Friday, 27 May 2016

What do you do when earthquake happens?

We're going to Japan soon - yay! We thought we couldn't go this year after the big renovation, but my parents bought tickets for us to see Nico. We're lucky...  Because my parents are buying the tickets, we'll try to focus on more family time this year, so we might not be able to show you some exciting spots in Tokyo in this blog! But I will try to update our trip here.

Whenever we go to Japan, like other tourists, we have to worry about earthquakes (and Mt Fuji eruption). Especially after the big earthquake in Kumamoto in April, people are talking more about a big earthquake around the Tokyo area. I wish Japan didn't have earthquakes or volcanos, but because of that we can also enjoy lovely hot springs. Japanese people can't avoid those natural disasters, so they know how to live with them very well I think. We had lots of earthquake evacuation training at school.

I'll write some basic tips for an earthquake situation here... 

1. When you go to bed, prepare your slippers or shoes next to you. If a big earthquake comes while you're sleeping, sometimes you have to evacuate with your barefeet. If there is broken glass on the floor, it makes it difficult for you to evacuate.
2. If an earthquake happens when you're indoors, open the window or door first and then go under the desk or table. An earthquake might change the shape of the door or window frame and you might not be able to open those later. If a fire stars, you won't be able to get out!
3. If you're at outdoors, stay away from shop signs or something big because they might fall on you. Once the tremor stops, go to a wide space like a square, park, or vacant land because there might be aftershocks.

We worry about these things, but we still want to go. That's funny how much we love Japan;-)

From June 4th to 20th, nuno and stitch shipping will stop. We'll still accept orders, but please note that the shipping will be after June 21. If you need us to ship soon, I recommend you to order before June 2.

With love,

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Our new cupboard!

Our storage space is finally ready and now I'm keeping all nuno and stitch products here :-) I got so much stuff for markets to display, so some of them are still in our little study/bedroom, but it looks much better now.

As you know already, our home is very small, but we've got quite a lot of storage. I think this is the key to live neatly in a small space.

As I was organizing this space, I made an inventory and feel a bit more organized. When I sell my products online, it's easy to track of my stock, but when I sell at markets, sometimes I forget to keep records and lose track. The worst nightmare for shop owners might be having no stock when you receive an order..well at least for me, so it's good to know how much stuff I've got. I think I'm stocking too much at the moment, so I might be able to do some stocktake sale soon. Stay tuned!

Now we also started using our cupboard door to record Nico's height. This was Paul's idea originally. At his parents place, one of the doors have heaps of height records for all members of the family (and sometimes friends too!). We wanted to do something similar, but we didn't have the courage to write something on our new doors! Now see what we did. We're using washi tapes. It's easy to peel off, it's colorful, neat and cute! We're looking forward to recording more and more heights for Nico in the future.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Shopping in Japan

I probably wrote this here already, but my policy of living in Australia is "when in Rome, do as the Romans do". Sometimes I miss Japanese style customer service or little handy Japanese products, but I try to be happy with what I can get here. 

However there are some goods I always get from Japan.

tooth brush
Simply because it's cheaper over there. You can get a pretty good one under $2 in Japan usually and the 100 yen ($1) shop ones aren't bad at all. When I came to Australia for the first time, I was shocked how expensive tooth brushes were. Also, the head part is too big and it's hard to brush the back teeth, at least for me. I always get 3-5 tooth brushes!

Japanese toothbrush (top) and Australian toothbrush

Socks are cheaper and better quality with more designs in Japan. It's often 3 for $10... I also get tights for winter. They are usually 2 for $10-12. If you wear stockings, I do recommend buying Japanese ones there. You'll be impressed!

I often hear that people are thinking how expensive things are in Japan, but it's not true. They do sometimes have crazy prices, like some special melon for $100. Or if you try to have a coffee in Ginza, it's sometimes $9. But those things are just for some special people who want to spend money!

For example, I feel eating out in Australia is super expensive! 
In Japan, if you pay $50, you can get pretty nice French 3 course dinner. Breakfast never costs more than $10! Lunch set menu is often around $10 -15 with coffee and dessert. If you get sandwiches and a drink from 7eleven, it's definitely under $4.

I read that the average Japanese salary is about 45k and even the average of top industry, like the financial industry, is about 75k, so things have to be cheaper there. If you have visited Japan or lived there before, probably you know what I mean. What did you feel cheaper over there?

So don't be discouraged to go to Japan just because you think it's expensive! Of course it's more expensive than other Asian countries, but things are often cheaper than Australia.

Do you have any plan to go to Japan soon? Don't forget to put toothbrushes and socks in your shopping list;)

With love,

Tuesday, 10 May 2016


I hope everyone had a lovely Mother's Day last Sunday. Me? I had a wonderful day with my boys. I got lovely gifts, cards and flowers from Paul and Nico and also Paul made yummy breakfast for me. I was spoiled!

My Mother's Day gifts

-IKEA iPad holder

-double gauze hand towel from nuno and stitch

These two items make my cooking time in the kitchen extra fun!

I often use a website called "Cookpad" for some great recipes. It's a Japanese website so you might not be able to read it, but people can post their own recipes to this website and you can find thousands of recipes there. You often know which one is a good recipe from the number of reports from people who say they used that recipe.

They upload their own dishes and leave a comment on that recipe like " I cooked this dish twice already and my family absolutely love it! " or " I made this dish using apple instead of strawberries and it works well too". I think most Japanese mums are now using this website...even my mum!

Hopefully I can write a report on some of the cook pad recipes here and share them with you someday:-)
With love,

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Something I learned through our renovation

I am a typical Japanese person. I can't really rock the boat. I'm not good at speaking up at all, but I learned something new through our renovation experience. If you don't say something, you don't get anything! 

For our carpets, we used a local shop. I went there and paid in full before the installation because they said they needed to cut the carpet to the size once I ordered. I didn't argue. 

We booked the carpet installation for Thursday morning and we booked our move in for Friday. I went to our new home Thursday afternoon to do the final cleaning before moving in. I was pretty impressed by the carpet and was happy with the work they'd done, but when I was vacuuming I noticed one part of Nico's bedroom carpet had a big cut. I was a bit panicked! I was sure that the carpet shop would fix it but wasn't sure they could do it before Friday morning. 

I called up our project manager Maria but couldn't get through, so I went to the shop (it was nearly 3 pm) and told them there was a big cut on the carpet and showed them the photo. The shop owner said "ah, that's easy to fix. I'll send someone tomorrow morning" and then I said "Ok! Thanks." After that, Maria called me back after reading my text message and seeing the photo of the carpet. "How do they fix it?" she asked and I said "dunno, but they said it's easy." 

She came to the site and said "I think it's not that easy. They shouldn't just cut one part and join it, they should change the whole thing because you paid for carpet without a join. " Probably the carpet shop took advantage because I didn't know anything about carpet and didn't argue at all. They must have thought it's easy because I'm the EASY one.. 

Maria called up the carpet shop and asked how they would fix it. The carpet shop said they have no more of the same carpet and it's a discontinued item, so there's no way they can change the whole thing. Well maybe that might have been true, but their attitude made us think that they just didn't want to change whole thing. 

Maria and Paul's dad went to the shop and negotiated. In the end, we had to have one join but got $200 back. That was pretty good for us. 

Paul's dad advised me not to pay in full before the job's done from next time. Once they get money, sometimes they can just walk away from this kind of trouble. 

There's one extra story behind this carpet trouble. When Maria was calling up the carpet shop in Nico's new bedroom, I was putting a lampshade in our new bedroom. When Maria finished talking, she went to the lounge to see what her 1year old son Luca was doing and then I heard her scream!! I could tell something really serious happened from her scream. I thought Luca fell down from a ladder or something. 

When I went in the lounge, I saw that Maria and Paul's dad were trying to grab Luca's hand - he was holding a paint brush. And then I saw red paint everywhere on our new white kitchen cupboard - I was painting our front door in red and left the brush near the kitchen. 

Thankfully all the red paint was removed with turps, so now we can laugh about it. We even think we should have taken a photo of Luca doing that. It was definitely the most dramatic and funniest thing that happened throughout our renovation. 

With love,