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Your source for bento tips, recipes, and ideas!


Aloha! My name is Crystal Watanabe and I am the author of Adventures in Bentomaking. Born and raised in the small town of Hilo, Hawaii, I am 32 years old and wife to Mr. Pikko and mother to two children. I call my daughter Baby Girl and my son Buddy. We wanted more kids, but they’re just too dang expensive.

I started “blogging” in April 2007, when I began writing about my food in my MySpace journal. Soon I moved over to Blogger and officially began my blogging career. I first started this blog as a way for me to keep a food diary and bentos were my method of portion control. By combining Weight Watchers and bento lunches, I managed to lose 22 pounds in 4 months on the old Core program. It took me 2 years to unravel all my awesome eating habits and pack the weight back on and now I find myself back up to where I was and a little too busy and unmotivated to do it again.

In 2009, I had the great fortune to be approached by an editor for Quirk Books and after a lot of work with her and my co-author Maki Ogawa, we put together a great cute bento cookbook called Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches that was published in May 2010. Ranked in the top 4,000 books of Amazon well over one year later, Yum-Yum Bento Box continues to do well. Maki and I hope to do a sequel soon!

During the day, I work at the University of Hawaii at Manoa at the Department of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences as an administrator for a federal grant studying child obesity in the remote Pacific. At night, when I’m not blogging, I’m a Senior Content Manager for the ZAM Network, an online gaming website. I am also a news poster for the #1 Hunger Games fansite

Some time in 2010, I became addicted to creating additional blogs, mostly because there were so many things that I wanted to say that didn’t technically belong on a blog about food. Feel free to visit any of my other blogs!

Bento Central

A comprehensive news hub for bento ideas from across the community. It’s currently on hiatus due to me not having enough time on my hands. []

Fictional Food

Dedicated to cooking food found in books, I mostly try to cook from popular series such as Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Game of Thrones. []

Learn 2 Cook

My regular cooking blog in which I document teaching myself new cooking things. In this modern age, so many of us cooks take to the Internet for lessons and I try to teach as well as put myself on display as I bumble through the world of cooking. []

Review Addicts

A review blog that covers everything non-cooking related such as food products, electronics, movies, tv shows, toys, books, and anything else that I want to get word out about. []

You Know You’re From Hilo If…

A blog dedicated to my hometown, where we reminisce about the good old days of growing up in Hilo town. []