Disney’s Moana HeiHei Snack Plate Recipe!

 Moana HeiHei Snack Plate


Welcome to day 3 of our 12 Days of School Lunches. Today we are sharing Disney’s Moana HeiHei Snack Plate recipe. It’s easy to make and the kids will love it. You can put it one of those sandwich containers so it stays together. Head over to Just Plum Crazy to get the recipe.

12 Days of Back to School Lunches

Be sure to come back daily and visit the other bloggers sharing their ideas for school lunches too.

Sandwich Sushi

sandwich sushi

Welcome to Day 2 in our Twelve Days of Back-to-School Lunches. I have teamed up with a group of fantastic bloggers to bring you fabulous back-to-school lunch inspiration. Make sure to check back each day to add to your own collection of great school lunch ideas!

Today’s recipe comes from Sam at Gagen Girls who shares with us her creative take on school lunches with Sandwich “Sushi”.

Get the recipe for this Sandwich “Sushi” and add a little fun flair to your lunchbox.

12 Days of Back to School Lunches

Don’t miss out on any of the 12 Back-to-School Lunch Ideas by checking out all the great recipes below.

Make New Friends

The beginnning of a new school year doesn't have to be scary when you take along some special "friends"!
The beginning of a new school year doesn’t have to be scary when you take along some special “friends”!

Starting school can be a scary time, and that’s why I have always tried to do every little thing I can to lessen my kids’ angst! Writing notes on napkins, buying fancy little straws for their milk cartons and fancy plates on which to “place” their sandwiches, and putting the sandwiches in seasonal storage bags were just a few of the ways I tried to brighten up my kids’ days. It shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, then, that my desire to make my girls feel special included food preparation as well….and that’s where the idea for “Make New Friends” sandwiches came from! A gloomy day can become bright again when opening the lunch box and finding a new friend, and these friends are oh, so easy to make!


1. Gathering your supplies together ahead of time ensures that you have everything you need front and center.

2. Using a cookie cutter of a child (a gingerbread boy cookie cutter works nicely), cut out a stack of new ‘friends’ from a loaf of bread. My girls preferred white bread but any bread will work. I usually cut out a whole stack of ‘friends’ so that I can DSCN0158make a bunch in advance. (Oh, and for those who don’t like to be wasteful, throw all the extra bread crusts into a freezer bag to save for Thanksgiving stuffing!)


3. Prepare your filling. Fillings can be as simple as peanut butter and jelly but my kids’ favorites were:

pizza sauce and pepperoni

peanut butter and honey

tuna salad with chopped apples

cream cheese with green olives

pimento cheese

cream cheese with strawberry jam

cucumbers and salad dressing with a sprinkle of fresh dill

mashed bananas and honey


DSCN01644. Spread (or place) the filling on one cutout bread friend and then top it with a second cutout.



5. Here’s where the fun comes in. After making your ‘friend’ sandwich, decorate it! Ideas for faces and/or clothing for the friend include:

drawing eyes and a mouth with a tube of frosting

cutting a triangle from a cheese slice for a skirt

placing small candies on the friend as buttons

pushing in mini chocolate chips for eyes and a nose

sprinkling the entire sandwich with powdered sugar OR a mix of cinnamon and white sugar

sprinkling with “fairy dust” (edible glitter)



A little bit of effort goes a long way for making our kids’ days special. Who wouldn’t get excited about seeing a plateful of deliciousness and fun!!


Note: After making these a few times for my girls, they decided they wanted to get in on the action. My kitchen turned into a fun place on a Sunday afternoon as together we thought up new fillings and ways to decorate our “friends”. Great memories!

Where Do We Begin?

I have thought all day about how to write this post and still don’t know what to say.    5 Officers killed.   CountlessDallas police others injured.   Fathers….newlyweds….rookies….experienced……no one was safe.    Normally we hear stories like this and they seem far removed, things that don’t happen to us, but they’re much closer and they DO happen to us and to others like us.  Violence knows no boundaries.  And that’s where our present dilemma lies. How do we teach our kids that violence doesn’t solve problems; it only creates new ones.  How do we make them understand that there are other ways to handle the things in our lives that eat at us?  Is it even our job to teach those lessons and if so, how do we do it?

Sadness in little girlThe answer is a resounding YES!  We have to teach those lessons because we are in the perfect position to do so!  We have students for 6-7 hours a day and we see them in all settings — at work and at play.  We see them when they’re happy and we see them when they’re sad and stressed and frustrated and lonely and angry…sometimes, so so angry, and  we could (if we so choose)  use those situations to teach about coping, adapting, compromising, problem solving, and anger management.

But unfortunately, we don’t always use those “teaching moments” to our best advantage.  We tell kids to ignore the bullies or to walk away.  We tell the lonely ones to just ‘go find a new friend’ as if all they have to do is step up to a counter and order one.  We react to the angry ones sometimes by getting angry ourselves, because it just becomes so tiresome to keep dealing over and over with such troubled kids.    But in missing those moments, we are really missing the mark, aren’t we?

The sniper in Dallas yesterday, the shooter in Orlando in June, and countless others who have chosen violence as a means to an end were all students in someone’s class one day.  They all no doubt had opportunities to make good choices as well as bad choices.  They all no doubt had teachers who somehow might have been able to effect change in the way they handled the difficulties that proved one day to be too insurmountable for them.   So, the question I have been asking myself all day is, how can we make a change, and where do we start?

Thought provoking question for which I have no easy answer, but you can be darn sure I will continue searching for one!   We simply can’t afford to ignore this one….What befalls the earth quote


Summer time….and the living is easy!

heat-149937__180Well, that’s the way it’s supposed to be, right?  And there are certainly some “easy” moments I’ve experienced, but the truth is, I have filled some of many days planning and thinking about the next school year…..thinking about what worked last year and, of course, what didn’t…..thinking about rearranging the room (for the hundredth time)….thinking about setting up new systems for tracking data (or do I just keep the old?)….all of these things and more roll around in my brain as I ponder being the best teacher that I can be.   I know I have lots of things I need to improve but there were also things that worked well last year so I won’t be “throwing out the baby with the bath water” as my grandmother used to say.

All that being said, though, there is something very beneficial about taking the time to  refresh ourselves from the daily routine during the school year.  That  refreshing can take place in a lot of ways and a lot of places, too.  Sitting on your back porch and thinking about absolutely nothing…….paying the bill for the person behind you in line at Starbuck’s……going for a swim…..relaxing in a daytime movie….reading a book for fun….teaming up with some friends for a girls’ day out…hitting the flea markets….even cleaning out closets can be refreshing if you actually have the time to do it well!  Whatever you do to refresh yourself, make it count.  Don’t think about school.  Focus on that moment in time and just relax.   You will enjoy each day so much more when you take time for yourself AND you will be better prepared to start back to school when the time comes.

Roald Dahl said it best, I think, in Charlie and the Great GlassElevator  when he said, “A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.”

So, what are YOU doing for ‘refreshment’ this summer?
feet in water

What I Am Learning This Summer…

Okay, so in the past few days,   I have learned that you really can get an education just by watching tv.  Here’s my TOP TEN LIST of what  my schooling has consisted of:
1.  Advertisers can at their own whim make up new words (“healthing”)
2.  Advertisers prey on people with financial problems and illnessgavel-309599__180 (1)
3.  Yes, there really is such a thing as a pet cemetery and you really can spend a fortune having a funeral for your pet (We the People)
4.  Yes, male body parts really do get superglued together when females get angry and gang up (some other court show)
5.  Some people will actually on public television ADMIT   to committing a felony  (yes, judge, I was selling jewelry that was fake……trafficking counterfeit goods across state lines) in the process of suing the other person for not paying for said counterfeit goods (ummmm……REALLY????)
6.  I can get anyone’s opinion on anything at any given moment
7.  I can buy anything at any given moment
8.  I am NOT smarter than a 5th grader
9.  A large majority of tv shows involve violence of some kind
10.  Apparently we Americans ENJOY making fun of other people (I mean, seriously, does Honey Boo Boo really think we watch the show because we think she is so adorable????????)

So, what I have really learned is………I’m going back to cleaning out closets, organizing files and when I need a break, READING……………That is MY world and I like it there!!!!book-759873__180