Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Were you there?

I had the live call this morning, I was somewhat nervous because I haven't done one for such a long time but it turned out to be heaps of fun!

I answered a shed load of questions from how to cope with siblings of different age to working with toddlers under foot to organizing the living room! Plus there were prizes and just cool people online!

If you already signed up, the the link is sitting in your inbox, if you missed it completely for whatever reason, then you can sign up below!

Sign up now, the call is only up until the Sunday, 9am JST

Monday, 29 September 2014

The national obsession that is Undokai...

Undokai - or sports festival is a BIG deal in Japan, we are not talking a 50 meter dash and an egg and spoon race here, oh no, it is hours of practice, sweat and tears. And the strange thing is, most of the kids love it!

Daddy-ebi has to work one Saturday a month and unfortunately it fell on Ebi-kuns sports day, neither of them were happy - I should include myself in that! It meant I had to figure out the whole standing in the right place at the right time to get the right photos! Talk about stressful lol.

I did have a bit of a mommy fail, I checked that the camera battery was charged and ready to go but didn't notice that the memory card was almost full! Which meant I had to resort to my phone, not the best pictures ever!

There are 1400 kids in Ebi-kuns school and they split them into 5 teams. Ebi-kun was Yellow this time round. They have various games and races which can get them points for their team and this is the whole school together. They have to get the ball from one end to the other without it touching the floor. Ebi-kun isn't very tall so he's somewhere in the middle!


Can you spot Ebi-kun doing his dance (blue t-shirt), he has been getting up extra early every morning to practice!

This is the 6th graders, they practice like mad for the gymnastics display at the end. There was this big pyramid and 4 smaller ones. As the last girl was climbing to the top, the whole things started leaning to the left, there was a united gasp as EVERYONE held their breath. Then a united sigh of relief as it righted itself and the girl made it to the summit. 

This one was 8 kids wide, I think 5 deep and 8 high, it was impressive but my inner Brit was screaming 'Where is Health & Safety?' I'm not sure if it is better to be a bigger kid and stuck at the bottom with a chance to be crushed or a smaller kid with the chance of falling off the top! 

The final formation looked positively tame in comparison! Luckily it was a lot cooler than usual although I still managed to burn my neck. Ebi-kun had a great day and i think that is the main thing!

Friday, 26 September 2014

I'm having a party and you're invited...

It has been one heck of a week, I've been battling gremlins - computer gremlins and they tried to wreck my party!!

Not to be beaten by any ugly wee beastie with terrible dress sense I have organized a new party and it's going to ROCK!


This is the My Organized Chaos Launch party, I'll be announcing the winner of the scholarship, giving out random prizes, answering your questions and sharing tips and tricks!

Sounds great right, it will be at 9am so I will refrain from slamming tequila and dancing on the table...maybe!

Are you in? Just pop over HERE to sign up and I will see you there!

PS - If it is past you partying bedtime there will be a replay but you still need to sign up to get it!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Two Great Parks In Saitama in A Day

Yesterday was a national holiday, so we decided to do some exploring and visit a couple of parks that we hadn't been to before. They are actually right next to each other so we parked at one and just crossed the road to get to the other.

We started off at Kuwamoto Sun Green Park and tried our hand at putting golf...

By the time we had finished it was getting to lunch time so we crossed over to the other park, which is a park and agriculture centre, they have an udon shop and  a pizza place, we opted for udon. Cheap and cheerful. There is also plenty of space to have a picnic, if you are more organized than us!

After lunch we had a wander around the farm area. We came across this statue which is a kind of sun dial, as it was autumn equinox the sun shines through the hole at 12pm and hits the stone at the back which then reflects then sun that points to one of the other stones. Sounds quite cool, shame we found out about it an hour after the fact! 

You can also do fruit and veg picking, there wasn't much going on when we were there, maybe the wrong season but there are lots of types of fruit trees to take a look at. Lots of bugs too..

The park also has a woodwork room where it looks like they hold classes, I imagine you have to book ahead, and a study a hall, inside was this big lion which had been made by students of the local high school.

There was plenty of green space to play and picnic plus picnic benches and some climbing equipment, Ebi-kun doesn't look so high up here but it was actually a VERY tall pole!

After all that exploring it was time for ice-cream! Delicious, highly recommend the mint-choc chip.

We then headed back to the first park and played on the silly bikes. You buy a ticket for 30 minutes and there are loads of different styles of 'bikes' to choose from, you can do one lap of the circuit then swap for something else.

It was a lot of fun, Ebi-kun got on this one you have to jump up and down to make it go forward, the last stretch was a bit of a killer for him!

Ebi-kun and Daddy racing, I was having trouble keeping up in my slow panda bike!

We had a bit of a wander around the rest of the park, there is a mini train and over in the other park a mini steam train - I'm sure many a little boy loves it! The weather was gorgeous, I love this time of year in Japan.

We finished off in the 'Magic House' which was ermmm OK, lots of tricks using mirrors and the such like, it was funny but not really worth the ¥200 if you as me.

All in all, it was a fab day and we had a load of fun, lots of laughing, which is what it's all about.

Quick reminder that the doors are open for this years round of My Organized Chaos, if you haven't watched the free training yet, go and do it now, it's only up until the weekend. Sign up HERE

Monday, 22 September 2014

The weekend that flew by!

Time seems to be whizzing by at the moment, autumn is always busy for some reason. Saturday the boys went to play football, I had some work to do, so I caught the train into town. Popped into Tokyo hands where I spotted these funny stickers....

I'm still trying to figure out who would buy them! We had the afternoon with friends, the boys all played together and we kicked back and relaxed.

Sunday morning was aikido, we still haven't had the results from the grading so we still don't know (officially) if he has got his orange belt. Hanging out with his aikido buddies...

We stopped at a cute little cafe for lunch and I spotted this rather strange clock that looked exactly like a piece of toast!...

And this is why i will never get bored living in Japan, all the crazy and quirky things that go on here, I love it!

I'm busy getting everything ready for the next round of My organized Chaos, the registration is open until Saturday, so I recommend getting in quick! If you want to learn more about it all, the free training videos are still up, you can watch them HERE. Hope to see you over there!

Saturday, 20 September 2014

The doors are open...

Yes, this years round of My Organized Chaos is open for registration!

If you are fed up of cleaning up after the kids all the time, want more 'me' time and want the home to be working for you, not against you. Then, my friend, this is for you.

If you haven't signed up for the free training yet and want to know how you can get your hands of a half scholarship, then CLICK HERE, you will learn loads, just from the training!

If you know this is what you want and you're ready to dive in then come and join us HERE!!

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Saying Goodbye...

I found out last week that an old college friend, Sara had lost her battle against cancer. Today is her funeral and the some of the other girls from out course will be attending then seeing her off in style - it's what she would have wanted!

She was the older, wiser one in our little class of 10, with a big heart and always up for some fun, I know she'll be sorely missed.

When it comes to being an ex-pat, this is the hardest part, if money was no object, I would have jumped on a plan to see her off properly. As I would have done for all 3 of my grandparents when their time was up. For me, it's a weird state of being, although I know they have gone, I've never really said goodbye, I'm not sure if this is better or worse than attending their funeral and doing it that way - I have no way to compare.

But for now, it's farewell and i will be cracking open a beer and raising a toast to an old friend!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Are you keeping up..

With the challenges?

Day 5 of the My Organized Chaos challenge is Decadence! How often to you treat your kids but not yourself? Today it's time for a mini upgrade, treat yourself to a posher bottle of wine or fancier chocolate, whatever your mama pleasure is. Instead of the economy class version, choice business class - savour it and enjoy it. I've been saving this bar of chocolate from the award winning @welovechocolate

Day 6 of the challenge is Take A Bath. A quick hop in and out of the shower gets you clean but we need time to rewind too. Nothing beats a long soak in the bath, add some bubbles, light some candles, maybe even a glass of wine...

Day 7 of the challenge is Talk A Walk! Explore a bit, use a new route or have a wander around the neighbourhood, you never know what hidden treats you might find. Fill your lungs with fresh air, feel the weather on your skin, listen to every sound, take time to look around.

Day 8 of the challenge is Do Your Hair! So easy to fall into the 2 second mama ponytail trick, you deserve more, your hair deserves more! So today, style it differently, give it some love, a deep condition maybe. Or if you have been putting off that hair appointment for some crap reason, BOOK it today.

Day 9 of the challenge is Love Your Purse! Feel embarrassed when you take your purse/wallet out to pay for something? Time to fix that, take everything out, give it a clean and only put the things back in that you really need (ditch all those store cards you never use). Show your purse some love and it will love you - lesson learned from the lovely @deniseDT

Join the fun,  
  1. Take a pic
  2. Tag me 
  3. Use #myorganizedchaos

The challenge is running in conjunction with the free training series for busy mamas, pop your name in the box below and you will learn so easy to apply tips to get your life more organized and back on track...

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Home again Home again jiggity jig...

Long flight back, first to Doha and then onto Narita. We have found that although the flight time is longer doing it this way it is 
A, cheaper
B, easier 

We used to fly into Europe somewhere, then have to hang about for 3 hours before catching a 1 hour flight into Manchester and I can tell you, that last short flight is a KILLER. With the two longer flights it meant that we weren't stuck in the same spot for 13 hours, we could have a nap if we wanted, long enough for a decent sleep, eat or just watch films. Kinder on the body.

I feel far more rested splitting the flight up this way.

The other thing we have started doing (and I have been surprised that many people didn't know that this is an option) a week or so before the flight I go onto the airline website and order a "special meal" there is usually a list of different meal types, gluten free, halal, veggie, vegan,  raw, etc.

I choose the fruit platter, I did try the raw platter going out but it wasn't very nice, the veg was dried out. So the fruit platter is the way to go! So yes, basically you get a whole load of fruit, I asked for some bread too when they were giving out the food, that wasn't included.

I'm not a fan of the regular airline meals and often feel bloated afterwards and Ebi-kun just turns his nose up in disgust at the kids ones, especially when they are mini sausage, nuggets and the such like. At least with the fruit he is actually eating and he did pretty much demolish it all. All the long haul flights I have been on in the last 6 years or so have this option, I've not flown to North America though, so I don't know if those airlines do it.

The flight themselves were pretty uneventful - which is the way you want a flight to be! This was the view as we came in at Narita, a nice welcome home.

And here is an excited little boy who couldn't wait to see daddy...

Friday, 12 September 2014

The Last Day...

Always the hardest. Not just because of the packing and me sitting on the suitcase willing it to shut - I bought a whole new wardrobe for me! It was a good job we had a bigger luggage allowance than usual.

We popped across the green to discover that the conker trees we starting to drop their treasure, last time we were home and the cockers were out, Ebi-kun was too young to learn to play, so we collected a handful to bring back with us.

There were some strange antics going on, apparently Ebi-kun was a racing driver of a super car and my mom was ??? the engine? Who knows but they were having fun!

We popped out to pick up some last minute bits and bobs and dropped by at the little farm shop, which has grown considerably! They now have lamas, this one was a firm favourite, just look how cute he is!

Then last night snuggles watching Deal or No Deal - to which Ebi-kun seems to be addicted, that and The Cube.

It was an amazing trip home, we did so much and had so much fun. Plus I didn't have to suffer the Japanese summer, which is always a good thing.

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