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Lunch Inspiration

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For the last month or so I have started packing bento-esque lunches for myself at work. For the most part I used to just eat cereal everyday, and despite my love a nice bowl of cereal, it can get a little boring. When I would get bored, I would end up going to the grocery store on my lunch and buying way too much to eat or hitting up a local fast food place. While in Los Angeles, I was lucky enough to visit a Diaso Japan store, and went a little crazy.

I have been wanting to make bento lunches for a long time, but I was completely unsure where to find supplies locally. I could always order off the internet, but truth be told, I am an instant gratification kinda gal, and would hate the wait. So while in LA I went on a mini shopping spree and bought a little bit of everything I could possibly think of that I would need to make bento lunches.



Then came the hard part. What do I pack!? I am a super picky eater and will admit it until I am blue in the face. I won’t try and fool myself or you by attempting to like something when I clearly don’t. I am a creature of habit (see the part where I would eat cereal for weeks) and as a kid I pretty much had the same sack lunch from pre-school until 8th grade. Bento lunches are great for a few reasons, let me break it down for you why I think so…

1. It’s cute. Come on, who doesn’t love food in cute containers, food with faces, food presented in cute ways, etc. Part of why I love making bento style lunches is the creativity of turning an ordinary lunch into something fun.

2. Built in portion control. I struggle with this when it comes to food. It is not uncommon for me to eat an entire bag of chips, or two bagels, or a few more cookies than I should, but I don’t have that problem when it comes to lunch time. Everything that is packed is pretty much perfectly portioned. The bottom box I try to make sure that I have mostly protein and a side, then snack type foods for the top box. This keeps me from packing an entire box of cookies and chips.

3. I get a little bit of everything. I think the hardest part of packing a lunch is burn out, at least for me. I hate slapping the same thing together day in and day out, so I either eat something easy and simple like cereal or I go out eat. With a bento lunch, I get to pack all kinds of things that I normally wouldn’t.

4. It’s money saving. Because I am not going out to eat, I am saving money by bringing my lunch to work, and I am using all of the food I have at home. It forces me to buy things that I can use for lunch instead of just stuff I want to eat en mass while cross stitching infront of the TV. Because I am not using half a bag of chips in a normal sack lunch in a ziplock bag and only using a pinch in my bento box, I can stretch that bag of chips to cover over a weeks worth of lunches if I so please.

5. It fills me up. I was most skeptical of this one when I purchased these two boxes. The first night I put together my lunch, I stood in my kitchen and thought to myself “There is no way that this is going to fill me up.” Most days I feel like I eat just enough that I rarely eat dinner because I am still full from lunch.


So back to the hard part – what do I pack?! The sky is really the limit when it comes to bento lunches. There are no rules or guidelines as to what you can or cannot pack. It is definitely a challenge to present things in a smaller way that they will fit in the box, but to me, that is part of the fun. Some of the staples that I include in my lunch are things like:

mini sandwiches pizza pasta pot stickers cereal
rice veggies chips pitas dried fruit
fruit snacks cookies trail mix candy apple sauce
dips mini bagels nuts graham crackers yogurt
crackers mini cheeses granola mashed potatoes peanut butter



Like I said, the sky is the limit with what you can pack, but I always try to keep in mind that if it is something that needs to be eaten warm, how will it reheat since I store my food in the fridge until lunch time. I often make a little extra of whatever I am making for dinner to make into something for lunch. Tacos on Sunday are a ritual for us, so I always take some sort of taco dish on Monday. To keep it from getting boring I have made them in different ways for lunch. One week I made mini tacos by cutting mini soft taco shells out of a tortilla with a glass. One week I made cheeseless nachos (chips and meat, who am I kidding), and this week I spread grilled taco meat on a tortilla, rolled it up really tight and saran wrapped it over night in the fridge and cut it like a sushi roll in the morning.

In closing, here are a few tips I have learned in the last few weeks of lunch making.

– You can make almost anything bite size, it just takes a little creativity.
– Fun picks are a great way to make mundane things like fruit snacks cute. I make fruit snack skewers.
– Always make sandwiches day of to keep your bread from getting soggy
– Invest in some supplies upfront. Find a box you like, pick up some silicone baking cups in a couple of sizes, some picks, a few small sauce containers (I have a few designated that I always keep premade in the fridge and kitchen cupboard of things like soy sauce, taco hot sauce, salt, pepper, etc.)
– Make a list of lunches for the week. This will help not only help you possibly figure out what to make for dinner, but it keeps you from standing in your kitchen at 11 PM slapping together a crappy lunch because you feel obligated to make something.
– Your coworkers will be fascinated with your lunch and think you have tons of time on your hands when in reality it only takes about 5 – 10 minutes to the boxes together (if you have cooked things the night prior, etc)
– It doesn’t always have to be cute. So what if your mashed potatoes don’t have seaweed stars speckling them. Who cares, its your lunch.
– There are tons of inspiring bento internet resources.

Have fun with lunch!

1 October, 2013

Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars


Since beating the main story line of Lego Lord of the Rings, Richard and I have started more avidly playing War in the North. We originally started working on this game in October, but only recently have been putting in some serious hours. The game allows you to play as 3 different heros, Farin the Dwarf, Eradan the Human, and Andriel the Elf. Richard is playing as Eradan and I am playing as Andriel. As a group (Farin accompanies us as well played by the PS3) we travel to various towns in the Lord of the Rings storylines and complete various quests. This game is considered more of a background story to the main LOTR lines, and we encounter the regular cast of characters such as Bilbo, Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, etc. throughout our travels.

Eradan is a ranger and Richard usually equips him with dual blades, and I am a mage and usually have a staff equipped and prefer ranged combat vs. hand to hand. Farin is slightly helpful, but mostly just gets in the way and pulls way too much agro and dies often. Your armor in the game is constantly being changed and upgraded by wares that you find during quests and in various towns. It also degrades as you fight, so it is important to repair your items or carry back-up gear in case your items break. So far, I have not had the latter happen, fingers crossed. As a mage I pick up various herbs and craft potions and edibles, Richard’s ranger abilities allow him to follow various side paths that only rangers can see. Some of the battles have been exceptionally hard and we have died countless times, but luckily we have been able to apply different strategies to our approach and have been able to keep the story going instead of rage quitting (which we have done as well).

We are currently in Mirkwood fighting the last portion of the quest. So far I have really enjoyed this game, now that I have got a handle on the various menus for my learned skills.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Do you think you’re yourself at work, or do you think your co-workers don’t know the “real” you?

I like to think that my co-workers know the real me. I make no effort to hide my interests and hobbies, as some of them are tattooed right on me for everyone to see. For the most part, I tend to try to not talk religion or politics because it usually ends up with peoples feelings hurt. I always try to bring a nice mix of professionalism and my nerdy quirky self to work – and hope that my co-workers are not putting up a front to me.

14 December, 2012

Christmas Mix Tape


Looking for a little something different to listen to this holiday season? Years of retail have left me jaded of the traditional Christmas music and it’s always nice to stumble on something new, especially when performed by some of my favorite artists.

The Bird And The BeeCarol Of The Bells

She & HimHave Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

The RaveonettesChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Brenda LeeRockin’ Around the Christmas Tree



Type O NegativeRed Water

BryfaceLast Christmas (Chiptune cover of Wham!)

Death Cab For CutieChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Lemmy KilmisterRun Rudolph

Bob RiversGrab Your Balls Like Michael Jackson

AnberlinChristmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Zooey Deschanel & Joseph Gordon-LevittWhat Are You Doing New Years Eve?

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

If I could have any job in the world, it would be a tie between two things. First I would want to be a trauma nurse. Nursing is something that I am extremely passionate about and an adrenaline rush like you would not believe. The satisfaction of helping others in their most desperate time of need is exceptionally fulfilling. Second I would want to be a full time artist. I often day dream about spending my days creating. As my of you can relate to, creativity does not always come easy, so it would be nice to be in a position that would allow me to create whenever I feel inspired, and work without time constraints.

What would your dream job be?

11 December, 2012

Turn the page

Posted in NaBloPoMO by

There are a few types of people that I am envious of in this world. People who find enjoyment in reading are one of them. I never really found the joy of losing myself in a book, and I am envious of those who can read for hours on end. BUT – I have been trying to change that. I think my enjoyment of reading never came to fruition because I was forced to read a lot of books that I had no interest in when I was in school. I have been focusing on trying to find authors that I really enjoy as well as delving into the realm of comic books & graphic novels (thanks to Richard). Here is a glimpse of what I have been reading lately:

  • Damned by Chuck Palahniuk – The novel opens with Madison “Maddy” Spencer waking in Hell, unsure of the details surrounding her death (she believes she has died of a marijuana overdose). Maddy quickly gets to know her nearby cellmates. The group (loosely modeled on the character traits in “The Breakfast Club,” i.e., a rocker, a nerd, a beauty and a jock) take Maddy on a tour of Hell.In Hell, Madison works as a telemarketer, calling the living during mealtimes and asking them to answer inane survey questions. Throughout the novel, we see Madison’s interactions with the living as well as the dead as she tries to piece together the events surrounding her death, and figure out how best to cope with the idea of spending the rest of eternity in Hell.
  • Gloomcookie, The Final Curtain by Serena Valentino – Wrapping up the long-running Gloom Cookie series, The Final Curtain brings us to a brief resting point for all of the characters as the goth soap opera brings everything to a boil, with plots, twists and turns in the relationships and the storylines.
  • Various Comics – This includes (but is not limited to): Adventure Time, Marceline & The Scream Queens, Robyn Hood, Damsels, Ghost, and Alice In Wonderland.

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Today was also my first day unemployed. Talk about a really weird experience. I had an interview this morning, so fingers crossed on that. I felt like I did a decent job, but possibly bombed the assessment. I am exceptionally rusty when it comes to math. I really hope something pans out, but I don’t want to get my hopes up in case it turns out that I am not the right fit. I also applied for unemployment before I left, so hears hoping that either A) I don’t end up needing it or B) that it is processed quickly, because you know, Christmas and all.

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

Do you enjoy your current job (or your last job)?

I definitely enjoyed my previous job. Working for a friend is a double edged sword. On one hand, you are working for a friend! You feel like your work has a direct impact on the business vs. working for a large company where you often feel like just a number or warm body. On the other hand, it is hard not to take conversations that are not always the best, in a professional manner, and not in a personal way. I had the opportunity to learn a lot of new skills, especially Quickbooks. I am sad that things have come to an end – but look forward to new opportunities.

10 December, 2012

Po. Ta. Toes.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, Richard and I have been working on the new Lego Lord of the Rings game that recently came out. On Thursday, we were able to complete the entire story mode and beat the game. I have been a fan of the Lego video game franchise for a while and when they announced that they were going to make a Lord of the Rings game? *TAKE ALL MY MONEY*

When I was a kid, I always wanted Legos but never got them. I imagine its because my parents had some sort of insightful knowledge that I would have left them on the floor to be stepped on in the middle of the night. For this parents, I forgive you. But now that I am older, and tend not to leave things on the floor like Legos, I have started collecting sets of my own. Who knew they were so dang expensive? Currently to buy the sets that I want, I would have to sell a kidney or take out a second mortgage on a house I don’t even own.

The game itself is fun. I’m glad they decided to put it all together in one game vs. splitting it up into 3 different games. The major problem that I had was that the game was SO GLITCHY. I have done some searching online to see if anyone else was having problems, but as of right now, it seems they are few and far between for most people. Us on the other hand? We couldn’t go maybe 30 minutes into the game without it glitching to the point that we could no longer play the game. This ranged from characters disappearing, getting stuck on various objects, not being able to switch between items or people, all the way to the game just freezing all together.

If you can get past all the anger associated with these happenings, the game itself has HOURS of play to it. The storyline is beatable in about 3 – 4 hours, but going back and unlocking all of the characters, items, mythril bricks, etc. is easily another 40 hours. Any game that adds stuff to extend the experience is alright by me. I would definitely play through this game again (and probably will) but if you decide to pick it up, save early and save often, just in case.

Anybody that has experienced video game glitches I am sure can understand the level of frustration that comes along with them. Luckily people like James the Angry Video Game Nerd make hilarious videos such as the game glitch one that take the edge off just a little. (warning: if you are offended by vulgar language or have no sense of humor, you will not enjoy this video)

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December NaBloPoMo Topic:

What is the best way to relax after a hard day?

There are a few things that I find relaxing after a long or hard day at work. Here is a short list!

  • Listen to music
  • Play video games
  • Write about my frustrations to get them out
  • Spend time with friends and family
  • Eat a delicious meal
  • Work on something creative
  • Go to the gym
  • Hot shower and clean sheets

How do you relax after a hard day?

7 December, 2012