Thursday, March 10, 2011

Evolution of a Lunchbox

It’s no secret to those around me that I am a picky eater.   Don’t get me wrong -- I love to eat, especially desserts -- I’m just very particular about what I put in my mouth.  I will always try something and usually more than once, but if I don’t love it, I just won’t eat it. It’s because of this trait that I started making and bringing my own lunch at a very young age -- it only took a week in the school cafeteria for me to realize it just wouldn’t work.  Sadly, through the years, what I pack really hasn’t changed too much but I've noticed the packaging has evolved quite a bit.

I LOVED this Popples lunchbox! Does anyone else remember these? The weird little stuffed animals that roll up into a ball inside their kangaroo-like pouch. Well, I loved them and carried them with me all through elementary school.
As I got older and outgrew the character themed lunch boxes, I switched to a more simple lunch sack. I went through a purple phase during many of my younger years and sported this beauty all through middle school. 
By high school, my food palate had not expanded by much and I was still bringing lunch to school every day -- except the occasstional Chick-fil-A day which is seriously one of my worst guilty pleasures. Anyway, by this time, I insisted on the standard brown lunch bags. There was no way I was going to be seen carrying a purple lunch box to and from the cafeteria -- I just wanted to bring it in and throw it out!
During college, the amazing, wonderful and always flexible class schedule allowed me to either eat out or from home before or after class. No lunch sack needed during those 5 years -- and yes, I did a ‘victory’ lap in college, but it was for my Masters, so don’t be thinking I partied too hard and wanted just one more year :) 
My first couple years in the working world were completely foreign and unpredictible to me in the lunch department. I worked as an auditor for a Big Four company and lunch for that week, month, or months was completely dependent on the team you were working with at the time. Some teams religiously brought their lunch every day while others religiously went out every day.  The client I spent most of my years on, had a “let’s get out of the office for at least an hour” attitude and we went out 99% of the time. During these dark years, I very rarely brought my lunch.
When I saw the light and quit my job, I found myself working in an environment that had  complete opposite lunch views.  The current mentality is, “if I eat lunch at my desk and keep working, I can get through more work and hopefully leave sooner.”  I quickly adopted this mentality and began packing a lunch every day -- which I must say, has done wonders for my bank account and my bum! 
After a few months of bringing my lunch, it got me thinking about the best way to transport my goodies. I had been using small shopping bags, but these wore out quickly and didn’t close to hold everything in -- or hide my embarrassing 5 year-old food choices. I decided I wanted a reusable lunch case of some sort, but it needed to close, and had to be something cute that I would be proud to pull out of the community fridge at noon every day.  Best way to get exactly what you want -- DIY!  So, one particular night when I needed a serious distraction, I whipped up this little cutie.

It was perfect -- it could be washed if something spilled, it closed at the top to keep everything in and it’s an attractive bag to pull out of the fridge each day.  One admiring coworker asked if I’d make her one, so I knew I’d done something right. Since my first one, I’ve whipped up a couple extras and made this one just the other night.

I’m not going to lie, the first couple lunch boxes were pretty challenging to me -- just ask Kim who waited many months to receive hers! I have since tweaked a few of the steps to make them easier and even better looking/constructed and get pretty giddy at the thought of making more. I have a lot of fun ideas with coordinating fabrics and color choices and am guessing that just about everyone around me will eventually end up with one!


  1. some how, even though i am your sister, blood related, kin, etc... i get the shaft end of the sewing deals! you need an entire blog dedicated to making all of the things you have promised me! it's good practice for you!!