03 September 2012

Quick Tip: How to Keep Your Bananas Fresher for Longer

Don't you hate it when you buy a bunch of beautiful yellow bananas only to discover that they are already starting to spot after a couple days? Why is it that they stay so perfect looking at the store and decide to fall apart when you take them home?! My bananas don't stand a chance, especially in this humidity!

Today's tip is how to keep your bananas just a little bit fresher for just a little bit longer. 
There are actually two methods to doing this:
This first is to separate the bananas (at the top) as soon as you take them home.
The second is to wrap the top of the bunch with cling film really tightly and rewrap after you take a banana.
I personally go with the first option just because it's easier :p

This will keep your bananas from ripening too fast and will keep them fresher for about 3-5 more days!

Easy huh?

That's all for now :D

07 August 2012

Happy 1st Birthday, Reia!

WOW! Where did all the time go?! Our little bebe has grown so fast and continues to amaze us everyday. Her cheeky smile and he sweet laughter is all it takes to melt my heart! We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful daughter and we can't imagine life without her :)

Her first birthday was on the 2nd of August was spent in Germany with all of her Japanese family :) It was sooo nice to see all the cousins interacting and playing together, especially with Reia! It took her a few days to adjust to the time difference, but after a couple days of crying and waking during the night, she was back to normal.

The day started with us leaving the house early in the morning and driving a couple of hours to Eltz Castle where the 33rd generation owners still live today. It looked like something out of a movie and was furnished as if still in the medieval times. It was located in such a nice secluded area with rivers, hills and a bright green forest that stretched as far as the eye could see.
Me and the birthday girl!
During the drive there, she threw up all over her birthday outfit from Megumi and Matt >_< But because I am so clever and brought a change of clothes, it was OK. Then after lunch she had an explosion >_< I didn't bring a change for the change of clothes, so not so clever after all.

But speaking of lunch (right after that description, hehe), Jun and I shared the stuffed roast pork steak with chips, salad and roll with a delicious berry cheesecake! That cheesecake was probably one of the best I've ever had. The texture was light and smooth and it had just the right amount of sweetness to it. Not overbearing, just right.

We were able to take a short tour through some of the castle and all Reia wanted to do was get on the floor and crawl around. It wasn't easy trying to constrain her! We weren't allowed to take photos inside the castle itself, so all I can say was that it was very interesting to see how people used to live back then. It also made me grateful for the luxuries I have now, like heating and plumbing! 

Inside the castle walls
With cousin, Emi
On the way back home, Reia had another near-explosion and threw up again >_< I now know to bring at least 5 changes of clothes with me on a road trip! Anything could happen! (Mind you, she was showing signs of a cold.) So we got home, I gave Reia a bath and changed her into her Hello Kitty outfit and we ate dinner at a local place with a GORGEOUS view! It looked out onto this huge valley with clusters of red roofed houses scattered in the middle. I thought at that moment, "YES! I am in Europe!" I always knew that I was, but the atmosphere just gave off such a European-y vibe that was amazing. The pics don't give it justice at all. Dinner was schnitzel and pizza which was delicious as usual :)

It was probably my imagination, but I noticed during the trip that the sun gave off a warmer, golden, yet hazy light that softened everything, making anything it touched look even more radiant!

Served with fries, as always

L-R: Chika, Mika, Ai, Asami 
Megumi, Mia, Matt
Emi, Takumi, Yuki, Minami 
Art, Misao, Mikuya, Misa
Jujiro, Jun, Reia, Junko
After we got home, we pulled the cake outta the fridge, put a big 1 one it and sung Happy Birthday! Reia was staring at everyone wondering what was going on the whole time. She didn't get to eat any of the cake though because of the days previous explosions and such. We figured she had contracted something. So she snacked on cherries and plums instead. She has the rest of her life to eat cake!

With cousin, Mia
Happy Birthday hunny bunny 
Why is everyone shouting at me?
Blowing out the candle...
One of Reia's older cousins, Emi, had been wanting to play Happy Birthday to Reia on the flute all day and so we got our own mini show!

And that was Reia's first birthday :D

There have been a lot of changes this month too. And just so I have them on record, here they are:

If she hears the Skype ring tone, she will scuttle over to see who I'm chatting with :)

She has a dimple of the side of her nose, of all places! I only noticed that a few weeks ago.

She will go to people reluctantly at first but will be fine being with them if she doesn't see me.

She likes it when I take her face in my hands and roll her cheeks around. She also finds it amusing if I brush my finger up and down on her lips so she can make that bubbling kind of sound.

She can give hi-fives on cue!

She learnt how to climb stairs at the Ford's home in Germany! She had lots of practice and also learnt how to come down a step backwards. She can only go down one though as the urge to climb that one step back up again is too much for her!

If you start saying one of her favourite words: ada, aba, ana, or bobo, she will start copying you. But recently she has started to babble a lot more and will just play and talk to herself for a while, which is cute.

Now that her 4th tooth has cut through, Reia grits and grinds her teeth. I hope they don't chip...

She says YAYA and shakes her head or does a duck face when she means NO!

She is a pro at drinking through straws! She also doesn't spit drink back out once she's sipped it out.

She absolutely LOVES playing in the shower!! It's like her favourite thing. I think it's the toy fish that make all the difference.

She has started attempting standing by herself which is exciting but also a little bit scary! If someone isn't there to catch her, she ends up falling over and hitting her head :( I am still haunted by her first major fall straight onto her forehead! I always look at it to see if it's developing OK... but I kinda reckon it's slightly more raised than the other side :(

She developed heat rash over the summer in Japan! It was all over her legs, arms, chest, and was speckled across her eyes and nose. She scratched really hard on her upper thighs. She had to take two showers a day. It was so sad to see her suffer :( We just missed the heat wave by a few days after coming back, but 32 degrees is still gross to be in.

No matter where I stick her in the room to watch her tv program, she will make her way right up to the tv screen, a few inches from her nose! We always keep her away but bit by bit she inches closer and closer lol. One time I told her that she was too close and needed to go back to behind the table and she started crying and reluctantly started moving back to where she came from!! I was so amazed and excited that she was understanding what I was saying but I didn't want to show my excitement so that she would get confused and think I was joking or something lol but she went right back to her pozzy!

She likes playing peekaboo! She likes it so much she plays it by herself! All she needs is a blanket lol.

She will stare at me until I make her smile :)

Thank you for an amazing year, baby. We love you very much!

04 July 2012

Jun's 28th Birthday!

Don't you just love Reia's face? Little monkey!
Jun's birthday this year fell on a Tuesday, which meant he was at work all day. So what did I do to make him feel special? I cooked food of course! Loooots and lots of food :)

This week, Jun starts work an hour earlier than usual which means he leaves just after 6am IN THE MORNING! So yesterday, I woke up at 5:30 and wrapped up some breakfast for him to take to work and eat. I didn't get a shot of them because it was such a rush that morning but they were toasted English Muffins with cheese, tomato, basil and bacon. Pretty scrummy. I know, because I scoffed one down after he left :)

I made his bento the night before. Every time I try to sneakily make a special bento there is always this awkward feeling in the air because he is 2 meters away from me and he knows I'm up to something and I know he knows too, but you don't want to acknowledge it incase you are wrong or spoil the surprise! Well that's how it was when I was making his lunch. Anyway, this was his bento! I carved the '28' out of cheese and when I asked him about it, he said he didn't see it. Later that night when I was washing the bento box, I found it on the underside of the lid. In a melted blob. -_- Oh well.

I took a nap during the day and woke up to Reia pulling my hair out of my ponytail. I could smell perfume and it was reeeally strong for some reason. I opened my eyes and Reia is all smiles because I was awake. I rolled over to face her I and found the pump spray top to one of my perfumes. Well that was enough to get me out of bed! I flung off the covers and followed my nose to the source! Needless to say, it didn't take long for me to find an empty bottle of perfume next to a big wet patch on the tatami mat. She also saturated one of Jun's ties. Don't think he'll be wearing that again. And that bottle of perfume was a big one! The biggest one I had in fact! It was Mariah Carey's Forever fragrance that Mum gave me for my birthday in 2009. And now it wafts freely throughout our house. It's kind of sickening actually because it's so concentrated! Hopefully with a lot of airing it will fade away soon.

There is only 2 of us and we can't eat a whole cake by ourselves, so we had cupcakes instead! I made swiss buttercream and this was my first time piping icing on to anything, so it's far from perfect!

The main event was THIS! Isn't it glorious? You are nodding your head but have no idea what it is, right? It's called a Lasagna Timpano. A Timpano is an Italian baked pasta dish (look it up on Google, they are amazing looking!) but this one just has a lasagna twist to it ;) Pretty easy to make, but it can take a while to prepare if doing everything from scratch!

Feast your eyes on this! The top layers are cheese sauce and sausages, the middle layers are pesto and cheese, and the bottom layers are meat and tomato sauce, all wrapped up in lasagna sheets :D Such a fun dish! I couldn't wait to cut into it, so it was still oozing out goodness from everywhere!

Between the two of us we only got half way. It was reeeally filling and tasty too! I've had two slices for lunch today :O and Jun took some to work as well ;)

Of course we had some salad :) Jun and I have made it a point to eat a lot of salad before our dinner in our quest to be healthy! I have lost 3kgs already!!! :D

Our small little set up!

Reia loved all the colourful balloons!

Stealing Daddy's card

Happy Birthday!

I got him some new pajamas because......

his old ones had this HUGE rip in the back!! A much needed present I like to think! (I had a very small budget coz we are saving up for Germany!)

We forgot about these and popped them at the same time...

and this was Reia's reaction. Lol! She did NOT like the loud noise they made at all!


We hope you enjoyed your day, honey!
We had fun spoiling you!

02 July 2012

11 Months Today!

It has been one big whirlwind of development this month! 11 months down and 1 more to go until shes a 1 year old! I am still debating on wether I should keep these updates monthly after she turns 1 or not. We'll see what happens. She is a very curious girl and wants to touch and taste everything. Especially the remotes, cords, and bottles!

She can finally CRAWL! Well it is more like half crawl, half walk lol. She uses her left foot to get her places while her right knee drags behind her. When she goes turbo it is hilarious hahaha

She doesn't know how to fall asleep anymore >_< She naps maybe once or twice if I'm lucky, but now that she can sit up and crawl, she can't keep still! She usually goes to sleep at 8pm and is up by 5am. 

When she is really tired and she wants to go to sleep, she squeezes her eyes shut but they peek back open lol so she keeps squeezing them tightly until they stay shut. Cuuuute!

She loves books! She enjoys story time and will happily sit in my lap and soak in all the pictures. I have been reading "Miss Moo Goes to the Zoo" for the past 2 weeks and she loves it!

Reia reading her Hiragana book
She tries to stand up using anything stable.
Mainly walls, chairs, tables, and legs.

At her first Baseball game enjoying the cheers from Chiba's side
She will always go from standing to squat position and will repeat this motion a few times. I have quickly learnt that this is the way she goes toilet. And she just confirmed this 5 minutes ago :/

This girl has some strong leg muscles! Jun knows that very well. He gets kicked in the chest or face sometimes when he's sleeping.

She likes playing in the curtains :)

She like to blow raspberries on my knees and chest. It is the cutest thing when she looks up at me for my reaction when she's done hehe

She is a little bit vain lol. She loooves looking in the mirror and watching videos of herself!

This isn't new, but she likes it when I sing the Dutch hand-motion song, Klap Eens In Je Handjes! My Dad used to sing this to us when we were little and we liked it too. Never knew what the words meant, but it was fun! I hope that I am pronouncing the words correctly haha I might have to get some help when we venture out to Amsterdam next month!

Her Opa bought her a jolly jumper! It's perfect for when I need 10 minutes to clean the house or something. I just stick her in it and I know she'll be safe and not tangled up in some cords somewhere.

She has a top tooth cutting through and another closely following closely behind which brings the number of teeth to 3, nearly 4!

I am pretty convinced by now that her favourite food is spaghetti bolognese. She gobbles it up so fast and loves smearing it all over her face as you can see with this awesome face palm!

She get scared and cries when she sees these particular characters on t.v. Every day during Okaasan to Issho (Japanese kids t.v. program), she always cries when these guys come on. I must admit though, they do look pretty weird :/

When she gets frustrated, she makes this face! 

Her new word this month is "bo-bo!"

She isn't a huge fan of the shower yet (I am though!), but she loves her little fishies and will always crawl to the bathroom to fetch them. I got her this cap to keep the water out of her eyes. It has a hole on the top to wash her hair. Genius!

At her last check up, she was 9.5kgs and 75cm long! I can't get over how big she has gotten. She is huge now! She's a little person, it's crazy!

We are still amazed at how time has flown by so quickly and at how big baby has gotten. It's a bitter sweet feeling that I'm sure many of you with kids are familiar with.


Her next update with be coming from GERMANY! Woohoo!

Have a good one!