Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bento Boxes

Other lunch ideas can be found in this article from the NY Times. I did some of this for Lucy last year but have to admit that there are many days where I just peel an apple, throw in a hard-boiled egg, some carrots and milk.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Getting Ready for Back-to-School: Lunch

I love this time of year. The air is crisp, the leaves change color and the stores are bursting with fabulous back-to-school products! I can never resist buying new pens, pencil cases and colorful spiral bound notebooks never mind that I've been out of school for over a decade.

Recently I made a trip to The Container Store. My family used to make a yearly pilgrimage there to buy organizing supplies. I loved to stock up on all sizes of these plastic containers - they were perfect for holding precious stickers, paperclips and earrings. The purpose of my recent trip was to buy organizing supplies for the sewing room but I was quickly distracted by the lunch section. I love the BPA-free containers featured here as well as these Klip-it containers. Lucy needed a new lunch bag so I spent quite a bit of time trying out different options and finally settled on the pink version of this one - it is roomy, insulated and won't show too much dirt (a must for a 4 year-old.) And I couldn't leave the store without a few color-coordinated freeze blocks!

For those of you are interested in a more homemade lunch box, check out etsy for a huge supply of reusable snack and sandwich bags. My preference is for the ones lined with vinyl - I think that they would be easier to clean. I'm sure that these little bags are very easy to make but these crafters have done such a nice job choosing the fabrics and to be honest, I have too many projects in queue.

The time will come when back-to-school will mean buying pens, paper and notebooks. For now I'm content with buying lunch boxes.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Sweaters: Start to Finish

I've been cleaning out my yarn/knitting stash over the last few weeks with the goal of having it all in one place instead of "hidden" throughout the house. Some of the yarn and a few of the patterns/magazines have landed themselves on ebay. It's hard to do but I think it's a necessary evil; this way I will have room for the supplies that I really really like not just the ones that I kinda like. Plus, with my earnings, I can buy yarn to make myself one of those infinity/moebius scarf things that seem to be all over the fashion magazine!

Anyway, the great benefit of this sort of cleaning project is that I have found a few of my early purchases. The first is a pattern for a cotton sweater that I started when I was 13. My mother helped me pick out the yarn and knit the project but then we had a car accident, I grew bigger and honestly I never could make it past those pockets! I found the actual project a few years back and will probably come across it again once my mom sells her house. I think I was knitting it in a light dusty pink. My mother was knitting a sweater out of the same yarn. Hers was a Calvin Klein pattern knit from sleeve end to sleeve end with cables. I remember sitting with her in her bed while she recovered, both of us knitting. Maybe that's why we never finished either project - once she was healed we just didn't want to look back.

First sweater I started

The other pattern I found is this Lopi one. I started this project my sophomore year in college. Maine is a very cold and dark place in the winter so I was looking for something to do to keep me busy (I was too prude to do the other things people do when it's cold and dark.) Plus, lots of the co-eds were knitting and everyone was knitting with Lopi. I couldn't stand the colors of this sweater so I knit mine in mint green with pink and lavender. Unfortunately I didn't yet understand or appreciate the value of gauge swatches so I ran out of yarn...twice. The thing was monstrously huge. I swear that we could have fit two or 3 of us in there, in fact I think we tried. But lest you think I was a ninny, part of the reason I became such an avid knitter is that there was a very cute boy living downstairs who could knit. Often I would knock on his door and ask for help - I could never remember how to cast on. Never mind the fact that I had been knitting since I was very young - he was cute and like I said it was cold and dark in Maine. Nothing exciting ever happened there but I did finish that sweater. My mom "misplaced" it somewhere along the way - it was a mess with poorly woven ends and an occasional hole but I loved it. Maybe I will make it again, this time with the correct size needles!

First sweater I ever finished

So the moral to the story is: check your gauge and make friends with cute people who knit. ha ha!