Toddler Lunch Planning

by Junebug

Baby Bug starts school next week and I have been scouring the net for lunch ideas.  My child is weird and doesn’t care for sandwiches on regular bread, peanut butter or mac n cheese.  We avoid dyes and GMO laden foods.  As you can guess meal planning is one of my least favorite past times ever. However, her school does not provide food so it is completely up to me.   As I looked at all the options it dawned on me part of my problem was everything is presented in a full lunch.  I need a mix and match idea list so I created one.  My plan is to provide her lunch with one item from each list.  My categories are Main Entree, Vegetable/Fruit and Fun Factor.



Main Entree Ideas: (I will start with the ones I know she likes but at dinner time practice the ones I think she will like before I send them to school.)

Tortellini Salad (Pasta and Peas tossed in Pesto)

Rolled Turkey with Cheese

Rice Balls (Cook short-grain rice and roll in small cooked vegetables)

Turkey, Lettuce and Tzatziki Sauce rolled into a wrap

Soba Noodle Salad

Tuna Fish on Pita

Rice with Polish Sausage or Ground Meat

Grilled Chicken Pita

Egg Salad in a wrap


Applegate’s Little Smokies

Lentil Soup

Salmon Patties

I’m most excited to try this Honey-Glazed bacon wrapped chicken strips from Paleo Cupboard.



Vegetables/Fruits: (If her main entree includes vegetables, I’ll add fruit otherwise it will be vegetables.)

Cucumber, Broccoli, Peach, Apple, Orange, Grapes, Melon, Pineapple, Green Beans, Blueberries, Strawberries, Carrots

Fruit kabobs

Roasted cherry tomatoes and mozzarella tossed in vinaigrette

Small Salad with dressing (My daughter LOVES salad!)

Frog Princesses and Princes Cupcakes

Fun Factor:


Vegetable Chips

Air Popped Popcorn

Cheese Stick


Apple Sauce

Natural Gummy Bears

Mini Muffins

What are some of your favorite lunch ideas?

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Picking a Lunch Container

by Junebug

Who knew it would be so freaking hard to pick a lunch container?  Not me.  The lunch pail was easy (sort of – I choose two because I couldn’t pick).

Baby Bug wanted the Owl one and I picked the Cow one.

But how do I decide what to put inside my adorable lunch pails?

I love the idea of a metal lunch box.  I’m not sure how easily my toddler can open one by herself.  Motor skills are not currently her strong suit.

Several of my friends recommended these easy lunch boxes.  They are supposed to be BPA-free.  I went with the last one here because of price.  I figured we can upgrade as I become comfortable with making lunches.

What is your favorite lunch box?  I would love ideas for the next time I have to buy.

Full Disclosure:  I am an Amazon Affiliate.  If you link to Amazon through my website and buy, I might get a small kickback.  I put all my Amazon monies into our adoption fund.


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Carpe Diem.  Robin Williams introduced me to this concept and more over my lifetime. I feel this completely irrational connection to a man I never met.  In many ways, I feel I grew up with him.  His body of work rode perpendicular with my life occasionally turning to intersect and knock me off my course.   As I mourn with rest of the world, I reflect on the lessons he taught me.

1.  Zany is Funny!  Nanu Nanu

 Growing up on a farm can be isolating.  I spent my share of time outside or reading but at night I would escape to other worlds via the TV.  We got our first TV when I was 5 and a year later in 1978 Mork and Mindy aired.  Robin entered my world as a crazy alien living in Colorado.  It was like we were practically neighbors with me being in Kansas.   Everything about the show was ridiculous.  He arrives in an egg.  His luggage arrived in a second egg.  He mostly dressed like a 70’s toddler.  He was observing the world and I got to learn right along with him.  The voices, the energy, the physical comedy – all perfection and relatable for a young impressionable gal.  I wanted to make people laugh because he made me laugh.


2.  Make Your Life Extraordinary

Dead Poets Society arrived right in the middle of my angst filled teenage years.  I loved literature and drama. DPS had both.  The movie was the main reason I chose to stick with theatre as my college major.  I wanted so badly to be able to touch people with my words the way Robin could.  He could make you laugh and he could make you cry.  I recognized his unique ability and I wanted to share it.  The difference is Robin could seize the day.  He was able to throw himself into any role with complete abandon.  I cannot.  For an actor to be able to give a great dramatic performance, they have to be able to open up the door to the pain they store in their soul.  Robin and I both suffered from depression.  This little pebble which hides under your skin needling you from within.  Others can rarely see it.  In fact, many never realize how much another person suffers until it is too late.  I was afraid if I opened the door to my pain it would swallow me whole.  I would never be able to recover.  Robin was able to open his tortured soul and craft it beautifully for others.  DPS gave me the hope I would be able to reach extraordinary heights.

Quotes from a scene in Dead Poets Society:

“Seize the day.

Because we are food for worms, lads.  Because, believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is one day going to stop breathing, turn cold and die.

Carpe Diem.

Make your lives extraordinary.”

3.  Your move, Chief.

When Good Will Hunting debuted I was 2 years post college.  I had lived on an Indian reservation, lived in Las Vegas and done a lot of partying.  What I hadn’t done is start living.  Where Dead Poets Society and inspired me, Good Will Hunting showed me I was failing.  Like the main character, Will, I was an orphan who had locked up my demons and thrown away the key.  The demons never stay away for long.  They slip under the door and plague you when you least expect it.  After realizing I couldn’t be the great actress I dreamed of being because I was unwilling to face my demons, I lived an ordinary existence.  My hope was if I could out live them.  If I ignored them long enough, they would leave, right?  Wrong.  I tend to be a smart ass and deflect all seriousness as a way to protect myself from the truth – I’m a fraud.  A big fat fraud living in fear of failure and in fear of losing myself to the darkness I’ve been keeping at bay.  If I couldn’t make my first dream come true, why didn’t I pick another?  Or why didn’t I make my first one work?  It was up to me after all.  Needless to say, this movie made me think.  It did not move me to action.  My demons were still winning.

4.  It gets easier!

“We got to tell everybody.  We’ve got to remind them.  We’ve got to remind them how good it is.”  Leonard (Robert DeNiro)

“How good what is Leonard?”  Dr. Sayer (Robin Williams)

“Look at this newspaper.  What does is say?  All bad. It’s all bad. People have forgotten what life is all about.  They’ve forgotten what it is to be alive.  They need to be reminded.  They need to be reminded about what they have and what they can lose.  What I feel is the joy of life.  The gift of life.  The freedom of life.  The wonderment of life.”

The crux of depression is when you are in depression you can’t see how depressed you are.  By the time you get to the point where you no longer care about anything else in the world, it is beyond your ability to make good decisions for yourself.  I know.  I’ve been there several times.  Occasionally a bout will creep up on you in rapid sneak mode and before you realize what is happening you are curled up in the corner sobbing because your shoelace broke.  In many ways, the catatonic phase some of the patients in Awakenings were experiencing is much like depression.  A depressed person can’t see the good.  They can’t remember joy.  I didn’t see Awakenings when it first came out.  I saw it much later.  It broke my heart.  I knew the feeling of helplessness to a disease.  The inability to fight an enemy you can not see.  There are moments when you have depression where it does suddenly lift.  You are filled with life and joy.  I want to wake up like Leonard(DeNiro) and remember the joy.  Or in truth be more like Robin’s character and stop hiding from the world.  There are many ways we block ourselves off from life.  Whether it is a disease/ailment which others can see or a hidden demon blocking our way, we each get up every morning and fight the good fight.  All we need to know was said by Eleanor(Julie Kavner to Robin’s character, Dr. Sayer, “It gets easier.  You don’t think it will but it does.”


5.  Finish the Game.

“I’ve seen things you can’t even imagine.  I’ve seen things you can’t even see.” Alan (Williams) in Jumanji

Robin taught me these lessons.  It is up to me to use them.  His death should be a wake up call to our society.  Depression is real even though we can’t see it.  The people who suffer are good people who deserve to be helped and saved.  There is a stigma in our culture to steer clear of any reference to mental health.  It causes many sufferers to hide further and anguish alone in their pain.  It is time for us to have open arms to help heal those of us who struggle to work through the emotional baggage we carry.  I often hear the phrase misery loves company but I feel it is misunderstood.  People don’t want to be around miserable people.  I hear folks boast all the time about the miserable negative person they finally unfriended on Facebook and how good it feels.  No, misery loves company because it can’t get any company and it is lonely.  When I’m depressed I purposely push my friends and family away.  I can be down right hateful.  It is my confused way of asking for help.  The next time someone you love is acting in a depressed or miserable or hateful way try to get closer to them.  Love them more.  If they are depressed, they can’t see what you see.  Let them know it is ok to get help.  It is ok to reach out.  The bravest action is to reach a hand out for help.  Match their bravery by grasping their hand and leading them to help.   Once you start a game of Jumanji, you have to finish it with all the players.  In life, we need to remember it is not a game of Solataire.  We must finish the game by working together.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline – 1-800-273-8255  Your call is free and confidential.

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Last year I wagged (walk/jog) 13 races.  At some point my foot began to hurt.  It hurt mostly when I wasn’t even running.  In fact, right after I was resting and tried to use it.  It feels as if you foot is suddenly lame and you hobble like a 99 year old woman for a few feet until your foot warms up.  At first I didn’t realize this was a problem.  After all it started after my 1/2 marathon so I assumed I was simply over working out especially at my weight.  I was wrong.  At the end of my 13in2013 goal, I rested.  For several months, I scaled way back in hopes I had strained a muscle or something.  It did not ease up.  I finally saw my doctor who sent me to the foot specialist.


The test involves sonograming(autocorrect kept changing this to monograming and while I do live in the South where everything gets monogramed it would be weird to monogram my foot) your foot to measure the thickness of the Plantar Fascitis.  The thicker your Plantar Fascitis measures the more likely the only relief option is going to be surgery.  I fell directly in the middle.   This means my best bet for recovery is not surgery but slow and steady use of several tricks.  I’ve compiled a list of all the options available to me.  I plan to start using several of them in hopes of working my way back to running.  Who knows – maybe I’ll be able to do 15in2015.

1.  Rest.  I’ve rested this summer.  I did not have a workout plan and it does feel less painful.

2.  Stretch and Ice.  I’ll stretch my foot by propping my toes up against a wall, keeping my arch and heel flat so the toes stretch.  Hold for a count of 10.  Repeating this practice 10 times 3-4 times per day.  Once I’m done stretching I will take a plastic water bottle which I have frozen and roll the arch of my foot across it for 10 minutes.  Experts say to never ice the tendon cold so don’t skip the stretching part.

3.  Some say you can use a frozen golf ball or a tennis ball to roll under your foot putting pressure on all the areas of the foot. In addition, others have recommended a specific roller for this purpose.  The company Addaday has a variety of rollers to choose from.  I’m going to go to my local running store and discuss it with the owner.  There are several rollers and she is an expert.  I’m going to seek her counsel to ensure I get the roller best suited for me.


4.  My foot doctor has suggested special inserts for my running shoes.  This can be very expensive and even though I have good insurance it will still cost me around $100+.  However, I am taking the risk to try it.  I’m that desperate to have relief.  I will admit I have one pair to shoes which feel awesome already.  I won a pair of Sugarpine Air Mesh shoes made by Ahnu and love them!  From the very first time I put them on my foot it was like a nice warm hug.  I can not recommend these shoes enough.

5.  I plan to do more taping especially at night.  There are special boots you can buy and wear at night to keep your muscles from tightening up over the night.  The tightening is why most of the time it is very hard to walk when I first wake.  I have to hobble a few steps and stretch my foot to be able to walk with less pain.  This is honestly the worst pain time for me.  I’ve googled several ways to tape and stretch and will be giving them a go.

6.  The main thing I need to do is wear shoes.  This is the last thing I want to do.  I’m a barefoot gal.  I’m a lazy gal.  If I have to wear shoes, I want to slip on flip flops and go.  However, I do feel I will have to give up my beloved flip flops for my daily wear.  I have decide to either invest in a pair of Birkenstocks (my theory is they are cork and eventually form to your foot therefore they should have more support than a flip flop but still be slip on) and if that doesn’t work Ahnu has other shoes and I might look into one of them.  I seriously hate shoes and this will be the last option I focus on out of sheer stubbornness.

I might add I have had my chiropractor focus on it and it has seemed to help. Others have experimented and found relief with acupuncture.  Some have had success with corticosteroid injections.  My list was the options I have chosen which I believe will lead to my success.  This is my plan to avoid surgery.  I think it is doable.  I think it will not be easy.   I believe Theodore Roosevelt summed it up best.

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Have you had issues with Plantar Fascitis?  Any other ideas or suggestions?

Please note:  I am not a doctor.  My degree is in Theatre Performance so I can only play a doctor.  Do not take my advice as if I am a doctor.  Seek the counsel of your own real doctor before embarking on any crazy plan some half-baked blogger wrote up.  Thank you.  Come again.

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Whole Picture Wednesday

August 6, 2014

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The Benefits of a Low-Tech Summer

August 4, 2014

Feels strange to finally be sitting down and paying attention to my blog.  This month I celebrate my 8th year of blogging.  I have to admit I have not been feeling it lately.  Or should I say I’ve been feeling all those years weighing on me.  I’ve changed tons in the past last 8 years. […]

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Fitbloggin’ 14 was Inspiring and Fun!

July 10, 2014

It has been a few weeks since Fitbloggin’ 14 wrapped up.  I’ve seen many recaps and continued to be awed by the power of this group.  The determination.  The support.  The knowledge.  It is all so overwhelming to process.  I’ve attempted in my usual haphazard way to share a little of what I learned. 1. […]

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Eavesdropping on Myself – Birthday Edition

July 7, 2014

This birthday was the first my hubby had fun with Baby Bug helping to pick out my presents and cake.  They were both so proud of themselves.  I had to close my eyes and they brought out the cake.  I opened my eyes and they started singing to me.  I was already very confused. Me: […]

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More than Just a Dog

June 3, 2014

Othello 2005- 2014 This week we made the painful decision to let our dog, Othello, go.  He got diabetes last month and we have been trying to control it with insulin but he started refusing to eat and when they don’t eat you can’t give them the insulin.  We were even making him fresh chicken […]

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Eavesdropping on Myself – Bad Dreams

May 23, 2014

Last night I had a dream where for some reason I gave my husband permission to be with another woman.  Before it happened I tried to change my mind but he got mad so I agreed again.  I can’t remember all the details but I know it was my idea to begin with and not […]

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