Diana Rambles: October 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Bento

10/31: Happy Halloween- black cat (tortilla) w/ turkey & cheese sammich, Babybel Jack-0-Lantern, peas, apple, (hard boiled) Eggies ghost, pumpkin muffin spider w/ pretzel legs & candy eyes, fly gummy. My daughter isn't into creepy or scary at all, so I kept today's bento pretty simple. In fact, she asked me to take the fly gummy out. If you are wondering...YES...Eggies work! We just got them the other day at Bed, Bath, & Beyond using a coupon. You have to follow the directions carefully, but they do work. We considered a 2nd set, but we would need to get a bigger pan so 1 set is fine for now.

Don't forget to link up your Halloween bento to the meme at BBN. Entries taken through Tuesday.

BOTW: Halloween

I also made some Halloween cookies today. Halloween shaped cookies (pumpkin, skull, ghost, witch, cat) covered with black icing and sprinkles.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dori Day

Today is a very special day in our family. It was 5 years ago on October 30th that our daughter joined our family. It's hard to believe that 5 years have passed, but it's hard to remember life without her.
 
I turned today's lunch into a special Dori Day bento.
10/30: Dori Day- Tri-colored twisty pasta, peas, decorated with tortilla heart, fruit leather hearts, & Dori Day cut out of cheese

We have several special traditions on this day. One is getting portraits taken. Here are 2 of this year's session.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dumpling Ghosts Bento

10/27: Dumpling Ghosts- 1/2 day of school therefore lunch at home, so I made it a muffin tin lunch. 3 dumpling ghosts, grapes, peas, cheese, cashews, M&Ms, & yogurt drink. She gobbled it all up in about 5 mins!

BOTW: Halloween

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Review: Wilton FoodWriter Edible Color Markers

If you've followed my blog before you know that I love creating cute bento lunches for my daughter. I try to challenge myself to make unique designs each day. Much of the detailing on these bentos is done with edible markers. I bought these Wilton FoodWriter Edible Color Markers because they were a good price and I thought the basic colors would be used a lot. They worked OK the first time or 2 that I used them, but only on VERY smooth cheese. They would not work on anything porous at all. After a few uses they barely worked anymore. Not even on Provolone. DO NOT BUY these markers! They will be a complete waste of your money as they will NOT work as you want. I've talked with others in a private online group I'm in and they agree that these suck!
I recently picked up Betty Crocker Edible Markers and they are working well so far. Do you recommend any good edible markers?

2 for the price of 1!

People often ask me if I made bentos for my hubby & sons and I tell them no. I did pack these leftovers (steak, sweet spuds, green beans) from dinner last night for hubby in his bento box.
I had no inspiration for my daughter's lunch today. I like having the weekly bento themes for the meme at Bento Blog Network because that gives me ideas on what to create. Halloween theme starts on Friday, but I didn't feel like thinking that much this morning. I haven't use food picks in a while so I decided to put most of her food on sticks/picks and then added a flower shaped PB&J sammich in the middle. While it doesn't WOW, my daughter took a look and was very excited about it. What kid doesn't like to play with their food with spears & sticks?
It's time to vote for the Bento of the Week over at Bento Blog Network. I submitted 4 this week, but feel free to vote for whichever you like the best...even if it isn't mine!
Bento Blog Network

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Princess Olivia Bento

10/25: Princess Olivia- PB&J sammich, grapes, peas, Nerds, w/ Princess Olivia created from tortilla colored with food coloring & edible marker. Crown embellishment is not edible. I've used templates on some of my other bentos, but this one was freehand. Last day of Nick Jr theme at Bento Blog Network.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Face from Nick Jr Bento


10/24: Face from Nick Jr- Sausage bites, cheese bites, grapes, pickle, Koala cookies, topped with a rectangular tortilla colored orange w/ edible marker face (sprinkles for white part of eyes)
Who remembers Face????

Bento of the Week

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Lin & Joe with Diana

Yesterday was the big Illinois Band High School Band Festival. We went down to watch the Illini perform and I got to meet up with Lin (Duck & Wheel with String see previous post) and her hubby. We had some good laughs!
We also enjoyed watching the Marching Illini perform. The drumline & sousaphone line did a special performance. It was neat to be so close. I recorded this performance with the camera, but it came out all blurry. Darn!
When they marched off they decided to do an encore and I got to get some close shots of my son.
He was so excited afterward telling me that the crowd really LOVED them. MI has always gotten a HUGE crowd response, but it must really be cool to be on the field with fans who dream of being in your position cheering you on.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lin Bento

This weekend is the big Illinois High School Marching Band Festival down in Champaign. 2 years ago at this festival I had the privilege of meeting Lin of the Duck & Wheel with String blog. Lin & I had already connected online as I designed her blog. We didn't meet up last year as my son's high school did not attend the festival. We will be heading down to Champaign tomorrow evening to see the Marching Illini perform at the end of the festival, which will mean I get to meet up with Lin again! In honor of this special occasion, I present the Lin Bento.
10/21: Lin- PB&J Sammich decorated with tortilla duck & wagon wheel with string of spaghetti, sausage & cheese, pickle w/ Lin on it, FAT CAT Hobbes out of a Clementine, edamame, and something depicting Lin would not be complete without NUTS! Pics of our meet-up posted on Sunday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Princess Dora Bento

10/20: Princess Dora- Clementine orange, edamame, sausage stick, cashews, fruit snack, topped off with Princess Dora made out of tortilla.
I have to tell you that my edible markers (Wilton) are HORRIBLE!! They do not write well at all. The first few times they were good, but only on Provolone cheese. Now they barely write on anything. I am VERY unhappy with them and would recommend that you DO NOT USE THEM! So, I have 2 layers of Dora here. The bottom layer just has some yellow from the painted on food coloring. My daughter is allowed to eat that layer. The top layer had some assistance from markers...so I told her to NOT eat that layer. I must get some different edible ones SOON!
This is going to be posted under the Nick Jr theme for Bento of the Week starting 10/21/11.
Bento of the Week

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Funky Girl Bento

10/18: Funky Girl- Clementine Orange head, cheese eyes & mouth, Veggie Chip hat, Co-Jack dress (on top of sausage pieces), green bean arms, cashew hands & feet
I think she looks like she's dressed for surgery!
Pizza Party tomorrow, so no bento!

Halloween Candy Dress for 18" Doll Giveaway CLOSED

It's been quite a while since I featured any 18" Doll items, but I have a special giveaway for you! My friend, Dawn, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting IRL is adopting a very special little girl from China. They plan on calling the girl Aliyah. Part of Dawn's labor of love is her sewing & selling dresses for 18" Dolls such as American Girl Dolls to pay for adoption expenses. Her creations also fit Bitty Babies. Dawn calls her sewing fundraiser All for Aliyah.


Dawn sent us one of the dresses that she created and it's adorable.As you can see the sundress is a different style than many of the handmade dresses out there. We picked this dress as it matches our doll's sneakers perfectly! LOL! Dawn is creating items and listing them at her All for Aliyah Facebook Group and/or her 7794 Miles to Aliyah Blog under the Current Dresses for Sale link below the header.
Dawn (All for Aliyah) is offering the adorable black & orange Halloween Candy Sundress (pictured above) for an American Girl or 18" Doll to one of my lucky Diana Rambles readers. While it's orange & black, it's not actually Halloween print so it can be worn year around. This giveaway will run through 11:59pm CST on Sunday, October 23rd. The winner will be chosen via random.org and notified on October 24th and will have 48 hours to contact me. This giveaway is for the dress! Doll not included!

Entry Rules
  • You must do the mandatory entry
  • Leave your email address with your mandatory entry if it's not linked in your profile
  • Each entry needs to be a separate comment (remember to do multiple comments on those indicated as multiple entries!)
  • US addresses only
Mandatory Entry
Additional Entries
  • 1 extra entry for doing both above
  • 2 extra entries for posting the All for Aliyah button on your blog (found on sidebar of blog)
  • 3 extra entries for purchasing an item from Dawn (she will verify this)
  • 5 extra entries for donating via ChipIn! on the sidebar of the blog
  • 1 entry for following me via Twitter @FreeStyleMama.
  • 1 entry (up to 10 each day...must be at least 2 hours apart) for tweeting about this giveaway on Twitter. Feel free to copy the following~ Enter to #win a Halloween Candy Dress for an 18" #AmericanGirl Doll #giveaway #contest ends 10/23 @FreeStyleMama http://tinyurl.com/AGAliyah Please leave the link to your tweet in the comment. (You get the tweet link by clicking on the '4 mins ago' time)
That is a bunch of entry possibilities. The more times you enter, the better chance you have of winning! I will publish each comment when the entry has been verified. **MAKE sure you follow the rules or the entry will be DQ'd!!**

Monday, October 17, 2011

Pumpkins Bento

10/17: Pumpkins- chopped meat stick, edamame, apples, pickle, Koala cookies, topped with 2 cheese pumpkins


Bento of the Week

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sunday Bento

Normally I don't do bento lunches on the weekend, but with the pumpkin theme for the Bento of the Week meme at Bento Blog Network I decided to create a simple bento for my daughter.
10/16: Pumpkin Muffin Bento- Spaghetti-Os, pickle, apple, & a pumpkin muffin.

I *LOVE* pumpkin!! Pumpkin & a lo-carb diet don't go very well together. But sometimes you just have to be naughty with your diet! Yesterday (game day) was one of those days. These muffins are so easy & delish!!! I just googled to find this new recipe.

Easy Pumpkin Muffins
1 yellow cake mix
1 can of pumpkin puree (I used fresh)
pumpkin pie spices

Mix the ingredients together and put into a muffin pan with liners. The consistency is more like dough than batter, but they will turn out fine. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-28 mins. After I let mine cool for about 10 mins I dipped the tops in melted butter and then cinnamon sugar. YUM!!!
 
 
D-lish!!
Bento of the Week

Friday, October 14, 2011

Go Illini! Bento

Tomorrow is a HUGE Big Ten match up with Ohio State coming in to play Illinois. That inspired today's bento (snack) which has a block I (of cheese), football picks (3 as she's shared with 2 friends), and a musical note to represent her brother in the Marching Illini.
As I have mentioned before we are SUPER PROUD of our son being in Marching Illini. The Marching Illini is the nation's premiere marching band as they are credited with many firsts in Marching band history. In fact, John Phillip Sousa referred to the Marching Illini as the "World's Greatest College Band" in the 1920s. The school houses the largest collection of original works and papers by John Philip Sousa. Zencollegelife.com recently published an articled called The 10 Best College Marching Bands of All Time and University of Illinois is on the list.

This weekend's performances include tomorrow's game (includes parade to & from the game, pregame show, halftime show, and post game performance) and Sunday is the Marching Illini in Concert at the Assembly Hall. My son is also playing in the pep band for the women's volleyball game on Saturday night. The team is undefeated and ranked #1. FUN WEEKEND!!!!

GO ILLINI!!! (football team is also undefeated!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Girl Scout Promise Bento

10/13: GS Promise- My daughter is very excited that we have Scouts tonight (I am the leader of the troop), so I thought that a bento that matches the craft we are doing was appropriate. I just wrote GS for Girl Scouts on this Trefoil, but the craft tonight will have the promise. Chopped turkey, cheese, edamame, apple, goldfish crackers with hand making the Girl Scout Sign & Girl Scout Trefoil out of tortilla.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bird is the World Bento

10/12: Bird is the Word- PB&J Sammie, edamame, apple, cheese, bird & sign made out of tortilla
Bento Lunch

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Monkey Girl Bento

10/11: Monkey Girl- PB&J sammich decorated w/ tortilla & nori, jam holds the tortilla & nori on place and makes the cheeks, edamame, co-jack cheese, apple, bananas madd w/ edible marker on cheese.

Monday, October 10, 2011

How was your weekend?

Did you have a good weekend? Mine was very restful! My hubby & the 2 younger ones went to visit grandparents this weekend. They had a GREAT time! They got to play with Grandma & her dog. My daughter came home with a bunch of craft goodies from Grandma. They also got to ride on tractors & harvested potatoes with Grandpa. My 13 yr old got to drive the tractor. They are off school today for Columbus Day, although the teen had a music audition today so he got up early to go up to school. No bento lunch today!

I slept in all weekend, did a little cleaning, and worked on a few blog proofs. I've got some installs to do today, but for the most part it's going to be a low-key day.

Hope you had a good weekend!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Kool Aid Man Bento

Oh Yeah!
10/7: Kool Aid Man- Provolone decorated Kool Aid Man breaking out (tortilla) of a bacon brick wall, cheese, edamame, apple, pickle, & Oh Yeah! cut from Rainbow Sour Strips Candy
I've had the idea to make this bento for a while, I like to go big on Fridays so today was the day for Kool Aid Man. Coincidentally, Kraft (the makers of Kool Aid) were at my daughter's today conducting a field day & donating a rock wall.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Falling Off the Wagon

I have not been doing a good job of sticking with my low-carb diet lately. I've been HORRIBLE on game days because we have fresh kettle corn and then to go Steak-n-Shake with friends after each game. 5 home games in a row, but other naughtiness and I am putting on weight. I've been aware of it but have finally decided it needs to stop. So how do I get motivated to stick to low-carb when it's pumpkin season and the holidays are coming up? I decide to start a naughty notebook.
I am going to write down all the carb-a-licous things I consume. Knowing that I am writing them all down will make me think twice before chowing down. I'll probably be writing a lot down on game days (yup...I will tote my notebook with me!), but I want to stay low-carb other days! 

Flower Garden Bento

I was feeling pretty lazy this morning and just couldn't come up with a good idea for a bento, so I used cupcake picks. I got the picks yesterday for 25 cents at our recycled art store. Do you have one in your community? People donate stuff that can be used for art, teaching, crafts, ect and it's sold for a minimal cost to support a local charity. I also got some cookie cutters for really cheap!

10/6: Flower Garden- PB&J sammich, Honeycrisp apple, edamame, hard boiled quail egg, panda cookies, flower picks stuck in ground (pickle)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Around the World Bento

10/5: Around the World- Today is the dedication of my daughter's international studies public magnet school which inspired today's theme. PB&J sammich, apples, edamame, pickle, strawberry yogurt raisins. World & people (holding hands) are made of dyed cheese. Heart pick placed in Illinois.
Bento Lunch