Sunday, 9 July 2017

Taste tests: Ebi-kun Eats and taste tests - Long chips

I think this must have been one of the long lost videos that I forgot to upload! Bad mommy!

We went to do some shopping and then to see what was happening at the super arena, there was some kind of festival on which included beer and food stalls, which of course meant that Ebi-kun insisted on trying something new!

We have got him a clip mic for his birthday so that he can do more 'outside broadcasts' we have recorded a few in the past but the sound has been terrible so we haven't been able to use them.

This was actually from earlier in the year, better late than never or so they say... enjoy!





Tuesday, 4 July 2017

We have babies!

I have to say, I did get rather over-excited when this happened a couple of weeks ago!

We have had a praying mantis nest (?) on our holly tree for a few months and I have been waiting for the babies to hatch. Well, I went out to water the garden and they were coming out. I ditched the watering can and ran back inside to get my phone ASAP.

Ebi-kun had already left for school so I wanted to show him the wee beasties in action....






I did collect a pile of them in a jar so Ebi-kun could take a look when he got home, then we released them into the back garden. I can't believe how many praying mantis babies were in there! They just kept coming!

A few weeks on, there doesn't appear to be so many around, whether they have gone down the road to a bigger garden or eaten by the birds, I do not know. I do get excited when I find one though and I now know how David Attenebough must have felt when he was recording some new discovered species!

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Ebi-kun Eats and taste tests - Funny fruit


A big announcement!


Ebi-kun has flown past the 100 subscribers threshold which means he can now have his own vanity URL. 

You can find his channel over at https://www.youtube.com/c/ebikuneats

He had no idea that I had been rallying around trying to get him over the 100, so he was somewhat confused when I got him to check his stats, you can watch the big reveal here...





Other than being the videographer, I don't have anything to do with his channel, so I never know which episode is coming out next, this was recorded a while ago...








Friday, 30 June 2017

It's Here And It Will Rock The Pants Off You!

THIS!

This is what I have been slaving away, not really slaving as it was fun, but you know what I mean.

Hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears have gone into making this. I am absolutely in love with how it has all turned out, this is what the Kaizen Revolution looked like April 9th...




And this is where we are at today... The main menu page...







Masterclasses - a new one delivered very month with experts at the top of their game....






Kaizen hacks so that you can make the most of your time, do more and get more done! New hacks added each month.




How To... tech library of tutorials...






A bonus - The Moms Zone boredom busting, open-ended activity ideas for the kids, present by Ebi-kun...







As you can see there is a lot of great stuff in there, carefully curated so that you can make the most of the time that you have. The masterclasses come with action packs that you just need to fill in an implement, the guesswork is taken out of the equation. 

the tutorials are fluff free so that you can get straight in there get the job done without having to listen to a load old waffle!

And you get all this for just $20! I know, batshit crazy BUT I wanted this to be affordable for all those just starting out and wanting to make shit happen but are getting stuck on the how.

Now you have no excuse!

If you don't have $20 to invest in your business, then honestly, you have no right to be in business. I started out with nothing, I scraped and saved enough to make the first investment and that was the push I needed to take things bigger. A caramel Frappuccino a week is all it costs. What are you waiting for? Sign up here...













Thursday, 29 June 2017

I've been away chasing the PIG

I know I have been away a while, it's due to a combo of things. Firstly I have been having awful bouts of vertigo which make looking at the screen feel like I'm living through that Inception movie but without the guns!

And then there is the tale of the PIG that got away...

As you may or may not know, I have been working on a new project. This is my project to end all projects - that sounds far more dramatic than it actually is!

So I have multiple income streams, which is fab but I was getting worn out with the constant launching, especially as launching really isn't my favourite thing ever. Which made me have a sit-down and a big think about where I am going with all this.

I am a creator, I love making things, putting things together, helping others learn stuff, when I'm doing that, I am in my happy place.

The problem is everything I create then needs the whole launch and sales funnel and all that jazz set up, yawn! I needed a different way to do this....

Which is how I came up with the genius idea of having everything all under one roof as it were. And so The Kaizen Revolution was born.


But what about the PIG?



I'll get to that in a minute.

You know I am the queen of organisation and productivity right, so this site needed to be ordered and in a logical way and it also needed to contain all the useful stuff, no fluff. So I dug into the research to find out what my people, you! needed help with and combined that with my skills. It was important to me that:


  • It was accessible for everyone, from absolute beginners to those a bit further up the ladder
  • Everything is actionable, just fill in the info that is useful for you and go and do it
  • To have experts run classes that were not just information but filled with steps to get you going
  • A more than affordable price
  • Allowed me to create and teach, to add something new every month
So the last few months, I have been beavering away, pulling this all together, building a new site from scratch, gathering my guest experts and recording lot of video!

So... what about the PIG?


Well as part of the launch I put together the Passive Income Generator AKA PIG which accidentally got released into the world a week early - and a week is a long time when you haven't quite got everything behind the scenes up and ready ***panic***




What exactly is PIG?


She will help you take your passions, talents and skills and generator lots of passive income ideas for you. Which in itself is pretty neat yes?

But there is more, I didn't want to leave you there with a fab idea and no clue what to do with it, so in the following training, you will learn how to validate your idea and finally I spell out the steps you need to take to put it all together.

I'm a big believer in having more than one income coming into the home and passive income rocks, there is nothing more satisfying than waking up to a load of Kachiiiing notifications on your phone. I also think that with the easy to use technology available these days, anyone can do it!


Ready to get your PIG on?


Pop your name and email in the form below to try it out!


Saturday, 3 June 2017

A Big Day Snorkelling In Ishigaki

When I was a kid, I nearly drowned TWICE!

Needless to say, even though I can swim, I don't like being in the water if it's anything deeper than the bath tub. So to go snorkelling is a big deal.

I have tried this once before, when I went to the Galapagos but that was soooo different. They took us out to the middle of no-where, to where there was an extinct volcano, and told us to swim around until you got to the entrance then go inside. What they forgot to tell us was there was a really strong current!

About 2 minutes in I had a panic attack and had to get out.

To say I was a bit nervous about all this is to say the least but I'm all about facing your fears so I did it anyway...

We met up at the Dive Shop, where we were fitted out with suitable equipment, and wet suits. Then we were given some training on how to use the snorkel. I decided to stick to my full face mask as I find it so much easier than an actual snorkel.

Then we got on the boat and head out to the point. (I have to admit, when Yasutoki was talking about 'The Point' I thought he was talking about a specific place but it appears that The Point is a place where you dive!)

Live and learn.

This is where we stopped and I have to say it was stunning, photos never do the place real justice. The water was so clear and just looking over the side of the boat you could see the fish.



Yasutoki was in charge of the camera and he isn't as snap happy as me but he got some good shots, these stripy fish just hung around us the whole time as if it was totally normal to have humans swimming along side them!



And just to prove to the doubters that this actually happened, here I am, in the ocean, snorkelling! Go me. And yes that is a life vest, I'm taking no chances hahaha. I have to say, I look pretty good in a wet suit ha!




After the dive we got back on the boat and headed back to port for lunch, because the water was quite choppy when we left they had decided not to have lunch on the boat. We had more Okinawa soba, it was good at a place which looked like it was rundown from the 70's.

We had a good rest then headed out again to a different spot. The Captain knows the waters well and chooses the place to dive depending on the weather and season.

We saw a few sea snakes in this spot and lots of different fish, I have no idea what most of them were apart from clown fish and pipe fish. I wasn't too happy about the sea snake but apparently they can't bite through a wet suit anyway.




Back on the boat we had hot water to drink, seemed odd but it was actually good. I have to say the staff were excellent, the Captain and two girls were really friendly and kind and very professional. The equipment was all in excellent condition and they obviously knew what they were doing. We were lucky to get a day booked with them, the captain told us that they don't get many new customers, it is usually repeat clients that book in year after year. I understand why, they were brilliant!




I can't say I am over the fear of water but I was much happier with these team, I could actually enjoy the experience rather than worrying about dying!

The skies started to get dark as we headed back and the water choppy but it was a great day!





For our last dinner we went to the buffet at the big hotel. Most of the food is sourced on the island and there was a great mix. Plus cocktails! It was a great end to the day



And yes, I caught the sun, lobster red is fashionable these days, didn't you know? And the sea water striped the colour from my hair, I don't know how mermaids manage to maintain those vibrant colours!



It was a great holiday, next time we will skip the main island and head straight to Ishigaki. Although island life is lovely, slower, more relaxing, I'm not sure I could handle the heat of the summer.


Tuesday, 30 May 2017

OKINAWA Day 5 - Ishigaki Island - Kabina Bay, Sukuji Beach and Fusaki Beach

We woke up to heavy rain - gah! We had breakfast then spend a couple of hours just lolling around, reading, writing and generally chilling.

We decided as the rain cleared up a bit, to take a drive up to Kabina bay. It is supposed to be beautiful and the bay has sea in 7 shades of blue. By the time we got there the rain had stopped so we found a place to park and went for a look at the bay. The sky was a bit grey so it wasn't as impressive as I expected. These are the after lunch photos, when the sun had come out...





We had parked in a cafe's carpark so we decided to have some lunch then decide what to do next. We had Okinawa Soba which is not made of soba noodles, rather confusingly, instead the noodles are made from egg and flour. This was my favourite noodle dish that we had on the trip, it was with spare ribs that were so tender the meat just fell off the bone. Plus we had a table over looking the bay.



The cafe is around the back or front, depending how you look at it of the Ryukyu pearl shop which specialises in black pearls - worth a look but bring plenty of money if you plan to buy some!

By the time we had finished the sun had come out so we had another look at the bay from the view point, it really is stunning! The boats are glass bottomed and you can take a ride out into the bay. We didn't try but from the looks of the faces of the Chinese tourists that we saw get off, it looked good!

The bay has strong under currents so there is no swimming allowed.

We thought we would try giving Sukuji beach a go. We got there and it wasn't busy at all, I think this was one of the most surprising things for me. No where seemed to be busy, it was always my impression that going to Okinawa in Golden Week would mean fighting with the crowds but it wasn't like that at all.




Anyway, we didn't stay at this beach because there was a sign up saying that the jelly fish nets were not out because they were being checked. Ebi-kun has had a couple of run ins with jelly fish before so he didn't want to try his luck! We decided to go back to out hotel and use Fusaki beach instead.




To get onto this beach you have to walk through the hotel lobby, head to the back right and a door will bring you onto a path, follow it round to get to the beach. There is also a small conbini at at the back of the lobby, we didn't spot this until we went to the beach.




You can rent chairs and parasols, snorkels, fins, floats etc. Take banana inflatable rides and there is a pool - the usual resort stuff. We actually rented snorkels for the guys from our hotel which is a dive tour place too. Some kind of water shoe is recommended, the beach is made of broken coral not sand.



There are a couple of places you can swim out to to see the coral, we managed to find Nemo and saw lots of other fish. near the beach there were some big white fish that Ebi-kun was trying to catch, it was funny watching him in action!




After wearing ourselves out we went and got cleaned up. We needed to find an ATM so we drove into the port town to get some dinner then dropped at the combini on the way back. What a long day!





Handy Links:

Kabira Bay HERE
R's Cafe and Pearl Shop HERE
Sukuji beach HERE
Fusaki Beach HERE


Sunday, 21 May 2017

Taste tests: Ebi-kun Eats and taste tests - Long chips

This is actually from a couple of months back but Ebi-kun has only just got around to putting it up! We accidentally ended up at a festival in Saitama Shintoshin and long chips were all the craze, of course, a certain little person insisted that we really needed to try them, for research purposes of course!




Check out the rest of his videos over on You Tube and subscribe to his channel :)



Thursday, 18 May 2017

OKINAWA Day 4 - Castle, Kokusai Dori, Ishigaki

Another early start today, I'm not sure my husband has understood the concept of a relaxing holiday!

We packed up and were off by 7.30am so that we got to Shuri Castle by opening time. The castle is kind of unusual because it has a lot of Chinese influence in it's design.

I couldn't be bothered to read the info leaflet they gave us, so I can't really tell you anything about the castle!




They do have a stamp rally for the kids but you need to pick up the map at the kiosk when you leave the carpark. If you complete the whole lot you get some sticks and a few other paper goods. You get the stickers for just getting 10, the extras are not really worth the hassle unless you want to do the whole grounds too!

Quite a few sections of the castle you are not allowed to take photos, but this throne looked like THE photo spot. You can line up and a local guide will take a photo for you, or you can walk round the side and save yourself 15 minutes!







Watch out for the locals, some of them a MASSIVE, like this grasshopper!




Thankfully we didn't meet any of these fellas. The danger is real though, already by early May, over 100 people had been hospitalized from habu bites!





After the castle we needed to return the rental car, so we dropped that off, jumped on the car rentals shuttle bus to the airport where we checked the suitcase in. then we hopped on the monorail and  did a couple of hours at Kokusai Dori.

I was expecting this to be a more American street and markets but they felt more like the markets in Cambodia and Laos. We couldn't decide what we wanted to eat so we just ended up having lots of nibbles. We stopped at Lucky Tacos but Ebi-kun ended up with an Unlucky Tacos because the lid of the salt wasn't on properly so he dumped a whole pot of salt onto his taco!





The boys had a deep friend donut, I don't like them much. Then we tried some of the famous Blue Seal ice-cream, lots of the stalls had free samples so we filled up on those too - not the healthiest of lunches!





It's no wonder the snakes are vicious, maybe they have heard the rumour that they are selling dried snake down at the market...






After our wander we went back to the airport to catch our flight to Ishigaki Island which is further south.

We picked up another rental car and drove to the hotel. there was such a contrast in the two islands, I felt the main island was actually quite grey and grim due to the concrete buildings but Ishigaki was far more what I was I was expecting. Lush greenery, blue skies, cute buildings...

By the time we had checked in we were all starving, the hotel included breakfast but not evening meals. The choice within walking distance was very limited to St Elmo Restaurant and the places at the big hotel down the road.

We decided to try out St Elmo's but we were too early so we checked out the Tojinbaka tomb. It's for 100+ Chinese slaves that escaped an American slave ship and were hunted down and killed. It's interesting to take a look if you are in the area but not worth taking a trip out to see unless you are a history buff into that kind of thing.



We got a table right on the deck at St Elmo's, it was lucky we arrived early, I got the impression it fills up quickly and it is more of a romantic place to go rather than a family spot.



The food was absolutely spot on delicious. Ebi-kun had a seafood bubbly dish that he raved about, Yasutoki had delicious roast beef and I had a great chicken and veg dish. Not massive portions but did the job for us.

That just about wrapped up the day.






Tuesday, 16 May 2017

OKINAWA - Day 3 - Whale Sharks, Long Bridges and snorkelling

We decided to make an early start, you know, being on holiday, who needs a lie in!

Unlike mainland Japan when the majority of things don't open until 10am, it looks like most of the attractions down here open at 8.30am. I actually prefer this because you can make more of your day.

So we were up and out by 7.30am and drove for about an hour north to the Churami Aquarium. I'm not a big fan of zoos and aquariums but the guys really wanted to go so that was that. We got there just in time for opening and we had already purchased tickets at the conbini so it was quick to get it.





I recommend going this route as there were already long lines and if you are driving, the carpark isn't massive so you might get stuck waiting for a parking place.





As far as aquariums go it was nice, they have lots of smaller tanks but the main attraction is the HUGE tank with the whale sharks and sting rays. We managed to time it just right and got to the big tank just in time to see the sting rays being fed, that was quite exciting.





They have also won all kinds of awards for their different breeding programs and it's very informative but mostly in Japanese. If your kids read Japanese there are 10 info cards to collect as you make your way round, they are printed on good quality card and in full colour.

We of course managed to miss one and Ebi-kun wanted the set so we ended up battling against the flow of traffic to get back to the missing card! You have be warned!

I'm not sure if that is an every day thing or if it was a Golden Week special.

Ebi-kun fell in love with these little fellas, spotted garden eels, can't say I blame him, they were super cute.





We finished up around mid-day and decided to skip the restaurant and instead look for somewhere out and about.





We headed off to Kouri Island which meant going over Okinawas longest bridge and it is spectacular. Worse places to get stuck in a traffic jam! I was expecting everywhere to be a lot more crowded but we either lucked out or it really doesn't get as busy down here.





Over the bridge we decided just to stop at the first nice looking cafe. We spotted a sign on the road and pulled into a place up on the hill. We had to wait a wee while for a table and they were obviously rushed off their feet - slow eating! But the food was good, sadly we were seated inside so we didn't get to enjoy the ocean view quite as much.

If you have kids, they do have a kids corner with toys and books.





After lunch Ebi-kun was itching to get in the sea, he would have been quite happy to stop anywhere and jump in! We decided the easiest thing would be to drive back to the cabin and go to the local beach, so that's what we did, stopping to pick up something for dinner and breakfast along the way.

We spent the rest of the afternoon until about 6pm messing around on the beach. I had bought a full face snorkel mask, so we tried that out. We saw a few tiny fish but nothing exciting. The beach is public and not manned by life guards so we kept close to the beach.

Finished off with a shower, an easy dinner and early night!





Handy Links
Charami Aquarium HERE



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