anonymous asked:

I've had a bento box for two or three years and haven't used it because it's always been easier to fill a lunch bag, but now I want to cut down on using plastic bags. What are you favorite, more simple things to fill yours with?

If you want non-southeastern Asian foods, which I assume will be easier for you, then the following:

  • Cut up fresh fruit. A little thing of peanut butter (or any other nut butter) also goes wonderfully with this. You could also do this with fresh veggies like broccoli, carrots or celery. 
  • Rice. Here is a handful different furikake (rice seasoning, essentially) you can make at home fairly easy. For the green tea one, just remove the shrimp and fish to veganize it. [1][2][3][4][5][6]
  • If you have a Mr. Bento or any other thermal bento, vegan chili’s and this adzuki bean and brown rice porridge are wonderful. With the chili some vegan corn muffins or bread are a nice addition. 
  • Spicy tofu (seitan works too). Brown some tofu in a pan and then let it marinate in a hot sauce of your choice for however long you feel like. This also works well with duck sauce, teriyaki sauce, peanut sauce and anything that has a strong flavor. 

The following are (mostly) Japanese bento items. Most people should be able to use them because they don’t have any hard-to-get “foreign” items. 

There is tons more but there is no way I could fit it all on here. Essentially, anything with a strong flavor will go very well in a bento box. If you have access to a microwave (and your bento is microwave safe) you could put foods that need to be heated up in the bento as well. 

Just Bento has a lot of great bento tips. I use it all the time, as well as vegweb and some things I’ve come up with on my own. 

Colin’s First Birthday Party


Colin is almost TWO.

I can’t wrap my brain around this. I distinctly remember my daughter’s second birthday - every detail! And she’s almost eleven. I just can’t believe how fast time is passing.

I realized the other day that I never posted about his first birthday party, so I’m taking the time to do so now. Almost a year late. Sorry about that. 

I fully admit that I’m a crazy party planner. I *love* throwing a good party and watching it all come together. This one was outrageously fun to plan.

So now, the details.

I love to decorate for Halloween regardless. It’s my favorite holiday. I started out with a few touches around the house as soon as October 1st hit.

And then during the day of the party, I transformed it further.

The above photo shows our main nonalcoholic drink, Monster Mash. It was basically ginger ale and red fruit punch with some green grapes serving as “eyeballs.”

We also had a Make-Your-Own-Chili bar with two crockpots full of delicious beef chili along with a plethora of toppings to choose from. We had mini corn bread muffins, jalapeños, Fritos, onions, cheese, and more. It was a hit.

We had a few more food stations, which I’ll give close-ups of in a minute. Above the island, we hung these adorable sparkly lanterns in Halloween colors.

Mexican spiderweb dip and chips. YUM.

Peanut butter and jelly as well as cheese sandwiches in the shapes of ghosts, pumpkins, cats, and bats. Veggies with ranch dip in a hollowed pumpkin, and mummy english muffin pizzas with black olives for eyes. 

Close up, with my photobombing ballerina dog in the corner.

The main table. A birthday book for all the guests to sign complete with a pinata, an “Adopt A Monster” bucket with plush monsters inside for favors, and of course - the cakes. We had a main cake for guests and a monster smash cake for Colin.

Close-up of the cakes. I made them both myself. :)

More details.

More details.

Colin’s “About Me” first birthday board. It added a nice touch, and everyone loved reading it. 

And of course, the birthday boy enjoying his cake. :)

Can’t wait for his second birthday party. :) The planning has already begun. 

Next To You-chapter 2

Hi everyone! I’m so happy by the response I got for the first part of this little story. Thank you everyone for liking and reblogging it. Chapter 2 is done, but I’m not sure when chapter 3 will be ready. I forgot about MEA weekend (which means nothing to you other than my kids didn’t have school yesterday or today) plus an overnight at work last night and an author signing tonight! Yikes! I’ll get to it when I can. 

Anyway, I hope you like this chapter and thanks again to @bravefsmoak for betaing it for me!


Felicity fell into her chair with a sigh. She had gotten to work late which meant she’d had to go straight into a meeting which had lasted for four hours. Thankfully, they’d had lunch brought in, but she was exhausted. Plus, the whole time she was in there she couldn’t stop thinking about Harley. She knew she was a little overprotective, but she couldn’t help it. He was her baby and she’d left him with a virtual stranger that morning.  A really beautiful stranger.

She’d been speechless when Oliver had brought Harley back to her that morning. The man was gorgeous with all of his rippling muscles and sleepy smile. Add in that scruff, those incredible blue eyes and Felicity’s brain had short circuited. It had taken her far too long to even notice her dog in his arms.

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