More New Products

Posted on Wednesday, August 31, 2011 | 0 comments

   Well, it's the last day of August, and you know what that means: Halloween stuff is coming out! Yep, saw these Halloween/ghost Pringles at the store today already. They're onion gratin soup flavored...which basically means they taste pretty similar to sour cream n' onion chips. Not bad, but nothing special either.

                   Next up, we have Meiji's chocolate mint gum. And once again, Meiji's done a rather good job! The little cubes of gum look like mini brownies, and their texture is actually that of a rather gummy brownie. Nice minty-chocolate taste, and the flavor lasted for at least 15 minutes! Considering that for some reason even with all the new technology here, nobody can make gum with flavor that lasts very long, I'm impressed! Would definitely buy this one again!

Product Review: Gyoza Flavored Curls (カール)

Posted on Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | 0 comments

   Found these at the grocery store today: gyoza flavored corn curls. Produced by Meiji, the product name is, conveniently Ka-ru, or 'curl' in Japanese.  The first time I visited Japan, I'm pretty sure that I inhaled enough of the salad dressing flavor Kurls to keep the company in business for that year, so I decided to try these out of a mixture of nostalgia and curiosity.  (Quick digression: the salad dressing flavor was really a lot better than it sounds, but sadly I haven't seen it in since my second visit here).
  I was pleasantly surprised by the obvious gyoza taste as soon as I bit into one of these. Good work Meiji! There was of course a slight corn aftertaste, these being corn curls, but otherwise they're pretty good. My only complaint is the odd somewhat-gyoza-flavor that formed and lingered in my mouth for about an hour afterward. Not sure if it would've stuck around had I eaten something else after the curls, but figured it was worth mentioning in case you're inclined to try them. Probably won't buy them again as I'm not in the habit of eating chips any more, but not bad!

Hotel Review: Kyoto's Matsui Honkan

Posted on Saturday, August 20, 2011 | 0 comments

   We stayed at Matsui Honkan the first night of our Kyoto trip this past week. It was an upper-middle range hotel in the travel agency's listing, but WOW. I honestly can't imagine what the high range hotels are like, if Matsui Honkan is merely middle level. The quality of service there was simply amazing, as was the food and our room. For some reason we were upgraded to the VIP 2-room suite, perhaps because we'd mentioned that we were celebrating our wedding anniversary while there. Whatever the case, I'm guessing that the suite was almost as large as our entire apartment, and a lot more beautiful! Included with the suite was VIP treatment, although perhaps they're simply that nice to all of their guests? We were also given anniversary gifts (chopsticks, chopstick rests, and sweets, among others), and they had a children's promotion going on at the time, so Keila got to 'toss' a ring and win a stuffed rabbit. Definitely the place to stay if you want to relax after viewing the major temples and shrines, too---it's quite close to the main shopping street with quick access to the subway. 5 stars on all counts for this place!
  Here's the link to some photos from the hotel; I'm giving Flikr a try for photo hosting so hopefully it works ok!


Posted on Monday, August 08, 2011 | 0 comments

  Found this little peeping Tom hanging out right after I turned off the shower! There was definitely a bit of screaming from the bathroom at that point, but only because I thought it was one of the infamous cockroaches that are so prevalent here. Newts/lizards/salamanders don't really scare me. Good thing, since I had to catch this cute little guy and put him outside! I looked up the various types of Japanese newts/salamanders (who knew that there is actually a Japanese Giant Salamander?? THAT would have made me scream for sure), and I think this one is a Tokyo salamander. Whatever the case, apparently it's a right of passage to discover one in the house, seeing as the people I've mentioned it to this evening have all replied that they hate finding them in the bathroom. How this one got in is beyond me, but if he's smart he'll stay outside: he narrowly missed a long, slow, and painful death at the paws of Wasabi and Sushi!

Beauty Dressing

Posted on Sunday, August 07, 2011 | 0 comments

   Another new product: DHC Beauty Dressing. Got these a couple of weeks ago (thanks, Otousan!) but first tasted the wasabi flavor tonight. It tastes great, not too sure about the beauty part though?
 The wasabi one boasts that it contains isoflavins from soy beans, while the tomato flavor has collagen peptides in it. I guess that these are supposed to help improve looks via better skin? Maybe I should conduct a test by taking my picture each day from here on out to see if it works. However, I think these would have to be some miracle dressings if they can erase the signs of sleep deprivation from my features! Good luck DHC!

Keila Is 9 Months Today!

Posted on Saturday, August 06, 2011 | 0 comments

             Keila turned 3/4 of a year old today! Here's an update in terms of how she's progressed in the past month:
  1. Still making lots of sounds but nothing too new that I've noticed in particular...then again, I'm around her pretty much 24/7 so maybe they're just not new sounds to me. She was blowing raspberries a while back, quit, and then started up again last week. It's great when she's got food in her mouth at the time!
 2. Sleep is still something that she fights like a wild cat. I've figured out that she will actually take 2 naps at day, one during our morning walk and one in the afternoon. However, if she does settle down for her afternoon nap, that pretty much guarantees she won't go to bed at 7:30....or if she does, she's back up again within the hour. Every night is a toss-up though, so we're hoping for at least 6 hours straight tonight! Speaking of sleep (or not sleeping), one of her new favorite activities is smacking Mom and Dad in the face at 6 am. She usually starts the night in her crib and ends up in our bed by around 5 am...then lets me sleep for another hour if I'm lucky. Investing in some light-blocking curtains probably wouldn't be a bad idea.
 3. Tummy time is still pretty much a no-go. Screaming usually starts up every time she's put down on the belly. Meaning that crawling hasn't started yet either. Keila's getting around this by acting as a sort of whirling dervish: she will use her legs to twirl herself around in circles while seated, slowly making her way across the room towards an unsuspecting target (ie Sushi or Wasabi). It took me a while to figure out how she would suddenly go from being on her mat to being halfway across the room, but Yuki figured it out after watching her a few times. Only Keila would be able to move without appearing to!
 4. Baby food: still not wanting much in the way of more textured foods, but tofu is ok, as are apricots, potatoes, and plain yogurt if it has some fruit mixed in. Not a big fan of sour foods. She also HATES this rather pricey salmon/vegetable dinner pack I ordered for her from the US. Recommended by Dr. Sears and everything. All I can say is, Dr. Sears apparently never ate that garbage! I tried it and am pretty sure even the cats won't bother with it. Poor baby! Now we're stuck with about 20 packs of stinky cat food-like salmon dinner. Yuck.
 5. New favorite activities include pulling out Sushi's fur, pulling out Mom and Dad's hair, throwing toys across the floor, throwing things in general, and trying to eat Mom's books and magazines. She also LOVES rolling a ball back and forth and can wave bye-bye. Smart girl!
 6. Finally, fear of strangers kicked in early last week. If someone looks at her too closely for too long, watch out! Random people will set her off for reasons that I can't discern, too. Poor baby! She does get really excited when Daddy comes home or she gets to see Grandpa, though!
  Until next month....

                                       Sneak attack on Wasabi....

Hello Llama!