Saturday, September 24, 2016

REVIEW: Everyday Bento- 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go by Wendy Thorpe Copley

My heart is filled with delight whenever I see Bento (the Japanese word for a well-balanced meals with a blend of flavors, textures, and colors that are packed into boxes and eaten on the go) photos on Instagram.  I am into arts and crafts but I never attempt to prepare Bento lunches and snacks for my kids. Honestly, I don’t even know how to start right despite the available online resources and tutorials.

As the saying goes, “Kung gusto, may paraan. Kung ayaw, maraming dahilan.” Yes, it’s true but in my case, I really love to learn about Bento but my hands are always tied due to my concerns about work and family. Aside from being very busy, Bunso doesn't like the sound of videos that he is not interested with due to sensory overload (He has Mild Autism, by the way.) and gets addicted to YouTube so watching tutorials there is not an option.

I purchased Bento tools from my dear blogger friend, Krisna Mesa of Stuffify PH after she sent me a gift pack of basic bento tools. She was the one who motivated me to try doing it because creating Bento lunches and snacks for kids as she said, could make our kids feel very special whenever they open their Bento boxes. This could also encourage them to gobble something that they wouldn’t want to eat like veggies and fruits for instance, when not prepared beautifully.

After receiving the bento tools from her that she curated for me as well, I tried doing it at last. But my eagerness lasted for a week only due to lack of ideas and knowledge perhaps. When Mommy Bloggers Philippines collaborated with Frabelle Foods Corporation to host a Basic Bento Workshop, Kuya and I attended. That workshop made me realize that Bento wasn’t that difficult and there were so many ways and means to do it. The first thing that stuck to my head was never be afraid of exploring the art until I’d get a hang of it.

Receiving a copy of Everyday Bento- 50 Cute and Yummy Lunches to Go by Wendy Thorpe Copley from Tuttle Publishing keeps the momentum going…

I really, really love this book so much! Here are the reasons why:

1   The benefits of Bento box making; basic techniques, equipment, tools; Bento box idea list; and recommended Bento foods by color are being discussed and being accompanied by pretty snapshots.

2   There are 50 cute and yummy Bento box ideas categorized into four groups that are easy to prepare photographed step by step that gives moms a perspective on what can go into each Bento box:
---Bentos for Busy Mornings- quick and simple bento boxes that fit busy lifestyle
---Extra-Special Bentos- themed bento boxes based on the kids interests and hobbies
---Bentos for All Seasons- bento boxes for different occasions like Christmas, Halloween, etc.
---Bentos for Grown-ups- shows that bento is good and fun not just for the young ones but the old ones too

3   The instructions are very simple and clear that encourage kids to prepare their own Bento and mix them with their own techniques too.

4   The colorful and enticing Bento lunches can entice even the pickiest eater to munch the fruits and veggies blissfully. Each Bento box idea is a feast to the different senses.

5   The Bento boxes in the book use some Japanese packing techniques but the ingredients are affordable, common in our diet, and available in the local grocery stores and supermarkets. There are also an available templates for particular Bento box ideas.

6   Creating Bento boxes can never this easy and fun! I am so grateful that I got this book. Aside from the wide array of Bento ideas to be learned, it’s made of good printing materials too. 

If you wish to have a copy, it can be purchased directly at It offers free shipping for items worth $35.00 (USD) and above. It's worth your money, promise!

Tuttle Publishing gets social. You may join the community for updates on FACEBOOK and INSTAGRAM.

Our Favorite Magnolia Pancake Plus Just Add Water

Have you ever tried eating pancakes for breakfast and snacks for two straight weeks? Yes, we all did! Who would have thought that pancakes could be that good and so easy to prepare? Even my 62 year old mom didn’t mind smelling the aroma and eating those pancakes everyday without the “umay” or “sawa” factor.

Magnolia Pancake Plus has always been our family’s favorite for years. It’s our first choice when it comes to pancake mix brand. Just recently, its “JUST ADD WATER” variant is already available in the nearby supermarket. The orange box is so enticing (Well, the orange color in psychology stimulates hunger that’s why it’s being used by food companies, joints, and restaurants.) that makes Bunso grab a box whenever we pass by.

Aside from very quick to prepare, it tastes so good. It has the right amount of sweetness, very creamy that literally melts in the mouth. For only Php39.00/200g or Php74.00/480g, it makes 12 to 14 or 24-28 mini pancakes that can satisfy every member of the family. The pack also contains syrup- chocolate, maple, or strawberry, that goes well with the finished product. Kahit pa araw-arawin, it’s budget friendly. It definitely brings sunshine to every meal daily!

Try ninyo rin. I’m sure you’ll love it too!

Have you tasted this Magnolia Pancake Plus variant? Tell me about it!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Are You Ready for the Manila International Book Fair 2016?

One of my advocacies as a mom blogger is to educate readers the importance of reading in the wholistic development of kids. Being tapped by PrimeTrade Asia, Inc. in line with this advocacy for two consecutive years in two different occasions is such a blessing for me.

It's such an honor that yours truly is one of the media partners of the 37th Manila International Book Fair happening on September 14 to18, 2016 at Function Halls 1 to 4 of SMX Convention Center, SM Mall of Asia Complex, Pasay City.

Running for almost four decades now, the 37th MIBF has evolved from an event for the publishing industry and the academe to one of the most-awaited exhibitions in the Philippines today. The MIBF has become the gathering of bookworms or bibliophiles of all ages and walks of life to celebrate the joys of reading and the knowledge each book brings. It has also been providing a venue for the exchange of ideas amongst players in the publishing and academic industry.
What makes MIBF exciting is that exhibitors have so many prepared activities like book signing and workshops; discounts; and surprises that await visitors. These things are something that bibliophiles are looking forward to. I've also heard moms that they look forward to this event every year because there they can find various affordable educational materials for their kids while learning and having fun.

Mark your calendars now! This event is something that you shouldn't miss. See you there! 
Here are some downloadable and printable sheets about MIBF that you might need to be guided accordingly.

To stay updated, you may follow Manila International Book Fair on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I will also update you through my social media sites.
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