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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 36 years old and wife to Mr. Pikko and mother to three children. I call my daughter Mikia (formerly called Baby Girl on this blog) and my son Buddy.

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 five years later, Yum-Yum Bento Box continues to do well. Maki and I hope to do a sequel soon!

After years of working at the University of Hawaii doing jobs that I never really had much satisfaction with, I now have the great privilege of working at home for myself as a freelance novel editor. I provide my clients with editing for their books and stories, with my primary focus being fiction.

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 and websites!

Pikko’s House

My non-bento related food and home blog resides here, along with my freelance editing business, which caters mostly to independent authors. []

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. []

After getting completely hooked onto The Hunger Games, I worked at for two years before leaving to start my own site, which offers complete fan coverage of the books and films. []

The Geeky Pub

With The Hunger Games coming to a close, some of my closest friends and I started The Geeky Pub, which is an entertainment review site. Listen to our podcast The Geeky PubCast. []

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. []