Thursday, December 16, 2010

my renters

we own the house next to ours and rent it out, currently to my brothers daniel and steven. aren't they cute

this picture is for all my family that will not get to see them this christmas because they {my brothers} are official adults now and cannot afford to take work off for long enough to make the drive down to az...yet. they're working hard and saving up for a vehicle.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

early christmas


we are headed to arizona for the holidays and are anticipating the early arrival of santa at our house this year. one of my favorite things about being a grownup is never having to wait if i don't want to. {did i write a previous post about needing to learn patience? hmmm...}

pictured is mine and don's christmas this year. me=shelves. him=giant t.v.

it still needs some work: the top is a mess of unmounted lights, empty frames and packaging. i'm waiting on some fun knobs from anthropologie, need to bring few more books up from downstairs, maybe add some accessories (?) or bookends, but in true rachel-coleman-fashion, i couldn't wait to show you.

look at all that space! a little part of me dies each time i look at it, room for our library to grow, our first real furniture that we didn't have to build ourselves or recover. i think i might be an official adult.

i am busy working on a graphic design job, quilts, teacher gifts, packing, cleaning, teaching piano, and also, most importantly, finishing my novel by the end of the year. so i may not be around as much. no wish lists or top ten favorite books unless i get those other things done first.

have a wonderful christmas if i don't check in before then.

love, rachel

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


i interrupt regular life, and the dutiful reading of my uncomfortably large to-be-read pile to enjoy the latest from my most favorite author, juliet marillier.

you can find me in my bed under my heated blanket.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Thursday, December 2, 2010

letter to the military man sitting at my table last night

dear mr. military-man-who-dresses-in-his-fatigues-at-starbucks-cafe-and-asks-to-share-a-table-with-me:

although i was too polite to tell you to go sit somewhere else, i worked hard all day to fit these two interrupted hours of writing time into my schedule before meeting my writer's group. i agreed to have you share a table with me, not talk nonstop for two hours.

contrary to what you thought, i would venture to guess that the young adult book genre contains thousands of stories that are brilliantly written and not about vampires.

everyone has story ideas. thinking of ideas is not the difficult part of writing that "makes you rich". the work is the writing. so no, i don't think i will write your idea like you suggested and "make millions" with you.

i did not really care that you have been in the military for 13 years and are taking a nuclear physics class and can drink 4 pots of coffee a day and still "sleep like a baby".

nor did i want to know about the black lesbian couple or the sexual fantasies that the men serving in your unit in iraq had about them.

also, i really didn't want to hear about the cross dresser in your unit who got beat up but was a "sharp shooting sniper".

it was good to hear that you would support local authors, but you'll have to forgive me for not giving you my full name. you scared me just a little bit.

and just so you know, i'm pretty sure you won't find rand mcnally in the list of "big publishers" for novels. so no, i won't be contacting them when my book is finished, unless i do some drastic editing to my medieval fairy tale and add in a lot of racy driving directions.

remember when you said: "it looked like you were really involved in your writing a few seconds ago, so you probably just missed my eyes drooping and my head nodding."? well, those "few seconds" were the only writing i got done with you at my table. i was trying to give you a subtle hint, but i guess you didn't quite catch on.

so of course, i have no choice but to mock you publicly on my blog. sorry about that. because i really do think you are a hero in some ways.

just not last night.


Wednesday, December 1, 2010

confessional and a cry for help

it's about time for another confessional. i just love getting things off my chest.

1) remember how i did that post about school lunch? keep all that nutritional effort in mind. yesterday, the first thing micah said when he came home from school was, "awesome job on the lunch, mom! that was the best one ever." in the lunch that day: p.b.j. sandwich, apparently for the first time.

2) i'm feeling a little grinch-y about christmas this year. i just want to stay in my cave and be mean and all alone with my little black heart.

3) i have said "yes" too many times this last month when i should have said "no". so, before you ask, this month the answer is going to be "no".

4) i have a secret shame. pictured here are all the books i have purchased and NOT read. (and also all the books i have checked out at the library right now). please help. do you see any titles that you would consider a must-read? i am trying to commit to not requesting any more books from the library until i read the books i've already purchased. i'll let you know how i do.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

thanksgiving day recap

cooked my first entire thanksgiving meal today. everyone helped. awesome.
temperature outside during a last-minute walmart run for evaporated milk: 9°
number of cubes of butter used: 10
results: near perfection. juicy turkey, smooth gravy {thank you mr. coleman, who always makes the gravy at our house}, fluffy mashed potatoes, tart apple pie.

after the feast we headed up the canyon for some sledding fun... i went down once. then took pictures until everyone had cried at least once and my fingers froze and we decided it was time to go.

snuggled on the couch with my family and watched SHORT CIRCUIT to round out a 80's movie marathon. {last night it was THE BOY WHO COULD FLY—totally radical 80's movie if i do say so myself}


washed dishes.

mr. coleman heads out at 10pm with casey and micah for some black friday fun while i sit toasty warm inside the house blogging. {someone has to watch the babies.}

i am so grateful for the blessings in my life. two thoughts keep running through my head today.

first: this quote from george washington.

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor...Now, therefore, I do appoint Thursday, the 26th day of November 1789... that we may all unite torender unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection.

what a beautiful idea: a holiday set aside to remember the blessings the Almighty God has given us.

second: the lyrics to the song WORTHY TO STAND by jessie clark funk

When the war is done
and the battles of this life are through,
When the Savior comes
and the earth is full and new,
I will fall
on my knees
for the mercy He has shown to me.

when i think how much he has forgiven me of, my goodness. gratitude and humility in large enough measure to bring me to my knees. that is all i can say about that.

i hope you all had a wonderful, blessed day.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

writing update, by the numbers

number of words in second draft when i woke up today: 46,162 words

number of words i deleted this morning: 2395

current number of words in my second draft after a writing marathon: 46,514

number of days it will take me to get my novel in "sharable" form if i keep up the current pace: 170

somehow, unhealthy levels of denial and stubbornness are leading me to believe i will be finished with this draft by the end of 2010. i really like my little cocoon-like world of make-believe.

**type, type, type**

Friday, November 19, 2010

ta da! my first quilt

say hello to my first quilt ever—pieced, sandwiched, basted, quilted, trimmed and bound all by me. far easier than i thought it would be with some online advice by redpepperquilts.

the back.

all shipped off to my lovely sister anna. my only regret is that i didn't wait for a day with better lighting, or for my kids to get home from school, to help photograph it. oh well. if i was a perfectionist i would have never started the quilt in the first place.

{anna, maybe you could take some pictures of it when it's up in the nursery? or have angela do it ;-).}

next project: a twin-sized quilt for my sassy niece clara...maybe...or another baby quilt.

eta: i'm not sure if you see the same thing i do, but it looks like my quilt is glowing in these pictures. dirty lens or a sign? what do you think?

Thursday, November 18, 2010

things that make me cry

things that made me cry this week:

-the barbie commercial shown during movie previews
-the carl bloch museum exhibit
-the news story about the 5 children's homicides this year in layton
-the passing of my friend's mother, even thought i never met her
-researching heroin recovery rates for my next novel

what about you? are you a cryer like me?

24 ¶ But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came.
• • •
26 ¶ And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you.
27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and athrust it into my side: and be not bfaithless, but cbelieving.
28 And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God.
29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast aseen me, thou hast believed: bblessed are they that have not seen, and yet have cbelieved.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

notes for you

notes for you.

print, cut on trim marks, stick in your kids' lunches, or slip them in your spouse's car or pocket.

love, me.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

warming recipes

pardon me. i am feeling poetical today.

leaves tumble from trees and veil the ground in a riot of gold, flame, and crimson.
the wind's wicked cold bite stings cheeks and noses.
fall's splendor dallies but we don't mind.
we enjoy the glory of it knowing it fades all too soon,
and hope to postpone the arrival of crusty, gray winter.

and now, i share with you 3 of my most favorite, plant-based dishes to eat on a crisp, gorgeous fall day.

vegetable chili
serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
1 15.5-ounce can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can cannellini or great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 15.5-ounce can pork and beans (blobs of fat removed)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
kosher salt and black pepper

1. heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. add the onion, garlic, chili powder, and cumin and sauté until onions are soft.
2. add the tomatoes and 1 cup water. bring to a simmer, partially cover with a lid, andcook 10 minutes.
3. add the beans and return to a simmer. continue cooking, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until the chili is thick.
4. remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. season to taste with salt and pepper.

serve with: cornbread or polenta.
source: real simple magazine may 2000, photo from

spicy black bean soup
serves 6

1 pound dry black beans
4 teaspoons diced jalapeno peppers
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken base
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped
1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

juice of 2 limes
1 avocado, chopped
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
4 green onions, chopped

1. rinse and drain black beans.
2. combine all ingredients in a slow cooker.
3. cook on high for 4 hours. reduce heat to low, and continue cooking for 2 hours, or until you are ready to eat (or just cook on low 10-12 hours).
4. fold garnish ingredients together and serve.

serve with: deep-fried tortillas or corn chips.
source: myself, photo from

butternut bisque
serves 6

3 pound butternut squash (right now you can buy these already peeled, seeded, and cubed at costco)
2 tablespoons butter
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
2 potatoes, peeled and cubed
5 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken base
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
pinch each: nutmeg and ginger
sour cream for garnish (optional)

1. peel and seed squash, cube and set aside, if needed.
2. melt butter in a large pot. add carrots, onion and celery. sauté until soft.
3. stir in potatoes, squash, water and chicken base. bring to a boil reduce heat and simmer, partially covered for 20 minutes.
4. add curry, nutmeg and ginger. pureé the soup in batches in a blender. return to pot. salt and pepper to taste.

serve with: homemade breadsticks or french bread
source: handwritten recipe booklet crafted by my friend kimberly, former college roommate and fellow maker/photo from

Sunday, November 7, 2010

lesson learned (and still currently being learned)

i've been waking up early to go to the temple once a week. 4:45am-hours-before-the-sun-comes-up-and-i'm -so-tired-only-sheer-faith-gets-me-out-of-bed early. i feel closer to god there, and can communicate more freely with him there than any other place. i feel spiritually refreshed, optimistic, empowered every time i leave.

also, each time i do the work for another melzer ancestor i feel like i'm gaining another person on my side of the war. i love these women. i can picture each of those strong-willed german women wielding swords of light against the powers of darkness in my behalf. too melodramatic? i think not.

i need all the help i can get.

so, a while ago i took a matter to the lord that i had been struggling with. after finishing an endowment session, i sat praying in the celestial room while the sun rose over the mountains, filtering through stained-glass windows and filling the room with light, naively thinking an answer would come so that i could go out that day or week and solve the problem with his help.

ha! i can laugh at myself looking back.

instead, the answer i got was this: rachel, beloved daughter (maybe i even heard a little bit of sympathetic laughter), this is not a trial. it is an allotment. for a lifetime. over the course of your mortal existence you will learn PATIENCE. i will teach you and help you. and it will all be worth it in the end.

oh. okay.

that is a hard thing to hear. no reassurance that my trial would pass any time soon. only an understanding that the experiences of my life were specifically designed to teach me patience.

i cried at first. i felt a lot of sorrow and self pity that the hard burdens in my life would not be lifted any time soon.

and then.

the words of elder maxwell came to me. words that i had read while preparing to teach a relief society lesson a month previous. oil that i had placed in my lamp, drop by drop, so that i would have it when i needed it. words that reminded me of my final destination, my final goal.

i'd love to share those words with you:

Being content means acceptance without self-pity. Meekly borne, however, deprivations such as these can end up being like excavations that make room for greatly enlarged souls.

Some undergo searing developments that cut suddenly into mortality’s status quo. Some have trials to pass through,
while still others have allotments they are to live with. Paul lived with his “thorn in the flesh” (2 Cor. 12:7).

Suffice it to say, such mortal allotments will be changed in the world to come.
-Neal A. Maxwell, “Content with the Things Allotted unto Us,” Ensign, May 2000, 72

and this:

Patient endurance is to be distinguished from merely being “acted upon.” Endurance is more than pacing up and down within the cell of our circumstance; it is not only acceptance of the things allotted to us, it is to “act for ourselves” by magnifying what is allotted to us. (See Alma 29:3, 6.)

Therefore, true enduring represents not merely the passage of time, but the passage of the soul—and not merely from A to B, but sometimes all the way from A to Z. To endure in faith and doeth God’s will (See D&C 63:20; D&C 101:35) therefore involves much more than putting up with a circumstance.

Rather than shoulder-shrugging, true enduring is soul-trembling. Jesus bled not at a few, but “at every pore.” (D&C 19:18.)

Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and our faith in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow, in the tumbling, we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised.
-Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Endure It Well’,” Ensign, May 1990, 33

now every time i get frustrated, i stop and thank the lord for another tutorial on patience. my life is beautiful, miraculous, abundant. i am so grateful for temple blessings. for the gift of the holy ghost. for a perfectly patient heavenly father who loves me enough to teach me how to become like him. for the atonement that allows me to give my burdens and weaknesses over to the lord and allows him to make more out of my life than i could by myself.

now if i could only hurry up and learn this patience lesson faster...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

forgiveness flour

i'm a cryer.

and this poem, this poem. it moves me every time. i'm sharing a png of the print i made for my mom for her late, late, embarrassingly late birthday gift. you can download it and print it on your own beautiful paper, if you wish. just click on the picture to enlarge. trim on the thin gray line for an 8x10 final size.

love to you all.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

a birthday and a breather

good golly, things have been busy over here. today is the first day in several weeks that i feel calm. whew. ( i am taking an herbal supplement that has given me my mojo back. it is amazing. maybe more on that later?)

in the midst of repainting, redecorating, cleaning out a rental, writing a novel, finishing a basement, soccer games and various other homemaking-type duties, this little pearly girl turned 7.

she asked for crepes for breakfast and alphabet soup for dinner. she wanted to wear her "prettiest outfit" to school. she likes stuffed animals and anything that sparkles. her favorite color is aqua blue and she loves to snuggle.

she opted for a room makeover instead of a party. we're hoping to unveil the finished project sometime next week on the blog. the theme she chose: butterflies

she is more like me than my other children. she has a hard time falling asleep, she loves to create, to read, and she's a smarty pants. i love her so much it hurts. i think of the chinese word for mother's love teng ai. it is composed of two symbols. the first means pain; the second means love. that is a mother's love.

now i'm off to finish the ironing [which i pile up and ignore until the boys run out of sunday shirts. then i make an all day project out of it. fun, fun!]

Saturday, October 9, 2010

oh, oh, OH!

if you don't want to look at more rugs, just ignore this post. anna! how could i forget they have more than 4,000 rugs in the 5x7 size and most of them are $150 or under. so fun to be in the market for one.

Friday, October 8, 2010


my sister anna (who is good at all the things i'm not) is looking for a rug for her new house. and she's, like most all of us, on a budget. this post is for you, anna. 5x7 area rugs for under $150.

from target (i think the last one is my favorite. from dwell studio):

and from IKEA (the first rug is one that i have in my own home. i bought for $19.99! it's an unbelievable price):

if i had no budget, i would buy one of these rugs. a girl can dream.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

musical wanties

so many great albums out or coming out in the next weeks! here's a few i have my eye on.

arcade fire | the suburbs
ra ra riot | the orchard
the weepies | be my thrill
belle and sebastian | write about love (so excited for another album! i prelistened in npr and it's a beauty)
weezer | hurley (front man como has an english degree from harvard)
sufjan stevens: the age of adz (which sounds nothing like his previous stuff, but i love it somehow anyway)

what are you listening to?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

st. george marathon + a warning to my peeps


i have returned from the valley of the shadow of death.

i spent the weekend in st. george with some friends who ran the marathon. no, i didn't run it. instead i made merry with friends who i can just be myself around. it was joyous and relaxing.

on the return trip i got a little sick. then sicker. i got home just in time because, well, let me tell you.

i have spent the last 24 hours shaking and sweating and reacquainting myself with the toilet on a face-to-face level if you know what i mean. i told mr. coleman i was dying.

i lost 7 pounds. which i could have done if i'd run the marathon. so, i'm glad i didn't and i'm glad i've lived to tell. i am feeling much better today except the weird newborn-giraffe-like legs.

a huge apology to all my peeps if i spread my germs to you. prepare for the worst.

photo swiped from flikr since i apparently had too much fun to take a single picture of st. george

Thursday, September 30, 2010

manifesto on choice

my amazing sister (she's even better in real life) just published a blog post about commitment and it got me thinking. when i hear the word commitment, i think of Wanting something with a capital "W". do you really Want it? then make a choice and go for it.

so often we play the victim. we say:

i can't afford that. i don't have time for that. i wish i had a happy, easy life like her.

when what we don't realize is that so much in life is really a choice. what we really are saying is:

i choose not to spend my money on that so that i won't have debt (or, so that i can buy groceries, rent a cello for my daughter, etc.). i choose to wake up at 5 am to make time for the temple. i choose to read instead of fold laundry or watch t.v. i choose to be happy.

let me repeat that. i CHOOSE to be happy. i choose to make my life what i want.

our life is a series of choices. the choices we make let us know what really matters to us and what we really Want in our life. many things we do not have control over. but the great news is this: we are in control of our own choices. the only true control is self-control.

want to be a stay-at-home mom? live in a small house, plant a garden, cook meals from scratch, spend less and work hard.

want to be fit? prepare your own healthy food and sweat every day. then stop complaining that your body isn't perfect. nobody's is.

want to be a published author? put your bum in your chair and write while your friends meet for lunch and clean their houses and your husband relaxes in front of the t.v.

so many things in life are available to us if we choose them—if we choose to take the fork in the road that will lead us there and then keep on walking, regardless of the opposition that will surely come our way. all it takes is for us to make a commitment, and then remember that we Want it.

we are all powerful. we have the ability to make miracles happen.

what do you Want? stop making excuses and make things happen instead.


Monday, September 27, 2010


i think it's about time for another confessional. don't you?

i am a procrastinator. i started making a list of all the things i have been putting off, but then i decided to wait and do it later. [things like: finish sewing my mother's present for her birthday...which was in august] i have piles in every room of things i started or am waiting to start and never get around to. it's a sickness.

i cried the other day while my piano student was playing für elise because it was so beautiful. does this make me crazy? highly possible.

i am afraid of our renter, who lives in our rental house next door. this is an unfounded fear, but it still stops me from going outside or tending my garden like i should be. possibly it's related to her thin-white-tank-top-no-bra-55-year-old-body, but is that a real reason to be afraid? i don't know.

i am terrified of grasshoppers. i would rather kill a mouse, spider, snake, cockroach, scorpion, ANYTHING.

i cannot master the art of the self portrait. either it's a shot up my nose [see above] or just a corner of my head and all background.

i have lost the desire to read, which used to be the one thing i'd rather do over any thing else.

i just finished watching the complete series of BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and i loved it.* i can see why so many people claim it was the greatest television series of all time. i actually was going to write a whole post on it, but changed my mind. i can't think of a single person to recommend it to.

i have joined the general population in the over use of the exclamation mark. comments on facebook and replies to email just seem more friendly sprinkled with a few! don't you think?!

*could possibly be the cause of afore mentioned loss of desire to read

Saturday, September 25, 2010

i read banned books

artwork by hollie chastain

happy banned book week, dear readers, and what great timing. have you been reading the buzz about the book SPEAK by laurie halse anderson being called "soft pornography" by this man?

i rarely rant in public.


does it sicken you as much as me? it's a book about a girl who learns how to speak up for herself. i have to agree with shannon hale on this one:

Let me clarify for those of you who haven't read Speak: it's about rape. A high school girl is raped. Rape, people. Pornography is "designed to stimulate sexual excitement." I am extremely sensitive to depictions of rape. I have turned off movies and put down books that even remotely crossed the line for me. Speak was not one of those. It's not graphic, it is definitely not designed to titillate. It is honest while being respectful. If someone reads that book and is stimulated by it, then they should SEE A THERAPIST.

This might be funny if it weren't so tragic and dangerous. This attitude is precisely what keeps girls silent when they should be speaking up, what makes them afraid of reporting rape, what lets perpetrators get away. Please, please don't confuse the issue. Rape is rape is rape. It is not sex. It is not sexy. It is violence. It is always wrong. Classifying this book as a kind of pornography is so insulting and damaging to survivors of rape. Ee gads. I'm so upset I'm contracting just thinking about it. Deep breaths, Mama.

in celebration of banned book week i would like the world to know how supremely grateful i am to live in a time and a place where i get to decide for myself and my family what content is appropriate (or not) for our house.

also, i think i'll read something on this list. i'm thinking DRACULA (which i've read, but it was a long time ago) or CANDIDE or PILLARS OF THE EARTH (which i haven't read). any suggestions?

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


the back story:

i ate "school-lunch style" breakfast, lunch and dinner with my daughter for 3 days when i went to the 5th grade camp with her school.

i got really sick. way too much sugar, preservatives and absolutely nothing healthy (unless you count the mushy, red-delicious apple, which i do not.).

i began packing my kids lunches.

i found this blog.

i obsess.

i blog.

my hope is that this post will open up someone else's eyes to the possibilities. i honestly enjoy my time spent in the morning packing their lunches. it reminds me that mothers who know are nurturers.

and if you don't have kids yet, please remember to nurture yourself. all these lunches came together really fast and a lot of them are just leftovers. it's not as hard as you think it might be.

lunch #1: leftover vegetable soup reheated in a thermos container. slice of homemade bread.

lunch #2: chef salad with ranch dressing and boiled egg. croutons. sliced cheese and homemade granola bars. recipe from here, (click for valuable/hilarious tips) but i substitute 1/4 c. maple syrup for the brown sugar and dried fruit and seeds for the chocolate chips. it's delicious both ways!

lunch #3: whole wheat bagel with cream cheese. orange slices. snap peas with ranch. annie's honey graham bunny crackers.

lunch #4: zucchini bread with cream cheese and cauliflower. pistachios. sliced apple.

lunch #5: grapes. peas (taken right from the freezer). carob raisins (no sweetener added). ham and cheese sandwich.

lunch #6: leftover lentil almond burger. edamame. sweet potato fries with ketchup in the sauce bottle.

lunch #7: blue and white corn tortilla chips and peaches. beans+salsa mix topped with cheese. green salad.

lunch #8: carrot sticks, olives, and boiled egg in a car shape. granola. honey yogurt topped with frozen mixed berries.

lunch #9: leftover southwest quinoa salad. (let me know if you're interested in my recipe.) raspberries and banana.

to reduce waste, we started using containers instead of plastic baggies. i love the new ziploc containers with the 3 divided sections. if you have anything juicy, they do a great job of keeping the rest of your food dry. they are dishwasher safe. there are similar boxes here for a little bit more that are BPA-free here. i'm planning on working them into the budget next.

i also love the sassy on-the-go feeding set. we use the containers that come with it almost every day. (perhaps you noticed the blue or pink containers in the pictures). and they're BPA-free.

both containers are available at target.

for lunch bags, i like the kind that doesn't tip the lunch up on the side. we found both of these at target:

so i hope that gets you started.

what do you do for lunch for yourself or your kids? share your ideas!

sources for things that i have and that i'd still like:
sassy on the go feeding set | target | $6.19
ziploc lunch containers | target | $2.39 for 2
lunch bags | target | $8 to $9
silicone muffin cups | amazon | $9.99 for 12
sauce containers | | $2.99 for 4
food picks | | $2.99 for 10
egg molds | amazon | $1.55 for 2
sauce container | the container store | $1.99
stainless steel lunch box | | $34.95 (maybe for christmas. kind of pricey for our budget)