Well, one of them. There's one that got GREAT reviews on the search site that I found, and it's nearer my house than most of them. I was very excited! And they were not there anymore
So, we had packed Bento lunches for me and the kids, to go on a shopping expedition... and by gosh, shopping we were going to go! Oh, I suppose you'll want to see the Bentos
The kids had hard-boiled eggs molded in the shape of teddy bear heads, a small pink angel pig of soy sauce in lieu of salt. (DD9 decided she would much rather have salt... the other two loved the soy sauce, but I think it was because they had fun dripping it onto stuff =P ) They had baby carrots, a small sauce container of 3-Cheese Ranch, some "Ants on a log", crackers with cheese, grapes, cherries, and some Veggie-Tales fruit snacks for space filler. Voortman's wafer cookies in the lid for dessert, and we're golden!
So, we headed down toward the intersection of 50 and Mills, or "Little Viet Nam" as it is unofficially known. Parking SUCKS down there... the places that look safe are marked "so-and-so customers ONLY, others towed at owner's expense". Well, I finally found a little Asian supermarket that had its own parking lot, small though it was. It wasn't full, so that's where we went. It was such a cute place! DD4 complained of the smell, and DD5, while she didn't say anything, pulled her shirt up over her nose =P There wasn't anything WRONG with the smell, mind you, they're just little. It smelled of a mix of spices, not all that surprising. The kids had fun looking at the fish in the fish tank. I enjoyed browsing the shelves, with SO much stuff that I had very little idea what any of it was. A few things had descriptions in English, but not many. I did find some Agar agar, they had a lot of flavoured ones, and coloured ones, but I managed to find one that the instructions said to add sugar to, even though sugar is listed as an ingredient... I figured maybe that's the "plain" one, and agar agar has to have sugar to work right? I dunno. Anyway, I bought a box, so as soon as I find some little molds, I shall experiment with making some gummies for the kids. (Thank you to another livejournal Bento blogger Melanie for the recipe!)
I also found these adorable little mini-jello-like cups. (Click for larger view) (This is what a couple of them look like out of the package)
When we got up to the cashier, I asked if they had tiny pudding the same way, because I hadn't seen any in the store, but I had seen it a bunch online. She pointed me to this bear.... it's SO cute! A plastic bear full of tiny pudding cups. I'm hoping another Asian grocery nearby will have them without the bear, because I really don't want to buy a new bear every time I run out of pudding. These don't look quite the same as the ones I've seen pictured online, either, so maybe I'll find the other kind next time I go hunting. (Which will probably be after the kids start school .)
So now, everyone is getting quite hungry (we got a later start than I intended, and then that first store wasn't there), so we wanted to find a suitable place to eat our yummy Bentos. I thought... Hey! There's a mall on 50, that we don't go to much, and it has a food court! Multiple tables, shared by multiple restaurants, so they don't care if you bought the food there or not. Perfect! As we were driving to the mall, we passed a huge, stand-alone Dollar Tree store. Oooo.... now that has potential! It's down here near the Asian stores, and also quite a bit larger than the Dollar Trees near my house... so maybe it will have those adorable Hello Kitty Bento boxes! Alas, wrong side of the street, and we are all starving, so it will have to wait.
We got to the mall, found the bathrooms, then found a table and ate lunch. Then I discovered 2 stores in the mall, side by side, while looking at the directory. One is called "JapanHQ", and the other is called "Kitty & Friends"... and I think... hmmmmm... that sounds promising! So off we go to find them. They're actually one store with two entrances, connected in the middle. The "JapanHQ" side has mostly anime stuff, I recognized a little of it but not much. The Kitty side is all Sanrio! And they had BENTO BOXES! Not lots... and no accessories... but, they had boxes. They had 2 different Hello Kitty ones, both square, with a space in the lid for a fork and spoon (and they came with them). One was pink and the other red. They had a Cinnamaroll shaped box, a Keroppi collapsible sandwich box with a belt, AND.... the square Chococat box. Woo hoo! They had another square one similar in style to the Chococat one, but I don't remember who was on it. I was very good! I didn't buy them! The Hello Kitty boxes were $6 each, and the Chococat one was about $10. Not horrid, but not in the budget right now. (I really want that Chococat box... lol.) I did end up buying a Chi Chai Monchan kitchen towel and oven mitt that they had in their clearance basket. SO cute!!
Time to leave the mall and head home. I did decide to stop at the Dollar Tree on the way home. No Hello Kitty :( However, they did have magic towels, and each DD picked one out. I hope to use them as oshigiri. They had little Pooh-bear character ice packs, so I got some of those. I've seen them for sale on eBay for gobs of money as Bento ice packs, but they're actually supposed to be for bumps and bruises and such. So that was our shopping adventure! More Bentos below...
My lunch was very similar. I had no "Ants on a Log", and my egg had to be cut in half because it was too tall for the box. (Also, it's a bunny.) I had a different kind of cookies, too. I had a couple of Nestle Treasures in there for space fillers, but I ended up sharing them with the kids instead of eating them myself.
Brian's breakfast and lunch. He wasn't very hungry, as he hasn't been feeling well. (He stayed home sick on Wednesday, hence no Bento post.) So breakfast is just a microwave scrambled egg, with a cheddar star on top, and a star-shaped "Grits-nigiri". Lunch is a turkey, ham, and cheddar wrap, some carrots with dip, crackers and Babybel cheese, a few grape tomatoes for space filler, and of course, Oreos in the lid for dessert!
Goodness, if you actually got this far, thanks for reading! :D