Thursday, September 22, 2011

What Other Blogs Do:

Halloween Themed Lunch for Kids This is from Mommy Digger. what creativity! You could do this for a get together or a Halloween party!

The key to a cool lunch is to take your child’s favorite foods and present them in a new fun way. It’s also a great way to introduce new foods and more fruits and veggies as well. So I started with “creepy finger” carrots. These are so easy! Just take some baby carrots or cut regular ones to your desired size. Then cut a few “fingernails” from a red pepper. I used ranch dressing to “glue” the nails but tzatziki dip works great as “glue” as well. Told you it was easy!
Below the carrots I have some colby jack cheese that I cut into fun Halloween shapes. I used bats, cats, pumpkins and ghosts. I used mini cookie cutters to cut mine. You can use whatever size and shape cutters you happen to have on hand.
I call the middle the dessert row. On top is a ghost Peep. I am not a fan of Peeps but he was just too cute to pass up and I knew my daughter loves them. If you don’t like ghosts they also have adorable jack o lanterns. Below those are bone-shaped graham crackers and below that is a small ghost shaped rice crispy treat. You could add Halloween sprinkles to your rice krispy treats to make them even more festive!
Next, we have a Jack O Lantern sandwich. This my favorite part of the lunch. A few months ago I saw the orange colored wraps at the store and I filed it away in my crazy brain. When I was thinking of ideas for Halloween lunches those orange colored wraps jumped back into my head and I knew they were perfect for a pumpkin sandwich. I used a cookie cutter to cut the shape of this one as well. To make the face I used Americolor Food Writers. There are other companies with food writer markers but I found that these work best for my purposes. You should be able to find them at your local cake supply store or even online at Amazon. I added a bat cheese flying over him to make it a little more spooky. If you don’t have food writers you could cut a fruit roll or cheese into face shapes and place them on your sandwich as well.
Last week while at my local dollar store I found a box of 100 Halloween picks. It had ghosts, pumpkins,bats and the spiders you see here. I cut my cantaloupe into pumpkin shapes as well, but chunks would be just as cute and alot easier,lol! Dollar stores are a great source of items to use in your lunches. From picks to cookie cutters to even sandwich cutters, I find lots of stuff at the dollar stores. And you can’t beat the price!
Last and certainly not least are my favorite treat: Chocolate covered strawberries. Whoever the first person was to dip a strawberry into chocolate was a genius! For these ghosts I simply got some white chocolate ( I like Merckens, but use whatever you like best), melted it and dipped in some strawberries. Then I used my food writer to make a face. In the past I have also used melted dark or milk chocolate to make the faces. Just melt some in a plastic baggie and cut the tip off the corner and “draw” on a face.
And that my new friends is how easy and fun it is to make a cool Halloween lunch. The best part about it is that there are no rules! You can use this lunch as a guide, using things you already have around your house. You will be surprised how much more your child eats too! I hope you have enjoyed my guest post and I hope I have inspired you to try something new in your child’s lunch box. Thank you and don’t forget to follow my blog for more great ideas!
Happy Halloween!!
Jennifer, One Cool Lunch

Frugal Tip: Do it yourself dishwasher detergent

I love couponing. So much, that I hate paying full price for items that we use all the time. One of those items being dishwasher detergent.
However, I have not been able to find awesome deals on dishwasher detergent and I didn’t want to pay full price. So, I decided that I would just hand wash the dishes. This was OK for a few days. But I’m a 
 busy person. I love having a dishwasher because I hate doing the dishes.
My next step was to do what I do for all my issues, I hit up the internet for do it yourself ideas for frugal dishwasher detergent. I found ideas that said just use dish soap. Or just use clothes detergent. For some reason, using the same soap to wash my dishes that I was my clothes with did not make sense.
What I did find was that someone suggested using some baking soda and a tiny bit of dish soap. I didn’t think that sounded too bad so I went with it.
Here is what I did:
  1. Fill the detergent compartment about 3/4 full of baking soda.
  2. Use just a drizzle of dish soap. Don’t use a ton though.
  3. Run the dishwasher like normal.
I couldn’t believe it when my dishes came out clean. I wasn’t completely sold though. I had rinsed them pretty well before I loaded so the clean dishes could have been a combo of both. I decided to try again and not rinse the dishes. For kicks, I put a bowl that had crusty spaghetti-Os in it.
Well! Imagine my happiness when all the dishes came out clean again.
Yes, the little things in life really do make me happy and so do clean dishes. 
Thanks New to Mommy for this tip!

ECover Laundry Detergent Review and Giveaway

Boys, Toys, Chaos, & Joys

is hosting a review and giveaway for Ecover detergent, I entered and if you want to read about her experience and try to win this for yourself head over to her blog. Be sure to follow her also!