Saturday, June 30, 2012

ReUsable DIY Cupcake Toppers!

Beanstalk came up with the design for his birthday cake all by himself. He wanted a small cake with an Avengers "A",  surrounded by cupcakes, one for each Avenger. Cake decorating is not my forté, but I did my best, and came up with a new way to make DIY cupcake toppers in the process!

As I've said, I'm not much of an artist, and especially not with frosting, so I wanted to do cupcake toppers. I've made them before, for Pickle's Dr. Seuss Birthday, but they were paper, so not washable and reusable. If I made Avengers ones, I wanted to be able to use them again in his bentos - so I came up with the idea to make them somewhat like plastic plant labels, using the laminator we bought for Pickle's PECS! 

This photo was taken after the cupcake toppers had been washed and dried. They really are washable and reusable, yay!

How I made my laminated cupcake toppers:

I snagged the Avengers promo poster images from Google (probably breaking some copyright law but since I'm not selling or profiting from them I hope whatever authorities enforce that sort of thing will let it slide). I printed 2 of each image on card stock, cut them up and glued them together back to back, and arranged them between the sheets of laminating plastic.

(I put a sheet of tissue paper down on the table to keep any crumbs or dust from getting on anything - that's what the crumpled red background is.) Sorry, no pic of the laminating process, I needed both hands to keep the small sproutlets from messing with the hot laminator.  Here is the laminated sheet.

Next I cut them out in little stake shapes. 

Easy-peasy! If you have a laminator :)

● ● ● ● ●

Here are my Avengers cupcakes and toppers, ready to assemble!

And, Avengers cupcakes, assembled! Heheh

I had more cupcakes than Avengers and couldn't find pics I liked of all of them solo, but I had everyone represented, even the director of S.H.I.E.L.D. So we had Iron Man, Thor, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Captain America, Hulk & Hawkeye, and 2 of the group. We had Avengers plates, cups, and cupcakes - now all we needed was the cake for the center!

I baked the cake in a loaf pan so I could cut it in half and stack it to make a cube. Here is my somewhat messy but recognizable enough Avengers "A" symbol - I was pretty pleased with how it came out!

Probably not exactly as he imagined, but pretty cool nonetheless.
Beanstalk was pleased :)

This is the only photo I got of him with his cake that didn't have other people's children in it. It's right before he blew out the candle, and that's the only time I took pictures. I always forget to take pictures during parties! Too busy participating... Oh well, I suppose I'd rather he have memories of me actually being part of things than have photos of the party without me in them :)

Happy 11th Birthday Beanstalk!

Friday, June 29, 2012

It's a Patriotic Bento Blog Hop!

Today's post is part of a patriotic blog hop! 
Beanstalk, Bella, Birdie & Sprout all have red, white & blue lunches in celebration of Independence Day, but since I've already done an American flag sandwich for my Pickle this year, and I'm Canadian, I decided to make him a Canada flag sandwich in honour of Canada's Birthday (July 1st)

His flag is a peanut butter sandwich, and on the side he has red & white marshmallow stars, and the bits of the sandwich cut out for the flag, skewered on maple leaf picks, and yogurt topped with red frozen yogurt stars. 
Happy (early) Canada Day Pickle!
● ● ● ● ●

My Bella selected everything that went into her stars & stripes bento.

She has an EasyLunchbox packed with a star-shaped peanut butter sandwich, tomatoes, NatureBox Zingy Currants, Fig Newtons, and Gala apple slices. I added the marshmallow stars as a treat.

● ● ● ● ●

Beanstalk has his 4th of July food in a stainless steel LunchBots Quad.

He has a flag made of blueberries topped with cheese stars & a striped Gala apple, red, white & blue Goldfish, ham & the rest of the mozzarella string cheese used for the stars.

● ● ● ● ●

Birdie and Sprout got Lock & Lock bentos.

Birdie has blueberries and mozzarella on heart picks, strawberries topped with a frozen yogurt star, a star-shaped hard-cooked egg, and red, white & blue Goldfish, topped with USA cookies.

Sprout has her yogurt stars atop some blueberries, cheese stars atop strawberries, and the bottom half the same as Birdie :)

● ● ● ● ●

For afternoon snack yesterday, Beanstalk enjoyed red, white & blue organic naturally colored corn chips, served in a miniature Weber Grill! Hahahaha!

Now hop on over and to What's for Lunch at Our House and see what Shannon has made!

Bento of the Week
Some containers used for these lunches:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Smile, it's lunch time!

Bella requested a smile for lunch today. She chose what went into her EasyLunchbox, I just put it together :)

She has a peanut butter sandwich with a tomato & cheese smiley face, broccoli hair, & "SMILE" spelled out with alphabet food picks. On the side she has more tomatoes & cheese,  grapes, & Fig Newtons.

● ● ● ● ●

Sprout wanted a smiley face too, but had snacked on a bunch of fruit not long before lunch so she only had the PB sandwich with cheese face:

● ● ● ● ●

Birdie asked for a birthday cake peanut butter sandwich, and got the Lunch Punch from the drawer herself.  She ate lunch out on the picnic table. I love her little sandwiches sandals and wish they came in my size! (heheh, I guess I had sandwiches on the brain!)

Here she is singing Happy Birthday to herself. 
(It's not her birthday).

She looks so much older than 3 to me here!

Stuff used for these lunches:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Look, it's a Sailboat!

My lack of nautical knowledge is probably pretty obvious with these, but they were sailboat-ish enough for my Pickle :)

2 sandwiches - a circle & a square, cut in half.
Very simple to make with swizzle sticks!

If you're fluent in movie quotes, maybe you caught my Mallrats reference in the title, and if you did, chances are you're a Kevin Smith fan, and if you are, you won't want to miss out on the awesomeness of Kevin Smith Week from my friend Karen of What's in Mom's Lunch Bag!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

First Day of Summer Blog Hop!

Yesterday was the first official day of Summer Vacation for my school age sproutlets! Special summery lunches were in order. Especially since my bento blogger friends & I planned a blog hop for today - the First Day of Summer :)

There's always a lot of chatter when planning a blog hop, and with this hop's theme being Summer, the topic of summer movies came up - so you may see one or two summer movie references among today's lunches. Well, two for sure! One from me, and another from Karen of What's In Mom's Lunch Bag (the next stop on the hop) ... you'll see!

Can you guess what summer blockbuster inspired Bella's lunch?  
I thought it might be a little subtle, so I added some quotes from the movie:

My Mia Bella, age 9, has never seen the summer 1987 hit Dirty Dancing - 
to her, this is just a yummy watermelon-y bento :)  She doesn't know that "Hey Baby" is the title of the song Baby learns to dance with Johnny to*, or that there is any significance to her baby in a blanket (wienie swaddled in a biscuit) being in the corner* of her EasyLunchbox ;)

In the other corner she has celery sticks & cherries, and in the main compartment, watermelon & blueberry kebabs, topped with a slice of watermelon. The watermelon was seedless so I added some NatureBox dried currant "seeds" for fun :) In the little cup she has a SunButter ball (recipe below) and in the pink cup, watermelon salt water taffy. Yum!

 This lunch did not need any more cheese so I did not put any more in it!

That's it for movie references for me. I entertained the idea of doing a Ponyo lunch for Birdie & Sprout, but I didn't have any ham - and you can't do a Ponyo lunch without ham! They did get summery bentos though...

I used some of the dough from the SunButter balls and a little cookie cutter to make beaches with sandcastles! They also got some blueberries, cantaloupe starfish and watermelon. Here's Birdie's -  don't you want to eat that sand!?

Those pebbles are actually candy coated chocolates! Don't they look real? They taste like M&M's. The little girls also got a piece of watermelon taffy each, I just didn't put it in their Easylunchboxes.  I learned from last week's Old MacDonald muffin tin meals that they will still eat the candy first (unlike big sister Bella who saves hers for last) so I gave it to them after lunch.

Sand you CAN eat!

Our loaf of bread was on the small side, too small for any of our sandwich cutters, so Pickle got a peanut butter sandwich shell, embellished with a sandcastle, and a starfish mama & babies. The smaller shapes are one layer of bread stuck on with more peanut butter. And blue yogurt.

Beanstalk didn't want a proper lunch. He slept late and had a big breakfast.

Don't forget about the Summer Blog Hop! You don't want to miss What's In Mom's Lunch Bag and all the others! Click the pic to hop along now if you don't want the recipe for the SunButter balls, or read on if you do :)

● ● ● ● ●
SunButter Balls
1/2 cup SunButter (or nut butter of choice)
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup flax
3/4 cup graham crumbs 
Pour honey or syrup in bowl. Add SunButter and 1/2 cup of graham crumbs,  quickly mixing into dough. Knead dough with hands to combine ingredients well. Shape into balls of desired size. Roll in remaining graham crumbs. Chill in freezer for 10 minutes, then store in refrigerator until ready to serve.  You could add raisins, coconut, chocolate chips, oatmeal... all sorts of things to these.  My picky sproutlets prefer things plain though :)
● ● ● ● ●

Friday, June 15, 2012

Last Day of School Bentos

Today is the last full day of school! Bella requested a VicTORious lunch, after one of her favourite TV shows.

VicTORious bento school lunch

Bella has chicken & cheese tortilla roll-ups, some grapes, carrots, cucumber stars, fig newtons, and tomatoes. To make it a VicTORious lunch, I printed a little picture of the star of the show, attached it to a toothpick and stuck it in one of the roll-ups, along with some musical note picks. On top of the fig newtons is a sugar guitar cupcake topper.

Beanstalk requested a Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy lunch - he recently read the book and saw the movie.

I got the idea to use "So long and thanks for all the fish" from Jenn of Bento for Kidlet's last day of school lunch for her son. Beanstalk's lunch is similar, he also has a sandwich with the quote in fruit leather, goldfish crackers, and an apple. His apple has a dolphin carved into it, and he has some grapes on star picks.

"So long and thanks for all the fish" is a line from The Hitchiker's Guide To The Galaxy - it's what the dolphins say when they leave the Earth. It was even made into a song for the opening of the 2005 movie:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Old MacDonald had a lunch...

... B-E-N-T-O ♪ ♫

Today Beanstalk's class has a just-for-fun field trip to the Roller Barn,
our town's roller skating rink!

They will be having a junk food lunch there so I didn't need to pack him a lunch, but at his request I packed him a snack of popcorn, an apple & a bottle of water - for in case he doesn't like the food there :)

Lunch for the girls was inspired by that barn!

Bella has an "Old MacDonald Had A Farm" lunch in her EasyLunchbox:

♪ ♫ On that farm there was:
  • a cow (& calf)  turkey & cheddar sandwich
  • a dog & a chicken & chicks, & E I O picks, in tomatoes 
  • some eggs - mozzarella
  • a pig - dip container, with carrots & celery 
  • another pig - gummy candy, atop some fig newtons
... B-E-N-T-O ♪ ♫

Birdie & Sprout have muffin tin meal versions:

They have an egg with a chick pick, a cheese duck & celery sticks, a cow & pig gummy treat, cherries with a pig pick, a yogurt "pond" with farm animal sprinkles, tomatoes & biscuits singing E I O  ♪ ♫

Tomorrow's lunches will be the last school lunches of the year!

You can find most of the cute little accessories used
 in these lunches at BentoUSA / AllThingsForSale Bento Products

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Lunch for my Sweet, Smart Star

The sproutlets' grandparents always bring Timbits when they visit from BC. For those not familiar with the name, Timbits are cake donut holes from Tim Horton's, a Canadian coffee & donut chain. They taste like home. And they freeze very well, perfect for popping in lunches later :)

The frosted chocolate ball in Bella's EasyLunchbox is one of those Timbits. Next to it are some yogurty pretzels, by request. To balance out all that sugar she has celery & tomatoes on little star picks, and ham & cheddar cheese star topped bagels.
Bella may be in the gifted class but it never hurts to let her know that I think she's smart. And she loves getting Lunchbox Love notes.

Today my girl is performing in her school's talent show! Sprout & Birdie are so excited because they get to go to their big sister's school and watch :) 
Bella's not at all nervous either, like I would have been at her age;  I love that she's so confident! I'm so proud of my sweet, smart little star ★

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Bunch of Lunches : Bunnies, Hearts, Stars, A Car, & DIY Drinkable Yogurt

For my Bella, a bunny lunch in a Goodbyn Original. Celery sticks with peanut butter dip, ham, cheddar bunnies and mozzarella bites, iced tea, a chocolate sandwich cookie, carrot chips, a little bunny peanut butter sandwich, and carrot sticks with leaf pick stems.

There isn't space for a full-size ice pack in the Goodbyn, and it's too big to fit in any of our insulated lunch totes, so I used reusable ice cubes to surround the celery, ham, and cheese with cold. I also added ice cubes to her drink.

To keep the little cheese bunnies and ham rolls in their place when the lunch is turned sideways to be carried by the handle, I tucked a couple of sheets of lettuce on top of them before fitting the lid on.

The carrot chips are from the bulk bin at our Marketplace, and are not the same as the ones in the Sunshine Chips mix from NatureBox, I have yet to find any as tasty as those.

Bella's bunny sandwich has little pink sugar candy eye. We have a whole bunch of candy eyes now, in many colours, and an abundance of sugar sprinkles and sparkles, thanks to the generosity of Ludicrous Mama of Biting the Hand That Feeds You, who is eliminating artificially dyed foods from her little one's diet, and has noticed quite an improvement in her behaviour as a result. Visit her blog for posts about dye-free lunches & treats.

Sprout also has a bunny lunch, in her Goodbyn Bynto.  Grapes, a bunny sandwich, strawberries with a pink bunny peeking out of one, and mozzarella string cheese beneath carrot sticks with leaf pick stems.

● ● ● ● ●

Birdie's lunch is packed in one of our new Laptop Lunches bento boxes! I received one from Laptop Lunches to review (in an upcoming post) and one from another generous bento blogger friend, Karen of What's in John's Lunch Bag and What's in Mom's Lunch Bag. We love them so far!

Birdie didn't want a bunny sandwich, she asked for a heart, which I added a pink pick to, just because her sister's lunch has a pink pick and they do sometimes compare :) I just happened to have a heart shaped hard-cooked egg in the fridge too! And with a little notch cut in the tops of her strawberries they became  hearts as well. I also tucked a string cheese in the utensil slot of the Laptop Lunch box.

● ● ● ● ●

Beanstalk has Clif Z bar squares, cheese crackers, an apple sliced horizontally with the core cut out with a star cutter - I get the most out of those mini apples that way - and grapes on star picks.  He also has a homemade yogurt drink (in a recycled milk bottle). The sproutlets love Danimals drinkable yogurts but I don't love the price or the sugar content so I mix my own:

● ● ● ● ●

Pickle has a car sandwich made with a Lunch Punch from the Vrrrrmm! set:

Disclosure: My posts contain affiliate links to products & services I've used & approve of  :)  If you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I earn a small commission. Thank you!

Bento Accessories Shop LunchBots