Getting back in the saddle (Bento #373)


I’m trying to get back in the saddle again. It has become so easy to skip making a bento. But lately, I’ve started to get inspired again. I went through some of my old photos and I want to make lunches like that again. Plus, I could really use the push to eat a little healthier. I made this bento in an attempt to get back to my ‘bento roots’ so to speak.

In the bento: rice with umeboshi, sautéed vegetables (brussels sprouts, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, garlic, and black truffle sea salt), a cup of watermelon and raspberries, and a radish star. Thank goodness for the radish or I wouldn’t have had any decorations! :)

What inspires you to make bentos?

Happy Bento-ing!


Kale and mushroom pasta with black truffle salt (Bento #372)


Hello again! I am trying my best to get organized and back in the swing of life. But, truth be told, half of my house is still in boxes. There is still more painting to do, tons of boxes to unpack, and I have plywood for kitchen counters, lol! It is moving slowly but at least moving forward. Making this bento really picked my spirits up and gave me a day of feeling like me again. :)

In the bento: pasta with kale, mushrooms, onions, garlic, tomatoes, and flavored with some amazing black truffle sea salt. On the side I have cucumber slices, an organic apricot, some Wish Farms blueberries (the best!!), and a pack of awesome Oloves.

Happy Bento-ing!


Taco rice!! (Bento #371)


Woohoo! It’s only been about a month since I posted a bento!! It’s not much, but at least it is a step in the right direction. The house remodeling is starting to wind down a little and for the first time in months, this new house is starting, just barely, starting to feel like a home. It’s not my home yet. But it is a home. :)

In the bento: yellow rice, refried beans, taco meat, sour cream, black olives, tomatoes, cherries, and slices of beautiful green avocado.

Happy Bento-ing!


Ham sammy (Bento #370)

I got a comment the other day from a reader. She pointed out that I haven’t posted a bento in over two months! I can’t believe it’s been that long. But, more important than that, it really touched me that she had been coming to my site for over two months, waiting for a post, and took the time to write. A lot of times, you don’t really know if anyone is watching. All it takes is one person, one comment, to motivate you. So thank you for giving me a kick in the butt!!

Given that this is the current state of my kitchen...

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I’m not doing very much cooking. Nope, that’s a lie. I’m not doing any cooking! It’s inconvenient now, but when it’s done, it’s going to be awesome! It’ll be well worth all of the dust, lol! I’m really excited :)

I’m not sure if I can actually call this a bento but...

This is tomorrow’s lunch in a bento box. I saw mushrooms in the store and immediately starting craving them, so I made sautéed mushrooms and onions, a ham sandwich, and peach slices. It may not look like much, but it’s a better lunch than I’ve had in a long time.

Thank you all for still being here!!!!!

Happy Bento-ing!


Salads and such (Bento #369)

I think I’ve almost forgotten how to blog. Life has been crazy, to say the least, and I just haven’t had the time to make bentos or do any blogging. Actually, I made the bento in this post over two months ago! I keep telling myself that one of these days, life will get back to normal... I hope, lol! So, what has happened in the last couple of months? I finished my dissertation, defended (and passed!!) my PhD, bought a new house, shut down the bento store, and I’m still living (temporarily) in Colorado.

But, in less than a week, I’m headed back home to Florida! I’ve been away for over 4 months with only a 10 day trip back home. But this time, I think I’m going to be home for good. I would be excited to get back into my normal routine, but I’m headed home to a new house full of boxes and construction, lol. My normal routine doesn’t exist anymore. It’s going to be an adventure!

But, back to the whole reason you are here.... the bento!

In the bento: a large salad, rice with umeboshi, sautéed beef with green onions, and slices of a super sweet cara cara orange. Please forgive me for the not-so-great iPhone photo ;)

Happy Bento-ing!


Store is closing!

The bento store will close it’s virtual doors for good on March 2nd. It’s been a wonderful experience and I would like to say thank you to all of you for being so supportive. Things are going pretty quickly but there are still some bento deals to be had.

I’m going to keep the blog going though. I hope to be making bentos again soon!

Until next time...

Happy Bent-ing!

Salad and snacks (Bento #368)


What’s the easiest thing to cook in a hotel room? Salad! Lol! Even though the hotel I’m staying at has a small stove, it is really awkward to use and very quickly gets exhausting and frustrating. So, I’ve conceded and most of my made at ‘home’ meals are salads, but I’m trying to keep them interesting using different ingredients. The one in this bento has red, yellow, and orange tomatoes, blueberries, jicama, and a bunch of chia seeds. The rest of the bento will take me through lunch and into afternoon snack time with a mandarin orange, kiwi, smoked gouda, and pretzel crisps.

Still doing iPhone photos, so I’m sorry for the graininess :)

I’m trying to make the most of my time in Colorado and go sightseeing on the weekends, but the weather hasn’t been very good lately. I do post a good bit of photos to Instagram, if you’d like to follow. Plus, I’d love to follow you back!

I’m starting to roll through all of my favorite ‘no-cook’ lunches like salads, sandwiches, finger foods, etc. What are your favorite ‘no-cook’ items to pack for lunch?

Happy Bento-ing!


The tiny hotel kitchen bento (Bento #367)

Wow. What a week! I started my new job last Monday, and found out that I needed to be halfway across the country on Wednesday! My permanent position is at home in Florida, but I have to come to Colorado for training and learning the business. The crazy part is that I don’t know when I’m coming back home, lol. It could be anywhere from 1 to 6 months. It’s going to be a crazy and wonderful adventure!

I realized how much of a dork I am because the first thing I planned for my very first day off in Colorado was a trip to a Japanese grocery store, haha! I also went to the Celestial Seasonings tea factory too which was pretty cool. The grocery store was in a tiny place called Sakura Square. The whole block used to be full of Japanese businesses, but over the years it has dwindled to the grocery store, a restaurant, and Buddhist Temple.


In the middle of the square there are statues of important people in the Japanese-American history of Colorado. Which, of course, included a bust of Governor Carr, who is a pretty neat figure in American history. (I am not a historian, so please forgive me if any of this is inaccurate) During WWII the American government forced all West coast Americans with Japanese ancestry to move into internment camps. Over 100,000 people were forced out of their homes and into ‘War Relocation Camps’. Well, Governor Carr was the only elected official who spoke out against it! The only one!


I can only hope that we continue to learn from our past.

But, on a much much lighter note, the grocery store was awesome! They had umeboshi, my favorite pickles, lots of shapes and patterns of fish cake, some beautiful dishes, and of course some bento boxes. I bought a really pretty purple bento box as my souvenir bento :)

My hotel room has a really tiny kitchenette, so I was able to throw together a bento. But, please forgive my bad iPhone photo, lol!


In the bento: rice with umeboshi, pickles (shibazuke), sautéed mushrooms, a mandarin orange, blackberries, cucumber, and a sprout salad with lots of goodies.

Happy Bento-ing!


Vegetable stirfry bento (Bento #366)

Can it be? Can it really be? A new bento?!?! Wow! It has been over a month! I’ve missed making them... and eating them too. I’m super excited about eating this one because of the big pile of umeboshi paste with shiso stuck in the middle of the rice. I was so lucky to find a bottle of it imported from Japan. And, I found it at my local oriental market! They usually don’t stock a lot of Japanese products outside of the really popular stuff (Pocky, Hello Kitty stuff, etc.). I was so excited to find it!

In the bento: mixed vegetable stir-fry, rice with umeboshi paste, cucumbers, and delicious strawberries from Wish Farms.

I love finding Wish Farms’ strawberries in my grocery store because I had the amazing opportunity of going out to one of the strawberry fields, learning about their family run farm, meeting some amazing people, and picking boatloads of fresh strawberries! Whenever I see them in the store it reminds me of that wonderful day and I can’t resist them. :)

Happy Bento-ing!