Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy Birthday, Iki-chan!!

My boy is finally turned 5 today. Yesterday we had party with families, and Iki was very happy to have his grandparents and cousins coming. I didn't take pictures at all :(, as a host I was really really busy preparing the food and making sure everything run smoothly.

We had roasted chicken and cheese fondue as the main food, with octopus tomato salad and christmas tree ham as side dish.

And this is the birthday/christmas cake.

Today we just had a quiet day. Ate sekihan, Japanese red bean rice for breakfast to celebrate birthday and buckwheat noodle (soba) for dinner. Soba is usually eaten on New Year eve in Japan as a symbol of longevity meanwhile eating noodle during birthday for Indonesian has the same meaning too!

He is showered with presents this month. Both for Christmas and birthday. Looking at his room, I don't think I will buy him anymore toys until next December!
He loves mini lego now and can build things following the instruction book already. And this is him making Newton Telescope (with papa-chan's help!), his birthday present from papa.

Happy 5th birthday my boy (^___^)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Iki was down with stomach bug, high fever and never ending coughing
for two days. He is good and busy studying Japanese now but I started
to feel very sleepy and tired!

Oh god no, pls, I have to be good until new year. Will host whole in
laws family Christmas and iki's birthday party here tomorrow, and
prepare the Japanese new year food the next day.

Please oh please, I really don't want to get sick now �

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Ski

We went to Zao, an onsen area in northern Japan last weekend. Ski season just started last week, so Hiro thought it would be a great way to spend Christmas skiing instead of camping!

At first Iki was excited and followed papa-chan instruction

Well then again, the drama began. Papa-chan got angry and Iki-chan started to cry

Papa-chan walked away.... and everyone felt bad.

So at last we just put him into the ski school. He loved it, wanted to learn ski more, but not from papa-chan. He wants to learn only from the ski school now (>.<).

Anyway both papa-chan and Iki-chan had a good time skiing. And me....just waiting while watching the snowfall and eating a lot of high calorie snacks (@_@).
At least I had fun playing with Iki

while papa-chan had to clean the car from the snow LOL

It was a beautiful day afterall. A beautiful white Christmas (^_^)

Merry Christmas, hope yours' are as beautiful as ours

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas special

I held Christmas special lesson for my students today. It was tiring,
I had to prepare everything myself, but we had so much fun. My
students enjoyed it and it matters the most!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Or birthday party :)

Winter holiday will start next week, so we held birthday party for Iki last Tuesday. As he gets older, it is impossible to have party for him right on his birthday. No friends would come for a birthday party on December 31st!!

Iki requested Transformer Bumblebee birthday cake, which I thought was impossible to make at first!

Lazy me then just brought ready made sponge cake, made a round hole on the surface and filled it in with chocolate whipped cream and chopped mixed nuts.

Then worked on the robot's shapes using marsmallow fondant. It was fun actually, I felt like playing with edible playdough

Even Papa-chan also helped to draw the red trasnformer mark. Because according to Iki, that tiny complicated mark was so important (@_@)

And here it is. Transformer Bumblebee cake..

He loved it, everyone loved it

My boy will be five by the end of this year (^___^).
F I V E!!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Yakiniku Party

I like having friends coming to my place. We do it a lot now. Either just waiting for the kids to play, for doing some crafts together, for a beer, or some parties.

We had Yakiniku party last week. Had a very good time, but sadly two of them are moving out pretty soon.....

But well....again I have to remind myself. That life is about Hello and Goodbye...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Wintery nails

Its getting colder and colder out there. I prefer sipping hot amaretto coffee instead of shopping around now. And doing my favorite relaxing activity: manicuring.

So here are my wintery nails, for welcoming winter (^____^)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Wednesday Bento: Merry Christmas!!

So here is the last Bento this year. Winter holiday is coming, and I will be free from bento making hassle until next year ;-)

My kitchen would like to wish you "Merry Christmas" too (^___^)

Snowman: two umeboshi rice balls, nori, carrots, and crab
Steamed carrots

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Weekend date

We sent Iki to his grandparents' house for a night and had a date last Saturday. These few months we haven't really spent quality time only for the two of us, so it was just at a right time. Hiro brought me to watch classical orchestra live, and I was really impressed. Well, I actually was not allowed to take picture hehe :p

We walked a long Omotesando street and enjoyed how the luxurious street welcoming Christmas. Too bad there were thousands other people wanted to enjoy too that we could hardly walk. Oh well...this is the consequences of living in one of world's most populated city (@_@)

It was a relaxing night. Except that I fell of the stairs in the Subway station and Hiro yelled: "What the hell are you doing?! KAKKOWARUI (malu maluin!)!" - instead of worrying and asking if I was alright! Ah...that guy!

But still it was a good night afterall (^__^)

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Flower arrangement

I joined flower arrangement class last week. I always think that I
don't have good sense in arranging flowers and I did have a hard time
putting all those fragile flowers together!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Almost forgotten Wednesday bentos!

Another Halloween theme Obento. It was the obento for the sweet potatoes picking last month.

Boiled broccoli
Ham and cheese butter roll sandwich
Boiled carrots
Bat: sliced cheese and nori

Ensoku (school trip) Obento. It was for Iki's school trip picnic bento by the end of October.

Rice with kecap manis
Boiled broccoli and mayonnaise
Tempe goreng
Cut apple
"Ensoku" banner: sliced cheese and nori

Saturn Obento.
Iki loves Saturn and really wants to go there for holiday!

Rice with dried small fish on top
Bear shaped croquettes
Roasted mini tomatoes
Ham and cheese rolls

Robot Obento.
I woke up late and only had 15 minutes to prepare bento that day (>.<). It was supposed to be robot, but Iki said it was just a purple doll (@_@)

Rice with purple colored furikake and kombu
Niku jaga
Cut kaki (persimmon)
Sausage and cheese on picks

Pon-chan (???) Obento.
Not sure if it is the correct name. One of Pokemon character, Iki just showed me the picture and asked me to make it last week.

Boiled broccoli
Rice onigiri with salted kombu filling
Sausage and processed cheese on picks
Cut apples

And this is today's obento. "Yochien's Bestfriend" obento.
Iki said that they were Iki and Isamu. Isamu is his classmate and Iki said that he likes him because they always play tatakai gokko (fighting game) :p. And they were wearing Yochien (kindergarten) hats as they always do! I think it was sweet :)

Boiled broccoli
Rice balls with kombu fillings. Nori, sliced cheese and ham
Buri no teriyaki
quail sunny side up eggs
Cut appples

Next Wednesday's bento will be the last this year. Winter holiday is coming soon, Christmas is just around the corner.

So next week's obento....hopefully will be a christmas theme one! (^___^)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Autumn camping

We went camping again for two nights last weekend. Supposed to be three nights, but Hiro got sick so we decided to go back one day earlier...

We went to Nasu area again this time, in Maple Nasu campground, which has electricity plug and onsen (hotspring). We were ready with electric mat this time, and an onsen bath before sleeping was a luxury for such a cold weather!!

It's a nice place. The autumn view was beautiful, eventhough the maple leaves were almost all fallen off. Lots of activities to make us (and Iki) busy too!

We built the tent nearby the playground. Iki was very happy!!

Iki wanted to fish too so off he went to the pond with papa-chan. Well, he got bored waiting after few minutes and gave the fishing rod to papa-chan at last :p

They caught two fishes and we grilled them for lunch. Yummy!

And we of course had a good time walking around :)

It was our first camping with our first owned car in Japan too! last we bought a car for our adventure instead of borrowing parents in laws' car all the time. Which means Hiro planned to stay in Japan for a while to give Iki's childhood an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Feel sad because this might be our last camping experience. Might be!

But winter is so close now. We are getting ready for skiing now!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sichi Go San (7-5-3)

Sichi Go San is one of Japan's important festival to celebrate the children's growth at the age of three (boys and girls), five (for boys), and seven (for girls). The festival itself actually is on November fifteen, but now parents can choose whatever date around November and early December to celebrate it.
Iki will turn 5 next month so we decided to celebrate his Sichi Go San this year. We don't know when will we be next Autumn and his grandparents really wanted to make it this year. So we had it last Sunday on November 14.

The festival have started from Heian Period (794-1185, when the Nobles celebrate their children growth in November. Now every parents can celebrate this festival to their children, by visiting the shrines and have prayers through small ceremonies by the priest. Don't you think that those priests are so young??

We went to a shrine nearby Iki's grandparents' house. Where Hiro also had his Sichi Go San festival when he was a little boy. At first I had no clue what is the difference between shrine and temple. It's the red gate. Shrine has this red gate!

It was believed that at the age of three children can start growing their hair, at the age of five the boys can wear hakama (Traditional cloth for boys) for the first time, and at the age of seven the girls can wear obi around the kimono for the first time. Parents and grandparents also dressed formally to visit the shrines. Most mothers wear Kimono but nowadays a lot of families just wear formal western style clothing, also the children celebrating the Sichi Go San. I guess it is more comfortable than the traditional clothes and less pricey! Iki wanted to take the hakama off already after three minutes he was dressed, and those hakama and kimono renting costed a fortune!!! trust me, it was a thousand dollar festival. Thanks God, we only have one boy. Girls would definitely cost more hahaha

After the ceremony Iki got a bag with chitose ame (thousand years candy), omamori (lucky charm) and a small sichi go san cup. The candy is in long stick shape and all came in a paper bag illustrated with turtle and cranes as a symbol of long live.

Iki's grandmother cooked Sekihan (red bean rice) to celebrate it, and we had a photo session in a studio too

Iki-chan sayang, Sichi Go San omedetou! (^___^)

Friday, November 05, 2010

(_ _o)

I'm in pieces now. I have no words to describe how i feel, I don't even know how to say goodbye. Simply because I can't. I don't want you to go. But I, We, all have to let you go....

I made this opor babi this afternoon in tears. I remember you used to make this comfort food back in our childhood. It doesn't look the same, it doesn't taste the same. It will never be. But I will never forget the taste, like I will never forget you.......

Memory about you will always be with me. May you rest in peace, Uma. I love you, I just realized I never said those words to you when you were alive :(

You have had enough 78 years of your life. I wished I could make it better for you....

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Getting ready for winter

I live in a city where most women take a really good care of their body appearance (read: slim or VERY slim). The concept of winter and putting on a lot of clothes for warmth scared them off because they don't like to look fat (or a little bit fatter).

I think that is why these amazing products are invented: HeatTech clothing and Kairo (pocket warmer).

HeatTeach clothing from Uniqlo Japan is my biggest recommendation to stay fashionable while fighting with cold weather. They are very thin inners that are made by special fabric that can keep your body warm. Now it varies from turtleneck inners, T-shirt, camisoles, leggings and tights, socks and even now (unfortunately) SKINNY trousers (which I really want but don't fit my fat legs!).

Winter is not really my favorite season. Hey, I'm a tropical woman! That's why I really fell in love with this products the first time I found it. For me, 1 turtleneck inner = 1 fleece jacket. Two turtleneck inner = 1 wool sweater.
I looked like a pregnant snowball during my first winter in South Korea, but now that I had found HeatTech products, I don't need to put on thick layers of clothes anymore!!

And my other favorite for winter is Hakkin Kairo, or disposable pocket warmer. It was invented by Niichi Matoba in 1923. Kairo is using platinum catalyst technology, that is environment friendly but really useful to keep your body warm during winter.

At this time of the year Kairo can be found like almost in every drugstores or supermarkets all over Japan. The pocket warmers are thin, easy to slipped into pockets. Some are specially designed to slip into gloves or socks. Some can be sticked into inner clothes for extra warmth.

If any of you wonder how I could still look slim during winter. It's because of those two products. I put on heattech inner clothing and have kairo in almost every pocket (^___-)

And what are your favorites for fighting the cold weather...?