Ginormous bento!! (Bento #89)


This ginormously huge bento is for the hubs. He has to work really late tonight so it is supposed to be his lunch and a pretty good afternoon snack. The main feature is a leftover quiche baked in a crepe cup from the #twitterfoodparty yesterday. We ate them for dinner last night, they were so good!

The rest of the feast is carrots, green beans, kabocha, a plum, mushrooms, green olives, cheddar cheese, rolled deli chicken breast, and seaweed salad. Phew! I tried to give him a little bit of everything that was in the fridge so that he could snack.

Happy Bento-ing!

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New products!

There are a few new bento accessories in the store! Yay! One of them is also on sale this week!!!



These vegee cutters are so cool. This is the flower themed pack but we also got space and driving themed packs. We also got in some molds/cutters that are bunny, puppy, and bear shaped. What makes them cool is that not only do they cut the face shape but they also have cutters for the facial features! Cool!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Twitter Pancake Party!



If you all aren’t already on Twitter, you have to come and join us! The last Monday of every month is the #twitterfoodparty and this month’s theme is pancakes. Any style of pancake, be it sweet or savory.

I took the opportunity to make one of my favorite desserts: bananas with sweetened cinnamon cream cheese wrapped in crepes! Yum!

This time I threw in a little twist and made a second kind of banana crepe...... can you guess what the green filling is????? It’s sweetened cream cheese with matcha! It was definitely a different flavor but worth trying. I liked the combination of the matcha and cream cheese but I had to dilute it down with more cream cheese, it was too strong at first.

I ended up making a ton of crepes so I might repurpose them again tonight if I have time.

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The "k" bento (Bento #88)


Is it Christmas time already? I’m not prepared! I’ve been seeing the start of Christmas themed bentos and it makes me think, “where did the year go?”. I don’t have any Christmas bento ideas yet, hopefully I’ll get atleast one! Lol!

Today’s bento is the “k” bento because it has 2 new-to-me foods and they both start with the letter k: kabocha and konnyaku.

There was a lot of Twitter chat about kabocha squash so when I saw them in the store I had to get one. I have a steamer basket that came with my rice cooker so I cut it up and steamed it while the rice was going and it turned out perfect. It kind of reminds me of a sweet potato, it’s pretty good.

The konnyaku is the brown dark brown strips seen with the chicken in the rice tier. Konnyaku is a hard jelly-like brick made from a plant called konjac(?) (according to Wikipedia). It’s dark grey with black flecks and doesn’t exactly smell appetizing but I wanted to try it so I cooked it with chicken in case it wasn’t good. I marinated the chicken and konnyaku in a mixture of soy sauce, mirin, and chopped garlic then stir fried it all. The chicken was awesome! The konnyaku had the same flavor as the chicken but the texture is vastly different. I could imagine that the texture could be recreated with impossibly concentrated gelatin, it was wiggly and jelly-like but so dense it was almost crunchy. Hard to describe.

The verdict? Kabocha is good, very pretty, and a nice change from the normal sweet potatoes. Konnyaku is OK. I’d eat it again but Hubs didn’t like the texture, it wasn’t bad, just not really good. I think it’s one of those foods that, in about a year, I’ll get a wild hair and try it again.

The rest of the bento is rice, ume, green beans, plum slices, and green olives.

Don’t forget about the awesome holiday bento sale :)

Linked up for Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Extended sale!!

The sale this weekend has been so much fun that I’ve decided to extend it through Cyber Monday!!!!!!

10% off the entire store until Monday night at 10:00PM EST!!!! Yay!!
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And the winner is......



YAY!!! Congratulations to Biffo37!!!!!



Biffo37
I am thankful my allergic toddler did not have a reaction today! biffo37 at gmail dot com

You are going to receive the following bento gear!! Plus 2 surprise gifts that aren’t even in the store yet!



Please email me your mailing address and I will ship it out early next week!

My email is...
heather (at) ohayobento.com
or
hharper6 (at) tampabay.rr.com

Happy Bento-ing!
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Black Friday Sale!!

From now until Sunday evening at 5:00PM Eastern Time everything in the Ohayo Bento store is 10% OFF!!!! Everything! Yay!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Simple sushi (Bento #87)


I sent hubby to work today with a simple sushi bento, a yogurt cup, and a peeled orange. There are 3 types of sushi here: krab salad, egg and cucumber, and crab, carrot, and cucumber. I also tucked in some ginger, kamaboko, cucumber, krab, and a little soy sauce fish. I love those little fish!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, I’m starting to get excited! My main job this year is to make Hapa Bento’s Pumpkin Butter Mochi! We have become completely obsessed, and half addicted, to butter mochi! This will be my first time trying the pumpkin version, I bought enough to make 2 batches just in case. ;) If you haven’t tried butter mochi yet, you really should, or maybe not because you won’t stop eating it!!!!

There’s still one more day to enter the Thanksgiving bento giveaway!! I have had so much fun reading all of your comments. You are all truly wonderful people and I’m lucky to know you!

There are some awesome things going on at the Ohayo Bento Store! We are having a huge Black Friday sale!!! Everything in the entire store will be 10% off starting Friday morning and lasting until Sunday at 5:00 PM EST!!! Yay! We also have some new bento accessories coming in next week, and........... today we are ordering our first ever shipment of LunchBots! Lunchbots are 100% plastic free stainless steel bentos! Yay!!!

Phew! I think I got all of that information out there. Lol! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Sick girl (Bento #86)


I’ve got a bit of a head cold today so I stayed home from work. :( I hate sick days. I made this little bento to cheer myself up.

It has mixed grains rice (the color is from black rice but it also has brown rice, oatmeal, millet, and tons of other grains), kamaboko, a persimmon, and seaweed salad.

My nieces are obsessed with Squinkies and when I saw them I thought, “OMG those are perfect for bento!!”. So today I have a cute little froggy hanging out in my seaweed salad.

Don’t forget to enter the Thanksgiving Giveaway! The new store shipment was delayed until after Thanksgiving so I’m going to add a few more things to the giveaway, I’ll update it later :)

Happy Bento-ing!
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Thanksgiving Giveaway

Since Thanksgiving is this week I’ve been thinking a lot about what I am thankful for. Every time I think about it I always come up with the same answer, you!

I jumped head first into a bento community this year with no experience, no knowledge, and no friends even remotely interested in what I was doing. I literally, within one day, decided to make bentos, bought some boxes online, decided to make a blog, and published a website with my first ever bento in a tupperware container. To be honest, I was scared. People on the internet can be very cruel and I just figured that I was opening myself up for criticism and harsh words. I had never had a website, blog, or Twitter account. To be honest, I’m actually quite shy. Going on this adventure was a big step for me.

At best, I dared to wish for a few blog comments, but what I got was so much more. I stumbled my way into one of the most supportive, creative, and friendly communities that I have ever seen. Every bento I post gets amazing comments and praise. I even started a little store to support my bento habit. But more importantly, I’ve made friends. Not just “more people that I know” but wonderful people whom I look forward to hearing what they have to say and I feel honored when I’m able to participate in the conversation.

Every day I look forward to checking all of the blog feeds, Twitter, and Facebook. I still get butterflies in my stomach every time someone comments on my blog. I also still get nervous every time I comment on one of your blogs, and I love it every time. I also still get all giggly when I’m mentioned or DM’d on Twitter.

My interaction with all of you has truly made my life better. Thank you.

So, to give thanks to all of my fabulous bento friends, I’d like to give away some bento gear. :)



So, the loot is a 2-tier bento box, square silicon cups, a vehicle sandwich cutter, a travel fork with case, a box of food dividers, and some cute pink paper food cups. There are also 2 surprise gifts!! We have new inventory coming early this week and I’m going to add two of the brand new items. I’ll reveal them when they come in :)

So...... to enter you may comment for any or all of the following categories. Please leave each entry in a separate comment. The entry period ends at 11:59PM EST November 25th (Thanksgiving). This contest is open to anyone in the world and the winning entry will be chosen using Random.org’s random umber generator.

Entry Categories:
1) If you are a follower let us know, or become a follower and let us know.
2) Tell us what you are thankful for this year.
3) Reveal something about yourself that we might not know. (do you craft or sing? do you work? what are your hobbies?...)
4) Blog about this contest and send us the link.
5) Tweet about this contest.

Good luck and Happy Bento-ing!
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Orange chicken and cute appetizers

Making dinner tonight was a lot of fun. I wasn’t super rushed and got to try out a new recipe. I was watching a little bit of The Cooking Channel and saw a recipe for orange beef. Realizing that I had oranges in the fridge I decided to make my first ever batch of orange chicken. I figured that it was going to turn out really nasty or really good and I got very lucky. Hubs actually told me to go write down the ingredients because he wants it again :)

I’m awful at following recipes, I usually just see something and go for it. So, to be honest, I don’t know how much of this is the same and how much is different from the one on TV, but this is what I did.

Marinade:
soy sauce
zest of 1 orange
juice of 1 orange
3 chopped garlic cloves
honey

I just mixed all of that up in random order and marinated the chicken for about 2 hours before cooking it on the stove. When I cooked it, I followed the direction from TV, and took the chicken out of the marinade and cooked it on high heat, then added the marinade back in to get thick and coat everything.

This was some of the best chicken I’ve had in a long time. Next time I’m going to make a really big batch and freeze it for my bento stash.

Along with the chicken we had rice, baby collard greens, and I had an ume.



While everything was finishing cooking I decided that I wanted an appetizer. After fumbling around in the fridge, I came up with these....



It’s just a little bit of krab salad on a cold slice of cucumber and topped with sesame seeds. I used some black seeds for color and the cool plum flavored seeds which looked great but also gave a ton of flavor.

These would be great served on my block of pink Himalayan salt. I have a brick of it that you can freeze and serve food on, we used it for shrimp cocktails one day, it was so neat. I have to remember it next time!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Crab salad and Furikake rice (Bento #85)


The furikake that I put on this rice isn’t very pretty, but it tastes great :) By the time I got to work and ate it the furikake had turned the top of the rice a gorgeous maroon color. I should try putting some in while the rice is cooking and tint the whole batch.

The rest of the bento was pretty basic: crab salad, tomatoes, green olives, and celery.

Since I made this bento this morning I actually got to use natural sunlight! Amazing! The only downside was that Stinker kitty kept trying to smell the food so I had to take the photos as quick as possible. :) Next time I’ll just get her in the picture too!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Sausage and rice (Bento #84)


This kielbasa was so good! We ate it for dinner last night and it was fantastic! In today’s bento I also put leftover corn that I cooked with butter and chili powder, rice with black and plum sesame seeds, a salad, green olives, and a persimmon. I also sent hubby to work with a peeled orange (he asked for one).

So last night I was making the bentos and get his all together, took a picture, and decided to finish mine in the morning. Lunchtime came around today and I was starving so I opened up my bento to see that all I had was rice, sausage, and a salad. Not even any dressing. Lol! I completely forget to finish making my lunch this morning! Needless to say, I’m a little hungry :)

Here are some pics from our family reunion feast! I didn’t get anyone’s permission to post their photos online so I’m only going to put up the food pics that don’t have people in them.

The reunion is in Eastpoint, FL every year. It’s a little oystering town right outside of Apalachicola on the coast of the Florida panhandle. The scenery pics were taken from the car, sorry :(





Oystering is big business in this area, so of course the first thing on the table???? Oysters!



I am not an oyster fan, I just can’t eat them. Bleh! Anyway, all of the other food was fantastic!!!! I’ll show you what I took bites of....

Beef stew



Cabbage and collards



bar-b-que



Coleslaw and a chocolate oatmeal cookie



Southwestern cornbread and dressing



There was also a dessert table........



Happy Bento-ing!
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Another 5AM lunch (Bento #83)


Yep. This is another 5AM bento! I put it together in less than 5 minutes because it is all leftovers: green beans, pork chops, roasted sweet potato, and a salad. I also sent along a banana on the side.

Today was a good day. My mom came over to visit with me because she wanted to meet Stinker kitty. We just hung out at the house, talked, played with kitty, and went to lunch. We ate at a local Indian buffet and got to try a lot of cool foods that we normally don’t eat. I definitely got all of my food genes from my mom, she’ll try anything and can find something to like in almost all of it!

I’m hoping to have the photos from the family reunion together tomorrow :)

Happy Bento-ing!
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Sammy roll-up (Bento #82)


This weekend was so busy! We drove 6 hours Saturday morning to make it to our family reunion at noon, went to the reunion, hung out with family, then drove 6 hours back home on Sunday. What a trip! I took a few photos of the feast but haven’t downloaded them all yet, so I’ll post them next time, the food was fantastic as always!

When we finally got home I realized that we didn’t have any food in the house so I had to make a grocery run. Needless to say, I was not going to cook. So we ate Publix subs for dinner and I put this sammy roll-up bento together for D.

The roll-ups are made with a pesto wrap, ham, Muenster cheese, and lettuce. He also has a little salad and I packed him a peeled orange as well.

After this crazy busy weekend, D starts to leave to go to work (at 5:30AM) and guess what? ........ his car won’t start. :( I can’t think of a better way to start a Monday. Arggg!! So he takes my car and I plan on getting his fixed then going to school. Of course I then remember that we are having a lab safety inspection at 9:30AM and I don’t have time to get it fixed. I ended up having to walk to school and got all hot and sweaty. :(

I did treat myself to a Smoothie King breakfast though, since I had to walk right past it ;)

I hope all of your Monday’s are starting out better than mine!

I added a Stinker kitty picture to make myself smile. :) After I took this photo I realized that she had bad eye crusties so I wiped them off for her and she didn’t even fight me. So sweet. This pic makes me want to walk all the way back home! Lol!

Added this bento to What’s For Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Silicone cup sale!



I use these silicone cups all the time, they are the perfect size for bentos. For the next week they will be on sale for $2.70, that’s 10% off. Yay!

Happy Bento-ing!
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All my favorites (Bento #81)


This simple bento has all of my favorites: rice with furikake, an ume, seaweed salad, babybel cheese, persimmon, and a little cauliflower. Simple but good.

I’m so glad it’s Friday! This weekend is going to be both busy and a little relaxing. We are having our yearly family reunion so I’ll be gone Saturday and Sunday. The busy part is that we leave at 5:30AM on Saturday to drive 6 hours to north Florida, go to the reunion (there will be tables and tables and tables full of home cooked Southern food!), stay the night, then drive another 6 hours back home on Sunday! The relaxing part is the food (oh sooooo good) and that I will be out of any internet access for the entire weekend!!!! I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself, lol.

I’ll try to take some photos of the feast and share them when I return. There are so many great cooks in the family that I look forward to the reunion lunch every year. Yay!

I hope you all have wonderful weekends! See you next week!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Ume flower ramen (Bento #80)


Mmmmm, I can’t wait for lunchtime! I made some ramen, without the soup :(, and added an ume (or umeboshi, I don’t know the proper term) and slices of kamaboko to make a little flower. :)

The other tier has a cut up persimmon, a wedge of smoked gouda, some tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, and seaweed salad. I almost can’t imagine lunch without seaweed salad anymore! Lol.

I’ve also completely fallen in love with pickled plums (ume). I’ve always been a huge pickle fan! I like all kinds of pickled vegetables, and yes, I do drink the pickle juice whenever I can get my hands on it :) it’s so good. I even made little pickle juice popsicles once. Lol! They were awesome! Anyway, back to the plums, I found myself craving them at every meal and every time I go in the fridge I stare at them, debating with myself whether or not I should have one.

The first batch of ume I got was a little pricey, I want to say it was $5 for a container of about 8 or 9 plums. So, since I’m quickly running out I went to get more and found a different kind. The new ones came in a different container, are less expensive, and look a little different too. I haven’t tried them yet, I hope they’re good. The one in my bento today is the old kind so I know it will be great! :)

So, now that I have confessed my secret weird pickle obsession, do you have any secret food obsessions? What do you seek in the kitchen when nobody is watching?

Happy Bento-ing!
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Bear onigiri and dumpling (Bento #79)


I’ve been wanting to use these bear rice molds since I got them in the store! I love them!!! They work so good, just pile in the rice, push it down with the little plunger, and voila .... bear onigiri!

I wanted the bears to be a little bit brown and I didn’t have brown rice, so I cooked them with beef bouillon. It added a lot of flavor as well. The face decorations are punched from nori using a regular circle hole punch, a spiral punch, and 2 sizes of heart punches. The ears are half of a heart and the mouth is the outermost portion of the spiral. Since I don’t have nori face punches, I have to make do with the scrapbooking punches that I have. I don’t think they turned out too bad though. :)

The rest of the bento has apples, pomegranate seeds, steamed carrot sticks, steamed pork dumplings, an ume, and some seaweed salad. Can’t live without my seaweed salad. :)

Added these cute little bears to What’s for Lunch Wednesday!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Pork roast (Bento #78)


Well, my dreams of cute bentos will have to wait for another day. Lol! I just don’t have time to put a lot together. To be honest, I was lucky to be able to cook dinner. This means that tomorrow’s bento is .......... drumroll please........... leftovers! Woot!! Yay! Lol!

We had pork tenderloin baked in the oven with onions, carrots, garlic, and chopped up lemongrass. The lemongrass gave it a wonderful flavor and it just falls apart it’s so tender. We also had sauteed bok choy and roasted sweet potatoes.

Along with the leftovers I threw in a fuji apple, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes.

I am so behind on all of my blog reading, so if I haven’t left you a comment in a while, I’m sorry, I’m going to try to catch up tomorrow! :) I hope you all have a fantastic week!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Never enough time (Bento #77)


Lol, no matter how I plan, I never seem to have enough time for bentos lately. I ended up falling asleep in the afternoon and instead of a 20 minute nap, I ended up sleeping for about 3 hours! Lol! That meant I didn’t have time to cook dinner, or make a cool bento. So, into the freezer I went!

Today, D has frozen Ikea meatballs (Shocker!!!) and rice with tonkatsu sauce. The smaller tier has half of a persimmon, cauliflower, seaweed salad, and a babybel cheese.

I’m going to go ahead and apologize for any typos. Stinker has found her new favorite place in the mornings ..... on top of my keyboard. Lol! She actually sleeps through the night with us, but that means first thing in the morning is play time. She can’t resist all of the moving fingers on the laptop and has to pounce :)

Happy Bento-ing!
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Elastic lunch belt on sale



I just bought some of these for myself! It is a pair of elastic lunch belts that hold bento boxes together. I like these because they are small enough for little boxes but they stretch out really well for larger ones.

They are originally $3.00 but for a week they will be 10% for $2.70.

This is the third week where the featured product was an emailed suggestion! So, if you haven’t seen your favorite product on sale, drop me a line and I’ll get it on sale ASAP! :)

Happy Bento-ing!
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Breakfast (Bento #76)


It’s been a while since I’ve made a breakfast bento, so I thought it was about time. There’s nothing too special here, just pancakes, bacon, eggs, a plum, and some grapefruit juice.

I used the pancakes as little taco shells and filled them with the bacon and eggs. There was enough moisture in the eggs and flavor in the bacon that I didn’t put any butter or syrup on the pancakes. That makes it a little bit healthier, right? Lol!

We’ve been having so much fun with the new kitty! She is such a little ball of energy :) I finally snapped a better picture of her face because she was half asleep on the back of the couch.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Geen tea noodle salad (Bento #75)


These are the coolest noodles ever! They are green tea flavored, I think they’re made with matcha, and they’re tasty! After cooking I rinsed them really good with cold water, added chopped green onion, krab, and a little bit of Newman’s Own Light Lime Vinaigrette dressing to make a yummy cold noodle salad.

The rest of the bento is pretty normal: honeycrisp apple, cucumber, summer squash, and cauliflower.

I feel a little guilty because I didn’t make bentos last night, then I woke up late and just threw together some random food for D to take to work. After he left, I made this bento for myself *teeheehee*. I’m going to try my best to make him one tonight, lol!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Super-plum rice (Bento #74)


I’m calling this one super-plum rice because it has plum sesame seeds and an ume(?), pickled plum, in the center. I was a little nervous about trying the pickled plums but now I don’t think I can live without them! I could eat them at every meal, I love the salty tanginess.

The rest of the bento was thrown together from what was in the fridge: seaweed salad, grapes, cucumber, rotisserie chicken, and a wedge of smoked gouda.

It’s a bit of a crunch time at our house this week, there’s a lot of work to be done and it seems like it’s never going to end! Lol! Then when you add in that every spare moment I have, I’m playing with the new kitty, I’m not sure how many bentos I’ll get done this week. Oh well, some things are just worth it. :)

We haven’t come up with a name, other than Stinker, for the new kitty. Hopefully we’ll have one by the end of the week :) I’m open to suggestions! Lol!

Happy Bento-ing!
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Tri-color sesame (Bento #73)


It feels like forever since I actually posted a bento, it has been almost a week! Lol! Down to business. I used up the leftover crab salad from the twitter sushi party yesterday in this bento along with tri-color sesame rice. The sesame seeds are so cool, I have black ones, regular ones, and new plum flavored ones! I almost fainted when I saw them, they are a little sour, a little sweet, and really big on flavor.

The rest of the bento is half of a honeycrisp apple, seaweed salad, and cucumbers.

But now for the important stuff! We got home after midnight on Saturday and as soon as I got out of the car I heard a kitten cry. I am a super softie when it comes to animals so I made D come with me at almost 1AM and tracked her down. She was crying from under a dumpster behind the restaurant that we live by.

Unfortunately I couldn’t get her that night, she wouldn’t let me touch her, and we weren’t coming back until Monday afternoon! I was heartbroken, I was sure that she would be gone, but nope!!!! We borrowed a neighbor’s trap and got her and brought her in the house. It turns out, she is the sweetest most loving kitty I have ever met! She purrs so loud and loves to play.

We aren’t sure how she got abandoned there, I’m just glad that we were able to help her. I’m hoping to keep her, I just have to let D fall a little more in love and she’s ours!!! Yay! Time to start looking for a vet!

These are the only pics I could catch because she is a little camera shy, but she was so enthralled with eating D’s jeans that she didn’t notice me taking pictures, lol!



Added this to What’s For Lunch Wednesday!!

Happy Bento-ing!
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#twittersushiparty #twitterfoodparty

I am so late eating and posting these, spent the night rescuing a stray kitten. She is sooooo cute!!! Anyway, here’s our sushi party dinner! I’ll post more sushi details later :)







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