Monday, June 28, 2010


Raku-yaki (楽焼), or Raku ware, is a type of Japanese pottery that is traditionally and primarily used in the Japanese tea ceremony in Japan, most often in the form of tea bowls. It is traditionally characterized by hand-molding of the clay as opposed to turning it on a potter's wheel, resulting in each piece being "one-of-a-kind"; low firing temperatures (resulting in a fairly porous body); leadglazes; and the removal of pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot. In the traditional Japanese firing process, the fired Raku piece is removed from the hot kiln and put directly into water or allowed to cool in the open air - Ibu Wikipedia

During our trip to Kaminoyama onsen last week Iki tried to paint on the raku ware, as a surprise father's day present for his grandfather.

At first he drew Jiji's face on a small raku plate.

Then he seriously painted it. Jiji was drinking beer during dinner so his face was red.

He drew himself on the back of the plate and signed it with his name

Jiji was really happy when Iki gave it to him the next day (^_____^)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Mormot Touban

Iki's yochien has two cute marmots named be-ru and momo that kids (and parents) have to take care in turn everyday. Usually once a week Iki will go home with a batch sticked on his uniform that he has to bring vegetables and newspaper for the mormots. And like once in two months whole family has to feed and clean up the cage during weekends.

Iki is pretty good doing it already. During our first turn cleaning up the cage on one Saturday, he told me what how he usually did it. Which was really helpful since I can't read the Japanese instruction and papa-chan was not with us :p

Iki enjoys doing it and actually asked me to buy him a mormot or a cat for pet. Which unfortunately won't happen ;-)

My very last pretty nails

I just threw all my nails colors, glitters, and all the decorations into the trash bin. It really broke my heart, but I think it's the best I could do.

Me doing manicure at night had been a midnight problems lately. And tonight is the worst of all. Papa-chan was very upset, Iki was very sad, and me now spending the night in the living room alone felt really guilty.

I was too much into my nails, my hobby, that I ruined the night. Maybe a mother like me doesn't need a hobby.

I gave it up. No more relaxing nights working on my nails now, I don't feel relax if everybody else is not happy.

SO forget my last post about switching to gel manicure. I am NOT doing ANY manicure anymore. Sad, huh? I feel like I lost all data inside my hard disk now :(

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gel Nail Manicure...?

I am "blessed" with short fingers and dry skin that my hands are so wrinkly like a 50 years old woman's hand. That's why I always want to blur those view by putting on nice nail colors. I find that manicure and pedicure is a very relaxing activity anyway, though time consuming. Especially when I got stressed during the day, manicure at night after all the work is done is really a good cure.

The thing is, once I moved here, I have to do all the houseworks (which are real enemy to my nails!). I have to do the manicure at least twice a week!! A relaxing activity then could turn into a stressing one too when I don't have time for that. Waiting for the nails to dry up also drives me crazy. I always feel nervous that Iki would wake up for pee when the nails are not really dry yet -sometimes hiro helps, but he often comes home really late or doing work or study that he hates to be disturbed at home. And yes, sometimes bringing Iki to toilet at night ruined my almost done pretty nails!!

It makes me thinking to switch to gel nail manicure. From what I read around, it is long lasting (up to two or three weeks), odor free, and can make nails stronger. But I have to buy the kit, which is much more expensive then the normal nail colors.

My question is:

Is it really worthed to change into gel manicure? throwing away my whole nail colors collection and buying the whole gel nail kit?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Wednesday Bento: Neko no Basu

Still a character from the famous Tonari no Totoro, Neko Basu (the cat bus) ;-)

Neko Basu onigiri: rice mixed with men tsuyu, nori, cheese, carrot and quail eggs
Bear corn croquettes
Happy cherries (^_^)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sakuranbogari (Cherry Picking)

We went to Kaminoyama onsen village in Yamagata Perfecture last weekend with Iki's grandparents. It took about 2.5 hours by Shinkansen, but Iki enjoyed every minute of it sitting with Jiji (his grandpa), while I'm enjoying every minute of it listening to music, and playing with my phone haha!

We came a week earlier so the cherries were not red yet, but they were still really pretty and yummy!!! I never ate that sweet cherry before in my life!

The trees were too high for Iki so he needed someone to help him

We ate so much cherries in 30 minutes and had a really good time!

Oh, and I'm in love with this funny flower nearby the receptionist :p

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Treasure Hunt

We did the treasure hunt on Friday instead of Sunday because we were going to go to Yamagata Perfecture for cherry picking and onsen on the weekend.

Iki and papa-chan started just before dinner, after papa-chan came back from work. He had been telling him again and again to come back home earlier that day for the treasure hunt.

I put clues inside and outside the house and the boys were having fun.

These were inside the treasure bag:

A Japanese beer mug,

Iki's handmade book,

and a little note from Iki: "Papa Daisuki" means, papa is my favorite

Happy Father's Day, papa-chan. You are NOT the best father in the world, but you ARE the best father, teacher and friend for Iki ;-)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday Bento: Totoro

Iki's obento today was TOTORO, from famous Japanese animation Tonari no Totoro (My neighbor Totoro)

Totoro: Umeboshi onigiri and black sesame onigiri; with cheese and nori for decoration
Rolled bacon
Mini tomatoes

Iki was very happy and kept singing Totoro theme song while watching me decorating the bento. After dinner he watched totoro clips from youtube and kept singing the song the whole night LOL

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Got a very nice sudden visit from mbak'e yesterday, and to my surprise she brought me tempe!!! 4 packs!!!

Hiro had nomikai last night, so this was my dinner. Tempe goreng sambal terasi (^_____^). Using Indonesian chilli just brought from Sorowako by my friend, Miwa. Plus Terasi Udang I found in Ueno, OMG....I got food orgasm!!!!

And seems my little boy also got it ;-). Tempe goreng with his favourite kecap manis

Thanks Mbak'e!!!!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Coasters for bazaar

Iki's school bazaar is coming and all the mothers are expected to participate. About once to twice a week we (mothers from Iki's class) meet, planned, and handmade together the stuffs we will contribute to the bazaar.

Justify Full
One of them are this coasters. Was not my idea, but I made all of them myself (^_-). Can't believe I could make 5 sets!!! For a beginner like me, it was pretty difficult :p

One set (two coasters with different colors) will be sold for 100 yen (1 dollar)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Making Insect

We spent the whole morning in Iki's school today. It's summer and to welcome it the school made this event of making insects with FATHERS using tree branches and leaves.

Surprisingly almost all fathers participated. Which was really good. We thought it was just a small event but apparently the company paid pretty good attention on it. There were staffs from Landscape design's department assisting.

At first we chose the right shape and size branches or other tree parts. They prepared quite a lot.

And then we started making the insects. It was not easy to glue those tree parts!!! Papa-chan made a big snail. I made a dragonfly and a spider. At first Iki was just helping us, but then he started making something by himself.....A DOG! Well, at least it's what he told us LOL.

These are what we got, minus papa-chan's

Next stage was painting them, with whatever color we like ;-)

Then everybody put the final result on the apartment's front's wall. Pretty, aren't they?

Iki wanted to bring his "dog" home, but finally he put it on the wall too. Can you find it on those two pictures???

Other parents put theirs on the outer wall of the apartment building, but we put ours on the nearest wall to our house :p

We had surprisingly a good time!! Welcome, summer!!!!

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Wednesday Bento: Pikachu

Can't believe I made bento for Iki for two days in a row!!!!! Such a pain in the ass!!

But here we go, today's obento was Pikachu's bento :)

Umeboshi onigiri
Kabocha no nimono (boiled pumpkin)
Bear shaped croquettes
mini tomatoes

He loved it!! Before I kissed him goodnight he said it again, "mom, thanks for yummy pikachu bento today"

So smiling mommy is now thinking what to make next week for him ;-)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

School Trip

It's Iki's first school trip today. I took this picture from my bedroom's balcony when the kids left the school (yes, the school is right in front of our house! :p)

They all walked to the nearest subway station (about 15-20 mins walk) then took subway to Shinjuku Station. They went to a puppet theater and then had picnic lunch at Shinjuku Park. This was Iki's obento today: Spongebob Squarepants

Spongebob's face: Cheese, kamaboko (fish cake), cucumber's skin, seaweed, carrot, ham
Ham and cheese sandwich
Boiled broccoli
Mini tomatoes
Angry octopus (as I was upset when Iki said that the spongebob's face didn't look good!!)

It was cloudy today so all the kids brought raincoats just in case it was raining. I was not, Thanks God, but anyway they all came back in raincoats LOL

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Wednesday Bento: Buldozer-excavator

Supposed to be posted last Wednesday, but mama-chan has been down with terrible flu (AGAIN) since that day (@_@).

So this is last Wednesday's bento!

Kombu filling onigiri with umeboshi flakes + Buldozer excavator cheese + nori
Fried chicken
Kamaboko (fish cake) ==> the bus and the patrol car on the left. I didn't make them LOL, can be bought in supermarket here.

Some friends have been asking me to explain how did I make obento. Its not difficult, really. In fact I am enjoying it very much. There are lots LOTS of sources too from the internet, but most of them in Japanese. My favourite is this one: and
If you see those two examples, then you know that I make is not actually that good yet hahaha. I think those Japanese moms are born to create cute bentos!!

To make this obento, first I looked for a good picture in the internet. Printed it and then drew it on a piece of baking paper, like this:

This time I used sliced cheese as the main body, so I just cut the pattern, put it on the cheese and cut around it

I used nori (seaweed paper) as the line, so I cut the paper together with the nori

so then I got these small pieces of nori

That's it. Then just arrange them inside the lunchbox based on the pattern. Simple, right?

For the picks, there are lots of them can be bought easily here. So if you're interested, just send me an email :)