Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ho Ho Hopping for the holidays!

This time of year is so busy for us. It's a little tricky to keep up with lunch photos and I must admit that I have scaled back the cuteness a tad in the girls' lunches. I made these lunches yesterday and suddenly realised that there are only a few days left of school! The time has flown by so quickly. 
Here is Rose's lunch
carrot sticks, apple slices, raspberries with white choolate chips, snowman marshmallow
tree shaped pretzels and a Christmas tree sandwich & a LunchBox Love note about Christmas trees
I love these little notes and the girls do too. 
Amy had almost exactly the same as Rose but there was not enough time so I took one photo only. She wasn't going anywhere near those raspberries or pretzels so she had goldfish and extra apples instead.

My bento blogging friends are having another hop and this post is part of the hop. This time it's a holiday themed hop spread out into three shorter hops over three different weeks. This is week two. At the end of the post click on the button to hop through all of this week's hops and then also check out the Bento Blogger's and Friend's Blog to check out Week 1 (live on December 6th) and Week 3 ( live on December 20th). 

Heidi's lunch
carrots sticks and dip in the EasyLunchBoxes mini dipper, apple pieces
stocking sandwich with sprinkles and marshmallow snowmen
red mini cup with a gummy vitamin inside

I made Heidi's lunch a little later in the morning and left it in the fridge until she came home at midday. I have an activity at school every morning this week so we are even busier than usual. Yesterday I went with Rose's class on a field trip to a senior's residence and sang some songs and delivered holiday cards that the children made on Monday's craft morning. They sang a Baha'i song, Hanukkah Song, Kwanzaa Song and two Christmas Songs. They did a great job! Today is Amy's holiday musical concert and thankful lunch and Friday is her Creative Writing Workshop presentation where the children will read the books that they have written and illustrated this term. I am looking forward to the school break and spending some time at home with the girls :) Hopefully you will all enjoy a little break too!

Now onto the hop.
Click the button to visit Lunch Snack and Sninner to see what holiday lunch Tracie has come up with. If you keep hopping  until you get back to me you will have seen them all. There are 17 fabulous lunch blogs in total.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

New cookie cutters!

It feels like Christmas already -- first a new camera lens and now new cookie cutters! This cutter set is great. I bought if from Amazon using a link from another blog. The set looks great and they are a great size for sandwiches but I can't wait to make cookies with them!

Amy's lunch
grapes, carrot sticks, goldfish, half a pear and a Christmas tree stamped sandwich

Rose's lunch. She had the same except she had seasonal shaped pretzels in stead of goldfish

It's time to go grocery shopping! We were at the end of the grapes and almost out of all fruit. The smaller portions in lunch are helping a bit and almost everything is being eaten again.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

North Pole Breakfast and our new Elf on the Shelf

I caved into the pressure. I bought the Elf and the kids LOVE it! They named their new elf Snowflake and this is the breakfast when he arrived for the first time. I had originally wanted to start on December 1st but Amy went to a friend's birthday party sleepover so we postponed 1 day, starting on December 2nd. I had a few other fun touches that were meant to be added but the special items didn't arrive in time - so I am saving them for some fun elf scenes in the coming weeks.
The girls had - raspberry mini muffins, snowballs (powdered donuts), Hot chocolate with marshmallows, whipped cream & sprinkles and a few elf kisses. Snowflake bought them all new pajamas and a book for Emily instead. I had printed up a menu and was planning on making these cute reindeer pancakes but they didn't want any! Another day then.
Each place setting had a little namecard, a fun plate and a new Santa Mug (from Gibbon's Company). The new plates that I had ordered did not make it in time so thankfully I had some fun holiday serving trays and I used those instead.
I typed out an introduction letter using these party printables and we also read the book in the morning. Well Amy read it to her sisters. I just cuddled on the couch with them :)

I think the hot chocolate was the highlight!

Rose woke up early, tried on her new pajamas and then promptly got dressed! 

I purchased this stationery set from PaperGlitter and set it up so that they could write letters to Santa. 
That was fun. Heidi wanted me to write for her. "Santa I really like you and please bring me these presents." Right to the point <3

All smiles! Those little blue 80's style glove things were a party favor from the birthday party. 
She wore them ALL DAY!

Snowflake has had a few adventures so far. Nothing too crazy. She took a ride on a dolphin, brought the girls the Elf on the Shelf DVD and watched it and tonight she is hanging out in our Christmas tree and decorated it with some reindeer candy canes. She is definitely a nice elf and I don't think she will get up to much trouble ;)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

New lunchbox -- LunchBots

Amy has been having trouble eating enough lunch on a Monday as she eats quickly and then goes to choir at lunchtime during school. I tried out this new lunch box and packed a smaller lunch that hopefully she can eat in the allotted time. I also sent a much larger morning snack to help even it out. This seems much better than the usual "pack a normal lunch and then she only eats a few nibbles and comes home ravenous and has to rush to ballet after school eating a snack in the car and complaining that she's hungry as we drive" scenario that has been playing out for weeks. These are also her favourite things so there are no excuses! Well so far it worked. Will have to keep this up for future Mondays.

clementine, half a sandwich, carrots and peanut butter, goldfish

I've had my eyes on the LunchBots for awhile now and I finally bought a few to try at People's Pharmacy. I think they are fun to pack but the lids were kind of hard to get off. I prefer stainless steel to plastic for lunches and was hoping that this might be another  style  that Heidi would like but she can't take the lid off herself and I predict a lunch flying through the air disaster when she tries. So for now these are going to be for Amy. If the lids loosen up a bit Heidi can try them too. The local price was very reasonable but selection was limited as they have been in stock for ages and have been picked over.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Pita chips and Hummus

Well I made it to the store - all kinds of new things in this lunch. This is Rose's lunch. She didn't want a sandwich. No biggie - I bought her favourite hummus and pita chips so that was easy :)
celery, petite baby carrots, seasonal pretzels, grapes, cantaloupe
Hummus and Stacy's plain sea salt pita chips - YUM!

We don't  often get any kind of fresh baby carrots so I was surprised to see these in the grocery shop - only the second time ever. There were no local carrots so I bought these. I prefer the taste of the local ones but the kids said these were OK too. We have carrots planted in our garden but they won't be ready to harvest for quite a while. Hopefully local carrots will be back in the shops soon.
Celery doesn't make an appearance that often as it's not a favourite, but since Rose will dip anything in hummus I packed a little bit of celery for a change. I was right she ate her celery too :)

The other girls has similar lunches with sandwiches and I didn't take any photos - it was a busy morning!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Mini sandwich buns

I know it's a poor workman who blames their tools, but seriously I just cannot take good pictures with other people's cameras! I dunno why but I seem to take better photos with my own camera. Had a terrible time this day trying to get a decent photo. Oh well - I gave up and left the shadow/reflections and sent the kids to school! 
Rose's Lunch
carrots sticks and diced peaches, yogurt tube
cantaloupe, grapes
mini bun sandwich

We were out of bread (this has been happening a bit more than usual lately -- probably because I have been busy and going to the grocery shop less often.) The kids sure didn't mind as they love these little mini rolls that my Mom picked up for them. These lunches were low on flair but full of favourites so they were gobbled up at school!

Amy's Lunch
Hers was slightly different. I sent carrots sticks for her morning snack so left them out of lunch.
Also - those were the last grapes so she only got one. She likes cantaloupe better anyway so it worked out.

Heidi's lunch
apples, pretzels, fruit snacks, carrot sticks
sandwich on a mini bun

Seriously - I needed to go to the grocery store. There was definitely some odds and ends going on in these lunches. I kind of like days like that though - uses up what's left before a big shop :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Busy Mama, easy packed lunches

Life is BUSY these days. Work is busy (that's good!), family life is hectic and my favourite holiday is just around the corner. I have been spending all of my :free computer time doing everything but blogging! I have just a few photos of lunches from the past few weeks (remember my camera lens broke and I've been borrowing one here and there). Well just last night I got my new lens - yay! I'll be back to regular photos. So first up are two lunches for Amy and Heidi from a week or so ago. I have no idea what Rose ate that day but I promise I sent her lunch too :)

goldfish, strawberry fruit leather  ( Stretch Island Fruit co - it doesn't look that yummy in the photo but it's delicious!)
grapes and strawberry and a sandwich cut out with a lunch punch

Pretty much exactly the same --except I packed hers in her favourite EasyLunchbox. I think she likes the EasyLunchbox so much because the top is not attached like the planetbox and it's much lighter. She's only 3 and wants to eat immediately when we get home. Sometimes we bring her lunch and go on an errand so I think for lunch on the go it's much easier for her to manage. 

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Easylunchboxes = fast lunch

This was a REALLY fast lunch to put together! Today was the first day back to school after a 4 day weekend and I just did not have my act together this morning. I didn't even take a photo of Amy's or Rose's lunch this morning. Here's Heidi's lunch.

carrot sticks and celery, butterfly shaped sandwich, mini cupcake, grapes and strawberries

All of the kids were begging for cupcakes this morning. They each got one in their lunch. The rest of the lunch is pretty healthy so I think it's ok. All in moderation. I'm sure she'll ask for dip for her veggies as she always does -- so I'll add it at lunch time. I often put the dip right in the cup and then stand her veggie sticks up in in the dip and cup. As far as speed goes this took no time at all. Cutting a sandwich with a cutter is actually faster than trimming crusts with a knife. The longest time was spent cutting the veggies - but when you cut once for three lunches the time really is negligible. I should have timed it -- I think I took longer trying to take a photo with my terrible kitchen light!!!

Geocaching for GIS day

Today is Geographical Information Systems Day. To commemorate the day the Department of Conservation Services launched a series of geocaches and challenged everyone to find them. Boy was this fun!  As soon as I heard about this yesterday, I loaded an app on my blackberry, gathered up the kids and went off to search. One of the government caches was hidden in the Arboretum (#3) and when I searched online at (free basic membership gets you 3 downloads every 24 hours) I saw that there was another cache there also. I had no idea that geocaching was so popular here - there are so many to find!

I don't want to give away the locations so these are some seriously cropped photos!! I also won't tell you which one was which cache. Also due to my camera problem -- these are from my phone so not the best!

The Department on Conservation services had rubber GIS day bracelets in it as well as the log book-- Rose claimed the bracelet  I thought the others would not be happy having only one bracelet and 3 of them to share it but they did not mind at all. The fun is really in the hunt! Amy and Rose were racing ahead with the phone yelling "this way!" and counting down the meters -- 100m, 75m, 50 m etc. I kept calling them back so that we could stay together ( and also monitor that we were in fact going basically in the right direction! )

We also had a little fun running around in the park. It was slightly windy and overcast.

Even Emily was happy about our outing

We can't wait to find the one at Cooper's Island. The girls had just visited there on the weekend but I didn't know that they could have been searching for one!

There are some rules that everyone should be mindful of :
Sign the log book inside and read about who else has been there.
If you take any treasures out be sure to put a treasure of your own of equal or greater value in its place.
There are some little travelbug tags often found inside a cache and attached to a keychain or small item. If you take one of these out of a cache you must go to the website printed on it, log in it's serial number and retrieve it. Then you should put it into another cache and log it's new location online. Don't take it out and just keep it!! The owners can track online where their travel bug has traveled. If you just keep it and don't pass it on to another cache it will spoil their fun.

This was not an activity on our family fun list -- but by golly it should have been! Definitely adding it to the next list -- find at least 5 geocaches :) This was a great way to spend our day off while the teachers had a Professional day!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Easylunchboxes and no sandwich lunches!

We were out of bread last Thursday, so I sent some non-sandwich lunches and tried out the easylunchbox mini dippers again. So far we really like them!
Amy's Lunch
ham rollups, crackers, fig newtons and some carrot sticks in a mini dipper
goldfish & strawberries

Rose's Lunch
crackers, ham rollups, carrot sticks, ranch dip in the mini dippers
pretzels and strawberries

Can you tell how nicely two mini dippers fit side by side? You can actually fit 4 mini dippers in the large compartment of the easylunchbox!

Heidi's lunch
crackers, ham rollups, ranch dip, carrot sticks
goldfish & strawberries

This is not a mini dipper but a random little container that I had. I couldn't fit 4 of these in the large compartment. Everyone loved the change from not having a sandwich - especially Rose. I need to start being  a little more creative and not making a sandwich everyday. School is out today and tomorrow so I only have two days of packing lunches (and one day of packing a snack) this week. I'll try to think of something new :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pumpkin Shaped Sugar Cookies

Rose had her Me Museum last week at school. It's kind of a fun thing. Every week it's a different person's turn and they bring in some items and photos to share all about themselves. We decided to make some cookies to share with the class as it represents one of her favourite things -- cooking!

Here she is cutting out the pumpkin shapes

Putting on some sprinkles

Rose decided to take her spider craft that she made last week, some turkey cut and paste and colouring pages, some information about her name and a list of some favourites, her favourite book Bugs A-Z, her favourite stuffed animal, lots of photos of her doing various activities - gardening, swimming, dancing, gymnastics etc, a CD of her favourite songs, some family photos including our pets and lots of pictures of her cooking in the kitchen. She's really the go to kitchen helper in the family.  Collecting the photos is the part where I did the most work to help. We talked about what she wants to bring photos of and then I just used the computer to arrange them on the pages and type a description where it's needed. We don't have to arrange these like a project. The teachers have a special board and they put them up each week :) 

So how did Rose make these fabulous sugar cookies? Easy peasy. We made our favourite sugar cookie recipe -- Wilton Roll Out Cookies -- and added some neon pink and regular yellow food colouring to make the dough bright orange. Then I helped roll out the dough as this recipe is a no chill dough and is very soft and a bit tricky for a four year old to handle. Rose cut out the pumpkin shapes, added the sprinkles and I did the oven work.

This is the pumpkin cookie cutter that we used:

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Veggie Critters and Snickerdoodles for the Budding Chef Competition

Today was the Budding Chef competition at school. For ages 6 and up there were lots of cooking categories and some art and photography categories, and for ages 3-6 there was a fruit and veggie critter competition. 

Rose & Heidi made vegetable critters. They didn't place but they were happy with their participation ribbons. 

Rose made her spider out of a date, passion fruit, red pepper, green olives and green beans. The plan was to use a black plum instead of the passion fruit, but the store was out. Also I couldn't find any vanilla beans - but those would have made great legs!

Heidi made her caterpillar out of zucchini, summer squash, blueberries and green beans

The girls made these with really minimal help. Daddy cut the legs for Heidi and I helped Rose to cut the passion fruit for the red  pepper but they did the rest by themselves with a little direction. Everything is held together with toothpicks which made it very easy for them to push the toothpicks in and attach the next piece.

Amy baked and entered her favourite cookies -- Snickerdoodles and she won first place! She used the Betty Crocker recipe :) She did all of the work except for the ovens. She received a nice medal.

Here are a couple of other fun entries that I managed to photograph. 

Cookie pizza, cookies, brownies

caterpillar cake

Here are some of the other veggie critters. First place was the cauliflower dog which seems to have fallen over when I took the photo! second was the fruit owl and third place was a Humpty Dumpty.

My proud girls with their vegetable animals. 

Amy went off to a sleepover so I don't have a photo of her with her medal. I'll take one tomorrow and edit it in!!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Today the girls get to dress up for Halloween Character Day at school.  School doesn't celebrate Halloween  so for Character Day they can dress as a character from a book or a nursery rhyme. It's optional, but of course we're dressing up! I wonder if anyone ever opts out?

Heidi is the Greedy Bee, Rose is the cat from Hey Diddle Diddle, 
Amy is Miley the Sylist Fairy from the Rainbow Magic Fairy series

My husband made Rose's fiddle out of cardboard and some paper last night. I went to bed and basically said please cut this cardboard into a violin shape and draw some features on it with a marker. Well he had his own idea. He said he couldn't find a ruler or the exacto etc and it was late so he didn't quite finish. It's only missing strings and a chin rest but for a one time costume prop you totally get the idea! I think it looks fabulous (way better than what I had in mind!) and Rose was over the moon.  

In other news -- I broke my camera the other night!?!? Well I destroyed the lens. The body seems OK. The whole thing fell off the bookcase and the lens snapped off and broke into several pieces :( Hopefully Santa will bring me a new lens -- until then I am using a borrowed little camera when I can so my photos might be a little off.

Hope you have a fun day!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Oh, there you are Perry!

I haven't been feeling especially creative lately and then I found a theme inspiration in a bag of fruit snacks! Phineas and Ferb fruit snacks. I picked them up when I was away for work since I've never seen them in Bermuda and I thought they might be fun. When I was rummaging around in the snack container the other day,  I spotted one and knew it would be perfect for Heidi's lunch.

Ham sandwiches with cheese accents - Perry, Phineas & Ferb
carrots & cucumbers, apple & pear slices underneath fruit snacks

She had some dip for her veggies when it was time to eat. I googled Phineas and Ferb and saw several images of a Perry sandwich and the Phineas sandwiches. No idea who thought of this first, but those links are the images that caught my eye. This was one sandwich cut into three pieces. I just freehand cut the cheese for Phineas and Ferb, it was pretty easy. Heidi thought they turned out really cute, so she had to eat her lunch at 10:30 am!

Amy and Rose had already left for ballet camp when I made this. Their lunches were a flower theme with sandwiches exactly like this one from last week. I didn't have time to take a photo of theirs as they were in a rush to get out the door, but I was able to leisurely pack Heidi's lunch and take TWO pictures even! It was so nice not to be in a crazy rush!

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