Friday, February 24, 2012

Piper's lunches! Also, being a cookie mom is a lot of work.

I just realized I never did a lunch post last week!  Oops!  I've had an easy couple of weeks lunch-wise, so I'll post the photos of the two lunches I packed last week along with the two I packed this week, and it'll almost make a full week! 

Piper's been buying lunch a lot more lately, which is good in that it means she's trying more foods and branching out from her pickiness.  I feel like if she eats more things at school, I can then incorporate those into meals at home and hopefully make better (healthier) versions of them as well.  We'll see!  

I missed the lunch post last week (and honestly a lot of posts lately) because Girl Scout Cookie season has started!  I'm the troop's Cookie Mom, which means I'm basically in charge of cookie sales for the whole troop.  The parents come to me to get the cookies for their daughter to sell and bring the money back to me so I can have it deposited.  

On top of all that, Piper has decided she wants to sell 1000 boxes of cookies in order to earn an HP mini netbook.  Don't ask me why an almost-six-year-old needs her own netbook, cause I have no clue.  I also don't know how she's going to sell 1000 boxes of cookies.  She's already sold around 200, which is pretty good, considering she has exactly one month left to sell.  

So yeah...lemme know if you want cookies!  I can ship anywhere for an extra $1-2 a box depending on where you are.  

On to the lunches! 


This was Piper's Valentine's Day lunch; uber cheesy and not very cute, but she loved it.  I packed her a strawberry go-gurt, some chocolate cracker/cookie things broken up (can't remember what they're called) with a couple love bird candies, some apples with valentine's sprinkles, a heart shaped cheese quesadilla on top of some apple straws, and some heart shaped turkey pepperonis.  


And this was her lunch last Friday.  I think this might be one of my favorite lunches, mostly because of the green pepper!  I totally sliced it that way on accident, but definitely plan on doing it again, because look how cute that little heart-shaped green pepper is?  I put some matchstick carrots in the middle, and also packed her some mixed nuts and yogurt covered raisins and a piece of rice candy. I made her a pizza on half of an english muffin and packed it on top of some goldfish.  She ate almost everything!  



Piper didn't have school Monday, but Tuesday I decided to try and pack her an 85% Paleo lunch and see how it went over.  I packed her some spiced nuts leftover from a party Monday night (along with a piece of rice candy...not Paleo obviously), baby carrots, green pepper slices, a few homemade chicken "nuggets" (diced up chicken breast that I coated in panko breadcrumbs-the not-Paleo part- and pan-fried in coconut oil), and some apple slices and a few blueberries.  She ate some of the nuts, apples, and a couple carrots.  

Piper said she wasn't that hungry though, and that she did like the lunch, so I was happy.  She ended up staying home sick the next day, so I think if she was feeling better she probably would have eaten more of the lunch.  


Wednesday, she stayed home sick, and she bought lunch today (Ham and Cheese sub...she said she was going to pick the ham off hahaha), but this was her lunch yesterday.  I packed her a cheese quesadilla that I cut into strips and wrote her name and drew a crappy flower with food safe markers onto, some bbq popchips, more spiced nuts and yogurt raisins with some sprinkles for fun, and some carrots.  Oh and another piece of rice candy.  

I ended up giving Beck the last piece in the box and man was that a mistake.  He was hunting around the kitchen for more rice candy for the rest of the morning!  That kid can sniff out treats like a bloodhound. 





Just a quick notes about her lunches: I've had a few people ask me how I keep her lunch from spilling all over her boxes before she sits down to eat it.  

Two things: 

1. I try to pack her lunch high enough so that the lid (or ice pack in her pink box) sits right on top of each little compartment.  That's why I've started putting crackers or whatnot underneath the thin parts of the lunch (quesadillas, sandwich, pizza, etc).  The brown and green boxes have an insert that goes between the lid and the bottom that rests directly on top of the food, so as long as it's packed high enough it stays put.  

2.  If it's something loose, like nuts or raisins, or wet, like apple slices or cucumbers, I usually wrap the silicon cupcake holder that particular food is in with plastic wrap.  It takes two seconds and keeps things nice and neat.  I just take the picture, pull that container out, stick a square of plastic wrap on the top and fold down the sides and plop it right back in the lunch.  It's usually a mess when she gets home, but by then it doesn't matter since she's already eaten and Beck (who usually eats the leftovers when she gets home) could care less how pretty it looks.  

Hope that helps those of you who were wondering!  


Sunday, February 19, 2012

Getting to Know Me!




I was tagged by Velma to do this cute little Getting To Know You post, and since I haven't posted since what, Monday, I figured I should do it:)  I always like reading these little quiz things...remember when they were all the rage on myspace? Ahhh...myspace.  Those were the days. 



There are six "rules"
1. Post these rules.
2. Post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in the original post (i.e., Velma's for me).
4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them.
6. No saying, "If you are reading this, you're tagged. 



11 Random Things About Me:


1. I'm kind of lazy.  It's something I'm working on, but yeah...I definitely didn't accomplish much today.  
2. I talk. A lot. 
3. My high school graduation was held in a cathedral that was built in the 11th century.  
4. I'm a lefty.
5. I love to go to the movies.  Doesn't even matter what I go see or if I'm by myself or with friends/family...I just really like going to the movies.   
6. I am very much an introvert, and start to go a little crazy without a day to just sit and veg by myself every once in a while.  
7. Either my nose or my ears are a little uneven, and now that I'm taking more photos of myself, I'm noticing how crooked my glasses are on a regular basis.  My next pair absolutely must have adjustable nose pads.  
8. I love that I can create.  Whether it's crocheting, scrapbooking, or packing bento lunches, being creative makes me so happy.  
9. I love the Harvest Moon and Professor Layton games. 
10. I converted to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (mormon) my senior year in high school.  I've since 'fallen away', as they say, but it still made a big impact on my life and have no ill-will whatsoever towards the church.
11. I wore red lipstick for the first time yesterday and I *loved* it.  (photo above)


Velma's 11 questions for me:



1. Where would you love to travel?  
I would love to go back to Europe again!  I miss it so much, and just think it would be so awesome to show my husband and kids where I grew up.  


2. What is your guilty pleasure?
...I'm kind of a shopoholic.  It's definitely something I've had to learn to keep in check, and in all honesty, I could probably still use some work.  I just love to shop.  Doesn't matter what or who it's for, either!  

3. What super-hero power would you like to have?
I'd like to be able to clone myself.  It'd be so great to be able to spread myself as thin as I wanted and not have to figure out how to be in eight places at one time.  

4. What is your least favorite food?
Beets.  So gross.  But, I do juice them and don't mind them.  So I guess it's just the gross canned/preserved/pickled (whatever they are) ones that I don't like.  

5. Do you have a movie that you find that you quote a lot and throw it into random conversations? What is it?
Oh geez.  I wish my husband were the one doing this little quiz!  He's constantly quoting movies, whether it's Step Brothers, Talladaga Nights, or Gramma's Boy.  He jokes that every time I see a movie is the first time, whether I've seen it before or not.  I forget movies/tv shows pretty quickly after I watch them.  Not like, the general story line, but quotes and details just go in one ear and out the other.  


6. What are you most proud of yourself for?
My marriage.  Obviously it is a work in progress (as every marriage is), but I really feel like my husband and I have put a lot of effort into creating this partnership together and I just love it.  I love that my kids see us laughing together every day, and that they see us supporting one another in all of our adventures.  


7. What did you want to grow to be when you were a kid?
I wanted to be a teacher for the LONGEST time...all the way up until my senior year in high school, in fact.  I still don't know what I want to be profession-wise...I'm pretty happy being a mom and a wife for now.  

8. What is your favorite breakfast food?
Two eggs, spicy ground sausage, and broccoli all scrambled together! So good.  Even better when I top it with salsa and/or avocado! 


9. What is your favorite place to craft when you are away from the house?
There's an indoor playground at the community center on base; I tend to get more done there than I do at home!  Less distractions :)


10. What is your favorite city to visit?
I'm having the hardest time answering this question!  My first instinct was Las Vegas, but I've only been there once!  I think I just am so desperate to sneak away for a weekend alone with my husband, and Las Vegas seems like the most anti-kid place to sneak away too so it's at the top of my list!  

11. When you are the famous crafty person, what famous person do you want to play you in the movie that make about your amazing life?
Sandra Bullock.  I just love her to pieces.  


11 Questions for Olivia from oliveoh, Jess from IROCKSOWHAT, Janee from Yellow Bird, Yellow Beard and Heather from motherAWESOME:

1. If you could spend one day eating/drinking whatever you wanted without ANY negative repercussions whatsoever, what would you ingest? 
2. Pretend I'm rich and offer you a $1000 gift card to whichever store you choose.  Which one?  
3. Would you rather live in a small town or a big city?
4. What would you most like to be famous for?  
5. What's your favorite accent?
6. Tomorrow's going to be 25 hours instead of 24. What will you spend your extra hour doing?
7. What's the most disgusting (to others) thing you love to eat?
8. Which is worse: horrible drivers or horrible parkers?
9. What's your favorite Girl Scout Cookie? 
10. If you could only watch one tv show for the rest of the year, what would it be?
11. Would you rather always dress like a skank or a nun? 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentines!



A few weeks ago, while we were walking around Target, I asked Piper if she wanted to pick out some Valentines to give to her classmates or if she'd like me to figure out some sort of Valentine she could make.  My heart swelled when she chose handmade!  


I love The Purl Bee, and when these adorable felt Valentine pockets showed up in my blogroll, I flipped!  They were perfect!  Piper recently made a little Tooth Fairy pillow out of felt and really loved sewing it together, so I thought these would be so fun for her to make!  

via The Purl Bee


I printed off the template for the hearts, and soon realized they'd just be too difficult for her to sew up.  Also, they're a lot smaller than I realized (although I should have, because look at how big those candy corns look in that picture!).  

Time to improvise! 


I just started cutting out hearts until I got one that I felt like was a good shape and size for stuffing.  This one was too tall, and not fat enough.  



Once I got a good shape, I traced and cut out 46 of those puppies.  Yep.  Forty-six.  She has twenty kids in her class and wanted a few extras for her friends.  

So many hearts.  

We used red, salmon, pastel pink, and white felt.  I got six hearts to a sheet, and had a strip at the top to use to cut out the smaller hearts (seen below), if that gives you an idea of size and/or how many sheets of felt to buy.  I bought white and bright pink embroidery floss, but I wish I had bought red as well.  Oh, and we just used buttons I already have here at home.  All in all these valentines cost us maybe $5, and that's including the candy!  



Cutting the hearts out is the most time consuming part of this project...the rest goes so quickly!  And really, my five year old could do most of it all by herself. 

I had Piper sew two hearts together by doing a simple back stitch almost all the way around the hearts.  We started just before the top center, stitched all the way around counter clock wise, and stopped right about where the left "bump" starts.  

For the first heart, (the one pictured) I used a marker to make a bunch of dots so she knew where to stick the needle.  The marks will show up though, so for the next ones she just free-handed it and I think they came out even better.  You might want to stick with the marks though, if you have a young or new hand-stitcher.   

I then sewed a button onto the BACK heart, and snipped a hole in the front heart big enough for whichever button she chose.  

To cover the strings on the back, I cut out some smaller hearts and we glued them with Tacky Glue.  




So cute!  After the first heart, we decided just one go-around would be sufficient...they don't really need the second back stitch and I think they look cuter this way.  





What did we stuff inside?  I'll show you! 




Conversation hearts of course!  And a little note from Miss Piper, complete with her pink and red hearts which she is immensely proud of.  

(What the heck is LNDA?  Anyone know?)

These are so easy, and if you don't have 23 of them to make, they go very quickly!  We made twelve in about an hour last night.  

Please let me know in the comments if you try these quick little Valentines!  I'd love to see yours :)!  



UPDATE!  I figured out what LNDA is: linda.  Which is "nice"...in Spanish. 


Oops!  :)





Friday, February 10, 2012

Piper's lunches! Also, I have a lot of crap to do.

I just sat down to make a to-do list so I wouldn't feel so overwhelmed with all the things I can't let myself forget to do, and I think I'm even more overwhelmed now.  


When did I get so busy?  

The worst part is that all of this has to be done in the next 9 days...ALL OF IT.  Well, except potty training Beck.  That could probably wait, except for the fact that he's ripping his diapers off the second they're wet.  I'm kind of getting tired of having him run into whatever room I'm in butt ass naked like it's no big deal, and then hunting around the house for the diaper he ripped off.  

But hey, look, one thing is crossed off!  Yay lunch post :)

PSST! Velma!  I'm trapped at home during the week and can't ever make it to the post office since it closes before my husband gets home, but I'm going to try my hardest to get there tomorrow morning to send your gift out :D



Monday, Piper had some BBQ Popchips, apple slices with some purple sprinkles on them, gold fish and her Juice Plus vitamins, and a roll I made with some Nutella.  Kinda boring.  



Tuesday and Wednesday, Piper bought lunch, but this was her lunch Thursday.  I packed the other half of her grilled cheese sandwich and some fries from Five Guys (in Bismarck), some raw peas and carrots which she loved, and some apple slices with sprinkles.  I also put a couple of those Wilton's candy decorations that are supposed to be for cupcakes.  They just make lunches so cute with such minimal effort:)




And this was her lunch today!  I cut some strawberries into little hearts (so easy; just cut the stem off with a triangle instead of straight across), made her half a peanut butter sandwich and stuck a love bird cupcake-decoration on it, and then cut some cucumbers into hearts for her as well.  I was planning on just cutting the cucumber into circles, but it was already a little heart shaped, so I just cut a triangle out of the top to finish it off.  She also had a gogurt (up in the top).  

I'm off to tackle SOMETHING on this huge list...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Spontaneous!


Brandon and I sometimes get nostalgic when we think about the days before we had kids; we were young, newly-dating, and never planned anything.  We just went with the flow. If we felt like playing racquetball, we did.  If we felt like going night fishing, we did.  If we just wanted to stay home and play Fable, we did.  

One of the first things we ever did together was take a totally random trip to the Grand Canyon!  We realized we both had a three day weekend and that neither of us had ever been, so after our shifts at Pizza Hut, we each headed home to pack some clothes and after a stop at the store for food/drinks, we were off!  We ended up pulling in just in time to see the sunrise over the canyon; it was so beautiful.  

Now that we are a little more financially stable (we paid our car off this week! YAY!), I'm making it a goal to introduce more spontaneity into our lives.  I feel like it'll be good for the whole family; Brandon and I won't feel so bogged down by the daily routine, and it'll help the kids learn to be more flexible and adaptable.  Plus, it'll be FUN!  

I'm counting yesterday as our first spontaneous adventure, even though only Piper and I went.  

Brandon and I were talking in the kitchen about how crazy this weekend will be for him (homework-wise) and how crazy the next six weekends will be for me (girl scout cookie season!), and I realized that if I wanted to make it to Sam's Club any time in the next few weeks, it needed to be that afternoon.  It was already 4PM though; did I really want to drive all the way to the closest Sam's Club (Bismarck...about 125 miles from the base), shop, and then come right back home?  




Turns out, I did.  And so did Piper.  20 minutes later, we were in the car on our way.  (I know, I'm horrible...taking photos while I drive.  But, the sunlight was awesome and I needed to get a shot for February's Photo A Day project).  



We pulled into Bismarck around 6:15PM, chowed down on some Five Guys, and were in the Sam's Club parking lot by 7:10.  Piper and I loaded up the car with snack food, bulk produce (a HUGE bag of oranges for $6! So much orange juice!), cheese (they eat sooooo much cheese) and a few random things like fine-tipped Sharpies for me (since the kids- Beckett -lost mine), dry-erase markers for the easel they got for Christmas, and a couple super cute cardigans for moi.  



The trunk was so full I had to put the toilet paper and Capri Sonnes in Beck's seat. 
   
I know I said I wasn't going to buy fruit snacks anymore, but Piper begged me and I just didn't feel like fighting it.  We're just going to treat them like treats rather than snacks.  

I love Sam's Club.  And Costco for that matter.  Either one, I'm not picky.  I would  love them even more if they opened a store in Minot.  I'd shop there every week probably.  One week for snack foods, one week for produce, one week for household items, one week for meat, one week for freezer stuff.  It'd be awesome.  

It's so much easier buying a whole case of applesauce or a huge can of mixed nuts than it is remembering to buy each and every little thing you might need at a regular grocery store.  Yeah yeah yeah, I know...that's what lists are for.  I hate grocery lists.  Especially since I'm usually shopping with Beckett, who loses interest in the airplane and/or car shopping cart about a third of our way through the trip.  Not easy checking a list, looking for sales, and keeping a two year old entertained.  

Do you bulk shop?  Better yet, do you know any higher ups at Sam's Club and/or Costco? Wanna convince them to open up here in Minot, North Dakota?  :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

So, here's the thing...

um...
...I don't know.*

I've obviously missed two (now three) regular posts and I've been sitting here thinking about that, and trying to figure out WHY I feel guilty about it.  Almost like I didn't turn in a homework assignment.  Which is absolutely ridiculous, because this is MY blog and I decide what I write and when it gets published.  

While I love the idea of having regular features most days of the week, I just don't feel like it jives with my personality.  The moment I feel like I HAVE to do something, I start to hate it.  Not even joking.  I've had so much fun crocheting in these last few weeks because I'm working on stuff that I want to work on.  Not orders.  Not requests.  Not things I promised to people.  Whatever the hell I feel like working on at that moment in time, I work on.  

So I'm not going to do all the features I was doing.  I think I'll still keep up with Piper's lunch posts, but that's probably it (until I get Project Life pages done...I finally sat down and made my cover page yesterday).  The rest of the week I'll just blog about what I feel like blogging about, whether it's a new paleo recipe, something I'm crocheting, or an epic game of Uno that lasted almost an hour**.  

I want this blog to be an escape for me; somewhere I can come to just write about whatever is on my mind that the people around me don't necessarily want to hear about constantly.  I want to be able to write about creative things when I feel creative, about political things when I feel political, about weightloss and/or paleo when I'm feeling super motivated.  

I hope that makes sense, and I hope that my few readers stick around :).  

* This is a huge inside joke between me and my husband.  A couple Christmasses ago, we were in the middle of our move to North Dakota and were spending the holidays in Utah with family.  All four of us were sleeping in my parent's basement.  A couple nights before Christmas, Brandon and I were up late arguing about Santa traditions (I honestly can't even remember exactly what we were disagreeing about...I think it was when the presents are wrapped. His family wrapped ALLLLLL the presents on Christmas Eve, mine wrapped them as they were bought and then Santa brought his on Christmas Eve).  The room we were sleeping in didn't have a door, so we were whispering and trying not to wake up the kids with either our well-thought out points or giggles, when all of a sudden I interrupt him and say, "Here's the thing... ...um ... ...I don't know." We both laughed SO HARD I still cannot to this day believe we didn't wake the kids up.  

** I seriously think Piper has figured out that she can put off bedtime by hoarding cards instead of putting them down.  The game we played last night lasted soooooo long it was insane. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Piper's lunches! Also, my head might explode.

This cold just will not go away.  The whole family has had it at least once (I'm on my second time around now) and it's really starting to piss me off. Go away stuffy nose!  You hear me, sore throat? LEAVE.  You're not welcome here.

Now that that's out of the way, lunches!  I got off easy this week and only had to make Piper lunch twice this week!  Piper's really branching out as far as trying new foods goes, which is super exciting.  She even tasted her tomato soup yesterday at school!  Big steps for my picky little miss.



This was Tuesday's lunch. That white square thing in the upper left corner is a Nutella sandwich on yet another failed loaf of homemade bread (I just can't get it to rise enough) that's cut in half.  The lighting was way off in this photo, sorry.  Hipstamatic was acting up :(.  Anyway, she also had some trail mix, mini triscuits, a gogurt, and colby jack cheese cut with a snowflake cookie cutter. They ended up looking more like a sunshine all stacked up like that, but whatevs.  


And this was Wednesday's lunch!  I tried to pack her a grain-free lunch and see how she liked it, and I think it was a success.  She only brought home some carrots and probably about half the cashews so I was happy.  I packed her a hard-boiled egg, some cashews with Valentine's sprinkles, carrots, and cheese cut with a flower cookie cutter.  

Easy peasy week for me :)