The Final Stretch: Lunches

Here is a hilarious beginning vs end of the school year post on BuzzFeed.

Here is lunch at the beginning of the school year:


and at the end:


I have not quite sunk that low, but I can tell you that I have 49 lunches left to pack.  Yes, I’m counting.

applesAnd that is why I am always glad to hear about new things to put in the lunchbox.  Ontario grown and produced Martin’s Apple Chips are new to the market, and they were kind enough to send us a sample.

They are 100% apple.  That’s it, that’s all.  The apples are thinly sliced and dehydrated and have a lovely crispy crunch.  I really enjoyed them on their own, but they also make a great gluten-free alternative for cheese crackers.  Check out the other ideas on their blog.

We love to support local businesses and to tell you about the products that we have received and enjoyed.  This definitely checked a lot of boxes for us: healthy, tasty, local.




Best of the Blogosphere

home-office-336378_640Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy these goodies!

Did you read Charlotte’s Web as a kid?  It was one of my favourites.  Last year, Letters of Note featured a letter written by E.B. White explaining why he wrote the book.  It’s a delightful letter and made me yearn for the days of typewriters and when the word “dandy” was used with more frequency.

If you’re a child of the 70’s or 80’s you may have been a latch-key kid or if you weren’t a latch-key kid, you were probably a child of the “laid back” parenting generation. Translation: your parents let you play with lawn darts, eat microwavable meals and watch pretty much anything on television. In today’s world people gasp and call child protective services if your toddler has a complete collection of Happy Meal toys, but in the olden days our parents were teaching us basic survival skills, like how to pour your own cereal.  Lady Goo Goo Gaga reminds us that those days are long gone in her blog post Pottery Barn Lunches.   If you are a mom that makes tic-tac-toe sandwiches or cheese into the shape of a daisy, you may be slightly offended.  If you’re like me and think that you’ve packed a killer lunch for the kids if it covers two of the food groups, then read on . . .read on!

This post by comedienne Kelly MacLean about Surviving Whole Foods made the rounds a few months ago but I recently re-read it and I can honestly say that after a good belly laugh about the craziness that is Whole Foods (even though I have only been to Whole Foods once), the gloomy, winter day was a bit brighter.  Best lines:

“Whole Foods is like Vegas.  You go there to feel good but you leave broke, disoriented, and with the newfound knowledge that you have a vaginal disease.”

“You know you’ve really made it in the world when you get Candida.”

And my favourite laugh-out-loud, snort your coffee line:

“I went on a cleanse once; it was a mixed blessing.  On the one hand, I detoxified, I purified, I lost weight.  On the other hand, I fell asleep on the highway, fantasized about eating a pigeon, and crapped my pants.  I think I’ll stick with the whole eating thing.”

In the age of post-baby bikini bodies gracing the cover of every tabloid that line the grocery store check-out stand, it’s refreshing to see what a post-baby body really looks like for the majority of women.  Photographer, Ashlee Wells Jackson, documents several women in their 4th trimester for her intimate and evocative 4th Trimester Bodies Project.

The Truth about the Rainbow Loom by Kim Bongiorno for In the Powder Room had me thinking one thing: F’ing right!

I have spent years and years and years and spilled countless tears trying to get my husband to understand how to be there for me.  When I saw this video by Katy Davis and Dr. Brene Brown, I emailed it to him and do you want to know what he said?  Thank you, I get it now.

He said that he get’s it!

And the Heavens rejoiced.

And if you live somewhere that hasn’t experienced this ghastly winter, watch this video by Rick Mercer for a taste of what we’ve experienced.  I would like to say that it’s an exaggeration, but honestly he’s not that far off the truth.  Hang in there East Coasters!



One of the perks of blogging is that companies send us things to sample and to review, and while we decline many most of these offers, some of them are a lot of fun.

Snackbox is just such an offer.

Snackbox is a monthly subscription of healthy, natural snacks.  Each month the Vancouver-based company ships 10 – 12 items to its members across Canada through Canada Post.   Subscriptions start at $24 a month.  All of the snacks are curated by their in-house holistic nutritionist, and the package comes with a description of the contents and where to buy more if you enjoy them.



I received a sample box last month, and it was fun even before I opened it.  The presentation of the Snackbox is beautiful, and it was a bit of an event just to receive the box and to open it with the kids.   Inside, there was a wide variety of snacks, including dried pears, energy bars, dark chocolate and quinoa crackers.  What I particularly loved was the fact that many of the products were totally new to me, and it was an adventure to sample the various snacks.

Now, because we have so many allergies in our house, the contents were not a perfect fit for our family, but the good news is that the company is working on a flexible plan for members to customize the boxes.

Snackbox is offering 4Mothers1blog readers a chance to win a one-month subscription.  If you’d like a chance to win a sample Snackbox, please leave us a comment on this post saying you’d like to enter, and we will draw for a winner.  The giveaway will be for one Snackbox, and it is only open to Canadian residents.  We are unable to ship to the US at this time.  And, if you would like to subscribe to Snackbox, 4Mothers readers will get a $15 discount until Feb. 28th, 2014.  Just enter the coupon code 4MOTHERS when you sign up.