Saturday, 4 January 2014

Pre-packed lunches...and going back to work

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So I go back to work on Monday.

This is about the time when I start going a little stir crazy. Where I feel like I'm nesting again. Like I'm pregnant and almost ready to deliver--like days away. That feeling where I need to get EVERYTHING DONE RIGHT NOW.

Where all of a sudden it feels like everything in my house is driving me nuts and needs to be cleaned, organized, rearranged or purged.

Where I all of a sudden create a to-do list of things to do around the house that I should have done over the past year...and it's a mile long. So I better do them ALL in the next day.

Where I clean out and organize the cupboards around my house, like I did the last time that my maternity leave came to an end.

Where I look at my kids and get a little sad--but get a little happy all at the same time. Sad because it's the end of my maternity leave and I can't believe that they're both not tiny babies anymore...and it feels like time is flying and I hope I'm soaking up every moment. But happy because I love the idea of them growing up. I love the prospect of what's to come. I love how beautiful it is to watch tiny babies grow into stumbling toddlers, who grow into running two year olds, who grow into talking pre-schoolers. I love the idea of watching them turn into little people and trying to guess what they'll end up doing with their life, who they'll love and whose lives they'll impact. I love how amazingly beautiful it is to watch them explore the world, learn...oh my...I could go on forever. Growing up means so many possibilities for them and for us--and I can't wait for it. But I still miss those froggy newborn legs that curl up every time you pick up that sweet little baby, and that newborn smell that makes all of those sleepless nights all of a sudden feel worth it.

So as I sit here in this space where one part of my life is coming to an end and another part is starting, I've decided that if I can't finish off literally every single thing on my to-do list by Monday, I may as well do at least one thing to make things a million times easier for me when I start back to work next week. And after now finally feeling as organized and ready as I can be at this point for school and my students, I knew that I needed to get the logistics in place so that I could get out of the door on time in the morning.

So this is what I've been working on today.

Pre-packed lunches for both Terry and I.

Because, to be honest, I absolutely HATE making my lunch every day for work. It's something I've always dreaded doing every night. It's something that is so ridiculously time consuming. And it's something that feels absolutely never-ending.

So I stole some inspiration from Pinterest and spent a day bagging up snacks and food items, filling up containers and baking. So now, when it comes to making my lunch each night all I have to do is grab a few pre-filled containers and bags and I'm done!

I'll definitely be doing this for when Mya and Carter start school--because spending one Sunday evening a week bagging up food for the week beats spending time every single night making a bunch of lunches.

If you want to try it yourself, here is how I did it:

I used clear plastic shoe boxes (found at either Dollarama or Costco) to store our snacks, then I bought Ziplock snack bags (that we`ll wash out and re-use every week) and various sizes of tupperware containers to fill up with various food items.

I knew that I needed extra tupperware in certain sizes (tiny ones for things like hummus dip, and medium size ones for yogurt, etc), so I headed over to Walmart and found a box of Rubbermaid tupperware on sale for $7! Just bought them yesterday, so they should still be on sale right now.

I went grocery shopping and bought items like pretzels, dried fruit, grapes, yogurt, lunch meat, cheese, crackers, apple sauce, veggies, etc and I baked up some banana muffins with Mya this morning (and froze them so all we have to do is grab one in the morning and it will be thawed by lunch time) and I made some granola to sprinkle over our yogurt too. This is the recipe that I used for the muffins--they were sooo delicious (and healthy!).

I also made some hard boiled eggs that we can easily pack in our lunch bags each day (I just put the eggs in a muffin tin and put them in the oven at 350 for 25mins).

Terry then whipped up some hummus this weekend for our carrot sticks and other veggies and we got to work filling up our containers when Carter was napping. Seems like a lot of work as I'm typing this all out, but really it didn't take too long (because I didn't have too long with both kids at our feet!).

Also, it just happened that the pre-packaged apple sauces were on sale this week and were actually cheaper than if I bought a large jar of apple sauce and filled up my own tupperware containers.

But if you're looking to do this and keep on budget, I'd suggest always buying your own apple sauce/yogurt etc in the large tubs and filling up your own tupperware containers. It's so much cheaper in the long run. And if you have a rule like me where I refuse to pay more than $1.99 for a large tub of yogurt, then you'll see the savings add up like crazy. When our yogurt goes on sale (I only buy this specific kind since it has few ingredients and it's low in sugar)...

I will literally buy up to 9 large containers, which will last us a few weeks...which is just in time for them go on sale again so I can stock up again! (Just keep your eye on the due date so you don't waste any).

So to anyone who hates to make lunches just as much as I do...give this once a week lunch-making a try! And if you do...send over some more lunch ideas to me--I`m always looking for new or different lunch ideas.

Have a great rest of your weekend everyone,

Erica xo



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