Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Want to get visible, visible - on Facebook for free?

Here's the deal! I hang out on facebook a lot, too much if truth be know but that is where I do the majority of my networking and where I meet most of my clients!

But how do I do it?

There is a strategy behind it all, I know, who knew!

So I am going to spill the bean and share all my deepest, darkest secrets on how I manage to get in front of my ideal clients without breaking into the wine money!

Yes, I do this all without spending money on Facebook ads, no fancy software just 30 minutes set up time each week.

I'm not talking about scheduling stuff into hootsuite or similar, this is for building relationships and leveraging your position.

Want in?

Click HERE to sign up. Yes there will be a replay for 48 hours only.


click to join


Sunday, 22 May 2016

Taste tests: Ebi-kun Eats and taste tests - Grignot'

Today Ebi-kun is trying a popular French Snack, Grignot'

Will he like it or will he not?




Have you tried Grignot'? Did you like them? Share your experiences over on Ebi-kuns channel, he replies to every comment! Click HERE



Friday, 20 May 2016

African Museum In The Middle Of Yamanashi

I have to admit, I wasn't expecting to get a taste of Africa in the alps of Japan, but it is Japan after all, so one should never be surprised at the things you'll find!

The African Art Museum is the claims "is the first and the only museum to introduce the world’s important African art collections from the pre-Christian to the modern period". It wasn't all African art, there was a lot of tribal art from places like the South Pacific islands too.

It's very big, to spend more than an hour there would be really stretching it, but it was all beautifully presented and they have a small shop with interesting African artifacts.


And people wonder why I turned out the way I did...


Ebi-kun enjoyed it! Everything was in Japanese so I didn't get to learn much about the items on display.


There is a beautiful little garden in front of the museum, we spend some time admiring all the flowers...




If you fancy visiting the museum, there is more info here:
African Art Museum


Thursday, 19 May 2016

The Piano In The Hills...

Sometimes you are driving along, minding your own business  when the weirdest of things pop up - like this piano on the side of the small lane we were on, next to the woods.

Couldn't resist stopping to take a photo, it didn't play well! Random, very random!

We were actually on our way to the photography museum, the exhibit itself was so-so, all young, up and coming photographers. The building it was housed in was really interesting. Half of it used to be a hotel and French restaurant, back in the hay-day. It was a bit sad to see it closed down because the architecture was great, I would have loved to have a proper poke around the place.


One of the things that surprised me the most about being in Yamanashi for golden week, was the lack of crowds, nowhere we went was crowded, in fact, quite the opposite, we might be heading that way again!


Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Up The Mountain We Go...

Whilst in Yamanashi, we had gorgeous weather, clear blue skies, not too hot and not too cold! One morning we ventured out to one of the ski resorts. obviously there is no skiing at this time of year bu they still run the lifts to the top of the mountain. They have a small cafe set up and comfy chairs so that you can sit back and enjoy the view.

Ebi-kun pointing out Mount Fuji, just in case you missed it!


He bought himself some shades a couple of weeks ago, one cool dude!


It was beautiful up there and perfect weather, we managed to snag one of the big sofas and spent a good hour just people (and dogs in daft coats) watching!


Family pic - there was a bloke going around offering to take group photos for everyone.


This photo makes me laugh, it looks like he's jumping off the edge of a cliff, it's just the angle, it's a slop behind the stones!


And I leave you with The Dude. With his shorter hair and shades he suddenly looks all grown up, chubby cheeks have disappeared *sob*. If you look hard you can spot daddy in the picture too.




Monday, 9 May 2016

9 year Blogging Anniversary - Flash Sale



Can you believe it! 


Nope, nor can I! A whole 9 years and I'm still going strong! Not bad for someone who can't keep a diary for more than 4 days on the trot.

So I decided this year to have a flash sale to celebrate, big discounts all involving the number 9 (of course) BUT it is only up for 24 hours for the whole day on the 9th of May (JST). So CLICK HERE to grab yourself a bargain!

These are never to be repeated deals at my lowest prices ever!

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Taste tests: Ebi-kun Eats and taste tests - Basil seed drink

This week he's not eating but drinking, admittedly, it's a lumpy drink. 

This just looks like a bottle of frogs spawn to me, lemon flavoured frog spawn anyone?

Check it out to see if the lemon basil drink is as revolting as it looks...





Have you tried this drink or similar? What did you think? leave Ebi-kun a message in the comments on YouTube - he answers every one that he gets!



The Cabin In The Woods

We stayed in a lovely spot in Yamanashi, it's the first time I've been there and have to say it is beautiful. The Neo Oriental Yatsugatake Kogen resort has a big hotel which owns several cabins but there were also many privately owned cabins too. They all looked different so it was pretty cool just wandering around checking out everyone else's place!

I imagine that it was the "in place to be" back in it's hey day but now some of the cabins were looking worse for wear, a bit sad really. Ours did come with an outdoor hot tub - it was lovely to enjoy the trees whilst having a nice long soak in the bath...




The weather was lovely too, we did have rain but only in the night. The hotel also had an onsen so the boys went off to use that and the ladies enjoyed the weather with sangria on the deck!



The 5th was kodomonohi (childrens day), we usually tie the Koi-nobori flags to the tent but obviously we couldn't do that, so instead I got him balloons.




The deal with the cabin was that we had to have the 'course' meal included and buffet breakfast, it was quite a trek up to the hotel but luckily they had a taxi service. We seemed to eat loads and Ebi-kun, seriously, I don't know where he put it, there is next to nothing on him but he ate way more than I did!

Actually the first night, he got a kids course meal and it was pretty horrid. NO veg at all, hamburg, soggy pizza, fried chicken, sausage and crab gratin. He only at the gratin and then helped me eat mine. The next night we ask for an adult meal for him and he ate almost everything. The second main meal was too much but he did manage to squeeze in desert!

I don't know why a decent restaurant would send out such revolting kids meals!

Breakfast was an international style buffet and Ebi-kun filled his boots, I think he sampled everything on offer, just watching him was making me full. 

It was a great stay and I enjoyed not cooking! Plus being up in the mountains, my favourite place to be, I love waking up to the misty mornings...




Saturday, 7 May 2016

Keith Haring Museum Nakamura

For Golden Week, we booked a cottage up in Nakamura, Yamanashi for a few days. The day we arrived we decided to go for lunch and drove past the Keith Haring museum, of course it meant we had to go back and check it out!

One of the things I love about Japan is the high quality of art galleries and museums. Back when the economy was booming a lot of rich businessmen invested in art and would tend to specialise in one artist, so there are several very high quality museums around the place. We have been to a Dali one in Fukushima and The Picasso one in Hakone, I'm sure there are plenty more to discover.

The Keith Haring museum was no exception. It was, as expected, a lot of fun and they were fine about taking photos as long no flash was used and there was one piece that they asked not to take photos of. We have studied about Keith Haring in the past, so it wasn't a totally new artist for Ebi-kun and he remembered many of the pieces. We have a fun Haring inspired activity HERE

This of course meant there was a lot of silliness going on, which was only made worse by the fact there were no other people in the place!



I love this one of Ebi-kun, the almost invisible boy...







And this one cracks me up! Nutters!





The shop was full of amazing things, most of which would have happily made their way home with me, sadly I could only choose one and this Jump From Paper bag HAD to be it. 

Yes, I do have to keep staring at it because it's so quirky! Keep your LV and Coach bags, I'd rather have something wacky like this!



And if you want to take your kids to art museums and have them learning and enjoying the experience, you need to grab this book!

Friday, 6 May 2016

Happy Bloggy Birthday To Me...

Wow, I really can't believe that I've been at this bloggy business for 9 years NINE YEARS!

That is a lot of writing and a lot of photos! And I have enjoyed the journey immensely, I've met some amazing people, formed some fantastic friendships and gotten to know a huge assortment of people from all four corners of the world.

Although the blog has changed direction several times over the years, the core is still the same. My passions have waxed and wained, my business has gone from being a hobby to a proper grown ups biz and Ebi-kun has gone from being a cheeky little toddler, to a cheeky little tween!

There have been some great moments, like getting featured in Ikea, being asked to be a Sew Hip Contributor and Little One Yard Wonders and the not so great things such a relatives passing away and of course the Great Tohoku Earthquake






To celebrate this year I'm going to have a flash sale (and because you are a regular, I'm giving you the heads up!) It will take place on Monday the 9th - I needed some time to set up! So pop back on the 9th or if you are on my newsletter, keep an eye out for the link.



And finally a BIG THANK YOU for supporting me on this journey, I appreciate it so much and knowing that you pop by, makes my day :)

Big soppy hugs and kisses to you all xxx



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