Thursday, March 4, 2010

It's on!

Have you ever stumbled onto something, maybe a friend introduced you to something new, or you read a blog post about something you’ve never heard of before and thought “wow, I could really get into that!”? I have. It was like that for me with natural childbirth. I talked briefly to a pregnant friend who recommended that we take Bradley classes when I mentioned we were looking for child birth classes. Everything I read about Bradley made perfect sense to me. Before we even signed up for the classes I knew we would have natural childbirth if at all possible, I just needed to take the classes to figure out how. And we did by the way… have natural childbirth with both my daughters. This happened to my Mom too; I remember the night she came home from a Creative Memories home party and with excitement in her voice described a tiny paper cutter and scissors with blades that cut designs (this was years and years ago before anyone had even heard of our now modern day scrapbooking & before it was in craft stores… sheesh what did Michaels even have before scrapbooking?!). That was the beginning of what become a hobby, business, and a passion of mine (which has since been replaced by sewing) and it even spread to the rest of my family including my Aunt who runs a scrapbook business and recently launched their 2nd line of brand new scrapbooking products, Mud Puddles. Okay so what’s this got to do with anything?! You guessed it; I’ve stumbled onto a new obsession.

I was looking for no-waste options for Elle’s lunches that she’ll take to school and discovered bento. Bento is the Japanese word for lunch. It’s the way children and adults take their lunch in Japan. This post is already getting long, so I’m just going to give you a link to this great site that has tons of info about it so you can do some exploring of your own and read more about this way of packing a lunch that encourages children to eat healthy foods and try new things and helps us all with portion control. I’m all about bento! I have a “thing” for spatial agreement… a bordering on OCD “thing” for it. And, of course there’s my pesky creative side that isn’t particular about satisfaction in whatever form it presents itself. Visions of healthy foods shaped into happy little animals, arranged in whimsical fashion, neatly nestled in shallow containers of various sizes, dance in my head… and on whatever scraps of paper I can find. I’m disproportionately excited about this whole thing, especially considering I’ve only ever actually made 2 bentos. But I’m ready to get this bento thing started with the debut of my first bentos:


I made these for Elle and me to eat on the plane on our way to IL. Elle’s is a peanut butter and marshmallow fluff (speaking of pandora’s box… this was her first taste of fluff… I bet you can guess whether she liked it or not ;)) sandwich with a cloud shape cut out of the top piece of bread so that the fluff peaks through and a fruit leather plane. She also had grapes, pretzels in a silicone cupcake wrapper (so they wouldn’t get soggy from any of the moisture in the grapes), and 2 string cheeses. Mine was the same minus the marshmallow fluff & plane… although I did add in the bits of left over fruit leather after I took the picture ;)… and I added wasabi soy almonds mmmm!

Have you heard of bento before? Were you ever introduced to something and just knew right away it was going to become a new interest? Let me know....

11 comments:

Kirsten said...

Yes....Love Bento boxes...very cool!! .....lately I heard someone mention bubble tea on their blog.... I'm really anxious to give it a try...... I'll probably have to figure out how to do my own, cause I don't think we have anywhere that sells it locally.....

RedMarionette said...

This is so neat! I cant wait to read more about it!

Silver Sisters said...

haha! We bento, too! And did Bradley...
I started using bentos when I came back from my second mat leave. Now my eldest daughter is in kindergarten and I make her bento snacks. This is SO much easier than packing regular lunches.

I love that you can save 3 meatballs from supper and make a lunch around them! Also, they can be super healthy and quick and easy to eat (no reheating)

We don't have any official bento stuff. We use lock&lock containers because they are easy for kindergarteners to open. We also have silicone muffin cups and little plastic skewers that we found at the grocery store. And that's about it. Oh, and keep your eye out for tiny cookie cutters - they are a quick and easy way to make things more fun.

I don't do the fancy food-that-looks-like animals thing much, and it literally takes me 10 minutes while I'm cleaning up from dinner to make 3 bentos - breakfast and lunch for me and snack for my daughter.

Websites to check out:
justbento.com, disposableaardvarksinc.blogspot, bentolunch.blogspot
There are so many more but those are my favourites. Have fun!
gisele

Stacey - Elle Belle said...

Kirsten, I know where you can find bubble tea (yea for local readers!). There's an awesome tea shop downtown St. Pete called Hooker Tea Company: www.hookertea.com I don't see bubble teas on their online menu, but Elle had one there last Summer, so you may want to call and ask. If you decide to check it out, definitely stop by Paciugo next door for the best Gelato ever! They'll give you samples of as many flavors as you want, so I always try the crazy ones, like lavender made with real lavender flowers and anything with balsamic vinegar in it. My favorite is the sea salt caramel and sweet cream. Have fun!

Stacey - Elle Belle said...

Gisele,
Wow... a blogging, bento, Bradley, Baby wearing (didn't realize the "B" connection until just now) Etsy-er, Mommy to girls... we should be friends! :)

Thanks for the bento tips! I've had fun picking up bento stuff here and there... I think I'll do a post on my stash one of these days. I just caught a segment on lock and lock on QVC, it even comes in fun colored lids now. Thanks for the links to the sites... that aardvark lady is out of control, I love it!
wendolonia.com is one of my faves.
Thanks for the comment!

Kirsten said...

Wow!! Thanks so much for the heads up about the shops in St. Pete! They sound awesome... I'll definately have to stop off..... maybe when I'm in the area going to the beach! You're the best! :)

Sooz said...

i love bento... there is a really cool E-bay store called Wantjapan that has very inexpensive Bento boxes and bento bands.. I reccomend it. My dad is japanese and he remembers taking bento to school as a kid.

Tara aka "Mama Koala" said...

I love your bentos! I've been wanting to try my hand at it. Have you found any fun bento "shops" online?

AJSC said...

I am so into your blog! I just discovered it while researching party ideas for my daughters first birthday and now I am hooked! This is such a fun idea! I can hardly wait until my one year old starts school! Very inspiring stuff! I too am a working Mom and I love seeing ideas to show your kids how much you care! Love, love, love!

Lisa said...

Cute blog! I was searching for a beach towel craft on Yahoo and the search engine pulled up your blog. I had to click on it because my middle daughter is named Elle and her nickname is Elle Belle. : )

Lisa said...

And I did Bradley with my third baby 1 1/2 years ago. It was a VBA2C! Very special experience!

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