Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Today, 8th July, is supposed to be my 100th Bento post. Incidentally, 29th July 2008 commemorates my blog’s first anniversary. I’ve been cracking my grey cells in hope to find some interesting topic to commemorate this milestone in my life.

Unfortunately too many things are happening at one time and I’ve been hit by all life’s
challenges all at once!
  • Hubs and #1 leaves for Australia in a couple of hours to participate in the World Youth Day celebrations from 15th – 20th July in Sydney.
  • #2 has incessant rehearsals at ungodly hours for the upcoming musical which debuts on 11th July and runs till 13th July.
  • The Mega sale has just started and things are being sold at ridiculous prices.
  • My blog has reached it’s 100th Bento post and is one year old on the 29th of July 2008!
Admittedly, all this is good, so I’m going to CELEBRATE to COMMEMORATE this wonderful occasion with a Bento competition. I know it’s not anything new, Bento competitions are quite rampant in Bento blogs but I’m doing this because I want to encourage and provide some incentive to Bento enthusiasts.

I notice that many people start to Bento and after a period of time, the passion dies off. This includes me, especially when life's' challenges become too difficult to handle and when we become busy elsewhere and we tend to take leave from Bento.

To get back into the Bento-action is almost impossible sometimes. I've gone through that
roller coaster and it almost cost me the closure of this blog. *shivers at the thought*.

After sending Hubs and #1 off, I sent #2 to KLCC for her rehearsal. I shopped for a while and managed to get some stuff for the Winners Prize haul that I am putting up for the Bento competition. I also picked up some things from the 100 Yen store and I hope it's good enough to lure you Bento enthusiasts to submit a Bento for Bento Pet's Bento Competition.

The reason I am having this Bento competition is basically an incentive for people who are currently packing Bento. Please don't hate me. I am setting some criteria because I enjoy visiting Bento sites that are regularly updated and it inspires me that some people are so
passionate about Bento-ing.

I've seen submissions for Bento competitions come in from first timers and even Bentos that don't really qualify as Bento - a sandwich and a fruit doesn't constitute a Bento (my personal opinion).

I feel disappointed that the regular Bento packers are not recognized because theirs was not a kyaraben (character) Bento. Don't get me wrong, I love kyaraben bentos. I am awed by what all the Japanese super mums are churning out for their kids. It's an ART form of it's kind flowed only from the love of these selfless mums.

But what about all the other 'regular people' who pack 'regular bentos'. I see them posting up on their blogs day after day, week after week and months after months. I'm inspired by their effort and their own creativeness. I feel their passion in updating their blogs with their Bentos - also made with care and much love. I want this competition to be for people like "us" - regular people packing regular bentos. I hope you understand.

Often we (yeah! I feel so too) get excited when someone drops a comment and it inspires us to keep going. When there is silence, we continue to plod on until the next challenge comes along to break our spirit or to inspire us to continue. I'm sure many of us Bento packers feel this way.

So, all said and done, I hope you don't get angry with my comments, which are solely my opinions and not meant to insult anyone.

The criteria for Bento Pet's Bento Competition will be:
  • You must be currently packing bentos.
  • You currently own a blog, please provide your blog link.
  • Your blog must have at least blogged about ten bentos made by you.
  • You may make a new bento for this competition or send in an old picture of Bento made by you. You may add some kawaii accessories, e.g. food picks, sauce bottles etc.
  • This competition does not accept Kyaraben bentos (THOUSAND APOLOGIES). You can however have shaped onigiri or other food stuff using cutters or shapers.
  • Describe your bento components. It does not necessarily have to follow the 3:2:1 formula but require some variety.
  • Please provide your name and which country you are from.
  • Entry deadline will be the date of my blog's first anniversary. i.e. 29th July 2008.
  • (edit) Please e-mail to: japanesehomestylecooking@gmail.com
  • (edit) Please link back to this post: http://onabentofrenzy.blogspot.com/2008/07/bento-pets-bento-competition.html
  • (edit) If possible please include this icon
  • (edit) More than one entry accepted but only the best, if selected will be posted.

I know that by putting up this post, I'm opening myself to much criticism. I plead for your understanding and ask of you to support my quest to promote and affirm 'us', the regular Bento packers.

So, for the rest of 'us' please send in your bento's ASAP (as soon as possible) to win this:

One packet of kawaii bag clips.
One pink Hello Kitty bag.
One pack of 4 pieces Hello Kitty color pencils.
One white 2 tier Bento box - 500ml capacity.
One Tulip wiener cutter.
One scoring wiener cutter.
Two face punches.

One insulated Winnie the Pooh bag (yellow).

One Rainbow Pooh Bento Box with divider (yellow) - 440ml capacity.
One Rainbow Pooh fruit box (yellow)- 200ml capacity.
One two tier Lube Sheep Bento box (blue) - 610ml capacity.
One packet of Japanese sweets.
One packet of dried Fu.

A close up look at the face punches.

One more close up shot.

All these items will go to the first prize winner of the Bento Pet Bento Competition. I will ship to the winner in any part of the world.

Sorry no Bento today. No more energy after shopping for this Winners prize haul!


Rei said...

Hi there, I'm interested and understand your pov. I'm 1 of those 'regular' packers. Ahah. Seriously, I thot my bentos looked ordinary and has no showmanship. 1 question though abt the criterion of having at least 10 blog posts to enter. I do my bento posts collectively. Definitely more than 10 bentos, post count-wise, no. Do I qualify? Appreciate your reply.

Bento Pet said...

rei: Thanks for responding. If you have 10 or more bentos to show in your blog then you definitely qualify. It's okay if it's posted collectively.

Thanks for the interest.

Anonymous said...

O... i was actually thinking of a sandwich and a piece of fruit bento...haiz.. looks like cannot join lar...:D

LZmommy said...

Hi Bento Pet

This is so exciting! How could people get angry with you for coming up with such an idea for regular packers? :) I am also one of those regular packers too, though sometimes I try to make it 'cute' for my girl.

Btw, how many entries can we send in? :)

Bento Pet said...

big bright head: Haiz....you can start with that and maybe my 200th post you remind me to have another competition? LOL!!

Bento Pet said...

lzmommy: Thanks for the encouraging words. You can send in as many entries as you want but only the best one will be posted if selected.

Unknown said...

Oh bento pet.. what an exciting incentive to those who are already bento packers and for people like me who are absolutely new to bento packing to really want learn even more about this art. I will definitely also check out the blogs of those who are participating. maybe i will be able to qualify for your next bento competition ;)

Our Story said...

i love the face punchers. cant find it in Sg.


Bento Pet said...

yozo: I hope this inspires up and coming bento enthusiasts like you. Thanks for the support, appreciate it.

Bento Pet said...

our story: Who knows? You might win it with your bento submission? Why not try for the whole stash!

Our Story said...

I just emailed u my bento pic. No high hopes tt u'll chose mine, at least i try.


Bento Pet said...

our story: Thank you for being the first to submit your Bento entry! Love the cute fish cake.

allthingspurple said...

thanks for making such a wonderful effort for bento packers. I am daunted by the competition itself but will send in photos of past bento anyhow.

100 bento is A LOT !!! i cant imagine how long you have been bento-ing already. You know, when i first started bento #1, only you, LZmommy and Rachel's mom (locally) are bento-ing. Now there's bento posts everywhere !! Bento-ing is really catching on fast, isnt that great?

allthingspurple said...

hope i didnt offend anyone out there, i mean, i only know of 3 of u who are packing bento. Now lots of bloggers i know are into bento-ing too. I just realise from bloghopping to your other commentors that , wow..there's a lot of veteran bento-er out there !

Bento Pet said...

allthingspurple: Please send your bento entry in. It can be an old bento or something new if you want to make the effort.

Yes, there is a huge bento community out there.

3lilangels said...

Hi. Where did you get the face punchers? I went to all the craft shops in 1U and couldn't find them. I am joining your competition but have little hope of winning with all the talented people around, so better buy for myself ^_*

Bento Pet said...

3lilangels: I got them from Isetan @ KLCC. Check out the stationery section.

Looking forward to your submission. You never know where you stand until you try.

Emily said...

Hi Bento Pet,
Though I am no bento packer, I shall display your contest logo and link at my blog just for fun and promotion of bentos!

BTW, when does the contest end?

Emily said...

29th July 08!

3lilangels said...

Thanks Bento Pet. And good idea from Emily earlier. I'm going to fiddle around and see how to display your competition logo/link too.

Biblo said...

Hi Bento Pet, I have been visiting you regularly ever since Emily shared your link.

Currently only packing leftovers from dinner that my SIL cooked. So how to be a Bento packer if I don't cook? LOL!!!

Bento Pet said...

Hey Emily! Thanks for the support. Appreciate it.

Bento Pet said...

biblo: Packing bento with leftovers is a start, in fact thats how all this bento-ing began.

JK said...

Hi Bento Pet, thank you for leaving me a link. It's so wonderful to know that you have created 100 bentos. Congrats! That's really not easy. I have 8 now. So, I'll need 2 more to qualify? Ok, you get me all excited. I like preparing bentos for my children cos they eat very quickly and as a mother, I put in effort because of them.

All the best to all participants.

Bento Pet said...

jo-n: Glad that you're excited. Hope you get to submit your entry. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

I am another 'newbie' and so far have posted 6 bentos, though they may be considered boring - lol. My daughter has been packing them since last Dec (she's now 17). I work from home, but loved watching her pack them so I decided to start packing hubby's (I work from home, so need for me) - he tends not to want Asian (apparently we've burned him out on Asian food - lol), so mine are reg lunch foods, but packed Bento style... So, would I qualify once I have 10 posted? lol :) If you need to see what I mean... http://kashmirkat.livejournal.com/

Thanks :)

Bento Pet said...

kashmirkat: Today's only the 15th and the contest ends on the 29th of July. If you post up to 10 bento posts by then, you certainly qualify.

You only have 4 more to go. I am trilled at how simply you pack your bentos and yet they look so deliciously tempting.

Emily said...

Hi Bento Pet,

Just a question. Are packed non home cooked food eligible for the contest? LOL!

Lyvvie said...

Hello Bento Pet! I've sent you an email, added you to my blogroll, put the link and pic on my blog and now have giddy excitement in abundance that will be driving my family mad until the 29th.

Would you be able to give a link list of those who have entered? I'd love to expand link list on my bento blog.

Congratulations! Good luck to everyone!

Yvo Sin said...

You're so silly - if anyone criticized you for saying NO to charaben, I'd personally beat them down! I'm all about speed bento (a la Lunch in a Box) and tastiness over cutesy. I don't have that kind of time! Sounds like a great contest, I will have to remind myself to sign up :)

PS I did a contest a while back and I didn't say "no charaben" but I should have... thankfully I let the people vote and they didn't all go for the blue mashed potatoes :)

MankyCat said...

My fiance and I are "regular" bento packers too. We do use cute things on occasion, but mostly that's in the form of a cute bento box or bag, cute onigiri, and/or cute sauce containers. Sometimes molded eggs. With a new baby on our hands, we just don't have the time to really go crazy with out bentos. Mainly we make bentos to save money, use up leftovers, eat healthier, and get more variety in our meals. I do have to admit think that cute food, like molded eggs, seem to taste better. :-)

Unfortunately, we don't take pictures of our bento lunches as much as I would have liked. I don't know if I even have 10 posted or have 10 pictures uploaded anywhere (though I'm sure I have them in my computer). I'll have to check.

Anyways, great post and GREAT contest!!!

MankyCat said...

Oh! I have a question!

Does the blog have to be blogger or blogspot, or does Livejournal blogs count too?

Bento Pet said...

Emily: A mix of home cooked and non-home cooked food is fine.

Bento Pet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bento Pet said...

yvo: Thanks for the support and encouraging words. It means a lot from a veteran bento packer like you.
Looking forward to your entry soon!

Bento Pet said...

frugal celiac: I like it that you, quote: "make bentos to save money, use up leftovers, eat healthier, and get more variety in our meals".

If you have made more than 10 bentos and post them in blogger or lifejournal blog before the 28th of July, then you qualify.

The purpose for this competition is an incentive for people to do what you are doing. Blogging and sharing what you are doing helps people like us to continue doing what we do! Cheers!

Bento Pet said...

lyvvie: Thanks for your entry. Will post the final list after 29th July.

I'm excited too! Can't wait to see who will win!

Anonymous said...

I do have a blog and while i do some kyraben lunches i do none kyraben too. I have a friend coming across in half an hour who is excited to learn about bento making, and i am going to teach her what i know while we bento together!
looking forward to entering- K.x

Bento Pet said...

katherine: You're welcome to submit your non-kyraben bento for the competition.

Looking forward to your submission.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited about this competition. I'll be sending in my entries soon!


Bento Pet said...

krisaki: Looking forward to your entry!

Anonymous said...

I just posted your contest info on the new Lunch Blog Events page on Lunch in a Box: http://lunchinabox.net/links/lunch-blog-events/ Good luck with the event! :-)

Bento Pet said...

Biggie: Thanks a zillion!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I was just wondering why only bloggers can enter this contest. I have been making bentos for about 2 months, but I am more of a reader than a writer. Is it really that important to have a blog? Not trying to sound bitchy, just curious. Thanks!

Bento Pet said...

anonymous: One of the reasons why I had this competition was because I hoped to 'surface' new bento blogs. There are some veterans and obviously the awesome Japanese sites, whilst visually pleasing, I can't understand a word.

I went through a dry period and almost gave up on Bento-ing. The only reason why I continued was because of the support and concern of some blogger friends I met in blogger space.

Like you, I love to visit Bento sites and I depend on them to keep me going because some days I have my low periods too.

To me, it's important to not only be able to gain from other bento blogs inspirations, ideas and such but to also be able to share the same with others who visit my blog.

I hope you understand. It's not too late to start blogging about bento.

And...I don't think you're being bitchy at all. Thanks for the honest comment. I like that.

Anonymous said...

Hmm..Well, no time like the present to start a blog, and nothing like the lure of bento loot to motivate me! Thanks for the quick reply; it totally makes sense to me now.

Anonymous said...

Hey there BentoPet!

Wow...you've transformed your blog into something wonderful :) I remember the old days when I stumbled upon your beautiful Bento #X posts LOL

Congrats at reaching the 100th bento - you're a real sifu. I MAY be starting to bento soon myself and am really encouraged that you don't just focus on form!

I won't be able to join in the bento competition since there's NO WAY I'll be able to pack 10 by July 29th hahaha

In any case, one comment about the bento prize - it's a bit on the "girlish" side ;-)

May the best "ben" win!

P/S I'm hugging myself mad because a saint is going to buy me bento stuff from Japan. Will be back for your bento tips!

Bento Pet said...

kittycat: Welcome back! I stumbled upon your nick name in one of the blogs I was visiting and hopped over to see what you've been up to.

Glad you came to visit. Hahaha! Bento prize is 'girlish', I forget sometimes boys too bring bento to school!

Lucky you! I'm dying to see what you have!!

Bento Pet said...

anon: Thanks for understanding. Looking forward to the 'birth' of your new blog soon. Cheers!!

Willow said...

I just sent in today's box!

Not overly ornate, but that's not my "phase" right now.

Thanks for recognizing us little bento makers that don't have the time (or in my case the talent!) to make those elaborate character bentos!

Look up my boxes: http://willowsbentobox.blogspot.com/

Pixi Rae said...

I post my bentos daily to a friends-locked livejournal, but I also post the picture with the contents to my public Picassa gallery. I've linked a slideshow with all my bentos to date (10 that I took pictures of that I'd really consider bento, 2 additional when before I had enough boxes) to my public blogspot, though, as well. Do you have a livejournal I could add as a friend so that you can see my bento posts there?

Bento Pet said...

will: Thank you for your submission. I've received it. Will post the results after 29th July. Cheers!

Bento Pet said...

pixi rae: Thank you for your comments. I'd love to see all your Bento posts but I don't have an LJ account. But I did see some in your blog. You're welcome to join the competition. Please send in your entry soon!

Anonymous said...

Great competition. Nice to see some encouragement toward those of us just trying to eat better!
I don't have 10 bentos posted yet, but I will enter once I do! Hadn't thought of taking pictures before. *shrugs* Kind of fun though. I'll be able to look back and see what I had for lunch! :)

Anonymous said...

I just realized I reached my 10th Bento picture today :) woohoo :) I'll have to pick the best one this weekend :) I also have to get the banner posted and figure out linking it - lol - I know it's easy, just need to refresh myself on how to do it :)

Bento Pet said...

moreofearth: Hurry! Hurry! 29th is the last day if you can make it!

Bento Pet said...

kashmirkat: 29th is the dateline! Hurry! Hurry!

Lisa~~ said...

Congrats on your upcoming 1 year blog anniversary and thank you for opening up such a fun contest. I've just recently started making bentos for my 2 1/2 year old very fussy and picky daughter. I've been having so much fun making her boxes and all her friends and coaches at her camp can't wait to see her lunch every day. I'll be emailing you my submissions very soon.


Bento Pet said...

Lisa: Waiting for your submission. Lucky Maisie! I saw her Bento and they look delicious!

Lisa~~ said...

Thank you!! I sent in my submissions, please let me know if you received them. Thanks. Lisa~~

Bento Pet said...

Lisa: TQ! I have received them.

Anonymous said...

I sent in my submissions yesterday - I hope I did it correctly :) Thanks again for the contest and encouragement :)

JK said...

Hi Bento Pet,

Here's my entry:


Not sure if it's alright. Let me know if it's not acceptable. Thanks.

Popo and Nana and Gong Gong and Granda said...

Okay...my daughter, son-in-law and precious grand-daughter live in Bangkok, Thailand. Do you know of anyplace there to buy bento for children? If not, what is the best online site? We are hoping to visit at Christmas and I think this would be so much fun for that little one. She loves to eat and is at that imaginative age that inspires any age to be imaginative.

A Po Po in Tucson...

Bento Pet said...

jo-n: Thank you for your entry. Love you new boxes!

Bento Pet said...

popo: I don't know where to buy bento gear in Thailand.

Perhaps readers of this blog could help? Please drop a comment if you know where to get bento gear in Thailand.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I just entered my submissions! If the images don't come across, please let me know via email or a comment on my food blog. My food blog is at frugalceliac.livejournal.com.

Thank you and good luck everyone!!!

Bento Pet said...

frugalceliac: Got your submission and pictures. Thank You!

MotherDiva said...

Gosh, if it weren't for the last minute, I'd never get anything done! Just emailed my entries :D
I have my fingers crossed, my oldest daughter is just CRAZY for anything Pooh Bear... lol.

Bento Pet said...

christy: Got it! Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Meh, no blog, I have a personal website. (I'm old school, what can I say?) And I don't have pictures of my lunches on my website. So I can't enter. But good luck to those who are entering!

Bento Pet said...

anon: maybe when you are more comfortable, you can invite me to read your blog lah!

It's not too late to start taking photos of your lunches.

Elaine said...

I am from Penang and recently i just discovered about how interesting of the bento.
I have read a lot of bento blogs and now i am a bento fun,i have bought some bento accessary but don't how to start my bento.
May i know that do blogger really earn money?
Should i have to create a blogger then just can participate the bento competition?

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