Showing posts from November, 2010


A blondie cake base, topped with sweet cream cheese icing and tart dried cranberries, garnished with white orange drizzle.

ホワイトチョコレートをふんだんに使った生地に、 シナモン等のスパイスでアクセントをつけ、 クランベリーをたっぷりとトッピングした、 スターバックスのホリデーシーズン定番のケーキ。

... all for only 280yen!

Babies Babies Babies

So in addition to the Hollywood Gossip sites I check almost every day (I know, it is a terrible addiction), I have also become slightly obsessed with baby blogs too.
My 2 favorites? lilsugar and people celebrity babies
I have recently discovered that some other awesome ladies are expecting little ones next spring ...


Toni Collette

Eva Herzigova

So I am definitely in great company and cannot wait to see the little cuties that these gorgeous women produce!
Both Mariah and Pink announced their pregnancies on the Ellen talk show. So cute.

20 weeks!

Oh, I almost forgot. As of Tuesday this week, I am officially 20 weeks pregnant! According to the Japanese counting system, I am in my 6th month. Half way through!
Next Thursday we should (hopefully) be able to find out the gender of the baby (in our 6 month check up)!!
Last night I had a very vivid dream where the doctor told me the baby would be a boy. I am sure this is directly related to all of Yoshi`s family also telling me that the baby will be a boy... how do they know these things?
My parents keep asking me to email them a belly shot, but I haven`t gotten around to taking one yet. I suppose I should. I will probably regret not taking one, right?
Ok, here goes... my internet belly debut...
Friday - 20 weeks.

I feel huge, and as you can see, my belly isn`t the only thing that has expanded! So excited to watch him/her get bigger each week!
He/She has been kicking and punching me furiously (I can even feel it when I touch my belly) so I am sure he/she is going to be a genki little one!

My new toy

So after hearing rave reviews from my sister-in-law (who is also pregnant), I decided to cave to the pressure of japanese materialism and buy myself a facial steamer!
Yes, I know that 10 minutes with my head over a pot of hot water would probably achieve the same results, but look how pretty it is..

This is Panasonic`s new 2-way steamer (EH-SA60). It has a 12minute facial steaming function (for day care) and a 8hour nano care (ナノイー) function for night care. I am sceptical of the powers of nano care, but the 12minute steam has already made my skin softer (I think)!

What exactly is nano care anyway?
According to Panasonic (the maker of the Nano-Care Beauty system), nano ion steam is 1/8000 the size of normal steam which helps it to penetrate the skin and hair and help skin retain moisture. It may also be able to reduce oil, moisturise dry skin, strengthen skin`s suppleness and resistance, as well as refine pores.
Panasonic (in Japan) currently has about 4 facial care machines on the market, …

Maternity Corset?

In other news, I bought my very first maternity corset today. After visiting the temple and being given a `hara-obi` (stomach belt) that pregnant women used to wrap around their bellies - and discovering that at many metres long (in fact 32 feet in length and about a half a foot wide) would take me a really long time every morning to put on properly...

I opted for the modern Japanese women`s choice...

A maternity corset!
Having never heard of these used in any other culture / country, I stupidly asked my MIL and SIL if it was really necessary, and in fact if it wasn`t dangerous to prevent the child from growing as much as he/she liked... and was met with polite disagreement.
Maternity corsets are not designed to restrict the child from growing, but to support the weight of the growing belly, and prevent back pain.
In fact after googling the subject, found that during times of every-day corset wearing, some European women also wore maternity corsets...
`Maternity corsets were common during…

Nakayama Temple

Located in Takarazuka city, Nakayama temple (中山寺) is famous for blessing visitors with safe childbirth. The principal object of worship at this temple is a Jūichimen Kannon, or the Goddess of Mercy with eleven heads. It is believed the Kannon has her power to give babies and allow easy delivery. I went there on Thursday as part of the 5th month of my pregnancy.
For Japanese women, visiting a temple and being blessed during the 5th month of pregnancy is very important.
Looking at Nakayama Temple`s website, I found out that women from all over Japan visit this temple and are blessed by monks, and given a special `obi` (belt) which they have to wrap around their bellies to help support the growing baby. The whole process is not cheap (20,000yen) but for me, was an amazing experience.
After paying the fee, we waited for a monk, and were then taken into a very red, very ornate room.

We were not allowed to take pictures inside, so I pulled these ones from the website. Sorry they are so small.

Try this... hehe

1. Go to Google Maps.
2. Go to "Get Directions".
3. Type Japan as the start location.
4. Type China as the end location.
5. Go to step # 43.
6. Laugh :)

Japanese Maternity Mags

I have only bought 1 pregnancy magazine that wasn`t printed in Japan, so I cannot say for sure that all magazines aren`t just like those in Japan, but...
Here are some of the interesting features of the numerous Japanese magazines I have in my possession (printed in the last few months...)
1. Street snaps of pregnant Japanese women/girls featuring `cool` and `cute` maternity fashion;

2. Questions and answers (in cute cartoon form) about labor and delivery;

3. Necessary undergarments for pregnancy and post-pregnancy (to keep all the wobbly bits in shape);

4. Maternity wear (for the size 0 mama-to-be);

In the latest magazine I read, there was some interesting information about the good and bad / right and wrong things to do once contractions start, so I did learn something! It might have been a little easier to take it seriously however if the advice had not been accompanied by little `OK` and `NG` (no go) cartoons!