Friday, August 30, 2013

FROSTED: Surprise Luncbox Nibbles and Scribbles...For Your Littles

Every year as a child, I would always get so excited to go school shopping to get all the supplies on my list. I remember picking out colorful Lisa Frank folders for each subject, a backpack with the newest Disney Princess on it, and a plastic lunch box that always matched. I couldn't wait until school started so I could use my newest accessories.

One of my most fondest memories growing up was when I was in elementary school and I would open up my new lunch box and inside would be a note on a napkin or a special treat from my mother. It always made me smile and reminded me that no matter how hard of a day I may be having, I always had someone at home who loved me.

So, today I am sharing with parents some creative ways to make lunch extra special for your children, and show them that even though you may not be there with them at school, you're always thinking about them. Now, whether you're more culinary focused (like me) or crafty minded (like my sister), these treats and projects will be a welcome surprise to your kids' lunchbox.

For All You Amateur Chefs: Whip up a few of these scrumptious sweets that will make your little one the envy of every child in the they don't even have to know that these treats are healthy for them!

Sour Patch Grapes
(Recipe from Sweet Treats And More)

  • Bunch of green grapes
  • 1 package of lime Jello

1.)  Wash grapes thoroughly. Make sure they are really wet so the gelatin powder sticks to them.
2.)  Place the gelatin powder on a plate and roll grapes into the powder, completely covering. Using two spoons will help with this. Or you can simply place the powder in a zip lock back, drop a handful of grapes in at a time and shake until covered. Refrigerate for several hours.

BaNilla Bites
(Recipe by Family Fresh Meals)

  • Mini Nilla Wafers
  • Peanut or other nut butter
  • Banana (sliced into 1/2 inch slices)
  • Sprinkles or nonpareils

1.)  Spread a small amount of nut butter on each wafer, place a slice of banana in the middle and then roll in sprinkles.

5-Ingredient Rice Crispy Treat Balls
(Recipe via Chocolate-Covered Katie)

  • 3 Cups of brown gluten free rice crispies
  • 2 Teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 Cup plus 2 Tablespoons of peanut or other nut butter
  • 1/2 Cup of sticky sweetener (Agave Nectar or Honey)

1.)  Mix together your nut butter, sweetener, extract, and salt. Melt ingredients together (either in the microwave or stove), then pour over the cereal and stir very well, making sure to coat all the crispies.

2.)  Form tightly into balls. Freeze for at least a half hour before serving. These treats can be stored in the freezer, in the fridge, or loosely covered in a cool, dry place. 

For All You DIY Divas: Get out those paint brushes and markers, and create some of these fabulous lunchbox additions and accessories that will make your kids' lunches stand out in a crowd...while also providing some of that extra TLC that parents love to give.

Fruit Leather Fortune Cookies
(Recipe from Family Fresh Meals)

  • Fruit leather
  • 2 inch circle cutter or a small jar lid
  • Parchment paper for fortunes/notes (this will prevent the note sticking to the cookie)   

1.)  Lay fruit leather out on a cutting board. Cut 2 circles per fortune cookie.

2.)  Cut strips of parchment paper. Write a special message to your child on parchment paper. Place paper on top of the lower half of the circle.

3.)  Fold top over and pinch together the edges to form a fortune cookie.

Chalkboard Lunchbox
(Courtesy of Scissors & Spatulas)

What You'll Need:
  • Metal or insulated lunchbox
  • Painter's Tape
  • Plastic Bag
  • Chalkboard Spray Paint
  • Adhesive Backed Vinyl (if using an insulated lunchbox)
  • Chalk
Directions for Metal Lunchbox:

1.)   Tape around the edges of the lid and cover the rest of the lunch box with a plastic bag.

2.)  Use chalkboard spray paint to cover the inside of the lid. Once the first coat is dry, spray with a second coat and allow to dry overnight with the lid open.

3.) Write a message to your child each day with chalk.

Directions for Insulated Lunchbox:

1.)  Cut a piece of vinyl to fit the inside of the lid. Before attaching, spray paint the vinyl with chalkboard paint.

2.)  Allow the vinyl to dry overnight. Peel adhesive backing off and place on inside of lid. Use a flat edge to smooth out any bubbles.

3.)  Write a message to your child each day with chalk.

 (Image by Whisk Paper Scissors)

Butterfly Sandwich Bag Clips

What You'll Need:
  • Clothspins
  • Snack size ziplock bags
  • Googly eyes
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Glue
  • Paint, glitter glue, puffy paint
  • Snacks

1.)   Decorate one side of a clothespin with either paint, puffy paint, or glitter glue. Glue two small googly eyes near the gripping end of the clothespin and let the glue dry.

2.)  Put your snack into a snack-size ziplock bag until it's a little over half full. Seal the bag, cinch the middle with your fingers, and clip it with the clothespin.

3.)  Fold down/curl the tips of a 6-inch length of pipe cleaner, then bend the entire piece in half. Clip the pipe cleaner in the clothespin.

Such easy and fantastic ways to bring some excitement into the middle of your kids' day!! What a simple way to wish your child luck on their first day of school, boost confidence before a big test, or make an extra special meal for their birthday at school.

So, after you are done packing a treat in your own Tiffin Lunchbox, add some pizzazz to your child's lunch with healthy snacks and heartwarming crafts, that will surely get an, "I love you mom!" Have a Great Weekend!


Thursday, August 29, 2013

Perfectly Packed: Terrific Tiffin Lunchboxes!

All of your school supplies are bought, your little ones have worn & dirtied their brand new back-to-school outfits, and you are finally getting into the groove of getting everyone up & out the door on time.   You deserve a little something of your own, and these lovely tiffins are just the thing to get you excited about your own fresh start.

You can start saving $$$ for the holidays (yikes!) by bringing your lunch from home and also make sure your meal is full of nutritious goodness too!

I am losing my mind for these gorgeous hand-painted lovelies from Nkuku.  Sure, you can't wash them in the dishwasher, but who cares?  The extra minutes you get to spend just gazing at them while hand-washing makes it all worth it . . .

(via Nkuku)

 (via Nkuku)

(via Nkuku)

(via Nkuku)

Or how about these colorful cuties from Cost Plus World Market?  Is warm your style?

Or cool?

This two-tier, turquoise number works just fine too . . .

I love the little message this sweet tiffin sends you off with everyday . . .

(courtesy of Ten Thousand Villages)

And this next one is near & dear to my heart, as I just picked it out for my husband and it will be arriving any day.  In an effort to get him eating healthy, I have been packing his lunch everyday, and after having great success with my son's stainless steel lunch container, I am excited to get to put everything together in something as fantastic as this.

The bag is made entirely from recycled cotton scraps, which were collected from India, and although he was a bit skeptical at first, I know he will be a fan the very first day he opens this convenient little guy up and takes his first bite with the re-usable bamboo utensils!

Alright, alright, I am a total lunch-packing dork.  I get an insane surge of happiness looking at both of my boys' packed lunch boxes in the refrigerator-such a regular, mundane task, but I just feel so darn accomplished after completing it.

So whether you are headed to work or just enjoying your quiet afternoon outside sans kiddos, take a minute to treat yourself to your own back-to-school supply.  You (nor your shrinking waistline or bulging wallet) won't regret it!!


Wednesday, August 28, 2013

FROSTED: Cooking It Slow...For Parents On The Go!

Every morning I press the snooze button several times, and finally roll out of bed at the last minute. Still halfway asleep I rush around piecing together my outfit, trying to tame my out of control bed head, and quickly trying to grab something out of the pantry for breakfast. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for parents that not only have to get themselves ready every morning, but also to make sure that their children's clothes match, their kids aren't gorging themselves on tons of sugary cereal, all of their homework is in their backpack, and a healthy delicious lunch is packed in their Justin Bieber lunch box. Why can't there be just a little more time in the morning?

With a bit of research I have have discovered a way to get an extra few minutes of sleep and just a couple of seconds more to apply that mascara you never have time for; while also preparing a delicious healthy breakfast for you and your family. This can all be possible with some of the most clever and yummy recipes that I've ever shared with my Frosted readers...Breakfast in the Crock Pot!!

Just toss some of these ingredients into your slow cooker and bake overnight. In the morning you'll have a tasty meal for your family that won't involve those boxed sweet toasted pastries, sugar filled colorful cereals drowned in milk, or even a greasy drive-through breakfast sandwich. So, wake-up, pour yourself a cup of coffee, and relax with some of these yummy breakfast dishes that will surely jump start your day!

Crock Pot Oatmeal
(Recipe from 52 Kitchen Adventures)

 (Image via Savoring The Thyme)

(Makes approximately 3-4 servings)
  •  1 Cup of steel-cut oatmeal
  • 4 Cups of water
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of kosher salt
  • Toppings (Optional): cinnamon, fruits, nuts, honey, milk, etc.

1.)  Lightly coat the interior of your slow cooker with non-stick spray.

2.)  Combine all ingredients inside, stirring to combine.

3.)  Cook on low overnight for up to 8 hours. 

 (Picture by Real Mom Kitchen)

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole
(Recipe from Breakfast to Bed)

(Makes 6-8 Servings)
  • 6-9 Slices of slightly stale whole wheat bread
  • 3 Cups of vanilla coconut milk
  • 1/2 Cup of egg whites
  • 1 Teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 Teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 Cup of honey
  • 3 Tablespoons of dark chocolate chips
  • 2 bananas, sliced

1.)  Mix all of the wet ingredients together and whisk well.

2.)  Place a single layer of bread into the bottom of the crock pot and top with a single sliced banana.

3.)  Pour one third of wet mixture on top and add another layer of bread, banana slices, and another third of the wet mix. Top with bread and chocolate chips. Then pour remaining mix over the top,

4.)   Set the crock pot to medium and let cook overnight.

Crock Pot Ham, Gouda, and Potato Bake
(Recipe Via Kitchen Meets Girl)

(Serves 8) 
  • 4 Cups of frozen diced hash browns
  • 8 Ounces of chopped ham
  • 1 Cup of shredded Gouda
  • 1/2 Cup of chopped red pepper
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 (10.75 Ounce) can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 Cup of milk
  • 1/8 Teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon of ground mustard
  • 8 English muffins or tortillas (for serving)

1.)  Spray the ceramic insert of a 3 1/2 to 4-quart crock pot. Combine hash browns, ham, cheese, and red pepper and place in your crock pot.

2.)  In a medium bowl, stir together soup, milk, eggs, and spices. Pour over potato mixture in your crock pot.

3.)  Cover, and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours. Serve mixture over English muffins or wrapped in tortillas.

What could be better then having breakfast already prepared when the alarm goes off in the morning? These recipes are the perfect way to easily send your children off to school with a full belly, to feed your kids and their friends the morning after a weekend sleepover, or as a complimentary dish to a brunch buffet at your church or upcoming shower.

Just chop up those fruits or veggies, plug in the crock pot, and fall asleep knowing that your morning routine is just a little bit easier with these fabulous slow cooker recipes that will delight your entire family. Have a great week!


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our New PBS Parents 'Birthday Parties' Series - DANIEL TIGER!!!!!

So happy and excited over here with the debut of our new 'Birthday Parties' series over at PBS Parents.  We kicked things off with a 'Daniel Tiger' birthday party and throughout the course of the next few weeks will be bringing you video inspiration (at last) for your little one's GRR-IFIC birthday party!

For more pictures of this party, as well as tutorials & all of the free printables to go along with this theme, go here:

And follow this link to our first video (a new one will air every Tuesday) where you can find yourself some simple little tutorials on how to throw a party like this one!

Finally, visit the PBS Parents Website for a whole bunch more party inspiration, tricks, tips, & tutorials!  Next up, a Thomas & friends (you know, that cheeky little engine:) party that is sure to be a favorite with all of your train-loving little guys & gals.  I can't wait for you to see everything we have in store for you!! Photobucket

Monday, August 26, 2013

A Garbage Truck 'Trash Bash' Birthday Party...GROSS!!

We are so thrilled to be back with you and can't wait for all of the fun we have in store over the next few months.  First up, our all new Birthday Parties series is going live on PBS Parents tomorrow, and we couldn't be more excited over here!!  Before all of that good stuff ensues, I wanted to share photos of a little 'Trash Bash' we threw for my 3 year old boy, Sully, this past June.

As I may have mentioned before, he is absolutely, madly, & deeply in love with garbage...we wait for the big blue truck every week and dumpsters are a main topic of conversation over here.  If you have yourself one of these trash-talkin' boys or girls, you know EXACTLY what I am discussing here::)

First up, the invitations . . .

I wanted to create a galvanized trash can with the invitation replicating a garbage bag placed inside . . .

You can purchase a customized, printable invitation of your own over at our Etsy shop right here: Juneberry Lane Etsy Shop Garbage Truck Invitations:)

I made these cupcake stands from Dollar Tree trash cans (and filled them with garbage, of course), a Dollar Tree baking sheet, and a glue gun-so simple and a real hit with my little guy . . .

This cake was SO much fun and pretty darn simple too!  I will have to put together a tutorial for you one of these days!!

The favors were made using Dollar Tree pencil holders, a cut piece of a real garbage bags, and filled with goodies for the little ones.  The favor tags are available at our Etsy shop too!

The little ones decorated cookies I made using a Garbage Truck cookie cutter I purchased right HERE.

Newspaper tissue poms were the perfect addition to greet guests on their way in . . .

The Garbage Truck cake reveal was a smashing success . . .

My sweet boy was so excited!!

And printable iron-on transfers were a blast to design for the birthday boy & his little sister's shirts . . .

And there you have it, simple & fun and the perfect theme for the grossest little guy I know!!  I'll be back tomorrow with a link for the pilot to our PBS Parents show and the new Mrs. Frost (my fantastic little sister) is whipping up all sorts of baking, food, and party inspiration to bring your way too!!!!  We've missed you...and are so happy to be back to enjoy the best season of the year with you . . . let's do this!!! Photobucket