Bento lunch boxes for kids

Posted May 19th, 2016 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Baby Bento

I’m sure people are aware of the word “bento” – it’s a single-portion takeout or home-packed meal common in Japanese cuisine.  Creating unique bento (kyaraben) is not only common in Japan nowadays but people around the world are also giving lots of ideas to create attractive lunch for kids each day.

images B1O7fvMCEAA7fG6 totoro

Kyaraben is so amazing, and this is the best way to encourage kids to finish up their lunch boxes.  It gives them interests in food too, I think.  I’m wanting to give my kids kyaraben but unfortunately I’m not a creative person… and I don’t have time to google around to get ideas for kyaraben each morning.  (I wish I could!)

For those who are like me, picking up the right bento box could be an easy answer.  There are so many kinds of lunch boxes out there these days, and some of them are really useful and creative.  If you are local living in Perth, check out this shop that sells all kinds of bento items – BabyBento.

Being a mum to two and living in Perth WA, she created this online shop 2 years ago and now she is selling her items at some markets on regular basis.  You can also buy items online and get them sent to your door.

Babybento item

And this is my favourite.  I just saw her using this lunch box today for her kids, and it looked super cute and tidy!  She put 3 mini pancakes on the left side, and halved banana on right top, then vegetables, fruits and finger cheese sticks in other 3 compartments.  Perfect!

Baby Bento market

If you want to have a look at these items, she comes down to Maylands Wanderful Sunday Market on 3rd Sundays every month which is held at Maylands Sport and Recreation Club located at 50 Clarkson Rd, Maylands WA.  

I’m so inspired now and am thinking to make something creative for my son tomorrow 🙂

Baby Bento
http://www.babybento.com.au
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Say Hi to Robots When Staying in Japan

Posted July 22nd, 2015 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Henn-na (weird) Hotel….  This new hotel has just opened its door this month in Nagasaki in Japan.  As the name suggests, this hotel is not an ordinal hotel at all -it is staffed completely by robots!

You will be greeted by humanoid robots & a robot dinosaur at reception.  Functional droids are on hand to cart luggage to the hotel’s 72 rooms, staff luggage lockers and clean as well.  Guestroom doors are accessed by facial-recognition technology, and at the end of the stay guests pay on the machine at the front-desk.

This hotel is not only about having robots, it’s more about being environmentally friendly.  This is an official hotel of Nagasaki Huis Ten Bosch amusement park, and this park was opened in 1992 as an “Eco-Friendly Future City.”

The concept of this hotel needed to be environmentally friendly, including buildings and facilities.  Plus, they wanted to create a hotel featuring contrivances to provide a comfortable, even fun stay at a reasonable price. To achieve this, there are several unique features at this hotel, including… ↓

– Guest rooms do not have refrigerators.

– Guests can watch television on a tablet device.

– All rooms feature a cutting-edge “radiant panel” air conditioning system which will detect body heat in rooms and adjust the temperature.

– Keyless Stay

– No pyjamas, bathrobes etc are provided.

I think, considering the concept of this hotel and also seeing the very reasonable pricing, this sounds like a great place to stay (and visiting Huis Ten Bosch amusement park would be a bonus).  I’m sure my 4-year-old son will love being greeted by a robot dinosaur!

Huis Ten Bosch

Henn-na Hotel’s website is simple and looks easy to follow.

The hotel is currently in its first phase. A second stage is due to be completed in 2016 adding an additional 72 rooms.


Hayao Miyazaki Family Movies

Posted January 3rd, 2015 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Ghibli

 

There was a series of Studio Ghibli movies on SBS2 for 5 nights (apparently tonight was the last one!! sigh) – My Neighbour Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and Ponyo.  On their website, it shows that the current top movie people have voted as their favorite is Howl’s Moving Castle (32%) followed by Spirited Away (31%), My Neighbour Totoro (22%) and Ponyo & Kiki’s Delivery Service (both 6%).

ponyo

As you know there are many other Ghibli movies including Castle in the Sky, Princess Mononoke, The Cat Returns etc.  What’s your favourite? I’m surprised that Howl’s Moving Castle was voted more than Ponyo and Kiki’s Delivery Service.  It’s, of course, people’s choice, but to me Kiki’s Delivery Service is one of my favourite.  I love My Neighbour Totoro, Princess Mononoke (I went to a cinema to watch that!), and Grave of Fireflies.  My son loves My Neighbour Totoro and Spirited Away.  I thought Spirited Away is far more difficult for a 3-year-old to understand, but he seems to enjoy the whole story.

Apparently, the top Ghibli movie (which made most profit) is…
Spirited Away!
Followed by…
Howl’s Moving Castle
Princes Mononoke
Ponyo
The Wind Rises
The Secret World of Arrietty (I don’t know this)
Tales from Earthsea
The Cat Returns
Porco Rosso
Pom Poko
From Up on Poppy Hill (I don’t know this)
Kiki’s Delivery Service
Only Yesterday
Whisper of the Heart
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya (I don’t know this)
My Neighbours the Yamada
Nausicca of the Valley of the Wind
My Neighbour Totoro
Castle in the Sky
(ref: matome.naver.jp)

Have you watched all of them???

I left Japan in 2003, so most of the movie after that year are not familiar with me.  (Hawl’s Moving Castle, Ponyo, The Wind Rises etc)  This ranking is based on the profit.  The newer ones seem to be in the top ranking (because people know Ghibli brand well) .  I’m sure Totoro, Nausicca and Laputa (Castle in the Sky) are some people’s top list!

I missed some Ghibli movies on SBS2…  I would love SBS (or any other channel) to show more Ghibli movies sometime!!


Add some fun this Christmas from Santa!

Posted December 7th, 2014 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

It’s almost that time of year again…  Christmas and New Year is coming up!  How’s your 2014?  Mine was…. busy, yet I had new addition of happiness to my family it was overall a wonderful year.

Excitement for festive season won’t fade even you grow up…  I’m excited about Christmas trees, festive music, events and of course presents!!  I also like to shop for presents to give to my special people.  My 3 years-old son knows what he wants from Santa this year, and I successfully found out what it is.  I can’t wait to see his face when he opens up his present on Christmas day.

Have you heard of Portable North Pole? If you are looking for something extra this Christmas, there’s an idea of creating a message from Santa and sending to your loved one.

PNP

There’s a free version of message that you can create as well.  You can personalise the video with name & photo.

PNP2

I’m sure my 3 year-old will be surprised and excited when I show him the personalised santa video I created! 🙂

Now I’m off to take a family photo with Santa!

 

 


Sleeping Baby Art

Posted December 13th, 2012 in Ume's Interests | 4 Comments »

My mum told me this is what Japanese people are into these days – Sleeping Baby Art.

Sleeping Baby Art is something you do to make it look like a sleeping baby doing something /0r being something.

I’ve seen photos like that at some Facebook pages here too, but some mums in Japan are crazy about this thing.  But, since my mum told me about it, I kind of wanted to do it too.

Here is my first work 🙂

HOHOHO!!!

Does it look like a Santa Claus carrying a bag-full of toys near a chimney?  ^^

And then….

Have a wonderful holiday season to everyone!!

xxx

 

 


New to Bali

Posted August 29th, 2012 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

As I wrote about it before, I’m flying to Bali this year for the first time!   Although I’ve been to Jakarta several times I never got out of Denpasar airpot.

My dad has bought his ticket from Japan, and so did 2 of us here (+ Hiro).  Then I was looking for a place to stay.  My husband wanted to stay at a 2bedroom villa with private swimming pool which is also close to the beach.  Men, there are soooo many accommodation in Bali!!  My friends and sister-in-law recommended us to stay in Nusa Dua, but I went with husband’s friend’s recommendation – Seminyak area.  He travels to Bali often and is very familiar with this island.

Ok, so a 2bedroom villa with swimming pool and walking distance from the beach….  There are still quite many villas like that in Seminyak.  Another issue was the price.  There are quite expensive ones to fairly good priced ones. Of course I’d want to go with the cheap one but how about their reviews??   I was searching, searching….  and sent query to several villas.  Price-wise they are about the same, but I found one villa who gave me pretty cheap deal.

In my head I was kind of thinking to decide on the villa.  ….until I received their 2nd email.  On the first email they were very polite and sounded professional, but from the second email they started to use casual language “yeah”, and  smily faces “:)” !!!
I know they’re trying to be friendly, but I thought it wasn’t professional at all!   It was kinda annoying 🙁    They used “…..” at the end of each sentence (e.g. Ume…..   I’ll be waiting for you….) and I felt it was rather creepy.

Then my friend showed me couples of other villas, and I found even cheaper one with great reviews.  Close to beach, restaurants and shops.  I bought it straightaway.  Meanwhile I kept receiving emails from the “friendly” villa.

Aaaaa, now I can’t wait to lay on the beach like this photo 🙂  Staying at a villa close to restaurants and shops makes it easy for us as my dad loves coffee and always drink one or two several times a day!  I also can’t wait to visit Ubud where I hear there’re beautiful rice fields.  My dad wants to see Indonesian style rice fields.

photos from bali.world-guides.com / flightsaustralia.com.au


Japan Eclipse 2012

Posted June 4th, 2012 in Japan, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

This may be a little old story to write about, but I just saw some photos of eclipse which was visible in Japan on May 21, and found that it interesting to actually see all the variety of sunglasses they were sold at stores.  Yes, the photo of eclipse is the most amazing thing, but so are the sunglasses/googles.

  

Eclipse sunglasses and googles were at the shops everywhere and millions of people rushed into the stores to grab one for themselves.  By the 21st, lots of shops sold out them and come people still tried to look at the eclipses with naked eyes (which was not recommended and people rushed into eye clinics afterwards).

I heard the story from my mum and friends, but I didn’t know there’re so many kinds of sunglasses and googles out there.  From character things to funny looking ones….  I just have to agree because it’s Japan!

 

 

(photos: google/rakuten.co.jp)


Hiro in Kid’s Tokei

Posted May 2nd, 2012 in Japan, Ume and Baby, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Hiro at 08:50 (AM).

Website →Kid’s Tokei

Hiro at 20:41 (PM).

This one doesn’t look like Hiro…  but I remember he kept trying to move around.  The location was at the church.

He looks hilarious.

☺☺☺


McValue with Free Newspaper

Posted April 9th, 2012 in Perth WA, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Have a Breakfast McValue Meal® and you can get a free copy of The Sunday Times!

This offer starts from the 11th of April for a limited time only, and is only available until 10:30AM.  McValue Meal®  includes Hash Brown and Small Espresso Pronto as well.

I saw this ad on The Sunday Times I was reading at McDonald’s yesterday.  It was late afternoon and I felt like something cold – perhaps frozen coke or thick shake –  but I got $2 Chicken McBites and a chocolate sundae in the end.  I still got to read The Sunday Times for free coz someone had left it on the table.

Was I the only person who didn’t know that McDonald had started showing the calories of the each food item on the menu panel?  It’s just like Japan – everywhere you go you get to see the calorie of each food on the menu.  I heard that other fast food chains (KFC, Hungry Jack etc) are also going to show calories of each item on the menu board.  You know, it’s good thing that you get to know how much calories you are getting by eating the food, but at the same time you just have to compare this item is lower calorie than others and sometimes chose the item that you weren’t planning to order.  That’s what happens to me every time I dine at family restaurants and cafes in Japan.  I feel like eating cheesy chicken and vegetable pasta, but I end up ordering a healthy wa-fu mushroom pasta instead.  It’s just because I see the calories on the menu.

Anyway, get back to the free The Sunday Times thing.  You can also get a free copy from Spud Shed when you spend $5 or more at one transaction.  I’m not sure if all Spud Shed do this, but Jandakot one does! Sometimes you need to ask for it at the casher though.  Oh, and McDonald’s free newspaper offer is only available in WA too!


Kid’s Tokei

Posted February 8th, 2012 in Japan, Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Kids version of bijin tokei has been on internet for some time but I didn’t know about it at all until I saw one ad of a photo studio near my house looking for models for Kid’s Tokei.  Haha, I’m not a mother who wants to make my own child to be famous or star, but the deal at the photo studio was really good (2000yen for printed photo, data, unlimited costume change etc) .  The deal was that I had to send the photo taken at the studio to kid’s tokei to enter the competition, and had to write down the name of the studio as a referrer.

On the day of photo shoot, I realized his chin was covered with red rash. It was perfectly clean till the day before, but why today! (><). Anyway we had our booking and headed to the studio.
For the costume I was thinking taxido but we decided to use “Momo-taro” instead. Hiro was happy…. just until we tried to change his clothes. He started crying when he saw “strangers” (staff at the studio). He cried and cried, and all his photo was his unhappy face with tears 😐

This is the photo we chose out of those screamig faces…

I didn’t think he would be chosen for Kid’s Tokei, but I sent this photo anyway.

….. Guess what! He is chosen for a Kid’s-tokei model!

We are having the photo shoot for website this Friday, and he will be on kid’s-tokei website around May this year :))). I want to update about it when it comes closer to the date.