Waste Free Lunch 2

Packing a Waste Free Lunch: Must Haves + Tips

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Waste Free Lunch – Must Haves & Tips

Waste Free Lunches

There are a number or reasons for families to choose to send their children to school with a waste free lunch.
This video video is a run down of all the packing supplies we keep on hand to make packing a waste free lunch simple and efficient.  The truth is if it’s not easy, you won’t keep it up.

I’ve also included my favorite way to store all these waste free lunch packing goodies!  It keeps everything neat and organized AND (best part) actually makes packing simpler too!

Essential Tools for Packing a Waste Free Lunch


I hope you found this glimpse into our lunch packing useful!  During the school year we are all running fast and furious. Without a system for getting lunches packed, it wouldn’t work for us!

Need more inspiration and motivation to get you packing – check out this video that shares key reasons we find waste free lunches the right choice for our family.

What are your favorite tips & tricks for packing a waste free lunch?

Eat Green – Give Green & Support Salad Bars In Schools #WFMSaladDay

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Every day is a good day to eat your greens.  If you live in Southern California, Hawaii, Arizona or Las Vegas… tomorrow is an even better day.  On Sunday, September 9 Southern Pacific Region Whole Foods Markets (see the aforementioned areas above!) will donate $1 for every pound  of food purchased at its salad and hot food bars through the Whole Kids Foundation.

Whole Foods Green for Greens

Salad For Dinner

So… my plan is not to cook on Sunday Night.  I’ve been running around all weekend (haven’t you?)… The best part is I’ll be supporting a good cause at the same time.  A win-win by any definition of the word!

I’ll be heading to our Brand Spanking New Gorgeous Tarzana Whole Foods:

18700 Ventura Blvd
Tarzana  California  91356

Love Letter to the FTC: I thought you would like to know I do in fact eat salad, not all the time, not every meal – but I eat salad.  This post was sponsored by Whole Foods Market, and I think that getting salads in schools is a good thing and am happy to support the cause!  


Waste Free Lunch

Packing a Waste Free Lunch

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Waste Free Lunch – Why It Matters & What You Need to Pull it Off

Waste Free Lunch

There are a number or reasons for families to choose to send their children to school with a waste free lunch.
This video discusses some of the key reasons a waste free lunch might be the right choice for your family, and the tools you’ll want to have on hand to make lunch packing simple and efficient.

Waste Free Lunch Video 

Part Two is a detailed look at the tools we use for packing lunches in our family.

What are your families favorite healthy waste free lunch ideas?

#Vlogmom: Shopping Spree

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This week for #vlogmom Jessica Cohen posed this question: You have $2000 to shop for YOURSELF. Where do you go and what do you buy?

What would you buy for yourself?

Come back next week for another fun #VlogMom video!

vlogmom

Mineral Make Up Ingredients

The Best Make Up Primer for Naturally Minded

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The Best Make Up Primer for Naturally Minded

A primer is great to have in your make up bag.  While primer might not be considered a make up essential by all, it’s a great tool to pull out for special occasions, days you need your make up perform, and some women love it so much they use it daily in their routine.   Primer can also be helpful in concealing scars.

Conventional primers use waxes, polymers and silicone that help to form a bond with your cosmetics.  Like all areas of our cosmetics routine we can find more natural options that will meet our needs.  None of the options we’ve selected contain any silicone,  two do contain a crosspolymer.  I haven’t yet found a liquid primer without them.

If you are looking for the most natural primer option a powder will likely be your purest option – they simply contain fewer, safer ingredients.

The PND Round Up of natural options for the Best Make Up Primer Features:

The Best Make Up Primer

Youngblood Primer with Honeysuckle – Retails around $40

Mineral Fusion Primer with Pomegranate Oil – Retails around $22

Dash Minerals Primer – Retails around $15

Fusion of Color Mineral  Lavish Silk Primer – Only 5 ingredients – Retails around $17

If you have a primer you’d like to see featured in our next round  of the Best Make Up Primer let us know!

#Vlogmom: Travel Dream

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This weeks Vlogmom topic is from Elizabeth from Edvacation.com. She asked us to share a travel dream. If money was no object and you could go anywhere in the world, where would you visit?

Everyone has a dream to travel, share yours in the comments.

Come back next week for another fun #VlogMom video!
vlogmom

Dragonfly Facts & remarkable video of Dragonflies landing on the Lil’s!

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Dragonfly Facts: Just for Fun!

We were recently swimming in the pool and dragonflies started to land on our fingers!

That alone was a pretty cool story, but seeing is believing right?  We were lucky enough to capture our dragonfly visitors on video – thanks to the great zoom on our Sony HandyCam!

 

Dragonfly Facts

Our New Dragonfly friends made us want to learn a little more about them so we did some research!

dragonfly facts

Do dragonflies bite or sting? One of the first questions my lil’s will ask about any critter!

  • Dragonflies do have teeth and will bite, but only as a protective instinct if they are provoked… they do not have stingers.  If they did bite, they have no venom or poison and very few species would even be able to break the human skin.

The Dragonfly Fact you will love the most!

  • Dragonflies are useful in controlling the mosquito population!

Where Do Dragonflies Live?

  • They prefer to live in slow moving freshwater.

How do Dragonflies Reproduce?

  • The female dragonfly lays eggs, anywhere from dozens to hundreds at once.  It can take from several months to years for them to become adult dragonflies – they live as nymph’s as water predators until they are large enough to emerge from the water as full grown adults.

How Long Do Adult Dragonflies Live?

  • Once dragonflies reach adulthood, they live for only a few months.

Will a Dragonfly Land on a Human?

  • While standing in a pool or lake – as you can see from our video – they will!  I have no idea how common it is, but if you have patience – try it for yourself!

What are your favorite Dragonfly Facts?

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

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Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Nothing makes a house smell better than baking fresh banana bread – and when you’ve overbought bananas – a go-to healthy recipe is a must.  This recipe is free of saturated fat, low in sugar, is made with 100% Whole Wheat Flour… and has extra fiber too.

The MOST important tip I can give you about making flavorful banana bread is really ripe bananas.  And when I say really ripe, I mean allover brown or very close to all over… my husband calls them rotten… and while I wouldn’t enjoy eating the banana this ripe… it is the ripeness that gives the banana bread great flavor.

 

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Comfort Food at it's Best!

Ingredients for our Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Preheat oven to 350 F

1 1/2 cups of Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Cup of Sugar
2 Teaspoons Baking Powder
1 Teaspoon of Baking Soda
1/2 Cup of Wheat Germ
1/2 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Tablespoons of Flax Meal
4 Medium Very Ripe Bananas Mashed – at least one cup!
1/4 Cup – less a Teaspoon of Skim Milk
1 Teaspoon of Lemon Juice
1/4 Cup of Oil – we use Grapeseed
2 Eggs

Instructions for our Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Sift the dry ingredients (except germ & flax meal) together in a Large Bowl.  Add remaining dry ingredients.  Mix well.  Create a well.

Make Low fat buttermilk by combining the milk and lemon.  Add Eggs and combine.  Mix together with your mashed banana.

Pour the wet ingredient into the well you’ve made out of the dry ingredients.  Mix until well blended.

This Recipe makes 1 full size loaf or 3 mini loafs.  If you make a full size loaf bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.  The mini loafs will cook in 35-40 minutes.

Healthy Banana Bread Recipe

Lil Diva & Company Baking Up a Storm

Please let us know you try out our Healthy Banana Bread Recipe! 

Healthier White Lasagna Recipe

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White Lasagna Recipe with Chicken & Spinach

Two things before we start – our  White Lasagna Recipe is healthier… not full on healthy, and it’s more of a creamy color than  white.  That being said, it delish, we make our lasagna in a larger pan  (10″ X 14″)- because I love to have leftovers!

White Lasagna Recipe

Dinner is Served

So what did we do to make it less rich and decadent White Lasagna Recipe less sinful?

  • We cut the butter in half, subbing grapeseed oil for extra fat.
  • We cut the amount of cheese… almost in half.  I suggest you taste your sauce for seasoning and your preferences before you assemble the lasagna… so if you really want a richer sauce… add more cheese… just know that you are upping the Saturated Fat and Sodium as you melt in the extra!   When I was working on this recipe, I started with 1 cup and kept adding until it tasted yummy to me.
  •  We added more veggies to the recipe.
  • We used a 100% Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodle.

Now let’s get cooking…

White Lasagna Recipe: Ingredients

12 No Boil Whole Wheat Lasagna Noodles

Sauce for the White Lasagna Recipe
1/4 Cup of Butter
1/4 Cup of Grapeseed Oil
3 Cups of Diced Mixed Vegetables
3/4 Teaspoon of Salt
2 Cloves Garlic – Smashed
1/2 Cup of Organic Whole Grain Pastry Flour
2 Cups of Chicken Broth
2 Cups of Organic Skim Milk
3/4 Cup of Parmesan
2 Cups of Grated Mozzarella Cheese
1 Teaspoon of Dried Basil
1 Teaspoon of Dried Oregano
1/4 Teaspoon of White Ground Pepper

Filling for the White Lasagna Recipe
2 Cups of Cubed, Cooked Chicken (hint leftover Rotisserie Chicken)
2 Cups of Frozen Organic Chopped Spinach
2 Cups of Low Fat Ricotta Cheese
1 Teaspoon of Dried Parsley
3/4 Teaspoon of Salt

Optional – Asiago Cheese or other aged cheese

Instructions for the White Lasagna Recipe

Pre Heat your over to 450 degrees F

Sauce – Melt the butter, adding the oil in a large saucepan or a very large cast iron skillet (for extra iron).  Cook the garlic and diced mixed veggies until tender, pay extra attention so they don’t brown.  Stir in Flour and Salt – allow the mixture to bubble and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and bring to a slow boil, as the sauce begins to get thick… add the milk.  Then add the remaining sauce seasonings.  Before you add the cheese make sure the sauce is simmering but not boiling – if it is boiling the cheese will curdle and you won’t have a creamy sauce.  Add the cheese to the hot, but not boiling mixture.  Time to do a taste test and adjust the seasonings if needed.

White Lasagna Recipe

Cheesy Sauce

Filling – In a separate bowl combine Ricotta Cheese, spinach, chicken and seasoning, combine well and set aside.

White Lasagna Recipe

The Filling for the White Lasagna Recipe

White Lasagna Recipe Assembly – Using a 10″ X 14″ Lasagna Pan ladle the bottom of the pan with about 1/4 of your sauce- just enough to cover the bottom.  Set 4 lasagna noodles into the mixture.  Spoon half of the filling onto the noodles spreading it evenly across your noodles.  Spoon another layer of sauce over your filling.  Lay 4 more lasagna noodles directly above your other noodles –  following the same pattern will make it easier to serve.  Place the second half of your filling on this layer of noodles – topping with another smothering of sauce.  Add your final layer of noodles, cover with your remaining sauce.

White Lasagna Recipe

Assembly

Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes, then remove foil, top with the Asiago Cheese and bake for an additional 20 minutes.  Allow the lasagna to sit for about 5 minutes before serving.

White Lasagna Recipe

Done

Serve with a side salad – we like ceaser – and enjoy!

We successfully made this rich White Lasagna Recipe healthier, what family favorite would you like to see made better next?