ONE WEEK OF SCHOOL LUNCHES

September 14, 2014

 
 
 

Packing lunches, rather, thinking of different things to pack for your children, can become a chore. Oddly enough, this is one thing I really enjoy. Since we  live in Toronto, Ontario, everything is nut free therefore I have to be extra careful about what I pack for the boys. Thankfully just about everything that is nut-free will have a label on the packages, this eliminates the guess work for you, your child and your child's teacher. When packing cold lunches it can be difficult to come up with ideas other than the same old sandwiches so I tried to think of different way to put one together. Since I don't send the boys with milk to school, it is important that I send them with some substantial form of calcium, hence the yogurt just about everyday! I hope this give you some helpful ideas! Please feel free to share the lunches your kids enjoy as well!

Fruit salad (kiwi, grapes, peaches and plums), ham and cheese roll up, yogurt and penguin crackers.

Tomato, carrots, cucumbers and a tuna fish sandwich.

Cheese, crackers, tomatoes, 1/2 ham, yogurt, penguin crackers, raisins and cheese roll up.

Plums, grapes, turkey sandwich, granola bar, fruit snacks and yogurt

Yogurt, Baby bell cheese, mango slices, mini bagel sandwiches, granola bar and a cheese stick.

TORONTO FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE

September 7, 2014

This past Friday my business unit and I were treated to an afternoon aboard the one of the Mariposa yachts, the Rosemary. It was a great experience, not only because we had the boat completely to ourselves but also because I had the chance to view different parts of the city that I haven't had the chance to before. There is a beautiful gem right off the lakeside coast known as Toronto Island, which is a cluster of small islands on Lake Ontario. I have been to Center Island a few times with Joshua when he was little, however I've never seen all the other parts of Toronto Island. It was a beautiful sunny day, probably the last really hot day of the year, so we all soaked it in on the front deck as we watched sailors, kite surfers and fantasized at the 65 million dollar yacht was saw sailing by...yes we googled it! If you are in Toronto or thinking about visiting, I highly suggest a city cruise around the islands!

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL

September 2, 2014


Today was the first day of school for our boys!  In true Smith fashion we arrive literally two minutes before the entry bell rang. It was a good thing Aaron called in late to work because he was busy finding Joshua's teacher while I took Lucas to Junior Kindergarten. FYI in Canada we have two years of  Kindergarten which starts at 4 years old followed by Senior Kindergarten at 5 years old. I got to walk him to his class and help him hang up is backpack on the hook right underneath his name written in a blue star.


He looks like he's in pain but I assure you, he's actually happy.

At around 1:30pm, I was sitting at my desk when I receive a call from the school, Joshua had a rash on his back. I assured them that it was more than likely a heat rash however to be sure I decide to swing by just to check since the school is just down the street. From there I decided to take him to the doctors just to be safe.  So Joshua and I fly off to the walk in clinic nearby and Doc checks him out. As I thought, everything was fine. I drop him back off at school and head back to work. Talk about working mom chaos! Other than the quick lunch time dash to the doctors everything was great. The boy loved their first day!


Again, he's not in pain!

BACK TO SCHOOL LUNCH TIPS

September 1, 2014


Tomorrow is the first day of school for us as I am sure it is also the first day for many others. It is no secret that I love to pack lunches for my boys, so I thought I would share some tips and tricks that I have learned along the way!

Pack lunch the night before
Rather than waking up before the sun, pack lunch the night before! This way you get to take all the time you need without having to rush to get things done in the morning. 

Create a lunch meal plan
Grocery shopping usually gets done on Friday after work or Saturday afternoon, thus I plan what I'll be making for dinner and lunch prior to my trip to the store. I make my plans for the week ahead and then I can create a shopping list based on that. I found that I save so much time and money at the store when I have a meal plan.

Try not to pack the same thing every single day
"Mom," Joshua calls as he descends the staircase every morning. "What are you packing for lunch?"
"A sandwich and-"
"Ugh!" He groans. "Again!?"

Yeah, I try to not hear this every morning so I try and mix it up when I can. The less I repeat lunches, the more of his lunch he will eat! You can take a look at some lunches I created for Joshua last year. HERE

Purchase a thermal container
I absolutely love my Thermos container! The one we have is similar to this. It keeps hot things hot for up to 5 hours and cold things cold for 7 hours. This allows me to pack left overs for Joshua's lunch. After a really good dinner he will say "Can I bring this for lunch tomorrow?" So I'll set some aside for him. In the morning I will pop it in the microwave then transfer the warm meal into his container. Here are some hot lunches ideas. HERE

Label everything
No explanation needed. Label your lunch bag and the containers (the bowl and lid). Kids toss their stuff all around, having everything labeled will make your kids life a whole lot easier when they are trying to find the lid for their containers! 

WEEKEND CURRENTLY

August 31, 2014


Looking like
See the picture above. I am slightly embarrassed at the amount of cleavage, I even lifted my shirt a little and tried to capture a less risque photo but that didn't work. I'm sure you can handle.

Drinking
Green tea. I would have preferred to fix myself a large mug of coffee, however the Smiths ran out of milk after a Nesquik frenzy happened this morning. I tried black, and while it wasn't bad, I still prefer my coffee with milk. The first few sips were fine however towards the end there was this sweet sour taste. I'm not sure what that means so i'm sticking with tea for now.

Anticipating
I am getting a little antsy for the beginning of school. I love shopping for back to school supplies, however Aaron and I never go "all out." We are pretty practical and this year we only purchased the necessities: a backpack, pencils, scissors, erasers, pencil case, water bottle, lunch bag, lunch containers and hand sanitizer. Once we receive The List, from their teachers we will pick up whatever it is we do not already have.

If you want a funny, lighthearted read, check out this blog where the author compares the back to school shopping of today verses the 70s. READ 

Accomplishing
I complete my Human Resources class as of midnight tonight! Then I get a whole week off until I start my other set of classes. Going to school, though online, is still a lot of work but I have learned a great deal at the same time. Hopefully this time next year I will be walking across a stage to pick up my degree!  

Blog stalking
There is a blog that I just started following last week. It's one of those community type blogs that have a few different writers. I find the content to be so entertaining. It is both informative and fun all at the same time. Yummy Mummy 

Hope you have a happy Labor Day!

BEING READY

August 28, 2014

Canadian weather, what a fickle thing. We never really had much of a summer with the constant fluctuation between sunny and warm to cold and rainy. It mostly resembled late spring but after the debacle that was winter I was up for anything that wasn’t deep freeze, snow and ice. I am ready to transition into fall and welcome warm sweaters, leather boots and the start of school!


This year I am looking forward to sending both of my boys with backpacks attached and lunch bags in hand. Lucas is particularly excited to be starting Junior Kindergarten, boasting his “big boy” status to anyone and everyone that will listen. He’s no longer “Little”, once upon a time he had accepted being called “medium” by his older brother, but now he’s “big” and he’s owning it like he should. Parts of me want to grab him and squeeze him and nuzzle him and snuggle him until he begs me to stop but he is growing up.
 

Joshua? That a whole other bag of craziness! I’m expecting more of him these days. He helps me in the kitchen on the weekends and he helps me with his laundry because one day I will expect him to do it all by himself. He ditched “baby” cartoons and now opts for My Babysitter’s a Vampire and other kid shows that feature teenagers in live action. He will start second grade! There is a benefit to being the first born; I have no desire to baby him for the rest of his life. I welcome his increased independence with a bring it on attitude. After all I have a much smaller human who fills that void for the time being. I wonder if that’s why the oldest child is supposedly “natural leaders” because we as parents are able to let them go with more easy and we are perfectly fine to watch them evolve as we clinging on to our designated baby.
 
Whether I choose to be ready, whether I ‘m not, it doesn’t matter because it isn’t about me anyways. It’s about them. And if I’m being honest with myself then I would just admit it, they are ready.

WEEKEND CURRENTLY

August 23, 2014

*from our Ottawa trip two weeks ago*


Drinking

For the longest while, I had pinned this recipe for Moscow Mules. I had never had one before but the ingredients were simple enough (vodka, ginger beer and lime) so it couldn't hurt to give it a try. I love this drink! It's incredibly refreshing and since it only requires three things, its very quick and simple to make. I'm not the biggest fan of ginger beer, I find it to have too much of a bit, however it really blends well with the lime and vodka. If you find the drink to be too powerful, add less ginger beer. The vodka and lime do a great job at cutting the bitterness.

Watching
I feel sort of stalker-ish, but I've been watching a whole bunch of these vlogs today! I love beautiful vlogs and Alycia's are highly entertaining and helpful.

Catching up on
Cleaning! Aaron and I both work full time which means we reserve most of our around-the-house duties for the weekends. With the start of every season I like to do a big clean of the entire house which consists of Aaron and I going through everything and clear out what we no longer need. It gives us a fresh start. Since I consider the first day of school as the commencement of Fall, we will get a head start on our Fall cleaning. Last week we started with cleaned out the front closed, donating old coats and shoes. Next I will be going through the Tupperware draw and getting ride of containers with missing lids, lids with missing containers, chewed up and melted container. 

Enjoying
I am enjoying doing absolutely nothing! This summer was fill with busy weekends. I cannot tell you the last weekend the smith family spent it entirely at home!

Reading
Last year, as part of my college writing class, I was assigned Barbara Kingsolver's High Tide in Tuscon and I absolutely loved it. It a compilation book of a bunch of her essays. The are reflective and interesting to say the least. It's a great read especially if you do not have time to invest in a typical novel. Its one of those books that you can pick up, flip to any essay and just read.