Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Best of 2013

Hi everyone! This truly is the last post of the year 2013 for The Lucky Lunchbox. I started The Lucky Lunchbox in September of this year, and I've had so much fun with it. I have met some very A-MA-ZING people in the bento blogging world, and I am proud to be a member of the Bento Bloggers and Friends.This group is such a highly talented and creative bunch. I could sit for hours and peruse each of their blogs. So, to round out the year 2013, the Bento Bloggers and Friends are having a link party where each member features the top 13 of their best lunches and posts. At the end of this post, you will find the link that will take you to the Bento Bloggers and Friends blog where you will find the link party. Please stop by and visit....you will be amazed at the creativity of this group.

Here is The Lucky Lunchbox's Top 13 of 2013. These are the 13 lunches that I chose as my favorites. They are not necessarily the most popular posts of this year, but they are the lunches that I personally loved the most. I have posted the links to each lunch below, so please take some time and revisit them or visit them for the first time. I hope you enjoy my Best of 2013!

  1.)   Robot hotdog man

This was my son's favorite lunch all year.

  2.)   Let's have a Sock Hop

  3.)   Mac & cheese hearts

This was the first lunch that I sent a Thermos with Z to school. He loved it.

  4.)   Good Bites sandwich box

  5.)   Winter Yumbox
I love how the yogurt snowman turned out in this lunch.

  6.)   Mini-pancake snowman

  7.)   Red beans and rice leftovers

  8.)   Puzzle pieces lunch

  9.)   Silly scarecrow

I used a clown cookie cutter to make this cute little guy.

10.)   Smiley face kids lunch

Smiley face potatoes are very popular in our house.

11.)   Ritz cracker snowman

12.)   A very heart-y lunch

I froze a small strawberry applesauce heart in this lunch, and Z loved it.

13.)   Rainbow lunch

Please visit Bento Bloggers & Friends to see some more amazing lunches!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Mini pancake snowman

Hi friends!! The end of 2013 is finally upon us. I cannot believe how fast this year has passed.  I am really looking forward to 2014 and much, much more lunch making cuteness.  But I want to finish out 2013 with one final lunch...well, breakfast actually. I think this may be one of my favorites for the year. I love this mini pancake snowman. My son had a fit after seeing Rina's snowman pancakes over at Bento School Lunches. You can see Rina's fabulous lunch HERE. So, I had to make these for his breakfast. Please stop by and visit Bento School Lunches and smother Rina with lots of love. Her blog is amazing and her lunch making cuteness ability is off the chart.

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This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*mini pancake snowman with mini chocolate chips for eyes and mouth, a piece of a circus peanut shaped into a nose, and sprinkles for buttons. I added his hat through my photo editing program.
*maple syrup with star sprinkles
*Granny Smith apple with homemade snowman pick
*Yoplait dye-free yogurt
*raisins in the small snowman box
*linked to: Eats Amazing/ Fun Food Friday
                  BentoLunch.net/ What's for lunch Wednesday
                  Funky Polkadot Giraffe/ Too Cute Tuesday

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch:

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Red beans and rice leftovers for lunch...

Hi everyone! I hope you are all having a great winter break and are spending lots of special time with family and friends. I am loving my babies being home for the winter break. We always stay so busy, though.....not usually much time for cute lunch making. One of the things that I do love about my little guy being off of school is that I can make lunches for him with foods that don't normally go in the lunchbox at school. So I'm squeezing in a lunch today with some of last night's leftovers of red beans and rice with mini sausages. Z likes this served warm, and it's hard to put in a lunch box. So, I might try sending some in the Thermos the next time I make it. I added a few fun happy face picks for cuteness.

This lunch is packed in the ever-awesome Easy Lunch Boxes.
*red beans and rice with mini sausages
*Ritz crackers
*green beans
*half of a honey vanilla granola bar
*blueberries and half of a Halo mandarin orange
*Yoplait dye-free yogurt

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch:

Friday, December 20, 2013

Winter themed Yumbox

Z wanted to use the Yumbox today. This is a 1/2 day of school before the winter break, so I thought I would give him a winter themed Yumbox for his last day. I love how the frozen yogurt snowman turned out. I used a silicone snowman Jello mold and added candy sprinkles to the bottom to make the eyes, mouth, and buttons. I then gently spooned the yogurt over the top of the sprinkles and froze it....perfect frozen snowman that will keep the yogurt cold until lunchtime.

This lunch is packed in the Yumbox.

*Natural Selects ham cut into mini snowflakes
*strawberries and blueberries with snowman pick
*honey wheat pretzel sticks
*green beans with winter scarf/hat pick- ranch dressing in the green cup
*Yoplait yogurt frozen into a snowman shape with sprinkle eyes, mouth, and buttons
*Craisins cranberries in the treat/dip cup
*linked to:

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch:

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Snowman surprise lunch...

I am having so much fun with the winter themed lunches. So, I'm hoping you all won't mind one more. There's something about snowmen and snow that just makes me happy. Winter is my favorite season, so maybe that why. Today's surprise snowman lunch is inspired by a super, super cute lunch   from one of my blogging buddies...Sarah at Green Lunches, Green Kids. Her idea of making the little surprise under the cutout of the bread is so creative and fun. Yay, Sarah....you rock!!!!! You can see Sarah's great lunch HERE. Please stop by Sarah's blog and shower her with lots of love! She has TONS of  cute and creative lunches to inspire you, too.


This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*peanut butter and All-fruit spread sandwich with snowman cutout- I used a mini snowman cutter on
the top piece of bread only and filled in the cavity with white sprinkles, and then replaced the cutout piece of bread.
*white cheddar "snow" balls
*sweet peas with snowman carrots on top
*2 yogurt swirled mini pretzles
*strawberries and 1/2 of a Halos mandarin orange with snowman pick (Halos are so delicious- my kids devour them.)

Here is another picture of the snowmen.

Some of the things, or similar things, I used to make this lunch:


Monday, December 16, 2013

Ritz cracker snowman...

My kids love the prepackaged Ramen noodles. And they really love having it in their lunches, especially when it's cold outside. Ramen noodles are not a usual choice in the lunch box because they are, let's face it, not very healthy (which is probably why they taste so good). I try very hard to pack healthy lunches for my kidlets, but, every now and then, you just gotta step outside the box and give them a lunch surprise. So, today I've decided to refrain from being the soup nazi (yes, I'm a Seinfeld fan), and pack some good 'ole belly warming Ramen noodles. Yummo!!

And nothing goes better with Ramen noodles than Ritz crackers. So, in keeping with the winter themed lunches of late, I made a Ritz cracker snowman.

In this lunch:
*Ramen noodle soup packed in a Thermos
*Ritz cracker snowman with sprinkles for buttons- the head is a homemade pick that I made from a holiday decoration
*applesauce with a frozen applesauce snowman in the middle- I added a drop of blue food coloring and mixed it in before I froze it.
*mini carrots, cherry tomato, and black olives
*red grapes and blueberries
*There are a couple of pieces of baked chicken underneath the red cupcake liners to add some protein.

Some of the things, or similar things, that is used to make this lunch:


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Uncrustables snowman...

Well, it looks like I'm on a winter themed lunch kick here, so I guess I'll keep it going with a snowman lunch. My kids love the Uncrustable sealed peanut butter and jelly sandwiches that are in the frozen section of the grocery store. I made my own healthier version using the Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal tool. I love this thing. There really are so many uses for it. Aside from making the Uncrustable sandwich, it can be used to cut circles from bread, cookie dough, pizza dough.....anything really. It's great for making stuffed pizza pockets, fruit pies, and those super cute sealed half sandwiches. Ummm....wait. I think I'll stop here. I definitely see a Cut-n-Seal blog post in the making.

Anyway, this little guy turned out very cute. It's hard to tell in the picture, but the carrots are cut into tiny snowmen. Cute, huh??

This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*snowman Uncrustable peanut butter and all-fruit spread sandwich decorated with candy sprinkles for eyes and mouth and a piece of a circus peanut cut into a triangle shape for the nose
*honey wheat pretzel sticks
*carrots cut into mini snowmen
*grapes and blueberries with snowman pick
*Yoplait dye-free yogurt with 2 candy snowmen on top
*linked to: BentoLunch.net/What's for lunch Wednesday
                  Lunchbox Dad/ Throwback Thursday
*linked to: Eats Amazing/Fun Food Friday

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

Some of the things, or similar things, that I used to make this lunch:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Happy ginger-family lunch...

Hi everyone...I hope you're all having a great week. I found these super cute gingerbread men Peeps at my local drug store, and of course, I had to get them. They were the inspiration for today's lunch. My kids love Peeps, and this was the first time I had seen the gingerbread flavor. Oh....and just in case you were wondering, they are yummy!!!

This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*Natural Selects bologna and cheddar cheese sandwich cut in a gingerbread man shape- decorated with 2 mini chocolate chips eyes and a few sprinkles for buttons and mouth
*mini bologna gingerbread men decorated with edible food marker
*Peeps gingerbread man
*carrot rounds with gingerbread man pick, black olives
*pretzels with gingerbread girl pick
*Red delicious apple cut into mini gingerbread men

Some of the things (or similar things) I used to make this lunch:

Friday, December 6, 2013

The "let's build a snowman inside" lunch...

Hi everyone! If you tuned in for yesterday's post, then you know my family and I were hoping for a winter wonderland outside when we awoke this morning. Well, no snow filled winter wonderland, but we did receive a fair amount of ice...not really garnering the same amount of excitement from the kids as the white fluffy stuff. However, the schools are closed today, so they were quite happy about that. Thankfully, the ice was not heavy enough to cause any damage to power lines or trees, so we still have electricity. So, we may not be able to build a snowman outside, but we can all have a big cup of hot cocoa with marshmallows and whipped cream inside. Oh yeah!!!

Since Z was disappointed that we could not go outside and build a snowman, I decided to make him a snowman for lunch. I know, I know.....definitely not the same thing. But, as parents, sometimes we just have to improvise, don't we? I had this cute snowman scrapbook paper and thought it was a really fun backdrop for a snowman lunch.

This is such a simple lunch to do.....no special cutting tools needed.

In this lunch:
*jumbo orange silicone cup with homemade tuna casserole- This is the sun for our happy snow family.
*blue "clouds" with blueberries and 3 blue organic fruit snacks
*sweet peas and Applegate hotdog with black olive "buttons" for the snowman body
*mini marshmallows for some added snow
*linked to:Becoming a Bentoholic/ Leftovers on Friday
*linked to:Eats Amazing/ Fun Food Friday

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

Some of the things I used to make this lunch:

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Hoping for some snow....

Well, I am a happy, happy girl!! Looks like we might be getting some snow here in the M-town tomorrow. My family LOVES snow. We will bundle up in 5 layers of clothes if it means we get to build a snowman and have snowball fights. And you can't have snow without hot cocoa, right? Memphis is not a place that gets a great deal of snowfall, so when we do get snow, it's a big deal. A big snowfall here amounts to 2 or 3 inches, and of course, the entire city shuts down and schools close. Tomorrow's prediction is only about an inch. But, weathermen can be wrong, right?  So, tonight we're going to flush 3 ice cubes down the toilet, wear our pajamas inside out, and sleep with spoons under our pillows. All in hopes that we will wake up to a winter wonderland. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!!

This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*snowflake shaped Natural Selects ham and Swiss cheese sandwich
*white cheddar cheese snowballs with "Let It Snow" pick
*carrot rounds
*strawberries with snowflake pick
*Yoplait vanilla yogurt with snowflake cupcake decoration
*linked to:Bentolunch.net/ What's for lunch Wednesday

Some of the things (or similar things) I used to make this lunch:


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Yumbox lunches are Yummy....

We really love the Yumbox. It's a very versatile lunch box, and it actually holds quite a lot of food. Z likes having his food separated, too, so the Yumbox is great for him. I started using the Yumbox a few weeks ago, and I plan to do a formal review after I've used it a few more times.

Today, we have a Yumbox full of fish. The doggie theme Yumbox above can be seen Here.

*Natural Selects bologna sandwich with bologna fish on top- decorated with edible food marker
*sweet peas with carrot shaped fish
*strawberries and blueberries
*Pepperidge Farms Goldfish
*Yoplait vanilla yogurt with strawberry swimming fish
*Pepperidge Farms s'mores flavor Goldfish Grahams in the dip/treat cup

Some of the things I used to make this lunch:

Monday, December 2, 2013

Funbites fun....

Having a little fun with one of my favorite cutters today, the Funbites Shaped Food Cutter

Today's lunch is made using the Funbites Cube It cutter. The little guy loves foods served on a stick, and these little squares are the perfect size for the smaller food picks. The Funbites cutters are great for fruits and veggies, too. I used it to cut the carrots into cute square shapes. The second lunch above was made using the Funbites Cube It, also. You can see this lunch HERE.

The Funbites cutter is very easy to use. I think through trial and error I have finally perfected the knack of using it to cut PB&J's without making a big 'ole scary mess. Here's how:
1) Spread the peanut butter and jelly (or whatever you are using) on the bottom slice of bread, but do not top it with the other slice.
2) Place the top slice on a flat surface and press the Funbites cutter onto it. Do not pop the bread pieces out yet.
3) Take the cutter with the bread pieces still in the grid and place it on top of the slice with the peanut butter and jelly.
4) Press the Funbites cutter into the bottom slice and rock the cutter back and forth to make the cuts.
5) Now use the popper piece to push the cubes out of the cutter.  No muss no fuss no coconuts!!

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This lunch is packed in the ever awesome Easy Lunch Boxes.
*peanut butter and strawberry all-fruit spread sandwich cut with Funbites Cube It.
*pretzel crisps
*carrot squares cut with the Funbites Cube It
*Granny Smith apple slices
*Yoplait dye-free yogurt with bear pick
*grapes in the suitcase food cup and blueberries
*linked to: Bento for Kidlet/ Meatless Monday
*linked to:BentoLunch.net/ What's for lunch Wednesday

Bento Lunch

Some of the things I used to make this lunch:
Suitcase style silicone food cup

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Lunch box ideas list....

Hello everyone! I hope you've all had a great week and have been able to spend some special time with your family. My kids were home from school this past week for Thanksgiving break, so I've taken a break myself from all the lunch making cuteness to spend time with them and my family. However, the time off from making lunches gave me the opportunity to think about a huge problem that I face often. Most of you that pack lunches regularly for your family can probably relate to my problem. Sooner or later, we all wind up in the middle of 2 lunch packing dilemmas.

Dilemma 1- due to a lack of planning, we find ourselves standing in front of our fridges tapping our fingers on the door trying to come up with something......ANYTHING to fill the lunch box. This generally occurs in the early morning before the coffee has had a chance to work and our brains are still in sleep mode. This results in our kids getting a handful of stale chips and broken cookies from the bottom of the bag. I'm guilty!!!!!

Dilemma 2- due to our hectic schedules, brain burn out, or overall lack of interest, we are just not able to think of any new items for the lunchbox. This generally occurs while standing in the middle of the grocery store as we are tapping our fingers on the cart handle. This results in our kids getting the same old lunches over and over. I'm guilty!!!!!

So, in an attempt to remedy both of these situations, I have put together this super handy list of lunch box ideas, hopefully to give myself some lunch inspiration and ideas. This, of course, is not an all inclusive list of lunch ideas. This list mainly consists of the foods that Z likes most. But, you are welcome to copy it, share it, save it, hang it on your fridge, give it to your kids before you go to the grocery and have them circle the items they want in their lunch. If your child has different likes/dislikes, you can add items to the list or cross them out. 

Hopefully, lunch box drama will be averted.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Silly scarecrow.....

Hi everyone......sorry I've been MIA for a few days. My oldest son has been sick, so I've been taking care of him the last couple of days. Here is fall themed lunch #4 from last Thursday.....Silly Scarecrow. I used a clown shaped cookie cutter to make him. I thought it lent itself very well to a scarecrow. I cut the tip of the hat off to make it flat...much more scarecrowish than clownish, huh? I think he turned out pretty cute.

This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*scarecrow peanut butter and all-fruit spread sandwich with candy corn nose and mini chocolate chip eyes. I used raw linguini for his hair, and I cut a paper muffin liner for the collar.
*Ritz Bitz cheese crackers
*Natural Selects hotdog in the little suitcase box
*sweet corn with cornucopia pick and red cherry tomatoes
*strawberries with fall sunflower pick
*linked to: Eats Amazing/ Fun Food Friday
*linked to: BentoLunch.net/ What's for lunch Wednesday

>Bento Lunch

Some of the things I used to make this lunch:
Suitcase style silicone food cup

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The footless turkey lunch...

Today is day 3 of my week of fall themed lunches. I've seen many of my blogging friends create these amazingly cute turkey sandwich lunches, so I was inspired to do one myself. I have to admit, my turkey didn't turn out quite as I had envisioned him. And, I didn't notice that he was footless until it was time to pack him up in the lunch bag and send him off to school. A footless turkey......there's just something not right about that. Sorry Mr. turkey! Oh well...the little guy will like him no feet and all, so I guess that is what matters.

This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*Applegate bologna "turkey" sandwich with candy eyes, cheese beak, and fruit leather wattle (I had to Google what the turkey hangie down thingie was called. It's called a wattle. Who knew??).  His feathers are bologna pieces that I colored with food safe markers.
*pretzel rod "logs" for turkey to stand on (Well, he would stand if he had feet.)
*sweet corn with acorn shaped carrots
*strawberries and blueberries with cute turkey pick
*linked to: Bento of the Week

Some things (or similar things) I used to make this lunch:
Wilton square silicone baking cups
Turkey food pick
Easy Lunch Boxes

Check out these great "turkey sandwiches that are so much better than mine" lunches from my blogging friends:
Bentology/ Turkey bento
Lunchbox Dad/ Happy Turkey Day
Green lunches Green kids/ First Thanksgiving lunch of the season
Bento School Lunhes/ Turkey bento

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall Fairy sandwich

Here is lunch #2 for my week of fall themed lunches. I used my Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal to make this sealed "fairy sandwich". I have made sandwiches like this before, but I didn't realize there was a name for them until I saw this super cute squirrel fairy sandwich over at Feeling A Little Lunchy (see it HERE). Isn't it cute? I could have gone a little heavier with the leaf sprinkles on my sandwich, but it still turned out cute.

To make a "Fairy sandwich",  cut out any shape of your choosing from the top slice of bread. A cookie cutter works great for this. Then, fill the cavity with sprinkles. I used Wilton autumn leaves sprinkles. I used the Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal to make a sealed pocket Fairy sandwich. The leaf cookie cutter that I used in my sandwich came from Hobby Lobby last fall.

This lunch is packed in Easy Lunch Boxes.
*peanut butter and all-fruit spread "fairy sandwich"
*cheddar cheese pretzels with leaf pick on top
*red seedless grapes with fall flower pick
*baby sweet pickle
*carrot rounds and green olives with acorn pick

Some things I used to make this lunch:
Baking Buddies silicone baking cups
Pampered Chef Cut-n-Seal

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Finally Fall in Memphis...

Well, it finally feels like fall here in the M-town, so all this week, I'm going to do fall themed lunches. Today's lunch is served up in the Yumbox. You may have noticed the turkey off to the side. No, ok, take a look at him. If you scroll down a bit, there is a larger photo of him. Go ahead........I'll wait for you. Did you look at him? Isn't he crazy cute?? He's made entirely from candy and Oreo cookies. My stepmother, who is a baking phenom, made him. She creates some of the cutest and yummiest treats, cookies, cakes, and candies.  This little guy is perfect for the fall, so, of course, I had to include him in a fall themed lunch. I plan to include more of my stepmother's baking goodies in future lunches.

This lunch is packed in the Yumbox.
*Natural Selects ham sandwiches with Colby-Jack cheese leaves on top
*tomato salad (one of Z's faves- cherry tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, Craisins, croutons, balsamic dressing)
*strawberries and grapes with fall flower pick
*Ritz Bitz cheese crackers
*all-natural applesauce with leaf sprinkles
*2 candy corn pieces in the treat/dip cup
*linked to: BentoLunch.net/ What's for lunch Wednesday

Here is a close up of the candy
turkey. Isn't he super cute?
This would be too much of a
sweet treat to put in Z's lunch
at one time, so I let him eat
the turkey little by little.
Makes eating him kind of
fun because Z gets to choose
which part gets gobbled up
next....sorry, a little turkey
humor for you.

Some of the things I used to make this lunch:

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mimi's spaghetti is the Bomb.....

Last night, we went to my mom and dad's for dinner....Mimi and Pa to my boys. There are 2 things you should know about Mimi: 1) she makes the most delicious spaghetti EVER, and 2) Mimi only knows how to cook for 50 people. I definitely benefit from both of these things as my kids devour her spaghetti as if they haven't eaten in a week, and I get to bring home copious amounts of spaghetti leftovers. YAY for leftovers!!!! YAY for Mimi!!!!

So, of course, lunch today for both boys is spaghetti. A few posts ago,  I sent mac and cheese in a thermos for Z's lunch for the first time. He liked the thermos idea very much. A thermos is a great idea for sending hot foods for lunch. Paired with 3 of his other favorite foods- corn, strawberries, and yogurt- I expect this lunch box to come home completely empty.

I added a few homemade puppy picks for a bit of cuteness.

In this lunch:
*Mimi's amazing spaghetti served in a Thermos.
*sweet corn and red cherry tomatoes
*Yoplait Trix yogurt (We love the Trix  yogurt. It has no artificial colors or sweeteners and tastes great.)
*green olives and Applegate bologna rolls
*linked to: Becoming a Bentoholic/ Leftovers on Friday

Some of the things I used to make this lunch:
10oz Thermos
Baking Buddies silicone baking cups

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Animal friends and Yumbox

Happy Wednesday friends! The little guy wanted to use his Yumbox today which was fine with me. Yumbox makes it so easy to pack a great lunch. I cut the bologna in the shape of a bunny and added a few cute animal picks....easy peasy lemon squeezey (as Z would say). I just love that little raccoon peeking out of the sunflower seeds. Food picks are one of the best ways to cutify (hmm, is that a word?) a lunch. This cute animal pack is definitely a fave of mine!

This lunch is packed in theYumbox.

*bunny shaped Applegate bologna decorated with blue food marker
*Ritz crackers
*peaches and blueberries
*Yoplait vanilla yogurt
*carrot rounds and green olives in a bunny shaped cup
*candied sunflower seed in the little treat/dip cup
*linked to: Eats Amazing/ FunFood Friday

Eats Amazing Fun Food Friday

Some of the things I used to make this lunch:
Wilton pastel silicone baking cups
Cute animal food picks