Showing posts from December, 2010

Merry Christmas

So it is Christmas here in Japan. It isn`t quite like Christmas in New Zealand, as I am sure you can imagine. It actually snowed in Osaka (but didn`t really hit the ground).
Yoshi is working all day (as usual) because it isn`t a public holiday here. I worked this morning, and made a chocolate house for dessert this afternoon...

cute right?
We are going to go out for crab dinner tonight (with Yoshi`s 2 brothers and sister and their wives/husbands and kids - 13 people in total) which should be nice. Not very Christmassy, but who am I to complain?
I bought presents for Yoshi and his mother, but have a feeling that the giving will be one sided...
I will keep you posted.
MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! メリークリスマス!

I ♡ Ruiboos

Ruiboos Tea (or ルイボスティー in Japanese) is a tea I have only started drinking recently. It was recommended to me by Yoshi`s sister-in-law who is also pregnant now.
It is widely known for its health benefits. Have you tried it? It tastes really different from Oolong tea and Green tea, which I usually drink, and are readily available in Japan (hot and cold at the convenience store, in tea bags, powder form...).
Rooibos tea is a red tea and the first time I drank it, it seemed quite strong, but I have now become accustomed to the taste.

Here is some more information about Rooibos tea (from Cook`s Corner)... It has a very soothing effect on the central nervous system and can be strongly recommended for people suffering from irritability, stress, headaches, nervous tension and mild depression or hypertension.Helps with insomnia, disturbed sleep patterns and headaches. Have a cup of Rooibos before you get ready for bed to ensure a good night's sleep.Studies have shown Rooibos is beneficial in …

New Year Cards = ねんがじょう = 年賀状

Yay me! I have finally finished making all my 年賀状, printed them all off, written short messages on each, decorated them and sent them!
In Japan every December and through the New Year, people start getting stressed out because (amongst other holiday season traditions like house cleaning, end-of-year work parties, Christmas etc.) they have to design and produce handmade New Year`s cards to send to their friends, family and colleagues.
The tradition is similar to the western idea of sending Christmas cards, but I think the sheer quantity of 年賀状 tends to frighten a lot of people away. I sent 50 cards this year (mostly to people who came to the wedding), Yoshi`s mum will send almost 200 cards, and Yoshi will send a lot too, to customers of his business. Although it is acceptable to print the cards using a computer, each card must have a touch of individuality, and so people often decorate them with stickers and write short messages on each one.
2011 is the year of the rabbit in Japan, so mos…

New Year Holiday

So Yoshi and I (and Yoshi`s mum and big brother) are off to New Zealand on Monday 27th December for a week`s vacation.
I am looking forward to the short break and spending some time in the sunshine! It is Yoshi`s first trip to New Zealand (kind of shocking since we have known each other for almost 6 years and we have travelled abroad together several times), and I am really excited about showing him some of my favorite places around the city.
We plan to spend most of our trip in Auckland (where I grew up and went to High School and Uni) with a short stay in Rotorua too.
Yoshi and his brother really want to try some of New Zealand`s adventure activities, namely Zorb, Rafting and Luging.

Unfortunately (in my pregnant state) I will not be able to partake, but am going to cheer them on nonetheless.
See you all in a week or so.

Chedi Luang (チェディルアン)

CHEDI LUANG (slightly annoying flash-only website) is a cool and very yummy Thai restaurant in Kita Horie, Osaka!

I read about this restaurant in the Kansai Scene Magazine (a favorite of English speakers living in the Kansai - Kobe, Osaka, Nara and Kyoto region).

There was also a 15% off coupon, so I convinced Yoshi (who doesn`t really like spicy food and hates coriander) to take me there for dinner yesterday.
DRINKS - Yoshi drank Italian soda (they have 5 varieties) and I had fresh mango juice (they also have about 5 varieties of fresh juice!).
FOOD - We ate stir fried beef with eggplant, stir fried chicken with sweet chili sauce, thai green curry with jasmine rice, fried vegetable spring rolls and some tofu dumplings.
The chairs were REALLY comfortable, the interior design of the restaurant was gorgeous, everything was delicious, but the service was a little slow. There seemed to be 3 wait staff on duty and only about 5-6 tables were occupied... but our food took a long time to come to t…

This week`s news

So the biggest news from this week;
My baby, now 6 months (=24 weeks) and 3 days along...
is a BOY!
He weighs 769 grams (getting so big!)
We have come to the conclusion that the men in Yoshi`s family (he has 2 brothers - who both have sons), are capable only of making boy babies. I will have lots of people to go to for advice once this one gets a bit older.
Here is the bump photo for this week;
Friday - 24 weeks

Getting much rounder!
On that note, the next piece of news was a WARNING from my doctor that I have to stop gaining weight at such a rapid rate. I told you guys about my weight gain limit... well, I have hit it already (10kg!!) OMG. He is not happy at all and says that not only will it be really hard for me to lose the weight after the baby is born, but weight gain of more than 10-12kg during a pregnancy can be very harmful for the baby and cause it to develop problems such as diabetes! So scary.
So he told me NOT to eat any sweet / fatty foods for the next month and see if that helps.…

Christmas Surprise

I just got back home from a brisk walk around Higashi Hanazono Rugby Park (not too far from my house). It is one of my favorite things to do these days, and especially when I bump into the Kintetsu Liners (the local team), out on one of their team runs, or training ;)
Anyway, there was a package here for me when I returned, and upon opening it, I found the most lovely Christmas wreath, a present from one of my ex-students, Takako.
It is so beautiful, and I asked my MIL to hang it up straight away!
Look -->

What to wear?

As of today, my maternity wardrobe contains less than 10 items, and I hope that is the way it will stay. I can`t bear to buy things that I won`t wear again in the future (who knows if/when I will have another baby, and knowing my luck, the seasons will be opposite anyway).
One good thing about fashion in Japan, is that a lot of girls tend to wear clothes a bit baggy anyway, so I`ve been able to wear most of my regular stuff until now.
I love my tights (woolly tights 1,500yen) from MUJI.

I also bought some jeans there (for 3,990yen) but they are a bit short, so I wear them tucked into my boots.
I love my jeans (7,900yen) from Mamas & Papas who have an online store, and also stock items in some real stores (I found some of their stuff in a shop in Namba Parks, Osaka).

I bought a sweater (about 3,000yen) from H&M online (from the UK) and have worn that heaps too.

I bought a really cheap black office skirt from Akasugu online too and wear that to work every Saturday and Sunday.
Because …

What does 2011 hold for Japan?

According to past trends and new products, the clever people at the Nikkei Trendy have come up with a list of things that are sure to be popular in Japan in 2011.
Let`s take a look...
1. GPS-based games – partly due to the iPhone and Android development coming to Japan.2. Portable Beauty Products – Does not bode well for the success of Tokyo Metro’s poster campaign.3. Home Appliance Linked Smart phones
4. Fishing Equipment – it seems that `back to nature` continues to be of interest to urbanites.5. Luxury Bullet Train Tours – such as the one a GaijinPot writer took to Hakone.6. Notepad Sized Tablets – following the success of iPad in Japan.7. Raw Natural Product Based Cosmetics – this trend is apparently imported from Korea.8. Nissan Leaf, and Electric Car Conversions.9. Vending Machines that Proactively Sell – and may even replace conbini (convenience store) staff.10. Shoes that Aid Body Toning on Commute – Another import, this one from the US.
* Interestingly, the top 10 products of 20…

What did Japan google in 2010?

So GOOGLE has released a list of the top search queries of Japanese people in Japan in 2010.
Here are the results...
1. The fastest-rising queries:
> iPad> Sony Xperia> Rakuten Bank> GeGeGe no Nyobo (an NHK TV Drama)> AKB48 (a pop group with the most members of any pop group)

2. Top 5 (6) people queries:> Takashi Okamura (comedian)> Tomomi Itano (AKB48)

> Yuko Ooshima (AKB48)
> Daisuke Takahashi (Skating)> Keisuke Honda (Football)

Versatile Blogger!

A few days ago I received a cute VERSATILE BLOGGER AWARD.

In accepting this award, I have do do three things...
a. Thank the person who gave me the award --> THANKS OCHIKERON!
b. Reveal 7 facts about myself -->
1. I am originally from a small town in New Zealand, called Havelock North. The current population of Havelock north is only about 9,500 people! The population of Osaka City (where I live now) is more than 2,600,000!
2. I have a younger sister who is living in Japan now too! I am so lucky to have her here with me and share all the things that I love about Japan with her.
3. I have rare, RH O- blood (4.33% of the world share this blood type). In fact Yoshi has RH B- blood (only 1.39% of the world have this blood type), so we are a rare couple!
4. Although my blood type is O- most of my friends and family would probably classify me as type A. I am very calm, conservative and reserved on the outside, but inside I am very very stubborn and opinionated. According to the Japanese ket…