Revolution Foods Lunch Bundles plus Giveaway

I can't believe the school year is almost here! Where did summer go? Lucas will be in second grade, Theo will be starting kindergarten, and we will all (hopefully) be getting back into a nice routine. Today, I've partnered with Revolution Foods to give away a month's supply of their healthy, easy-to-make meals and Lunch Bundles for the whole family. Enter the giveaway and check out the details here. I love Revolution Foods' philosophy that everyone deserves access to high quality food made with carefully considered ingredients and their commitment to quality and nurturing healthier food habits. Plus, they make it super easy for busy parents to get the kids out the door for school with their Lunch Bundles, and easy weeknight dinners with their Dinner Hero meals.

Lucas and Theo loved these Lunch Bundles and they each had their favorites. I was able to mix and match them to make sure they were happy. With four classic bundle options (including Decker, Powerfood, Superfood and Sundipper), Revolution Foods Lunch Bundles have no artificial flavors, and include a rich variety of healthy options loaded with protein, whole grains, and real fruits and veggies. So fun to snack, nibble, dip and go!

I usually make lunches for the kids but sometimes I just need a break. Seriously, these Lunch Bundles are so easy to grab and pop into the kids' backpacks. I'm all about saving time this back to school year!

Who remembers Hamburger Helper back in the day? My mom used to make those skillet dinners for us every once in a while as a time saving quick weeknight meal. I don't even want to know what the ingredients were in those! In comes Dinner Hero meals that you can make in 30 minutes with whole grains and custom spice blends.

There are four flavors--Coconut Curry, Sesame Garlic, Smoky Tomato and Fiesta Taco--we tried the Fiesta Taco. It was a little spicy for the kids, but we just added more rice than meat and they ate the whole thing. Also, we opted to use ground turkey instead of beef, and added avocado and fresh cilantro.

I would love to know, "How do you Hero?" Share your tips, tricks, and parenting moments with me. Don't forget to enter this amazing giveaway to win a month's supply of Revolution Foods!

+ This post was sponsored by Revolution Foods, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Lucas' 7th Birthday Party

I can't believe Lucas turned 7 on April 26th. Last year he wanted a Pokemon party but we ended up with a magic themed party instead. He's even more into Pokemon now so we did it up with a Pokemon themed party with my own modern spin on it. Remember his 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th birthday parties?

I designed the invitations with a simple and modern take on Pikachu's face. I initially wanted to mail each invitation with a balloon that had a hand drawing of Pikachu's face but it didn't quite work out the way I wanted. Instead, each invitation came with a yellow balloon taped to the yellow backing of the invitation. The custom envelope liner had a photo of Lucas looking at a Pokemon book written in Japanese from our date to the Kinokuniya bookstore. The invitations were mailed in sunny yellow envelopes and sealed with wraparound address labels.

For the party favors, I made Poke Surprise Balls (tutorial here) using crepe paper streamers, a Sharpie and red acrylic paint. Each Poke Ball included a few Pokemon figurines, some Japanese candy, and a colorful whistle.

As usual, we order all the donut holes and make custom paper cones. :)

I made a super easy red velvet cake and cupcakes and just added the Pokemon figurines on top.

We hired a face painter who specializes in Pokemon drawings. Some kids had their full face painted and others, like Lucas, just had a character drawn on their face or arm.

Initially I was going to get Mexican food, but then I realized that Japanese food would be perfect for the theme! The sushi platters from Kyoto actually turned out to be less expensive. I just added Japanese rice crackers, fresh fruit, and some gyoza from Costco which I heated the morning of.

Okay, so the whistles. ;) I thought the whistles in the favors were so cute! I mean, for emergencies or to hook onto backpacks, right? But when all the whistles are going off at the same time and parents are kidding but not kidding about getting me back at their next party... Haha!!!

The cutest Pikachu that ever lived!

Every year, Nick and I tag team on making the pinata. This year I made a Poke Ball using the paper mache method and filled it with Japanese candies and Annie's Bunny Fruit Snacks. Nick stayed up until 1 a.m. painting it.

Last year's pinata was a giant playing card that we made out of cardboard. It was unbreakable and hilarious because Nick had to stab it all over just to make it easier to break. This year was the opposite--it busted open just after a few strikes. We had to find ways to make it harder to open and sadly not everyone got a turn.

The look on Lucas' face when it was cake time is everything.

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Favorites: School Lunches With Fluf Lunch Bags

For many parents, including myself, school lunches can be a little daunting--what to pack each day, deciding between a warm lunch or cold, not wanting to spend too much money if it's going to come back uneaten, etc. Today, I've partnered with modern kids online shop Ziraffe who sent over some of the cutest lunch and snack packs from Fluf. They are washable, have a water-resistant BPA-free lining, durable, super cute, and made of organic cotton. I've paired them with our favorite lunch box to show you some lunch ideas that work for both Lucas and Theo.

Theo's nut-free preschool lunch in the Cactus Zipper Lunch Bag (left):

  • pomegranate seeds
  • cucumber slices
  • apple slices
  • brown rice cake
  • mandarin orange slices
  • kiwi
  • yogurt covered pretzel (dessert)
    note: I usually include a protein such as string cheese or a sun butter sandwich but his class was having rice and beans that day so I omitted it.

Lucas' first grade lunch in the Grey Zipper Lunch Bag (right):

  • blackberries
  • kiwi
  • olives
  • string cheese
  • peanut butter and jelly sandwich
  • sliced apples
  • organic dark chocolate coconut chips (WF bulk bin!)

A few other school lunch tips:

  • Either make the lunch with your kid or ask them what they'd like in their lunch
  • Give them a choice (i.e. do you want pears or apples? a sandwich or a quesadilla?)
  • Pack the night before--for apple slices, cut them in the morning and have one of the kids rub lemon on them to prevent from turning brown
  • For kids who hate bread crust, I do one of two things: I either leave it on because sometimes my kids are so hungry they eat the whole thing, or I cut off the crust and put it in the actual sandwich (they can't see it or taste it, but they're eating it!)

I bought most of these from Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. The cost for each lunch comes out to under $4 and all of it minus the olives and pretzel is organic.

I supplemented their lunch with some snacks. These Fluf snack packs are so convenient for school or just everyday use. I love the velcro closure for little hands and how roomy they are. I put cut-up carrots and gluten-free pretzels in the Fluf Mama Love Snack Pack for Theo. Lucas has raw almonds and cut-up carrots in his Hi Snack Pack.

The lunch bags hold a lot (probably even artwork and jacket!).

I love that there's a sturdy interior pocket for a water bottle or an ice pack.

+ This post is in partnership with Ziraffe. All words and opinions are my own.

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Jackson Family Photo Shoot: December 2016

I can't believe it's the end of the year! I managed to stay on top of our holiday photos this year, booking our super talented friend Sarah of Modern Kids to shoot our family's photos--she's been taking our photos since Lucas was a year old (remember last year's shoot and the year before that?). I'm always so amazed at the final photos. My boys are so crazy--I mean, this year Sarah was lucky enough to see Lucas' frank AND beans! OMG!

I bribed the boys with donuts and the promise of more treats and a movie after the shoot. Still, the frank and beans came out. Ha!

We went to Codornices Park in Berkeley for the second half of our shoot. I also decided to an outfit change would be fun. Ha! SO unlike me, but this only happens once a year. We set up a picnic under this amazing tree.

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Favorites: New Tea Collection / HOLIDAY

The new holiday collection from Tea is up and it's super cute! My boys are mostly always dressed in casual wear--ready to run, jump and play! Remember their outfits inspired by Japan, Italy and India? When Tea sent me some pieces from their new holiday collection, I loved them but to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure if they would wear them. I mean, when was the last time Lucas wore a sweater vest? Um, never. But to my surprise, the boys were super excited to don their new outfits for their Nana’s big 70th birthday party that afternoon. Who knew? I was so excited! The boys spent the morning in the holiday collection playing with their Magnatiles, Legos, Keva Tiles, Pokemon characters, army guys and ninjas. The Windowpane Traveler Trousers are tailored looking but super soft and wearable--definitely a new favorite.

We headed off to Santa Rosa to celebrate Nana’s birthday. It was a cold and wet weekend but we took advantage of the break in the rain to play outside. Off went the Haru Sweater Vest the minute Lucas decided to play baseball—underneath it though was the Yomiuri Baseball Henley, perfect for batting and throwing strikes. Theo was cold and kept his Fudo Zip Cardigan over his Heritage Striped Purity Tee as he scootered around the driveway dodging Lucas’ hits.

I love the versatility of these pieces. They’re fancy but SO wearable and comfortable and if you know Lucas and Theo, they are ACTIVE.

Get 25% off now until 10/30 for the Friends and Family event. Use code BONSAI at checkout.

+ This post is in partnership with Tea Collection and contains affiliate links. All words and opinions are my own.

+ Get 25% off now until 10/30 for the Friends and Family event. Use code BONSAI at checkout.

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Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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Favorites: New Tea Collection / JAPAN

I love the latest Tea Collection line inspired by travels to Japan. Remember Lucas and Theo rocking last season's collection inspired by Italy and the season before that inspired by India? As a Tea Ambassador, I was asked where I would take my family if I could travel anywhere and guess where I chose? JAPAN. Yep! I was super excited when the latest collection was inspired by Japan--I love Japanese food and would probably choose it over any other kind of food to eat for the rest of my life.

Check out the entire Tea Collection and get 20% off EVERYTHING with FREE SHIPPING during the Labor Day Sale with code HELLOFALL.

What better way to kick of the Japanese inspired collection with the Mount Fuji Graphic Tee and a game of Pokemon.

I took Lucas on a day date to San Francisco's Japantown. I hadn't been there in years and I thought it would be a fun place to explore with Lucas and get a giant bowl of udon. Our first stop was the Kinokuniya Bookstore. With hundreds of books about art and culture, gifts, and everything Pokemon related, Lucas was in heaven. Needless to say, there was a lot of, "Mama, can I get this? How about that?" We were both a little overwhelmed so I gave Lucas a budget that he had to stick to. He spent it on a Pokemon encyclopedia, a box of Pocky sticks and a water gun. Go figure!

There were so many little shops in the mall and so much stuff to touch! 

Secretly glad this video game shop with the giant Pikachu was closed.

Pocky sticks are a MUST.

A giant bowl of noodles are my comfort food. For lunch, we went to Udon Mugizo, one of the best spots in the city for hand pulled udon. This dimly lit small restaurant inside the Japantown mall was the perfect spot to take a break and recharge.

Believe it or not, Lucas pretty much finished his entire bowl of noodles, tofu sheet, and fish cakes. Being a true Asian, I took the broth home. The next night I heated up the broth and added udon and some greens. Easy dinner done!

Lucas wears the Udon Graphic Tee.

I took Theo out in his Rice Graphic Tee to get some delicious savory porridge (pink and brown rice, red quinoa, amaranth, sesame oil and gomasio), avocado toast and hot chocolate at Bartavelle in Berkeley.

Lucas wears the Kasai Zip Hoodie.

+ Check out the entire Tea Collection and get 20% off EVERYTHING with FREE SHIPPING during the Labor Day Sale with code HELLOFALL. Ends Tuesday, 9/6/2016.

+ This post is in partnership with Tea Collection and contains affiliate links. All words and opinions are my own.

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Theo's 4th Birthday Party

A few weekends ago we celebrated Theo's 4th birthday party. Remember his music-themed 3rd birthday party last year? About four months before his party I asked Theo what kind of party he wanted. He said, "A chocolate party!" Two months later he said the same thing. Admittedly, I was a bit stumped. I mean, how awesome would a chocolate party be!? But then again, every parent would kill me if all I served was chocolate everything. So then I came up with the idea of "Theo's Chocolate Waffle Bar Party" that would incorporate his love for chocolate AND waffles--plus, give everyone different options including savory ones.

Inspired by my trip to Dinette in L.A., I decided to use metal trays lined with a custom kraft liner. The whole look was made even cuter with these bear face party napkins from my friends at Harlow & Grey. I vowed to never cook all the food for a birthday party again (Lucas' round-themed 2nd birthday party nearly killed me) but this waffle bar was pretty easy. I ordered scrambled eggs and popcorn chicken from the Whole Foods catering department in Berkeley, made a few batches of chocolate waffles in advance and froze them, made some syrups in advance, and just cut some fruit and baked tater tots the morning of. Oh, and you know what saved me was this little guy from Amazon.

Ready for a heart melt? Lucas made Theo this birthday hat out of paper, tape and string--one for Theo and another tiny one for Theo's "baby" stuffie.

Organic fruit and syrups with custom labels ;)

Homemade chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream frosting. I really need/want to take a cake decorating class.

A family tradition!!!

Somewhere along the way Theo transformed into a ninja. Haha!

We hired the best kids band ever Your Song My Song. They were taking requests and Theo wanted "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. So they figured out how to play it! High five!

This is the face of a happy birthday boy!

The party favors were delicious butter waffle cookies from Trader Joe's hand dipped in semi-sweet chocolate and sprinkled with rainbow nonpareils. I packaged them in glassine bags and sealed each one with a custom label.

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Easy Summer Meze Platter for Kids

When Lucas and Theo get off school or summer camp they are usually ravenous. I always make sure to bring them a simple snack like grapes, pretzels or cut up apples when I pick them up. I was at Target the other day and found these new Chobani Meze Dips made with Greek yogurt. It inspired me to make a kid-friendly meze platter--carrot sticks, cherry tomatoes, pretzels, crackers, sliced cucumbers and simple chicken tenders. My kids usually don't love hummus so I thought they might like these savory yogurt dips instead and they devoured them. It was great because adding the chicken tenders basically made this an easy dinner they could eat with their hands.

+ Please note this is not a sponsored post.

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Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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Favorites: Ziraffe Store + Instagram Takeover

Last week I partnered with the super cute modern kids online shop Ziraffe, to take over their Instagram feed. Owner and mama Yunyi Zhang sent over a couple of outfits for Lucas and Theo and she was spot on in choosing for their personalities. We discovered some cool new European brands including Macarons, Munster Kids and arsene et les pipelettes.

I shot Lucas and Theo in their cool outfits just doing everyday things like playing Pokemon with daddy, eating a giant bowl of noodles, drawing, wrestling and visiting Nana and Grandad in Santa Rosa. We also went on a mama and Lucas day date to visit Tartine Bakery in San Francisco where we had croissants, hot chocolate and an almond latte. Lucas would always say how much he loves croissants and that the ones he's had from Costco are so yummy. It only took one bite of Tartine's croissant to declare them the best he's ever had.

Check out my takeover on Ziraffe's Instagram feed. And here are all the outtakes!

Sign up on Ziraffe to get 25% off your first order and free shipping on all US orders.

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Favorites: Swoop Mini Bags

I don't know what's worse--a million Lego pieces all over the house or a few Legos on the floor that you step on with your bare feet. Ouch, right!?! Either way, Legos need a place of their own. Lucas and Theo were so lucky to inherit their cousin's gazillion Legos which they love and play with on a daily basis (remember our trip to Legoland?). And Lucas just got a bunch of new Legos for his 6th birthday. Though we have some Ikea storage bins, we could always use more storage for all those tiny pieces. So when Sarah at Swoop Bags sent us their new Swoop Mini Bags, we were thrilled! Not only are they perfect for storing the Legos and MagnaTiles they're playing with at the moment, but they are also great for traveling--we just took them to visit Nana and Grandad in Santa Rosa last weekend! And I swear they encourage cooperative play! Win Win! ;)

Designed and made in Seattle of tough, water-resistant nylon fabric, they have an inside pocket, heavy duty nylon cording with locks, are machine washable (yay!) and have a lifetime warranty.

Scroll to the bottom to find a special discount from Swoop Bags.

Hello, mini pocket!

Took our Legos and MagnaTiles to Nana and Grandad's house for the first time!

I love that these Swoop Mini Bags can hold so much yet cinch up easily and feel so compact.

+ Sarah at Swoop Bags is kindly offering 20% off in their Shop with code GOOD20 through Sunday, June 5th.
+ Find me on Instagram (@good_on_paper), Twitter (@good_on_paper), Pinterest (@goodonpaperdes) and Tumblr (hellogoodonpaper)
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