snacks, brunch, the beach & happiest moment in my life!



I needed to restock the kitchen a bit over the weekend before my son arrived home from camp. Since he always complains about Trader Joe’s cereals (and really, Trader Joe’s anything), I did my best to get some non-Trader Joe’s snacks and cereals that would hopefully meet my son’s requirements.

snacks and cereals

I thought he would love the Eggo Chocolate Chip Pancake Bites especially since they come in pouches (the ingredients list wasn’t even too horrendous).

The truth is, we parents need to figure out the balance between raising our kids to understand the importance of healthy, nutritious meals while giving them the okay to eat the snacks and treats they desire.

Some snacks and cereals are better choices than others but the reality is, if we don’t let our kids have some of the processed stuff, they will find it elsewhere, craving it and seeking it out more than if we just allow it. We all ate the “junk” growing up and survived.

I had friends whose parents were so insanely strict with food that when they got away from their parents, these kids ate everything “off-limits” that they could get their hands on.

As my son gets older, it’s just not possible for me to expect him to take homemade granola bars to school or to eat only the foods I suggest. I may not like his food choices all of the time but I gotta let him live. One day he will get it.

I did pick up a box of these new Trader Joe’s Raises the Bar Chewy Granola Bars though, have you tried them yet?

They are made with oats, millet, quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat. I can’t say I liked the one I tried though and the dark chocolate chunks were extremely sparse. Like maybe 3 little chunks of dark chocolate in one bar.

I may return the box to the store.

Trader Joe's Raises The Bar

My really good friend Lisa and I kept trying to make a lunch plan or dinner plan for the last two months which is just ridiculous. When our boys were babies, we spent every single day together walking the malls and raising our kids together. We were our own mommy and me and now life keeps getting in the way.

We finally made a plan for an early brunch at our favorite Premier Diner which was just perfect. We couldn’t decide between the baked oatmeal or the yogurt parfait so we ordered both and shared it. Genius idea.

Lisa and I have the exact same palette for food which was one of the reasons we were instant BFFs when we met back when our boys were only five months old.

Premiere Diner baked oatmeal and yogurt parfait

I spent Saturday at my aunt’s beach house again which is my favorite place to be in the summer ever since I am a little girl.

I was so excited to see that she had made her famous corn flake crumb chicken (and used the breading on veal this time too) so even though I no longer eat meat and didn’t get a picture of what I ate, I made sure to get the picture of the corn flake crumbs!

Remember, I just mentioned her famous breading in my recipe challenge post on Friday.

My aunt is the best cook ever. Not pictured is a really easy and delicious skillet corn dish that she told me how to make so I am going to hopefully give it a try this week and report back!

cornflake crumbs and lunch selection

Even by the beach, it was crazy hot outside due to the heat wave but by later in the afternoon, it was comfortable in the backyard because there was a nice breeze.

You know you have reached old age when you just look at the pool you used to swim in as a kid rather than actually go in to get wet.


This is how I eat cake by the way. I carve out the chocolate filling and leave the cake parts.

birthday cake

And my son is home! I am pretty sure that seeing the parade of buses pull up yesterday from the sleep away camps was the happiest moment in my life.

Seriously. I don’t think I have ever been more excited or happier in my life.

buses from camp

And because I know my bunny so well, Chopt was his first meal home request but first we stopped home so he could see his room all redone (and I forced him into the shower immediately. Like I turned the shower water on and said get yourself in there and don’t come out for at least ten minutes).

Chopt salads

He has not stopped talking about all of his experiences this summer at sleep away camp. Although he for sure missed being home, I can see that sending him to this camp was the best decision ever and he agreed, even thanking me for the experience.

We went over to see my parents for dinner, picking up pizza because pizza was the next request after Chopt. I don’t blame him, I would miss New York pizza too. Even though camp was in upstate New York, their pizza isn’t the same.


You know how I really know sleep away camp was the best decision? Rather than play around with his cell phone as soon as he was home, my son requested a deck of cards so that we could play all of the card games he learned while at camp.

Being unplugged is probably the greatest part about sleep away camp today. Kids today need a chance to interact without technology and do the things we kids did for years before cell phones and social media existed. 🙂

We have three weeks until school starts!

snacks, brunch, cake and pizza #weekend #brunch #snacks #traderjoes #pizza #beach Click To Tweet

3 things you did over the weekend?

First thing you think of as the happiest moment in your life?

Favorite cereal as a kid?




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  • Sara @ Oats & Rows August 15, 2016, 6:09 am

    As a kid, I LOVED Kix and Cap’n Crunch, but now I can’t get enough of allllll Trader Joe’s cereals. Chop’t and pizza sound like meals I would immediately request to when returning home 🙂 glad you had a good weekend!
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    • The Cookie ChRUNicles August 15, 2016, 6:11 am

      see, as adults we realize that the healthier stuff can be good! I liked kix too. and peanut butter captn crunch!

  • Susie @ Suzlyfe August 15, 2016, 6:28 am

    I was (and am still, because I refuse to believe that it is gone) obsessed with Team Cheerios. I think Frosted Cheerios and Frosted Flakes were probably my favorite, though I did go through a Golden Grahams phase.
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    • The Cookie ChRUNicles August 15, 2016, 11:55 am

      I went through a golden grahams phase too! it’s a great cereal that often gets forgotten and I don’t know why

  • Lisa @ Running Out Of Wine August 15, 2016, 6:33 am

    I was a fan of frosted flakes growing up, but I was never big on cereal i general. I would typically grab a bagel or english muffin or something like that. Glad your son is home and that you guys got to celebrate with some good food!
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  • Laura @ This Runner's Recipes August 15, 2016, 8:35 am

    Awwwww you must be so excited that he’s home!! My favorite cereals as a kid were Kix and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. In college I was all about Kashi cereal.
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  • michele @ paleorunningmomma August 15, 2016, 8:38 am

    Yay! He’s home! I know what you mean about that being the happiest moment. Lately I’m the most happy and comfy when all the kids are home, busy with their things and happy. Or just chatting with them since they’re getting older now and have a sense of humor! Not ready to think about the school transition yet but it’s really almost here.
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    • The Cookie ChRUNicles August 15, 2016, 11:54 am

      I am not ready for school, that’s for sure. but yes to being most happy when the kids are home. there’s nothing like it.

  • Suzy August 15, 2016, 9:49 am

    Aww, I can feel how happy you are just reading this post. Yay!!! My favourite cereal was Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Just Right!
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    • The Cookie ChRUNicles August 15, 2016, 11:53 am

      definitely so happy! I enjoyed my freedom and he enjoyed camp but there’s nothing like knowing your child is home and asleep in his bed at night

  • Lauren August 15, 2016, 10:06 am

    What a great weekend you had! And I totally agree with the “being unplugged at camp.” GREATEST.THING.EVER. This weekend was kind of chill over here because it’s so flipping hot outside. We made an evite for my daughter’s upcoming birthday party, watched lots of the Olympics and we hit up several grocery stores (early before hot) so we are prepped for the week ahead. As I type this, I realize how boring it all sounds! LOL
    So glad your son is back! We are already signed up for next year:)))
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    • The Cookie ChRUNicles August 15, 2016, 10:11 am

      sounds like the perfect family weekend to me! we didn’t sign up just yet for next year but I have a feeling he will want to — I love that they are unplugged, it’s so needed in this world!

  • Meah August 15, 2016, 10:21 am

    Haha, when we were younger, my mom used to let my siblings and me eat pumpkin pie with whipped cream for breakfast. She always did her best to keep things less processed and “junky”, but her justification was that the pie and cream basically has the same amount of (if not less) sugar as most kids’ cereals. I’m glad you warned us about those bars! I was thinking of trying them, but only three chocolate chunks?!? Puh-leeze!

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    • The Cookie ChRUNicles August 15, 2016, 11:53 am

      yeah I really don’t think I recommend those granola bars at all. I have had better tasting ones from tj for sure.

  • Evangeline Kennedy August 15, 2016, 10:22 am

    I always eat the frosting first when I eat cake. It’s kind of the only way anyone should cake…right? I love your mindset about healthy food for your son. So important to not be super strict about diet because they eventually make their own choices when they grow up. I’m sure you have imparted a respect and love for many healthy foods though 🙂
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  • Sarah @pickyrunner August 15, 2016, 10:52 am

    Aw welcome home to him!! I’m glad it turned out okay even though he had rough moments. I eat the whole cake haha I love frosting AND I love cake. As for your outlook on raising healthy kids, I think you have it exactly right. My mom was *way* too strict with us growing up and when I was really young, I’d go ham at my friends’ houses. Then when I got older, I developed an eating disorder. I’m not sure I can say that was why, but I’m sure her obsession with healthy foods only did influence me. It’s better to teach treats in moderation.
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  • Arthi August 15, 2016, 7:22 pm

    Hah! That’s exactly how I eat my cake too!

    Favorite cereal as a kid – Loved me some Honeycomb

    Happiest moment of my life – I think crossing the finish line of the Lake Tahoe Marathon last October. It was the HARDEST race I’ve ever run … And I ended up getting second in my age division! Hard work paid off and I was thrilled about it!
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  • Ellen @ My Uncommon Everyday August 16, 2016, 12:40 am

    That’s exactly how I would eat that cake 🙂 And Cinnamon Toast Crunch was a huge favorite as a kid! I was also the weird kid who liked raisin cereal, even though I usually pretended not to… so Raisin Bran and Oatmeal Crisp Raisin were huge faves, as well.
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  • Jen@bubblyrunner.com August 16, 2016, 9:08 am

    So awesome your son had such a great time! I used to go to an overnight all girls camp for 2 weeks each summer and LOVED it, and my parents totally forced me to shower once I stepped foot in the front door. Favorite cereal as a kid was totally Oreo O’s!

    • The Cookie ChRUNicles August 16, 2016, 9:23 am

      I remember that cereal! they don’t make it anymore, right? I haven’t seen it in forever but it was good one!

  • Emily August 16, 2016, 9:48 am

    I totally love that your son is spending so much time catching you up and sharing with you all the things that happened. <3 Isn't it so cool when people that we love share what they've enjoyed or are passionate about? Your son is such a blessing to you; I can tell from the way you write about him. 🙂 God has blessed him with an incredible mommy. And I kinda like the way you eat that cake. Pulling out the chocolate filling is not a bad thing at all. 🙂
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  • Amanda @ .running with spoons. August 16, 2016, 11:39 am

    I love your take on snacks for kids! My mom was super strict with me when I was really young, but she kind of eased up as I got older which is probably what prevented me from going ALL OUT crazy when I finally became more independent. As it was, I only half went crazy 😛 But you’re right… we survived all the junk food, and eventually grew up to love healthy food on our own, so it’s all good!
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  • Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets August 16, 2016, 11:44 am

    I’m so glad he’s home and had such a great time. I can see why unplugging would be awesome for kids. I went to sleepaway camp too and I have such fond memories. Hopefully we’ll be able to do something similar for Ave when she’s old enough.

    I also loved to go to my friends houses so I could eat their sugary cereals and spaghetti O’s. As kids, we don’t really appreciate mom’s cooking; at least not until we’re older.
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