Before I even decided I wanted to take this blog to the next level, I have been a big blog reader. It truly fascinates me to see so many people wanting to write, finding time to do it, actually doing it, and then building an audience with it. Not to mention those who actually make a living off of it.
So I’ve decided to nitpick at a few blogs that I’ve come across from the point of view as a blogger to find inspiration, to see the pitfalls, and to start a conversation on the craft of blogging.
First up: Happy Little Bento. I chose this one quite randomly because I had just finished preparing my lunch and thought to myself: “If I was cooler, I would have prepared it as a bento box.”
Bento is a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine. A traditional bento holds rice, fish or meat, with pickled or cooked vegetables, usually in a box-shaped container.
The owner of the blog, Sheri Chen, enjoys making cute, healthy, and nutritious lunches for her two kids, MisterMan and TinySprite. It’s surprising to see so many “adult food” packed in the kid’s lunches. That’s definitely what I want to do with my little ones. There won’t be any nonsense of having to prepare a different kid’s meal for them. But I like her approach of at least making it cute, to tame even the pickiest of eaters. Bunny ears, cut-out faces, colours…So, the blog concept: good.
I’m actually disappointed she hasn’t updated her blog since January 30, 2014. I know she gained some fame from being featured in the New York Times and other publications. Perhaps she’s busy writing a book? Who knows. It’s too bad. Don’t forget where you started, Sheri! Blog future? Uncertain.
Her writing is pretty simple. She doesn’t go into too much storytelling, which is a bit boring at times. But her pictures are self-descriptive. Although it really annoys me to see watermarks on pictures. I understand why they’re used, but they still annoy me.
You can tell that she took the traditional Japanese bento concept and adapted it to the modern world. Sometimes she’ll spend time cutting up shapes, but it’s more important for her to prepare a complete meal in a fast way. I would definitely like to come raid her Tupperware closet. She has the cutest boxes! Panda-shaped, those with the cute compartments…Sheri is also very good at sharing her insights on the different types of bento boxes, letting her readers know which ones are better for dry food, for wet food, etc…She also has a lot of gluten-free food ideas.
Overall, I enjoy browsing Happy Little Bento. I don’t follow it religiously (guess I can’t if she doesn’t update regularly). It keeps me motivated to bring my own lunch to work. I thought I would at least follow her Twitter feed (@sherimiya), but she writes pretty cryptic tweets. Bad for branding.