Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Things I've Bought/Made That I Love; Also, Staples and Hugs

A random roundup of things I bought or made recently (or also maybe last year) and love.

1. The big kids' Planet Box lunchboxes.

I bought these lunchboxes last August, before school started and the kids used them nearly every day, and then I took the above picture after school got out in June. They look amazing! Even the outer bags look good!

So I'm obsessed with them. They make it SO easy to pack lunches in the morning- just throw stuff in the compartments, with no wasteful baggies and no washing of tiny containers (I hated the washing of the tiny containers), AND it encourages variety and fresh fruits and veggies because it's so easy to just toss them in and the many small compartments peer pressure you into filling them with a variety of colors and healthy foods (except the tiny compartment; that's for a treat, usually m&ms). They're dishwasher safe in the BOTTOM RACK, and they're clearly indestructible. The big kids have the whole Rover system, with the carry bag and cold pack. I spent over $100 on the two sets for Landon and Claire and they were worth every penny. I'm going to send them with them to college. I'll maybe even spring for a new carry bag when they go.

(For Cora we did the smaller and cheaper Lunchbots Trio set. It's perfect for her right now and also looks amazing after daily use, though you do have to wash it in the top rack of the dishwasher. The lid also isn't quite as tight as the Planet Box system, but we've never had it separate in her little Skip Hop butterfly lunchbox. We'll use it for her again this year and then she'll probably need something bigger, which will absolutely be another Planet Box Rover.)

2. Hydro Flask with straw lid

I got this one for free in a raffle at my hot yoga studio. It was very excited because (1) I didn't know I was in the raffle; (2) I've never won a raffle; and (3) even though I didn't know what a hydroflask was, it turns out I always needed one! It's 40 oz. of powder coated double-walled vacuum insulated stainless steel. So it holds a ton of water that stays cold forever and never sweats or leaks. I love it. I switched out the standard top with the straw lid I linked to- it has a great little loop for a finger handle and I drink WAY more when a straw is involved which is why I'm not allowed to order sangria anymore. So I love it, and while I got mine for free, if something terrible ever happened to my seemingly indestructible cup, I would buy another one immediately.

3. Studded sandals from Target

Aren't these adorable? They're on sale right now for $24 and I've worn them so much I'm not even mad that I spent $32. Super cute and comfy, I've worn them with my navy shorts or skinny jeans and a flowy tank. Love them.

4. Glass Storage Containers

I got these two years ago and I LOVE them. We've eliminated most plastic from our life and I love that nothing sticks to these, that the lids are completely leak-proof, that you wash them in the dishwasher and they look perfect, and that you can reheat your foods in them, even in the oven. I have two sets of 3 and they have their own little drawer in our kitchen.

5. Rash Guards! My Cabana Life order came in the mail and I love their stuff!! The rash guards are made in a thin, cool fabric with vibrant colors. I decided to keep these two:

also zips up all the way

Even the suit underneath is really cute. Not that anyone will see it, because that biopsy scar yells at me anytime I think of taking the rash guard off.

6. Surfer suits! The kids' Coolibar order also came in (we're swimming in UPF materials around here; all the Coolibar sale items are an extra 25% off with free shipping right now!). Much of it was too big because I guessed on sizing instead of actually knowing the height and weight of my children, but the items were very high quality and I loved the colors and patterns. Cora's surfer suit is adorable. Not that she'll let me take a picture of it.

Claire's hoodie is equally adorable and she's so excited about it. Landon got a long-sleeved rash guard from Target that he is less excited about but seems willing to wear, mostly because I told him he has to or he can watch us swim from inside the house.

7. FOOD! Now we move on to recipes. I've been doing yoga during lunch 2x a week (today I did a chin stand to up dog; squee!), which means I've been eating lunch at my desk. As any reader will know, I have very strong feelings about lunch. It's my largest, most favorite meal of the day and I look forward to it from the moment I wake up. So grabbing a quick Subway sandwich across the street from my building to then eat at my desk was hurting my soul; also, I don't mind paying for lunch when I get to chat with coworker friends and eat a giant pile of $10 nachos, but spending nearly the same for a sad sandwich, even with delicious cookies, is annoying. So I'm making lunches! It was just a PBJ, pretzels, and apple slices for a few weeks, but now I've upped my game and mason jars are involved.

I'm not entirely convinced that the mason jar is necessary, but it does make layering easy and means the greens don't get soggy from the dressing on the bottom. I've been eating this Protein Egg and Quinoa Salad and it is so good. I get excited to eat it every day and think about it with happy heart thought bubbles during yoga. I make the full recipe in one quart sized jar for each day. I don't know who can eat a 200 calorie pint sized salad for lunch and feel satisfied, but I am definitely not that person. I just shake it up, dump it into a bowl (actually one of my glass containers from #4) and eat happy healthy food. Next week I'm going to start mixing it up with some of our other favorite quinoa combos - Asian Quinoa Salad, BBQ Chicken Quinoa Salad, whatever ingredients are in my fridge quinoa salad...

And don't worry, I still eat a whole pizza or pile of nachos a few times a week too. We can't be too crazy.

~ ~ ~

So those are some things I love right now. I'm excited to be swathed in UPF protection (I also got the sun wrap from Coolibar and it's so nice!) and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's mason jar salad. The rest of life is going pretty well. A nurse neighbor friend of ours came over Monday night to take out James's Frankenfoot staples. It was intense. He yelled. More than once.

But now, thanks to our patient and awesome nurse friend, he is metal free! Still bruised, swollen, and with an obvious foot wound, but able to get through airport metal detectors with ease.

Switching gears: 2.5 year old Cora is my new favorite Cora, which seems impossible given how much I adored all the other Coras that came before this one. But she's a joy. She is funny and imaginative, enthusiastic and brave, chatty and full of songs, and she hugs with her whole body. The other night she hugged me until her arms gave out and then she hugged me more.

I read something the other day about hugging a child and never being the first to let go because sometimes they need a longer hug than you think. It's been an interesting experiment. I've learned that Claire can hug forever until I finally give in and whisper something like, "should we get back to [whatever we were doing?]" and then she'll say "okay!" and we'll go off to do it. But otherwise, I think she'd go at least 30 minutes before considering separating her body from mine. With Cora it depends completely on how long her imaginary to do list is in that moment. At bedtime, her list is done, so we hug for a long time. Landon is more brief, but still longer than I was holding on before. And James laughed when I didn't let go right away and asked if we were having a contest. And maybe we were. I won.

Okay, I'm off to bed (with fewer accessories than Cora)- Orangetheory in the morning, quinoa salad at lunch, giant piles of nachos with friends coming over from Austin for dinner! I may even wear my new sandals. Hope all your weeks are going well!


  1. We use planet boxes too! The little ones still, but I love them!!

  2. Love this post and the hug idea!

  3. I love the of you and Cora on the floor. Very pretty, candid shot! Is your hair color natural? Thanks for the recs + your salad looks fab! Here's my question-- so for my oldest son in preschool I use the cheap Ziploc plastic divided container. It has actually held up really well in the dishwasher. I love the Planet Box- I actually put them on an Amazon Wishlist when you recommended them initially, but help me understand what they do that my cheapie Ziploc one doesn't?? Also- love the rash guards you chose! They look great on you, esp the colors!

    1. Yep that's my regular old hair- it was Claire's white blonde color for a long time, turned strawberryish in high school, and then went full red in college. I still find it weird I'm not a blonde, but the red is nice too :).

      I think one of my favorite things about the Planet Box is that it's not plastic. I try to take a fairly practical approach to all the warnings out there about everything these days, but do have concerns about leaching plastics (even our pediatrician mentioned it re: hormone disruption) and we no longer use plastic for any food storage. So that's one thing. I also like the number of divided compartments (not sure what the ziploc has), but Landon eats a LOT and we can fill the Planet Box with a bread/entree, veggie, fruit, snack, and small treat and done! It encourages more variety than we'd probably do otherwise. And then they're just indestructible- he can throw it around and it stays shut tight and looks absolutely perfect after a year of use.

      All that said, if you don't need the volume, don't have concerns about the plastic, and are better about adding fruit/veggie variety without an extra empty compartment glaring at your and guilting you in to it, then keep on rocking the Ziploc!