Apples!!!!

We love love apples in our family. My youngest son eats at least three apples a day. Last year he was still in preschool and I had to pack lunch and snack for him. Everyday he would ask for the same snack which was apples of course. But when he came home the apples where untouched. He then told me that he does not like it when the cut apples turn brown. I tried squeezing lemon juice, since the citric acid keeps the apple from turning brown but then the taste changed and still he did not eat it. Finally I started putting the apple as it is in his lunch box. The only thing was that it barely fit with all the other boxes in there so sometimes I could not close his lunchbox all the way through.
This year he is in kindergarten and at his school they have squirrel problems so his lunchbox has to close all the way or the little hungry squirrels will eat his lunch. While researching I found out (again on the website momables) that if you use the product Eat Cleaner to keep the apples from browning. Eat Cleaner is an all-natural, tasteless and odorless produce and food cleaner.  Because it has citric acid in it, it also keeps produce and fruit from browning! This is a 2 in 1 product: you can clean your produce from nasty pesticides, waxes and dirt (even organic!) and use it to keep the food fresh.
So I just ordered a bottle and will see how turns out!  anything to keep apples in the lunchbox:)

Josiane

Back to School!!!

Summer flew by so fast this year! I can’t believe I did not even post one single thing since June. I am so sorry I know I have promised to post activity ideas and take you along our summer journey, but I guess spending more time with my kids was more of a priority. I just needed more time with the kids and less time on the computer.
But here we are again rushing for last minute forgotten school supplies, uniforms/clothes, shoes…. oh and worst of all for me is the lunch planning. I like to try and plan every weekend the lunches, this way I am not panicking in the morning about what to pack. I make a list on Saturday or Sunday with the help of the kids and we shop for them.
I have picky eaters and it is a challenge to pack different lunch/snack everyday when your kids don’t eat everything. So here I am again frantically searching on blogs, pinterest pins etc. anything I can find to get any new ideas. Finally I called my family to a “meeting”. We have these whenever we need to discuss important issues. My aim was to create a large list of food they like and we can go back to it on weekend and pick 7 items from the menu list . After an hour of brainstorming and going back and forth, all we could come up with was a list of five lunch ideas, yes only 5!!! but it is something to start with right?!
I am still hoping I can get hem to add some more to the list, meanwhile I will try to get by the first week of school which is only 3 days, so our 5 menu list should be enough for now:)
At the end of the post I am pasting some tips from two different blogs, the first one has 30 lunch ideas and the second has tips for packing lunches, hoping it will help moms like me who struggle with lunches everyday.
Good luck and Keep Learning !!!!

 

My Kids’ List:

1- Homemade Pizza

2- Ham and cheese sandwich

3- Turkey and cheese roll-up tortilla

4- Lahm Baajen ( Lebanese recipe can post if anyone is interested, mainly ground meat with onions on a dough)

5- Banana Zuchini Bread ( not sure I consider this as lunch but will add it for now, makes my list a bit longer:)

With lunch I always send fruits and vegetables.
Fruits: grapes , strawberries, cut oranges , apples.
Veggies: snap peas , carrots , broccoli slaw, cucumbers.

Helpful Links

First link : This is a mom of 7 and has some helpful tips and ideas for packing school lunches. Check her out
http://www.staceysmotheringmoments.com/2013/01/packing-school-lunches/
Second link is to 30 different school lunch ideas:
http://www.peanutblossom.com/blog/2013/08/lunchbox-recipes.html/

 

Create Memories!!!!
Josiane Sawaya

Father’s day

I think I was kidding myself thinking I will be able to post everyday once the kids are off school. We did do a couple of projects but for now I will post the one we did for father’s day. I wish I posted it earlier but to be honest I did not have time. So here is what we did, I saw two ideas on Pinterest and kind of combined them together.

*The First idea is to take a picture of the kids holding a Frame or a paper ( you can get as creative as you want to be) with a “U” is —— ” written on it and you fill in the blank with what you want to write. And no “is” is not a spelling mistake because it stands for Dad.

*The second idea is to take footprints of your kids on a paper and then trace it on a shrinky dink, color it ,shrink it and attach it to a cardstock with the poem glued on it( I will paste the poem at the bottom) with a keychain.(We did not do the keychain but I took a picture of how it will look like ).

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*So What I did is I bought a frame that had 6 individual pop up frames in it. I have four kids. I added the pictures of my four kids holding the “U is—-” picture, in one frame I added the shrinky dinks footprints and in the last frame I added
the poem.

-Keep Creating Memories – Josiane

photo (3)

Poem
“My Footprint is small but getting bigger everyday,
I am learning how to be big by watching you work, love and play.
Remember when your days are long and you can’t walk another mile,
That this little footprint makes it all worthwhile.”

Flip Flop Fun!!!

Summer vacation officially started today for our family!!! I am so excited and looking forward to do some more projects with the kids. During the school year I have to sneak in the projects between homework and activities. At least now we do not have to stress about it.
So last week I went to Michaels to kind of stock up on few material for the projects and they had their flip flops on sale for $0.99. ( They might still have them now). I remember seeing a DIY flip flop on Pinterest using only flip flop and ribbon or fabric. So I grabbed one flip flop of each color along with some ribbon.
All you have to do is cut the ribbon or cut strips of fabric and tie it with a double knot along the flip flop straps. You can also add a flower in the middle.
It is a very easy and quick project.
Keep creating – Josiane

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End-of-year teacher plant/gift

As this school year so quickly comes to an end, I found myself looking for quick and easy gift ideas for the teachers. I love to plant and I also love personalized gifts. Teachers so often go unnoticed for all the very hard work they do. They leave an impression with our children that will be remembered for a lifetime. I came across an idea for a small plant to give to the teachers, it wasn’t so much the plant that I liked as much as it was what it said on the attachment.

I bought small vases from Dollar Tree (they have all shapes and different sizes). I also bought a couple bags of glass pebbles (you can also buy the decorative rocks). I have an abundance of nice succulents, so I didn’t need to buy any plants. If you don’t have plants, you can buy the 1-2 inch pots at your local nursery. You also need potting soil. I first filled the bottom, about 1/4 of the way up with pebbles, then I added potting soil. I poked the plants in and then pressed them down into the soil so they were all snug in the dirt. I watered it a little, but only enough to get it started. Since there is no drainage, the soil of this plant will need to completely dry before watering it again.

After I planted the plant, I found a ribbon I liked. I hot glued it around the pot. I had some unfinished wood plaques I bought from a craft store that I painted to match. Once the paint dried, I wrote this on the plaque “It is not so much what is poured into a student, but what is planted by the teacher that really counts.” I love that! Of course you can write anything on this, but that really sold me. I can’t wait for my kids to hand these to their teachers, as special as they are!

RAZAN

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Cherry picking… a Memorial weekend tradition

We never had a Memorial weekend tradition but it just happened that the past two years, we went Cherry picking during Memorial weekend. So this year my husband suggested we try and make it a tradition each year. The only thing that we were worried about was the horrible traffic we hit going there, and even the traffic at the cherry picking place.
So we decided to go on Friday instead. It worked great since my kids were off on that Friday. We also decided to try a new place, Nunn Better Farms in Brentwood, CA. We heard great reviews and I am so happy we went there, most of the trees had low branches. It was very easy for my kids to pick up the cherries. They went crazy picking, they picked 12 lbs!!!

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Now that we picked the cherries and spend only 20 minutes at the farm, we were not ready to go back home. It took us around an hour to get there. So we decided to go to a park we discovered 2 years ago, The Veteran Park. We spent around 2 hours there. There was a new play area for the kids that was not there the last time we visited. They loved the new play structure!

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My son had a rocket that flies when you add Baking soda and vinegar to it, and he wanted to try it for the first time. I thought it would be a very easy activity, but after 5 trials we gave up. I thought he would be disappointed but he enjoyed the trial so much and we laughed so hard that by the end of it we were just satisfied by the time we spend.
I could say we had a great time and looking forward for next year!

If you live in or near the Bay Area, Nunn Better Farm is a great place to go to for Cherry picking. If you don’t like cherries, there is a lot of other fruits you can pick. Just make sure you have cash because they do not accept anything else.

 

 

 

 

 

My Daughter’s hair donation

My daughter has been wanting to cut her hair for a while now, but whenever we got close to the day she backed off and changed her mind. It was a hard decision for her. But when she saw a friend of hers donate her hair to “Locks of Love”, she told me ” Mom I think this is what I want to do, I want to donate my hair and I am sure”. At the start my heart sunk, to tell you the truth, I love her long hair but I was touched by her decision and selflessness. So I went online and researched Locks of Love, I found out they needed a minimum of 10 inches of hair. So I measured her hair and it was barely enough. I knew the charity was very strict regarding the length. I told my daughter ” your hair might not be enough unless we go short all the way”. Her eyes went teary, she said I really want to donate my hair but I am scared to have it short like a boy. She paused a moment and said, “that is ok mom it will grow fast”, but could feel a bit of sadness in her voice. I went back online and researched more to see if there was any company that would take 8 inches, which is how much my daughter could cut without it being extremely short. I finally found on Oprah’s website a link to “Pantene Beautiful Lengths”, they donate the hair to people affected by hair loss from cancer.
I called my friend Suzi, a hair expert, and asked her to help us with the haircut. Today we met and my daughter was super excited but could feel she was a bit nervous. After the haircut, she was so happy and I think she loves her new haircut. So proud of my daughter and her selfless decision. Love her new look:)

Make a difference – Josiane

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