The Lunchbox Season Has Moved: Please Follow us!!!


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All the best,


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The Lunchbox Season : Summer of Funner : In Defense of Burning


Summer of Funner 2013 is Up and Running!


That means that the Lunchbox Season is on summer hiatus!

Never Fear! You can check out our sister site Summer of Funner for all of the latest!

Here’s a link to our first post! Our Summer 2013 Bucket List!

Just Click on the Image Below and Be Transported to Our Summer of Funner!!

See you in September!!

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Summer of Funner : The Lunchbox Season : In Defense of Burning

Book Cover Re-Design for Kids, Workshop II: Teacher’s Favourite Book Cover Thank You Cards


To go along with the bottles of wine we purchased for their teachers this year, the kids are making Thank You Cards featuring cover re-designs of their teachers’ favourite books.  Earlier in the week, they asked their teachers, “What’s your favourite book?,” and they came home and reported just a few of their teachers’ answers.  Then, we got to work on our cards!  We folded some watercolour paper in half and used pencil, black permanent marker, and watercolour to create a “Book Cover” Thank You Card. This turned out to be a rather ironic project, because the kids really had no idea what these novels were about. I read them brief summaries of the books from the original book jackets or back covers. Still, their drawings had more to do with a literal interpretation of the title than with any of the book’s true associations. We did, however, go back and have a look at the texts of the books in order to choose some meaningful quotes for the insides of the cards.  We’re attaching these to the bottles of wine we’ll be handing the teachers before school is out!!!

BOOK COVER REDESIGN WORKSHOP II: Teacher’s Favourite Book Cover Thank You Cards


Watercolour Paper
Pencil and Eraser
Black Permanent Marker
The Title and Author of the Teacher’s Favourite Book
A Key Quotation from that Book
[You could always just Google “[the book title] quotes” and work from there!]


Fold your watercolour paper in half/into a card
In pencil, on the inside/message portion of the card, write a quotation from the book.
Go over this quotation in permanent marker.
In pencil, render the title and author of the book on the outside front of the card.
Make an illustration for your book cover in pencil.
Erase any fiddly bits you’re not happy with.
When you have your book cover looking fantastic, go back over your pencil lines in permanent marker.
Unfold the card momentarily so that your paper is flat on the table.
Use watercolours to fill in the book cover illustration.
Let Dry.
Re-fold the card, write a personal message, and sign your name.
Attach the card to a bottle of wine or insert a gift card and present it to your teacher!!!
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Book Cover Re-design for Kids: Workshop I, Zeppelin Poems


I’ve been really intrigued by some of the gorgeous book designs and redesigns I’ve seen lately. Of course, I’m absolutely in love with Carleton Wilson‘s original book design for Blaise’s new book of poems, Zeppelin.  I’ve also been delighted by some recent soft and hard cover Penguin Classics such as Little Women, Moby Dick,  and The Count of Monte Cristo.  These are the kinds of covers that make you want to repurchase the classic books you already own!!

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As a birthday present for their father, I though I’d have the kids look at the already beautiful Zeppelin, and come up with an equally lovely cover design of their own. I’m hoping that this becomes the first in a series of book design and redesign projects we take on over the Summer of Funner which is to come!!!

BOOK COVER REDESIGN WORKSHOP I:  Permanent Marker and Watercolours

The Book! : Zeppelin, Poems, by Blaise Moritz.
Scrap Paper
Watercolour Paper
Black Permanent Marker/Sharpies
Cups of Water
Optional: Picture Frames

After having read through the book, think about ideas that come to you that are inspired by its contents and by its original cover.
On scrap paper, sketch a rough book cover design of your own.
If you are going to use a specific sized frame, pencil in a square or rectangle to designate the visible space of your design onto your watercolour paper.
[Optional] Sketch your design onto the watercolour paper.
Use permanent marker to render your basic design onto the watercolour paper.
Use watercolours to complete your book design.
Let your design dry.
[Optional] Frame your Book Cover and Present it as a Gift to the Author or to one of the the Book’s Fans

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Summer of Funner : The Lunchbox Season : In Defense of Burning

Knappa Loves Melodi: The Easiest Ikea Hack Ever

Knappa loves Melodi


We really wanted to hang a Knappa light in our bathroom (see our bathroom pics/video here or our bathroom idea book here], but it’s a plug-in pendant, not a ceiling-mounted fixture. Not wanting to make another stop at a hardware store after our Ikea outing just to pick up some kind of ugly, overpriced pendant light kit, we looked around the shop to find a reasonably priced white ceiling mounted fixture whose parts we could  plunder for our Knappa hack.  Solution? The $9.99 in-store deal on the white Melodi light fixture!!

Knappa loves Melodi



A good pair of wire cutters/pliers
Ikea Knappa Light [$39.99]
Ikea Melodi Light [$9.99]
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Build the Ikea Knappa Light per the instructions included in the box.
[Not pictured] Using a pair of wire cutters, cut the three-pronged plug free from the rest of the white Knappa wire.
Self-Check: At this point, you will have reserved all of the Knappa product except the plug at the far end of the wire.

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Take a look at the way the wire from the Melodi light runs up through the rounded white plastic mounting cup and through a white metal mounting plate.
You will want to recreate this image using your Knappa light momentarily.
Carefully un-knot the white wire from the Melodi light fixture located behind the white metal plate at the top/ceiling mount portion of the light fixture.
Pull the wire/light fixture out of both the metal plate and the white plastic mounting cup and discard the rest of the wire/light fixture.
Self-Check: At this point, you will have reserved only the metal plate, the plastic cup, and the two plastic wire connectors from the Melodi Kit.

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Thread the now-plug-free Knappa wire up through the hole in the rounded/curved portion of the white plastic Melodi cup and out the open/cup side.
Thread the Knappa wire through the circle on the centre of the Melodi mounting plate.
Pull the wire to the desired height/length, or somewhere close, and, until you are ready to mount the light, knot the wire above the mounting plate at this point.
Trim any excess wire from above this knot.
Have an electrician install your light, or, un-knot the wire and use your pliers/wire cutters to expose the black and white connections inside the main wire.
Mount the Knappa Loves Melodi light fixture to your ceiling using the instructions included in the Melodi kit.

Ikea Hack


All of this electrical experimentation has inspired some kid-friendly electricity projects which we’ll publish here and over the summer at our sister site, Summer of Funner, so stay tuned!!!!

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Contractor Cookies [and Bathroom Pics]

Contractor Cookies from thelunchboxseason

Last week, we baked up a few batches of cookies to give to our contractors for all of the hard work they did on the bathroom. Barring the glass work [window and shower enclosure] which must, of necessity, come afterward, it took a mere nine working days for them to gut, replumb, tile and install our bathroom.  We made our favourite cookie meteors, a toffe-bit-less version of our chewy chocolate chip toffee bit cookies, and a new fave, here dubbed “Contractor Cookies,” a peanut butter oatmeal cookie with coconut and butterscotch chips. I have no idea what the guys thought of any of the treats [next time, just buy beer?], but the kids were all over the extras. Tobes especially loved the new cookies!  So, here’s a recipe for what we whipped up, and, because of your demands to have pics of the room before we actually do any Lunchbox Season activities therein, a few pics and a video of the almost-finished bath.

Contractor Cookies from thelunchboxseasonContractor Cookies

.75 c butter
.5 c creamy peanut butter [we used natural]
.75 c brown sugar
.75 c white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1.25 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
.5 tsp baking soda
1.75 c rolled oats
1 c butterscotch chips
.75 c shredded or flaked coconut [we used unsweetened]

Heat oven to 350.
Cream the butter and peanut butter by hand or in a mixer.
Add the sugars and continue mixing until well combined.
Beat in the eggs and vanilla until just combined.
Beat in the flour and oats.
Stir in the chips and coconut.
Drop cookies by the tablespoon onto parchment-lined cookie pans.
Bake for 8-12 minutes, 8 for softer cookies [the kids tackled those], 12 for crispier cookies [these are the kind we packaged for the guys].
Note: The “soft” version may not look thoroughly cooked, but if you let it cool on the pan for a while before removing it to a rack, it should set fine.
Cool cookies on wire racks.

A few pics of the bath..[and here’s a link to our light-fixture how-to: KNAPPA LOVES MELODI ikea hack post]:
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And a NEW Video…:

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First Communion Fun

firstcommunionfunatthelunchboxseasonToday is Toby’s First Communion, and so we thought we’d share the fun we had preparing for the big day with our Easy Hand-Drawn Gift Wrap and our Marbled Oreo First Communion Cake.

Easy Hand-Drawn Gift Wrap
First off, here’s a little photo gallery of the wrapping I did for some of his gifts!  Toby loves turtles, and so the theme of course, was turtles and turtle-doves.  This is our favourite method of wrapping: brown shipping paper and sharpies or markers. I googled “galapagos turtle” and found a few images I liked, using them as models for my free-hand drawing. Then, I did a bible word search for “turtle” and found a nice reference to turtle doves in the Song of Solomon that I thought was most appropriate for the gift of a bible sent from our family out in California. Et voila: turtle wrapping of all kinds!
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Marbled Oreo First Communion Cake


1/2 recipe of your best chocolate cake batter  [in a pinch? use a box mix and amp it up with vanilla or a shot of alcohol!]
1/2 recipe of your best white cake batter [in a pinch? use a box mix]
1 recipe of your best buttercream frosting [in a pinch? use pre-prepared icing!]
Gel Colour or Food Colouring of your choice [We used Wilton Kelly Green Gel Food Colour]
7 chocolate covered oreo-style cookie or plain oreo-style cookies
[We bought ours from the fabulous Ed’s Real Scoop ice cream shop here in Toronto – Yes! They do fab chocolates, too!]
1 package of oreo-style cookies, smashed into bits with a meat cleaver or rolling pin [We used PC “Eat the Middle First” Cookies]
Wilton Cross-Cake Pan [We found ours at Bulk Barn – and we share it with other families at the kids’ school]

Heat the oven to 350.
Spray the Cross-Cake Pan with baking spray or grease and flour it as you see fit.
Prepare each batter in a separate bowl.
Pour small clumps of each batter into the cross cake pan.
Use a spoon, fork, skewer or coffee-stirrer stick to swirl the batter in the pan.
Bake the cake for 40-55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
[Okay, it’s a little weird “testing” a cross cake with a knife or pick!]
Cool completely.
Make Frosting.
Colour Frosting with gel or food colouring of your choice.
Invert Cake onto a large serving dish.
Frost Cake.
Decorate top of cake with chocolate covered oreos.
Using your hand, press smashed oreo bits onto the sides of the cake.

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