The Best Back-to-School Lunch Containers… and other fall ramblings!

“I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Rubbermaid. I received product samples to facilitate my review as well as a promotional item to thank me for my participation.” *This post contains affiliate links.  Thank you for supporting my grocery bill!  :o)

Oh my goodness, you guys!  I just can’t even believe it’s September already!  Summer is over, kids are heading back to school (and my cookbook writing/baking/cooking is almost done!!).  I think I am in a bit of shock, but also I am just so excited.

I love fall.  I love everything about it.  The routine, the back to normal schedules, the cooler weather, boots, scarves, sweaters…  cozy, comforting fall foods, and pumpkin everything!  I really just love everything about it!

I don’t know about you, but packing school lunches is one of my least favorite things ever.  I always seem to forget, until about 11:30 the night before, and I grumble my way through packing lunches when I would rather be in bed already.  So, when I was recently given the opportunity to try out these new Rubbermaid LunchBlox, I jumped on it!

Back to School Lunches made easier with Rubbermaid!

Give me anything fun to add to the lunch-packing experience, and I am all over it!  This cute little lunch storage set is just the right size… and I may have a hard time not stealing it for myself all the time!

My littlest brand-new-preschooler is a big fan of salads.  She’s odd, I know.  But she really does love them and will pass up almost any food (ok, except chocolate!) to get her hands on a salad.  She has always been that way (and I hope she always is!).  She loves a good dressing, feta, olives, chicken, tomatoes… basically whatever I throw on there, she’s happy!

(Side note: her 3 year old little self currently calls it “Sow-lid” and I secretly hope she never figures it out.  It’s just too cute!)

Back to School Lunches made easier with Rubbermaid!

Of course, that meant I had to try out her new lunch set with a good ‘sow-lid’… and she was so excited!  (Even though school doesn’t start for us until next week, the thrill of getting a lunch box meal was almost too much for her to handle!)

These handy containers have divided sections, a cute little dressing container, a freezer Blue Ice tray to  keep your food cold, and they snap together in many different ways.  They fit in lots of lunch boxes and bags, and wash up quickly in the dishwasher, so basically they are perfect!  ;o)

Back to School Lunches made easier with Rubbermaid!

You can find these incredibly handy Rubbermaid LunchBlox storage containers at many different stores, Amazon included, but I did see them at my local Costco (in a set of 3 even!!) recently, so go check it out if you live near a Costco!  I will definitely be stocking up on a few more sets!

(And for all of you who have been wondering where I’ve been lately…  I’m almost out of the blinding fog of cookbook writing, and back to the world of real life.  I will be back to blogging more regularly soon, I promise!  And my husband and I will be doing a Whole30 challenge in October – because cookbook writing is not for the faint of waistline! – and you will for sure be seeing updates and healthy recipes coming your way then!)

Thanks for putting up with me lately.  I hope my recent quietness will all be worth it when this cookbook comes out in May!  (And don’t forget, you can always check in with me on Instagram.  I am on there every day!)

The Cookie Lady

The other day a friend introduced me to her daughter-in-law as “The Cookie Lady”.  Can I just tell you how much that warmed my heart?

You see, it wasn’t about pride or feeling like she was giving me a pat-on-the-back, but rather… My sweet Grandma, who entered heaven’s gates a few years ago, was often referred to as “The Cookie Lady”.

grandma b 1

Grandma was known and loved for her generous heart, always wanting to take care of others, and make them smile, especially by blessing them with a favorite treat… So often fresh baked cookies.

The Cookie Lady

I hardly remember a day that Grandma wasn’t baking something and she was so great at letting all of us grandkids help in the kitchen. (Goodness, I wish she was still here to ask for tips in that area… I so struggle with letting my kids in the kitchen with me!)

Yesterday I made one of her most famous cookie recipes. Untouched and unchanged, I measured and mixed and baked just as she did so often.

The card I looked at (unnecessarily, as I could make these cookies almost in my sleep!) was written in her own distinctive handwriting and pulled at my heartstrings.  I could almost feel her next to me, gently nudging me along and smiling.

I was thrilled when my family happily devoured the cookies, and some friends with distant connections to my grandma stopped by and got to have a few cookies with us.  My heart was fuller than it has been in a long time that day, and you know what?  I believe Grandma was watching all along and smiling at me from heaven.

She was a marvelous soul, my sweet grandma.  And I am honored to stumble behind in her footsteps as “The Cookie Lady”.

grandma b 2

**I am so sorry about the lack of posting lately!  I have been computer-less for several weeks, but my new one is coming this week, and I have a glorious new Gluten-Free/Dairy-Free PERFECTLY Fudgy Brownie recipe coming your way as soon as it does!**

this mothering stuff… it’s hard

Yep.  It’s true.  This mothering stuff…  it’s hard.  And no one likes to talk about the hard stuff.  But I’m tired of all the blind-siding I’ve been feeling, and I’d love to know you are a little more prepared for all of this than I was.

This Mothering Stuff...  It's Hard.

You know what?  I always wanted to be a mom.  It’s ALL I ever wanted, actually.

In Kindergarten, when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I answered “a mom”.  In 1st grade, same answer.  By 2nd grade, I learned my lesson (the ‘mom’ answer was not the ‘right’ answer) and I made up something different each time.  But inside, I was always shouting “a MOM!  I just want to be A MOM!!”.

And guess what?  I’m here!  I’m exactly where I have always wanted to be.  I am MOM.

That is no trivial thing.  I am beyond blessed with my not-so-little family and every day I am blown away by these little people God has entrusted me with.

I know so many people who are struggling with the longing to be parents.  And please don’t get me wrong, I feel their pain.  I feel it so deeply.  And I am in no way saying I don’t want this hard life…  I LOVE this life.  Hard, or easy, I wouldn’t change it for anything.

But I do wish I had known a tiny glimpse of how hard it would actually be.

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