Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Winner!

Congratulations KalykoKatt!  You're the winner of my GreenPaxx Cool Straws & Cool Caps Giveaway! Now all you need to do is reply to my email so I can let GreenPaxx know what colour you want and where to send them.  




You're going to love them :)

       

Those of you who didn't win this time can still get your own from GreenPaxx!  
Enter the code SUMMER at checkout to save 20% through September 14th!



Monday, July 30, 2012

Lunchtime, chop chop!

We got a cute little chopsticks and cutlery set as a bonus gift in our last package from BentoUSA / All Things For Sale, (which Bella claimed), and the girls have been all about the chopsticks ever since. Every night they ask if supper is something they can eat with chopsticks - and they have such fun when they get to. I while back I read this blog post at Minivan Stiletto - Making Food Fun : Eating with Chopsticks - and I'd been meaning to make them fun chopstick lunches ever since, so today I did.

Sprout had a muffin tin meal full of little piggy picks - stuck in her carrots, grapes, and noodles - and a little piggy soy sauce bottle too. A smiling tree trunk pick turned her broccoli into a happy little tree:


Birdie's muffin tin featured her favourite animal - elephants. Even her chopsticks have elephants on them :)  She had cherries instead of grapes though. And both girls had a fortune cookie.


Bella just wrapped up her Musical Theater Camp, so I added a touch of music & theater to her lunch, with a comedy & tragedy drink stirrer as a skewer for her ham & pineapple and a music note silicon baran separating it from her grapes. She also had some baby carrots, broccoli decorated with musical note picks, noodles, and a fortune cookie. Her child-size chopsticks fit perfectly in the cutlery compartment of her Laptop Lunches bento box.


       

Pickle's peanut butter sandwich was a pair of feet. They were kind of little, but he also had yogurt - and a fortune cookie. No fruit or veg though :( He won't eat applesauce anymore *sigh*


I had a fortune cookie too - it said:


Yay!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Cupcakes for Lunch

The little girls had peanut butter & honey cupcake sandwiches, sweet!

 

The cupcake Lunch Punch from the Sweet Set makes a sandwich that fits perfectly in a section of the Sassy box. In the muffin cups they have strawberry apple sauce, and in the swapped small containers that came with the Sassy boxes, vanilla yogurt with little flower cupcake sprinkles. Sprinkles make an ordinary lunch look like party food!

Today's your last chance to enter my
Cool Straws & Cool Caps Giveaway!


Don't miss it!

Stuff I used for these lunches:

Friday, July 27, 2012

Our Beloved Olympic Rings, All 7 of Them

Hooray, you made it! If you landed here via the Olympic Blog Hop and What's In Our Lunch Bags? then the space time continuum must still be intact. I hope you enjoyed the Whovian fantasticality of her bento. If you didn't come from there, be sure to go through the whole hop until you end up there!

And here is my Olympic bento lunch, Psych-o style:

Can you spot the Psych-isms in the lunch above? Answers below*

So I bet you are wondering what I mean by all 7 Olympic rings... I know, there are only 5 Olympic rings. I know. I looked at an image of them on the official Olympics website when I made the ones in this lunch.


No, I was referring to this scene from the TV show Psych:


I actually don't follow the Summer Olympics at all - just the Winter ones, and even then, just the hockey. And an Olympic themed lunch would mean nothing to the sproutlets. But Sailor Boy has some interest in them, and we both love Psych, so I made my hop bento a Lunch for the Man:


Sailor Boy's main course is teriyaki chicken & pineapple (with Psych references) and rice garnished with Olympic ring veggies. On the side he has pineapple on ring picks (Aha! There are 7 rings in this Olympic lunch!) and a heart-shaped hard-boiled egg (with a Canadian maple leaf pick) - because I always put a heart somewhere in his lunch, though sometimes it's hidden - for that little touch of love ♥

The coloured rings are sweet Hungarian pepper (dyed blue), yellow Sunburst tomato, Kalamata olive, jalapeno pepper, and red pepper.


Oooh, those Olympic rings gave me some trouble. They look pretty simple right? Well, kudos to real bento artists, because making designs with tiny pieces of veggies takes patience. Plus I had to soak pepper rings in dye overnight for the blue. I made a mess of several slices of veggies before I decided those would do.


It all came together rather nicely, I think. Sailor Boy said it was delicious (it was his lunch yesterday).  When I make him a lunch, I leave it where he will see it in the fridge in the morning, since he leaves before I wake. He knows the Easy Lunchboxes with the blue lids are his to take. But he didn't take the grape juice box! He said he thought I must have bought them for the kids. I don't ordinarily buy juice boxes for the sproutlets, not being able to see inside them kind of freaks me out... but I bought these grape juice boxes specifically for his Psych-themed lunch, and then he missed the reference, tsk tsk.  Oh well, the kidlets can have them now  :)

Now, jump through the Olympic rings (all 5 of them) to visit the next stop in the hop, and be amazed by what Lunch With Eyeness has done!


*Psych-isms: 
1. Suck it. No you suck it. A frequent exchange between Shawn & Gus. 2. Pineapple. There's one in every episode. 3. Grape juice box. "Two questions: Where can I get one of those, and does it come in Grape-ilicious?" Shawn, Psych 207. 4. Canadian maple leaf. Represents Pierre Desperaux, the elusive Canadian art thief - and the fact that the show is filmed in British Columbia, Canada, where I'm from, which is awesome :)

Stuff I used for these lunches:

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Happy One Year Blogiversary To Me!

Bent On Better Lunches is 1 year old today!

One year ago today I made my first blog post. Here's an excerpt:

This school year I aim to do better at providing nutritious, affordable, enjoyable lunches for my little ones ... I've seen a lot of blogs about bento lunches and kid-friendly lunches, and I'm inspired to adapt some of those ideas for my picky little sproutlets.

And I did it! I'm pretty proud of myself for following through, too.  So I made myself a little congratulatory bento:


Just kidding :) That's not actually a bento for me... it's a little snack bento I made for Bella, for after she'd helped around the house yesterday - some grapes and an oatmeal muffin decorated with cupcake picks. Bella's the only sproutlet home for lunch today, all the others are either at day camp or play dates. I made her a circus bento:


The circus tent is slices of watermelon and apple. Next she has cheese tortilla rolls - in a silicone box to keep them from getting soggy with fruit juice. And grape tomatoes with dancing circus animal picks. Cute little yelllow bento box don't you think! New circus food picks too. 


They were blogiversary gifts from JeeJee of Bento USA by All Things For Sale! And guess what? One of my lucky readers will win their own bento box and set of circus picks, as well as one of the snack size bento boxes and a set of character and message cupcake picks!

That's right, All Things For Sale is generously sponsoring a giveaway in celebration of my 1 year blogiversary! Here's what you could win:

Bento boxes, decorative food picks, and ring toppers available from BentoUSA

Thank you JeeJee & All Things For Sale :) And thank you, all of you, for reading and following and commenting! It's been a fun first year!

To enter the Giveaway, just leave a comment below! You can say anything - tell me something you like about my blog, your favourite post, something you'd like to see, ask a question, make a joke... whatever you like! Just one entry per person though please :)

Giveaway closes Monday,  July 30th, 9pm PST CLOSED. Prize provided by Bento USA by All Things For Sale.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Lunch is Bentoriffic!

I'm a guest poster on my friend Sarah's blog, Bentoriffic, today!

Click the pic to go see!

      

And don't miss my 
Cool Caps & Cool Straws 
Review & Giveaway!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Cool Review & Giveaway! GreenPaxx Eco-Friendly Reusable Cool Straws & Cool Caps

A few months ago, I received some fabulous new eco-friendly products to try out: Cool Straws and Cool Caps from GreenPaxx. My family liked them so much I bought more and we use them every day! This week I'm finally getting around to posting my Review of them,  & a Giveaway!

Cool Straws & Cool Caps are flexible, portable, reusable straws & lids. The straws come apart for easy cleaning, and can be rolled or folded up and will spring back into shape. The caps fit a wide variety of cup sizes and have a crosshatch opening for the straw. They come in blue & green or pink & green. There is also a Sealed cap with no straw opening.


I received 2 blue Cool Straws & 1 each of the regular and sealed Cool Caps to review. After trying them out, we wanted more, so I purchased some pink ones from the GreenPaxx website.

Of course, the first thing I did was try them on all my cups to see what they fit - and was pleased to discover they fit our Take 'n Toss cups perfectly! I've never considered those cups disposable - don't even get me started on the name that seems to encourage using them as such - but somehow over the years we have lost most of the flimsy caps and straws that came with them, which made them pretty useless since their rolled lip makes them uncomfortable to drink from. Cool Caps & Cool Straws to the rescue!


They also fit my pint glasses, Coca Cola glasses, coffee mugs, travel mugs, & mason jar glasses.


The "Sealed" Cool Caps are great for unfinished smoothies. 


What's in the glass?
Vanilla Coconut Strawberry Smoothie!

  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 cup strawberries (about 8 large)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract.   
  • Combine in blender. Add ice if desired. Blend. Enjoy :)
    If you don't finish it all,  cover it with a Cool Cap and save it for later! No "fridge flavour", & no mess if knocked over by rummaging children!

    I love that the Cool Caps fit my travel mugs. Now I can order iced coffee drinks in my own cup,  even the thick shake-like ones;  the Cool Straws are made for drinking thick drinks, like smoothies! 


    I keep a Cool Straw folded like this in my bag or pocket when we go out. My middle child has trouble drinking from bottles or cups without the use of a straw, but by bringing our own Cool Straw, it doesn't matter what his drink is served in. And by folding it in half and tucking the open ends together,  I can tote it back home in my pocket or bag without making a mess :)


    I really like our Cool Caps and Cool Straws. Some things I like about them:
    • They are reusable! Before we got our Cool Straws we were going through a box of disposable straws a week!
    • They are easy to clean. The straws come apart. I usually wash them in the dishwasher and they do stay in the cutlery basket.
    • They are portable. Both caps and straws can be squashed into a pocket or container and spring right back to shape.
    • They help stop messes. While the caps aren't completely spill-proof (there is a hole for the straw) they do keep drinks from sloshing out, and when tipped over, help keep spillage to a minimum, maybe even prevent them completely if you right the cup fast enough :) The lids also make a "bumper" on the edge of the glass, preventing breakage.
    • They are comfortable. The silicone straw is easy to drink from. We tried a stainless straw but didn't like the feel of the metal. And I don't trust my little biters with a glass straw. Which brings me to...
    • They are durable. My middle son is a chewer. The Cool Straws have survived for 3 months now! 

    Something else I like : GreenPaxx is passionately devoted to providing toxin-free options for protecting our environment from plastic pollution. Visit their website at http://greenpaxx.com/  to learn more about their ecologically responsible practices.  I really like that they offer the option to have your items shipped with minimal packaging. My Cool Straws & Cool Caps arrived wrapped in paper that I could easily reuse or recycle :)



    Want some Cool Straws & Cool Caps of your own?

    Enter my Giveaway for a chance to win 2 Cool Caps & 4 Cool Straws in your choice of pink or blue!
    or
    Buy them from GreenPaxx Use the code SUMMER to save 20% through September 14th!  http://GreenPaxx.com/


    To enter the Giveaway:

    Giveway Ends Sunday July 29th at 9pm PST Closed

    This giveaway is offered to US residents only.  Please do not enter this giveaway if you have received free products from GreenPaxx within the past 3 months. Retail value of prize is $19.90

    Disclaimer: I received 2 Cool Caps and 2 Cool Straws to review. I received no other compensation, and all opinions are 100%  my own.

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    ABC Lunches for 3

    Last week at the store I saw some Cheese Nips crackers in novelty shapes - and maybe it's the Navy rubbing off on me, but right away an acronym came to mind: Angry Birds Crackers - ABC.  So I bought them, and today the younger 3 sproutlets ate their ABCs for lunch.

    The 2 little girls got ABC muffin tin meals, with Apple wedge A's, boiled egg Bunnies, Carrot coins, Angry Birds Crackers, whole grain Alphabetti spaghetti, and yogurt with ABC sprinkles:


    Pickle had his ABC's in the form of peanut butter sandwiches. He too had an Apple, Bunnies, and a Carrot, stamped with the letters A B & C. He also had a cup of yogurt, without sprinkles, and not shown. The carrot was made with a rocket ship cookie cutter, upside down :)


    Bella had the rest of the Alphabetti spaghetti, with muffin cups of the Angry Birds crackers, tomatoes, & cheese on the side, but I didn't bother to snap a photo. Beanstalk had lunch at a friend's house.

           

    I haven't been blogging much,  we've just been too busy enjoying summer. We spent most of today splashing around in the pool I set up on our back porch. Well, the kidlets did - I observed from the shade, wearing a huge hemp straw hat for good measure (my skin does not like the sun), chatting with friends on my phone and occasionally getting doused with a water cannon :) In the afternoon Bella had Musical Theater Camp while I took the smaller sproutlets to the farmer's market. It was a nice day.

    My little mermaid Sprout.


    Stuff I used for these lunches:
        


    Monday, July 16, 2012

    Birthday Bento! Laissez les bons temps rouler!

    Today my firstborn is 11 years old. Happy Birthday #1 Son!  
    Beanstalk was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, and is proud of that, so for a special birthday lunch, I packed him a NOLA themed bento in one of his little sisters' Laptop Lunches. I chose a purple box of course, and purple, green, & gold inner containers - the traditional Mardi Gras colors :


    In the gold container, he has a State of Louisiana peanut butter sandwich and a blueberry pomegranate fruit leather fleur-de-lis (in 2 pieces). I would have liked to make him a po' boy but he wanted PB and it is his birthday...


    In one of the purple containers, he has a cinnamon roll covered in purple, green & gold sugar sprinkles, masquerading as a piece of King Cake. The baby is supposed to hide under the cake, but I stuck this one on top, next to the birthday hat pick, to represent my boy in his birthday suit :)


    In the green container, he has grapes on lamp post party picks, and half a granny smith apple with a fleur-de-lis shape cut from the peel. 


    The other purple container holds a fleur-de-lis cupcake pick nestled in some Smartfood white cheddar popcorn, with no special significance other than it's his favourite :)  Bit of snack trivia : Did you know the original Smartfood popcorn was created by the creators of Annie's Homegrown? Yep!


    And last but not least, a Lunchbox Love note telling him how much I love him ♥


    He was pretty happy with his birthday bento. Here he is opening his lunch (wearing one of his birthday gifts, a Doctor Who "Physician Unknown" t-shirt). He's looking down, but trust me, he was also wearing a big grin :)


    I found all the NOLA food novelties - the cookie cutters I used for the sandwich, fruit leather, and apple shape, the party picks in the popcorn and grapes, and the king cake baby - at Mardi Gras Outlet. 


    Happy Birthday! Laissez les bon temps rouler!

      Lunchbox Love
    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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