14 Ideas for Back to School Lunches That Are Anything But Boring

Check out Get Out of Your Lunchbox Rut

by Jill Shepherd Anderson at Foodie.com

I wonder how many times between now and the end of August I will start a post with “Can you believe it is back to school time?” Yet it is. And although some days I want summer to slow down and take its time already, other days (like today -WORD), I am ready for my kids to back at school STAT!

One of things I do NOT miss about school is packing lunches. I realize many of you probably have responsible children who pack their own lunches, but if I want my kids to have any sort of healthy anything ever, I need to be slightly in charge of the process. Unless carbs with a side of carbs followed by a sugar chaser is a healthy lunch.

I love this round-up of healthy and fun lunch ideas for when the back to school routine starts up again. Lunches that keep me from getting bored when packing them and lunches that keep my kids from getting bored eating them. Everyone is winning!!

What do you like to pack for lunches to get out of the lunchbox rut?

This post is sponsored by Foodie.com

What I’m Reading

Such, SUCH wise words::: Parenting: Why It’s More Important to Be Wise Than Generous

Truth::: Thinking about doing something is not the same as doing something.

Love::: A Letter to My Sons

AMEN!!::: It’s Summertime! Quit Your Bitchin’!

Replace with “moms of three” and bingo::: Things Moms Of Four Kids Do

Back to School Fashion With Carters

I have no idea where this summer has gone. August is just around the corner and as much as I would love to hang on to every last second of summer, I can’t deny that it is time to start thinking about back to school. I really hate back-to-school supply shopping, but if there is anything I can get jazzed about it is back-to-school clothes!

My littlest man is starting at a new school this year and will be in young 5s. He is losing so many of his little boy mannerisms and growing up way too fast. But one of my favorite parts about him growing up is that he loves dressing himself in the morning. And he is quite the little snazzy dresser (just like his daddy).

This week we hit up Carter’s and came home with three outfits that will make him the cutest boy in school.

One of the trends Carter’s has for the fall is Fresh Plaids. Silas is modeling that with this outfit we took in a preppy direction.

Fresh Plaid

Plaid Shirt: Carter’s
T-shirt: Carter’s
Jeans: old Carter’s
Shoes: Carter’s (can’t find on the website, but check in stores)

Another trend for fall is Camo. This is one of my favorite trends ever. Silas’ wardrobe always has some camo in it. So I couldn’t help but get two outfits based around this trend. First up some camo pants to match his mama. I paired it with a gray thermal tee (that has a little room for my boy who is growing like a weed!)


Shirt: Carter’s
Pants: Carter’s

You can’t quite tell from this picture, but this shirt has a camo dinosaur on it. Camo and dinosaurs? WINNING!

camo dinosaur

Shirt: Carter’s
Pants: Carter’s

Some of the other trends for fall over at Carter’s are “Ath Leisure” (trendy athletic inspired wear), and for the girls, Tomboy Chic and Vintage Prints. You can check out some of their trends over on the Carter’s website.

What I was most excited to learn about is that Carter’s has recently expanded their line to include sizes 7-12. Same Carter’s quality and style (which I actually think they totally raised the bar on) and AGE APPROPRIATE clothing. As my girls get older, I must say age appropriate is getting harder and harder to find. I was bummed to see the closest store to buy their expanded line was a few hours away, but I am loving what I see on the website. 62 stores around the nations are carrying the line so see if there is anyplace near you.

Right now everything at Carter’s is 40% off (online and in stores) until August 5th. And I have a 20% off coupon to sweeten the deal even more!

carter's coupon

Want a chance at an even better deal? I have a $50 Carter’s gift card to help you with your back to school shopping. To enter, simply leave me a comment letting me know what you would buy with your gift card. Check out Carter’s for some inspiration!

Contest ends July 31 when a winner will be drawn at random. This post is sponsored by Carter’s and I was given a gift card to purchase the clothes for Silas (although I went way over my gift card because CUTENESS!!)

Ten Great Documentaries for Kids Streaming On Netflix Now

Documentaries for Kids

On Monday I shared my recent journey going gluten-free. What you may or may not know (depending on how long you have been reading this blog) is that my health journey started years ago when I watched Food, Inc. That movie radically changed the way I think about food. It set in motion the beginning of a journey to learn about food and where it comes from and the effect on our bodies. So in effect, going gluten-free is just another step in my journey with food.

To be honest, when push comes to shove, documentaries are not usually at the top of my list of what I choose to watch when I have the remote in hand and the Netflix menu pulled up on the screen. I mean, I told you last month what we are watching in these parts (Clear Eyes, Full Hearts). But as we get closer and closer to sending the kiddos back to school, and my kids brains turn further and further into mush, I am thinking having some family movie nights with some kid friendly documentaries is just what the doctor ordered!

Check out these great documentaries that are so good your kids won’t even notice they are learning:

For the big kiddos:

  1. Lewis & Clark: The Journey Out West
  2. Walking with Dinosaurs
  3. Secret Yellowstone
  4. The Blue Planet
  5. When We Left Earth: The NASA Missions

For the little ones:

  1. The Great Mouse Detective
  2. Busytown Mysteries
  3. LeapFrog: Math Adventures to the Moon
  4. Turtle: The Incredible Journey
  5. The Magic School Bus 

Want a few more for even older kids? Check out this list from Common Sense Media (seriously my GO TO resource for what to watch and read with my kids).

Do you watch documentaries with your kids?

Flying Blind

I used to think parenting was the hardest when my kids were babies. The no sleep thing, the constant not knowing what on earth is going on with a little person that can’t communicate, the groundhog days of nursing / diapers/ “WHY WON’T THIS BABY STOP CRYING!!. Or maybe it is the toddler years with the tantrums, picky eating, and constant clinging.

I will admit to the mamas who haven’t gotten there yet that there is a small reprieve. A window of time when parenting is at its easiest in my humble opinion. They years between 7 and 10 seem to be a glorious time where things are smooth and lovely. Your kids still think you are awesome but can tie their own shoes, wipe their own bums and even make a sandwich.

I am not one of be all chicken little about the tween and teenage years. The sky is not falling, your kids will not hate you, the world will not end. But parenting is hard in a totally different way. Rather than the sheer physical exhaustion of babyhood, there is the emotional exhaustion of dealing with complex problems and feelings. You aren’t dealing with kids who can’t wipe their bums, but you are teaching about changing bodies and hormones and hygiene. And well, the tantrums are still frankly there…..

I spent my life before having kids working with children. Mostly 0-3 but sometimes up to about 8. But that is where my expertise stops. I am flying blind into these years and often times I feel like I am failing miserably.

But I remember that feeling really well. I remember thinking I was messing every thing up when they were babies and toddlers and preschoolers. And yet, here we are. Still standing. Still not in therapy……

I have no idea what I am doing. But I am doing my best. And I know I will mess up and they will mess up and we will fumble through this together. And by the grace of God we will all come out on the other side okay.