Monday, November 17, 2014

Leafy Fall PlanetBoxes with Lunchbox Love

How I love a fall morning in the Pacific Northwest! I love it being cool enough to make a fire in the wood stove, and how much more enjoyable my coffee is when there's still a bit of a chill in the air and it's not quite light out yet.  I love the fog that makes the world outside my window look soft and dreamy as it grows lighter. And I love the bright colours of the autumn leaves in contrast! 

I put some leaves and warm fall colours in the girls' lunches :)



In the PlanetBox Shuttle, I packed Birdie some yogurt with sprinkles (and a happy little spoon to eat it with), strawberries, and mini peanut butter & cheddar sandwich leaves. Her cloth napkin's print is Peanuts characters playing in the leaves. In the little green Woodstock box she has one of her Hallowe'en candies for a treat.  We love Snoopy & the Peanuts gang :)

Bella's PlanetBox Rover contains leaf-shaped turkey & cheddar quesadillas, Craisins dried cranberries,  cranberry & sage Triscuit crackers, apple wedges, a tube of almonds, babble cheese, and a Hershey's Kiss treat.


It's nearly Thanksgiving, so I got out our Lunchbox Love for Thanksgiving, we had a few notes left from last year. They've added a 4th volume this year! Each volume of 12 notes features thoughtful quotes about gratitude on the front and fun interesting facts about Thanksgiving on the back. 


There's still time to get some Lunchbox Love for Thanksgiving! Besides putting them in lunches,  you could include one (or a set!) with hostess gifts, or even use them as place cards at Thanksgiving dinner :)  And you can use my coupon code, BENTON, to save 15% :)

The note I added to Birdie's PlanetBox reminded me that it's about time to bring out my Little House books for Sprout!


Since it's Movember,  I chose a moustache print napkin for Bella, which I packed atop her quesadillas  & set her Lunchbox Love note on  - I like to save & re-use the notes if they don't get food on them :)


The trivia on the flip side of Bella's note was fitting for her cranberry-filled lunch - it inspired me to add a leaf bento pick to her Babybel cheese :)


That orange tubular container the almonds are in is a repurposed mini M&M's tube! Fits perfectly in that section of the PlanetBox Rover.

Below are the spring-loaded pastry stamps I used to make the leaf mini sandwiches in Birdie's lunch. They make a great impression on the bread! 



Do the colourful sprinkles on the yogurt look like autumn leaves to you?


I think they do... but they are actually turtles! They came in this Sea Accents sugar sprinkles assortment of marine creatures :)


Happy Fall, y'all!


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Harry Potter School Lunch & Birthday

I had fun making this Harry Potter themed lunch! The sorting hat is grape fruit leather, folded & pinched into shape. I also used a bit of the fruit leather to bind the pepperoni stick & string cheese broom. That's the rest of the stick of string cheese in the cup with a Harry Potter pick. In the triangle cup I stacked 2 Deathly Hallows turkey & cheddar sandwiches. The grapes with the tree picks are meant to be baby Mandrakes :) Mini pumpkin muffins frosted with a Golden Snitch & a lightning bolt complete the theme.

The frosted muffins were a special request from 8th birthday girl Sydney Bean Sprout (below) to bring to school to share with her classmates.


Truthfully, she requested cupcakes - but if you frost a muffin it counts as a cupcake, in my opinion :) I also topped the cream cheese frosting with the little Snitches & lightning bolts that I made by drizzling melted baking melts on parchment paper, so they're plenty sweet!


They turned out so cute! I had enough left over to put one of each of the "cupcakes" in her big sister Bella's EasyLunchboxes bento:


The pepperoni broom was my variation of the popular pretzel & cheese broomsticks Hallowe'en snack. I used a Slim Jim, which is quite a bit wider than a pretzel, so to avoid splitting the string cheese cheese, I used a drinking straw to hollow out a "pilot hole" of sorts in it first.
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It's Throwback Thursday! So here are a couple of pics of Bella & Pickle from Hallowe'ens gone by. Bella dressed up as Hermione Granger in 2013:


Pickle was Harry Potter in 2012:


We all love Harry Potter!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Ghost Lunch of Hallowe'en Past

Wow, this past October was the busiest Hallowe'en season ever! Between volunteering to help plan & put on the sproutlets' elementary school Fall Festival, planning & shopping for Bella & Sprout's end of October birthdays, & putting together Hallowe'en costumes, I did not find time to blog. I did make some Hallowe'en themed bentos, & photographed a few ... but for the most part, the sproutlets' lunches were just food :)


This ghostly EasyLunchboxes bento is one of the few Hallowe'eny lunches I took a picture of :) The string cheese ghost's wrapper is decorated with marker, & the PB&J sandwich has candy eyes & a chocolate chip mouth. Baby carrots are embellished with a Boo! pick, & a ghost pick hovers over apple wedges with a little cup of caramel dip. I made a whole bunch of string cheese ghosts for Sprout's classroom Hallowe'en party snack contribution:


Bella's day of Hallowe'en lunch was filled with pumpkins & spiders :) In the spider silicone cup she got a Fig Newton & an Oreo embellished with candy eyes, her turkey, ham & cheese wrap is secured with Happy Halloween & spider pick, a spider ring decorates the baby carrots, & cucumber slices with a jack o'lantern pick fill a pumpkin-shaped silicone cup.


This one was barely Hallowe'eny.  It was a dark & dreary pre-daylight savings time morning, I wasn't awake enough to be creative ;) Bella got pepperoni bites, string cheese, turkey & cheddar wrap, 2 cocktail tomatoes,  Fig Newtons, & a Lunchbox Love note.

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The sproutlets in their Hallowe'en costumes:

Bella was Wednesday Addams. The skeleton behind her is my mom :)


Birdie was Amelia Earhart. She loves those aviator goggles!


Pickle was Eggs from The Boxtrolls. Sprout was Annie Oakley, & requested her costume have lots of "cowgirl fringe". For the record, I did not enjoy sewing on the fringe! Colouring the eggs label was kind of fun though :)


One last picture before going out trick or treating - a silly face group shot - including Beanstalk as a pirate & his buddy as a nerd :)


My little tricksters got lots of treats. A happy Hallowe'en was had by all!

Friday, October 17, 2014

By the Dawn's Early Light

Bella tried ranch dressing at a friend's recently, and liked it! She says she thinks she'd like to take some in her lunch now & then. We wouldn't use ranch dressing for anything else so I got a pack of single serving dip cups rather than a full bottle that would have to be refrigerated once opened, in case now & then tuns out to be rarely ;) If she does end up asking for it often I'll get the big bottle and send it in our EasyLunchboxes Mini Dippers.


Bella's EasyLunchboxes bento box contains:
  • a juicy little cocktail tomato
  • fat little organic baby carrots
  • ranch dip for the carrots
  • pepperoni sticks
  • mozzarella string cheese 
  • parmesan garlic Triscuit Thins
  • & a brownie left over from last night's dessert

I just realized this morning, Hallowe'en is in less than 2 weeks! Eek! It's time to start spookifying the lunches! There wasn't time this morning, but I did slip a Hallowe'en Angry Bird cupcake ring over the string cheese, for fun :)

It was the dim morning light that reminded me how late in the year it's getting; all of a sudden it's still fairly dark when my bigger sproutlets leave for school! Look how dark & cold Bella's lunch photo was before I colour corrected it - I wasn't even sure there was enough light to take it!


The streetlights & outside lights were even still on when we got to the school. I felt a little bad for my girl as I watched her cross the parking lot in her winter coat while I got to stay in the warm car, still cozy in my pajamas ;)


School's about to let out now and it's still cold & grey...  Bella & Beanstalk usually walk home, but I think I'll surprise them and pick them up :) 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Special Delivery Lunches : Cupcake & Pirate

I recently had the pleasure of making fun lunches for my friend's little girl & delivering them to her at school while her mother was away for a couple of days. Her little girl is called Bella too, so I just had to use my alphabet stamps in one of the lunches, I already had the name put together! 

Cute cupcake lunch in EasyLunchboxes by BentOnBetterLunches

Bella's Cute Personalized Lunch contains:
  • strawberry Go-Gurt (frozen in an L shape to fit)
  • cupcake ham & cheese sandwich made with a Lunch Punch, stamped with her name, & topped with a cherry tomato
  • roll of Rockets candy (or Smarties if you're American)
  • organic strawberries cut like hearts, with a heart fork pick
  • organic green grapes in a pink flower silicone cup

For the other day, she asked if I could make her a lunch like the one I made Birdie on Talk Like A Pirate Day, but without berries, & jelly instead of cheese on her treasure map sandwich. She definitely wanted me to include the jelly bean treasure & chocolate doubloon though! I packed her lunch in an EasyLunchbox with the treasure in a Mini Dipper.

Pirate treasure lunch in EasyLunchboxes by BentOnBetterLunches

Bella's Pirate Lunch contains:

Both lunches were packed in EasyLunchboxes that she got to keep :) It was fun packing lunches for someone other than my own sproutlets! My friend told me how much her daughter was looking forward to lunch those days, rather than being bummed about having the school lunch, so I really wanted her to like them. And I'm told she loved them

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