28 August 2015

1-2-3-BENTO


Today, I am here to show you how quick and easy bento can be.  All you need is a couple of inexpensive items.  I packed this lunch into a bento box that I bought at Daiso Japan for $1.50.  I also used a dinosaur sandwich cutter that was bought at the Dollar Tree for $1.  That's it!  I placed all the food to be packed into the bento box on a plate for a reference for everyone to see.  A statement that is often made in the comments of bento lunches is, "that does not look like very much food".  But, as you can see in the plated photo there is plenty of food for a young child.  The sandwich is a plain turkey sandwich.  Assemble the sandwich with whatever fillings your child likes best.  Then whip out your awesome $1 dinosaur sandwich cutter.  Place the cutter on top of the sandwich push down and twist from side to side till the cutter cuts through the entire sandwich.  Now you have two dinosaurs.  Stack the dinosaur sandwiches on top of each other and place into the bento box.  I used the sandwiches to section off the bento.  On the left side of the dino I added the green grapes and tucked in the Babybel cheese.  On the right side I packed the veggies - mini sweet pepper and grape tomatoes.  And just like that 1-2-3-Bento!











For more bento-style lunch ideas check out my book Happy Bento!
Posted By: Anna Adden | Labels : |
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24 August 2015

My Favorite Things Giveaway {Non-Lunchbox}



I'm switching things up today.  I thought I would give some products that I love a time to shine.  We use all of these products almost daily but they rarely make it into my bento lunch photos.   Of course, I can't share my favorite things without giving you an opportunity to win them.



Juice in the Box - these are awesome little juice / water bottles.  Leakproof and sturdy.  Made from tritan.  Read my whole review here.  I loved them so much I bought more.  We have used them almost daily since I posted that review and they have held up well.  One of the latches broke on the front of one of our boxes and their customer service was amazing.  They stand behind their products!


Funkins -  Reusable napkins that can double as a placemat.  They come in many different designs including holiday prints. They are double sided with a different complimentary print on each side.  We use them all the time and they still look new.  Read the full review here.



Mabel's Labels - I have been using Mabel's Labels since my daughter was born.  I can not express my love for them.  They are awesome and stay put.  I found an empty bottle in my garage and I had to forcefully peel the label off the bottle, more than 4 years after I first stuck it on.  We use them everyday.  All of our lunch gear is labeled with a Mabel's Label.  Pictured above is their ultimate back to school combo pack.  The pack includes:  40 mini labels, 50 tag mates (for clothes), 16 shoe stickers, and 2 mini bag tags.


After compiling the list of my favorite products for this giveaway, I realized they all have something in common.  They are all Canadian businesses.  Canada, you rock!!

Giveaway

One lucky reader will win 1 Juice in the Box,  3 Funkins, and the ultimate back to school combo pack of labels from Mabel's Labels.  Winner may choose colors and/or designs of all three items. This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only and will close at 11:59 PM PST on Friday 8/28/15.  Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond.  Non-responders will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn.  Please enter the Rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Precidio, Funkins, and Mabel's Labels are sponsoring this giveaway.  Please visit the sponsors on Facebook and give them a like.  Be sure to follow Becoming A Bentoholic on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to stay up to date on all the upcoming back to school posts.


Items featured today:





For more bento-style lunch ideas check out my book Happy Bento!
Posted By: Anna Adden
82 comments

21 August 2015

BTS with yubo & FunBites {plus giveaway}


Is everyone ready for another giveaway?  This time I've teamed up with yubo and FunBites to bring you this awesome Back to School giveaway.  FunBites and yubo are Shark Tank buddies so it seemed fitting to pair them together :)  The yubo is one of several lunchboxes featured in my new book Happy Bento!   In the basic bento section of the book, a kabob lunch is presented in a yubo.  Today's lunch is a spin off from the lunch in the book.



Packed up in our yubo - Vanilla yogurt with frozen blueberries mixed in, cotton candy grapes (so, so good), mini sweet peppers, and PB&J sandwich kabobs.  The FunBites square cutter quickly cuts the sandwich into equal bite sized squares, a perfect size for threading onto skewers.

Giveaway

One lucky reader will win a yubo lunchbox,  FunBites cutter, and a copy of my book Happy Bento!.  Winner may choose the yubo of their liking from getyubo.com and may also choose the Funbites cutter - squares, triangles, or hearts. This giveaway is open to US residents only and will close at 11:59 PM PST on Wednesday 8/26/15.  Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond.  Non-responders will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn.  Please enter the Rafflecopter below.


FunBites & yubo are sponsoring this giveaway.  Please visit the sponsors on Facebook and give them a like.  Be sure to follow Becoming A Bentoholic on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to stay up to date on all the upcoming back to school posts.



For more bento-style lunch ideas check out my book Happy Bento!
Posted By: Anna Adden | Labels : |
34 comments

17 August 2015

Back to School GIVEAWAY {open WORLDWIDE}


In case you missed the memo last week, my book Happy Bento! has officially been released.  This week I have teamed up with CuteZcute and Monbento to offer you an awesome back to school prize pack giveaway.  The Monbento Tresor was introduced earlier this year as part of Monbento's new kids collection.  It is available in four fun color combos - blueberry, banana, kiwi, and raspberry.  You can read my full review here.  CuteZcute has several cute cutter sets.  All are cleverly thought out and designed to make fun and cute lunches easy to prepare.  Both of these products are featured in my book and I think that they work perfectly together.


Let's see an example......


In this bento:  Green grapes, red, yellow, & orange pepper rings, and a ham & cheese CuteZcute tiger sandwich on a bed of lettuce.

Shown above is the Monbento Tresor in banana and the tiger from the CuteZcute cuddle palz set.


Giveaway

One lucky winner will win a Monbento Tresor,  CuteZcute cutter set (choice of Animal Friends, Animal Palz, Cuddle Palz, or Robo Bread), and a copy of my book Happy Bento!.  This giveaway is open Worldwide and will close at 11:59 PM PST on Friday 8/21/15.  Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond.  Non-responders will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn.  Please enter the Rafflecopter below.


a Rafflecopter giveaway


MonbentoBentoUSA are sponsoring this giveaway.  Please visit the sponsors on Facebook and give them a like.  Be sure to follow Becoming A Bentoholic on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to stay up to date on all the upcoming back to school posts.


Items used today:




For more bento-style lunch ideas check out my book Happy Bento!
Posted By: Anna Adden | Labels : | |
77 comments

11 August 2015

Happy Bento is Here!


Today is the official release date of my book Happy Bento!  I'm so excited that it is finally here.  Let me tell you a little about it.  First off, it is a paperback "bento size" book measuring 6 x 6 x 0.4 inches but rest assured there is a lot packed into this book.  The contents of this book include:  a brief overview of the tools used, 50 colorful bento lunches (only 2 previously posted on this blog before), step by step written directions, tutorial photos, and a shopping section.  There are 160 pages in all. The first chapter is all about basic no fuss bentos that anyone can make.  The focus of this chapter is mainly on providing ideas of what to pack inside your child's lunch.  While the rest of the book concentrates on showing you how to take those basic lunch ideas and turn them into kid friendly themed lunches.  I hope you love it!!!  Get your copy hot off the press from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-MillionBooks & Things, or Powell's.  



Today's bento lunch was inspired by the "Busy Bee" bento in my book Happy Bento!  I switched out a few things to make a Winnie the Pooh themed bento.  Here's what in the lunch:  cantaloupe bee hive, blueberries, Annie's bunny crackers, red pepper, and a breakfast sandwich.  The breakfast sandwich is an English muffin with egg, cheddar cheese, and bacon inside.  Atop the sandwich is a Winnie the Pooh cheese cut out.  The ECOlunchboxes oval comes with a round inner container.  However, this English muffin was a little larger then the provided container.  I, of course, happen to have another slightly larger round stainless steel container which I ended up using.  Another option is to trim the sandwich with a round cookie cutter to fit whatever containers you have on hand.


Win everything you need to make this bento lunch!!


Giveaway

One lucky winner will win an ECOluncboxes oval (or if you already own this one you may choose the Blue Water splash box), Winnie the Pooh and Tigger cookie cutters, lettuce silicone cup set (my favorite!), bento pick set (bee, flower, ladybug, and shamrock), and a copy of Happy Bento!.  Giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only and will close at 11:59 PM PST on Monday 8/17/15.  Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond.  Non-responders will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn.  Please enter the Rafflecopter below.


ASHLEY T. is the Winner!!  Congratuations.


ECOlunchboxes, BentoUSA, my publishing co - Cedar Fort Publishing, and myself are sponsoring this giveaway.  Please visit the sponsors on Facebook (ECOlunchboxes & BentoUSA) and give them a like.  Be sure to follow Becoming A Bentoholic on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to stay up to date on all the upcoming back to school posts.

ECOlunchboxes is currently running a Kickstarter campaign to expand their Blue Water Bento line.  Visit their Kickstarter page and back them for an awesome deal on their new products.


Items used today:
Posted By: Anna Adden | Labels : | |
45 comments

07 August 2015


Fit & Fresh has been making innovative lunch gear for quite some time now.  In fact, you have probably run across this brand before in a store near you.  Needless to say, I was thrilled when they contacted me about reviewing their Bento Lunch Kit.


Included in the Bento Lunch Kit - insulated bag, divided lunch container with lid, two ice packs, and two bento "PODS".  The lunchbox is BPA free and microwave, freezer, and top rack dishwasher safe.  The lunchbox measures (roughly with my own tape measure) 9 1/2 in long x 5 1/2 in wide x 2 1/4 in deep.  The large compartment holds 3 cups and the small compartments hold 3/4 of a cup each.  The bento PODS hold 1/2 cup each.  That's a lot of food.  The box is quite large but packing can be adjusted and geared to the right age group.  For younger kids you could pack their entire lunch in the large compartment and use the smaller compartments for morning and afternoon snack.  Fill the whole lunchbox for  growing teenager and adult appetites.  This kind of planning and thinking makes this a versatile lunchbox that can be used by the entire family!


As you can see the lunchbox fits perfectly inside the provided insulated bag with no room to spare.  This can be a problem when packing school lunches since there is no room to fit a drink inside the lunch bag nor is there a pocket to hold a drink bottle on the outside.  My suggestions are to either pack the lunchbox in a larger lunch bag or pack the drink inside of the lunchbox (see lunch near bottom of post).  This becomes less of an issue for older kids or adults that have access to water coolers or vending machines at school or work.

The lunchbox is not leak proof.  I recommend packing any runny items such as yogurt or applesauce into the provided bento PODS.  The PODS fit perfectly into the side dish compartments and they have their own lids. 


Another great feature of Fit & Fresh are the built in ice packs.  Two ice packs snap into the inside of the lid - one above the main compartment and the other over the side compartments.  In the lunch below I only used the small side dish ice pack since my son prefers to not have cold peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  Please note that it is normal for the ice packs to produce condensation.  I recommend placing a napkin between the ice pack and your sandwich to avoid soggy sandwiches.

Here's lunch....


In this bento:  Baby carrots, ranch dressing in the star container, green grapes, Honest Kids juice pouch, and "ABC" peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.

Overall we really like the Fit & Fresh Bento Lunch Kit.  It came in really handy this summer for Day Camp since I needed to pack a lunch and two snacks.  Being able to pack all the food for the day into one lunchbox was quite nice!

Giveaway

One lucky winner will win a Fit & Fresh Bento Lunch Kit.  Winner chooses from Sun Swirls or Woodstock pattern.  Giveaway is open to US residents only and will close at 11:59 PM PST on Wednesday 8/12/15.  Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond.  Non-responders will forfeit the prize and a new winner will be drawn.  Please enter the Rafflecopter below.



Fit & Fresh is sponsoring this giveaway.  Please head over to their Facebook page and give them a like.  Be sure to follow Becoming A Bentoholic on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, or Pinterest to stay up to date on all the upcoming back to school posts.

Items used today:


Disclosure - Fit & Fresh sent me the Bento Lunch Kit for this review.  No financial compensation was received.  All opinions are mine based on my own use of the product.



For more bento-style lunch ideas check out my book Happy Bento!
Posted By: Anna Adden | Labels : |
21 comments
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