Monday, March 25, 2013

School Lunches

Some of you that read my blog are friends of mine on Facebook and you know that I have been looking for new ideas for Daniel's lunch that he takes to school.  He was taking a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with 2 fruit/vegetable snacks, and a dessert.  He recently asked me: "Mom, why do you always pack peanut butter and jelly for me?"  and I replied "Because that is what you told me you wanted."  This short conversation started a whole big search for school lunch ideas and my asking friends on Facebook what kinds of things they pack for their kids.  I got a few ideas from friends but mostly, I found some sites through Pinterest that offered up many suggestions for school lunches.  A LOT of them included a bento box of some sort.  So, I started looking for something like that.  I found these boxes made by a mom for packing lunches called Easy Lunchboxes from   .  I am in love with these boxes! They have made packing lunches for him a breeze.  This is a short week of school this week - only Monday through Wednesday but I got his lunch packed for all three days last night.  I didn't get a picture of today's lunch (SORRY).  I did get the tomorrow and Wednesday's lunches though.  I love how easy they are to use.  Here is tomorrow's lunch:
He has a morning snack - the fruit, an afternoon snack - the celery (or vice-versa),  a Dole Fruit Squish 'ems apple sauce, goldfish crackers, a roast beef and cheese roll-up sandwich, a fun sized Hershey bar for dessert and a Capri-Sun Super V juice box.  The goldfish crackers are in one of their little containers that you can get - they come in a pack of 8 for $7.95 called Mini Dippers and the large containers come in packs of 4 in all different colors for $13.95.  I bought 2 sets of 4 in the 2 color collections and 1 set of the mini dippers.  They are great! They are not leak-proof (the mini dippers are though) so don't put loose yogurt in them unless you get their cooler bag they sell to put them in and that will keep them upright.  Daniel has a pottery barn lunch box and it stands up in his back pack so I won't be putting a yogurt parfait in there but for something like the above lunch - PERFECT and yes a sandwich does fit!

Here is a view of it closed up:
Daniel's favorite color is purple so we used that one first. 

Here is Wednesday's lunch:
For Wednesday, he's getting a ham and cheese roll up, mixed berries for snack, celery for snack, a frozen Go-gurt that should be thawed by lunch time, goldfish crackers, a Meijer Naturals fruit twist and 3 York Peppermint Patty minis along with his juice box.  He gets plenty to eat this way and he can open it by himself which is great! 

I'm kind of obsessed with these boxes.  I'm a dork, I know.  I can't explain it but the organization of it, just makes me happy!  I love having things organized.  LOVE it!  Being able to get all of his lunches done for the week Sunday night makes me happy and relaxed because I'm not having to do it every night anymore. 

We can also use them for our road trips to visit Chris's family that live out of state.  I can pack a lunch for each person and pull it out of the cooler and each person has their meal all neatly packed.  It almost makes me excited for the next 9 hour drive! LOL  We can use these for picnics over  the summer or if we have someone that doesn't like having their foods touch.  Chris can also use these for work and then in the fall, I can use them to pack lunches for Daniel and Nathan who will be taking his lunch 4 days a week too.  YAY!  They also stack nicely.  Here are the above 2 stacked in my fridge (please disregard the burnt out light bulb!).

My mom expressed concern with things not staying fresh being packed in there all week.  I found that the berries kept better in these containers that in their original packaging and everything else kept great too!   I just wanted to share my latest find with you!  Hope you enjoyed!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

First Tooth Loss!

No, I didn't lose a tooth but my big boy son, Daniel did!  Friday night, 10 minutes after his dad left to go out with his friends, he came running out of his bedroom with his tooth in his hand.  "Mommy!  My tooth came out!!" 

Daniel just turned 6 in February.  He's in Kindergarten.  A lot of his friends have already lost some of their teeth.  This was making me wonder why he hadn't lost one yet.  One his top front teeth has been a little bit loose for a while now but hasn't gotten much looser since I noticed it was loose a couple weeks ago.  Tuesday, Daniel was playing outside on recess.  It was a nice day - meaning not snowing or raining and the sun was out.  While playing outside on his first recess, he fell off of the play scape and hit his mouth on a bar on the way down to the ground.  The school called me and told me what happened and that Daniel was OK and went back to class but that I might want to check on his teeth.  Sure enough, his bottom 2 front teeth were super loose!  One was downright crooked.  It made me think that he would lose that one at any minute.  So, when he came out and showed me it was the other tooth, I was surprised.  That crooked one's roots are still holding on! 

You can see how crooked the remaining tooth is after his fall and the spot where the other tooth was. 
He was very excited to come out and show me his tooth.  He asked me to take a picture and send it to Daddy.  We did and then we called his grandparents (both sets) so he could tell them himself.  Everyone was very excited for him.  :)  Of course, the Tooth Fairy came and brought him a prize too! The following night, we had a new babysitter coming to watch the boys for us so we could go to a wine tasting fundraiser.  She is the daughter of Nathan's preschool teacher (she was also Daniel's teacher too) - Mrs. Sweet.  We have a magnetic calendar in the hallway for them to look at and we have a magnet for lost a tooth so I put it on Friday for him to see.  When Mrs. Sweet and Danielle came over for Danielle to babysit, he had to take Mrs.Sweet and show her the magnet on the calendar.  He's very proud!

I can't believe we are at that stage already.  Time really does fly by.  I still remember back when we were trying so hard to have our first child and how excited I was when we finally conceived Daniel.  Now, he's 6 and such a big boy.  I'm so proud of him and the great person he's becoming.  Love him to pieces!  Thanks for reading :)

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Thank You Notes for a Teacher

Today, I'm sharing the thank you notes I made for my friend Tabatha Whittaker who is a teacher in Tennessee.  She asked me to make 20 for her.  I came up with 6 different cards.  She chose 3 of them.  Here the lucky 3 she chose:

These are small 3X3 note card thank you's for her to send her students for little gifts they give her (at least this is the impression I got from her.. LOL) I used a stamp set I bought a while ago for scrapbooking the kids' school years.  It's called Recess.(All products used are Stampin' Up!) I used one other set called Sprinkled Expressions for the "thanks" sentiment.  The card stock used on the one with the girl is Whisper White, Pretty in Pink, and Melon Mambo.  I used my chevron embossing  folder to give the light pink layer some texture and then punched out a large scalloped circle in the melon mambo and added some doodle dots with my white gel pen.  I used Stampin' Up markers to color the image and black Staz-On to stamp the image.  The image is on a 2 1/2" circle punch.  The "thanks" is stamped in melon mambo and cut out, attached with a silver mini brad. I used dimensionals to give it dimension (haha!  I'm so clever right?)

For the boy versions, I used Whisper White again for the card bases, Real Red and Midnight Muse card stock.  Same gel pen with the doodle dots. The inks used were Real Red and Midnight Muse for the "thanks sentiments".  The images again were stamped in black Staz-On ink and I used the same mini brads to attach the little flags.  I used the stripes and woodgrain embossing folders for their color layers. 

Ok... enough of the run down...  I think these cards came out pretty cute and I think I just MIGHT make more of them for Nathan's preschool teacher as a thank you gift for her and I also just MIGHT make some to sell in my Etsy store.  I will share a link to my etsy store as soon as I get it up and running!  In case you were wondering what the "rejected" samples were, I'll share those too.  I think I might make some of these to sell too.  I think they are cute and would be cute for kids to give their friends and also for some adults to send for a little thank you note.    Here they are!
 I thought this would be cute to give a girl.  It's certainly cute for a kid and fun with the "thank you, human" sentiment!  I used a set called Best Bots Forever for these 2 cards.  I also added some bling with the rhinestone... what girl doesn't like a bit of sparkle?  The girl card is all Whisper White and Melon Mambo.
 The boy robot card is in Whisper White and Midnight Muse (one of my new favorite Stampin' Up colors!)  I used the Word Window punch for the sentiment for this one because this robot turned out a lot taller than the girl one... had to improvise and I like how it turned out.  :)  Somtimes an oops turns into a great thing, I think!  The background embossing folder is the honeycomb - another new favorite of mine!
This one is super cute for anyone!  Whisper White and Midnight Muse with a touch of Tangerine Tango card stock on the flower.  The inks used were Pool Party and Old Olive.  I also used that pesky white gel pen again and a rhinestone for some of that sparkle again.  The embossing folder used on this is a new one that is available as a freebee in the Sale-a-bration catalog. If you spend $50, you can get it free!  It's called Vine Street and it coordinates awesomely with the Sycamore Street Designer Series Paper, ribbon and buttons.  The paper and the ribbons and buttons are all available as sale-a-bration items for free.  YAY!  If anyone is intersted in any of these items to make your own cards, you can leave a comment.  If you'd like to order anything you've seen, leave a comment... or you can wait for the etsy store to be up!I can and will do custom orders for anyone too!  Thanks for reading!!!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

My New Recipe Compilation

Hi friends!  It's been a while since I last posted on here.  Sorry about that!  I've been keeping busy with the kids, the house, the activities, working on starting an etsy shop and my new love- cooking.  I used to absolutely HATE cooking.  I dreaded making dinner and I used to make Chris do most of it.  He enjoyed cooking all along and he's a great cook.  He's more of the experimental type of cook where I am all about the recipe.  That is why I always loved baking - there's no guesswork or estimating.  There are absolute rules about how much vanilla extract or baking powder to use.

I joined Pinterest a while ago and started pinning recipe ideas on a few different boards.  That made me start thinking about cooking some of those recipes.  There were a lot of them piling up in there.  The main thing I always dreaded about making dinner every night was that I never had a plan and I would stress about it all day until I figured something out.  UGH - not fun!  So, I decided to start making a weekly menu.  I choose 6 or 7 recipes for dinners for the week, figure out what we don't already have and then make a list, send Chris shopping (hee hee!) and then I'm prepared for the week.  We can choose which thing we want for that night and then I'm set to go.  This method of planning has worked out GREAT for us.  We also don't buy too much fresh ingredients that often anymore and things don't go bad as much.  Another win! 

I compiled quite the list of recipes on pinterest and decided I should print them out so that I don't have to have my computer in the kitchen with me all the time when I cook.  For Christmas, I got an gift certificate from my in-laws so I decided to use it toward making my own recipe compilation of my favorite things to make.  Recipes we really like make it into the book.  I just got this stuff a couple weeks ago because it took me a long time to decide on the book and style I liked best.    Here is the one I chose:

It's called the: "Create Your Own Collected Recipes Cookbook - Turquoise & Gray"  It comes in other colors but I have turquoise in my house and it's one of my favorite colors. :)   I liked that it came with the dividers and that I could choose the labels for the tabs that I wanted to use and there were some that were blank for custom sections.  I had to purchase the page protectors separately but that's ok.  I can get more if/ when I outgrow the initial 2 packages I bought.  I like using the page protectors because they are wipe-able if something spills or splatters on them!  Here's a shot of a few of the tabs:

Building this book has been a decently long process and it's still ongoing.  I find new recipes to add to it a lot.  I wanted to find a cool font to use in it so I did a few searches for free fonts and found some really cute ones.  I ended up going with one called KG Strawberry Limeade.  It's got some cute curls and it's fun but still easy to read for me.  I copied some of the recipes straight from the internet and when I pasted them I had the program change them into my format so it was quite easy.  I'm sorry these pictures aren't the best but here's a sample:
 I also like having the freedom of being able to spread a recipe over 2 pages and not having to cram into a small space like I was trying to do with another program I have.  I like this too because I can just keep adding more until the book is full.    The above recipe is one I have made a few times by the Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond.  I've kind of become obsessed with her cooking.  I even bought her cook book with that gift certificate too! 

Here's the recipe I made for dinner last night.  Sorry the picture quality isn't great!  It's Chicken Cordon Bleu Roll-Ups.  I like the pattern on the dividers too.  Cute stock pots, right? 

Over all, I'm super excited about this recipe book and the convenience it will provide me in finding favorites and having them within arms reach.  Chris is pretty psyched about it too and wants me to put some of his favorites in there as well. 

This morning, I found a new recipe on Pinterest on my Breakfast recipe board called Bacon Egg and Cheese Breakfast Ring.  Here is the link to it if you'd like to try it:

Here are some pictures of it.  It came out pretty awesome!
Above:  Just out of the oven.
 A cross-section view
 And my lovely (yet slightly blurry (SORRY)) paper plate with yummy breakfast goodness on it.  mmmMMmm  This was a great recipe and not hard to make at all.  I think total it took me about half an hour to make it and that included cooking the eggs and bacon, shredding cheese and baking it for 16 minutes.  Not bad!  We happened to have all of  the ingredients for it and I was hungry so I decided to go for it.  It paid off!  Thanks for reading and happy cooking!!!