Friday, October 14, 2011

Another Bento Catch-up

I really need to get myself into a good, solid routine.  With the upcoming move, though, I am fighting it.  Anyways my blog of course is the first thing to suffer - oops.  I have been bento-ing though and generally taking photos.  Here's another attempt to get the blog caught up on what A's been eating for lunch.

Sheesh.  I was SO intimidated on the morning I put this lunch together.  The day before, A had accidentally forgotten her standard lunch bag at school.  Which is technically not an issue since I bought her two different lunch bags that match her backpack exactly for this reason.  But this lunch box is a LOT bigger and I had bought the Pottery Barn Kids insert that fits inside of it to put her meal in.  I hadn't used the insert before so I was kind of concerned about how it was going to work out.  The box is way too big for a 5-year-old.  But I did manage to fit in her drink (Apple Qoo) and a pretty balanced meal in there.  Just, a lot of it came back.  She had cheeseburger buns, a cucumber roll (her favorite), carrot shapes, fruit jelly, and kiwi.  Not my favorite way to pack a lunch but I figured I'd document it anyway just for fun, since it was such a big deal at the time.  Here is a link to the container, if anybody's interested - it would definitely be a great box to use for an all-day outing - you could even stick something breakfasty in the covered space if you wanted to and have it separate.

HK onigiri and mini dogs, cucumber, carrots, strawberries, "cherry" tomatoes, cheese and a fruit jelly
Pizza wheels, edamame (on the animal picks), strawberry, banana, and carrots
Ham and cheese roll ups, cherry tomato, banana, carrots and jelly
Onigiri, broccoli, tomatoes, hot dog, apple and cheese
Banana, carrots, edamame, tomato balloon, and pizza rolls (crescent dough wrapped around pepperoni and string cheese)
C's mini-version of the pizza roll lunch
Under the sea - girly octodog, carrots, tomato, seal with olive, goldfish crackers, strawberry, and fish-shaped onigiri

Ham slices, diced peaches, tomatoes, carrots and olives with mac-and-cheese lion face

The first Halloween bento of 2011 :)
Mini mummy dogs - used lit'l smokies and seamless crescent dough - they're propped up on a banana and sharing space with a black cat sugar cookie
Mac-o-lanterns.  :)
Fresh fruits and veggies, leftover fried rice and gyoza with animal picks. 

Ok, that's all I've got.  Phew!  Here's to being caught up!  :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Book Review: The Help

Book 21/25 in the 2011 Reading Challenge.  Date completed:  October 5, 2011.

I feel like The Help doesn't really need to be reviewed.  I feel like this book's reputation speaks for itself and I am just predictably giving it another five-star review.

I'm sure nearly everyone who might encounter this review already knows that The Help follows the lives of several women in Jackson, Mississippi and the lives of their black maids, also known as "the help".  Somehow a book whose main issues are racism in the mid-20th century and toilets is one of the most moving books I've ever read.  I felt like I was best friends with Skeeter Phelan, Aibileen Clark, and Minny Jackson.  And Hilly Holbrook - well, I just wanted to punch that woman in the face.

I bought The Help several months ago when it had been lingering at the top of the bestseller list, and I didn't know a lot about it except that it was getting rave reviews.  And then the movie came out and I heard from stateside friends via Facebook how incredible it was.  So I decided I'd go ahead and read it finally.  I had a very hard time reading Winter's Bone and blamed it largely on the vernacular but in The Help, I loved the way the maids sections were written in their own casual (if grammatically incorrect) language.  I could hear Aibileen, Minny, and the others speaking in my ears just as clear as could be and after I'd set the book down, I found myself wanting to talk the way I'd been reading.  Fo' sho.  Law have mercy!  I don't know why this is, but I just found the maids SO endearing.  I could not get enough of them.

Skeeter Phelan crosses an "invisible line" between white and colored women and secretly befriends maids in her quest to put her newly earned degree to good use and write a book about something that bothers her and seemingly nobody else - a book from the perspective of "the help" regarding exactly what it's like to be a colored woman in the very repressed state of Mississippi.  This secret work changes the lives of nearly everyone in the community, as well as poses a huge danger to many of the maids involved and Skeeter herself.

Certainly a book worth reading, though I'm sure you already knew that.  Seriously though, sit down with this one.  It's good.  And if you're like me you'll be waiting on pins and needles to watch the movie afterwards.  It's not out here yet, so I'm about dying with anticipation.
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