Bentgo Kids Lunch Boxes

So with First Born going to kindergarten next year, it means I’ll be responsible for packing his lunches. Every.Freaking.Day. The preschool he went to last year required a packed snack (it was only a 2 hour class 2 days a week) so that was simple enough. Then my parents moved closer to me and we had to switch him to a new preschool which provided snacks, so I’ve been fortunate. But next year the pain will begin.

Earlier this year I started planning on what containers First Born will be using when he finally goes to school full time next year. Yes.. I planned that far ahead lol. The original containers I used was deemed too hard and complicated for a 3 year old to use on their own so I switched over to a regular sandwich sized plastic tupperware container that came with the sandwich cutter I bought. That worked well for First Born to open but clearly he never closed them. I wanted to order the Planetbox stainless steel lunchboxes but man are they expensive. Then I looked at Lunchbots but I preferred the lids to be attached to the box itself so there would be less chance of them getting lost.
So now you’re thinking “what’s wrong with regular Glad or Ziploc containers?” One word: spillage. If I pack First Born something dry and something wet, there’s a chance that the dry item getting soggy and therefore First Born will not eat it. And plus it’s spillage.. who likes having their food spilling into each other? Am I right? Lol.

I looked at the Bentgo Kids lunchboxes a bit and went back and forth a bit between that and Planetbox. I liked the idea of stainless steel. Less chance of it cracking, breaking etc. Plus a lot of mom’s I know swear by them.. but the cost. Yikes. Getting 2 of them would set me back over $100 and that’s the price from a co-op group buy! My local group buy site was offering them again so I decided to order 2 and see how it goes.

 

New world of pain

 

I ordered them in 2 different colours just for variety. I chose the Bentgo over Yumbox because Bentgo looked more durable and the inner tray looked like it could withstand more abuse than the Yumbox one. An added bonus is that the inner tray is dishwasher and microwave safe!
The suggested age for these is 3-8 years but I’m sure by the time Second Born starts kindergarten in 3 years I will be using a bigger box for First Born’s lunches.

What kind of lunch boxes do you use and how do you like them?

Until next time!

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Mother’s Day 2017

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommy’s out there! I’ve been a mom for 4 years now but THIS year is actually the first year that I was actually celebrated by my husband. I know, that sounds bad doesn’t it? Let me explain:

Year 1 – This was my first Mother’s Day. I actually became a mom on May 11, 2013 and Mother’s Day was the next day on May 12th that year. May 11th also happens to be my mom’s birthday so my son and my mom now share the same birth date. Needless to say we all “celebrated” in the hospital.

Year 2 – My oldest turned 1 years old and my poor mum who was gifted the best bday AND mother’s Day present EVAR (and she can’t even argue about it lol ) finally got to celebrate her day again. I honestly don’t remember doing anything other than something for Riley and my mom and then my mother-in-law.

Year 3 – My oldest turned 2. Again same as the year before. Just like year 2, I don’t even remember getting flowers or a card… actually I think I did get a card from hubs. I THINK. My youngest was born a couple months later as well.

Year 4 – My oldest turned 3. We planned his first birthday party. I know.. bad parents. Giving him his first birthday party when the kid’s 3 years old lol. I’m not big on children’s bday parties. No offence. I mean, great on the mom’s that do plan something EVERY.SINGLE.YEAR since their kids were born but I’m not one of them. Hubs was also out of town for work for a week during this time and I was suffering from PPD. I had sent Riley over to stay with my mom and dad while hubs was gone so I can have a little break with also caring for a 10m old. I asked my mom to bring Riley home so I can see him on his bday. Once again, my poor mum got shafted this year lol. My sister and I did get her and Riley separate cakes to celebrate though.

This year, 2017 – I formally requested to hubs back in March that I want a handmade gift from him and the kids this year. This was going to be my year. I never really thought too much about it in previous years because it was all about my son and my mom and I honestly didn’t mind it too much but it’s also nice to be acknowledged at some point in my life. When I told hubs I wanted something handmade that’s all I was really expecting. I would have been just as happy with a couple of cards with crayon scribbles or a macaroni necklace. I’m big on handmade gifts from kids. This is what hubs came up with:

Bouquet

And let me tell you… I LOVE IT. Hubs is not a creative man lol. That’s why I had to give him 2 months notice to come up with an idea. Riley gave me a small hint about what the gift involved because last week when I came home from work one day, he told me that he made something for me with his hands and feet.. kids lol.
Hubs also surprised me with a gift himself:

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

For years I have been wanting to get a charm bracelet but finding the right one was difficult. I am not a fan of the bead charms ie. Pandora, Trolls etc. I like the more traditional, old school charm bracelets like we had when we were kids with the plastic charms. But finding an adult version that wouldn’t cost a mortgage was difficult.

The Tiffany’s ones are nice but I already have the heart tag charm bracelet and I didn’t want to get another similar bracelet to hang the charms on. The other option was the Wire Bracelet but that would mean the charms would slide around and hang all on one side. I may still get the wire bracelet and wear as a bangle.
Then I found the Sweetie Bracelet from Links of London. I was in love.

Sweetie bracelet

The bracelet is great looking just on it’s own as well. I was a little surprised at how heavy the bracelet is though. Definitely has more weight to it then my other Tiffany bracelets.
I didn’t actually think hubs was going to get this for me. I had sent him the link a week before mother’s day with the caption in the email: For Mother’s Day or because you love me. But I send him links to things I like all the time and I never see any of them… which was why I was greatly surprised when he pulled the bag out lol. I think it also helped that we had a massive argument last month that landed him in hot, shark infested waters for over a week. Hubs also took me us to brunch at the Boat House Restaurant and then we had to make a quick trip back to the store to exchange the bracelet because the sales person actually gave hubs the wrong size.

I can’t wait to buying charms to my new bracelet… the only problem is, where do I start?!

How was your Mother’s Day?

Until next time!

52 Week Money Challenge

Ever say to yourself “I’m going to start saving some money for a rainy day”? I have. Many times. Have I ever? A few times. Did it work? Yes… it did… until I stopped. And used the money.

Having a mortgage (and a Vancouver, BC mortgage at that!), 2 kids and an unending list of bills to pay, we’re usually left with very little to put aside. Especially now that we’re also putting aside money every month for 2 college funds.

I’ve had some “money saving” tips pinned for awhile and thought I’d finally give them a try. It’s not a lot of money we’re talking about, just a few dollars here and there but it’s supposed to add up to $1378 by the end of the year.

saving

It looks easy enough and the amounts are small enough that it won’t leave me crying every month. I’m actually going to try 2 different ways to save a little money; the top one for 52 weeks is for our “rainy day” fund and the one beneath it is for Christmas presents for the kids.
I normally try and start shopping around August for xmas gifts, just so it’s not a huge expense all in one month. The original dates for the second list is from June till the end of November, so for me I’m going to start saving in April till September. I’ll likely continue putting money away instead of stopping… so I’ll see how much I actually end up with lol.

For the planners peeps out there, you will notice that I have made it so I can insert the charts into my planner and I also laminated it because I know it’s something I will continually use.

What are you ways of saving money?

Till next time!

New year, New Planner

The last time I used a planner was when I was in high school waaaaaaaay back when. Since the days of smartphones (ie. my blackberry) I have been using the calendar on them to record and remind myself of important days and events and it has served me well. But sometimes it’s just easier to have everything written down and able to see all at once vs opening the scheduled event on the phone.

Meet my new planner, The Happy Planner, from Me and My Big Ideas (MAMBI for short in the planner world).

planner

The Happy Planner

I’ve been eyeballing this planner for months but never saw a reason or justification in getting one when I have my trusty smartphone. I also may or may not have scoffed at the thought of people still using these paper forms of organization. Boy was I wrong!
Did you guys know that there is a whole different universe of “planner people”?! I mean, it’s really insane! There’s even a whole aisle now at Michaels dedicated to planners and accessories for them.
This particular planner was given to me as a Christmas gift from my sister-in-law. You should have seen my eyeballs when I opened it lol. I knew about the planner but I didn’t KNOW about the planner… you know? Lol. Anyways, I looked around on Pinterest and instagram to see how people were using these things and WOW. It really opened up a whole new world for me. I am a scrapbooker. Well, I guess I was a scrapbooker. That’s how I started out in paper crafting. Then I moved onto cards. And then I had babies. And then everything just sat there.. collecting dust. Until now.

This new planner phenomenon (it probably isn’t but I’m going to say it is because I’ve only noticed it now lol)combines everything into one. You can personalize your planner based on your personality and what you want to use it for. For me, and a lot of other people, a love of paper crafting and staying organized. And with hubs travelling for work more and the two terrors getting older and attending preschool and other activities, I need it more than ever!

This is what the next 2 weeks of my planner look like:

page-1

page-2

Don’t mind the crappy pictures and lighting. This is what happens when you try to quickly snap some picks of something before little hands tear it away from you and rip it to shreds.

I’m still new to this whole planning thing and trying to figure out my planning “style”.
Are you guys planners as well? If so, what planner are you using and let’s check out those layouts!

Till next time!

New Members of the Family!

Over the Christmas holiday, we welcomed 2 new pets into the family. Meet Santa and Orange!

fish

Orange is the red cap and Santa is the black fish. We asked my 3yr old what he wanted to name them and that’s what he came up with. Well alright then.

This all started when I asked hubs what we should get terror #1 for Christmas and he said pet fish. I don’t know WHY I agreed to it knowing that I would be the one caring for these things… but alas, a mother’s love for her child knows no bounds. Or does it?
We ended up going back to the store a few days later to pick up some rocks for the fish bowl and also got a third fish… which I’m still not certain the name of lol. I THINK it’s called Ewok… but don’t quote me on that. I didn’t snap a pick of it but it’s a “calico”; a white fish with orange and black spots all over.
Terror #1 got some toys as well, as well children should. We also started the age-old tradition of lying to our kids about the existence of Santa Clause and his magical reindeer. Complete with a plate of cookies and a glass of milk for Santa and carrots for his reindeer. Over my dead body will there be an Elf On The Shelf as well. Really, you do not want to get me started on this whole messy Santa business.

Stay tuned for a review on some of the toys that the boys received.

Until next time!

2017 New Year Resolution

Wow… looking back, my last post was June 23, 2016. That’s it. My new year’s resolution for 2017 is to keep up with my blog posts. I know, I know… you’re thinking, “yeah I’ve heard that before” but this time I will! Or at least try to for the next 6 months lol. What can I say? Life happens.

After going back to work full time last summer, I made it a goal to lose my baby weight. Most of my baby mommy friends out there know what I mean and you also know how hard it is after. Especially after the first and/or second etc. Plus age, it gets even harder. However I am happy to announce that I have reached my first goal weight back in November 2016.
Hubby took me to Maui for my birthday in November and I made it a goal to get to my first goal weight of 135lbs. My next goal weight was to reach 130lbs by mid-January 2017… that unfortunately is not going to happen.
I live in Vancouver and this year Mother Nature decided to teach us a lesson in what a REAL winter is like. We’re still dealing with all the snow lol. As such, I have missed a lot of gym sessions because I have to go in the mornings before work. And somehow waking up at 3:30am to dig my car out and warm it up to go to the gym isn’t very appealing.

What are all yours’ new years resolutions? Have you kept previous ones? I make it a habit of NOT making any because I know I will never keep them.

Interesting Packaging

So I recently bought myself a new iPod shuffle for the gym. The ones I have currently are all too old and no longer compatible with the new Apple earpods which make it hard to skip a song. I was only able to use the volume control and pause the music. I was previously using the third generation iPod shuffle.

3rd Generation iPod Shuffle

3rd Generation iPod Shuffle

After an aggravating year I finally bit the bullet and bought a new one. I ordered it from Best Buy and the one I bought happened to be on sale for $24.95. And of course the universe was conspiring against me and I was $0.05 short of getting free shipping. I ended up paying $3 for shipping but at least I didn’t have to spend $59.99 regular price. The sale was also only available on the site.
This is how it arrived:

At least I got my money's worth in shipping cost!

There was packaging in there but I removed it to take the picture lol. When hubs handed me the box my first though was “I didn’t order anything recently”… and then I looked at the shipping label lol. I guess this was to ensure that the package didn’t get lost or go missing enroute.

Till next time!

What A Year Makes

It’s been a year. Actually, it’s been a bit over a year lol. How much has happened during that time you ask? Well let me tell you. I had my baby. I guess that’s pretty obvious… unless I’m an elephant. Which I’m not but certainly feel like these days.

The little turdlet (yes I address my second child as a turd) is 10.5m old now. B has actually turned into a good baby. Him and his big brother have differences as all sibling do. B was born at 36 weeks. The goal was to make it past 34 weeks; which was when my oldest was born. Anything after 34 weeks was a bonus. His birth story was a bit traumatic so I won’t haunt your dreams with it. As with my first, B was born by forceps at 6lbs 2oz and had a 2 day stay in NICU. The transition for Riley was probably better than I thought it would be. There was no jealousy issues and he didn’t want to hurt the baby… at least not intentionally.

B_born

I wasn’t sure what I was thinking at the time but when I was in my third trimester and was ordered by my doctor to stop working, I thought it would be a good idea to try and potty train my then 2 year old. BIG MISTAKE. It didn’t work and both Riley and I were frustrated and upset with the whole experience. I pretty much made up my mind that Riley would just start kindergarten still wearing diapers lol.

B_3m

B @ 3m old

My sister and her husband also moved in with us temporarily at the end of June last year. They were living with my BIL’s family in a basement suite and his sister and BIL decided to sell the house and move into the ‘burbs. Which then prompted my sister and her husband to buy their own place.
They bought into a new townhouse development about 8mins away from my place but it wasn’t going to be ready until the middle of October, so they shacked up with us because my sister was also pregnant at the time and she didn’t want to move an hour away from work and 30mins away from the hospital where she would be delivering.
Let me tell you that having 4 adults (2 of which were pregnant), 3 dogs (they had to bring their dog with them) and a toddler living in a 2200sqft house was pretty tight. Oh and did I mention that this was the beginning of one of the hottest summers on record? Yeah… good times. Fortunately my husband and I were starting to work on our house a bit last year and he had promised me that he would have a heat pump installed so I wouldn’t melt into puddle of sweat while I was pregnant. Their townhouse ended up being completed a couple weeks ahead of schedule so they were able to move in at the beginning of October. And not a minute too soon! B was growing a lot fast than I had anticipated and he needed to be moved out of the bassinet and into his crib.

We also took a trip to Mexico at the end of January this year. Unfortunately we couldn’t bring Riley with us as it was Ryan’s work trip and we didn’t really feel like shelling out $2000 out of our own pocket for Riley lol. I know… bad parents. B was free to fly and was also free for the hotel stay, plus he was still nursing at the time and there is no way in hell that Ryan was going to go to Mexico for a week without me!

B_mexico

First flight and first time out of the country!

B actually did really well on the flight and during the whole trip as well. We didn’t follow much of a routine while we were there. He basically ate and napped whenever he was hungry and tired. It also helped that the time zone was 3 hours ahead so Ryan and I were able to stay out a bit later than normal while at the same time we were able to keep B’s internal clock the same for bedtime.

Riley also turned 3 in May. He ended up potty training himself when he was about 2.5 years old. One day I just asked him if he wanted to sit on the potty and he did… and the rest is history lol. The transition for him to go on a potty to going on the toilet was actually petty easy. All it took was getting the same toilet ring that my mom has. For whatever reason Riley would only go on the potty at home but at my parent’s place he refused and would only go on the toilet. I tried getting him to sit on the toilet at home but he refused so I went out and bought the same toilet ring my mom has and he had no problems after that. Weird I know! And now he can even go on the toilet with out a ring when we’re out.

bros

Riley @ 3yrs old, B @ 9.5m old

Until next time!

(and I promise a little less baby talk!)

Free Samples?!

Yes please! I mean really who doesn’t love getting things for free!

Last year I discovered this little gem of a website Sample Source from some mom’s in Riley’s birth group. You have to sign up in order to receive the sample packs and the packs come out and are offered about 2-3 times a year. You have to be quick on it though because it’s only available for limited times.
Mine arrived this week.

Free Samples from Sample Source

Free Samples from Sample Source

It was like Christmas all over again lol.
When you get notified of a sample roll out, they ask you a questionnaire each time to determine which samples suit you best and what to send you to test out. Some items require you to log back into the site and fill out a review of the product.
This is actually my second sample pack. The first one, I can’t really remember what I got now but it also included a free limited subscription to a magazine. I chose some hockey magazine for the hubs.

This is what I got in my new sample pack:

My goodies!

My goodies!

The Brookside Chocolates were really good. The first sample pack I got for Brookside was of the chocolate covered blueberries. This time I got the chocolate covered berry crunch which was just as good!

Go sign up and try some samples for yourself!

Gung Hei Fat Choy!

IMG_1132

Riley wishes everyone a Happy Chinese New Year! I know… he’s not wearing anything red or much of anything at all for that matter lol. Quite honestly he doesn’t have ANY red clothing. My mom bought him a traditional Chinese outfit but of course she also bought the wrong size. Riley won’t be wearing that until possibly next year. Oh well, c’est la vie.

May we all have a prosperous year!