Oct 17, 2017

Yumboxes, Artwork and A New Easel.

Before I begin today's post, I'd like to take a paragraph to thank you all for reading and responding to my previous post.  The one I wrote as a letter to my twenty-year-old self.  I really enjoyed writing the post to the point of fangirling myself and rereading it quite a few times (and it's only Tuesday).  To have you respond as you have as well though has really made my day.  It seems to be a post and theme that has made many of you reflect on your own lives and it's lovely to see my writing resonate with you both as readers and as people.

The rest of today's post returns to a theme I'm sure you know and love ... mum life through my eyes. Specifically, my writing about aspects of it as if I'm the first woman ever to have discovered or been through what the rest of you just dealt with on an 'as and when' basis with you and your children turning out perfectly fine at the end of it.

First order of business today is the school lunch box.  Specifically, the Yum Boxes that I've purchased from Hello Green.  I bought one each of the original and panino styles (same size but slightly different trays) after putting the word out on Facebook for tips and tricks.   My friends came through not only with the best lunchboxes to use but they also provided lists of foods they make and buy for school lunches. I have photos of their replies on my phone for future reference.

And then I did something I swore I'd never do.  I went to Daiso (didn't swear against that bit) and bought bento lunch accessories.  Up until two weeks ago I was going to be that mother who got behind the school canteen 10000000% by ordering on a daily basis.

This nifty sausage decorating set.

Star-shaped cutters for sandwiches (yes really) and pikelets (which don't seem to be in stock at the supermarket right now....).

And themed picks for chopped fruit, cheese and all those other healthy things I hope Preschooler SSG will suddenly eat for lunch because it looks cute with its Daiso accessories in a Yumbox.  If I could pack a McHappy meal, Popcorn Chicken Go Bucket or a kids plate from Schnitz into a Yumbox I quite probably would but I don't think any of these freeze well.  Which is how I intend to make this daily lunchbox thing work.  I'm going to make things ahead and defrost on the day they're needed.

There will be a two-week lunchbox trial at preschool next month which is why I'm so organized with the Yumboxes and Daiso goodies.  I'm hoping that the novelty for both myself (making the lunches) and Preschooler SSG (eating the lunches) doesn't wear off at the end because we've got around 12 years of my involvement in school lunches ahead of us.

I've been fairly successful with managing Preschooler SSG's art work up until this week.  A percentage is up on the walls of my office at work, another is up on the walls at home, an undisclosed larger percentage has been discretely recycled but this latest piece has stumped me.  It's a 'Suitcase Locker' (as you can tell from the hand printed label at the front) and it contains Preschooler SSG's backpack, a spare hoodie and a rogue dried apricot that dropped in while I was trying to figure out how to lift the locker into the car.  Because we couldn't leave preschool without it.  Believe me, I tried.

The 'Suitcase Locker' is currently pushed against the wall behind me while I figure out what to do next with it and the newish roll of masking tape that's half attached that I'm not allowed to remove. But I have found an answer to our need for some kind of easel for watercolour painting.  This foldable desk easel was from Officeworks and cost $15.50.  There is no assembly required and my plan is to get some board and then bull dog paper onto it.  Still finding the cardboard as I write...

One of Preschooler SSG's current things is crisp $5 bills. I also love them because I'm still going on the $5 Challenge I started at the beginning of the year.  Yesterday, in the spirit of being a good parent, I gave him one straight out of the change slot at the Woolies self checkout.  That $5 note has since been pushed to its physical limit.  It was flapped around to make 'rainbows' appear in the clear panel, it went for a ride on the travelator (literally on the travelator belt... don't worry, no one was hurt), got wiped over with some antibacterial hand wash (see ride on travelator belt) before finally finding itself atop this complex arrangement above a railway turntable.

How long did you last making school lunches?

What's the most excitement you've put a $5 note through?


  1. HAHAHAHA I just realised I am making essentially school lunches for my mid-forties aged other half. :)

    One of his favourites is chicken strips (the recipe is posted on my blog) which seems like it would be similar to a popcorn chicken bucket only slightly larger. But you know, I think it might be even easier to make them into popcorn chicken, just cut the chicken pieces small, coat or even spray them with evoo, then pop them into a ziploc bag with cornflake crumbs, a little parmesan, parsley if green bits are not a deal breaker, and cracked pepper.

    I make the chicken strips on Sunday. They go onto the other half's shelf in the fridge, and they keep for a week no trouble as long as the fridge keeps the right temperature. Ours is new so it is working perfectly. ;)

    Even me, who is finicky about keeping chicken in the fridge, I will happily eat those made on Sunday strips on a Friday.

    He has them with cheese and crackers. I would have them with carrot sticks and feta cheese cubes, plus maybe an egg. The last three was my today lunch, actually.

    A very popular option here lately has been muffin tin meatballs - so easy to make, so delicious, and as long as you don't use baby spinach as the vegetable which will turn it bright green, you can hide some veggies in there pretty well. :)

  2. I am actually quite baffled as to what you do with most of those lunchbox fandangles so could you please post a detailed tutorial?!? Once you are lunchbox queen.

    Do you know Sam? She has a lot of great Yumbox specific recipes/combos. This post kind of blew my mind: http://www.theannoyedthyroid.com/2017/04/11/easy-and-healthy-lunch-box-ideas-for-grown-ups/

    And now I really want to invest in a Yumbox, even though I very rarely have packed lunches (I'm mostly working from home these days).

    The bit about the masking tape on the suitcase locker made me laugh a lot.

  3. I think the lunch boxes will be an interesting thing for me to tackle! I picked one daycare over another specifically because our chosen one provided lunches, so other than a few trips or days out I haven't had much lunch-box packing experience! Luckily the baby books we got when the boys were starting solids have lots of lunchbox ideas in them - hopefully I'll just pull out some favourites and new things to try from them when the time comes.

    I started doing the $5 challenge in June, so I'm excited to see what I end up with at the end of the year (although I'll spend it before then as I'm going to use it for Christmas presents!).

  4. We totally finance 2 school's p&c's through my children's devotion to the canteens. My youngest's school is big and has a canteen where food is freshly prepared and good quality. The eldest is at high school which has the lure of junk food but she is (allegedly) mostly making healthy choices. I find making school lunches annoying and frustrating as neither of mine are sandwich eaters or seemingly any other normal lunch food eaters and so lots comes home and has to be thrown away. Whereas they can purchase sushi, lasagne, mild chicken curry and rice etc and seemingly love it (and I don't see any leftovers if they don't).


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