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Summer afternoon — summer afternoon; 

to me those have always been the two most

beautiful words in the English language.

~Henry James

The wonderful lazy afternoons of summer are winding down and we will be back in full-routine next week when school starts. I’m beginning to think about (that’s the first step, right?) getting myself organized for the onslaught of full schedules and fall activities. I’m even being a meanie and making my kids wake up at 8 am this week to begin shifting their body-clocks, so that next week, 6:30 won’t be quite such a shock.

Last year we exited the homeschool world and entered the get-out-of-pajamas-and-go-to-school-daily world for the first time. One of the more daunting aspects of this transition was packing lunches Every.Single.Day. And not only lunches, but morning snacks, and one of my kids needed an afternoon snack as well. It took some getting used to, and I really strived to pack healthy, appealing food with variety. (Although I feel I owe my children an apology for their lunches in May and June. They got pretty weird and uninspired as end-of-the-year fatigue set in.)

So, in honor of the new school year, today’s first ever Mom-Hack Monday will share a lunch-packing success I discovered last year. I make a large batch of smoothie, pour it into 1/2 pint mason jars and freeze it. In the morning, I take one out, pack it in a lunch box (it can double as an ice pack) and by morning snack or lunchtime it is the perfect slushy consistency to eat with a spoon. My kids say it tastes like ice cream and they are always pleased to discover it in their lunchboxes. I rotate through many smoothie recipes, depending on what fruit we have on hand, but today I’m going to share a favorite I created called Creamy Tropical Smoothie. (It’s so good, I’ve even made popsicles out of it).


Creamy Tropical Smoothie

Servings: 8 cups
Author: Kara


  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberry or vanilla greek yogurt (for extra protein)
  • 1 can coconut milk (full fat or reduced fat)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional, but I like Costco's Orgain Organic Protein and Superfood Powder)
  • 5 cups mixed tropical fruit. I use Costco's frozen Organic Daybreak tropical blend, but you can use any mix of mangos, pineapple, strawberries, etc.


  • Blend all ingredients and pour into 1/2 pint mason jars, leaving enough head-space to account for expansion when frozen. Store in freezer and pack in lunch the morning of. By morning snack or lunch it will be a perfect slush consistency.

Blessing to all my friends as you begin a new school year!


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