Month: November 2017

creamy tomato gnocchi & this week’s meal plan

Did you celebrate Thanksgiving last week? If so, I hope you had a great one! We made a little feast, including this pumpkin pie and the pecan slab pie from Smitten Kitchen‘s new cookbook and both were great. The kiddo loves baking, so it was nice to have the day off to slowly prepare everything together. He also made our cranberry sauce and is so proud of it!  READ MORE

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why we’re loving Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

We spent over 2 months in the US this summer and found ourselves visiting the local library several times a week. Having access to so many beautiful children’s books (in English) was such a treat for this little Tokyo family and we fell in love with a range of new authors, illustrators, and characters. But out of all those books, the one we *had* to buy as soon as we got home was Not Quite Narwhal. 

The illustrations are adorable, but that’s not the only reason we love it. READ MORE

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Thanksgiving in Tokyo & this week’s meal plan

This year marks my 13th Thanksgiving since moving to Japan. It’s probably my favorite family holiday, which makes it my most homesick weekend as well. Over the years I’ve celebrated in every way from turkey delivery at work to fancy course menus, and with anywhere from one other person to several dozen. These days we mostly celebrate as a little family, enjoying a comfort food feast with all the sides I love and as close to a turkey as I can manage. Luckily, Thanksgiving Day coincides with a Japanese national holiday this year so we’ll have all day to prepare together. Our little guy loves to bake and help mix things (and is actually old enough to be helpful now!), so I think it will be extra fun.  READ MORE

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a fun new book: Still Stuck by Shinsuke Yoshitake

I stumbled on this book while browsing Amazon and had to buy it because our kiddo gets stuck like this just about every time he gets undressed. As impulse buys go, Still Stuck was a great one!

The little boy in Still Stuck finds himself in the tricky position that toddlers (maybe even all of us?) seem to fear most – discovering that you might actually need to ask for help, even after insisting that you don’t need it. READ MORE

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making bentos & this week’s meal plan

Do you make bentos for yourself or your family? I’m not much of a morning person, so I’m usually impressed with myself if everyone has breakfast and makes it to work/day care with the things they need (bonus points if we’re not terribly late!). Since the kids have lunch prepared on-site at their school, mochi and I usually grab lunches close to work and only prepare bentos when we’re feeling super organized the night before. READ MORE

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preparing for hoikuen (Japanese day care): sewing project tips

Our little one started going to hoikuen (day care) recently and I’ve been slow about getting all of her prep done. And there can be a lot of prep to do!

I’m sure it’s pretty standard to write names or iron tags into everything, but most of us in Japan also have a list of items to sew. READ MORE

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satsumaimo muffins & this week’s meal plan

We were pretty successful last week! The chicken chow mein got pushed out to Saturday, replaced on Friday by a quick meat sauce pasta, but otherwise we stuck to the plan. I cleared the fridge and tried a stuffed mushroom recipe that went over well (although the kiddo prefers them sautéed). Our little Halloween party was rescheduled to Sunday, so we had a taco rice buffet and barely had room to think about dinner last night. It was a great meal for a casual party though – prep was fast and easy, people could customize to their taste, leftovers are minimal and easy to use up.  READ MORE

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quick & easy project: convert baby headbands to clips

I’ve been collecting bows for our baby since before she was born (there are so many mama-run shops making gorgeous ones that it’s almost too easy). For a long time I ordered the soft headband type, not knowing when she’d have enough hair to use a clip. As much as I wanted to love them, they never seemed to look right – too much hair? weird head shape? And when she did wear them, it was always short-lived since they’d either slide or get pulled off. I started buying clips instead and they worked much better for us. At some point I realized we weren’t using her headbands at all, which was such a waste. Today I finally did something about it.

Here’s how I converted all our baby headbands into adorable bow clips: READ MORE

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piñata how-to (with lots of pictures!)

Let’s be honest, making a piñata is a bit of a process – there are a lot of steps and a lot of waiting around for things to dry – but it’s not difficult! Since they’re not easy to come by in Japan, if I want a piñata I have to make it myself.

Whether you’re looking for a handmade touch or have no other option, I hope this tutorial helps you make one too! READ MORE

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loving: my little tote in a gorgeous Rifle Paper Co. floral

I first wrote about my affection for SORAbento over on Daily Mochi in this post. At that time we had two bento bags and they’re still great, but the tote bag is probably my current favorite. I love the Rifle Paper Co. print – with the dominant tan and navy tones, it’s perfect for everyday use.

The tote is simple and compact, with an interior pocket that’s perfect for keeping track of the little bits and pieces that disappear in even the smallest bags. READ MORE

Posted by oursunnycorner in life in Japan, 0 comments