A very Japanese birthday

Last week was Heather’s birthday and per a long-standing tradition she is usually the victim recipient of some handmade experiment of mine. I wanted to make her cute barrettes, because she posted some link love to this tutorial for how to make felt barrettes like three years ago (probably as a passive aggressive message to me to start making them). They’ve been on my list forever and when Mike busted out a series of felt barrettes for his daughter, that gave me a kick in the pants.

I went to our new local Daiso, which is essentially a Japanese dollar store, with Wendy, in search of either super cute barrettes or the materials to make them. They had no barrettes, but had eight million other cute things to buy for $1.50, including some stencils that allow you to sprinkle cocoa powder on your latte in the shape of hearts, stars, and Christmas trees. Obviously I bought those.

I settled on buying Heather a stacking bento box because she is pregnant and carries snacks around all the time. I added an elastic band to hold it secure and also bought colorful felt with which to make barrettes.

I especially liked the message on the bento box, ideal for getting a pregnant lady through the day.

That afternoon, the stars aligned, and I actually made the barrettes and stashed them in the box.

My companion shopper Wendy, who is somewhat of a bento box officionado, assembled a bento starter kit to auction off for relief efforts in Japan. Isn’t she the coolest?

Here’s what she put together.

bento box kit from wendolonia.com

And here is a video in which she demonstrates the functionality of a bento box that’s similar to the one I bought Heather.

Hop over to her site and learn more about the Bento4Japan campaign.

After a festive group dinner, Heather’s birthday party migrated to a karaoke club. (I told you it was a very Japanese birthday.) We sang our heads off, ate gourmet cupcakes, and then went home to pay our babysitters.