Thursday, 30 October 2014

Halloween Punch For Kids

Another quick and easy recipe. Not sure I can actually call this a recipe but it looks pretty awesome.

What you need:
  • Canned lychee
  • Blueberries
  • Some kind of pop - I used apple sour
Drain your lychee then pop a blueberry inside the lychee. I used frozen berries and put the lychee/blueberry eyes back in the freezer until I needed them. I worked quickly so the blueberries didn't have chance to defrost.

When you are ready, dump the eyes in the punch bowl and add your drink - Bam, done.




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Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Zombie Boy...


Ebi-kun wanted to be a zombie this year. So I went to Tokyu Hands and bought some decent make-up rather than that crappy cheapo stuff. I also bought some stuff called Creepy Skin which looked great and when we tested it on his arm it looked great. Problem was when he put it on his face it started peeling off pretty quickly.

Next time I will get liquid latex!




I basically used the creepy skin and build up the flesh, stretching it and then made some holes.


Then I used white paint first to make him pale, then added some blue and blended it in and then a little black and green to get the nice bruised skin look. 


Then I added some red mixed with black, I didn't want the bright red fake blood look. In the holes in the skin I painted inside with black then added a bit more red and black mix. The final touch was adding a little fresh red blood just in the edges of the holes.


I didn't have much time to spend on him, so this took about 20 minutes, I would have liked to spend more time on it!

Zucchini Brownie Graveyard

Some people seem to think that I spend a lot of time on my Halloween madness, but the truth is, I'm pretty lazy and I'm all for taking the easiest-least-amount-of-work possible route. This graveyard cake is the the perfect example!

What you need:

  • a zucchini brownie cake (recipe on this post)
  • chocolate butter cream, I didn't weigh anything, just chucked butter, cocoa and icing sugar in and blended them
  • white chocolate
  • skeleton mold (something like this) I have a dinosaur bones and a skull mold so I used those
  • gummy worms
  • optional - stone candy, grave stones, coffins...
Super easy, Make the cake, smash it up, dollop some buttercream in, then half bury the bones, skulls and worms etc. Done!

I did it in a big pan this time just because it was easier to transport to the party, if we had this at home I'd have gone to town a bit but I really needed to keep this version simple.



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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Delicious Brains...


I made some lovely delicious brain for the party, and wanted to share how to do it!
This is what the finished brain looked like...nom, nom, tasty stuff!


What you need:
  • Pack of Kanten - I don't know what this is in English, you often get it in fruit salads, it's got a jelly/jello type of texture and sweet (see picture below)
  • Strawberry jam
  • red and black food colour
  • milk 50ml
  • sugar (optional)
  • brain mold available from amazon.com and amazon.co.jp
  • small saucepan
  • whisk


In a small saucepan, whisk together one sachet of kanten and 450ml water - I used less water than recommended because I wanted to set firmly. Continue heating and whisking for 2 minutes.

Add in the milk then the red food colour until it's a nice pale pink then a tiny bit of black to give it a nice grey hue. Stir in a dessert spoon of strawberry jam. Stir well until the jam has melted. You might want to add sugar or other flavouring now, mine wasn't very sweet. 

Pour into the mold then pop into the fridge for a couple of hours until it has set.


Once it looks like it has set well, turn the mold over and squeeze out - makes a suitably revolting sound when you do it!

Serve as is, or if you want to use in a bento, quarter the brain and serve with a side of fresh flesh ahem, strawberry jam! This is how I served the brains in the bento boxes at the party (see here)

Using 1 sachet will make you 8 brains, so let the first lot set then when you are ready to make the second set you can just heat up the mixture again, it will melt then pour it into the mold as before.

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Monday, 27 October 2014

Halloween Bento Boxes...

Halloween came early for us this year as we couldn't have the party next weekend, we had great fun and I have a lot to share so I have broken it down into smaller posts.

I decided to make some bento's up for the kids, yeah, you know these are going to be good - the kids know me too well and were hesitant to open the boxes *evil cackle*

I had a big pile of card egg boxes which were perfect for the job, just needed a bit of personalization first. 

Dreadfully Delicious Delicacies
Heavenly nibbles from body parts, fresh from the house of Ebi



And inside, ohhh how yummy.... We have zombie toenails, giant cockroach eggs, severed fingers, freshly picked eyeballs, flayed skin, poached brains with fresh flesh and witches warts. Delicious no?


Some of the kids demolished the lot, Ebi-kun asked for a second bento! The darling Disney princess wouldn't eat anything until I told her what it really was, then she was perfectly happen to munch on delicate fingers! I think in this picture they were letting one of the older kids sample some of the delicacies first!


No doubt some people are the same and want to know what is included...
Severed Fingers - wiener sausages with onion nails and ketchup (tutorial HERE)
Witches Warts - Japanese pickles
Brains and fresh flesh - A type of jelly with jam (will post the recipe tomorrow)
Giant Cockroach Eggs - Black beans
Zombie Toenails - Burdock chips
Flayed Skin - Parma ham
Freshly Picked Eyeballs - Boiled Egg (Tutorial HERE)


Using the egg cartons turned out to be a great idea - easy to transport and no washing up! If you liked this post feel free to pin it or share it or both!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Spooky Cocoa Anyone?


Well yesterday turned out to be one THOSE days - you know the sort. Ebi-kun only had a half day at school so I tried to jam as much as possible in for the day before he got home.

Hubby had left late because he had a seminar to go to in town and it didn't start until 9am so he stopped for a Starbucks and some downtime, only to find that he got the date wrong, so he'll be doing it all again next week!

We have a Halloween party this weekend so we decided since Ebi-kun was going to be at home that we would use it as prep time, finish our outfits etc. Only to have it disrupted because I discovered a big water leak in the kitchen, that had gone under the counter and was coming out the other side. The side where I had piles of books and parcels ready to go to the post office *scream*

Luckily, I spotted the water before it got to the packages *phew*

Now I am sitting in waiting for the plumb to arrive and feeling grateful for the constant water supply we usually have, it's so easy to take for granted these things! But not having water (we had to turn off the mains) is driving me mad, that and all the chaos I'm sat in...add the contents of the kitchen drawers to the piles of packages to go out! I just want ti fixed!

On the upside, I was inspired to make Ebi-kun spooky hot cocoa.

Basically, hot cocoa with marshmallows, I used black food colour to paint on ghost faces, looks really cool when they were half melted and pretty disgusting when just the face was left! Big hit with the boy though, try it!




Monday, 20 October 2014

Quick and easy spooky healthy Halloween snacks....

Halloween is coming and as you know it is our favourite season! Now, I have to admit I have kinda fallen off the crafty wagon the last couple of months but I know with all the spooky inspiration that is coming I will soon back back up and running!

This is an oldie but a goodie and fun for little ones too, it would be a good activity to keep them busy as you are cooking dinner!

What you need:

Sharpies...


Stickers...


Fruit...


And a mat to work on is a good idea too! Simple draw eyes on the stickers then stick them on the fruit to make spooky faces. You could use googlie eyes but if you want to stretch the time out a bit the draw the eyes instead. You could get really fancy and add other facial features too.




I have seen faces drawn directly onto the fruit but personally, I don't want to eat anything that might have seeped through the skin!

Want more fun ideas to keep the kids busy? Hop on the playbook...

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Ready to Declutter Your Home In Time For The Holidays?


Yes it's back! We are doing the Holiday Havoc Bootcamp again as the run up to the November in take of Clear The Clutter.


How does it all work?


1. Sign up using the form below

2. Go and click the link in the email sitting in your inbox - or you won't be in!

3. Join the Facebook group - you will get the link when you sign up

3. The bootcamp kicks off October 20th so expect an email from me on the 19th

4. Each day of the bootcamp you will get a mission in the form of an email, complete your mission, take a pic and post it in the facebook group with any brags, a-ha moments and funny finds!


Why does it work?


OK, this is not a solution to your chaos in your home, this is like doing a detox to kick start your diet. So when you do a detox you take a few days to concentrate on all the crap in your body and work on getting it out, but a detox isn’t a long term solution is it? No way Jose, you need to change your diet, your way of eating, what you put into your body for it to work. Well, the bootcamp is just like that. 

For a week we concentrate on getting as much crap out as possible then, those who continue with Clear The Clutter will be on the healthy eating plan but for their home. Consciously being aware of what is being bought in and which habits need to be broken.

Doing it with friends, in a group, keeps you accountable which means you actually DO IT rather than think about doing it!

Holiday season is when we welcome friends, family and gifts into our home, it shouldn’t be a time to feel ashamed or stressed at the state of your home, so grab yourself some empty bags and boxes and let’s do this!

Sign up below…don’t worry, I will never sell or do anything dodgy with your email address, it’s safe with me. I will be sending you my weekly playbook filled with cool ideas, tips and tricks but if it doesn’t rock your boat, you can unsubscribe after the bootcamp – I won’t be offended and we can still be friends

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Typhoon That Wasn't...

Again we were all braced for this super typhoon that was headed our way but it was nothing more than heavy rain again, although some parts of Japan, Okinawa especially took quite a battering. It was a 3 day weekend but because we were expecting a big nasty typhoon we didn't plan anything. Instead we had a major clean out, which was good because I had been putting off doing it for a while.

The studio was full of piles of stuff to be thrown out, so it is all sorted. A big box of clothes to go to Joni in Iwate for the tsunami survivors, who are still living in temporary accommodation - temporary my arse!

Another big box of boys clothes. A selection of outgrown toys and puzzles, a box of Japanese books that we took to Book Off (yes, it really is called that) and made a bit of money there plus a beer pump that hubby had gotten for free - don't ask, we managed to sell that too!

Then there is this big pile of books... mostly English with some Japanese kids books thrown in too. Hoping to sell all of these. 



To motivate the rest of the family to help with this wee project, we decided that all the money we make will go towards or winter skiing trip, maybe an extra day skiing or a hotel upgrade, we will see!

I do wish Japan had charity shops like they do back home, I would be totally happy to just donate it all if I knew a charity were going to be able to make money from it. Where my mom lives, they are spoilt for choice when it comes to charity shops, there are about 10 in the town!

They also have charities that post bags through the door, just fill it up and leave it on a designated day - how easy is that? Someone needs to start that here!

If you are in Japan and after English books, I will be posting them in Japan Garage Sale and Japan Garage Sale Kids (these are free facebook groups to buy and sell your things)

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