Sunday 22 August 2021

Hoshino Coffee - Ageo - Saitama Cafe Guide

We tried out Hoshino cafe for the first time today. For the coffee lovers they have hand drip coffee and the smell of freshly brewed coffee does hit you as you walk in.

The place is much bigger than it looks from the outside, there is the kura* room, the main room which is separated into small diner type areas, a couple of private rooms and a back room.

*kura is a traditionally built store house, lovely and cool in the summer due to its thick walls, small windows and high ceilings.

The menu choice wasn’t huge, I have to admit it was the soufflé that had caught my eye but I opted for lasagna and Ebi-kun had the soufflé instead. 

Yasutoki went for the ginger pork plate and the signature hand drip coffee.

What I didn’t realize until we were there was that it’s a chain restaurant, and although the food was OK, it did taste like chain restaurant food. I don’t know if it is so, but it tasted like frozen lasagna and not 
something made on site.

The serving sizes are quite small, suited me but the teen came home and made a toastie and then had ice-cream because he was still hungry! I also noticed that another family ordered a main meal and set of sandwiches for the dad, he must have been in the know on the portion size!

All in all, it was a pleasant enough place, it wasn’t busy even though it was lunch time. Clean and good service. 

Hoshino Cafe

📆 22nd August 2021

🗺 880-127 Koshikiya, Ageo, Saitama 362-0064

📝 Good for light lunch, will not fill your growing teen!

The Ebi Family Rating...

 A rating of up to five ebi’s 🦐 per section...

Cleanliness 🦐🦐🦐🦐🦐

Service 🦐🦐🦐🦐

Variety of food 🦐🦐🦐

Meal enjoyment 🦐🦐🦐

Ambience 🦐🦐🦐🦐

COVID Precautions

Alcohol hand sanitizer

Masks unless eating

Contact tracing 

Vegetarian/vegan options 👎

English menu 👎

Child friendly 👍


One of my favourite things to do is visit local cafes, enjoy great food and not have to do the washing up!
Plus we get to support the locals, win-win! 

As I write this we are currently in a state of emergency again, it’s all a bit wishy-washy, cafes are allowed to stay open but are not supposed to serve alcohol and should have safety precautions in place. So I’ll include a COVID safety with out reviews.

Quick note, keep in mind that menus change, prices change and so do opening times. I’ll provide a link to the cafes website, I recommend checking there or giving them a call for current times and opening restrictions etc.

And if you visit, let me know what you think!

Want To Make Passive Income?

But stuck on where to start? Give me 5 seconds and I will give you 45+ ideas based on your talents, skills and passions.

Friday 13 August 2021

Cafe Laugh - Kazo - Saitama Cafe Guide Series

Well, this old place has been neglected somewhat recently, which makes me sad, as all of my business ventures grew from this little ole blog. But as ebi-kun has grown up I’ve had less to blog about over here.

But then today I had an idea! 

One of my favourite things to do is visit local cafes, enjoy great food and not have to do the washing up!
Plus we get to support the locals, win-win! So I’d like to share our cafe culture in this corner of the world. And maybe some of my current crafty passions and recipes. 

As I write this we are currently in a state of emergency again, it’s all a bit wishy-washy, cafes are allowed to stay open but are not supposed to serve alcohol and should have safety precautions in place. So I’ll include a COVID rating with out reviews.

Onto today’s review.

Quick note... as I do more of these posts I want to keep the same format, be aware that menus change, prices change and so do opening times. I’ll provide a link to the cafes website, I recommend checking there for current times and opening restrictions etc.

Cafe Laugh

📆 13th August 2021

🗺 816-1 Kitakobama, Kazo, Saitama 347-0011, Japan

If you want to book a table, you need to book before 12pm.

The word laugh in metal on a white wall

This was our first visit here. The cafe has a big decking area overlooking a pond so it’s quite easy to forget that you are not out in the country. The staff were really friendly and chatty, lovely relaxed atmosphere.

We sat out on the deck, although it was mid August it was a cool(ish) day and rainy but nice enough to sit in the covered deck area.

Lunch menu was to choose 2 small items from the list, a main dish plus rice, soup and drink ¥1350
Or the same again but choosing 3 small items and a main, rice, soup and drink ¥1500
Or  3 small items plus soup, rice and drink ¥900

There were 4 main dishes:

Hamburg in teriyaki sauce
Cod and baby corn fritter
Salmon and roe on rice 
Tuna pasta

And the side dishes were:

Green salad
Chips (fries)
Marbonasu with tofu
Daigaku imo 
Chinese style cold tofu
Mizuna salad

They also had desserts but we didn’t try any this time.

It also sounds like they change the menu often and they use organic vegetables where possible. Our only complaint with the food was that they were a bit heavy handed with the salt, didn’t stop us from demolishing the lot!

Teriyaki Hamburg with green salad and chips

Salmon and roe on rice

Not from the lunch menu, plum Soda (this was really good)

The Ebi Family Rating...

 A rating of up to five ebi’s 🦐 per section...

Cleanliness 🦐🦐🦐🦐🦐

Service 🦐🦐🦐🦐

Variety of food 🦐🦐🦐

Meal enjoyment 🦐🦐🦐🦐🦐

Ambience 🦐🦐🦐🦐🦐

COVID Precautions 🦐🦐🦐🦐*

Vegetarian/vegan options 👎

English menu 👎

Child friendly 👍

*they had the alcohol spray, temperature testing, air circulation, plastic barriers but not contact tracing.




Want To Make Passive Income?

But stuck on where to start? Give me 5 seconds and I will give you 45+ ideas based on your talents, skills and passions.

Wednesday 11 September 2019

Where we are with our homeschool journey

Term time starts in April here, we took August off so this is where we are this September:

⭐️ Core subjects, grade 3 Junior High. Maths, Japanese and science he uses @study sapuri and studies in Japanese, although he also uses Khan Academy for maths because he doesn't like the Japanese math teacher.

⭐️ English, he reads daily, has a workbook which we work through together and is doing a creative writing class on Outschool this term.

⭐️ French, after 300 days of Spanish he decided to switch to French, he does the daily lessons on Duolingo. Once he has the basics down we will look for a conversation class for him.

⭐️ Humanities, High School he is about 1/2 way through those so he will just continue with them. (in Japanese using Study Sapuri)

⭐️ Game theory - he has gotten really interested in this the last couple of months and has been researching it so we signed him up for a course on Coursera to go deeper into that. (research in Japanese, course is in English)

⭐️ Culinary arts, still a favourite, he is working through all the chefs on MasterClass and experimenting a lot in the kitchen. (mostly English)

⭐️ PE - he does aikido twice a week and goes climbing 3 times and does training at home to build muscle for climbing.

⭐️ Coding - Lego Mindstorms EV3 with Zedkai and they also do classes debating various topics and live lectures. (Japanese)

⭐️ Occasional classes with JUNEC (Japanese)

⭐️ Art - I signed up for a course on Domestika and he has been joining in.
I think that is it! Looks like a lot but some of these are just once or twice a month. He is enjoying being able to pick and mix whatever he wants to study and to be able to learn at his own pace.

Ebi-kun is happy, I would say the only downside is that he doesn't see his friends so much now, we knew this would happen and unfortunately, there are not many homeschoolers his age around.

boy bouldering hanging upside down on a bouldering indoor wall

We have developed a routine, he does the bulk of his studying in the morning and I work, we stop for lunch and after we have eaten we will watch a TED talk or Masterclass. Then we will go bouldering or do something together or he will work on a project. In the evening he meets online with his mates and plays and generally hangs out normal teenage boy stuff!

And that is it.

I've been missing the blog, so I plan to pop by more often, I miss just sitting down first thing and banging out a blog post! TBH my work blog is a lot of work, I have to consider keywords and SEO, getting the right title and all that jazz, really sucks the fun out of things!

So over here it will just be my rambles and rants, like the good old days!

If you are reading, please drop me a comment, I'd love to re-connect with my old followers

Keep being wonderful,


Want To Make Passive Income?

But stuck on where to start? Give me 5 seconds and I will give you 45+ ideas based on your talents, skills and passions.

Tuesday 6 March 2018

Homeschool Update...

To be honest, I haven't got much to update about!

So last time I talked about filling the forms in at city hall. That is about it really. We haven't heard anything else, which does have me a tad worried, you know how much the Japanese love red tape and bureaucracy!

Ebi-kun told his class teacher that he was going to homeschool fro junior high. At first, sensei was OK, if that's what you want to do. But then a few days later he said to Ebi-kun that he didn't think it was "allowed" that he had to go to school. Hubby has explained all the rules to Ebi-kun in Japanese so that he can answer all these types of questions which no doubt will come up in the future.

Last week the 6th graders were going for a tour of the junior high, any kids that are not going to that school were allowed to go home instead. There are a handful of students that will go to private JH schools and of course, Ebi-kun. I had to go and pick him up, so whilst the rest of the kids are touring the school, we went for ice-cream #homeschoollife!

ebi-kun easting ice-cream jojoebi-designs

We then popped to the supermarket so he could pick up the ingredients to cook dinner, I'm telling you, I'm loving this already!

The other thing that has come up, Ebi-kun currently goes to football school once a week and wanted to continue but there is no JH age class. On Saturday he had a make-up class so afterwards I suggested we did a very un-Japanese thing and ask if they can let him join a class next year (the year starts April).

We had a long chat with the coaches and explained what was happening and why he couldn't join the JH team, had to explain a bit about homeschooling and they were absolutely lovely about it.

They suggested he joined a class for the next couple of weeks which is a higher level than the one he is in now to see if he liked that kind of training and they would talk to the head coach to see about him being allowed to join a class or if there is enough interest to start a JH class.

They said that they really wanted to support us and would try and work something out.

Ebi-kun was chuffed to bits so it's fingers crossed now that they are good to their word and do work something out.

Ebi-kun will keep doing his aikido and he has been trying the bouldering club out too so I think if we can keep the football in the mix he should have enough to keep him busy out of the house. (and me!)

I will keep you posted on what happens next, it's very much a see-how-it-goes type of adventure!

If you are homeschooling too, let me know!


Want To Make Passive Income?

But stuck on where to start? Grab The Passive Income Generator (fondly know as PIG) and find out what the perfect passive income stream is for your unique talents, skills and passions...

Sunday 4 March 2018

The trouble with blogging these days...

The trouble with blogging these days...

I was talking to my biz coach the other day and she made a point of saying how much she loved my writing style and wanted to know why I don't write more.

I started with the same ole same ole excuses and lack of time yadda yadda yadda but then I though some more about it.

It isn't down to lack of time at all, if anything since Ebi-kun has been at school, I have more time! When to think back when I was most prolific with my blogging, that was when I was the most busy. So what really changed?

The business of blogging I think is a big factor.

You see when I started, I knew nothing about SEO (Seacrh Engline Optimization) or keywords, the important of alt text on images and the layout that coverts the best or any of that stuff. And to be brutely honest, I had zero interest in it either.

I was blogging initially for me and my family (this was pre-Facebook days, do you remember them?)

I wrote because I enjoyed it, it was a creative outlet. I didn't worry about the terrible grammar (confessin alert, I would type and hit publish, without even reading it through...!)

I didn't worry about how professional I sounded or if I was using the latest terminolgy and jargon. I just wrote whatever came to mind and that was that.

Totally random unicorn chocolate photos because... why not?

Being a multipotenialite meant that there was never a clear niche for this blog, it was always a general, this is my life and what I'm up to right now kind of thing. It was called A Bit Of This And A Bit Of That when I first started. No planning, not deciding on what will go out in Q1, Q2 or anything like that.

It was very much me, just writing.

Then when I started My Organized Chaos (now jojoebi) I discovered I hadn't been doing things properly and the following I had gained totally organically was a bit of a happy accident!

I started following the advice of the "gurus" on when and how to post, keyword research, optimised blog titles, SEO and all of that and you know what, it sucked the fun out of writing.

Combine that with how easy it is to write a quick update on what's going on over on Facebook and well, this blog took quite a beating.

I have had coaches in the past who told me to to move this blog over to the new site, my gut has always been against the idea, and my brain was screaming WHAT? 3000 POSTS, ARE YOU INSANE? Needless to say, we are still here and I'm happy with that.

So thanks to my current coach I was able to nail what it was that was holiding me back. This blog has never been about the money, it was always a creative outlet and connecting with like minded folk.

I want to get back to that just sitting down and rambling, spur of the moments kind of posts, those ones where you have a flash of inspiration in the bath and you just have to get out and share, even if you're dripping all over the keyboard.

I miss the days of the conversations and connections through the comments section, I feel like facebook spolied much of that. I feel like I'm on Facebook waaaay to much and the connections are not truely there, especially with the constant algorithm changes. I still love my groups but I do feel in the last 6 months or so I have drifted away.

So for the future...

Expect more of this, free form waffle, hopefully it will be a bit more amusing and exciting to read! I will be documenting our homeschool journey too, although now there will be less hands on stuff from me.

And of course the random comings and goings of life in Japan and our adventures.

I did contemplate remving everything and going for a total minamilist look but my inner entrepreneur called me bat-shit crazy for even thinking that, because at the end of the day, I still need to be making money!

The moms that I help over on jojoebi and The Kaizen Revolution, came from here initially so there still needs to be some kind of connection.

I'm looking forward to not doing keyword research, not going SEO crazy and not worrying about if I'm doing it it right or wrong. Just going with the flow!

I hope you enjoy it to!

I'll be seeing you again soon,


Want To Make Passive Income?

But stuck on where to start? Grab The Passive Income Generator (fondly know as PIG) and find out what the perfect passive income stream is for your unique talents, skills and passions...

Thursday 15 February 2018

Create Every Week #4 - Blow Fish Party

I admit it, I have been slacking off on the creativity side but I did have a play around the other day with this.

I am hoping to up my "kawaii illustrations" game so I decided to combine different expressions with blowfish (fugu as it is known in Japan).

I'll probably paint it with water colours but upload and clean it up a bit so I can play around with digital painting too.

I have been using this book: Kawaii: How to draw really cute stuff and a reference book. Which I'm really enjoying, Ebi-kun too. It has step by step for drawing all kinds of things from people to transport to buildings and how to kawaiify them.

Obviously in Japan everything is kawaii, they have a knack of making everything cute - which other nation would come up with a cute poop emoji? I rest my case.
All the prefectures have their own cute mascots, we have a pigeon, I know right, of all the creatures they pick a bloody pigeon!

But it doesn't stop there, supermarkets, hospitals, schools, even prisions have mascots too - it's a HUGE business. One thing that surprised me when I first came over to Japan was seeing full grown men with cute mascot pens, key-chains and the such like. After being here so long it all seems perfectly normal.

So... what have you been creating this week?

Want To Make Passive Income?

But stuck on where to start? Grab The Passive Income Generator (fondly know as PIG) and find out what the perfect passive income stream is for your unique talents, skills and passions...

Thursday 8 February 2018

Instant Pot: Italian Bean Stew and Dumplings

Instant Pot Convert Here!

I bought an instant pot last November, mainly because we eat a lot of stews, soups and casseroles over the winter and standing over the stove is not my idea of a barrel of laughs.

Initially, I was going to go for a Crock Pot but when I started reading reviews I kept seeing Instant Pot pop up, so I did some more digging.

It seemed to be the bee's knees so I ordered one.

I have never owned or used any kind of pressure cooker so I was a bit worried about blowing up the kitchen, so far so good!

Quick disclaimer: I often use affiliate links in my post and on my site, this means that I get a small percentage of the same if you choose to buy through my link, at no cost to you.

I feel like my biggest gripe with the Instant Pot - which I love incidentally, is more to do with the wild claims of food bloggers. When I was trawling Pinterest for recipes and reviews I saw all these amazing claims "Rice cooked in 5 minutes", "Whole roast chicken in 30 minutes" and the such like.

Now these claims are not wrong but what they don't mention is that you have to add in the time it takes for the pot to come to pressure, 5-10 minutes and then the time it takes to release afterwards. As a pressure cooker newbie, I was clueless about this and was sucked in by the super fast cooking times.

Due to my ignorance, for the first few weeks, my cooking times were well off and I was having trouble getting a meal to come together, now I pretty much prepare the Instant Pot portion of the meal in advance so I don't have to think about it!

I got the Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker I haven't yet tried the yoghurt function, need to get onto that!

For those in Japan, I ordered this one here - please note that it has an earth on the plug, luckily we have an earthed socket next to the oven so it all plugged in fine but I know other people have had to buy an adapter to make it work for them. Voltage wise it works fine.

Now we have that out of the way... onto the recipe!

Stufato Di Fagioli Con Polpettine Di Pane
Or in other words, Italian bean Stew With Bread Dumplings

This is meat free but still very filling, it's like a hug in a bowl! Perfect for wintery evenings and was pretty quick to throw together. It got a great 9/10 from the family, so this is going on the winners list and into my evernote file of fall back recipes.

I adapted the recipe from Gino's D'Campo's Italian Escape book, mom got it me for Christmas, purely because she fancies Gino!

Serves 4

For the bean stew

2 TBSP Olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 pinches dried red chilli flakes
1 TSP fresh chopped rosemary
2 x 400g chopped tomatoes + 1/2 can of water
1 x 400g tinned borlotti beans, drained and rinsed*
1 x 400g tinned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper

*For those in Japan I get my beans from Yamaya International Liquor store - if you haven't discovered this store yet, go and hunt it out, it's a gem!

For the dumplings

200g ciabatta bread*
200ml milk
1 egg beaten
2 TSP fresh chopped rosemary (recipe called for parsley)
1 TBSP flour
Olive oil

*I didn't have any ciabatta so I dug some random bread leftovers, a couple of homemade buns and the end of a french stick, out of the freezer. Let them defrost and added the milk, I needed a bit more than the recipe stated but that might have been down to the type of bread.

  • Put the olive oil in the instant pot and set to saute.
  • Add the onion and cook for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the chilli pepper and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Throw in the rest of the ingredients, give a good stir.
  • Change the setting from saute to soup.

Takes 11 minutes cooking time but remember to add the coming up and releasing the pressure!


  • Chop the bread into small cubes.
  • Warm the milk then pour over the bread, I needed to add a bit more milk, maybe due to the fact it wasn't ciabatta. 
  • Leave to soak for 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the rosemary, egg and flour. The recipe called for lemon zest too but I didn't have any so skipped that bit completely.
  • It should make a sticky type dough.
  • Heat the oil in a frying pan, scoop the dough into walnut sized balls and cook until golden all over.

Serve on top of the bean stew.


Want an easy way to save you time every week? Then grab my meal planner, I promise it will work for you!

Get your FREE meal planner, simple choose which design you like - unicorns or flowers. Use it each week to stay organized and provide your family with healthy meals. #mealplanner #download #freeplanner #kaizen #planner

Tuesday 6 February 2018

The Start Of Our Homeschool Journey In Japan

The Start Of Our Homeschool Journey In Japan

I have a BIG announcement... 

Yes, we are going to start homeschooling full time. Ebi-kun will finish Elementary school in March and so we will start our homeschool journey.

For some of you, this won't be a surprise, it is something we have been considering all along but now it's crunch time and we have to jump one way or the other.

We did look at one of the local school which although it is government run, the system they use is slightly different and we thought it would be a compromise. He took the entrance test and didn't get in (only 2 kids from his elementary school did pass the test and then there is an interview). So that made our mind up for us.

To answer the most glaring question first... WHY?

As you know, I am passionate about Montessori and deeply believe that the "follow the child" or child-led learning as it is also known is the best way for a child to learn.

When a child follows their passions and intrinsic motivation - the planes of development as Montessori called them, the child learns at a much deeper level, gets a much better understanding of the subject matter and doesn't get bored by the education process.

Also when a child follows an area of interest it brings in subject areas from many different places. For example, Ebi-kun is interested in food, which is what started the whole Ebi-kun Eats thing but it is so much more than just trying new foods.

He is interested in flavour combinations, he will often try different flavours together to see if they work. He loves to find out the history of a type of food, how it is made and he is an avid ingredients reader.

He will follow a recipe to the tee for the first try but then will experiment by adding things in and taking things out, cooking it in a different way. It's a big science experiment.

So although cooking is the main subject it also brings in maths, chemistry, food safety, history, culture... and he is also learning to take notes in a scientific way, to explore and push boundaries, to ask questions and see where the answers lead him.

This is a very different approach to learning how to make cupcakes in a classroom.

This goes for any other subject he decides to deep dive into. Japanese history is something he is very much interested in now. He is a voracious reader and when he finds an interesting fact in a book he will take that and explore it further.

This is the way I believe education should be, following our passions and exploring them to a deeper level.

I am 100% sure that there are things that both you and I learned at school that have never ever used. Osmosis - has that ever been used in my life, nope. Trigonometry is the one that is usually banded about because unless you follow the path or maths and engineering, there is very little chance you will have need of it.

That said, I do believe a foundation in the basics is important, Maths, English, Japanese so these will be none negotiables. The rest he can choose to study as he likes.

The other reason is that Japanese Junior High works extremely well on the Victorian schooling system, the schools were set up initially to prepare kids to work in the factories. Kids learned that everything had to be done a specific way, to do as your told, when you are told and by the time you had finished, you were ready to join the workforce.

That is all very good and well if you want to go 'into the system' but I don't believe it is a healthy system, the stupidly long hours, lack of time to spend with family and the whole "hammer the nail down that sticks up ethic" If you don't fit the mold, they will make you fit the mold.

As a square peg myself this really, really doesn't sit well with me.

We all have a place in this world, no matter who we are, what we do and what our quirks are, we should be accepted for who we are.

This thing of making everyone equal and the same is totally against everything I believe and stand for, I couldn't put my child through that system. Some people might be OK with it. I am not.

So that is the WHY and now onto the HOW...

Obviously, Ebi-kun has been part of the conversation. His main concern is friends or lack of but we think we can work this out. He will still go to aikido, he's interested in joining the bouldering club, we are looking into volunteering places to join and there are plenty of classes he can join both on and offline.

His biggest complaint about school is that he is bored because the pace is too slow. He does his homework in class (this year the sensei is OK with that) and doesn't get to study the things he is interested in. He is excited to be homeschooling and not to wear a uniform!

We already use Khan Academy and I have looked into other online courses. He is also signed up for this Japanese site Study Sapuri which covers the everything up to university entrance exams. So we will probably use this for maths and Japanese and social studies.

We will also consider juku (cram school) or tutor if he needs it for help on the Japanese side of things.

The Legalities...

Full disclaimer here! I am not a lawyer in any shape or form and we are finding our way through this by ourselves, just taking it as it comes. My husband is 'The Research Type' so he and Google have become very good friends! But I wanted to share our journey to help anyone else who decided to take the same path.

In Japan, the law states that a child has a legal right to education until they are of age to graduate Junior High School (roughly 16 depending on their birthday). The law does not specify how or where the education needs to take place.

It is possible to be registered with the local Junior High, this seems to depend on the headmaster/BOE from what I can gather. The child is registered and will get a graduation certificate but doesn't need to attend the school.
I have read that some schools allow the child to join the club activities or specific classes but Ebi-kun was adamant he wasn't up for that.

Today we went down to the town hall and filled in a form in the Education Committee Section ( 区域外就学・指定校変更届け  ) stating what our plans were and why. It took about 10 minutes, seemed fairly straightforward. At this point we don't know what happens next, I will update with another post when we know!

We are expecting an interview somewhere along the line and maybe a yearly update but at this point, who knows!

Now, if you are reading this, there are a lot of stories where parents have run into resistance and struggled to get the BOE on side if your child has dual nationality, you can play the foreigner card and basically, from what I understand the BOE will leave you to your own devices as the law is only directed at Japanese kids.

I'm hoping that we won't need to go down that route but it's a backup plan just in case.

What About My Business?

I have always built my business with the idea that it fits with the family so that won't change. Iw ill work alongside Ebi-kuns study. I will have to cut the hours back a bit, be more productive in some areas. Generally speaking, nothing will change.

I have decided to retired a couple of my services and concentrate more on the passive income. I am keeping The Kaizen Revolution going so that will be my main focus.

Homeschooling will give us a lot more freedom, we don't have to stick to school holidays for starters, so we can explore more, hopefully, travel more and not necessarily in school holiday time, although we are still tied to my husbands work schedule!

That is where we are at right now.

Graduation is towards the end of March so the adventure will officially start then but I will update here when we have any new information!

Friday 26 January 2018

Create Every Week - Week #3

We had SNOW!

I know for many people that isn't very exciting but I LOVE the snow and we don't get it very often here.

I wasn't the only one who was stupidly excited about it, admitedly the rest of the lcoals were under the age of 13 hahaaha

Although I had planned to do some drawing this week I couldn't resist grabbing my camera and heading out in the snow and not only the snow, we had a misty morning out too - it was stunning.

I love the snow for so many reasons, being a winter babe probably has something to do with it but I also love...

I love the chance to be the first to walk across an untouched path of snow, it is the one of the times when you can truely be The First.

I love the way that it changes the scenery, making the usual boring and mundane look mysterious and intresting.

I love how it changes the sounds, everything seems quieter and sounds are more intense.

I love the smell, that fresh, clean air that your lungs just can't get enough of.

I love the patterns that nature brings us with the snow, the way that the wind blows it or the way that it covers cabbages in the field making them look like mini mountains.

I love how it changes the energy, kids squeal with excitement, adulats remembering the days they went sledging or the best snowman they ever made.

I love that it is a free creative tool that, when just right you can build amazing sculptures or igloos or snow trolls!

I love the chaos that it brings becuae it makes you appreciaite everything when it's running normally.

I also love that I work from home and don't have to commute in the chaos :D

So here are a few, unedited shots from my 2 and half hour walk! I mamnaged to get my 10K steps in before 10am!

Thursday 25 January 2018

18 for 2018 - family bucket list

We decided as a family to put together a bucket list for 2018.

It had to contain a stretch goal, something the cost nothing, something fun, something to challenge us and something taht we could do every month. They were the general rules anyway!

It too a while to come up with 18 but we finally did it, this is sperate from my create every week misssion!

If you prefer to read about the whole list, I wrote about it over HERE or you can sit back and watch the short video...

Let me know if you are doing something similar!

So far we have tried 2 new cafes, one is just a 10 minute walk up the road and we had no idea it was there. It's a great find as they also have a foot spa! I can see me spending a lot more time over there...

They also have a small shop where they sell oils, herbs and handmade goods, absolute gem of a find! The menu is limited but tasty.

The second new cafe is about 3km away, also very nice, everything sourced locally when they can. Bit of an odd menu but we all enjoyed it! No doubt we will be going back soon! I could probabaly bike over alough it means going along the scary main road, so to be honest, I probably won't!

That brings us onto pancakes, I tried THIS recipe, well I based it on that recipe, I made some tweaks. You have to cook them on a very low temperature otherwise they are still soggy in the middle!

I want to try them again, when I am sure I have it right I'll share my tweaked, Japan friendly version!

And the fun family photo - mision complete, New Years skiing in Niigata. The first day I wasn't feeling too good, the scond day was lovely, great snow, great weather!

Then day three was a right off, the weather was terrible, most of the lifts were closed so we gave up and came home early but at least we got a decent photo!

Pin It button on image hover