Saturday, December 31, 2011

First ever gingerbread house !

I wasn't originally too keen on making a gingerbread house with the girls. There was just so much going on in the house I thought it would be a bit of a disaster - finding a pattern, making the pieces, assembling the house etc. all while caring for sweet baby Emily. Enter the gingerbread kit! My Mom bought us a Wilton gingerbread house kit and nonchalantly gave it to the girls a few weeks before Christmas. That pretty much sealed the deal - we were making a gingerbread house!
I did a few Internet searches and saw some different ideas and a few tips on making gingerbread houses with children.  3 tips stood out: use a kit and save yourself any baking drama plus younger kids enjoy the candy part the most, not the baking and assembly and waiting part, buy candy that is NOT your children's favourites (so they eat less during the process) and put the candy in a muffin tin so it's easy to choose and also keep the work area tidier without a bunch of opened candy bags strewn about. Win, Win, Win. The kit came with some candy but I bought a few extras just in case - I fully expected some to be eaten as we worked and we all did ;)

Here's our candy all set up:
 I made 2 muffin tins to share between the 3 girls, I manned the royal icing bag.
Christmas dots, M&Ms, spearmint trees, traditional hard candy mix, fruit swirls, spice drops all bought by me. The kit included a few gummy trees, a few flat gumdrops, and the little colourful round candies.
I didn't get any action shots. I took a few on my phone which turned out terrible. It really was a pretty busy event and stopping to snap photos was not going to happen. Perhaps next time, now that I have one gingerbread house under my belt!

Here's our finished house:
Rose didn't want to stop decorating once we finished the house and walkway, so we added an entire front yard that she decorated. Can you see the little orange doorknob? Amy's idea - because how does the gingerbread man open the door!?!

The better side!
Rose was very proud of her Christmas Dots pattern on the roof.

The failed attempt at window curtains side - LOL!
There must have been a wicked storm 'cuz those trees are leaning :)

The back spice drop design

All in all I think I thinned the Royal icing too much. I knew that I was planning on doing the assembly one day and the decorating the next so I thought that *slightly* thinner icing would be better as I expected it to stiffen up a bit after being left in the bag overnight. Well it didn't really, so next time I won't do that. It wasn't a major problem I just had to get the kids to hold the items on for a bit before letting go. I think they did a great job overall.

This activity was SO FUN! I feel so silly for being afraid. The girls had a blast and we will make one every year from now on I'm certain. The kit made it really easy too. The pieces were precut, a base was included, all you have to do is add water to the icing mix and put it in the enclosed bag then assemble and decorate. Could. Not. Be. Easier.

Thanks MOM for *encouraging* me into a fun activity!

Ornaments a plenty!

So many cute mini cutters - just had to try them out :) So we have Christmas ornament lunches.

Rose's lunch
cheese and crackers with ornament shaped cheese (only the front one has the food writers), pineapples, ornament shaped watermelons, Christmas tree with mini M&Ms

Amy's Lunch
Christmas bulb clementine, string cheese, pineapples
ornament shaped watermelons, Christmas tree sandwich with mini M&Ms

I KNOW that I saw this clementine bulb somewhere else - it was definitely not my original idea. I will try and find out where I saw it and give credit.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Santa's sleigh

I don't know what happened this morning! I can only assume that we were running late. It looks a little like time was up :)

carrot sticks, half a clementine, pineapple
watermelon reindeer, Santa face and his sleigh.

same as above but including ranch dip (that's how I know it's Rosie's)

Heidi's lunch
clementines, string cheese, watermelon reindeer,
Santa's face and sleigh sandwiches.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas trees - take 2!

These are lunches from the same day as the Sassy box Christmas tree, so yup they are the same design. Rose had really wanted the new blue lunchbox, the other two still wanted their planetboxes.

Strawberries, watermelon, goldfish, pineapple
Christmas tree sandwich with candy dot ornaments.

Same as above except the cheese present instead of goldfish.  Then after I took the photo Amy says - I'm not eating that cheese. So guess what? I took it out and gave it to Rose, her little square went to school empty.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sassy food container

This is the first time using our new the Sassy baby food container set. I got them locally at People's. They have pink and blue sets. I have 2 pink and 1 blue. I really like it but need a little practice figuring out how to best arrange items. I have been using the planetboxes so much I haven't really had to think about it!

Rose's lunch

Christmas tree sandwich with candy dot ornaments, cheese presents,
the green mini cup is ranch dip, grapes, strawberries, carrot sticks and pineapples.

The food writers have still been getting a workout!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

O Christmas tree!

Wow. It's been a crazy-busy holiday month. So many school activites, holiday events and organising and I hardly posted any of the girls' lunches! I will try and post a new lunch each day from the past few weeks to catch up. School is on holiday and I won't be making any new packed lunches until the new year but I have several to share from the end of school. 

Saw this and decided it was too easy to not copy it!

Heidi's lunch
Cheese sandwich Christmas tree with mini m&m ornaments,
grapes & strawberries

She was out of school a few days before her sisters, so this was an at home lunch only for her :) She ate the fruit first - not even the candies. <3 her.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Snowflake Sammies

This is the first time using my new Snowflake cutter. It was just right for their sandwiches. Identical lunches for Rose & Heidi. Amy is at home sick, and I was feeling unwell  last night too. Thankfully Daddy got everyone ready in the morning and I rolled out of bed at 8 am only having to make the girls' lunch. I can't tell from the photo which lunch was which. The only real difference was that Rose had mustard on her sandwich.

Snowflake number 1
cantaloupe, grapes, goldfish, ham sandwich

Snowflake number 2

I just noticed a slightly poor cutting job with a piece of ham sticking out - oops. I guess no two snowflakes are ever exactly the same ;) The picks are Wilton cupcake picks. I've had them forever.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Some bunny loves you...

A cute bunny lunch for Amy

bunny shaped boiled egg, strawberries, guava, cantaloupe & grapes
nutter butter & mini nilla wafers, ham bunny shaped sandwich.

Apparently I did not glue (with PB) the bunny's eyes down well enough and they fell off and melted!! oops. She ate all the rest of her lunch though. The guava was from my Mother in Law's tree. We only had a few - it was her first time eating them this past week and all the girls LOVED them. I used Food Writers on the boiled egg. It was a little bit tricky as the markers aren't quite fine enough for the little details.

Sharing on:
Bento Lunch

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I heart you!

Life is C R A Z Y! I have barely been able to snap a photo in the morning, let alone tweak any last minute bits. My teachers used to always write "neatness counts" on my work since I usually did not spend the extra time to complete my work in the tidiest manner. I feel like all of the lunches from the past week would have had that little reminder on them! haha.

heart shaped boiled egg (sort of squished!), strawberries, cantaloupe,
nutter butter bites & mini nilla wafers, heart shaped cheese sandwiches.

star shaped boiled egg, strawberries, cantaloupe & grapes
nutter butters & min nilla wafers, heart shaped ham & mustard sandwich.

I don't have 2 heart egg molds and there was NO TIME in the morning to mold two heart shaped eggs one after the other so Rose has a star egg. I was going to make her a a whole star theme and then she said she wanted heart sandwiches. She doesn't even like her clothes to match so I think she was perfectly happy - LOL.

The hearts were cut using a Wilton comfort grip flower cutter and then I just used a knife to make it into 3 hearts. Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I really love using those comfort grip cutters for sandwiches as they cut so nicely through the already made sandwich. When I use plastic cutters (even lunch punch ones) it's always neater to  cut each piece separately and then assemble the sandwiches. The instructions say that you can cut through a ready made sandwich but it always seems to smash the bread too much. There has not been any extra time to cut individual parts and then assemble sandwiches for 3 kids' lunches. I might go back to assembling all of the lunches sans sandwiches the night before giving me more time in the morning.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble! Gobble!

Turkey shaped sandwiches for the girls today - in honour of US Thanksgiving tomorrow. Everyone had the same lunch except Rose's sandwich was a different design and it had cheese, no one else wanted any cheese today.

mandarin oranges, strawberries, goldfish, vitamins
cantaloupe, grapes, ham sandwich



The lunchboxes all came back pretty empty today - Amy didn't eat her oranges, everyone left a couple of goldfish. I originally found the turkey design for Rose's sandwich either from searching google images, or on Pinterest. I can't remember which was first! This is the one I pinned a few weeks ago. It was very easy to copy. There were some other really cute turkey sandwiches made with apples or bell pepper strips too - lots of creative Momma's out there :)

Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends !

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Heidi's choice. She pretty much picked everything for her lunch.

diced peaches, clementines, honeydew melon, vitamins, granola bar
peanut butter elephant mom & baby sandwich

And she ate it all!! Gotta love a kid's choice lunch.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fashionista & a Daddy lunch

I started making animal themed lunches today. I always leave the sandwich until last and had everything else in it's place. I was all set to make a bear and an elephant sandwich to go with these lunches.  In fact I had the cutters out. That was just about the time that the girls had finished getting ready for school and wandered into the kitchen to give me their suggestions. So then we had a change of plan. A girl in a pretty dress (designed by Amy) and a Daddy sandwich for Rose. She wanted pinstripes on his shirt. I couldn't make it work with those darn food writers.

Amy's lunch
 carrot sticks, honeydew melon, clementines, vitamins, PB dip for her carrots
granola bar, ham sandwich in an Amy original designs dress.

Rose's lunch
carrot sticks & tomatoes, French dressing dip, granola bar
honeydew melon, clementines, vitamins, Daddy ham sandwich.

They were thrilled with the results. Almost all of lunch was eaten - except Amy's dress. She didn't like cheese today!

Sharing on:

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Alien Pancakes

We have been having pancakes on Sunday mornings for as long as I can remember. However, there was a little break in our routine as life at the end of pregnancy and then with the new baby took some twists and turns. When I asked who was going to make the pancakes last Sunday the girls were so happy to be back on track they all volunteered. Usually, Rose is my go to pancake maker and she has been making them with me since she was a wee one. This week everyone helped and we decided on Alien pancakes.

Measuring the dry ingredients. I make up a homemade mix and store it in a container. This makes for very fast work in the measuring department.

Next we mix up the wet ingredients. Eggs, water, vanilla, melted butter...

Mix it all together and then I put them on the griddle.

Voila! pancakes.

These are just plain pancakes.  We make many different kinds but plain is still a favourite. To decorate them up a bit we made aliens by adding bacon, clementines, grapes, blackberries, apples & candy eyes!


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

hodge podge lunch.

A little of this, a little of that. I thought I had plenty of time in the morning to make lunch. Somehow the morning slipped away and these ended up a bit shy on the finishing touches. Never mind, The girls were happy as they each chose the different parts of their lunch so really it was EXACTLY what they wanted ;)

Bunny shaped boiled egg, ritz pretzel minis, grapes, vitamins
celery & carrot sticks, grape tomatoes with French dressing dip

Heidi's lunch
car shaped boiled egg, ritz crackers, string cheese
grapes, blackberries, vitamins & a ham car sandwich

Amy's lunch
fish shaped boiled egg, ritz crackers, celery & carrot sticks
grapes, vitamins, shark/fish sandwiches

Monday, November 14, 2011

Local find!

I have been hoping that the grocery store would have something fun and seasonal soon. Lindo's didn't disappoint. I found these large Wilton cookie cutters. These are a good size for sandwiches. I haven't used them yet but I measured them on the bread and they are going to be great. The Santa works best on an angle and the snowflake just fits. They had some other smaller ones too but I must confess - I already bought them last year!

I also found these cupcake liners & picks. Good used inside out for lunches, MTMs and then of course right side out and as intended for some fun cupcakes!

I can't wait to use these. Hopefully soon - but I think it's a tad early for Christmas lunches.


Food Writers again? yup. This time directly on the bread. Didn't work any better and it seemed harder even. I thought it would be easier since the cheese's moisture might be what makes it difficult. Well the bread's texture makes it pretty difficult too!

Rose's Lunch
 grapes, granola bar, honeydew, raisins,
ham butterfly sandwich - she chose the colours.

Amy's lunch
grapes, granola bars, honeydew melons raisins
ham butterfly sandwich. She wanted black, orange & purple.

This was the first one I did. Not so pretty. She still loved it.
Anytime I use these food writer markers she thinks it's FAB.
The smallest things make her so happy - Bless her.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Kid's Choice lunch

No real theme here. Kid's choice lunches but it was time to go grocery shopping so fruit choices were minimal anyway. It was music day at school so at least those picks were for a reason. The rest just because it's what they asked for  :)

Amy's Lunch
grapes, celery, carrots, peanut butter dip,
honeydew melon, raisins heart shaped sandiwches 

Rose's lunch
 same as Amy except ranch dip and added tomatoes.

Heidi's lunch
grapes, granola bites, honeydew melon, raisins
tulip shaped sandwich - I can't remember what she had - it was ham or cheese or both!

These hardly seem note worthy but I always share my not so fancy lunches as well as the truly fun ones - just keeping it real :)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

After School Snack

This is Amy's from last week, packed in her favourite Hello Kitty bento. I made it simple as she doesn't have much time to eat a snack before her after school club, and she's always starving.

Clementine, ritz crackers, ham flower

It was kind of a rush job on the ham flower and I didn't really have time to tidy it AND take a new picture. Also - she said the candy dot flower center kind of melted by the time she ate it. So no more candy flower centers. The baran worked and the ritz crackers weren't mushy from being next to the clementines.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Fun With Food Writers

Some fun with food writers lunches. Amy's been in her glory since she always begs for me to "colour" her sandwich. The food writers still annoy me as I haven't discovered their trick yet. There just HAS to be one or two secrets to making these work better. I try to avoid them all together but when Nana bought home a new package with pink, purple & orange I couldn't hide them in the drawer fast enough and the little munchkins have not forgotten them!

Amy's Lunch
popcorn, cantaloupe & grapes, diced peaches, celery sticks, peanut butter dip & carrots
raisins, ham sandwich with Dalmatian topper (provolone cheese)

 Rose's Lunch:
 popcorn, raisins, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, celery, carrots, tomato & ranch dip
raisins, ham sandwich with *calico* kitty topper

Heidi's lunch
popcorn, cantaloupe, grapes, peaches, raisins, mozzarella cheese
ham sandwich with butterfly cheese toppers

I had NO intention of putting a food colouring filled, cheese topper on Heidi's lunch until she stood at the counter to watch me make lunch and then asked so sweetly "Where's mine?". I cut the butterflies out of the cheese scraps. I have NO willpower in the morning these days. I'm just glad they aren't asking for candy.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sandwich Star

Since it's National Sandwich Day -- I decided to make the sandwich the star of the meal :) Our fruit is almost all gone in the house so everyone has very similar but slightly different lunches today.

diced peaches, 1/2 clementine, yogurt covered raisins, granola bites
honeydew melon, pineapple, ham sandwich with cheese topper

diced peaches, 1/2 clementine, yogurt covered raisins, granola bites
grapes, honeydew melon, ham sandwich with cheese topper

diced peaches, grapes, yogurt covered raisins, granola bar
clementine, ham sandwich star