Diana Rambles: August 2011

Princess Bento

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pnut Bttr & Strawberry jam sammich w/ cheese hair & crown pick, chopped peaches, edamame w/ glass slipper pick, and pomegranate mix w/ princess pick

Panda & Chickens

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Monday's bento had a Panda theme: Pnut Bttr & Strawberry jam sammich w/ nori & cheese cut outs for panda facial features, grapes and bear shaped cheese with panda picks, edamame (in the panda container), and Panda cookies on the other side of a silicon divider
Today's bento was fowl! Chix Nuggets w/ bone picks, edamame, grapes w/ rooster pick, chick shaped cheese slices, & straw yogurt raisins in the chick container
Since I have been going to school to help over the lunch hour, I heated up the nuggets and brought them up to the school warm!

TracFone Rant

Monday, August 29, 2011

We've been long time customers of TracFone. We got our first phone from them about 8 years ago. Whenever we've had an issue with them we've always been able to get it resolved when we called their custom service line until now. We recently tried to reactivate a phone we hadn't used in a while. When I followed the steps online to reactivate I was instructed to call their customer service line. I never talked to an actual person but was told that I needed to buy an airtime card. I've always purchased my airtime cards online, but this time I had to go to the store. So a few days later I call back TracFone. This time I got a cs rep and was told that I needed a new sims card for the phone. I asked this person if we will get to keep the minutes we already had on the phone and they said they would get transferred over when the new sims card is activated. We did not get the minutes when it was activated so I filled out a contact form via the TracFone site. The response was that I needed to contact their customer service department so that they can help fix the problem.

My hubby called them today and spoke to 3 different people who said that we weren't going to get those minutes because they were too old and that they were on the old sims card. This is BS! What is the point of a prepaid phone if the minutes expire? We paid for them so we should get to keep them! That phone is supposed to have double minutes for life. I did get double the minutes on the 60 minute airtime card that I activated, but I lost the old minutes.TracFone seems convenient to have for people who don't want/need a phone contract, but after our airtime runs out we are ditching them and switching over to another prepaid (but not BOOST!!!!)
Buyer beware and stay away from TracFone!! No Bills No Contracts No Surprises You're In Control is their slogan. NOT TRUE!

5 years ago!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

8/28/06 will always be a special day to us. It's the day we got the call. We anxiously awaited all morning and then at 12:11pm our adoption agency called to tell us that we had a daughter waiting for us in China. Oh, happy day!

All is quiet...

Friday, August 26, 2011

Days are quiet around here anymore. It's different, but I've been OK with it. I find myself putting Pandora on for a little noise. Our dog sticks close to me, but he's quiet too.

I thought my daughter starting Kindergarten would be harder than it's been on me. I've focused my attention on making her bento lunches and helping out at lunchtime at her school. Those little Kindergarten fingers struggle to open milk cartons, dressing packets, and bananas. My daughter loves me coming to help out (she attended a cooperative pre-school so she's used to me being around), but she's still Miss Independent. She's been staying up til nearly 9:30 each night and has been up by 6:30. 9:30 is close to normal for her, but she likes to sleep til 8 or so. We'll see if this all catches up with her or not. She's never been one to sleep a lot, so maybe she'll be fine. She also bounces out of the van at drop off and insists that she doesn't need me to walk her in. The car line after school is long, so I park & walk up to pick her up. My 7th grader has just been riding the public bus home. We actually live too close to the school for a (free) bus pass, but until those passes get distributed all the kids can ride the bus for free. He plans on doing several after school activities this year, so I will probably pick him up most days.

Here are Thursday & Friday's bentos.
Pnut Bttr Sammich w/ Multi-Grain Cheerio (curly) hair with a Sour Rainbow Candy Bow (cheese & nori eyes, nori mouth, rosy cheeks are edible marker), grapes, cheese flowers & edamame, with Panda cookies & straw yogurt raisins
Pnut Bttr & Strawberry jam roll ups (bread rolled in strips), carrot stix, ranch dip in green container, cheese butterflies, cut up peaches, & fruit snack in the teddy container.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

There is no way that this will be wordless! I just dropped my daughter off for her first day of Kindergarten. I started bawling when we said bye (she was un-phased!) but a teacher in the hall comforted me and I pulled it together. DH not so much (a few tears!) My daughter has been so anxious for school to start. She carefully picked her first day outfit (Tangled) and wanted her hair in braids. I carefully planned out her bento lunch (xox & hearts) and we set off a few minutes early with camera in tow.
Traditional photo in front of house.
Outside of school with her class in the background.
Today's Bento!
Today's bento consists of a turkey & cheese (in heart shapes between the bread cut to fit snug in the bento box) sammich, rice ball w/ nori heart, edamame, carrot sticks, ranch dressing (in blue container), grapes, and strawberry yogurt raisins (in yellow container). Drink is 2 (mini) strawberry yogurt drinks. Hearts placed throughout the lunch and bag & a note on the napkin. I think the food will hold it's spot today!

The final countdown...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

School starts tomorrow and I am panicking on the bento front. I realize that my daughter's lunch box is going to get moved around a lot (they store them in a basket which is carried by 2 students to the lunchroom) which means the bento needs to be packed firm or the cuteness will get all messed up. I did a trial run with her new bento box set from Japan today, but you can see that the puppies will fall apart if I try this for school. Some cute ideas just won't work well on the go.

This lunch consisted of 2 mini heart doggie sammiches (turkey & ketchup with cheese ears & eyes- edible marker for the eyeball and M&M nose), edamame on a heart pick, cheese heart, some mixed nuts & raisins, grapes, and strawberry yogurt covered raisins (in green container) for dessert. Drink was 2 strawberry yogurt drinks picked up at the local Asian market.

I have 3 more small packages of bento supplies due to arrive later this week~ a nori punch, some food picks, and a box of stuff my sister picked up from Ichiban Kan.

Wanted: Mommy Drinking Buddy

Monday, August 22, 2011

My daughter starts Kindergarten on Wednesday and I am already in tears when I think about it. She did tell me that she will miss me too today. What a sweetie!
A friend posted on FB that her daughter's school holds a Boo-Hoo Breakfast for the Kindergarten parents on the first day. What a GREAT idea! I'd love to have someone to commiserate with on Wednesday. I don't know any of the other parents in the class/school and my friends whose kids start Kindergarten this year go to different schools/start different days. My hubby is going with me to drop her off, which will help but then he needs to get to work! The teacher told me at our conference today that I am allowed as far as the door to say good-bye! I'll make sure I have plenty of Kleenex with me.

I was working when my first started school, so I didn't get to take him to his first day. I got to take my 2nd son to his first day and didn't think it was that big of a deal, but when I said good-bye to him the waterworks began. At the time I thought he was our last child so I was sad. Now I KNOW that this is our last child starting school...and it's full day Kindergarten. I'm thinking the bar needs to open early OR the coffee shop needs to offer shots in their mugs. LOL!

Fantasy Football Draft Party

Saturday, August 20, 2011

We are in the midst of a fantasy football draft party right now (I am NOT playing!) and I made some football & helmet shaped cookies. I asked the host what color I should make the helmets and she said green since she had green sugar to sprinkle on top. I used the green to make the stitching on the footballs since I had so much green left from the helmets.

Draft is still going on, but I think I should take a nap! LOL!

Changes soon...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Even though the thermometer doesn't say so, summer is coming to a close. We are coming up on our last weekend before the kids start school. Next week I will be a blubbering mess after I drop my daughter off to Kindergarten. We do have a few activities starting next week, but a bulk of our extracurricular engagements begin the last week of August. We have a fun weekend planned...a civil union ceremony & a fantasy football draft party. DH is taking tomorrow off, so it's a LONG weekend!

With the return of the school year, I plan on blogging with more consistency. Not sure exactly what I will be blogging about, but I have some review/giveaways in the works and a few other ideas. I'm sure I'll be posting a lot about Bento lunches and the college football season. I am becoming a fan.

Have a great weekend!

Wipes Bento

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

OK...I know that sounds weird, but I found this wipes container to be the perfect size for a bento lunch.
Today's bento consists of summer sausage, co-jack sticks, pretzel rods (broken into small pieces, 1/2 a hard boiled egg with smiley face (edible marker), blueberries, and peaches. The only problem with this container is the room between the food and the lid, so it's better off for for home use.

End of Summer Sale at Custom Blog Designs

Monday, August 15, 2011

To celebrate the last week before my kids return to school, I have decided to have a summer sale at Custom Blog Designs! I am offering five $10 off coupons on a first come first serve basis. These coupons may only be used toward one of my custom blog makeover packages. These are available to brand new or repeat clients. They are not available to people who have already filled out a questionnaire but never followed through on the service. In addition, I am offering $5 each of my One of a Kind Pre-Made Designs. I only service Blogger blogs!

The $10 off coupons must be redeemed (services ordered & paid for) within a week of issuance. Pre-Made Designs must be ordered & paid for within 24 hours of contact! No holds or rain checks!

Don't delay! The $10 coupons are only being offered to the first 5 contacts or 8/22 (whichever comes first) and the $5 off the pre-made designs is only valid through 8/22, which is my kid's first day of school.

Cheap College Textbooks

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I am frugal...always have been...always will be. I hate to pay more than I have to for anything. I take the time to carefully research my best buy on things. The fall semester starts soon so when I went looking for the best bargains on college textbooks (for the books we couldn't find on CraigsList) I came across CampusBookRentals.com. My hubby used Chegg for all his master classes, but Chegg was higher than Campus Book Rentals for the books my son needs for his classes. Shipping is free both ways. When it's time to send the book back you go to their website and click the ship back link and print the label. I'm just going to save the box/envelope they send the books in to return them. I spend $93 for two textbooks and then $65 for a Calculus bundle off CraigsList, so the semester worth of books was $158! He can use the Calc bundle spring semester too! I love being frugal!

If you need college textbooks you should check out Campus Book Rentals. Click here to recieve 5% off your order. This is NOT a paid post! I do get a $5 referral and you get 5% off your order!!

Time to get serious about bentos!

So about a month ago I came up with the idea to make bento lunches to send to school when my daughter starts Kindergarten in a few weeks. I've had fun with it so far, but I haven't been pro-active. I've just thrown together bentos with what I have on hand in the house without much forethought. It's time to really put some thought into these lunches! I have checked out Yum-Yum Bento Box from the library and I need to spend time reading up on it. I also need to be bookmarking blog posts that have great ideas. My daughter has loved all the simple things I've done so I don't have to go super fancy, but I need to stop making the same foods over and over.

We had a friend over the other day and threw together these pink & green meals in school supply boxes. Both have a heart shaped turkey sammich with cheese cut outs on top, with cherry tomatoes on picks, grapes, carrot sticks, and ranch dressing for dipping in the sauce containers. Our friend had never had a meal served in this fashion and she quickly gobbled everything up!
A few days later I picked up some edible markers and helped my daughter put together this bento. She asked for sammich cut-outs that she could draw flowers on. She also put flower shaped beads in the box for decoration.
I think the big thing lacking in my bentos is food dividers & the food being packed into a container. I am still figuring out what I am going to do for containers. What I have been doing so far works because are are just eating at home, but I need to practice packing soon!

Time to go peel some (HOT) hard boiled eggs for our egg molds!

More school prep!

Monday, August 8, 2011

I had to give my daughter's blog a new look in time for starting Kindergarten!

Countdown to Kindergarten!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

My daughter starts Kindergarten in 3 weeks! Yesterday we went and registered her at her new school. We are very excited about the International Baccalaureate program and learning Mandarin in school. You can see the international theme of the school evident with the globe statue outside. The flagpoles of flags around the world (in & out of the building) are not visible in this shot. Still lots of work to get the school ready for the students to start!

Bento Supplies

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I am so excited about all the great bento supplies my sister picked up for us at Ichiban Kan in the Bay Area. Their prices are so reasonable. She got ALL the following for $30!
If you are anywhere near the Bay Area or have a friend there...have them shop for you. The store workers said that a lady comes in there and buys up all the bento supplies from time to time and then sells them online. Here is what I paid~ $1.50 per pair of hard boiled egg molds, $1.50 for the metal veggie cutters, $1.50 each for the sets of sauce containers (animals and round colors), $1-$2 per everything else, except for the food picks which were $3.50 per set. My sister had no idea what bentos were so she did a great job of purchasing a variety of supplies. She's going back next week to purchase more to send to us. No way am I going to pay that person to charges a premium online!

I've been so busy since I got the bento supplies that I haven't been doing much more than sticking picks into food and testing out the hard boiled egg molds. It seems as if extra large eggs work best for the molds. This week I am watching 3 kids and I just haven't wanted to take the time to do bento x 4. Here is a bento that I made before we got our supplies.

Undersea Bento~
Fish shaped turkey sammich with mustard eye
Blueberry bubbles coming out of the fish's mouth
Strawberries on the half-shell
Sea Cucumber (pickle)
Giant Squid (string cheese with ketchup eye)

Bento Lunch

Aunt Zoo's Visit

Monday, August 1, 2011

One of my sisters came for a visit last week. It was her first time meeting my daughter and they both had so much fun together. My sister, Su (my daughter thought I was saying Zoo, so she's Aunt Zoo), taught my daughter how to play Uno and taught the rest of us Bananagrams. My daughter asks to play Uno everyday now. She's good at it!

Our time with Aunt Zoo was relaxing, but fun. We showed her around town and took her to our public pool. She enjoyed the slides & lazy river. The highlight of her time here was a trip down to Springfield to go to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum. We didn't spend much time in the actual library because we were enjoying the museum too much. We thought we'd see other sites around Springfield, but we stayed at the museum ALL day. I HIGHLY recommend this museum to everyone! When you go make sure you see the Ghost of the Library movie first. The technology is mind blowing! We went straight into the movie in the Union Theater. My 5 yr old daughter snuggled close to me in both as they were a little intense. She did rush me through the parts of the museum on the Civil War. In fact, with having the kids with us I missed a lot of the museum, but it was still enjoyable. We had a 5, 6, 8, & 12 yr old with us and they were all well behaved and really enjoyed their time. Especially in Mrs. Lincoln's Attic, which is a play area where you can dress up in costume and play with toys!

We had such a great time with Aunt Zoo and we hope we don't have to wait so long to see her again!!


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