Unique Japanese Drinks

Posted January 9th, 2012 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Suntory, one of Japan’s leading beverage companies, is selling something that some people were looking for…..  All Free!  This All Free is a drink with no calorie, no sugar, and no alcohol.  Yap, all free.

Some may ask what’s the reason of drinking this…  Why don’t you drink water or herval tea instead?  Well, this All Free is actually a non-alcohol beer.  It tastes like beer, but has no alcohol, sugar, or calorie.  This is selling well in this busy drinking season…

Georgia, a popular brand of coffee-flavored beverages sold by The Coca-Cola Company in Japan, sells this unique can of coffee.  It’s a mixture of “coffee” x “green tea”.  It’s not green tea latte.  It still has color of coffee, brown, and contains matcha powder from Uji in Kyoto.

Pepsi in Japan sells these unique flavour drinks.  Azuki, Cucumber and Shiso!  I’ve never tried these, but I think shiso may taste better than others.  It’s just my guess…

I love that cute little tirol chocolate – love the cute little square shape, and their variety of flavours.  But I didn’t know that this popular chocolate snack “tirol chocolate” has its drink version!  Tirol chocolate drink tastes like its original chocolate.  It should taste very rich?


Koala-no-March Hotel Room

Posted November 28th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

Lotte Koala-no-March, chocolate snack in Japan, is one of my favorite.  I’ve seen Chinese and Korean version of this snack in Perth, so I don’t know if it’s originally Japanese though.  Inside, each chocolate-filled snack has different face of koala – one is smiling, one is crying, and one is angry.  Some of them are wearing sunglasses, and some of them wear kimono.

If you like this snack like me, you’ll probably want to stay in a hotel room filled with this cute koala character.  Yes, there are in Japan!  Koala-no-March theme hotel rooms.

This Koala-no-March themed hotel room has koalas everywhere – on the wall, bed cover, curtain, pajamas, and amenities.  Not only children but also adults will be exited to stay in this room, I think 😀

This Lotte City Hotel Kinshi-cho (Sumida-ku, Tokyo) has beautiful views of Tokyo Tower, Sky Tree, and also JR trains from some rooms.  And, there is a chocolate factory cafe on the ground floor where customers can enjoy chocolate making.  Curry, pizza and hamburgers contain chocolate at this cafe.

There is a chance of winning a night at this Koala-no-March hotel room.  Simply go to campaign site and answer the question, and submit the answer to the address shown on the website.


Royal Life Saving

Posted November 14th, 2011 in Perth WA, Ume and Baby, Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Last week I could finally manage myself to undertake this one-day royal life saving training course.  This course was conducted by The Royal Life Saving Society – a non-profit, community service organisation that conducts training programs in First Aid, Resuscitation (CPR), AUSTSWIM, Bronze Medallion, Lifesaving and Water Safety. They run several kinds of courses, and I attended Heart Beat Club which teaches you the lifesaving skills of CPR, first aid for common child injuries including burns and scolds, choking, drowning and provides information on how to perform child resuscitation or CPR.

The re are child’s first aid courses run by other organisations in WA such as Australian Red Cross and St John of God, but I chose Heart Beat Club because the location was close to my house, they gave us Participation Certificate after the course, and it was just $20.00 per person for a 3-hour-course.

I actually should have taken child’s first air course before Hiro arrived so that I would have known what to do in case of emergency.  After the baby was born I didn’t really have time to do it (although it may be hard to practice CPR etc with a big tummy).  Last week, I left Hiro to D and his parents.

There’re 10 people at the class, and some of them were couples.  One couple brought their new born to the class, I think they didn’t have anyone to ask for looking after their baby for 3 hours.  Being apart from new born baby for 3 hours is quite scary.

The class was conducted by a retired nurse, and she was wonderful.  I must say I am very very happy that I attended this course.  There’re so many useful information about what to do when a child is burnt, choke, and injured.  As well as hearing her experiences and stories, I loved the practical part.  Each one of us got a manekin of baby to practice CPR.  Doing is so different from just reading about CPR on books.  And I learned so many new things, such as DRS ABCD (Danger, Response, Send help, Air way, Breathing, Cpr), and not tilting the head when doing CPR for babies under 12 months old.

Few days before I attended this course I had a terrifying moment while feeding Hiro.  He was coughing, and suddenly stopped coughing and seemed to be choking.  I was in panic, and I took him out from high chair, placed him on my lap facing down, and hit his back few times (as this was how to help choking baby in a book I read).  Then he vomited everything out. I don’t know if he was really choking but it was scary.   I told the nurse (course conductor) about it, and she said that coughing is a natural reflex and nothing to worry about.  If he was choking, his face should have turned blue or looked really tense.  So when he cough, it means he is coping with the lumpy food and is a good thing.

There was 15minutes break, and I just saw this vending machine which makes fresh squeezed orange juice.  I thought it’s cool 🙂

At the end of the course we all received Participation Certificate as promised.  I thought 3 hours was gonna be very long, but after the course was done I felt that it wasn’t enough.  I wanted to know more.  $20.00 for this was a really great deal, I think.  If someone is interested in taking the course:

website … location varies. You can check on their website.

Western Australia Only


Food Allergy Test

Posted November 11th, 2011 in Ume and Baby, Ume's Interests | 1 Comment »

As I continue to introduce new food to my 8-month-old Hiro, I’ve been careful with acidic food (e.g. strawberries, tomatoes and citrus fruits) and some food that are more likely to be allergen (e.g. egg, cow’smilk) because of his rush on his face and body, but I feel that I’ve been feeding him the same food over and over again and need to explore more variety of food for him to try.  I don’t think his rash is because of food, but it may be and his skin/body may be very sensitive against some particular things.

My friend told me that I could check if he is allergic to food, and in that case, to what food, by sending his hair to a labo in QLD.  Hair test sounds much much safer than blood test – little amount of hair wouldn’t harm at all. (although he doesn’t have much hair :p )  I phoned the labo and found out some information about what I need to do in order to get him tested for food allergy.

Basically you just need to cut little amount of hair from your baby, and place it in a piece of tissue paper or plastic bag (it doesn’t matter) and send to the labo. Along with hair, you will need the followings:

  • Baby’s name
  • Baby’s birthday
  • Your name & address (to send the result)
  • $95.00 (by cheque, money order, or details of credit card)

Because I’m in WA, it may take around 2 weeks to get the result (considering the time to send the stuff).  The staff told me that as soon as they receive the hair they’ll put it to the next available labo and test it with 200’s of different foods.

For more information, here is their contact details:

Health Management Therapies
36 Marbella Drive
Benowa
GoldCoast
QLD 4217

ph(07)55970528

FOOD SENSITIVITY TEST


The Bus driver in diffenet country

Posted November 8th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

I personally love Japan’s bus driver!


Make Your Own Pillow

Posted October 26th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

Here is an unique Christmas gift idea.  Upload a photo and make your own pillow!

PillowMob makes your custom pillow and ship worldwide.  You can also chose to buy featured designs such as animal and people.

It’s $30.00 each, and it includes shipping fee!  I think it’s very reasonable price.  There are two options for the size : oval and circle.  Whichever you chose, I’m sure it will be a great gift to surprise your friends or families!

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Snail Soaps

Posted October 22nd, 2011 in Ume's Interests | 2 Comments »

If you are a regular Umeboss reader, you may probably know how much I’m afraid of snails….  They are the reason why I can’t go out for a walk in winter.  My house gets a LOT of snails during winter.  Everywhere.  Even on the wall, in the mail box, and on top of my strawberry seedlings.

That’s why I freaked out when I knew that soaps made with snail extracts are getting popular in Japan.  I mean, extract from snails.  I do not want to rub that on my body….

There are many beauty products across the world which are made with extracts, shells, and bodies/organs of living creatures.  But, this one really shocked me.  I know French people eat snails, and maybe it’s not a big deal that people use snails to moisturize their bodies, but I can’t even imagine about it in my head (><)

And, it’s not only one company selling this snail soaps.  There are many.

Does it really work?  … I don’t care.  Even if it works like a magic, I don’t think I’d ever want to use it on my body…


Kindergarden…. for Doggies

Posted October 17th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

When I knew about dog kindergardens in Japan, at first I thought it’s silly but then I realized it does make sense.  Nowadays people around the world love having companion animals and treat them like real family.  Just like leaving your loving baby in kindergarden, you leave your loving pets in this school in the morning and pick them up after work.

The kindergarden is from the morning, starting with brushing and weighing the doggies.  There are play time, learning time, and nap time through a day, and they go home after the relaxing time with aroma therapy. The schedule varies depending on the kindergarden, but usually the facility is very good and there are plenty of rooms for dogs to run around.  Some places teach owners how to train their dogs too 🙂

a


Baby Shower

Posted October 8th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

D’s closest sister is having her first baby very soon, and we are invited to her baby shower. Normally baby shower is a girls-only gathering, but she doesn’t care having partners and children at the party. She invited her parents as well, and Hiro is coming with us too.

When I was pregnant with Hiro, I didn’t do “baby shower” party. I did BBQ with friends at home and friends brought some presents for me, but it wasn’t something that can be called a party. Since sister has been organizing this baby shower she went to few different baby shower shops to get party supplies. I knew there’re few baby shower shops in Perth (and online) but I didn’t think these shops were that busy and have so many kinds of goods to offer.

Few years ago I attended her hen’s night party, and I remember being overwhelmed by the theme and a male stripper… We don’t have “baby shower” or “hen’s night” in Japan. No prom at the school either. It’s so different. Here, and in other many countries (including Indonesia, obviously) follow American culture. When I knew about the exsistance of hen’s night and bachelor party, I was 21 years old and a student studying English here. :p

Attending this type of parties has been a good experience for me though. Haha. But I didn’t do hen’s night before my wedding. (neither D did, for some reason). It’s just that I wasn’t so familiar with that kind of stuff, and I didn’t know what the party should be like.
I can’t wait to see what the baby shower is like at sister’s. I’m making bagel sandwiches for the party (like few years ago for another sister’s baby’s birthday party), and her mum is cooking few dishes as well. Hmmm some Indonesian food at the baby shower. 🙂

Although I’ve never had these kinds of parties for myself, I am planning to have a special birthday party for Hiro when he turns 1. I’m not quite sure what I will do, but i’ve been collecting few ideas for the party from internet. People say that first birthday party is not for the baby as s/he is too young to remember and enjoy it, so the party is more likely for adults. But I’m inviting other babies and kids to the party and I want them to be the focus of the gathering. (of course Hiro is the main!).

What people do for their baby’s birthday? Some people take a photo with a clock (or something) on birthday every year to enjoy the growth of their babies. Some get babies’ hands and feet inked and keep them as record of their growth. But most people seem to have simple gatherings with only families and have dinner together. I think that’s the best.
I want to take lots of photos and get his hands and feet inked. I’ve already bought a clothes for him to wear on the party, and I think the theme of the party will be somewhat Japanese… It won’t be a super big party and will be just 2~3 hours with fiends and families, so I think I try to prepare the food as well.  I’m still planning, and it will be one of the things I’m doing in Japan – planning the party. I can get party supplies over there as the theme will be Japanese 😀

a


Review of Chicco Cortina Travel System

Posted September 20th, 2011 in Ume's Interests | No Comments »

I’m using Chicco Cortina travel system stroller, and I want to write about how I like and don’t like this product.

First of all, there are few types of baby strollers available in the market. They include “umbrella strollers”, “jogging strollers”, “pram/carriage strollers”, “stroller travel system” ect. The reason I chose travel system is because my friend was using it and looked so handy and practical.

The biggest difference between travel system strollers and other strollers is that you can take off the capsule from the stroller and use it as a car seat by attaching to the base (dock). This way, you don’t disturb sleeping baby when taking him/her out from the car. That’s the top reason why I bought it.

There are few travel system strollers available, but I chose Chicco brand because ToysRus was doing a sale when I was looking for a stroller. I liked the features and the looking. Chicco has two travel system strollers (in WA): Cortina and Trevi. I didn’t like the handles and the position of luggege net on Trevi. I liked the drink/food holders for baby and mum on Cortina, so I chose this.

I actually didn’t search about other strollers before buying Chicco, but I’m pretty happy with it. Here are my review (Pros/Cons) of Chicco Cortina.

Pros:

– The stroller stands up by itself when folded.

– It has a drink holder and small storage compartment near the handle, so I can put my phone, car key, a bottle of drink, etc there and it’s useful.

– When the capsule is attached, you can cover the capsule entirely by closing the canopy. So, it shuts out the noise and light from baby inside the capsule.

– The capsule is very easy to install. Easy to attach and detach between the stroller and the base (dock).

– The stroller is easy to collapse (3 steps), and easy to open (1 step).

– Capsule can be used as a rocker as well

Cons:

– The stroller is pretty big and heavy. It just fits in my car’s trunk, so I think it doesn’t fit in some small cars.

– When the capsule is attached, the seat of the stroller has to be flat and there is only very small gap between the seat and the storage net, so I couldn’t use the net at all while using the capsule. I guess I could put my bags etc while the seat is up, but I wouldn’t be able to take anything out from the net while the capsule (and baby) is on.

– Like some of other strollers, there is no “peeking window” on the canopy. It’d be great if it had one.

– After the baby is too big for the capsule, baby sits on the seat. I felt that the seat is too low in position. I couldn’t see even his head from the handle side, so I had to walk to the front and check if he is still there.

– No bag hook on the handle area.

Overall, I am very happy with this stroller. I really loved using a capsule. It was just two motions (detach from the stroller and attach to the base) when putting my baby into a car, and it was great when you have lots of shopping bags or it’s raining. My baby loved the capsule too, and he slept very well in it. If I could I wanted to use the capsule longer, but I had to use another baby car seat when my baby is too big for it. Now I hate the normal car seat because he wakes up and cries every time I take him out from the car. If he was in the capsule, he’d keep sleeping comfortably.