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!






Red White & Blue Sangria

We had a small get together to celebrate ‘Merica’s birthday. Most people usually just drink beer but I decided to make a festive beverage for my friend Melissa and me. I searched Pinterest for white sangria recipes but ended up making my own. Here is what I concocted:


  • One bottle White Wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
  • 3/4 cup Apple Brandy
  • 1 cup Club Soda
  • 2 Tbsp. Sugar
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Blueberries
  • Apple slices, pressed into star shapes

I started by rinsing all of my fruit. I added the blueberries and sliced strawberries to the pitcher. Next, I made apple slices. Using a small star cookie cutter, I cut out 1-2 stars per slice (depending on size). Place in pitcher. If you don’t have a tiny star cookie cutter, you can just chunk up the apple pieces and it will be just as good!

Next add the wine, brandy and sugar. Keep in fridge until ready to serve. Before serving, add the club soda. I wait until the last minute to add the club soda so the bubbles don’t go flat.

Serve and enjoy! We certainly did!

Hope you all had a great Fourth of July!





Black Bean & Corn Salsa Recipe

This is a crowd-pleaser.  It’s one of my go-to dishes whenever I attend a party/get-together and need to bring a dish to pass.  In fact, I’m bringing it to our friend’s “Tres de Mayo” party later today.  Once you make it, I’m sure this recipe will work itself into your rotation too!

Ingredients:  unnamed - Copy

  • Two 15 oz. cans, Black Beans, rinsed & drained
  • One 12 oz. package Frozen Corn, thawed
  • 4 Vine Tomatoes, seeded & chopped
  • 1-2 Avocados, peeled & chopped
  • 1 small Onion, chopped
  • Handful of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of one Lime
  • 1 Tbsp. Red Wine Vinegar
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Put all ingredients in a bowl.  Mix together.  Let chill in fridge for at least an hour.  Serve with chips.

*Recipe modified from Paula Deen’s The Lady & Sons Savannah Country Cookbook




Pico De Gallo Recipe

Looking for a fresh salsa to accompany your dishes this spring/summer?  Try my Pico de gallo recipe!  And don’t forget, Cinco de Mayo is also coming up!


  • 3-4 Vine Tomatoes (depending on their size), seeded & diced
  • 1/2 Onion, chopped
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1 Jalapeno pepper, seeded & chopped
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • Handful of fresh Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


Dice the tomatoes and put into a bowl.  Add the onion, garlic and jalapeno.  Squeeze lime juice into mixture and add the cilantro.  Mix with a spoon to combine.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with chips or put on top of your favorite dishes.

Serves: 2-4




Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup – Recipe

Both of the boys are sick with colds so I ran out to the store to get them the best medicine – ingredients for my homemade chicken noodle soup.  Hopefully they will be back to feeling better in no time!



  • 2 boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil (divided)
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped
  • 4 Carrots, sliced into coins
  • 3 Celery stalks, sliced
  • 2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Dried Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 6 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 cups Water
  • A few handfulls of No Yolk Egg Noodles

Start by preheating the oven to 400ºF.  Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper.  Place on oiled baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil on top to chicken breasts.  Roast in oven for 30 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked and juices run clear (internal temperature of 165ºF). Once chicken is cooked, put into a bowl and shred with two forks.

Meanwhile, add remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil to large pot and bring heat to medium-high.  Add onions, carrots and celery.  Season vegetables with thyme, salt and pepper. Let them saute for about 5 minutes, until softened.  Add garlic and let cook for 1 minute.   Add chicken stock and041 water.  Add the roasted chicken and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.

In another pot, bring salted water to a boil.  Add noodles and cook until al dente.  Drain.  Add noodles to soup.

Serve with some crusty bread! Bon Appétit







Easter JELL-O Jigglers!

I grew up making JELL-O Jigglers for Easter (and Halloween) so when I saw this Easter mold at the grocery store, I had to have it.  I decided I wanted to carry on this tradition and I hope Charlie enjoys these as much as I did as a kid. Plus, there’s always room for JELL-O!



What you’ll need:

  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 package (6 oz.) of JELL-O Gelatin, any flavor
  • JELL-O Jigglers Easter Mold
  • Cooking spray
  • Measuring cup with spout

Let’s make JELL-O!

  • Lightly spray inside of mold with cooking spray
  • Put gelatin mix into a bowl
  • Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil
  • Add boiling water to gelatin mix and stir for three minutes, until completely dissolved
  • Pour into measuring cup with spout
  • Immediately pour into mold
  • Refrigerate for three hours or until firm
  • Remove jigglers from mold and store in refrigerator until ready to eat

*JELL-O mold is top-rack dishwasher safe.  Do not freeze

As I mentioned, I found my holiday JELL-O molds at the grocery store (in the baking isle by the JELL-O mixes).  My Easter mold came as a kit, JELL-O and mold boxed together.  The Halloween molds were on display in the baking isle and if I bought x number boxes of JELL-O, the mold was free.

You can also get some JELL-O inspiration and purchase molds here.

I hope you enjoy some JELL-O Jigglers this Easter!