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Thursday, February 11, 2016

Conversation Hearts Valentine's Day Bento

This will be my last Valentine's Day themed lunch of this year. Time really slipped by so quickly and I did not make as many Valentine's bento lunches as I had planned in my mind. Valentine's Day is a really fun celebration and I especially like all the pinks, the reds, and the treats.

Those little "conversation" heart treats are quite popular with this celebration so for this bento I made some on a super scale. I used a large heart shaped cutter for a pair of sandwiches and made the lettering using my alphabet cutter set on some cheddar cheese. I also used the X and O on the babybel cheese and included a granola bar. Upper left is some organic red apple pieces and to the right are blueberries with a Valentine's Day cupcake ring. This bento was packed in an Easylunchboxes container.

♥♥♥ Happy Valentine's Day! ♥♥♥

Conversation Hearts Valentine's Day Bento Lunch

Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack this lunch.


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Valentine's Day Heart Tortilla Roll-Ups

How was your weekend? We watched Super Bowl 50 on Sunday evening and enjoyed the company and food. I am sure the others enjoyed the game more than I, as I am not really a football fan and don't quite understand the game. Thankfully, Nikolai plays little football so he and my hubby tried to explain the rules and play to me. It was fun listening to them even if I might not remember it next year, LOL!  I am truly more of a soccer fan and I call it football, same as many people in other countries. I've been trying to get Nikolai to play soccer and hopefully that also will interest him someday soon. After my hubby learned that cricket games can sometimes last for days, he thinks that might be the game for him!

We always have extra tortillas on hand and we are often unable to finish them before the expire date. You know how it goes, when there is none in the pantry, everyone seems to want them, and when you have a huge bag, no one seems to want them! Does that sound familiar to you?
I decided to make some roll-ups for Nikolai and thought that this looked like a heart shape, at least enough like one when I included the center.  He doesn't seem to have so much of an appetite lately and I just rolled them with organic cream cheese, simple.

Valentine's Day Heart Tortilla Roll-Ups

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox rover):
  • Main compartment -Tortilla roll-ups and a heart shaped marshmallow.
  • Upper left - Organic baby carrots.
  • Lower left - Organic apple slices.
  • Center -Babybel cheese with mini heart cut outs.
  • Upper right -Seedless green grapes with a cupcake ring.
Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack this lunch.


Friday, February 5, 2016

Valentine's Day Love Birds themed lunch

Happy Friday everyone! This lunch was inspired by a piece of artwork of love birds sculpted with roses which we have hanging above the door to our room. The art looks like doves and was given to us as a wedding present more than a decade ago. I decided to use some heart shaped cutters to make the birds.

The sandwiches were cut using a larger one and the Colby-jack cheese for the wings was cut using a smaller size. I have a really tiny one which worked well to make the beaks and feet. For the eyes I used a bit of raisin. Above to the left I included some grapes, starfruit slices,and a "LOVE" pick. To the right I also included some baby organic carrots and a Babybel cheese while far to the right there is a Clif Kid organic bar. I packed this lunch in a Bentology Living lunchbox.

Valentine's Day Love Birds themed lunch

Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack this lunch.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine's Day I Love You Lunches

Valentine's day is coming soon and already love is in the air. I especially like this time of year! I try to fill Nikolai's lunchbox with heart shaped foods or picks to make them festive.

Here are a few "I Love You" themed lunches which are very simple and made with some food that he requested since he wasn't feeling well. I've made around 40 Valentine's Day lunches and you can find them here.

Valentine's Day I Love You Bento Lunch

Bento lunch 1: I used the 'I love you' sandwich stamper which I purchased from our local dollar tree store to stamp the sandwich and I've yet to see a similar cutter anywhere else. His sides were organic baby carrots with a heart shaped cupcake pick and an apple half which was cut using a couple of heart shaped cutters.
This lunch was packed in our Easylunchboxes container.

Valentine's Day I Love You nuggets lunch

Bento lunch 2: This lunch is quite memorable to me. It was made the day that Nikolai started to feel ill but insisted of going to school. He specifically requested chicken nuggets and bread. I sent this lunch warm in his Warmables lunch kit (we love this kit especially when the weather is cooler and warm food is really nice) and it stayed warm till his lunch time. He had whole grain all natural chicken nuggets, pumpernickel bread with a few picks to remind him that I love him. I am sure any person not feeling their best will especially enjoy knowing they're loved.
He also had some fruits and snacks which are not in picture, sent with an ice pack. This lunch was packed in our Lunchbots duo with our Warmables kit.

Valentine's Day Bagel lunch

Bento lunch 3: This was a simple bagel lunch which at the last minute I decided to cut into half and include a babybel cheese with a heart cut-out, a three heart silicone baran, organic baby carrots, pear slices with a heart pick and seedless grapes. This lunch was packed in our Easylunchboxes container.

Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack these lunches.

Shop LunchBots

Monday, February 1, 2016

Chinese New Year Monkey Bento

Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year is approaching soon and falls on the 8th of February. This year it will be represented by the Chinese zodiac sign of the Monkey, Nikolai was also born in the year of the monkey! I am sure those who are celebrating will be busy with baking yummy cookies, cleaning the house, getting new clothes, wrapping ang pows (red packets with money), etc.

I'll be quite busy myself with the celebration followed by our wedding anniversary and Valentine's day, all on the same week! For this bento I made a simple monkey themed lunch with pumpernickel bread. I used a collection of circle cutters for the face. The largest was used to make the main head shape and to trim the ears which were made with smaller ones. For the eyes I used the smallest circle cutter on the provolone cheese as I had on the ears and a punch for the nori pupils. I freehand cut the larger provolone for the mouth and nose area and also the nori for the nose and mouth..

Chinese New Year 2016 Monkey Bento

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox rover):
  • Main compartment - Monkey sandwich.
  • Upper left - Organic baby carrots.
  • Lower left - Organic apple slices and a couple of grapes with banana shaped picks.
  • Center - Dye free choc covered sunflower seeds.
  • Upper right - Organic granola bar with a cute monkey pick.
Wishing all who celebrate, Kung Hei Fat Choi (in Cantonese and one of the dialects that I speak) ! Happy Chinese New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai (in Mandarin)!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Igloo bento

We were talking about Igloos and Eskimos the other day and it occurred to me that I've not made an Igloo bento in a long time. As I've also not used my FunBites in a long time I decided to use the FunBites square to cut and create the igloo for this lunch. I included a couple of penguin cupcake rings and some marshmallows as snow in the main compartment. Even the lunchbox adds a sort of 'white-out' effect!

Igloo bento lunch. Fun Bites.

In this bento lunch (packed in a bentology living box):
  • Main compartment: Igloo sandwich, penguin cupcake rings and marshmallows. 
  • Top right: Organic baby carrots
  • Bottom right: Organic apple slices.
  • Far Right: String cheese.
Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack this lunch.


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Minecraft Steve Lunch

Weather here has been cooler and windy for the past few days. The wind bothers me more than the cold and thankfully the wind has subsided, you know, when you have your hair all nicely done and as soon as you walk out the door it looks like you just woke up from bed! That really bothers me and I know that no one likes a bad hair day! This evening we will be attending a middle school open house.

Did I really write 'middle school'? It just seems almost unreal that in August he will already be into his middle school years! The new school is a greater distance from home which will make for a longer drive and greater traffic among, I'm sure, many other adjustments. We are just going to take it one step at a time.

I believe that I've mentioned that Nikolai is a huge Minecraft fan and he plays the game almost daily, sometimes by himself and sometimes with his friends online. Not to mention that he has all the Lego Minecraft sets and other decorative Minecraft items. Most of the sets have the figure Steve and I thought that he might like seeing Steve in his lunchbox. When I asked him how he like the lunch, he said he did, but he would like 'ME' themed lunch even more. "Who is ME?" I asked him, "Is that a new character?" He laughed and said, "No, it's me, Nikolai, my Minecraft character."

Minecraft Steve bento lunch

In this bento lunch: The block head is simply a sandwich topped with a slice of provolone cheese with another slice cut to give a 3D effect for the eyes and nose. The rest of this Steve is just cutting the nori for hair, eyes, and mouth. The sides for this lunch were organic baby carrots and red seedless grapes. This lunch was packed in our book bento box.


Thursday, January 21, 2016

Tic-Tac-Toe Sandwich Lunch

These few days have been half days at school and we are all so happy about it. Also, tomorrow and Monday school will be closed here and we have planned for a short trip, insert *smiley, happy face here*!

Tic-Tac-Toe lunches are so easy and fun to make. I've made several different versions in the past which you can find here.
For this version I removed the crust from the bread and cut the sandwich twice each way to make the nine square mini bites, then used a circle for some mozzarella and the X from an alphabet set for the cheddar to decorate them.

Tic-Tac-Toe Sandwich Lunch

In this bento lunch (packed in a Planetbox rover) :
  • Main compartment - Tic-tac-toe sandwich with cheddar X's and mozzarella O's.
  • Upper left - Seedless green grapes.
  • Lower left - Annie's organic oatmeal cookies.
  • Center - Yogurt covered star.
  • Upper right - Cucumber slices and baby carrots.
Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack this lunch.


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Review: Warmables Lunchbox Kit

I am very pleased that the nice people over at Warmables generously presented me the opportunity to review their lunchbox kit. Like many other parents, I'm sure, I like to have the choice regarding what my child has for his lunch. Many would choose a warm lunch and the Warmables Lunch Box Kit is, I believe, the solution for which so many have been looking.

Warmables Lunchbox Kit Review.

Being able to send our son to school with some of his favorite foods for lunch is a great feeling for me. Warmables had made this not only possible but also Eco-friendly and easy to use. The lunch kit keeps food warm for 4 to 6 hours.

The Warmables Lunch Box Kit contains an insulated pouch, two cherry pit bags, which store the heat, and a BPA-free food storage container which is dishwasher safe.

Warmables Lunchbox Kit Review.

Using the kit is easy. Fill the container with hot food then heat the cherry pit bags for 30 to 90 seconds (depending on microwave) removing them at 30 second intervals to test for temperature after a gentle shaking to even the heat. Then put the cherry pit bags along with the food container into the pouch and put the pouch into an insulated lunch bag. Hours later your child will be able to enjoy his or her lunch warm and tasty just like he or she desired and you intended!

Warmables Lunchbox Kit Review.

The above photo shows the food storage container with the cherry pit bags in the insulated pouch. Below is a photo of the pouch and its contents fit into an insulated lunch bag ready to be zipped up.

Warmables Lunchbox Kit Review.

I found the kit to be of excellent quality and superb workmanship, but most importantly I got great reports from our son. I'm sure that having a warm lunch on a cold or rainy day is a comfort for him. The time span from when I pack his lunch until the time he opens it is five hours. Warmables is truly amazing! It would also be great for traveling or outdoor events.

This handy kit is great for keeping warm such foods as pizza, pasta, nuggets, fried rice, meatballs, leftovers, and more. Here are a few of the lunches I've sent in the Warmables Lunchbox Kit:

  Shells and white cheddar with meatballs

I cooked some Annie's homegrown organic pasta in the morning, heated some frozen meatballs and packed them in our Warmables lunchbox.

Warmables Lunchbox Kit Review. Shells and white cheddar meatballs

Curry Couscous 

Couscous is one of Nikolai's favorite foods, and if you've tried it I'm confident that you would agree that it is very much nicer when served hot. With this lunch I was able to test out the Warmables cherry pit bags and pouch with one of our other containers. There is a limit to the size that you can use, but many will fit nicely.

Warmables Lunchbox Kit Review. Curry couscous

Pancakes and sausage Breakfast for Lunch

Nikolai often asks for breakfast for lunch and this is an excellent example of how nice it is to have a Warmables Lunchbox Kit. I sent along some pure maple syrup in the small blue container. He said that it was so great to have it warm at lunchtime.

Warmables Lunchbox Kit Review. Pancakes and sausages

All of these lunches were sent warm with sides which are not in the pictures. His sides are usually fruits, veggies and snacks. It's easier and quicker for me just to snap the pic of the warm lunch and pack it. Though not clearly shown in the photo, his lunch bag has two sections, the upper one I used for Warmables and the other I used for another box which contained his sides with an ice pack.

Lately, the weather has been cooler, raining daily and rather gloomy when I packed these lunches. Nikolai was so happy and grateful that he had warm lunches at lunchtime and I was happy to know that he enjoyed his lunches warm.

I'm sure I'll be using  Warmables very often and experimenting with my collection of lunchboxes. They have another size available for smaller appetites which you can find if you visit their site where they also have a nice selection of pouches.

The kit I used above has these dimensions:
          Food container measurements: 6 x 7 x 3in
          Lunch pouch measurements: 10 x 10in.

You can also find this Warmables Lunchbox Kit available at Amazon.

Disclosure: Warmables generously provided me with the products for review without cost to me. All opinions are my own.

  • Fill provided plastic container with food(heat it up) Yes!! (or you can use your own container)
  • Heat the cherry pit bags without burning the pits,so about 45-90 seconds in the microwave.Heat in 30 second intervals,shake and repeat until hot.
  • Put plastic container and cherry pit bags inside the Warmables pouch, then seal it!
  • Put the pouch inside insulated lunch box. And voila...warm, homemade food. Fresh and hot for my baby! 
  • - See more at:

    Wednesday, January 13, 2016

    Snoopy Lunches

    I was very happy to receive a Snoopy and Woodstock grilled cheese maker for Christmas from one of my friends. I would say that my hubby is even more excited than me, I am excited because of the cuteness and he is excited to make and quickly devour the grilled cheese sandwiches! He loves grilled cheese sandwiches and loves making them for us, but honestly, I am not a grilled cheese fan and thankfully he knows and accepts that. The story goes that his dad used to make them for his family and I've also heard hundreds of stories from people saying that their dads make the best grilled cheese sandwiches. I sometimes wonder is that a dads tradition here?

    The grilled cheese sandwiches made by the machine is slightly different in texture. It is flatter compared to grilling on the stove but according to Nikolai and my hubby, they taste great. We have used thin slices of Canadian bacon and cheese as well as ham and cheese and it worked well. It only takes 2 minutes to preheat the maker and another 3 mins or so for the sandwiches to be cooked. One side is Snoopy and the other side is Woodstock. I'll share the Woodstock pics another time.

    Here is the Snoopy grilled cheese sandwiches which I packed for Nikolai's lunch. I sent them in his Warm & Tote lunch bag and he was glad that it was still warm at lunch time. He also had some fruits and cucumber slices on the side with an ice pack (not pictured). This lunch was packed in my new Snoopy lunchbox which I adore. He also had Annie's organic crackers.

    Snoopy Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

    I also purchased a set of Snoopy cutters/stampers before the holidays and put them to use. They are truly adorable and easy to use.

    Snoopy Stamped Sandwiches

    In this bento lunch: Snoopy and Woodstock stamped sandwiches, Annie's cheddar bunnies, Babybel cheese, seedless green grapes and strawberries with a Woodstock cupcake ring. This lunch was packed in a Planetbox rover.

    Here is a sandwich cut into half and decorated with nori to resemble Snoopy.

    Snoopy bento lunch

    In this bento lunch: Snoopy sandwich with free hand cut nori features, organic baby carrots under a Snoopy cupcake ring, Babybel cheese, organic orange slices and strawberries in a silicone cup.

    Do you love Snoopy as much as we do?

    Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack these lunches.


    Monday, January 11, 2016

    Snowflake Bento

    I hope y'all had a great weekend! Nikolai attended a friend's birthday and watched Star Wars for the second time in the cinema. He stayed over night at his friend's house and probably built a star ship in their Minecraft world. This year it seems hotter here in FL compared to the previous years, and our air conditioning has to be on all the time, 24/7! I wish that the weather will get cooler soon. I can't wait to open the doors and windows in our home. Maybe it helps to think of cool things like snow themed bentos!

    Snowflake bento lunch

    In this bento lunch (packed in an Easylunchboxes container):
    • Snowflake shaped sandwich cut and stamped, organic Greek yogurt covered fruit snack in a silicone cup with a snowflake cupcake ring. Mozzarella cheese cut into snowflake shapes with a small cutter.
    • Organic baby carrots with a snowflake cupcake ring.
    • Seedless green grapes with a winter wonderland cupcake pick.

    Thursday, January 7, 2016

    Piggy Roll-Ups Sandwiches

    Character roll-ups sandwiches are fun to create and it's not as difficult as you might think. You'll get into it after creating the first one, in my case it was bear rolls-ups, then bunnies and so on. First, I flattened the bread slightly with a rolling pin (you can skip this step if you prefer), add the sandwich fillings and roll. Place the sandwiches in a lunch box and get ready for the facial accents which is the fun part!

    I created the pig's snouts and ears for these sandwiches using my CuteZCute animal friends cutter. The tails were made with the letter S from my alphabet cookie cutter set and the eyes were nori cut with my hole paper puncher.

    Piggy Roll-Ups Sandwiches

    In this bento lunch (packed in a bentology box):
    • Bottom left: Piggy roll-ups sandwiches.
    • Bottom right: Alphabet wheat cookies from Ikea.
    • Top left: Organic baby carrots and dip in the blue Lego container.
    • Top right: Orange and apple slices with a pick.
    Here are the supplies that I used to create and pack this lunch.