Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ladybug Girl at the Beach - Summer Blog Hop

For my Summery-themed BBF Summer Blog Hop lunch, I couldn't really think of anything creative to do. Until about a week ago when I brought Baby in to Z's room during bedtime stories. They were reading Ladybug Girl at the Beach. Perfect!

From the moment I first laid eyes on the book Ladybug Girl, I knew it was for us! I didn't even have to flip through it or read reviews or anything. I just *knew* Little Z would love it! And I was right! Now, I'm a super cheap frugal person, so I couldn't justify just buying all the books in the series even though I desperately wanted to. I got Ladybug Girl and Bumblebee Boy at Costco for her birthday last year, even though we didn't even have the first book yet. But somehow we've accumulated all of the rest in the series over time. Thank goodness. I no longer have this overwhelming urge to go on a book spending-spree!

In this story, Ladybug Girl and her family take a trip to the ocean. Ladybug Girl is a little intimidated by the water. So she does her best to avoid going in, until she is so engrossed in her activity that she doesn't notice the tide coming in and carrying her bucket away. So she has to face her fears in order to rescue her pail. And discovers that the water and waves weren't so bad after all.
Stick around and read more, then hop through a complete circuit and see a ton of fun Summer-y lunch ideas and themes. Hop on to see what Kat at Obento Momma! has come up with! 

 Ladybug Girl at the Beach
Green beans and sugar snap peas, PB-Nutella sandwich,
  honey Greek yogurt w/ ginger cookie crumbs, strawberries
Life's a Beach: I was out of Greek honey-flavored yogurt, but I had some plain Greek yogurt earmarked for smoothies (which for some reason always come out tasting like dirt so far...) To make it look like the ocean, I used a whole ton of blue from my natural food colors, and still only got a pale purple color. Oh well. 
I added a huge dollop of honey to sweeten it, and then added a little more after mixing and taste-testing. I usually mix inside the EasyLunchbox compartment, to save on dishes, but for this lunch I had already created and assembled everything else, and there was no way I was going to risk messing anything up by jostling the container around while adding and stirring things up. So I instead plopped way too much into a separate bowl, which is why I needed so much food color and honey. On the plus side, I got a little midnight snack for myself. :)
That little sad-looking little blob in the "water" is a bucket I cut free-hand out of fruit leather. Since Lulu's (Ladybug Girl) bucket floats away in a wave.

For the "sand," I dug through the tub of Trader Joe's Ginger Cat cookies for broken bits, and smashed them to smithereens in a small Ziploc baggie. Actually, I was able to just gently crush them by pushing and grinding around on top of the bag with a knife handle.
And if you'll notice, the "sand" comes up on the side, all the way over to the sandy sandwich beach, where Ladybug Girl is staying safe and dry. Purely coincidental I totally planned that.

Strawberry "Ice Cream": I added in the last of the strawberries, mostly because with the seeds, they always remind me of ladybugs. The ice cream cone pick represents one of the methods Ladybug Girl used to stall going into the ocean - going with her mom to get ice cream at the snack bar.

Ladybug Girl in a Bento: Using a peanut-butter-Nutella sandwich as the base (I cut off the crusts and cut the sandwich into thirds to make it easier for her to eat later,) I built a "peeking" Ladybug Girl out of cheese, fruit roll-up, a strawberry, and some toffee licorice rope.
I used my faces cutter to make the head out of mozzarella, and the hair out of a Betty Crocker Simply Fruit Roll-Up. I have some fruit leather from Trader Joe's, but she doesn't really like it. So I thought I'd try this thinner version, once I heard that the Simply Fruit ones are artificial dye- and flavor-free. Hopefully she'll like it. If nothing else, it was *much* easier to cut with the plastic cutter, and a large enough surface for bigger designs in the future.
For the headband (strawberry) and bangs (fruit roll-up,) I used the bangs part of the faces cutter, then slid it down and used it again to cut another half-circle underneath the top, instead of leaving the jaggedy "bangs" edge.
I had some toffee licorice string from IKEA from forever ago. The English part of the ingredients is torn off, but from what I can tell in French, it uses natural flavors and colors. So I didn't throw it out in the purge. If I hadn't been feeling lazy, I could even have found bendy bits to use to make the antennae more jaunty. Oh well. I used a straw to cut little circles from a strawberry for her deely-bopper bobbles.
Her "wings" are the two outer slices from the strawberry used for the headband and antennae. I didn't do anything to them, other than slicing them off the berry!
To make her features, I used unsweetened cocoa powder and water. I thought about combining a drop of each of my natural food colors to make a dark brown or black, but decided to try the cocoa first. Meh. I used a toothpick, so it's possible it was the instrument that was the problem, rather than the medium. Either way, just as sucky as the Wilton food color pens which we're no longer using, so I decided it was good enough, for a dye-free effort.

To avoid having to make Lulu's body and costume, I decided to make her and her wings peek out from behind some chopped-up green beans. Even though it has nothing to do with this particular story. I also added some sugar snap peas we just got at our CSA farm last week. They're nice and plump, and she likes opening them up and getting the peas out!

Z ended up eating most of it. I was pleased to discover that she ate almost all the veggies (she left some of the cut green beans. She likes splitting them open and eating the "peas" out from the inside first, then eats the outsides. So maybe the little ones weren't as appealing for that.) She ate 2/3rds of the sandwich, and most of the yogurt. Plus the extra leftover crumbs that I offered her. She smeared around the now-sticky fruit leather hair on the cheese head, but didn't eat it. She did try the leftover fruit leather, but mostly licked it, before letting me know I could eat it. But not throw it out. Just eat it. [I totally threw it out! Licked fruit leather? Ew.] To my surprise she didn't eat the strawberries at all, until much later, after dinner.
   faces cutters


  1. Love this lunch! I will have to look for Bumblebee Boy to read to my son.

  2. This looks awesome! Way to go Mama!

    ~ Shannon

  3. OMG. LOVE LOVE LOVE. My girls are all oohing and aaahhing over this right now :)

  4. SUCH a fantastic job, Kendra! I love this so much. Your ladybug girl is so fantastic!! :)

  5. I love it!!!!!! Thanks for all the great how-to detail. Now I want to buy the book and attempt to re-create your lunch! :)

  6. You did such an amazing job Kendra! I love the details on LadyBug girl!!! :)

  7. Ladybug girls is a favorite at our house! I can't wait to show this to my girls :) So amazing Kendra!

  8. Looks awesome! What a great job...it reminds me of Fern Gully!

  9. This is just super! Love Ladybug Girl, both the book and yours!

  10. I just love how adorable this lunch is, AND the way you write. Great post!

  11. Love this post Kendra! Now you made me get the book as well :) I love the way you presented your lunch. I connected with the book right away. I love the pail floating on the pool of yogurt with the cookie crumbs as sand. Fabulous idea!

  12. The ladybug girl is so amazing! And I love the beach, water and pail! And the whole compelation! Amazeballs!

  13. Your ladybug girl is super cute. I love that she is hiding in veggies!

  14. Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

  15. Oh my goodness! It's too cute to eat. Love it. And I thought I was clever putting a face on the outside of a banana- lol. Stopping over from a blog hop (JDaniel's Mom). Will follow. :) I'll have to look for that book for my little guy.

    Creative and Curious Kids

  16. This is absolutely adorable. What a fun idea!

  17. Don't know Ladybug Girl, but it's adorable! Thanks for linking up at Bento Blog Network!

    Diana Rambles
    Bento Blog Network

  18. We LOVE ladybug girl, and this is our latest book from her! What a beautiful bento you made, thanks so much for posting. And I think your cocoa painting is fab. Love the idea.


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