September 2011 archive

Allowance and Rewarding Good Deeds

The kid is 3 and we have been toying around the idea of chores, allowance, saving, and spending.  We came up with a plan that her chores would be to feed the dogs, treat the dogs when we leave and feed the fish.  She has a white board that she marks down each day after the task is completed. At the end of the week she gets a small amount of money.  She has 3 jars that the money is separated out into. The jars are "Save, Share and Spend" .  We make her save 10% of her money,  then she has to put some in the "Share" jar and then the rest in "Spend".  This seems to be working really well. The money she saves goes into a bank account every couple weeks at a bank that has a special program for kids.  The money that goes into the "Share" jar are going to be used for something around the holidays to help were needed.  The "Spend" money is for whatever she wants, usually a toy at the store but sometimes candy or some other treat. 

Then we came up with a system of rewarding good deeds.  I created the "Super Awesome Reward Coupon" .


We liked the idea of "mom bucks" but at her age we didn't think that each coupon needed to be a whole dollar.  We also liked the idea of saving them and working towards a goal. We decided on five different things she could work towards. The first item on the list was a $5 toy, an addition to a collection she already has. The second was a trip to the ice cream shop, with a super sundae. The third is a small doll, the forth is a large expensive doll and the last is a trip to the Washington DC Zoo.  I made a chart that at the end of the week she turns in her coupons selecting which item she wants to put it towards.  Each block is one coupon and some items have 20 blocks to fill in and others have over 100 blocks to fill. After 2 months of collecting she received her first reward.

Here is the Download Coupon file I made. I designed the little owl along with the saying "Spend Wisely".  We printed them on cardstock. They hold up very well after repeated use and being stored in wallets. 

The Bento – An attempt to get the kid to eat

I've been working on creating fun Bento lunches for the kid everyday to promote good eating. Wait, who am I kidding? It's an attempt to get her to eat something other than candy and doughnuts.  The Kiddo spends her days with me in an office setting. It's nice to be able to take her to work but hard on her since she's the only kid and has to occupy herself 80% of the day.

I have been researching bento lunches and came across this book, 'Just Bento' by Makiko Itoh .  This book is full of great recipes both traditional and non-traditional Japanese cuisine for boxes. I have tried several different recipes from the book, including the chicken nuggets and the ham rolls. I really enjoyed reading about how to prepare the rice. This book includes information about choosing a box and how to fill it. It is a companion to the website  

The boxes we've been using are simple sandwich holders. They are not "Bento Boxes" but they work well for now. I have researched several places to purchase a real box, and settled on  They had a great variety of sizes and fantastic prices. We ordered a Men's Box which is a  2 tiered which equals 1000ml. Another was a 580ml and one for the Kiddo that was 480ml. We also picked up some food picks, food barriers, and sauce containers.  I'll share when it arrives.

Here are a couple of pictures from the last couple weeks of Bentos.Bento

Longing for Salem

I long for the port of Salem, the wharf, the witches, pirates and shops.  We went up at least once a year while we lived in CT, it's been 4 years without a fix. 

BACKSTORY – I was in the fabric shop one day and I overheard the shop keeper telling another customer about this wonderful book, set in Salem, and the characters in it were "Lace Readers" like Tarot Card Readers or Palm Readers. The women of area spin and weave the lace.  I was hooked some of my favorite things. The strange and unusual and spinning. I pulled out the trusty iPhone made a note of the book to add to the Summer reading list. The book is 'The Lace Reader' by  Brunonia Barry.

Browsing the book shop at the Bosler Library, I came across a hardback copy of 'The Lace Reader' for only $2. What a great find!!! In between my library books, I read this one. It was strange. I loved the story but the chapters went from being told in the first person, to third person, flash backs, other characters in first person about the main character. A little odd but I loved the description of Historic Salem and the different locations. The lace weavers live on a little island, spinning and weaving. They are making bobbin lace, the Ipswich lace is what the reference is to, which I wanted to visit Ipswich Museum to see samples but didn't have time.

Based on a dream the author had about predicting the future by images seen in a piece of lace, she weaves a dreamlike story line into a magic novel. The story is about a woman who comes back to Salem, her childhood home. She has spotty memories about her childhood and comes back to town searching for answers, including information on her Great Aunt's mysterious death. Too much information on this story could ruin some of its mystery, so I'll just say it was interesting and I loved it.

This fueled my need for a Salem fix. When Husband said his sword fighting event was on the outskirts of Boston only 30mins away from Salem, I knew where I would be spending some time.

One thing I needed to see for myself was the statue of Roger Conant, the founder of Salem.  It is located in front the Witch Museum, facing the town green.  I have driven by it many times but in the book they make mention, if you look at the statue from a certain angle it looks like the Founder is doing something inappropriate on the town green.  Well, that is true.   Salem-3

Other than that we saw the Tall Ship,


the Pirate Museum,


ate Gelato


and did lots of shopping. The Kiddo loved the town and was able to find a Good Witch – the Statue of Samantha Stevens from Bewitched.