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Showing posts from 2017

June iherb haul

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As I may have mentioned before, I love iherb, and continue to order from them without any problems or complaints at all. In my experience, products are always packaged well and shipping is fast and convenient!


This month I ordered some new and old-favorite items...

NEW! Bob`s red mill pure baking soda

Recommended for so many things from cleaning to facial care, it is always nice to have baking soda on hand. I am trying this brand for the first time.
OLD FAVORITE! Zarbees natural cough and mucous syrup (nighttime)

I cannot rave about this product enough! I have used it with my son (now 6yo) whenever he is congested or coughing and it really helps him sleep calmly.It contains honey so should not be used with small children/infants, but is natural and safe for older kids. My son doesn`t even mind the taste!
OLD FAVORITE! Chocolove milk chocolate

YUM!
* note - chocolate : 
Please note limited shipping months for this item:
This item is heat sensitive. It is only available for purchase betweenOctobe…

Hanazono central park (Higashi Osaka)

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Higashi Hanazono is an area famous for one thing. Rugby. 

Locals are excited about it being announced as one of the grounds for the 2019 Rugby World Cup, and are hoping to host one of the great teams!

Families who live in and around Higashi Hanazono know that the large park (home to rugby and baseball grounds, as well as a grove of sakura trees, a splash park for kids, a large outdoor playground, and the indoor playground Dream 21) is a great place to spend a day out too.

Higashi Hanazono station.
Getting to the park is easy. Get off the train at 東花園駅 (Higashi Hanazono station), located on the Kintetsu Nara line. It is an easy ride from Namba (to the east), or Ikoma (to the west). 


Check out this map for more details on how to get to the park...
* Higashi Hanazono station is at the bottom of the map.


Hanazono Rugby stadium.
This large stadium is the oldest dedicated rugby union stadium in Japan.  Owned by city of Higashiosaka, it opened in 1929 and has a capacity of 30,000. It is the stage fo…

Legoland Nagoya (Japan)

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During Golden week, my husband and I took Aiden (now 6yo) and Emily to Legoland. It should have been a two hour drive from Osaka, but Golden Week traffic was insane, making the trip over 6 hours!




Legoland Japan is based in the middle of Honshu (the main island of Japan) near the city of Nagoya. It opened on April 1st 2017 so is still buzzing with the excitement of opening, and some areas (including the Lego Hotel and Lego Aquarium) have yet to be completed (expected to open in 2018).

Legoland website (English here and Japanese here).

Legoland on Facebook here.

How can I get there?
Legoland is accessible by both car and train.
From the Ise-Wangan highway, use the following map to reach the park.




From the train station (Kinjo Futo station), use this map.



*note - legoland does not have its own carpark. Please use the large Kinjo Futo parking building nearby.

What kind of activities can I enjoy?
Legoland is a theme park for children (the website states `Legoland is geared towards children aged 2-…

`Lost my name` ... gorgeous personalized books for kids

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I ordered one of these several years ago for Aiden and he still chooses it often as a bedtime story! So I ordered one for Emily this morning.


The little boy/girl who lost his/her name is a personalized story for kids which uses the letters from their name and the names of animals and other creatures. 

My son`s name is Aiden and the creatures that appeared in his book were Aardvark, Imp, Dragon, Elephant and Narbalek. Some common letters have a selection of animals to choose from (e.g. D for dragon or donkey).


The main character (which you can choose from a small selection) forgets his/her name and goes on an adventure to find it again.



Check out the website here for more information on these amazing stories and get 15% off your first order.

The books usually cost US$29.95 and will be shipped worldwide for FREE!

Happy reading!

Fran xx

* I did not receive anything in exchange for this review.
* If 3 or more people order their books via the link, I will receive a free book in return.

Kids Plaza Osaka

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Website (English) here Facebook page here

Kids Plaza is a large indoor space for children near the centre of Osaka city. It has areas to play, explore and learn, and is a great day out for you and your family.

According to the founders of Kids Plaza, `Kids Plaza Osaka is the first museum in Japan dedicated to child education. Founded in July 1997, our basic philosophy is that children learn while playing and having fun nourishes creativity and awakes new potentials to personal development. Kids Plaza Osaka is always ready to provide kids with amusing facilities and new surprises and thrills every time they visit. Since our opening, more than 400,000 guests from every region in Japan (mainly from Kinki region's 6 prefectures) visit annually.`
*What can we do there?
Kids Plaza is divided into 4 floors (1F - welcome floor, 3F - creativity floor, 4F - adventure floor, 5F - discovery floor)

1F:
Here you will buy a ticket, be greeted, and enter the building. There is a large ball/track d…

We have been trying some Aveeno baby products.

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*These products were provided by Aveeno and iHerb free of charge for my honest review.

Since Emily was a few weeks old, she has had much more sensitive skin than her big brother ever did. She has had baby acne, cradle cap, red marks on her cheeks and very dry skin. The pediatrician told me at one point she had あせも (asemo) which is a kind of heat rash (like prickly heat) even though it was the middle of winter here in Japan.
When we look at photos of babies, all we seem to see is soft, smooth touchable skin, so I was a little sad for my wee baby girl. I tried a variety of baby lotions on her face which inevitably caused more irritation. The doctor told me to wash her face with soap morning and night... and leave it.
The heat rash on her face cleared up quickly thanks to Dr Miki`s advice. But Emily still has some irritation on her neck, ankles, wrists and diaper area. It feels dry and scaly and looks a little red. She also drools a lot and chews on her hands, so her hands are a little chaf…

Introducing Emily

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So I know I haven't updated you guys on my new baby... yet!

I would like to introduce Emily! She was born seven weeks ago today after a 3-day labor, arriving a total of 11 days late.

Born... 
on - February 17, 2017
at - 6:07am
weighing - 3462g
measuring - 48cm



Aiden has japanese kanji characters for his name えいでん = 永典
And we decided to do the same for Emily えみり = 永美莉

Aiden`s japanese characters mean `eternal, celebration`and Emily`s mean `eternal, beautiful, jasmine flower`

Here is a picture of her (right) next to Aiden on the left!



So far, she and Aiden are VERY similar, not only the way they look, but their expressions and personalities too. For now, Emily is not a great sleeper, but I am hoping that will change soon!!
Love!

Fran xx

Supermarkets in Japan

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Visiting a supermarket when you are in a foreign country can be  a lot of fun. Similarities, differences, oddities... and picking up a few items as souvenirs, it is a great way to spend an hour on a rainy day during your travels.

Japanese supermarkets (スーパーマーケット) are no exception. Coming from New Zealand, I can say the biggest differences for me are the sizes, of the supermarket itself, as well as the products for sale. Many kiwis (New Zealanders) shop for a week`s worth of food and supplies at a time, so the large shopping carts, huge loaves of bread, big plastic bottles of milk and liters of ice-cream are commonplace.

I have noticed that a lot of housewives in Japan shop for the day (or a few days at the most) when they visit the supermarket. Many don`t even push a cart, but carry a basket as they get fresh vegetables and fish for the night`s meal.

According to the world wide web, the large supermarket chains in Japan (with the highest annual sales) are...
- AEON supermarket
- Seven and …