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Showing posts from February, 2011

What is in your bag?

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A japanese website called In My Bag has recently come to my attention. It is such a simple idea, but I guess it will appeal to a lot of people for a lot of reasons...

* Nosy people rejoice! Who doesn`t want to know what other people carry around in their handbags, briefcases, make-up pouches and diaper bags?
* The website is in Japanese AND English, a rarity amongst japanese websites.
* Advertising possibilities. Write down what`s in your bag, photograph the contents and spread the word. What is the most popular kind of cell-phone or lip balm? What kind of baby wipes do young mums use? How many people really have luxury brand handbags in Japan?
* Girl power! This website is focused towards women (although men can use it too) and appeals directly to the female mind.

I don`t think I will be photographing the contents of my bag any time soon (a bit boring really), but I have enjoyed poking around some other people`s bags for the past few minutes... fun fun!

Aren`t you scared?

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So this week is my 35th week of pregnancy. It is weird knowing that it will all be over really soon, and although pregnancy for me has been very calm and relatively asymptomatic, I feel like it has been long enough, and I am definitely ready to move onto the next step and meet my son!
In BABY-NAME news, I think we have finally decided on something, and I have shared it with a few people who were all very supportive. I will announce it here after he is born (I have to make sure it suits him!!)
The question that I have recently been asked most often is... `Are you worried about the pain?`

To be honest, `Yes` of course I am, but I feel like I have come to terms with the fact that it will hurt like hell, and may continue for hours or days. Labour and giving birth are a natural part of many women`s lives, and women have been doing it for hundreds of thousands of years, it isn`t something I can avoid (no epidurals at my hospital, or at many hospitals in Japan), and I don`t think I would want…

Oscar Inspiration

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Natalie Portman (a gorgeous mama-to-be) looked incredible at the Oscars and at the Independent Spirit Awards both held in recent days! Her movie Black Swan has been nominated for several awards this year, including Best picture and Best actress, and has topped movie charts in countries all around the world. I haven`t seen it yet, but am very interested!

wearing a deep plum Rodarte gown at the Oscars!
..wearing a Givenchy dress with Stella McCartney shoes at the Independent Spirit Awards. Adorable!
New parents Penelope Cruz (wearing L'wren Scott) and Javier Bardem also made a stunning appearance at the Oscars just a few weeks after the birth of baby Leo Encinas Cruz.
Amazing!

Thanks Z and D

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I met with 2 of my friends today (who we shall call Z and D) for lunch and lots of girly chatting. We went to a Hawaiian burger restaurant in Namba Parks called Kua Aina (クア・アイナ).

I had the Avocado cheeseburger set with Cheddar Cheese! D had the Avocado cheeseburger set with Provolone Cheese, and Z had a Bacon burger set.

The burgers were so delish and we were completely stuffed! I think I was the only one who ate all of mine... yay pregnant appetite :)

The girls gave me a present (for the baby) too! It was a bag full of all kinds of useful things that an organised mama-to-be needs. I was really surprised and really grateful. Thanks girls! So thoughtful and so wonderful.
Hope to see you both soon xx

Rakugo (落語)

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Rakugo (which literally means `fallen words` in Japanese) is a kind of story telling art. A single storyteller (Rakugoka) sits (in the kneeling/seiza position) on the stage and using only 2 props (a paper fan - sensu 扇子 and a piece of cloth - tenugui 手拭) he depicts a long and comical story.

Today in Miwa (a small town located in Nara) a famous Rakugoka (Kaishi Katsura) gave a performance in both Japanese and in English at Omiwa Shrine (大神神社).

I went to watch Rakugo with my sister, and we were also able to enjoy some of Nara`s tasty treats including sake and soba donuts (I ate donuts and Eve drank sake)!
We left Osaka at around 11:30am (from Tsuruhashi Station) and arrived in Miwa at around 12:30. The English section of the performance started at 1:00pm and lasted for about 30 minutes. We were able to watch a show in Japanese too, which was a bit complicated (lots of Osaka dialect was used) but interesting enough. After the show we were interviewed for Nara`s tourist magazine and had our …

Mini Gaga

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If you are a fan of Lady Gaga (like me), you will probably enjoy this too.

A young girl (Maria, 10 years old) has covered Lady Gaga`s new song `Born This Way` and has become an overnight internet sensation...



Lady Gaga herself saw the video and tweeted this `Cannot stop crying watching this. This is why I make music. She is the future…`
Pretty cool, no?
Maria covers lots of well known artists, and you can check out her videos here.

34 weeks

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Friday - week 34

Today`s picture is clothed because I ate waaaaaay too much for lunch and wonder if the bump is all baby, or perhaps a roll of sushi or 3!! Maybe a relief to some ;)
It also gives a good perspective on how things look to the people around me. My naked belly looks a bit smaller, so this is nice and round and cute I think!
So being that we are in week 34, I have decided to throw myself a baby shower. Baby showers are not popular (or known at all) in Japan, so some of my Japanese friends were a bit surprised when I told them.
A baby shower (for those who don`t know) is a small party (usually with a lot of girl-friends and female family members) thrown for the mama-to-be. It is usually held at someone`s house and involves all kinds of games and competitions, lots of present opening, ooh-ing and aah-ing over the adorable-ness of it all. Some people go really over-board with huge cakes, invitations and extravagant decorations!!

Actually I have never attended a baby shower, but im…

Date day

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It seems like it has been a while since Yoshi and I had a proper date day. We have lots of errands to run and things to buy in preparation for the new baby, and Yoshi has been suuuuper busy at work, so it was really nice to spend a whole day with him yesterday!
We went to his family`s burial place at the cemetery in the morning, to clean up the headstones and replace the flowers. It was so nice and sunny and there was no one else there, very relaxing!
After that we went into the city, Honmachi first, to buy a sling for the baby. I have been doing so much research on the best sling for newborns - toddlers and finally settled on the Ergobaby. It seems to have a really good reputation in a lot of countries including Japan and now it comes with a newborn insert, called `heart2heart`... so it can hold babies of all sizes. I chose the organic model (in green) which was a little more expensive, but very cute...

Unfortunately Akachan Honpo didn`t have the green one in stock, so we went to Namba P…

Thankful Thursday

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Some things I have been so thankful for during my pregnancy - 34 weeks and 2 days already!

* my sister telling me I am still beautiful - even though I feel like a pudgy whale * hugs from my hubby * having my MIL cook great dinners every night to keep me healthy * the wonderful baby in my tummy who is already a good, strong, healthy boy * having reconnected with old friends (who are pregnant too) * having lots of people around me to ask for advice * being able to give advice to some preggy friends here in Japan * not having any strange cravings (AND no morning sickness!) * being pregnant in winter, so I can cover up my swollen ankles with Ugg boots and my chubby thighs with black woolly tights! * the internet! such a great place to go for advice and information and the ability to connect with family and friends across great distances * cheesy reality TV shows (The Bachelor and American Idol to name just 2), great time wasters on my slow days * knowing that almost any day now, I will be able to mee…

Tragedy in New Zealand

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A big earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand at 12:50pm (NZ time today) and already 65 people are confirmed to have died. Luckily no one in my family (who mostly live in the north part of New Zealand) was hurt.
A lot of buildings and other structures were weakened by an earthquake measuring 7.2 magnitude last September, and many of those buildings fell down today. Today`s earthquake measured 6.3 magnitude and struck Christchurch city at lunch time, when many many people were outside on the streets, in big office buildings at work and in shops around town.
It is so scary, and so shocking...





This last picture shows the most iconic building in Christchurch, the Cathedral. It was really beautiful.

My thoughts go out to everyone in New Zealand at this time, especially those who have lots friends, family and loved ones. Truly so so sad...
I will update this post when we know more details. Take care ♡
UPDATE: This is amazing. An organisation has set up a Facebook page named `Accommodation for Ear…

Nesting?

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I have always been a little bit OCD with cleaning, but recently I have taken things to a new level, seconds after someone finishes using a cup, plate, fork, candy wrapper, up I get and put it in the sink (under running water) or in the bin. When I wake up in the morning, the first thing I want to do is wash any dirty clothes, vacuum the floor and make everything spick and span.
This morning, moments after waking up, I had already brought in all the dry washing from yesterday AND put all the newborn clothes, blankets and towels into the washing machine.
Am I going crazy? According to most pregnancy information out there, I have a condition called NESTING!

Nesting is a real pregnancy phenomenon!
Nesting (source)Have you noticed that you have the urge to clean everything in sight lately? Are you rushing around your house, completing the ironing, reorganizing the cupboards, or color-coding your wardrobe? If so, then you might be experiencing what is commonly referred to as the nesting instinc…

Tiny human necessities

After reading several books, numerous Ipod applications, hundreds of websites and even a couple of pamphlets from Akachan Honpo and Babies R Us (here in Japan), I have come to the conclusion that the following things are newborn essentials;
Bedding - crib/cot/baby bed - mattress - blanket - sheets - duvet/futon covers - waterproof sheets/pads
Feeding - bibs - bottles (either to feed formula or pumped breast milk) - bottle cleaning brush - bottle steriliser - bottle warmer - breast pump (if breast-feeding) - nipple cream (if breast-feeding) - nipple pads (if breast-feeding) - nursing pilllow
Clothing(may need 5-7 of each item depending on season) - burp cloths - hats/caps/bonnets - cotton onesies - fleecewear/snowsuits (seasonal) - newborn mittens - one-piece outfits - one-piece pajamas - outfit to wear home from the hospital - socks and booties - sweater/cardigan/jacket
Diapering - cloth or disposable diapers (newborns average 10-12 per day) - changing table or pad - diaper bag - diaper disposal - diaper cream - diap…