Sometimes you just have to have a post about other people's cool stuff!
So let's start off with Hello Kitty bento inspiration...enough to have you drooling and ooohing through autumn!
Sanrio hosted their 3rd annual bento contest...check out the winners and runners up here. So incredibly awesome!!!
And speaking of Hello Kitty...people are always asking me where to buy bento items locally, especially Hello Kitty. Usually I direct them to the craft store, party store, or educational toy store and tell them to cross their fingers that it's been restocked recently. Last year I reviewed our local Korean market Asinayo, and the other day Maia and I found that they have started stocking a few Hello Kitty bentos in addition to wooden Hello Kitty and Shinkansen chopsticks. Woohoo! They also have Hello kitty plates and mugs, Thomas the Tank Engine training chopsticks, Peter Rabbit spoons, crocheted fruit holders, Hello Kitty socks and various other knick knacks, and plenty of edible goodies to make a trip there worthwhile (and more expensive! LOL).
Maia immediately pointed and lunged at everything from her sling, totally suckering me in to spending $18 on a new pink picnic bento. Me, buying pink! What is this world coming to??
The bottom tier has two subdivided subdividers, LOL, making four compartments on the bottom if you need them, or two, or one. Very versatile. It really is pretty darned cute. And Maia would not stop playing with it all day long!
Now, seeing as Halloween is only 2 months off (it's our favourite holiday), I usually turn to PETA's vegan candy list for assistance. Otherwise I read read read ingredients and do my best. But Cuny Queen's awesome vegan blog has got me in a tizzy. I am going to email all the companies in question, because as it turns out, many of the candies I previously thought to be vegan, may actually contain cochineal or carmine disguised as "artificial color". ARRRRGGGGHHH!!!! I don't want me or my kids eating crushed bugs thank you very much.
Anyhow, I haven't checked Snopes yet, but I will be contacting Willy Wonka among others to verify this info.
To end this post on a happier note, I recently came across this review of Saisai Lunch on Just Bento, the first vegan bento book I've ever seen. (I know there's Vegan Lunch Box, which is good and all, but it's not really bento because she usually uses a larger Laptop Lunchbox presentation.) The only problems are a) it's not been translated into English yet, and b) it's only available via Amazon Japan, but here's the link anyway! I'm hoping I'll get a copy some day!
Now I'm off to figure out what to do for Ryan's first bento of the school year. I've been slacking!