Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bear-y Cute Bento

Almost every day now, Rose wants a "little" lunch box and a "little" sandwich or no sandwich. I will have to investigate a bit but I think her teacher is telling her she has to eat her whole sandwich first. I am not fussy over this eat your whole sandwich first idea- if she doesn't want to eat her whole sandwich it's perfectly fine with me.



Rose's bear-y cute lunch
carrot sticks, bear cup with two gummy vitamins, raspberries & blueberries
bear shaped cheddar and Ritz crackers ham & mustard sandwich, grapes



Items used in this bento:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Easy bento

Easy bento for Heidi
nutella sandwiches, grapes,
animal crackers, clementine, strawberries, string cheese

Minimal work, very simple bento for Heidi's lunch. Great for a busy morning!
There are two crust off halves of a sandwich in there - one behind each piece of baran.

 
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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Flowers

Flowers for Rose
green beans (from our garden!), grape tomatoes, ritz crackers, ham flower
babybel cheese, ranch dip in the strawberry cup
clementine, carrot sticks, grapes, strawberry flowers

I made this the night before and took a photo - then I pulled out the ritz crackers and put them in a zip bag on the counter. I wasn't sure if the leaving them in the bento and in the fridge would make them soft. I stuffed them back in the bento in the morning. Rose has been a bit fussy about not wanting too much sandwich lately - I am sure she will be thrilled to have crackers instead!

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Monday, April 23, 2012

Simple Lunch

Monday morning after a holiday is just a rough morning in our house. Only two lunches to make as Amy is ill. Rose and Heidi had the same and we were late -- so one photo! Rose requested little squares for her sandwich - well it doesn't get any easier than that.

A simple lunch
diced peaches, clementine, strawberries, pineapple
carrot sticks, grape tomatoes, ritz bits
Dora fruit snacks, sandwich squares, animal crackers


Saturday, April 21, 2012

3 Angry Birds Lunches

My first Angry Birds lunches ever! Very fun to make but I must confess I am terrible at this game and never bother to play it so I had to keep looking at the ipad for help!! LOL.

Heidi's Angry Birds Bento
green grapes (the pigs!), carrot sticks, raspberries & blueberries,
nilla wafers, stacked cheese sandwich with angry bird cheese toppers

Rose's Angry Birds Planetbox
angry bird boiled egg, strawberries, nilla wafers
cantaloupe, babybel cheese angry bird,
ham sandwich pigs with spinach pesto topper & graham crackers

Amy's Angry Birds Planetbox
It's mostly the same ingredients except I made ham sandwich sticks and
just represented the pigs with green grapes
In the little square if you look closely there is an angry birds fruit leather & cheese :)


These birds are all my work but not my ideas at all! I saw the ideas in this lunch months ago :)

These were pretty easy but tedious! I used a circle cutter, a round icing tip (both sides)
and a teeny weeny oval cutter and then cut the piece in half for the ears

I knew this would take some extra effort on my part so I made them the night before. Poor decision -- Amy ended up being sick so she stayed home and Rose declared that she wanted the blue Sassy box again and she didn't want those piggy sandwiches!!! SO I did a little switching around, convinced her to take the planet box and she ended up with the white boiled egg bird, the fruit leather bird, the babybel cheese bird and the green grape piggies! I repacked Amy's into a little bento and put it in the fridge ( she managed to eat most of it). I did not realise how much input they really do give me in the mornings!! Heidi ate hers at home as she had a school event in the morning at nursery school and wanted to come home with me after. What a crazy morning we had!


Here are some items that I used to make this lunch. These are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission if you purchase from them. Thanks for supporting my blog!

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Rainbows

Rainbow lunches again for the girls.
Rose really wanted to use this lunch container again :)
grape tomatoes, cantaloupe, pineapple, granny smith apple slices, purple grapes,
nilla wafers, rainbow coloured sandwich, ranch dip for the tomatoes, apple slices


Amy & Heidi had the same thing - this is Amy's lunch -- no photo for Heidi's lunch
red apple slices, cantaloupe, pineapple, granny smith apple slices, plum slices,
nilla wafer, Rainbow coloured ham sandwich ( Heidi had cheese)
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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Earth Day Bento & Blog Hop

Earth Day will soon be here - it's April 22nd, 2012. My bento blogging friends are having a blog hop to celebrate Earth Day. It's my first time joining in on a blog hop- woo hoo! Don't forget to check out the bottom of the post so you can hop on over to the next blog.

Rose's "We love our Earth" bento


broccoli trees, cucumber flowers, carrot stick flowers, cherry tomatoes on the vine, animal crackers, clementine and strawberry flower, tree sandwich, bird cup with ranch dip, cheese sandwich tree, apple cutouts representing a small house amidst all of the trees and flowers & butterflies, blackberry tree with a few more blackberries tucked under the apple pieces

.
It's vegetarian. I couldn't quite make it vegan - she really wanted the ranch dip and I could not convince her to switch from a cheese sandwich either.

So how does all of this mean Earth Day to our family? On Earth Day we want to imagine and hope for an earth where there are abundant trees, flowers and animal friends and where we have reduced the impact of man's pollution  on our environment. Our Earth Day pledge will be to plant a butterfly garden at our house. Looking for some ways that you can practice Earth Friendly activities in your daily lives? Here's what we do:

recycle (whatever is applicable in your area - for us it's only glass and tin cans), set the water heater at a lower temperature, wash clothes in cold water, use earth friendly cleaners and phosphate free detergent, pack waste free lunches as much as possible, minimise trash by buying in bulk and reuse packaging materials where possible, take your own reusable grocery bag shopping - not just to the grocery store!, use cloth diapers, compost suitable materials, plant your own garden and farm organically, buy organic produce as often as possible, buy locally produced items including food as much as possible -- reduces carbon footprint due to less transport time, conserve water, don't put harmful pesticides and non-organic fertilizers on your lawn, carpool whenever possible, turn off lights/TV/computers and other electronic devices when you aren't using them, do not leave charging cords plugged in if they are not charging anything - it still draws electricity, keep your air conditioning/heat at a moderate temperature or off, keep harmful waste and batteries out of the landfill (by following your area protocol for disposal), replace all of your bulbs with new low wattage, energy efficient bulbs, replace old appliances with energy efficient ones (as the need arises), eat less meat to reduce your carbon footprint (start small and aim for one meatless meal per week).

We could definitely work harder on some of these ourselves such as buying more organic produce; it is so expensive here it becomes difficult. If cost seems prohibitive in your area also, try to at least buy organically for the items on the "dirty dozen" list.
apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, non-US nectarines, non-US grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, US blueberries, lettuce, kale/collard greens

Have you planned any Earth Day activities? What can you pledge to do to help our environment?

And now for the fun -- on to the hop :)
Click the button to discover another Earth Day bento:
Next up is Zoe's Lunchbox :)




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Monday, April 16, 2012

From Pinterest to my life...

I am totally addicted to pinterest and am always re-creating, printing, and using something that I have seen on pinterest. Another blog that I enjoy reading does just that - 365 Days of Pinterest Creations, everyday they complete one pinned activity. Fabulous! Well I don't make a conscious decision to do something that I have pinned everyday but I do follow through on a lot of my pins quite frequently. Here are the most recent things that I have not already posted about. I have linked all of the titles to the original post and linked my boards names to my boards. If you like what I've pinned and you want to keep up with my pins just click on the little pinterest button at the top of this page to follow me :)

Mini Garlic Monkey Breads pinned on my Breads board

Super easy recipe! 5 Ingredients and made using biscuit dough. I have made these several times now and they are a family favourite. I have one tip to add - put the Muffin Tin on a cookie sheet to keep any melted butter from bubbling over down to the bottom of the stove and smoking out the kitchen!


I've never met Aunt Betty but I certainly <3 her now! I made up a batch of this cake in a mug mix and it could not be easier. I usually add a few chocolate chips on top right when it's done or a couple of mini marshmallows before cooking, or even frosting when it has cooled if I have some around. The hardest part of this recipe is waiting for it to cool before eating the cake! It's REALLY hot when it comes out. Just trust me :o


5 Finger test for choosing a reading book for children pinned on my educational ideas board
There's no photo of me doing this but it is a great tip. I tried it out several times and it actually seems to be a good measure to identify easy books, just right books and challenge books.

Bottle Cap Stamps pinned on my kids crafts board
This is kind of obvious from just the photo - I didn't even pin it right away. Put foam stickers on bottle caps and use them as stamps. I have two tips - First tip: even though I had small foam stickers most of them fit better on large caps from juices - very few actually fit on water bottle or soda caps. It took me FOREVER to save these caps!! Secondly give each child their own baby wipe to clean each stamp after they finish using it. It's important to clean as you go to keep the stamp pad clean if you want to use the same stamp in a different colour - or your sister does!

Flower snack - pinned on my Fun Food board



Mine did not look as neat as the original. This literally only took me a couple of minutes though. I used it as an after school snack one for Rose - the ranch dip and one for Amy - the peanut butter. They were hungry and ate the whole thing! I could have taken more care to cut the carrots uniformly and shorter to make it look more like a flower. Next time, when the vultures aren't circling!

Palm Tree Island snack also pinned on my Fun Food board
This was a fruit snack for Heidi on the same day the girls had the flower veggie snacks. When I tasted the apples (as I was making it!) I thought they were quite tart even for Granny Smith apples. I gave her a little cup of peanut butter to dip them in and she ate almost everything too -- just left a few pieces of clementine "beach". I have not yet tried the dip recipe in the original pin.

Keep Your House clean with 1 chore per day pinned to my cleaning & household tips board

I have been living by this printable list! Some weeks I get sidetracked and we pay dearly. Cleaning is possibly my least favourite thing to do and even though we have a small house - with 6 people, every room is really lived in. This isn't actually 1 chore per day but 1 main chore per day. ie thoroughly clean all of the bathrooms on Tuesdays. Every day you still need to do the general tidying. I have been chided a bit for my need to have a list to clean my small house. Laugh if you will, but seriously this list has changed my life!

If you still haven't had the chance to check out pinterest and would like an invite I'm happy to send you one - just email me!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Bento supplies storage

I need an intervention! Well maybe not a full intervention, but I really do have tons of bento supplies that I just need a little help to fully organise. I mainly use 3 drawers to store my frequent use items but here are all 5 of my storage drawers. This is a snapshot view as they are right now- some always look like "before" photos and some always look like "after" photos that's just how roll. HaHa.

  This first photo is my most used drawer.It's conveniently at counter height and pulls out right next to my main workspace. It has all of my mini cutters, food colouring markers and some misc tools like sausage stampers (new!), sausage cutters, mini sauce containers, mini forks & mini spoons. Also on the far left is the paper inserts from the packaging materials of most of my cutter sets. It has some pictures etc and I like to look at them sometimes to give me ideas.

 Also inside this drawer I keep a small compartmentalized container from the tool section of the hardware store. Is sits right on top of this stuff. In it are many of my picks that I use pretty much every time I make lunch. The alphabet picks are in their own container, plus I have a bunch of paper cupcake picks and appetizer party picks that I use on occasion. I know exactly where the picks go and can easily find the ones I want. There is also the odd cupcake topper and mini fork and spoon in here by accident. 

   
This might look like a junk drawer to you, but I assure you it's not! It's all of my silicone cups, mini cups and a bunch of egg and rice moulds. In the very back is where I keep paper cupcake liners for either cupcakes or Muffin Tin Meals, I've taken a break from buying these until I use them up. You can't really see it well in the photo but the front right has all of my baran dividers. This messy drawer doesn't bug me the most --  I know where stuff is and can find it fast. I would still like to arrange it to be more eye pleasing and inspirational though. Maybe I need some drawer inserts or something here.

=This drawer looks neater but it's full of infrequent use items. Some things are more for baking - fondant cutters, cupcake picks and appetizer picks  which I sometimes use in lunches, I store my mini seasonal cutter sets here and the odd bento box that doesn't fit in the bottom drawer. I do not go into this drawer on a daily basis and it's actually higher than eye level which works out perfectly since I can keep my most frequent use drawers in a lower position.

My nemesis! The cookie cutter and sandwich punch drawer. I just DO NOT know what to do here. I've recently gone through all of these and separated out the most obvious holiday ones that aren't likely to be used otherwise - they aren't even shown. I also separated out ones that aren't practical for sandwiches as they are too wasteful - not big enough to take up most of the bread, not small enough to use a second cutter alongside. I've put them in a second area to use when I make cookies. I love all of these and am not likely to be getting rid of any. In fact, I recently received a huge jar of cookie cutters from a friend who didn't need them anymore. I was so happy it felt like Christmas and I can't wait to use them. So basically I have a love.hate relationship with this drawer, It's always a mess but I love everything in it! During my recent sorting through of this drawer I found a few of my older favourites that I had forgotten about and rotated them up to the top so they can enjoy more frequent use.

The next drawer down is my collection of bento boxes which, I admit, have just not been getting much love lately. We've been all about the planetboxes. I really must change it up a bit and use some of these. I have even been using the exact same pink sandwich containers in the bottom left every Friday for snacks on hot lunch day. Time to change it up and get motivated. It's not the best photo if you really want to peek into my stash, there's a whole row that you can't hardly see and they are stacked at least 2-3 high. I can still easily find what I am looking for in this drawer it's just tricky for a photo.

So there you have it - all of my lunch making supplies as they are stored right now.

Is all of this stuff REALLY necessary? Nope, you can create really cute lunches with a sharp knife, some creativity and a few items you probably have already (ie cookie cutters, saved mini cups and containers from snack foods and takeout, cupcake wrappers etc) Do I love all of these accessories and does it make the girls happy when they see these things used in their lunch? Yup. Is this creative outlet of cute lunch making one of the best ways to start my day? Sure is - so it's here to stay. There's even a few brand new items that I have yet to use as they arrived right before spring break. I'm getting a happy feeling just thinking about it!

So how do you organise your lunch making items and do you have a system for organising tons of cookie cutters?

Friday, April 13, 2012

Hello Kitty

Hello Kitty lunch for Amy
2 HK ham sandwiches, HK moulded boiled egg
plum slices, carrot sticks, celery sticks
cucumber round with orange pepper center

 
This was a pretty fast at home lunch from yesterday. I used a Hello Kitty rice mould as a cutter to cut out the Hello Kitty mini sandwiches. When I served it to Amy she instantly proclaimed that she isn't going to eat those bows. Literally the first words out of her mouth! I told her to please try it - she licked it and said no way!
Oh, that picky one. She ate all of the rest though.

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Thematic Thursday

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Rainbow lunch for Rosie

A rainbow lunch to cheer up Rosie
Ham shooting star sandwich, apple stars
rainbow star boiled egg, plum slices
cucumber cutouts with orange pepper fill ins
carrot & celery sticks with ranch dip in the little cup

Did you notice that the food colouring markers look better? It's a new brand! I bought them at International Imports. They were a bit expensive and I was hesitant to spend money on them without knowing if they would be just as annoying as the others. It was a good decision :) The brand is Ateco. I've only used them today so no report yet about how long they will stay so bright.

Rose is still unwell. We've been to the Dr once this week and are supposed to call in to report tomorrow. I imagine they will want to see her again. This lunch certainly cheered her up and she wanted me to take a photo of her with her lunch. She still picked at her food - ate the whole egg and all of the apple stars plus a few bites of everything else. Success in my book.


check out Rainbow Connection for some other rainbow food, crafts and activities:

Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter Muffin Tin Meal

We haven't had a MTM in ages! Poor Rosie has been feeling sick. I made her a MTM of some of her favourites to encourage her to eat a few bites. Amy was out, but Heidi had a MTM too. I made them both the same :)

honeydew melon & cantaloupe, diced peaches,
carrot & celery sticks with ranch
mac & cheese, carrot shaped turkey sandwich,
vanilla yogurt with Easter sprinkles

Rosie wasn't really interested :( She decided to take an early nap instead. My poor girl.  I hope she feels better soon - otherwise it's back to the Dr on Monday. Heidi, on the other hand, ate almost everything!

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Muffin Tin Monday at Muffintinmom.com

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter-y lunches

These were from the last week of school before our Easter break. I made two bunnies and an Easter Egg (with mozzarella cheese topper)

Heidi & Amy had the same:
cantaloupe, pineapples, plum slices, grapes, bunny crackers,
bunny sandwiches


Rose's was slightly different - she had an Easter egg sandwich:
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