Saturday, 3 December 2016

Yoga Santa


A few years ago I found a Santa doing 'The Tree' it really tickled me.

I have had several people ask me where I got him, Loft is the answer but our big local store closed down and I haven't seen any since.

Until today, I spotted a whole possie of chilled out yoga Santa's inLoft today.

I like to use mine as a little reminder to breathe when everything gets a bit crazy during the holiday season! And it makes me smile, the thought of Santa doing yoga!







Thursday, 1 December 2016

This Years Advent Fun Involves Writing A Story.

Every year we put the little stockings I made years ago up, hanging from the banister, going up the stairs.

Each year I do the whole advent thing a little bit differently. There is always a sweet treat, a message from the Christmas Elf and then a quiz or puzzle or Christmas Joke.

One year he had maths questions to solve, which sounds a bit mean but he LOVED it, he was really into maths at the time. Another year he had to solve a riddle, this year Christmas Elf has asked for help...

***

Dear Ebi-kun (Christmas Elf actually uses his real name!)

Santa has assigned me a very important job this year. I need to write a story to read out to all the elves after they have finished all their work on Christmas Eve. I am VERY busy so I was hoping you could help me out.

Please use this book to write the story, this is the way to start it*

Once upon a time, in the middle of winter a snow storm raged. Two friends held hands as they trudged through the freezing blizzard to...

When you have finished the first part of the story, show the Mama Elf - she is the one with the red hair, I have left a clue with her on the whereabouts of the magical Christmas Market.

***

When Ebi-kun has finished each section of the story, he shows me and I give him a clue to where the actual advent calendar is, I managed to get a traditional one from kaldi Coffee Farm, where you open the window each day, it is designed to look like a Christmas market! I will change the location every night (if I remember!)

*I also plan to give him prompts along the way to make the story more interesting.

I can't wait to see how this rolls out. And of course it's a sneaky way to get writing practice in, something he doesn't get enough of.


And as our tradition goes, I also pop a little bit of something in each stocking that is a part of a game or puzzle but he doesn't get the complete set until Christmas eve.

In the past I have put in Lego, a few blocks a day - he had no idea what it was going make, that was fun! Card games have been popular, especially when we were traveling in December, it made the portable advent calendar possible! 

This year is a new card game, which I'm looking forward to playing on Christmas Eve!

How do you do your advent? This is very different from mine when I was a kid, we got a paper calendar which had a crap picture behind each window!

Those were the days!

Quick reminder - if you haven't signed up for the FREE Holiday productivity Challenge, pop your name in the box below - it's going to be fun and you will get stuff done because I will be keeping you accountable!
It will free up more time and help you to get the important jobs done and out of the way so that you can enjoy the holidays (plus they are skills you can use again and again)


Monday, 28 November 2016

Fantastic Beasts


Fantastic Beasts & Where To Find Them


If you haven't seen this yet then go and watch it!

The film is set in New York in the 1920's . Newt Scamander (the main character) is a Brit visiting New York and some of his magically beasts escape his suitcase...

The story isn't really about the book of the same name but the Fantastic Beasts does get a mention.

The Fantastic Beasts is an encyclopedia of sorts that Newt is still writing in the film. A lot of the beasts in the book make an appearance, and I think everyone comes out wanting a pet niffler (myself included!)



There is also the muggles vs wizards and good vs evil twisted into the storyline and of course no mention of Harry Potter but Hogwarts and Dumbledore are brought up in conversation as with a few more names which is really setting everything up for the next film.

Which, I can't wait to see!

I don't want to share too much but do look out for the surprise appearance at the end, I had NO idea and nearly chocked on my popcorn!



Is it suitable for little kids?


I think it very much depends on the child. We watched it in 3D, which makes it more exciting and more scary. Like the HP films there is far more to be read into the story than what is shown on the surface.

It is quite violent in places and I can imagine the black magical force could upset some kids. Ebi-Kun wouldn't have enjoyed this film when he was 5 or 6. And I doubt kids that age really grasp the main story.

I'm sure 4D would have been brilliant but they were only showing it in Japanese - boo!

All in all it was really well done, the graphics are amazing and although the story could stand alone, it will be interesting to see where we are taken next, there might even me romance in the air...

Ebi-kun now has The Case Of Beasts on his wishlist, maybe Santa will bring it? And don't forget my Niffler!







Sunday, 27 November 2016

Why Japan is my favourite place in autumn


Japan is beautiful in the autumn. The days are cool, the skies are blue and the scenery is stunning.

We live close to a temple building that has the most stunning ginkgo tree, each year I have to pop over just to enjoy the gorgeous gold, it truly is a magnificent tree.




I think this tree is so impressive partly because whom ever keeps the grounds don't sweep up the leaves immediately, maybe they appreciate the beauty of the leaves making a golden carpet too!




I'm not sure what the format of this post is going to be like, so bare with me if things are looking a bit funky.

I'm experimenting with blogging directly from my phone. I've been slipping with blogging regularly so I'm trying to make the whole process more efficient!

Let me know if you hate it or it looks weird or funky for you!



Taste tests: Ebi-kun Eats and taste tests - pelon pelo rico

This week Ebi-kuns taste buds take a trip to Mexico!


Thanks to a friend *Hi Raquel* Ebi-kun got to try Pelon Pelo Rico... check out what he thinks and if you have a spare minute please leave him a comment over on Youtube, he hasn't been getting many recently and it makes him sad :(







Saturday, 26 November 2016

Finish the year with a bang!!

Create more time & be more productive using Kaizen Hacks in just 5 days

Has 2016 sucked worse than a broken vacuum cleaner? 


Are you ready to see the back of this year and start afresh in 2017 BUT you still have December to get through?


I know this month you are as busy as a mosquito at a nudist colony


Which is why I can help you make it to the end of the year with your marbles still intact and your hair not quite grey!
You know I'm a rock star at getting stuff done, I know how to make thing happen and to cut the crap so that it happens fast.
I also have a confession... I'm a productivity junkie, I split test everything to figure out which is the most time efficient and easy way of doing things!
And because it's the season of goodwill and all the jazz, I'm here to help you, so that you can spend the holiday season calm and collected, enjoying the special moments rather than running around like a headless turkey with several to-do lists exploding from your wazoo!
I'll use my Kaizen Hacks and butt kicking super-powers to get you into a state of organized zen

Remove The Noise

Get the noise out of your head so that you can think straight, focus on what is important and make decisions quickly and easily. Reducing Decision Fatigue (yes, that is a thing!) and stress.

Become Time Concious

Become aware of where you are are not using your time efficiently so that you can change your habits and spend more time on the important stuff – working on you biz and snuggling on the sofa with the family

Tiny Tweaks

Learn the power of the tiny tweak, how tiny changes can make a huge impact so that you can create the kind of day you journal about! Making your day easier and drama free which in turn makes you happier and more content!

Are You In For The 5 Day Challenge?

We start on December 5th. You will get an email each day with the challenge for the day, I'll be hanging out live on Facebook to help you out, cheer you on and keep you accountable so that you get the best results.

ALL the challenges are quick and easy to do, you will need 10 minutes a day.


Pop your name and email address in the box for the first step toward holiday zen


Monday, 21 November 2016

How to make finger breadsticks

Yes! Severed fingers suitable for vegetarians!


This is another simple recipe and the kids can get in on the act too. They don't take too long to make but you do need to give the dough rise time, I started the dough off then got on with some other jobs and came back to it later.

What you need:

  • 250g bread/strong flour (I used 150g white and 100g brown)
  • 100ml milk
  • 80ml water
  • 17g sugar or honey
  • 5g salt
  • 10g olive oil or butter
  • 7g dry yeast
  • 1 red pepper chopped into small pieces
Decoration
  • Onion - cut into thick slices then chop to make fingernails
  • ketchup
I have a confession here. I usually just chuck everything in the bread maker to mix up the dough. I have done it by hand, again just throwing everything in and it's work out fin. Might be an idea to add the yeast to the liquid before mixing it all together.

Leave to raise for and hour or until it's doubled in size.



Now comes the fun part.

Pull off a chunk of dough and roll into a sausage shape. Squash it down a little at the end and add a piece of onion, dunk the bottom end in the ketchup.




Use a sharp knife and make a couple of slashes for the knuckles.



Let them stand whilst you heat the oven, 210 Deg C, bake for about 15 minutes, keep an eye on them, they should sound hollow when you tap them and look baked.




The red pepper just adds a bit of flavour and makes them look, well, more revolting!

We served our fingers with the incredibly yummy and easy to make Rustic Ham Mousse



Saturday, 19 November 2016

Happy Birthday Daddy Ebi - only 2 weeks late!

Waaahhhhh I just realised that the posts I had sent up hadn't published!!
That's why nothing has been going out all week!

I batch my posts so that there is regular posting, big fail!

Anyway, it was Daddy-Ebi's birthday at the start of the month so Ebi-kun decided to make yuzu cheesecake.

I was very nice but we couldn't get it out of the silicon pan! O do have a small loose bottom pan but it was too small for the recipe. Oh well!

It tasted good and that's what's important.


Daddy gets home late so we have the birthday celebrations in the morning before school/work. Cake for breakfast and why not! To offset the cake calories we have green smoothies too!


Daddy is somewhat addicted to PokemonGo so Ebi-kun designed and hand stitched a Mega Charrezard - I have no idea if that is spelt correctly, we didn't learn Pokemon spellings in school back in the day!


I'm going to go through all the pre-written posts now and make sure they are all scheduled correctly, then I will bang my head on the wall for some time...

Friday, 18 November 2016

IT'S MY JAPANAVERSARY!



18 years, yes 18 years since I first stepped foot in the land of the rising sun and crazy TV!

I doesn't feel that long really and there are still some major WTF moments and there are plenty of things in the supermarket that I'm still clueless about!

I decided to celebrate, not with 18 tequila slammers (because I have grown up a bit since 1998!) No, instead I am having a flash sale...


I have 10 spots for mini Pick My Brain sessions, these usually got for $500 and I am throwing caution to the wind and letting 10 people grab a spot for just $180.

I know, crazy pants right?

So what do you get?

ME and my supersonic brain, it would be weird to have me without it really.

Whatever you need help with we will dig deep, thrash out some ideas then come up with a manageable plan.

I'll record the session so you can listen back and I'll write up the notes from the session with an action plan for you to follow so that you can achieve your goals.

Sound good?

then pop over HERE to get all the details and grab your place. Be quick, this off is for 48 hours only and only for 10 of the fastest action takers, slow pokes miss out on all the fun!

See you over there,


Sunday, 13 November 2016

Taste tests: Ebi-kun Eats and taste tests - umemaruko chan

Why Japan has so many weird snacks is beyond me, so many strange flavours, what's wrong with a good old bar of chocolate hey?

Well I suppose that would make Ebi-kun's show very dull! Here he is trying out another new snack...

Don't for get to leave him a comment over on YouTube!






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