1001 posts!

Since I didn’t realize that my last post was my 1,000th post, I’ll just celebrate 1001!  I can’t believe I have been at this for that long!  Hmm….perhaps I should give away something!  Yep, I think I will!  But it will be a mystery!  Mostly cause I don’t have time at the moment to take a photo and post it…..so it’ll be a mystery prize!

I’ll have more on that later…first the stuff I was originally going to post today before I saw the post number!  A few more Bento lunch photos…..we got bands for their boxes and also these cute little bottles to keep dressings in.  It’s a perfect amount of salad dressing!  I also cut some mini shapes in cheese and cumbers lately – I think it’s kinda cute!


These contain salad, cucumbers, pineapple, roast beef and turkey roll-ups, cheese, baby carrots, jello jigglers, coconut cashews, almonds, pretzels, salad dressing, ranch, mini candy bars and cantelope.


Another recent Bento – gogurt, swiss cheese sticks, chocolate bar, coconut cashews, grapes, bell peppers, and turkey and swiss roll-ups.


And how they look with the bands holding them together – much classier than rubber bands!  I also use that top section to put a napkin in…

And also a card!  This was one we did at my last card class.  I love this cardstock shade from PTI – and at how easy these stamps are to line up for making backgrounds.


supplies: Background Basics: Stars by PTI; sentiment from A Muse; Pure Luxury White Cardstock Pure White in layering and base weights; tag trio dies; Enchanted Evening cardstock, ink and ribbon; Vintage Touch ink; corner rounder; and dimensionals.

So back to that giveaway!  To celebrate 1001 posts – I’ve got a Mystery Prize!  I promise it’s fabulous too!  Want to know how to win?

Here’s how!

1. Leave a comment here on this post and tell me what your favorite lunch box item was! (not something from one of my lunches – but your lunches!)

2. This post closes at 10:00 PM, CST – Tuesday, November 13th.

3. I will use the Random Number Generator to choose a winner!



Yep, it’s a post all about food!  I’ll start with a few more Bento lunches – although before pictures, I am going to share some links.  I ended up purchasing my goods from 3 ebay sellers.  I was really happy with 2 of them (the other had great prices, but slow shipping – all ordered the same day and that one came 5 days later than the other two….and it was the closest to me!).  I won’t share that shop name, I’ll just share the great ones!

I ordered all my boxes (and a bunch of other stuff) from Bento Obento.  She was SUPER fast, had great communication, sent a little gift, and she has a site with webisodes on different Bento ideas.  I highly recommend her shop.

Bento Obento


Another I ordered several smaller items from was Bento Mama.  She also had SUPER fast shipping, so I definitely recommend her as well!

Bento Mama

Now, before you check out from any ebay store – make sure you ask the seller to combine your shipping.  Even if they offer this, it is not always automatically done by ebay.   No need to pay extra shipping if you don’t have to!

Here are two recent lunches I made for Alex – the other two wanted school lunch those days.  Alex REALLY loves this kind of lunch because he prefers fruits and veggies, meat and cheeses over the junk school lunch serves.  Plus you can really get quite a lot in these, and he’s a pretty big eater!  I will list the foods under the photos, but remember my disclaimer about not wanting advice!  I don’t mean that in a mean way, but I’m not asking for unsolicited nutritional advice, okie dokie?


swiss cheese cut into sticks with turkey wrapped around them (love the cute little picks to hold them together!), yellow bell pepper, grapes, gogurt, coconut cashews (from Costco!), hershey bar, and more swiss cheese

Now this is a slightly different style box – I love the clasping sides as it holds both the layers together.  (It was from Bento Obento.) And the little penguin doesn’t fit inside the box, but it holds sauces.   This time it was ranch for his carrots.  How totally adorable is that?!?!  Now I did get some animal sauce holders that are flatter that will fit in, like these – but I did not get them from this seller so I cannot vouch for them{HERE} and I got these adorable monkeys {HERE} as well – but they are really small!

Ok, The penguin has ranch in there – the yellow “beak” comes out and is a little spoon/scooper.  Too Cute!


ranch, turkey/swiss sticks, cucumbers, bell peppers, carrot sticks, gogurt, fun size milky way, the egg is covering cashews, and more cheese

And here is how that container looked all stacked and clasped together.  I love that you can pick this up by the lid and it all holds together.


And now for another foodie thing – not Bento related!  The boys and I watched The Next Food Network Star this summer and we really enjoyed it.  I absolutely love Melissa – who won.  She has the best ‘real cooking’ tips and advice.  I mean stuff that you would actually need to know or tips that you can use in every day cooking.  And her recipes rock!  The boys and I will sit down and watch it together every week….then we make the stuff!  So far we have tried 3 of her recipes and they have all been winners!  Here’s a shot of what we made Saturday night….


It was really good!  The boys LOVED the chicken, we saved the unused marinade and they used it as a dipping sauce for their chicken.  And they were so happy to eat the one leftover chicken breast for lunch today.  They all had seconds and they all loved it.  Best part – both the potatoes and the chicken went in the oven for the last 10 minutes….I was able to clean up the kitchen and wash all the dishes used in the rest of the prep during that time – perfect!  That’s an A+ meal to me!

So here’s a link to her info on the Food Network:

Melissa D’Arabian

And here are the recipes we have tried so far:

Chicken a l’Orange – we used boneless, skinless chicken breasts.  Still great!

Crispy Potatoes – I might take the butter out or lessen the oil next time, but these were a HUGE hit.  Already bought more potatoes to make them again!

Potato-Bacon Torte – Andy refers to this as the dinner that tastes like a dessert.  With the bacon and the heavy cream, I’m sure it’s not low-cal – but it was delicious!  We have made it twice!

I hope that made you nice and hungry!  We’ll be enjoying round 2 on those crispy potatoes for dinner tonight!


Bento, CC, & a Sneak Peek!

Lots of stuff to go over today!  First up I am going to share a few more things about Bento.  Let’s see….what have I learned so far – if you don’t get a Bento box that has a clasp on the side (think those new rubbermaid-esque containers with the lid locks) then you need to get a strap for it.  My kids have rubberbands today.  Nice.  Classy.  Yes, I ordered straps tonight.

Anyway, here’s how our first day with some of our new goodies looks! And before I share this, a little request –

PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT ON WHAT MY KIDS EAT.  My kids are perfectly healthy little dudes.  I do not need nutrition advice.  This is not their only meal of the day, so please do not despair if all their food requirements are not met in this lunch.  Trust me, it’s hard to meet all food requirements when it has to sit in a box all day and has to be served cold.  And it has to be something they will eat.  Thank You!

That said – here are the lunches!


**UPDATE** Andy (blue box) – ate EVERY SINGLE THING IN HIS!  Alex (green box) – Ate all but three cucumber slices!  Adam (red box) left a few carrots, some of his M&M’s and a few pretzels.  Not bad!***

For those f you who asked what was in them, here’s a list: baby carrots, yellow bell pepper, jello, peeled red plums, coconut covered cashews, grapes, rolled up roast beef with a cute pick in it, cucumbers, Andy (blue) had a left over breakfast burrito from dinner the night before, cheese cut into little sticks, almonds, and a few pieces of a hershey bar for dessert.


And now for the CC and Sneak Peek!  This is a brand new set from Alicia K – Gina’s daughter!  Alicia does the most amazing drawings and this set is no exception!  It is just made for Copic markers……although I think I am going to give my Koh-i-noors a workout next time and see what happens!  And I love that she has purple hair….cause she looks cool and trendy, so why not a little purple in her hair?

You can find out more about the Splitcoaststampers CC {HERE}.  This card is for CC235:


and the inside…….


supplies: Feel the Magic by Alicia K for Gina K Designs; SU patterned paper; EK Success border punch; Pure Luxury White Cardstock Pure White in layering and base weights; Kiwi kiss and elegant eggplant cardstock; Copic Ciao Markers: V09, V15, YR16, R27, 100, E53, E57, YG95, and Sketch YG25; Label Four Nestabilities; ribbons from Stamp TV kit; sateen  flowers colored with copic markers; Mark Richards bling for center of flower; SU label punch; pearl Glimmer Mist; and dimensionals.

See more about this set on Gina’s blog {HERE}!

Joining us tonight with special projects made with AliciaK’s Feel the Magic Stamp set are these Designers:
Gina Krupsky,
Asela Hopkins
Carolyn King
Donna Baker
Emily Giovanni
Erika Martin

Jessica Fick
Melanie Muenchinger
Theresa Momber


Lost In Translation and Freebie!

I’ve got the next part of the Soft & Shabby line for you today – the solids.   And then I’ll get the alpha up here too.  But first a little Lost In Translation for ya – I love the different photos out there of signs, labels, etc where the meaning is a wee bit garbled in translation.

So we’ve been trying the Bento lunches and I bought a few things on ebay for the boys.  (I’ll share the ebay stores I liked after I get all of it in.) I was going through the things we bought, taking everything out of the packages so I could wash it – and I read a few of the labels.  These were a few of my favorites!


Love that – why would you put it near a fire?!?!  It’s plastic!  I won’t even get into the last line….


I’m pretty sure that means it’s a choking hazard……

Here’s what they were on….cute little picks for foods and adorable little bottles to hold sauces….


I will share all the things we’ve picked up and our new Bento boxes this week!  I’m so excited to make some CUTE lunches!  I’m not into making too much of the cutsie stuff in the lunches yet – but I’m all for cute packaging!  And I”ll also share the ebay shops I used and let you know which ones had excellent service.  Now for the papers!

Soft & Shabby Solids – coordinating colors with the Soft & Shabby Damasks



Please do not share the link – you can refer others here to download it themselves, but do not share the link directly, thank you!


Bento Rd 2 and thanks….

Several of you seemed interested in how the Bento-esque lunch endeavor plays out, so here is Round Two!  We learned after the first day that you cannot put dry and wet things in the same container – if you have pretzel sticks in there and something else that puts off moisture….you get soggy pretzels.  Lesson learned!  Also the paper cups do a crummy job with wet things.  Bento makers use paper cups that are wax-coated.  Apparently those hold up better.  I didn’t have any, but I did remember that we had a few silicone muffin cups.  So I dug those out and we tried that.

For the most part these worked LOTS better.  Adam still isn’t wild about this type of lunch….but like I said, he doesn’t eat much of whatever I put in his lunch.   Alex and Andy seem to really like it though.  I think we will invest in some supplies – I have found two places that carry a wide selection of the cutesy stuff (yes I know about laptoplunches.com – but that isn’t really what I wanted….).  A store called jlist.com has  TON, but make sure you stick to the bento section – I don’t know what else is on there, but it has an over 18 side?!?  And then good ‘ole ebay had quite a bit.  We’ll see what we end up with.

Here were the two lunches I sent the other day…


One of them had something else he wanted to take, so he had a smaller container…we also learned that mango is only really good the first day – it gets mushy fast.  Most of this is the same as before, except the pretzels are in a baggie, we used some sliced ham, and I cut some cheddar cheese into little sticks.  I want to get some of the tiny shape cutters so they can have cute cheese!

And now for a crafty item…..another thank you we made at class.  I loved the patterned paper SU had with these large flowers in outlines….but I figured why buy it when I could just get the stamps and make as much of it as I want on my own.  So that’s what I did…..8 mos ago.  I am just know getting around to actually USING the stamps!  That’s terrible, isn’t it?


supplies: 5th Ave Floral; Kiwi Kiss patterned paper SU; Not Quite Navy, Kiwi Kiss, and Baja Breeze inks; Not Quite Navy cardstock; Pure Luxury White Cardstock Pure White in layering and base weights; SU twill; and white satin from Michaels.

Ok, off to make a photo collage for Alex’s homework.


Bento Lunches and chairs….

Odd title, I know.  So tomorrow is the first day of school.  Before Kimberly came to visit the US this summer, she asked if I would be interested in any Bento lunch making stuff.  I’d heard of it and thought it sounded interesting so I said sure.  She brought a few egg, rice and hot dog molds over for us to try out.  However, none of those things are the boys’ favorite foods (except rice!) so we didn’t give it a whole lot more thought.

Then I was starting to think about groceries for school lunches, while I don’t mind if they buy lunch at school – they usually don’t like the food there, and I figured why not give it a try!  We don’t have a lot of the cute little containers and such (although if it goes well this week, I will put an order in for some stuff….) so we just used some Rubbermaid containers and muffin cups.  I always grab muffin cups after holidays when they are on clearance.  No idea why, I just love them.  I have tons in both regular and tiny sizes.  I thought they would work pretty well for this.

So I talked to the boys about what a Bento lunch is and we discussed some options that they could put in them.  The older two really prefer healthier foods anyway – Adam just likes candy, lol!  So it’s stuff they  like anyway.  They don’t really eat sandwiches, nobody really likes PB&J, they don’t like chips that much, and so on.  This way they could eat some healthier stuff that they chose.  I think it will be quite a bit of effort at the beginning of the week to buy and cut everything, but they ought to be able to last all week after that.  We’ll see how it goes!

Here is a snapshot of the finished product from today’s efforts….


They wanted bell peppers (so we got red, yellow and orange), carrots, fake lobster meat, mango, cashews, pretzle sticks, pineapple, small pickles, peanut butter, cucumbers, and the one has a leftover piece of garlic cheese bread in it.  After I snapped this pic I put lids on and kinda shook them around a bit to see if they spilled out.  The one in the middle was fine, I added a muffin cup of grapes to the other two.

Pretty fun – definitely way healthier than we usually pack.  Plus it was a fun activity to buy and chop things together.  They samples lots of it while we were working – and since it’s all healthy, no problem there!  Now we’ll see if they actually eat it!  If any of you are interested, I’ll kinda update every so often on our progress with this….if not, I won’t bore you with it!

And a card – this was inspired by a card Debbie Olson did with this set during the PTI release that month.  We made this at class this month.


supplies: On My Couch from PTI; pink pirouette cardstock; dark Chocolate palette ink; Oh Baby Girl Basic Grey paper; Graphic 45 patterned paper for background; sponge; Antique Linen Ranger Distress ink; and dimensionals.

Be sure to stop by tomorrow night for Day 1 of Gina K’s newest release Sneak Peeks!  You can see some little tidbits at Gina’s blog {HERE}!

I hope that all your kidlets have a great start to their school year!