Friday, August 30, 2013

Flashback Friday : Lunch by Ludicrous Mama!

I snapped a photo of Birdie riding her "horsey" the other day, and looking at it today I was reminded of this bento my friend Ludicrous Mama made in my family's honour, after spending the day with us. Isn't that sweet?  
You have to visit Biting The Hand That Feeds You and read her entertaining post detailing each component of the bento & what it represents :)

Here's the photo of Birdie on her horsey.  It's a bouncy horse, not a rocking horse, but close enough :) She's mad about horses lately. Her current favourite song is even "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses". But she prefers the Garbage cover over the U2 original, or as she calls it, "the girl one".

Thanks for the lunchy love Ludicrous Mama!


Nobody had a bento lunch today.
Pickle had elephant family peanut butter sandwiches:

It's the last weekend of the summer! Hope you have a good one :)
Don't forget to enter my Giveaways!
  1. Red Poppy Cloth Napkins
  2. LunchBots Dips Condiment & Snack Containers
  3. Custom ThrifTee Gear Lunch Bag

Elephant cutters used for Pickle's lunch:

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

My Bento Packing Secret!

I've often been asked variations of this question: "Doesn't everything just get all messed up / spill out / fall to the bottom when you turn the lunchbox sideways to carry it?" The answer is, not usually. Either I fill the container so there's no "wiggle room", or I use one of our handy-dandy multi-purpose reusable cloth napkins to fill the empty space :) I'll show you...

Here's one of my favourite fun bentos - I love the gummy worm in the apple-shaped sandwich. But it's not tightly packed, so yes, if I just turned it on it's side like this, the ABC biscuits  & the gummy worm probably would fall to the bottom and spoil the effect when Sprout opened her lunch...

ABC Wormy Apple Back to School Bento Lunch
No worries - I used her cloth napkin, folded over 3 times for the thickness I needed, to fill the space and keep things from shifting:

My Bento Packing Secret
With the napkin holding everything in place, I can turn it sideways, the way it will be carried in the lunchbox and nothing moves. Well, not much. There was some minor shifting of the small plastic apple cups, but no spillage :) Yay!

ABC Wormy Apple Back to School Bento Lunch
So that's it, that's my bento packing secret! Nothing exciting, just a useful tip ;) 


We have lots of cloth napkins in many colourful prints! They not only help keep the lunch trash-free, they make it more fun! Here are some of them:

Cloth Napkins by Beneficial Bento

Reusable Cloth Napkins

Monday, August 26, 2013

LunchBots Dips Review & Giveaway

Happy Monday! I have a LunchBots Dips review & giveaway for you! LunchBots Dips Condiment Containers are a favourite of mine, they are so useful, both in a LunchBots or on their own! I like them enough that I even raved about them in an Amazon review :) Today I've filled one with marinara sauce for dipping pieces of naan pizza, in a LunchBots Duo:

Mia Bella's teacher allows snacks in the classroom, as long as they're nutritious & not messy. LunchBots Dips are perfect for her classroom snacks! They are small enough to fit in her pocket,  the twist-on caps are easy for her to undo, and they're completely spill-proof. They also don't take up a lot of room on her desk, and are resealable if she doesn't finish.

The Dips also fit in all the LunchBots containers. Here I've used 2 in a Trio, one for pistachios & one for barbecue sauce. LunchBots Dips are great for sauces & dressings - they never leak! And because they're stainless steel, they don't absorb odors from the food, so I can pack a spicy, garlicky sauce in it one day, and whatever I pack the next day won't smell or taste of it too :)

Here's a Dip in a LunchBots Quad, from last Christmas. There's still room around it for small things like nuts, grapes, berries, or baby carrots. The Dips' 1.5 oz capacity is a great size for a bit of yogurt or peanut butter to dip fruit in.  I deocrated the lid of this one with a sticker, for a little festive fun :)

LunchBots Dips come as a set of 3. They are dishwasher-safe, rust resistant, and pretty much unbreakable. The easy to open & close lids are completely leak-proof, thanks to a silicone seal. My Sailor Boy husband has really put this to the test with his stinky salad dressings just tossed in his bag, too! :)

Visit for more info on the Dips and all the LunchBots!

LunchBots Dips Giveaway!

Good Luck!

Friday, August 23, 2013

ThrifTeeGear Backpack Style Lunch Bag Review + Sherlock Lunch!

Check out my 7th grader's new backpack lunch bag from ThrifTee Gear!

12 year old Beanstalk is not at all interested in taking a lunchbox to middle school, but he does need something to tote his lunch & drink from his locker to the lunchroom. A ThrifTee Gear lunch bag, designed with tweens & teens in mind, is just the ticket - it's cool, unique, and nothing like a little kid's lunchbox. (Although any little kid would probably love it too!) 

Can't find a lunchbox with your kid's favourite character on it?  Well, if you can find them on a t-shirt, you can have it upcycled into a custom one-of-a-kind ThrifTee Gear lunch bag, that's even better! That's what we did last year - and Beanstalk loves his Minecraft Creeper ThrifTee Gear bag.  

I've been wanting another ThrifTee Gear bag, for wash days, so was totally psyched when the amazing & talented Trixie of ThrifTee Gear offered us one of their new backpack style lunch bags to review! And I get to share the ThrifTee Gear awesomeness with one lucky reader too! Yay, giveaway!

Beanstalk & I are both fans of Sherlock Holmes and the BBC series with Benedict Cumberbatch as Sherlock. We decided to have his ThrifTee Gear backpack lunch bag made from his Sherlock t-shirt (design by Avia Asner):

After I was done forcing my tween to have his picture taken, I stuffed his (clean) t-shirt in the waterproof postage paid envelope provided by ThrifTee Gear and popped it in the mail. Easy-peasy :)

Ta-dah! Barely a week later, Beanstalk's Sherlock ThrifTee Gear backpack style bag was back in our mailbox! Amazing! How excellent is this? ...

The backpack style ThrifTee Gear bag has two pockets - one that's the full length of the bag, essentially dividing the interior into two large sections, and one smaller 3" deep pocket with a soft velcro closure. It's near the top of the bag, perfect for keeping small items (like cell phone) separate and handy:

The backpack style bag has soft cotton rope drawstring ties. Measuring about 13" x 16", it's wider and longer than the original ThrifTee Gear lunch bag, so of course it's also bigger on the inside :)

So how much stuff fits? More than you might think! It's roomy enough for my Macbook Air and my DSLR camera and my water bottle, so I'm definitely getting one for myself next! Below, Beanstalk's bag is shown packed with his lunch in an EasyLunchbox, a size 14 hoodie sweatshirt, his Klean Kanteen water bottle, & iPhone - with room to spare.

And you know that's not just a plain sandwich in that EasyLunchbox :)  He's vetoed cute lunches, but I knew he'd be cool with a Sherlock lunch...

Beanstalk's Sherlock bento lunch is an "I AM SHER LOCKED" peanut butter sandwich (from A Scandal in Belgravia), apple slices, Cotton Candy grapes (delicious!) & cherry plums from our own tree, packed in EasyLunchboxes.

Beanstalk (conveniently) wasn't around when I wanted to get a picture of his ThrifTee Gear backpack packed & worn, so I asked our teenage neighbour to stand in. Thanks neighbour!

BTW, when she handed it back to me she commented "Cool bag" :) 
Teenager approved!
● ● ● ● ●

You really want one now, don't you? Enter my giveaway! 
The prize is a Custom ThrifTee Gear Lunch Bag :)
Winner chooses which style!
Good Luck!

This giveaway is offered to US residents only.  Please do not enter this giveaway if you have won or received free product from ThrifTee Gear within the past 3 months.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Regular Show Benson Bento!

My 12 year old, Beanstalk, loves Cartoon Network's Regular Show, so when my fellow bento lunch maker & friend Lauri suggested making Regular Show bentos for the birthday of her friend who voices Rigby the Raccoon on the show, I immediately thought of my gumball machine Lunch Punch sandwich cutter to make Benson, the Park Manager :)

Benson from Regular Show bento by Bent On @BetterLunches
Benson is a peanut butter sandwich, with details made of cherry fruit leather, mozzarella string cheese, & sugar sprinkles. His name is spelled with alphabet bento picks stuck in the remainder of the mozzarella cheese stick I used for his details. On the side is a checkered Granny Smith apple and some seedless red grapes - which kind of look like Benson's gumballs, I think! 

Happy Birthday William Salyers, voice of Rigby!
Benson says you'd better enjoy this bento, or you're fired!

Linked to:

Stuff used to make this lunch:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

C'est monbento!

Look, a new bento box! And it's French, ooh la la :)

Monbento sent me one of their MB Original Bento boxes - it's so nice! 

I packed a pretty garden salad, a square hard-cooked egg, and leftover lasagna embellished with cheese words I cut out with my alphabet bento cutters. The lasagna was frozen so it kept the salad chilled :)

The two-tiered MB Original bento box consists of two stackable 7" x 3.5" bento boxes with sealing vented intermediary lids, a removable divider, a top lid that leaves enough space for utensils, and a wide elastic bento strap: 

Things I like:
  • The lids to the monbento's tiers fit together really easily and securely, they don't need the bento strap to keep them on, and do not leak. The two tiers do need the included elastic strap to keep them together but are perfectly functional individually. 
  • It's has a real feeling of quality to it, very solid. I don't see the monbento warping, denting, or cracking easily.
  • It's stain resistant! My tomato sauce washed right off, even after it was reheated in the microwave !
  • It's microwaveable, with neato steam vents that let you keep the inner lid on while heating, to prevent spatter. No mess!


The monbento line also includes matching cutlery & spill-proof sauce cups:

And this is fantastic... monbento has a Customize Your MB Original option! Look, I made one to match Bent On Better Lunches:


It's hip to be square!

I made the square egg shown below using monbento's fun square egg mold. Simply pop in a warm shelled hard-cooked egg, snap the lid closed, and let cool. Each set includes one embossed with the word egg, the other with BON APPETIT. As egg sizes differ, it won't always make a perfect square, but close enough :) I've also used my square egg mold as a treat box in a bento!

Enter my Giveaway!
Good luck!
Some other stuff used to make this lunch:
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!

Bento Accessories Shop LunchBots