August 20, 2010

Back to School

I began this week with mixed feelings. I knew I was going to miss these two cuties, I was nervous for both of them because they both started new schools, I was sad that this would be Maddie's last 1st day of school with us and I was worried about being left alone with plenty of spare time to think about what happened to my Mom.

It turns out I had no reason to worry whatsoever. Sweet Hubby took Monday off and we enjoyed a rare date day. The girls have had a great week at school although Maddie's got off to a bit of bumpy start in her 1st class of her 1st day. When asked last night how they would rate their comfort/happiness at their new schools on a scale of 1 to 10, Emma said a 7 and Maddie 8! All things considered I'd say that's not too bad for the first week in a new school! As for me? It's been a surprisingly good week for me. I feel like I'm getting my grove back. I even plan on getting back to some Cottage type blogging next week. Gasp!

But before I do, I thought I'd share some fun back to school things with you. I believe this is the cutest lunch box and thermos ever. Emma loves all things French as well as all things Japanese. We found this at Borders of all places!

Every year on the first day of school as well as various other school days, I make these yummy chocolate chip muffins. They are always served on these plates. We call them happy plates and clearly you can't eat anything off of a plate covered in cherries and not be happy. Am I right?

Back to School Muffins aka Monday Muffins aka Bad Day Muffins
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup milk
1 cup chocolate chips
demerara sugar

Grease 10 muffin cups or liners.

Preheat oven to 400°. Combine flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil in a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Fill muffin cups right to the top and sprinkle with demerara sugar. You can skip this part but my kids would have my head on a platter if I even considered it.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

Then just in case those muffins weren't bad enough, I found some yummy fun treats at Trader Joe's. These yummy alphabet cookies

and these yummy bags of Kettle Corn. Truthfully I bought these because of the packaging. That is the most beautiful food packaging I've ever seen. And it's my favorite color! It made me want to design an entire party around it. Is that wrong?

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and I'll be back next week to talk cottage with you.


  1. My kids loves those cookies! You reminded me to get some for school lunches. You're husband's so sweet-I love day dates! And my kids are arguing as I write this-I cannot wait to shove them out the door onto the school bus-is that so wrong?!

  2. all fixed...glad the kiddos are rating in a 7 & 8, in kind language that's a 10.
    Your not allowed to get lonely, call me if you need company.

  3. wow!!! you are a perfect mom! like those you see in the movies!!!
    i have two boys 3 and 1 years old and can't wait to send them to school!!! hihihihi! just kidding!!!

  4. I am so happy that your kids love their new schools. That is always a biggie, isn't it? Your little girls are adorable, by the way! It is funny how each season of life brings about changes for us....and losing a family member changes the dynamics completely.

    I love your Cheery Cherry plates..they make ME smile too. We live in the cherry capital of the USA- Door County, I have a fondness for cherry things. Diana

  5. That is NOT Maddie in that photo! Stop it! I honest to goodness scrolled down thinking you were going to say that your long lost supermodel pal was in town to see the girls off on their first day of school. For reals. She looks so grown up and beautiful! And Emma? She's a lovely, too. Your girls are both such a perfect reflection of you, my dear.

  6. Wishing both of your girls a fabulous year at school! They are such beauties!

    Love your happy plates -- what a great idea! :)

    Hope you have a good weekend!


  7. Sure can see the love between both girls.
    And you sure know how to make them feel special.
    Here's to a great year for ALL of you!
    (your husband sure is a super guy)

  8. That is definitely the cutest lunch pail ever!

  9. I just bought those Kettle Corn bags for the exact same reason. I'll have to try those cookies next time I opted to the Original Animal Crackers this time :)
    Glad you had a good week. Hope the decorating of your new home is coming along well.

  10. I agree...your girls are just beautiful and look just like you. So glad they got off to a good start with school...


  11. Oh my goodness your girls are so lovely. They must have an awesome mom! I'm glad this week has gone so well - yet another sign that the Village has just been waiting on y'all. Please bring several bags of that popped corn to our Busy Bee Society Inaugural meeting. Thank you.

  12. Glad you all had a good week. Love that lunch box!

  13. Maddie looks like she's 22 yrs old!! And GORGEOUS! And sweet Emma is a darling!!! I think Maddie looks JUST like you and Emma looks like Jim with a HINT of you!
    Love reading that she is going to start back with riding lessons! Girl after my own heart! :)

  14. So glad they are enjoying their new schools. Glad that you have such a sweet husband, so sensitive to you, those day dates are fun! have a wonderful weekend. Jackie

  15. I love the muffin plates. What a great tradition for your girls to remember. I'm glad they are adjusting to the new school so well. I think anything above 5 is super for a new school!

  16. What beautiful girls you have! Going back to school is always harder on us parents than it is the kids, I think. We worry about them so much, but they always do okay. :)
    I love that little lunch box and thermos! I wish I could have had those when I was in school. Lucky Emma! And that muffin looks delicious. I wish I could reach through my computer screen and grab it!
    Hope you have a great weekend!

  17. THANK YOU for posting! I always love visiting...

    Common Cents

  18. hi jen,

    we would so hang out if we lived near each other.

    1) i once planned an entire party because of finding a cute carnival font online and just the other day i asked a waitress for an extra placemat so that i could take it home (see latest blog post), so i completely 'get' your swooning over the popcorn bag. i mean, who wouldn't?

    2) every first day of school eve i bake a cinnamon bread to lure the boys downstairs on time.

    school begins for us a week from tuesday. i am filled with excitement (projects! blogging!) and wistfulness. my boys will begin 2nd and 4th grades.

    ahead of me: the dreaded back to school haircuts ...


    your girls are beautiful!

  19. I came by to check in on you. I read about your mother and that whole tragedy. And I've thought of you from time to time. In my other life I was a journalist, and I covered terrible things like that. I am glad to see a smile on your face. And it looks quite real.

  20. I truly believe that is indeed the cutest lunch box and thermos EVER.

  21. Soooooo glad your mom is ok.
    CUTE lunch box.
    I love your view on life so very much. I love the fact that your enjoying the "village". I think you have found your place.
    Hope your having a great weekend. Enjoy the girls while they are still in school.
    Love Claudie

  22. So glad that things are improving in "The Village".
    The house always seemed so lonely for the first few weeks after the kids went back to school. I am now adjusting to not being on the school schedule and really miss buying cute lunch boxes!
    Looking forward to some cottage posts.

  23. Insanely gorgeous girls you have there, Jen. I'm so glad things are well at their new schools - that's such a biggie. We still don't start for a couple weeks! Crazy. And I LoVe that lunchbox set. Fun, fun, fun.

  24. Yay for back to school! I can't tell you how I'm looking forward to that :) I'm so glad that your girls are settling in so well.

    I must go to Trader Joes for those alphabet little lady needs those in her lunch box.

  25. Your daughters look so sweet
    and happy. Glad they enjoyed
    their first week of school and
    hope it continues.

    It was soooo sweet of your
    Sweet Hubby to take Monday off
    and take you on a date! I would
    say he is definitely a keeper! :)

    As for the popcorn....I'm so
    glad I'm not the only one that
    loves the bag!! The first time
    I saw them I was with a friend
    and when she saw I had BAGS of
    them in my cart she said, "Tell
    me you aren't buying that for
    the bag???" Of course, I fibbed!!

    Take care, Jen, and enjoy this
    coming week.


  26. It's so hard to believe that it's back to school time already. Love the lunchbox...cute.

  27. Hi Jen,

    Sounds like so far, so good. My girls (do you know I have an Emma too?) start the day after Labor Day. My Emma starts middle school so she is a little worried about that.

    Oh, and I love the Trader Joe's packaging! My girls love the kettle corn, the snack size packages are cute too!

  28. I am so happy that school has started well for your girls. That lunch box is too cute! Thank you for sharing so candidly about what this transition has been like for you. It's so helpful to me as we take a serious look at where we are and what we want for our children and ourselves. I love all the cottage charm you share too!

  29. Such great back to school traditions ♥ Love that sweet little "Happy Plate" with the painted cherries ~ so adorable!
    Wishing Maddie & Emma a wonderful school year.

  30. that is the cutest lunch box ever! where did you find it? please tell :D

  31. Glad they are off to a good start at school! My oldest Hailey is starting a new school this year and the anxiety level is high. I love your idea of making a special treat for the first day. I'm going to have to copy!
    I was just thinking the other day as I was shopping for company, why can't things some in cuter packaging? Logos these days are just bold and ugly. A party around those bags sounds genius. :)

  32. I just shopped Trader Joe's on Saturday for school lunches and came out with the same schoolhouse cookies and popcorn! Have to pack the first lunch ever (first grade starts tomorrow) tonight. Just might have to make those special chocolate chip muffins for first day of school breakfast!


Thank you for taking the time to say hello today! I always love to hear what you have to say.