Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Blurry Flurry PlanetBox

If Bella's snowflake bento looks a little dark & blurry, it's because I took the photo out on our front porch before sunrise this morning, by the glow of the Christmas lights :) You can see them reflected here & there in the shiny stainless steel of the PlanetBox:

Holiday Snowflake PlanetBox School Lunch

Mia Bella's blurry flurry of snowflakes PlanetBox Rover contains:
  • turkey & asiago cheese roll-ups
  • cucumber snowflakes
  • white cheddar popcorn
  • a frosted gingerbread snowflake
  • flaky Ritz crackers
  • a foil-wrapped Dove Promises Snowflake chocolate treat
  • & a Lunchbox Love note to remind her that she's awesome :)
The cucumbers were cut with a mini snowflake cookie cutter, the roll-ups are secured with a Happy Holidays cupcake pick and red & white snowflake picks made of trimmed drink stirrers, and the gingerbread was a gift from a neighbour (that I frosted with cookie icing to show the detail).

This post is part of the Bento Bloggers & Friends holiday blog hop! 
Click the button to hop over & see What's In Our Lunch Bags? I know, some of you just came from there...  but surprise, there's moooore!


Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Everyday Bento Giveaway!

Just in time for Christmas! I'm thrilled to be giving away 2 copies of one of my favourite cookbooks ever, Everyday Bento by Wendy Thorpe Copley. This beautiful book, written by the author of one of my favourite blogs, Wendolonia, would make a wonderful gift for anyone who packs a lunch for their family or even themselves :)


I just LOVE this book! Aside from being gorgeous to look at, everything in it is completely do-able for just about anyone. The lunches are kid-friendly, made with ingredients even my picky sproutlets will eat :) The recipes are more than text directions & a photo of a finished bento; Wendy shows us step by step how to create every detail, with clear, colourful photos. She also explains the basics of bento packing, the techniques, the tools, the gear, & gives ideas for what to put on your grocery list. There's even a list of foods sorted by colour! Everyday Bento is THE book I recommend to anyone interested in packing fun lunches. Whether you're an absolute beginner or a seasoned bento packer, you'll find inspiration in Everyday Bento!

       

I was inspired by the festive Christmas Gift Bento Box! My version is slightly modified for my sproutlet's preferences & the bento accessories I have - I realized that I do not own a Santa pick! What?! I must get one :)


I used a Merry Christmas pick instead of a Santa. I did have leftover ham! I cubed it with FunBites cutter. I subbed raspberries & honeydew melon for the pomegranate & kiwi.  Instead of crackers, I cut up a tortilla to stack with the cheese, but kept the red pepper ribbon, which I affixed to the top slice with a bit of cheese spread.


I also added some cucumber slices cut with a holly leaf cookie stamp, & cut some red pepper circles for a holly berry & stacked them together using more cheese spread. I filled the bottom tier of the Fit & Fresh Lunch Pak Carrier with popcorn, a cloth napkinspork, & a Lunchbox Love for Christmas note. Bella loved it!


This festive bento was so easy to make, & quick! I find what takes up the most time when packing a bento is figuring out what to put in it, where to put it, & how to achieve the look. Everyday Bento does that for me & shows the steps for putting it all together! Love it 

       

Here's your chance to win a copy for yourself or to give as a gift!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 2 winners will be drawn & announced the morning of December 17th. Check back here, follow me on Facebook, or check your email to see if you've won - the winners will only have 24 hours to claim their prizes so there's (hopefully) enough time to deliver them by Christmas!

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this post. I was offered a complimentary copy of Everday Bento to review but declined it as I already have a copy :) This post does contain affiliate links to products I used. All opinions & images are my own. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Fit & Fresh & CuteZcute Koala Bento!

The folks at Fit & Fresh recently offered to send me some of their fantastic chilled lunch containers. I've had one small Fit & Fresh chilled container for a few years now - it's one of Beanstalk's favourites (see it in this post), so I'm familiar with Fit & Fresh's overall quality and their ice packs that snap into the lid, and was thrilled to say "yes, please" to getting more :) They sent me the Lunch Pak Carrier, the Dip N' Dunk Snack Container, and the Bento Lunch Kit, in which I packed this koala bento for Bella:


All the Fit & Fresh chilled containers have their own ice packs that snap into the lids. The bento lunch kit has 2! Very handy if you want to keep one side cold but not the other. The bento kit also comes with 2 lidded containers, or "pods", that fit into the small sections - perfect for packing runny foods, or foods you don't want getting condensation from the ice pack. I put a cloth napkin over the koala sandwich on the open side to keep it dry. 


The cloth napkin is from Beneficial-Bento, who, incidentally, happens to be a big fan of Fit & Fresh, and recently created a Pinterest board for meals packed in Fit & Fresh containers. Maybe she'll pin this post :)

To make the koala sandwich I used 2 very versatile CuteZcute tools, the Cuddle Palz Sandwich Cutter & Cookie Stamp Kit for the koala itself, & the new Fun Vegetable Cutter Set, for it's cheese moustache. (It was still "Movember" when I packed this bento - I'm really behind!) The 6 piece set also includes cute flower, butterfly, house, face, & top hat cutters :)


I tucked some pepperoni stick "bamboo" next to Bella's cute koala cheese sandwich. In the side containers I packed carrots & tomatoes, & grapes embellished with koala picks. Beside the koala sandwich I packed a little container of ranch dip for the veggies, & a box of dried cranberries - which inspired my choice of Lunchbox Love note (from our Thanksgiving volume).


The Fit & Fresh Bento Lunch Kit fits perfectly in it's included insulated chiller bag, which comes in a variety of colourful prints. Bella loves our bag's "Woodstock" print - it's cute but not childish, & her favourite colour!


The next day, Bella chose to have pizza at school, but took some veggies & dip as a side dish. The Dip N' Dunk Snack Container was perfect for that.


Like the other Fit & Fresh Chilled Containers,  the Dip N' Dunk has a snap in ice pack, but with a neat-o feature; it surrounds the dip well!


The lidded dip well holds 2 tablespoons in the centre of a tray in the top of the 1 cup capacity cube.  Plenty of room for enough fresh veggies for Bella's side dish. It would also be great for yogurt dip & fruit, or corn chips & salsa or cheese dip! I can think of lots of snack possibilities for the Dip N' Dunk :)


Hopefully I'll share the Christmas bento I packed in the Lunch Pak Carrier within the next couple of days. The 2 tiered box comes with an ice pack that can be snapped into the lid or under the top tier, as shown below.


All the Fit & Fresh containers are microwave, freezer, & top rack dishwasher safe (I recommend no heat dry or sanitize cycle though). They're easy for the littles to open, & \seem to be as durable as the one we've had for years that has been banged around plenty :)

Fit & Fresh containers are Sproutlet approved!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Popcorn Makes It Fun :)

As much as I love this time of year, whoa, is it busy! I'm still making the sproutlets lunches, just feeling too swamped & scattered to put much thought into them :) But the littles haven't seemed to mind.  Here's Sprout's lunch from today, packed in her purple Yumbox. I thought it was rather plain (and a little grain heavy), but when Sprout saw it, she shouted "Yay! Popcorn!"  I guess popcorn makes it fun! 


Monday, November 17, 2014

Leafy Fall PlanetBoxes with Lunchbox Love

How I love a fall morning in the Pacific Northwest! I love it being cool enough to make a fire in the wood stove, and how much more enjoyable my coffee is when there's still a bit of a chill in the air and it's not quite light out yet.  I love the fog that makes the world outside my window look soft and dreamy as it grows lighter. And I love the bright colours of the autumn leaves in contrast! 

I put some leaves and warm fall colours in the girls' lunches :)



In the PlanetBox Shuttle, I packed Birdie some yogurt with sprinkles (and a happy little spoon to eat it with), strawberries, and mini peanut butter & cheddar sandwich leaves. Her cloth napkin's print is Peanuts characters playing in the leaves. In the little green Woodstock box she has one of her Hallowe'en candies for a treat.  We love Snoopy & the Peanuts gang :)

Bella's PlanetBox Rover contains leaf-shaped turkey & cheddar quesadillas, Craisins dried cranberries,  cranberry & sage Triscuit crackers, apple wedges, a tube of almonds, babble cheese, and a Hershey's Kiss treat.


It's nearly Thanksgiving, so I got out our Lunchbox Love for Thanksgiving, we had a few notes left from last year. They've added a 4th volume this year! Each volume of 12 notes features thoughtful quotes about gratitude on the front and fun interesting facts about Thanksgiving on the back. 


There's still time to get some Lunchbox Love for Thanksgiving! Besides putting them in lunches,  you could include one (or a set!) with hostess gifts, or even use them as place cards at Thanksgiving dinner :)  And you can use my coupon code, BENTON, to save 15% :)

The note I added to Birdie's PlanetBox reminded me that it's about time to bring out my Little House books for Sprout!


Since it's Movember,  I chose a moustache print napkin for Bella, which I packed atop her quesadillas  & set her Lunchbox Love note on  - I like to save & re-use the notes if they don't get food on them :)


The trivia on the flip side of Bella's note was fitting for her cranberry-filled lunch - it inspired me to add a leaf bento pick to her Babybel cheese :)


That orange tubular container the almonds are in is a repurposed mini M&M's tube! Fits perfectly in that section of the PlanetBox Rover.

Below are the spring-loaded pastry stamps I used to make the leaf mini sandwiches in Birdie's lunch. They make a great impression on the bread! 



Do the colourful sprinkles on the yogurt look like autumn leaves to you?


I think they do... but they are actually turtles! They came in this Sea Accents sugar sprinkles assortment of marine creatures :)


Happy Fall, y'all!


Disclosure: My posts contain affiliate links to products & services I've used & approve of  :)  If you make a purchase after clicking one of those links, I earn a small commission. Thank you!


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