Oh PlanetBox, I heart you

We generally try to stay away from pre-packaged foods and opt for homemade and fresh foods instead.  Packing a lunch for Sashimi used to entail looking through the cupboard for containers and their matching lids, put all the food in appropriately sized containers, then trying all sorts of configurations to get the damn things to fit in his lunchkit, then realizing that one container just won’t fit and resorting to unpacking his lunch, changing containers and trying the whole process over again.

Now, I have a PlanetBox.

Sashimi's lunch for tomorrow: A balanced lunch made in less than 5 minutes.

Each side compartment holds 3/4 cup, making it the perfect size for fruit or veg. 1/2 cup is equal to one serving, so if you fill those, that’s three servings right there.  The large compartment is for your main, which today for Sashimi is Dempsters Ancient Grains wraps filled with jam and pea butter (his school is nut-free), 10-grain mini muffin, a pepperoni stick and a few BBQ Crispers.  The long compartment just above has a cheese string (the only kind of cheese he will eat) and another roll up. And in the tiny middle compartment, Skittles.  That compartment is just the right size for a few chocolate chips or smarties.  A small amount of sweets goes a long way for kids.

And then, when I close the lid, all the compartments stay separated: no mixing foods!

Closed for fridge-time: foods stay segregated

The box is made out of high grade stainless steel, and has specially shaped magnets that stick to the outside.  They have about a dozen different designs.  I bought 2 different sets (I think one was included with his box, and the other cost $2) so Sashimi can choose which ones to use.  His only complaint was that they did not have dinosaur magnets.

Then, when he is ready to take it to school, it goes in this insulated carrying case:

There is room for a water bottle and a larger item (like a large fruit) or ice-pack in the exterior pouches

There are also a couple of round containers that fit inside the Box, if you want to take dip for your veggies, or a larger one if you wanted to take a yogurt parfait or pasta salad.  Sacha likes neither of these, so the containers are not used much right now.

The whole ensemble set me back about $55.  That being said, I never have to look for containers, never have to buy ziploc bags or saran wrap, it is easy for Sashimi to open and close (unlike when he would have to ask for help with various lids and baggies). I don’t have to worry about whether the plastic has BPA in it (no plastic = no worries) and I can get a clear visual every day that his lunch is well balanced and healthy.

And it comes home pretty much empty every night.

Bon appetit!

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Jonathan Rhys Meyers could behead me anytime

As a good politically aware Canadian girl, I watch the Rick Mercer Report religiously.  The dude rocks.  Although I am slightly disappointed, as I am sure many are, that he plays for the other team.  But I digress.

After RMR, there are always sultry, intriguing previews for The Tudors. Jonathan Rhys Meyers is Henry VIII? Man, if only the pompous lusty royal really looked like that!  He could behead me anytime!  I really wanted to watch the show, but it is all sequential, and I had already missed the first 5 episodes.  What’s a poor maiden to do?

Hello, my good friend, BitTorrent. Within one night, I had all 10 episodes at my disposal, ready to indulge in the royal fantasy.  And indulge I did.  It has me completely hooked.  Not only on his Highness’s bod, but on the actual history itself.  I have the encyclopedia out, wikipedia is open on my laptop, and I am researching until my eyes can’t focus on his lovely face anymore.

In fact, my research led me to a trailer for The Other Boleyn Girl, which led me here and then here, which led me to the library to get a copy of this book, which I am devouring like leftover Halloween treats..  I am indeed addicted.  I may have to seek some sort of 12 step program once the show ends and I have finished all of Gregory’s books.  Alas, I cannot bear to think of it: the pain is too great…

Colbie Caillat – Making my ears happy

I am always on the lookout for new artists, new sounds.  I read Lefsetz Letter and found an entry about this new song, Bubbly.  “GO GET IT!” the letter implored.  “This is a HIT!”

I searched it on iTunes and found it to be by a new artist, Colbie Caillat.  I listened to it, then listened to the rest of the tracks on her new album, Coco, and immediately clicked the BUY NOW button.  For $7.99, I’ve found a new treasure.  I cannot get enough of the entire album. It’s always a bonus when you buy a CD and can listen to the whole thing without skipping through those annoying token ballads, or poppy crap-0 tunes.  In fact, I like it enough that I would pay a lot more than $7.99 for it.

Even Tony is smittin’ with it, and it’s not just because she has a pretty face!  It’s not often that Tony and I agree on musical tastes (he prefers the loud screeching nails-on-a-chalkboard of death metal and the like), so you know it’s gotta be good if we can both agree to listen to it every day since I bought it.

A little background: Colbie Caillat got her start on myspace, of all places, and accumulated a huge fan base there before being signed to a label.  There are entire tracks there that you can listen to or download for free, so I would strongly suggest you check it out.  You’ll thank me later.

Giftology 101

I came across s truly unique and heartwarming story while perusing a site on giftology. What is giftology, you may ask? Well, according to my spell-check, it is not a real word. BUT it is a new an interesting phenomenon (see the site here). There is a lot of interesting food for thought on this site, so even if it takes a few visits to snag it all, it is well worth it!

**********

My son snagged the keyboard yesterday and threw it on the floor. My space bar now requires a good kick in the qwerty to work. Freaken crap.

Kelly Clarkson: What happened?

I was very excited to hear that KC had a new CD coming out.  Now that I’ve listened to My December a few times, I’ll let you in on a little secret: It’s not my favourite.

Alright, maybe that’s not really a secret, as her tour has been canceled, the first single Never Again peaked at #8 on the charts, and all of the other hullabaloo going on with her right now.  I bought the CD the day it came out and listened to it with great anticipation.  After listening to it once, I put it on top of my player and did not listen to it again for a week.  That is not a good sign.  When Breakaway came out, I listened to that CD every day commuting to work for 9 weeks straight.   That’s how much I loved it.  After thinking about why I didn’t want to listen to My December, I discovered why.

I had no desire to listen to it, as the songs feigned a depth that was really just a turtle-shaped kiddie pool of despair and bleakness.  This is not to say that I don’t enjoy good old female darkness.  Hell, Jagged Little Pill is still one of my favourite albums, and whenever I want to unwind, I listen to Fumbling Toward Ecstasy or Surfacing from the queen or sorrowful goodness, Sarah McLachlan.   But Kelly’s darkness, well, it insists upon itself.  Yeah yeah, there’s a hole.  Yeah, I know: Never Again will you kiss him, or want to, or whatever else you NEVER AGAIN want to do. Or Maybe, Maybe, Maybe MAYBE MAYBE PLEASE STOP SAYING THAT WORD!

The other thing that bothers me is that the melodies lack appeal to sing along with and listen to over and over and over.  Thankful and Breakaway mastered the melody, with Breakaway being awarded a Grammy for these efforts.  There is no reason that edgier aka “more artistic” lyrics have to be set to obscure and strained melodies. (Cynthia sums it up best here.)  Jagged Little Pill had amazing melodies and vocals.  Sarah McLachlan’s melodies can make you cry in concert.  (That’s just me? Oh…) When I try to remember the songs on My December, I can’t.  The melodies are forgotten that easily.  They don’t stick.

And the bottom line is, if they don’t stick, you’re not going to remember them when you are at the music store looking to buy some music.

Sorry, Kelly.  I gotta say it like it is.

The Gospel…with some dumbfucks thrown in for good measure

I will preface this post with the following: I am Roman Catholic. I have a minor in religious studies, and I have a lot of background in church ministries.

Now, I will tell you this:

Read Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal

I have never actually laughed out loud while reading something, despite the ubiquitous use of the LOL and LMAO in my comments of blogs. While reading this book, I laughed so loud that I snorted my tea through my nose to stifle the sound so as not to wake the little dude in the next room.

It is a highly irreverent look at the missing years in Christ’s life, namely from birth to age 30, as told by Jesus’ best friend, Levi aka Biff. Making matters more LOLable, Biff has the gift of tongues, which enables him to tell the story using today’s language and linguistic idioms – hence the use of the word dumbfuck, asswipe, and so on. If you ever imagined how bunnies came to be associated with Easter, it’s in this book. Don’t know where sarcasm was born? Read this book. What about Judo? Here it is. What would it have been like if Jesus did martial arts? Take a gander into the pages. This book does not really touch on any of the gospel stories, rather a speculative behind-the-scenes look at Jesus’ life. A “Making-Of” featurette that could appear on the bonus disc of the Bible’s DVD companion, if you will.

The first question people ask when I talk about this book is “Is Jesus married in it? He doesn’t sin, does he?” Not to spoil anything, but no, the author maintains Jesus’ integrity as the Messiah in that sense. What he also shows, however, is an imaginary view of what Jesus would have been like “off the record.” And he seems like he would have known how to have a good time.

Any one else read this book? What did you think?

Canadian Idol: Can I pick ’em or what?!

Muah-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!

Two of those boys that I loved from Monday night went on to top 22.  Out of all 200 people, 2 of my picks got through: Greg Neufeld and Andrew Austin.  I seriously think that I should be a judge, or at least given a free ticket to the show (airfare please!) and huge banner that says “Hot Sarah Sure Can Pick ‘Em!”

Plus, did I mention that Greg is easy on the eyes?

Since I did not watch last year, I really didn’t know that he was almost top 10 last season.  That makes my pick even MORE amazing, don’t you think?

Did I mention that Greg is nice to look at?

Maybe he’ll do better this year with the shorter haircut (yes, I looked at pics from last season after realizing that he has a fan club, not that I would ever join…)