (or chicks chicks boom pop according to Carter)
  • Sandwich made with Country Hearth wheat (safe)
  • Carrot sticks
  • For a small snack, we have a brownie cookie by Enjoy Life brand. Hoping Nati let’s that slide tomorrow. She’s a tough cookie (pun intended becuase I’m a nerd) when it comes to healthy lunches, and I’m so grateful for that.

Enjoy your day!

Snacking, Travel, Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Southwest Bento Lunchbox

Eating the least amount of processed foods is always our goal at meal time. It doesnt always happen, but we try. Here is what the kiddos have in their bento tomorrow. Usually we try to use leftovers.

Remember last week’s chalkboard, I had black bean burriotos for dinner Tuesday night? We made a double batch to put some of the leftovers to good use: LUNCH.

  1. Toasted pita bread cut into triangles
  2. Boars Head hummus, plain (safe, no pine nuts)
  3. Black beans mixed with corn, onion and garlic
  4. Carrots
  5. Raspberries
  6. Dessert: that new snack I just blogged about
  7. Milk from school

HAve a great night! I’m so tired after today, 8pm bedtime for me!😘

Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

You won’t need to burn those Pumpkin Spice candles when you come home from work if this recipe is simmering in your crock pot.
After being out and about at the Dane County Farmers Market Saturday, we came home to a lovely, fall-smelling home! This recipe took about 25 minutes of prep, which was very easy, and then simmered on low for 7 hours (or until you get home from work is fine, too)


Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, September 2016 issue:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Cooking spray
  • 3/4 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces
  • 1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps quartered
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • thyme sprigs
  • oregano sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • (6-oz.) bone-in center-cut pork chops
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 ounces uncooked whole-wheat egg noodles
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves


Total7 Hours, 25 Minutes

1. Combine stock, vinegar, and flour in a 6-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray. Stir in carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic, thyme sprigs, and oregano sprigs.

2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Sprinkle pork chops with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add pork chops to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side. Place pork chops in slow cooker.

3. Add wine to skillet over medium-high; cook 30 seconds, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Spoon wine mixture over pork chops in slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 7 hours or until vegetables are tender.

4. Cook egg noodles according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain.

5. Remove pork chops from slow cooker, and keep warm. Remove and discard herb sprigs. Add heavy cream, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper to vegetable mixture in slow cooker, stirring to combine. Stir in cooked egg noodles. Divide noodle mixture among 4 plates; top each with 1 pork chop, and drizzle with any remaining sauce in slow cooker. Sprinkle evenly with thyme leaves.

Snacking, Uncategorized

Safe Cliff/Luna Bars

Hopefully you had a great weekend and have started your Monday off with a giant mug of coffee or other delicious drink of choice.

Today was our first FULL day of two kiddos in school. Still adjusting to just how quiet my van and home are during the day. A few tears were shed as we embrace this huge milestone in life. It’s exciting though, and both kids are loving their classes, teachers and new friends.

How did I cope? Retail therapy.

When I was taking my time grocery shopping today, I discovered that

  1. I was actually breathing, not holding my breath waiting for something to come crashing down by one of my curious kids (two weeks ago it was a dozen eggs at the checkout line).
  2. And there are a lot more nut free items out there!

I had time to read labels and find out about Luna Bars, made by Cliff Bar. TWO flavors are 100% nut free and will NEVER (not even tace amounts) ccontain NUTS.

  1. Lemon zest
  2. S’mores

It also looks like the veggie and fruit Luna bars for kids are 100% safe, too.

Uncategorized, Weeknight Dinners

Deluxe Ramen Bowl

The title is kind of an oxymoron.

If you saw my pretty chalkboard menu on Instagram this week, I’ll have you know that I only made TWO of the items planned. Life happens. This week was more exhausting than I thought it would be. Emotionally. Physically. I’m toast! At 3pm today, I literally hit a wall. The kids played pirate, dressed up and used safety scissors to chop up boobie traps (an entire roll of yarn) all over the house. They kept busy and I watched. It’s just yarn, easy enough to clean up.

Here’s what I “cooked” tonight.

Deluxe Ramen


  • Two packages ramen
  • 2 cups chopped broccoli
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
  • 4 cup water
  • 1 cup of protein, we had leftover steak. Chicken, tofu, chicken sausage would all work.


  1. After chopping your veggies, sautee them in medium sauce pan with a tbsp of olive oil for about 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to boil
  3. Add the noddles, protein and Season packets.
  4. Bring to a boil for 3 minutes.
  5. Garnish with chives, yield 4.

This meal took me 10 minutes to make and the kids finished their plates.

To celebrate the first week of school, they got to pick a treat, over processed Hostess Cupcakes and Ding-Dongs. Chloe said she’d have a Ding-Dong, Carter followed up with,”who’s there?” These two are cracking me up lately!!!

Cheers to the weekend!

Snacking, Travel, Uncategorized

Trail Mix

I’m watching Flipping Summer on HGTV right now. Have you seen this show with Tarek and Christina? They create some seriously sweet spaces.

Anyway, that has nothing to do with what I am about to tell you. We finally found a safe, Nut-free trail mix! It’s been 3 years since we have had trail mix!!!!!

Last weekend, I decided to try to order a few “target” items. Everytime I go to TARGET, I drop atleast $100. This makes me sad. I have lists, then Target has these amazing displays, cute tops, amazing $1 bins, and then I somehow justify every purchase, even if it means calling my MOM for extra support 🙂

jet gave me 15% off my order, plus free two day shipping.  I ordered a bunch of nut-free items that I have a hard time finding in Madison. Here is my favorite find, and I bought 5 of them. So worth it. Everyone loves it, kids eat it by the handful.

We also found coco-loco bars by enjoy Life, a nice cookie bar to stash in my purse for the kids when we are on the run. The nutrition info works out to be the same as a nutrigrain bar.

Jet was an easy order. I didn’t care for all of the packaging used, so I probably won’t be ordering from them again. In a pinch, I would try it again.

Have a great weekend 🙂