Of yarn and other things
Well, hello


August 4

This photo really doesn't have much to do with anything. I just like how it sparkles.

Our summer vacation is coming to a close. The girls start school in a week and a half. In some ways, it doesn't seem possible that it's time to start the lunch making and homework again so soon. In other ways, I'm am so ready for a more predictable routine. Either way, it's coming. I think we are ready - school uniforms bought and altered, new backpacks waiting, shoes ordered, school supplies purchased. Now to enjoy the little bit of free time we have left.

Starting tomorrow, I'm going to unplug for the next week or so. I might check email once or twice, but that is about it. If you need me for some reason, please be assured that I will get back to you when I turn the computer back on. I'm closing up the shop this afternoon around 3:00 p.m. Any orders placed between now and then will ship tomorrow. I'll re-open after Labor day weekend.

In the meantime, if you know of any good and educational iPad apps for children in elementary and middle school, would you please share? Kate will be in 4th grade and Jane will be in 6th. My favorite app that I found at the end of last year is called My Spelling Test - you type in the word, record it and then your kids get to take a test just like at school. The girls had so much fun studying their spelling words this way. We also use Stack the States - great practice for all the state capital memorizing that I know is headed Kate's way. Both of these are available for iPhone, too.

And while I'm at it, any good apps for me? I'm looking for a good organizational system for us. And lunchbox ideas that aren't sandwiches. I found this sesame noodle salad (via Molly) that I'll be trying out. Any other ideas that you all have, I'd love to hear.

I guess that's it. Over and out.




Mama Urchin

Thank you for those links! We are always looking for good apps for the kids. Katie is younger than your girls but she likes the Nancy Drew, Saddle Ranch game. She also really likes Animation Desk which lets her make stop animation movies. Neither of those are particularly educational but they aren't really just games either. I can't wait to see what other people suggest.


On the lunch question - my daughter loves baked chicken - cold. I cut it in to bite size pieces and put in a little blue cheese dressing as a treat. Add carrots and celery sticks and you have a great lunch.

beth billups

enjoy the last days of summer : ) there are lots of great lunch ideas for kids (and grown ups) on the laptop lunches menu page:



i love using teuxdeux on my desktop, but they also have an iphone app. very easy to use.

Jodie K

I don't have an i-anything, but am Tech Lead at my school, so try to keep up. You might want to check out the site/blog www.techchicktips.net It's a regular podcast and list of resources put on by two teachers in Texas. They end each episode with their favourite apps....the site is searchable.

Good luck!

Mama Urchin

Also on the lunch, do your girls like tacos? I sometimes pack taco meat in a thermos, tortillas (or chips), sour cream and cheese, peppers, and let Katie assemble the taco at lunch.


Have you seen thislunchrox.com? The lunches are probably too cutesy for your girls, but i love her ideas that are not just a sandwich, chips, some fruit and a drink (that is my usual rut.) I'm looking forward to new ideas this year as I will be packing my toddler's lunch for the first time this year!


We only have to pack lunches once a week, but Elisabeth enjoyed soup, pasta, mini meatballs with bocconcini and garlic toast, lentils and rice (usually we sent hot lunches in her thermos), and also things that were sort of snack-ish that she could put together herself -- like one week we did corn chips, guacamole, refried beans, salsa, and sliced olives. Another time we did almond butter, apple slices, whole grain crackers, celery, and sunflower seeds. You get the idea.

Amy J

I love all these ideas! Thank you for the post...and to everyone sharing! My 1st grader is not a sandwich fan (and a picky eater), so we alternate between warm lunches and fruit/cheese/yogurt lunches.

tara thayer

and enjoy the last days of your summer.


These tips are so great. It's about time for us to get back on the treadmill as well, so I've been scouting for lunch inspiration for the last few days too. Here's my two cents: Couper loves bean burritos, so I'll frequently heat up some refried beans and put those in her thermos, wrap up 2 tortillas and she's good for the main entree with fruit and a cookie to round things out. Patrick always wants "breakfast lunch" - leftover french toast, waffles or pancakes with applesauce or jam. He went on a bender last year though where he would only eat pb&j for lunch. Every. Day. I nearly went nuts making it every day, I can't imagine eating it! :) Enjoy your unplugged-ness!


Good luck with the new school year! My "baby" is heading off to college so it's empty nesting for me...yikes! The routing will soon be very, very different.


Loving all the ideas coming down the pike for lunches. I have my first little one starting Kindergarten this year. She's been home with me up until now....bittersweet. She is so ready!

And loving the pic. Hmmmm. Feeling it's 5 o'clock now.


Things my kids like instead of sandwiches:
*pasta in the thermos - leftovers or (I know it is horrible) spaghetti-o's,
*soup in the thermos - with a mini bagel or crackers,
*roll-up sandwiches (whole grain tortilla, cream cheese, ham, spinach rolled up and cut in bite-sized bits),
*whole grain tortilla chips with refried black beans, cheese and guac as Grace mentioned,
*hummus with pita bread or pita chips and summer sausage

Fruit and a raw veggie or a salad on the side (carrots are the favorite). When they do have sandwiches I alternate between having them on bread, dinner rolls, hamburger or hotdog buns and bagels. Same stuff in the middle but the change of bread seems to break up the monotony.

Enjoy these last golden days. :)


Have a nice break! Enjoy the last days of summer with your girls. We like the iPad app "Little Things." It's kind of an i-Spy game. We team up with our 1st grader nephew who gets a big kick out of it, and it's fun for adults too. ;)


Enjoy the time with the girls. It just seemed like you were getting out of school! We have four more weeks to go!


While you unplug I will be checking in here to see what all of your friends share. I always get good ideas on this space. Enjoy your last days of summer. We just had our last hurrah at the State Fair. It was a wonderful way to be together as a family in anticipation of all of the changes that will come with the start of school for us on Wednesday.


Enjoy your break. x



I got a lot of lunch inspiration from the Vegan Lunch Box books. My guy just likes sandwiches and raw veggies though. Enjoy the rest of your summer!


oh, do enjoy the last days of golden bliss!
i just don't like to think that i will be packing the boring lunches i make... day after day... week after week...
if only my kids would WANT to eat something other than a sandwich. oy.
big hugs. xx


Hope your enjoying your break Erin! You could go with the creative Bento recipes, you can always switch them up with food the kids do like.
Some recipes at http://justbento.com/recipes


hey erin!

i thought you might be inspired by these lunches. I was and I don't have kids, ha.


enjoy your last couple weeks of summer vacation!


Using the www.homeroutines.com app along with www.habithackers.com has changed my life. I need to blog about it, but I have my stuff in there and stuff for the kids to do every morning, and I kid you not, for the first time in EVER, my house is presentable, the laundry is done, and meals are on the table at regular times.


Thanks for spelling app idea! My kids like spicy chicken bites - they taste fine cold or Luke warm. Last year I'd make pizza rollups the morning of, with pizza dough from the night before. Since the sauce is separate I don't think they ever were soggy. Have a great break! Summer has went way too fast for our family. P.S. Love the quince! Lark is one of my favorite yarns I've ever knit/crocheted with.


You might want to take a look at wreck this app by keri smith.
she is a genius.
a true creative spirit.


enjoy your last few days of summer. It's amazing how quickly our summer has passed. Our oldest is starting college this year.



I have no lunch box ideas but Stack the Countries and Math Bingo are also good. As is a new one called American Presidents (http://www.peripatetic.dk/)that also includes a timeline and bio on each president.


http://wendolonia.com/blog/ ! Wendy is an amazing resource when it comes to it's 11pm on a Sunday and what the hell am I going to pack for lunch tomorrow?!


I sat down with my guys and looked at all of the lunchbox photos on websites like www.laptoplunches.com and everything they said they would eat I wrote down. By the end I had an endless spreadsheet of main dishes and sides to choose from each week.

Vintage Chica

I second the math bingo and word bingo apps...my boys love them. Also, flashcardlet. Hope you are well. I think of you often, but don't get here near often enough.

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