On The Move Again

We just drove 24hrs back from Florida to our home in Wisconsin only to spend the next 2 days packing our entire house before we drive 10 hours to move back to Canada. If my kids aren’t completely sick of being in cars after this it will be a miracle.

Super excited about this move, but I’m still putting off that post until another day. I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The only reason I’m even posting is because I don’t want to break my weekly posting streak, but between vacation and moving who has time to write a proper blog post?

Fingers crossed for a smooth move!

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School Lunch Ideas February

Happy Friday the 13th! Haha!

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  1. Ham and cheese kebabs, pretzel sticks (this was a huge hit by the way)
  2. Valentin’s Day Lunch: PB&J with cut out heart and sprinkles, Valentine’s Fruit Roll Up, strawberries
  3. Ham and cheese crescent rolls, M&M trail mix, strawberries
  4.  Airplane in clouds (Lunch Punch) shaped bologna and cheese sandwich, leftover Valentine’s candy, green gapes on the vine
  5. Peanut butter, banana and honey quesadilla, clementine, Cars gummies (he did not like this one, but I did! :)
  6. Turkey and havarti sandwich, cucumber and carrots, gummy fish (from our trip to Jelly Belly)

 

Wisconsin Bucket List: Jelly Belly & Cheese Curds

I checked 2 more items off the Wisconsin Bucket List over the weekend! Yay!

The JElly Belly Factory Warehouse

We finally checked out the Jelly Belly Factory tour.  It’s actually ridiculous it took us 18 months to do that seeing as it is literally less than 10 minutes from our house.
Jelly Belly Warehouse, Kenosha, WisconsinFriday was a PA Day so we drove Daddy to work then went straight there so we arrived at the Jelly Belly Factory, correction, Warehouse about 20 minutes early and had to sit in the car for a bit (totally worth not taking all 3 kids in and out of cars seats unnecessarily!). The monsters all got antsy after 15 minutes so we got out and walked around outside. Well as soon as we got up to the doors and Miss Monster saw the giant jelly beans floating from the ceiling inside she wouldn’t stop yelling with excitement “My jelly beans! my jelly beans!!” haha :)

Jelly Belly Warehouse tour

Sitting on the “train” in the Jelly Belly warehouse

The experience started and ended with a bang, but everything down the middle was pretty blah. I was under the impression that it was a factory, but it was actually just a warehouse. The tour (which we were the only ones there for) was just some guy driving around a “train” with us on it and stopping at various stations that consisted of some sort of display of jelly bean packaging, memorabilia, etc. and a a video screen on which they played videos clearly made in the 1950’s about the history of the Jelly Belly Company. The best part of the tour was that every single time they showed a jelly bean or even said the word jelly bean (which you can imagine how often that would come up!) Miss Monster would scream “my jelly beans!!”. The 2 staff running the “train” couldn’t stop laughing. I’m sure she is the most enthusiastic visitor they’ve had, haha.

Jelly Belly, Kenosha, Wisconsin

Kid in a candy shop…literally

Jelly Belly jelly beans

My 3 Monsters wired on jelly beans!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The tour conveniently drops you off at the Jelly Belly merchandise store, but you do get a free bag of jelly beans to take with you and the store has a free jelly bean tasting bar where you can try every single flavour that they offer. I tried to talk Mr.Monster into tasting booger flavor, but he wouldn’t do it. Each of the kids picked a bag of beans from the store (Middle Monsters picked gummy fish since he doesn’t like jelly beans) and I picked up a bag of Champagne flavour for me and Draft Beer flavour for Daddy. Overall I’d give this about a 2/5, but at least it killed an hour and the kids were happy.

Deep Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds

Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairy Land” and therefor is well known for it’s cheese, including cheese curds. I have had cheese curds in Canada before obviously, poutine! But here they don’t use them for poutine, they don’t even know what poutine is! I noticed a few menus that have had deep fried Wisconsin cheese curds as an app and even a few places offer them as an alternative side dish to fries (win!). We tried making our own a few summers back at the cottage, but the cheese just kept melting out of the breading, so I had to try deep fried Wisconsin cheese curds to see what the secret is.

Looks like the secret is just multiple layers of breading, either way they were delicious!!

Deep Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds

Deep Fried Wisconsin Cheese Curds from Culver’s

Wisconsin Bucket List

When I found out 18 months ago that we would be moving to Wisconsin, even with my limited knowledge about the state, there were a few things that immediately came to mind that I knew I wanted to do and see during our time here (hello, Young and the Restless is staged in Genoa City, Wisconsin!). Then as I started to research the area we would be living in there were a bunch more great things I really wanted to experience while we were here. And so, The Wisconsin Bucket List was created.

Now as I am finding out that we are leaving Wisconsin with only a few weeks to prepare (more on that another day!), I’m packing for a trip to Florida, packing to move and trying to squeeze in a few more items off of my list.  Sadly, I haven’t done any of my top 5. I’m not sure how much I can accomplish in the short time we have left, but I’d hate to leave here saying I never experienced this things!

  1. Take a picture at the Genoa City limit sign (hello, Young and the Restless!)
  2. Eat breakfast at Frank’s Diner (as seen on Diner’s, Drive Ins, and Dives)
  3. Go to Chicago with the kids
  4. Go to Chicago without the kids
  5. Tour the Jelly Belly factory

We still experienced quite a lot in our year and a half living in “America’s Dairy Land”. All of the experiences we have checked off the list have been great. My top 3 things we have discovered in Wisconsin are:

Rendez-vous Tiki Bar quickly became a favourite spot

Rendez-vous Tiki Bar

Visiting the Dinosaur Discovery Museum

Dinosaur Discovery Museum

America's Action Territory with the boys

America’s Action Territory

 

 

 

 

 

 

There wasn’t one thing though that didn’t live up to or surpass our expectations. If you’re ever in the Kenosha, Wisconsin area check them out! (See what else we did in the gallery below the list). Now let’s see what we can squeeze in in less than 2 weeks!

Wisconsin Bucket List

  • Take a picture at the Genoa City limit sign (hello, Young and the Restless!)
  • Go to a Green Bay Packers Game √ (I only get this one by proxy through my husband :( )
  • Eat deep fried cheese curds
  • Drink Wisconsin beer √
  • Eat breakfast at Frank’s Diner (as seen on Diner’s, Drive Ins, and Dives)
  • Eat at The Spot Drive In
  • Go to Chicago with the kids
  • Go to Chicago without the kids
  • Tour the Jelly Belly factory
  • Visit the lighthouse on Lake Michigan √
  • Tour the Mars Cheese Castle √
  • Visit the Dinosaur Discovery Museum √
  • Visit the Kenosha Public Museum (Natural History) √
  • Take the kids to America’s Action Territory (I just love the name!) √
  • Get a flight of wine at The Wine Knot √
  • Go to Rendez-Vous tiki bar √
  • Go dancing at the only nightclub in Kenosha, Club Icon √
  • Take a picture at Bong Recreation Area (I don’t even, but seriously, who approved this signage?)√
  • Take the kids to Noah’s Ark Waterpark (largest water park in America)
  • Go to the Racine zoo √
  • Order from the Trailer Park Boys menu at Captain Mike’s √ (Also by proxy through my husband)
  • Survive a Wisconsin winter! √

(And yes I realize √ is not a check mark, but it was the best I could find lol!)

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Minecraft Birthday Party

A couple of weeks ago Mr.Monster celebrated his 6th birthday. Since his leg was still in a cast I wanted to keep it small and not very demanding physically.  He requested a Minecraft themed party and these 2 concepts seemed to fit together nicely; videos games and an easy paced party. It’s been a few years since I’ve gone all out with the decorations for him too (we’ve done Chuckie Cheese type things the last few years) so I figured I owed him a good one.

One thing I really like to do is decorate for the kid’s parties the night before while they are in bed. This serve two purposes 1. they aren’t underfoot while I’m trying to get stuff done and 2. it’s an awesome surprise for them when they wake up in the morning to a fully decorated room.

Minecraft Theme Party Decorations

The Minecraft theme is actually so easy to work with. For decorations I had a Creeper plate wall, balloon spiders, Creeper coloured window streamers, and various Minecraft toys around. For food I made a dirt block cake, green juice in creeper cups, game themed goodies and a “blocks” lunch. We also had a Minecraft YouTube playlist, crafts, goodie bags and more! Some of the ideas came off of Pinterest and some are my own, but everything came together nicely and the birthday boy was super happy. And that’s what really matters right?

Minecraft Party Mask CraftWe started the party with the Minecraft masks craft. I figured I’d better get them all sitting down for the craft before they got all fired up and it was a lost cause. I precut all the squares and glued on popsicle sticks a head of time so all the kids had to do was glue on their creations. Clearly there is some varying skill levels here haha, but it was a quick, easy, and fun craft especially for kids so young.

Then we put on a YouTube playlist that I created of Minecraft parody songs up on the TV for the kids to watch and sing and dance to while I prepared lunch. Here is the playlist if you’d like to check it out (there’s actually some really clever ones! People have too much time on their hands!):

Minecraft Themed Party lunch blocksLunch might have been my favourite part though. I thought I was pretty clever here and it came out really well. Of course I precut all the meat and cheese the night before so all that had to be done at the party was stacking the slices evenly to make squares. Side note: I actually have no idea what slimeballs or red stone are, but I found the printable cards and worked with it. All the kids thought it was pretty funny too!

Minecraft Themed Party Dirt Block CakeI got the cake idea from Adventures of Mel. Adding crushed up Oreos to the chocolate icing was genius! Not only does it look more like real dirt, but it tastes AMAZING! I will for sure be doing that again on some cupcakes in the near future. Tip: Make sure the oven is clean before you start and doesn’t start billowing with smoke, setting off your smoke detector, then requiring cooling and cleaning before starting over all while your cake mix goes flat…not that that happened to me….

Minecraft themed party creeper goodie bagsEach of the goodie bags contained a Minecraft keychain and some black and green candies from Party City then the kids got to add “gold” and “diamonds” to their bags when they picked them up. I got the free printable Minecraft signs from Catch My Party. There are also invitations, banners, etc. posted that I didn’t even use. Check it out!

Super happy with the outcome. This might be my favourite so far! Though the Monsters Inc. one was a close runner up :)

Slideshow! :)

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Muffin Tin Meals: Muffin Tin Monday

It’s Muffin Tin Monday! Hurrah!

From what I understand the whole muffin tin meals thing and Muffin Tin Mondays started with Muffin Tin Mom, (which was who hosted it when I came across the idea) who then stepped back from the idea and handed it overt Another Lunch, (who has an adorable site with lots of ideas), but who doesn’t appear to be contributing anymore. I used to do the muffin tin meals pretty much once a week and over the past year I’ve just kinda forgotten about them. I’ve made a couple lately and the monsters still really enjoy them. I’m not pretending to try and take over any official reins or anything, but I think it’s time to revive Muffin Tin Monday! (At least in our house!)

I even covered all the food groups with this one!

Top Row: 1/2 Homemade bacon mac n’ cheese eggroll, Mini egg salad hearts, 1/2 cheese string and pepperoni stick
Bottom Row: Cucumber wheels and ranch dip, clementine wedges, mini M&Ms

Muffin Tin Monday

School Lunch Ideas January

School Lunch Ideas for Kids

Apparently we had a lot of sandwiches and clementines this month, but once you buy a box of clementines you’re kinda invested though, right?  We did try some new things though this month, specifically the chicken salad sandwich and the pasta salad.

I saw premixed chicken salad in the deli at our grocery store and bought it as an impulse buy. Mr.Monster likes chicken and LOVES mayo so I figured it was worth a try. His only complaint was there was too much onion so it’s worth another shot, but homemade minus the onions.

The pasta salad I actually expected him to not prefer and likely eat just the noodles, but surprisingly the only thing left was a few noodles which he then asked if he could still eat when he got home from school.

Simple Pasta Salad for Kids

Simple Pasta Salad for Kids

  • favourite noodle shapes (precooked and cooled)
  • cubed cheese
  • cubed precooked ham
  • Italian salad dressing

Mix together desired quantities of pasta, meat and cheese (you could even add cooked peas or corn, etc. for some veg) and lightly coat with salad dressing. Not super technical with the instructions here haha, but just do it according to your kid’s taste. More pasta if they prefer pasta, more cheese if they pefer cheese, etc.

Lunches starting from top left:

1. Chicken salad sandwich, green grapes, Babybell gouda cheese, vanilla cupcake Goldfish crackers (milk from school to drink)
2. Ham & cheese & mustard sandwich, 3 clementines, mini KitKat (what? who still has Halloween candy??), CapriSun juice pouch
3. Simple pasta salad,  strawberry, clementine (prepeeled at Mr.Monster’s request), Skylanders gummies, CapriSun juice pouch
4. PB&J sandwich, clementine, Goldfish crackers, Cosmic brownie, CapriSun juice pouch
5. Turkey & mayo sandwich, Teddy Grahams, raspberries with a chocolate chip in the middle, yogurt tube,
6. Turkey, cheese and mayo on a roll, clementine, Skylanders gummies (and milk from school again)