Charlie’s Lunchbox

My (almost) two year-old is in a preschool program and that meant I needed to start packing him a lunch. I have been sharing a few photos of Charlie’s lunches on Instagram and have been getting asked for my ideas. To get inspiration for these lunches, I took to Pinterest.  From there, I created a list of foods based on category to make sure Charlie gets a variety of food groups in each lunch.

Here is a list I started:

Sandwich Ideas:

  • Turkey/Ham & Cheese Sandwich
  • Turkey/Ham & Cheese Pinwheels
  • PB & J Sandwich
  • PB & J Roll-Ups
  • Mini Bagels with Cream Cheese
  • Pigs in a Blanket

To make sandwiches toddler sized and/or more fun to eat, I’ve used mini cookie cutters.  Not only are the sandwiches in fun shapes but they are smaller to fit in little toddler hands!


  • Deli Meat
  • Leftover Chicken (from dinner the night before)
  • Cooked Hot Dog
  • Chicken Nuggets
  • Turkey Burger
  • Hard Boiled Egg
  • Beans
  • Cubed Cheese
  • String Cheese


  • Crackers/Goldfish
  • Cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Pasta
  • Macaroni & Cheese


  • Apples
  • Grapes
  • Berries
  • Melon
  • Applesauce
  • Raisins
  • Craisins


  • Frozen Peas (thawed)
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Peppers
  • Cucumber
  • Celery
  • Steamed Broccoli


  • Teddy Grahams
  • Graham Crackers
  • Cookies

The containers I use for Charlie’s lunch all came together and I absolutely love it. It is the Rubbermaid Lunch Blox Kids (kids lunch kit). The kit includes:

  • One sandwich and snack container (w/ dividers)
  • One side container
  • One snack container
  • One Blue Ice (ice pack that the containers snap onto)

Additional items I use for Charlie’s lunches are mini silicon baking cups and as I mentioned above, cookie cutters/mini cookie cutters.

All it takes is some planning and you too, can make cute lunches for your little ones!






Highlands Ranch 2nd Annual Beer Festival

image (15)Highlands Ranch is one of the best places to live, hands down.  There are so many activities and events that our community offers.  Last year, Highlands Ranch offered it’s first ever Beer Festival which we attended and had it on our radar to attend this year’s festival.  Beer Fest is outdoors at Civic Green Park, which is within walking distance to our house.  Tickets are $25 each and this included entry to the festival and a sampling cup.  You get to keep the cup and then go around to various beer tents and get unlimited samples.  This year they also offered VIP tickets for $40.  This got you early entry (1 hour) to the event and a t-shirt.  We did not do the VIP this year.  Aside from the beer, they have live music, lawn games (like Corn Hold and Ladder Golf), and food trucks.  The event went from 2:00-6:00.  And a helpful hint:  make your own pretzel necklace to wear and munch on during the event!

Here is a list of the breweries that were at the event and their offerings (Beers in Red are ones I sampled that day):

  1. 3Freaks Brewery: Old Man Stout & Lucky Clovers Irish Red
  2. 38 State Brewing Co: Golden Lemon Honey Wheat, Dunkelweizzen & Chocolate Bourbon Stout
  3. ABI – Lime-A-Rita: Lime-A-Rita, Mango-Rita, Raz-A-Rita & Straw-ber-Rita
  4. AC Golden Brewing Co: Colorado Native Amber Lager
  5. Alaskan Brewing Co: Hopothermia & Summer
  6. Aspen Brewing Co: Independent Pass Ale & This Seasons Blonde
  7. Big Choice Brewing: Disconnected Red, #42 Poblano Stout & Hemlock Double IPA
  8. Black Sky Brewery:  Black Current Belgian Strong Ale & Demonseed IPA
  9. Boston Beer Co: Boston Lager, Summer Ale, Angry Orchard & Twisted Tea
  10. Boulder Beer Co: Hoopla & Hazed and Confused
  11. Breckenridge Brewery: Summerbright Golden Ale, Avalanche Amber, Lucky U IPA & Agave Wheat
  12. Bristol Brewing Co: Yellowkite Summer Pilsner & Red Rocket
  13. CB Potts: Pilsner & Saisonnier
  14. Colorado Cider Co: Pearsnickety & Grasshop-Ah
  15. Copper Kettle Brewing Co: Mexican Chocolate Stout
  16. Crabtree Brewing Co: Rebel Rye IPA & Oatmeal Stout
  17. Crazy Mountain Brewing Co: 
  18. Denver Beer Co: Graham Cracker Porter & Incredible Pedal IPA
  19. Deschutes Brewery: Pinedrops IPA & Chainbreaker
  20. Dry Dock Brewing Co: Apricot Blonde, Amber, Hefeweizen & Hop Abomination
  21. Elk Mountain Brewing Co: 
  22. Firestone Walker Brewing Co: 
  23. Fort Collins Brewery: Major Tom’s American Wheat, Red Banshee, Chocolate Stout & Rocky Mountain IPA
  24. Grand Lake Brewing Co: White Cap Wheat, Wooley Booger, Vienna Style Lager & Summit Coorado Pale Ale
  25. Green Flash Brewing Co: West Coast IPA & Road Warrior
  26. Grist Brewing Co: Staple English IPA, 3rd Ring Belgian Strong Ale & Imperial Berliner Weisse
  27. Hall Brewing Co: Red, IPA & Peach
  28. Jagged Mountain Craft Brewery: Spearhead Saison, Imlay IPA & Imperial White IPA
  29. Kannah Creek Brewing Co: Island Mesa Blonde & Broken Oar IPA
  30. Kokopelli Beer Co: Cow Tipper Milk Stout, Hopslugger IPA & Pale Face Ale
  31. Lagunitas: IPA, Daytime, Little Sumpin & Seasonal
  32. Left Hand Brewing Co: Polestar Pilsner & Sawtooth ESP
  33. Living The Dream Brewing Co: Belgian Wit & CCPB Cream Stout
  34. Lone Tree Brewing Co: Peach Pale Ale & Helles
  35. Magic Hat Brewing Co: Magic Hat #9
  36. Mike’s Hard Lemonade: Apple Ale & Black Cherry
  37. New Belgium Brewing: Snapshot Wheat, Rampant Imperial IPA, Summer Helles & Lips of Faith
  38. Odell Brewing Co: Loose Leaf Session Ale & St. Lupuin Extra Pale Ale
  39. Odyssey Beerworks: Heliocentric Hefeweizen & Ghost Drifter Pale Ale
  40. Oskar Blues Brewery: Dale’s Pale Ale, Mama’s Little Yella Pils & Old Chub Scotch Ale
  41. Pug Ryans:
  42. Renegade Brewing Co: Redacted Rye IPA, Elevation Triple IPA & 5:00 Afternoon Ale
  43. River North Brewery: White Ale & Barrel Reserve
  44. Rockyard Brewing Co: Hopyard IPA, Redhawk Ale, Double Eagle Ale & Lightning Strike Stout
  45. Ska Brewing:
  46. Squatters: Hop Rising Double IPA & Bumper Crop
  47. Stone Brewing Co: Stone to Go IPA & Arrogant Bastard Ale
  48. Trivoli Brewing Co: Trivoli Helles Lager & Sigis Wildhorse Buck Beer
  49. Trinity Brewing Company: Chi Belgian Pilsner & 3 Flowers Saison Vieille
  50. Upslope Brewing Co: Pale Ale, IPA, Craft Lager & Foreign Stout
  51. Wasatch: Ghost Rider White IPA & White Label Belgian Style Wit
  52. Wicked Hard: Papa’s Peach, Bad Ass Berry & Orange Rush
  53. Wynkoop Brewing Co: Patty’s Chile Beer, Mile High Pale Ale, Railyard Ale, Oyster Stout

The weather cooperated although, there were times where it looked like we might get rained on.  The beer was cold and the company was great! Another fun event in the books.  We’ll be attending Beer Fest in the years to come! Thanks for offering such fun things to do in our community Highlands Ranch!



California Vacation – May 2014

Mike had a conference in Anaheim for a week so Charlie and I decided to tag along.  We were staying so close to Disneyland, it seemed almost silly for us not to go. Charlie has become quite the little traveler! Here are a few highlights from our trip:

Crystal Cove National Park (Laguna Beach, CA)

The lady sitting next to us on the plane told us that Crystal Cove was a must see during our trip.  We had a rental car so we were fortunate to be able to make the drive to the coast! Crystal Cove is a national park so there was a $15 parking fee (no fee to enter if you walk in).  There are a few different places to park.  By the parking spots, there are bathrooms, washing stations and picnic areas.  To get to the beach, you walk down a pretty steep paved path.  Once you’ve reached the beach you can walk around and see a lot of tide pools.  I don’t think this is a swimming beach. And I wouldn’t want to swim in that particular spot (lots of seaweed).  We  did put our feet in the ocean but Charlie didn’t really like that.  He did enjoy watching the waves roll in!  After our visit through the park, we drove through Laguna Beach.  I’ve always wanted to see it because yes, I was obsessed with the show on MTV and of course, The Hills!  I had to see where LC is from!  All in all, it was a fun day excursion.


Disneyland (Anaheim, CA)

Our last day in California was spent at Disneyland.  We did our research on Disneyland’s website to see which park would be more fun for Charlie, Disneyland or Disney California Adventure Park.  Although both had quite a few attractions that Charlie could go on, Disneyland had more so we chose to go there.  The day we went, the park was open for 24 hours so it also made for some interesting people watching.  I didn’t know you were supposed to dress up as your favorite character!  There were some really great costumes and some really not so great ones…

064Our day started by seeing Minnie Mouse on Main Street.  Her line for photos wasn’t very long so we jumped in right away.  It was only about a 10 minute wait before Charlie got to meet her! We weren’t sure how he’d react to seeing the characters but as soon as it was our turn, he walked right up to her all by himself!  He loved it!

The rides we hit up in the morning were:

  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
  • King Arthur Carousel
  • Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups

Park Re-entry

Charlie was ready for his afternoon nap so we left the park and went back to the hotel.  Did you know you can leave the park and re-enter with a single day park ticket?  Make sure that when you leave the park to get your hand stamped.  You will need your original ticket and show your hand stamp to re-enter the park. The exits were marked “Hand Stamp” so look for those when you exit the park.

Afternoon rides were:

  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Stroller Pass

Charlie of course, did not ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I did some research before the trip and discovered something called a Stroller Pass. This allows parents with small kids to still be able to go on the fun rides!

How Stroller Pass works:

I got in line for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad while Mike waited with Charlie.  When I got through the line and was about to get on the ride, I asked the employee working the ride for a stroller pass.  He gave me a “Rider Switch” ticket to give to Mike when I got off.  Mike then got to go straight through the “Fast Pass” line and only had to wait about 5 minutes (as opposed to my 50 minute wait).  What’s nice about this is only one parent needs to wait in line and the second parent can then get on the ride with a minimal wait time.  I highly recommend utilizing this feature!

If we could do it over again, Mike and I decided that one of us should have taken Charlie on the smaller rides while the other went on the “big kid” rides and then switch.  We had a lot of fun but both felt like we didn’t get to go on a lot of attractions.

It only took me 30 years to get to California and we had a really nice family vacation.  I hope you you found my Disneyland tips helpful!



Easter Egg Coloring!

Today I took a stab at coloring Easter eggs with Charlie.  It was a beautiful day so we took our decorating party outside.

I lined a rimmed baking sheet with a paper towel. This made it easy to carry everything outside and also helped minimize the mess. But let’s be honest….I ended up doing most of the decorating!

Boiling the eggs

I start by placing my eggs in a pot and cover the eggs with cold water.  I bring them to a boil and let them boil for 10 minutes or so.  I then drain the hot water, place the eggs in a bowl and into the fridge they go!  Once the eggs are cooled, let the decorating begin!

We used a Paas Deluxe Decorating Kit.  I didn’t need a deluxe kit but that was all I saw when I was at the store.

Indside the kit

  • Color-dye tablets
  • Two egg dippers
  • Stickers
  • Glitter
  • Magic Crayon
  • Eggarounds
  • Egg stands
  • Drying tray (back of box)

What we used out of the kit

  • Color-dye tablets (green, blue and orange)
  • Magic Crayon (on one egg, just to try it)
  • Drying tray

We kept our decorating pretty simple since Charlie is only one and a half!

Decorating the eggs

According to the Paas package directions:

  • Put one tablet into a cup/bowl
  • Add 1 Tbsp of vinegar
  • Add 1/2 cup of room temperature water
  • Bend egg dipper and dip egg into dye (I always just use a spoon…)
  • More time in the dye = a darker color
  • Remove and place in drying tray

Instructions on how to use all the fancy-shmancy decorative tools are also explained on the back of the Paas Decorating Kit Box or you can visit their website here.

How did we do?



It’s a Blog!

Well hello, hello!  Welcome to my blog!  My name is Katie.  I’m a wife to Mike and stay-at-home mom to our son, Charlie.  We live in Colorado with our dog, Rupert.

I aspire to be a modern-day June Cleaver.  I cook, clean, craft – decked out in pearls and all!  This will be my platform to share various aspects of my life – recipes, crafts, fashion, health & beauty, as well as updates on the family!  Here we go…..