December 31, 2013

HESH Heart 13

A Year End Review

Year 2013 has been truly an amazing and productive year for us, as a family. A budding year that sparked a promising and a stable career for me. A career that gave me the flexibility to work and care for my kids full-time.  The career that gave us the capability to purchase our very own home after 11 years of married life. It is also the magic year that dismissed our son from ASD after careful re-assessment.  A fulfilling year that put me into the PTA board member, and my son into Student Council Alternative President.  A threatening but miraculous year, when dad had a stroke, but had overcome it without any nerve, organ, or vessel damage. A forgiving year that rescued my marriage and my family from breaking apart. Truly, God is wonderful and great. I thank him for everything.

I am also thankful for being a part of the Bento Bloggers and Friends for the much needed inspiration and support in almost everything, may it be bento-related or not.  I have continued to pack lunches to school and work despite of my hectic schedules and busted camera.  But of course, with my new DSLR, I think I'd be able to go back blogging my lunches in 2014. Hooray for that!

We, the Bento Bloggers and Friends, have agreed to put up our favorite thirteens. I would not consider it my top 13, but my favorites. How did I choose my favorites?  Here are the criteria that influenced my choice.
  1. Pageviews
  2. Most Requested Meals
  3. Ease of Preparation
  4. Blog Hops
  5. Recipe
Hover on the images below and click the individual images to direct you to its corresponding blog post. Enjoy the following posts and hope that this will bring inspiration to your 2014 lunch packing madness.

 photo PizzadillaSteps.jpg photo DIYPC.jpg Rock the Lunchbox
Quesadilla StripsJan14-17 photo Jan14-17_zpsf32bb11d.jpg photo IMAG2172.jpg
 photo 100_3930.jpg1/22/13 photo 100_3516ads_zpsfc4531a6.jpg photo 100_4015.jpg
 photo TLAPD-2013-LunchmanBow.png2-3-13 photo 100_3605.jpg2-20-13 photo 100_3836.jpg
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Thank you!!
Have a healthy and blessed 2014!!

Please push the button below to see more 13 Favorites from the rest of the Bento Bloggers and Friends.

Top 13 of 2013 photo BBFtop13of2013.jpg

If you love Healthy Eating Starts at Home, you may subscribe via email to get all my posts straight to your inbox. No spam mails, just healthy food ideas for your lunchboxes.
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All bento accessories are available through Bento USA,
the cheapest and most complete online bento products in the USA.

Other bento gears are also available thru My Amazon Affiliate Link.
Thank you for your support!


If you need weekly meals straight to your inbox, try MOMables.
It's our one-stop shop when we're on a lunch rut.
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December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

A Holiday Bento Inspiration


It's Christmas and I'm so proud to present to you a Holiday video that Easylunchboxes have produced and collaborated.  It contains all the beautiful festive lunches that my Bento Bloggers and Friends have done to inspire all bento-enthusiasts and aspiring bento-makers.



This is the best gift anyone could ever have.  Healthy foods.  Made out of love and ingenuity.  Packed in the #1 and best-selling containers....The EasyLunchboxes

Here's wishing everyone a very happy Christmas!

If you love Healthy Eating Starts at Home, you may subscribe via email to get all my posts straight to your inbox. No spam mails, just healthy food ideas for your lunchboxes.
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All bento accessories are available through Bento USA,
the cheapest and most complete online bento products in the USA.

Other bento gears are also available thru My Amazon Affiliate Link.
Thank you for your support!



If you need weekly meals straight to your inbox, try MOMables.
It's our one-stop shop when we're on a lunch rut.
 photo Laura.png

October 30, 2013

Rent A Book, Give A Smile

A Mission for a Cause Beyond Healthy Eating


I was recently contacted by Campus Book Rentals to write up a post regarding their partnership with Operation Smile. A partnership to help bring back more smiles from our children with congenital facial deformities.  I have joined the cause to help spread the mission worldwide.


 photo OperationSmile.jpg


It is a textbook rental company that helps you save money in college in the most efficient way.  They have the largest selections of textbooks in the nation, and provide free shipping both ways, which I love the most. I must admit I'm a sucker of freebies and low price tags. So forgive me for that. But this program appeals to me and my family that's why I agreed to join the cause and blog about it to share to my followers. Not only that, but also, they have the most flexible rental periods. They allow you to loan books by quarter, by term or by semester.  Still doesn't work?  How would you want if they let you choose your own return date? You got it! For as long as you return the books you borrowed.  There's even more to that. You are also given a 15-day grace period in case you forgot to return on due date. What's even better is that you have the freedom to highlight, mark, or write on the book you loaned. Visit their website now and start saving 40-90% off the bookstore prices.

But, if you're more comfortable to get your own book, that works too.  You can make use of their other program, Rent Back Textbooks, to make money out of your precious investments over and over.  Don't sell your textbooks. Campus Book Rentals will rent your book to another student.  And each time it gets rented, you get paid. Visit their website to learn more information and start earning.


It is an international medical charity for children that brings back the beautiful smiles of our children, that will dramatically change their life forever.  Operation Smile is a mobilized force of medical professionals with a very huge heart, who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery, and related medical care for children with congenital facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.

Great news for affected parents and family members!  There's hope for your children or siblings who were born with facial deformities. Contact them thru this link, and you will receive instructions on how to receive their medical services.

Statistic shows that one in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.

I agree that every child deserves a future filled with hope.  That every child should have access to safe and quality surgical care.

What is the mission?

Over the last 3 years, Campus Book Rental have partnered with Operation Smiles by donating life-saving cleft lip surgeries for children in need. This year they intend to continue the support, and have found a way for students to donate as well. For every book they rent, a proceed goes to the cause.  What's even greater, is when students rent back their textbooks to other students through Rent Back Textbooks, they have the options to donate a portion of their earnings, or all of it. I know God created us equally.  We may be short with one thing, but abundant in others.  This is what I call human dissimilarity, which we need in order to appreciate our blessings and learn to help people cope up with their needs.

I am calling out to all families, friends and followers. Please support the cause by tweeting, sharing on Facebook or other social medias to reach families who may need the services of  Campus Book Rentals or Rent Back Textbooks, and you may indirectly help change children's smiles and lives forever.


If you love Healthy Eating Starts at Home, you may subscribe via email to get all my posts straight to your inbox. No spam mails, just healthy food ideas for your lunchboxes and beyond.
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October 21, 2013

Bean Sprout Veggie Wrap

Meatless Monday for your Lunchboxes

This is being linked up to Meatless Monday Linky Party over at Bento For Kidlet.

I have finally convinced myself to pack lunches for myself to work as well.  Mostly because I work from 8:30am -1:30pm, which gives me ample travel time for school pick up daily. And get tummy growls by the time I'm in school waiting in line till the kids are out.  Seriously, I eat lunch at 2:30-3pm daily.  And that depends too if there are emergency PTA duty in school.  I find myself eat like a horse by the time I'm home, just to compensate the meals I missed.  Definitely not healthy. 
 
I wasn't so sure what to prepare for dinner last night. I found myself staring at our fridge looking at bean sprouts, tofu, carrots and green beans.  Then I opened the freezer and saw the chicken legs staring at me.  Scary ha! I was honestly so exhausted from our Pumpkin Patch trip that afternoon, and I'm just looking for something quick and easy to prepare for dinner, but something healthy and the kids would definitely eat.
 
I decided to sauté the bean sprouts with the other veggies I mentioned earlier. Easy but boring.  So I thought of wrapping them up for a bean sprout roll, for which we call it, the "Bean Sprout Veggie Wrap."

 photo MeatlessMonday.jpg

My husband is not huge on bean sprouts because of his not so good childhood memories.  But when I started this dish, he changed his outlook towards bean sprouts, and had given it a second chance.  Great! My kiddos especially love this because it's crisp and juicy when eaten raw.  They love it as an appetizer when we dine in Korean Restaurants. But I have to think of a way to serve it to them.  And wrapping it isn't a bad idea after all.  I've seen my mom served it for us when we were growing up.  And we love dipping it in a spicy vinegar sauce.

This is easy. Just sauté all the veggies, drain the excess liquid once cooked. You can either toss it or save it for your rice.  It's yummy since it's already flavored with seasoning.  Wrap them up with a lumpia (eggroll) wrapper, about 2 sheets each.  We usually deep fry them to give the wrapper a crispy touch.  But for healthier option, just brush olive oil on both sides of the wrap and put them in a 450-475 degrees F oven for about 10-15 minutes on each side. Watch them so you don't burn them.  I make use of a toaster oven so it would take a while. Once it turns light brown, turn them right away.  Refrigerate any leftovers.  Reheating is done the same.

We all had this for dinner last night, and lunch for this noon.  Please excuse the  picture above. It was photographed by a camera phone so it wasn't at its best.  I am already at work writing this post, and just needed a picture to go by since I left my decent camera at home.

Please head over to Bento For Kidlet Meatless Monday and see what other contributors have in store for you.  If it's from Bento For Kidlet, it must be the best :)

BentoForKidlet
 
If you love Healthy Eating Starts at Home, you may subscribe via email to get all my posts straight to your inbox. No spam mails, just healthy food ideas for your lunchboxes.
signature
All bento accessories are available through Bento USA,
the cheapest and most complete online bento products in the USA.

Other bento gears are also available thru My Amazon Affiliate Link.
Thank you for your support!



If you need weekly meals straight to your inbox, try MOMables.
It's our one-stop shop when we're on a lunch rut.
 photo Laura.png

October 18, 2013

Easy DIY Potato Chips

Healthy Food Idea for your Lunchboxes


I have always wanted to prepare foods from scratch.  But I'm not a kitchen pro, so it only happens when it does.  And for the most part, I'm a chicken when it comes to trying new stuffs.  I read food magazines, recipe books, and watch the Food Channel.  When I found an idea, I would bookmark, print, and imprint it in my memory.  But it all stops there.  I need a little push to try it. Simple inspiration like kids' request.

To make story short, last year I met someone who taught me how to make potato chips from scratch. With a tip to make it crisp and light.  And of course, with lots of kids' request, which made me push myself to make it a family's snack retreat on movie nights and play dates.

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So what's the secret?

Make sure you cut it as paper thin as possible.  But don't worry if you can't.  They still taste good, but not as cripsy when their thinner.  My secret is to make use of a grater or peeler.  It takes a lot of practice, but worth the effort and time.

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Look for a grater that has an elongated slot like shown above.  They will make your life easier.  It will help you cut potatoes in half the time.

Brine it.  The salt water solution draws the starch away from the potatoes, making it lighter and crisper to fry or bake.  Honestly, I haven't really tried baking it since we love potato chips fried and drained.  Plus, since it's already brined, it's not bland at all. They're as yummy as the pouched snacks.


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Deep fry or Bake it. We do option 1, which is deep frying with vegetable oil.  I will try to bake them next time.  But first let me find out the right oven temp and correct length of time to bake it just right.

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Drain and Serve. Drain excess oil well with paper towels, then serve.

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I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial.  I have found this pretty easy to make and it's nice to know my family devour it on snack time, without the worries of any added MSG or preservatives to it.

Here are the lunches I packed with potato chips. Kids and adults love them just as much.

 photo EasyDIYPC.jpg

If you love Healthy Eating Starts at Home, you may subscribe via email to get all my posts straight to your inbox. No spam mails, just healthy food ideas for your lunchboxes.
signature

All bento accessories are available through Bento USA,
the cheapest and most complete online bento products in the USA.

Other bento gears are also available thru My Amazon Affiliate Link.
Thank you for your support!



If you need weekly meals straight to your inbox, try MOMables.
It's our one-stop shop when we're on a lunch rut.
 photo Laura.png
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