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Showing posts from June, 2013

Off on a Whim jewelry

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This past Mothers` Day came and went without a card, a thank-you gift or any words of appreciation... So, as I did last year, I decided to buy myself a piece of jewelry to commemorate my third Mothers` Day!

I bought this gorgeous gemstone bracelet handmade by Off on a Whim... and have been wearing it every day since!



Off on a Whim is the name of the jewelry line designed by Erinn LaMattery here in Japan. She has kindly agreed to answer a few questions and promote her line here on Fran-Japani!!

Keep reading to find out more about Erinn and her jewelry, as well as a discount for your next purchase!!

What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made?


At first I was going to say nothing before 2011, but I take that back! When I was 6 or 7, living in Italy I believe, my mom bought me a small bag of seed beads, gave me a needle and some thread, I strung a long necklace which I was quite proud of, for all of 30 minutes, when it promptly broke and I lost most of the beads. 2011 marks my first leath…

Happy wednesday!

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Aiden went off to daycare again this Wednesday, and he still cried when we dropped him off, but according to the reports from his teachers, he soon calmed down and had a nice day with them!

Yoshi and I enjoyed a rare day off together and watched a movie.. G-I-Joe. Again, not really my kind of movie, but ended up loving it. There is a LOT of eye candy for us girls, even if you don`t enjoy the action scenes and violence. In particular, the Rock (Dwayne Johnson) and Byung-hun Lee, as well as Channing Tatum ... yummy!



We also had a delicious shabu shabu (しゃぶしゃぶ) dinner (with Aiden) at Kin no Buta which has these cool nabe pots with two sides so that you can enjoy two different tastes. We chose sukiyaki, and ton kotsu with lots of collagen!

Despite the horrendous heavy rain, it was a very nice day :)

`What`s up?` custom car event 2013

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Another Sunday another custom car event! We joined Yoshi and his company at an event called `What`s up?` yesterday in Sakai and enjoyed spending the day together. The calibre of cars was way below that of last weekend`s event (read about it here), and I think Yoshi`s company`s cars were the only classic cars at all!

Anyway, enjoy some pics...




 2 of Aiden`s cousins stopped by for a visit!
 Supporting 6Degrees!


 Aiden polished up daddy`s car
The 6Degrees team, with some half naked promo girls!

I love Etsy

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This should not come as news to anyone (unless this is the first fran-japani blog post that you have ever read).


I loveEtsy!
I have had a few comments and emails recently asking how to shop on Etsy. People often think it is overwhelming and that there are too many stores to find what they want.

Both of those are true. There are thousands of merchants selling on Etsy, and new shops opening every day.

*Why do I love Etsy then?

Well, if I can support someone (in many cases, a stay-at-home-mum starting her own business, or an art-student trying to pay their way through college) like me, a real person, instead of a face-less multinational company, then I feel much better about being a consumer.

And, it is nice to have handmade things (especially because I am useless at making things myself) to wear and look at. Having OOAK (one of a kind) things makes me feel unique and special too.

*So what do you need to shop on Etsy?

1. patience and time : because of the huge number of merchants on Etsy, it tak…

A cute and crafty Father`s Day idea

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It will be Father`s Day in Japan (and possibly in most other countries too) on June 16th... next Sunday. I was on Etsy browsing for cute crafty handprint ideas, and came across these... Trees made of handprints....

buy it here

buy it here

buy it here

Because of my extreme lack of artistic talent, I almost paid the money (you can buy them from Etsy from about $5-$30 per pdf file), when I came across this one... on One Fab Day`s blog for free!

There is a template you can download (here), print or paste into `Word` (either A3 or A4) and edit with your own fonts etc. 

She suggests using fingerprints, but I think handprints would work just as well! Just the cutest!

First day at ichi ji Hoikuen

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If you didn`t read my previous post about getting ready for daycare (ichi-ji hoikuen) you can read it here.
Aiden went to daycare for the first time ever on Wednesday.
The day started terribly, with both Aiden and I awake from 5:30am. By the time we got up for breakfast, he was a grumpy, tired, whining mess, and I wasn`t much better. I struggled to get clothes on him, and getting him out the door by 9:25am was a huge mission.
I wanted to take a quick pic to remember the big day but this was the best we could manage (on Yoshi`s cellphone). At least you can`t see the tears rolling down his face... I guess?
We took him to the school and got in trouble immediately, he was wearing the wrong shoes! oops.
After that we went up to his classroom and handed him over to the cute female teacher. She held him while he screamed and she told us it was time to go. Best for all I think... like ripping off a bandaid quickly.
I looked back and saw him through the glass window of the classroom and he said `mam…

Sunny day out at Misaki Koen

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Misaki Koen (みさき公園) is located not too far from Kansai International airport, about 1.5hours from Osaka by car (depending on traffic). It is located near Misaki Koen station (about 50minutes from Namba by train).


We drove out there yesterday and spent a few hours exploring what they have to offer.

There are 4 main areas to the park; a zoo, a dolphin show, a theme park and a pool zone (open from July 13 - September 1st). Entrance to the park is 1,300yen for adults (2,000 including pool entrance), and 950yen for students and the elderly (1,400yen including pool entrance) and 700yen for kids aged 3 and up (1,200yen including pool entrance).

If you buy your tickets from a convenience store automatic ticket machine (including the conbini right outside Misaki Koen`s main entrance gate) you can save a lot (we bought 2 adult tickets for 1,050yen each, saving us 250yen on each ticket!

Buying a ticket to the park gets you free access to the zoo, but all other things cost a bit of extra cash. Mo…

Our day out at Suzuka (17th Street car nationals)

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We went to Suzuka Circuit 鈴鹿サーキット (located in Mie prefecture about 2hrs drive from Osaka) yesterday to support Yoshi`s company who had a booth, and look at lots of cars as part of the 17th Street car nationals which were held there.

We saw an amazing selection of old (mostly) American cars (hot rods and lowriders) and had a great time relaxing in the camp grounds where the event was held. 

The weather wasn`t perfect; very cloudy with sporadic rain, but it was hot (almost 30 degrees) for most of the day.

Check out some of my pics below...


 Aiden and daddy with their matching shirts!











 Aiden said `uh-oh` when he saw this one... it does look like it is falling over!

Ahhhhhh! An oval window VW Bug!!! Too cool :)
The 6Degrees booth at the event. That`s Yoshi`s silver Camaro on the right.
There were lots of young people who took the `American` theme a bit too seriously and were decked out in clothing which I can only assume they thought was cool American street fashion (but unfortunately resembled 8…