Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween

It's almost Halloween....and believe it or not, I'm feeling somewhat prepared. I'm sure it's because my mother is here with me, and has been helping me bring to life all those crazy ideas that swim around in my head (what would I do without you Mum...Thanks!)

We've been busy:

Halloween Costume Made....CHECK
Boo Bags Delivered....CHECK
Fall Teachers Gift Created...CHECK
Class Treats Completed....CHECK
House Decorated Inside and Out...CHECK
Little K dressed in something Cute and Haloweeny for the week...CHECK
Creepy Bento Lunches Made...CHECK
Haunted Gingerbread House Baked....OOPS, didn't quite get to that one!

Here are Little K's lunches from the past few days to get you into the Halloween Spirit!

I've had so much fun not only making these...but being completely inspired by what other have done. Check out these cool Halloween Themed Bento Lunches. Now do you see why I just can't stop.

My Flickr Friend Texasmomof4 started the group on Flickr and I'm blown away with what everyone has come up with. I have a feeling there may be more Holiday Themed Bentos in the works.

Have a Fantastic Safe Weekend. Save a Peanut Butter Cup for Me!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Parent Teacher Conference - Survival Basket

It's Conference Week at Little K's Elementary School.

With budget cuts and staffing changes, many of the teachers have over 30 kids in their class (compared to under 20 just a few years ago). I've never been a teacher, but as a Retail Manager, I remember what it was like to give Employee Reviews to 30+ employees. It's draining, taxing and tiring - even when you're discussing positive topics. I can only imagine how it must be for the teachers who have to meet with 30+ families in just a few days.

With this in mind, we put together this little basket of goodies for Mrs. Simpson to get her through the week.

It's filled with Water to keep her hydrated - Tac Mints to keep her fresh - Fruits (apple, banana, asian pear) to keep her healthy - as well as some Raspberry Candies and Almond Poppy Muffins...because sometimes you just need something sweet.

Little K is just thriving in Mrs. Simpson's Class, and we can't thank her enough. Hats off to all the teachers out there who give of themselves selflessly to make our children the best little people they can be.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Over The Top Award

I recently received this Cool award from two friends. Susan at Hawaii's Bento Box Cookbook and MandLMom at Pigs Do Fly.

Whoo Hoo….my First Blog Award. Thanks so much Ladies!

The rules of this award are simple:

1) Answer the questions with only one worded answers (questions are below)
2) Thank the blogger who gave it to you over and over and over (that’s exaggerated a bit)
3) Pass it on to your favorite blogs

I hereby grant this award to:

Make Life Sweet

Magpie Ethel

Lucky Number 13

Our Crazy Fun Life

Now the questions:

1. Where is your cell phone? Kitchen
2. Your hair? Messy
3. Your mother? Here
4. Your father?
5. Your favorite food?
6. Your dream last night? Incomplete
7. Your favorite drink? Propel
8. Your dream/goal?
9. What room are you in? Office
10. Your hobby? Crafting
11. Your fear?
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years?
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something you aren’t? Minimal
15. Muffins?
16. Wish list item? Tripod
17. Where did you grow up?
18. Last thing you did?
19. What are you wearing?
20. Your TV?
21. Your pets?
22. Your friends?
23. Your life?
24. Your mood?
25. Missing someone?
26. Vehicle?
27. Something you’re not wearing?
28. Your favorite store?
29. Your favorite color?
30. When was the last time you laughed?
31. Last time you cried?
32. Your best friend? Gary
33. One place that I go over and over? Michaels
34. One person who emails me regularly?
35. Favorite place to eat? Cheesecake Factory (not my fault it’s more than one word)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fast Fix It

Before my Mum arrived, we did a little sprucing up around the house. Nothing like a visitor to get you to work on your household "To Do" list - right?
Nothing major, but lots of little things that no-one will ever notice like:
  • Scraping the old caulk from around the tub
  • Adding fresh white new caulk...ahhh it looks so clean
  • Cleaning off the mineral deposits from the faucets
  • Sealing the Granite counter tops so the water marks don't show
  • Repairing the silicone seal around the sinks

I feel better having done them - because I get to cross something off my list. Even if I'm the only one who knows.

One thing hubby and I did do - that is a little More noticeable (or actually, to make them Less noticeable) - was to paint the recessed lighting in our kitchen.

Our house is over 20 years old and has these lovely recessed fluorescent panels in the ceiling.

The lighting is the least of our worries when it comes to updating the kitchen, so having an electrician come in and replace them with pot lights is not going to happen any time soon.

Our solution?

Paint them white to blend in with the ceiling so they (hopefully) fade away, instead of drawing your attention to them with the dark oak frame.

I know - my father is probably rolling over in his grave at the thought of me painting over real Oak! In this case - I think it was necessary.

We also replaced the plastic diffuser panels. I didn't realize how yellow they had gotten over the years - and of course, they were a lovely bubble rain texture (Sorry, I hated them so much I forgot to take the picture before we smashed them into itty bitty pieces).

The hardest thing about this project was cutting the plastic panels down to size..apparently standard fluorescent lighting has changed over time and we had a bear of a time cutting them.

Did you like how I said "we". That implied that I actually did something on this project. Dear Hubby was the one standing on the stool on the kitchen counter painting the wood. I tried to cut the panels, but just didn't have the oomph (and I consider myself pretty strong), so he had to do that too. Does it count that it was my idea?

The kitchen is so much brighter now and I'm happy with the temporary fix results.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Blame it on the Book Fair

I'm so sorry - I have been derelict in my blogging duties. I have lots of excuses why I've been absent lately, but today I'll choose just one to take the blame (because taking responsibility myself would be just too grown up of a thing to do, and it's always easier to blame it on something else).

I've been volunteering at Little K's school helping to decorate and set up for our Bi-annual Book Fair with my friend Marni. We were just talking the other day about how we got roped into this...errr I mean how we ended up volunteering for this job? The truth is, it's fun to do, we love working with the Media Staff (Hi Stacey) and it's a creative outlet. But it is a lot of work, and I'm happy to say, we are on track for a fantastic Grand Opening on Friday.

This years theme is "Destination: Book Fair. Read Around the World".

This is a close up of the main bulletin board inside the Media Center where the Book Fair is set up. Those red balls are Giant Push Pins marking the cities on our World Tour.

We can't take credit for all the clever decorations. Scholastic puts out a fantastic "How To" kit and even includes on-line templates and patterns for many of the ideas. Although, I have to admit, we often don't use them...because being the perfectionists that Marni and I both are...we think we can do better on our own, and so we sometimes try.

We made invitations for the Staff that looked like Passports. We try to keep the materials as low cost as possible, so the invites were made simply from construction paper and a few scrapbooking tools (punches and corner rounder). The "visa" stamps were created using MS Word.

The main entrance was decorated with images of children from various nations, with their countries flag and native greeting.

The Teachers Wish board is for families to purchase books to donate to the classroom libraries. Teachers fill out "request" of books they would like at the Staff Preview, so for the Book Fair opening, the suitcase pockets will be filled with wish list cards.

Scholastic provided a template for the suitcase pockets, but we chose to use a similar die cut from the scrapbook store. Much faster than cutting them all out by hand.

The tables are decorated with globes already owned by the school.

For several weeks the students have been coming in during free time and coloring Flags from all Nations. They were strung in banners above the book display tables.

Our attempt at a Hot Air Balloon behind the cashier table. Take another look - can you see it now?

Bulletin board borders were added to the cases and embellished with flags (found on a free clip art site and printed on cardstock).

Kids activities include Guessing Jars filled with Italian Pasta, Chinese Fortune Cookies and Mexican Tortilla Chips.

Hopefully you'll understand what I've been keeping busy with lately. My mom has also recently arrived for a visit, and we'll soon be off on a little road trip. But I have lots of projects lined up for Mum and I to do while she's here, so we'll be back to posting with a vengeance soon.