A Weird Post To Write

I have thirty days until I am thirty.  The big 3-0 is coming up and I’d be lying if I omitted the fact that I have that quintessential fear of a number. It’s not for the reason that most other people fear thirty. I don’t feel old. In my head, I’m a ripe old 22 year old who has had an extra eight years to get their life together, have kids, have jobs, quit jobs, get houses and all that jazz.

No, in fact I want need to change my life style.

Being in a first world country and all that, I do say that I haven’t had a great year. I’ve spent a lot of it really, really depressed. Like a lot, a lot. I don’t want to talk about it, though, because I know A) that’s triggering and B) I have no idea who is reading this and I know it’d hurt people in my life to know how I was feeling during the past 360-odd days and saying nothing about it to anyone. Because I’m a martyr. I’m not serious about that last little bit, I don’t feel like a martyr: honestly I just feel really tired.

I spent most of 2014 waiting to feel better. A little here and there, trying to feel better while staying out of the arena of dopamine-uptake-receptor-chemical-western medicine. Because I didn’t try very hard, very little seemed to make a difference in my life. Which is no one’s fault, but my own.  I’m don’t blame anyone for that.

This year, after feeling that particular brand of clutch-in-the-chest that accompanies being upset about things, I decided that I am giving myself a particular gift this year. A particularly weird gift: to actually be better. I am spending my thirtieth year getting better for not only my children, but myself. No longer a slave to my muddied up chakras, and ignoring the brightness in my days.

Basically it’s like one of those completely cliché things where a woman has a quarter life crisis in a movie, gets a hair cut, quits her high-paying job to become a florist (her true passion!), finds that the sort of weird guy at Starbucks is actually super nice and funny and sweet, then moves out to the country.

Except without the whole cliché part. I don’t feel unfulfilled in my life, it’s just that something’s not quite right with myself as a person and that needs to be repaired. Clearly, eleven years of waiting for something to make me feel better hasn’t been working, so I just need to be way more active about it.

See, I told you this was weird. I  feel weird, then.

I’ve spent a lot of time researching and reading and after making a couple of failed attempts, I’m actually going to stick with it this time. It’s mostly diet related because, hello, easier is easier, isn’t it? That is no excuse, in my book. I don’t let that fly with other people, I’m not sure where I got the idea that this was good for me.

That last bit doesn’t make a lot of sense, I realize that. What I’m trying to get at is I made stabs at being vegetarian/vegan over the summer and when I actually made the effort, I felt eleventy-million times better, but I wouldn’t stick with it. The feeling better didn’t seem to remind me. Maybe because I didn’t feel terrible, exactly, or that it was so easy to slip back into old habits (e.g. hot dogs). I wouldn’t exercise regularly, either, which made a difference.

I don’t know why I feel the need to write all of this out here. It’s not like I’m interested in people keeping me accountable, or having anyone check up on me or anything. I’m just throwing it out there, I guess. ;)

To embracing my inner hippie, Happy birthday to me.

Also, there are 87 days until Christmas.

Autumn 2014

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Header Autumn 2014

Snack Based Lunch

Bento in the Lunchblox. I would love to crack out the other two, but I think we just need more practice!

  • Water
  • Seedless red grapes/strawberries
  • Garlic sausage, cheese, crackers
  • Homemade apple sauce

First Day!

Bear went to school on Wednesday. And in all of the hurry, emotions, and excitement this mother completely forgot about photographing the evidence of a spectacular, albeit mostly uneaten, lunch!

Oh well, I can still list it for you ;)

Packed into the Rubbermaid LunchBlox was:

  • Chicken wrap (taco) *
  • ½ a golden delicious apple
  • carrots and tzatziki *
  • cheese and crackers *
  • goldfish crackers
  • yoghurt
* items were eaten in entirety.

Our Bento Boxes

With bentos, what goes in is almost as important as what the container is. At least in my mind, anyway. Because my bento-ing is for children, they need to be sturdy, easy to open, fun, and easy to clean.

Lube Sheep Bento

I purchased this one for myself when Bear was a wee babe. This is the most traditional of the bento boxes, and for that I like it pretty well. I purchased it off of eBay for a relatively small fee and I personally have had the most use out of this particular box.This is one that needs to have an elastic around the belly of it to keep it shut (not pictured). When I purchased this I didn’t know that, and I simply used flat hair elastics to keep it shut.

Once it’s all stacked up, it seems a lot taller than it actually is. It fits into a spot half its height when put away, as the bottom compartment and lid are smaller than the upper, and they nest neatly inside the top part.

Even though it’s not necessary, I still utilize a zippered lunch kit with the bento boxes, simply because then there’s somewhere to put all of the lunch accoutrements. Shown in this photo is the leftover space once the bento is assembled and put inside.
pros

  • Light weight
  • holds a lot of food
  • has top compartment for utensils
  • great for dry foods
  • doesn’t take up a lot of space for its size.
cons

  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Not microwave safe
  • “seals” are difficult to put onto top layer
  • Needs elastic to be held together
  • Not leak proof
  • Not insulated

Homart Bento
When I received this pack in the mail, the box said “homart”, but upon searching eBay it yields no results, so I am unaware if their brand name has changed, or if it doesn’t actually have one. Many, many of these very same boxes can be found by searching for “stainless steel bento” on eBay

This was another eBay find. I was looking for something with a really strong seal that I could send along to school and that I wouldn’t have to worry about dribbling all over the backpack and ruining it.

Personally, I love this bento box. It’s manly, it’s a pretty colour, I don’t need to send it in the extra lunch kit. One thing, however, is that it has been a challenge to open for Bear. The seal is so good that it tends to take him a long time to open. For that reason I don’t send this one along very often, or if I do, it’s quick things inside to eat as I know some time will be spent opening the box. We did practice quite a bit at home before sending to school, but even so there is a bit of a learning curve for little people. For adults, I don’t think I could find a better bento.

pros

  • Medium weight
  • holds a lot of food
  • Stainless steel inner instead of plastic
  • Top rack dishwasher safe
  • Has handles around the outer rim, no need to pack into an additional bag
  • Doesn’t leak!
cons

  • Not microwave safe
  • “seals” are difficult to put onto top layer
  • Can be difficult for children to open
  • kind of big
  • If you’re using cups to contain the food, ensure that they are pretty tall, else the food will roll/come out if laid on its side (not exactly a “con”, just something to be aware of)

Rubbermaid Lunch Blox
these images may appear blurry/strange in spots: I have blurred them as Bear’s name is written on them

This was something that we searched for after sitting in the store literally trying out every commercially made “bento” style box that we could find. Lunch Blox by Rubbermaid came to our rescue! It needed to be small for little fingers, and easy to open. It needed to lend itself, somewhat, to bento style lunches while still being functional as lunch kit.

These are designed to fit together in a “block”, hence the name, This particular set also comes with a frozen square that fits in between the large sandwich part, or on the bottom of the sandwich part. It goes in the freezer and comes out for morning time if needed. All pieces fit together without the frozen block as well.

While these fit together in their block, they don’t lock really hard, which is a pro and con in itself. Pro in the fact that it doesn’t require a lot of work to pry apart, but con in the sense that you need a bag to put these into if you don’t want to lose bits of your lunch.

As you can see, once it’s all disassembled and into our lunch kit, there’s no room for anything else. It’s almost as tall as the kit, and almost as wide, and almost as deep. It looks very much off kilter in the photo, but it is not difficult to zip together when disassembled.

pros

  • light weight
  • easy to get lids off
  • comes with snap-to cold pack
  • many compartments for foods
  • top rack dishwasher safe
  • will fit into a standard-sized lunch kit
cons

  • Not insulated
  • Likely best not to microwave as it is plastic
  • many containers instead of one

Snack Bento

Snack Bento for the orientation day.

  • Grapes
  • Old cheddar cheese
  • Blueberries
  • Yoghurt drink
Bento box is stainless steel Homart box.

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