Friday, September 12, 2014

Two New Green Smoothie Recipes

It's been a while since I've posted any green smoothie recipes here on the blog.  For a while, during all of our traveling before we got to Japan, I wasn't drinking them as regularly and I was really missing them.  But, I knew it would be a while (after we got here) until all of our household goods would arrive (they finally got here on Monday--2.5 months after everything was moved out of our house inTexas!), so we made sure to mail ourselves our Vitamix ahead of time so that it would be ready and waiting for us when we arrived.  And I'm so glad we did!  I am back in my daily green smoothie mode!

I love the way my body feels when I regularly drink my smoothies.  They give me noticeably more energy during the day (in the mornings especially), I feel so much lighter and healthier when I drink them, as opposed to eating something else for breakfast, and they really aid in digestion.  Plus, if I'm ever having an unhealthy eating day, I can blend myself up a smoothie for the next meal and feel like I'm sort of making up for it :)  Even if I can't undo what I've eaten, I can at least boost my nutrient and fiber intake!


So, anyway, recently I've come up with two new favorite recipes!  And my kids have LOVED both of them.  Here they are:

Berry Mango

1/2 Cup Red Grapes
2 Cups Spinach
1 Cup Mango
1/2 Cup Blackberries
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Pineapple
1 1/2 Cups Water

Place in blender and blend until smooth!

*I used all frozen fruit, except for the grapes and spinach*

Berry Berry

1 Cup Red Grapes
2 Cups Spinach
1/2 Apple
1/2 Cup Blackberries
1/2 Cup Blueberries
1 Cup Strawberries
1 1/2 Cups Water

Place in blender and blend until smooth!

*In this recipe, I used fresh grapes and apples, but the rest (including the spinach!) was frozen*

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Odaiba


Last week, since we were already in Odaiba, at Legoland, we decided to spend some more time exploring the area afterwards.  And the verdict: Odaiba is awesome!  It's a small manmade island in the Tokyo Port areas of the Tokyo Bay.  Between the beach, restaurants, and tons of shopping, it's a really fun place to visit and it's so pretty!  I don't think I was expecting the views to be so incredible, but they really were.



We walked through the shops a little bit, grabbed some crepes and boba drinks, and then headed down to the water.  The kids had a fun time splashing around, minus Bennett who had to keep an eye on our shoes ;)


After seeing a few people out in the water, I'm anxious to go back and rent stand-up paddle boards and paddle around the bay!




Once we got our fill of sea water and sand in our toes, we walked over to check out the Statue of Liberty.  Yep, you heard that right.  Not quite as grand as ours in the US, but Japan has their very own, it's just a bit smaller!


Then we walked back off the shoreline to Diver City, one of the malls in the area, so that we could get a glimpse of Gundam Man, a giant robot standing nearby.


There's a ton more to do in Odaiba, but after a long day of taking trains all over and playing hard at Legoland, we were beat!  Luckily, it's only an hour and a half away, so we can go back whenever we want . . . but next time, if we leave during rush hour like we did on this trip, we'll be sure not to take our stroller :)

Train stations at Odaiba: Daiba, Tokyo Teleport, Odaibakaihinkoen

GPS Coordinates for Odaiba:
35.628924, 139.776292

Friday, September 5, 2014

Legoland Tokyo

It's no secret that we love Legos in our family.  Peter and I have just as much fun building with them as Will does, and I think Peter even gets the most excited about all of the cool sets that Lego offers.  So, when we heard that Tokyo had a Legoland, we knew we had to go!

Located in Odaiba in Tokyo, it's about an hour and a half from the base by train.  Not too bad if you plan on spending some time out there, which is easy to do, especially since Odaiba is such a fun area (post on Odaiba coming soon!).


Now, this Legoland really doesn't compare to Legoland in San Diego, which is a huge amusement park.  Its full name is Legoland Discovery Center Tokyo, which is a pretty accurate description of what it's like.  There are only two rides, it's all indoor, and it's much smaller in comparison.  But that didn't make it any less fun!  Our kids had a blast--I think we spent about 3 or 4 hours there, and my kids didn't want to leave.  



In addition to the two rides, they had an awesome Mini Town, which was areas of Tokyo made out of Legos, a Master Builder class where an instructor led a group of kids through building a penguin out of regular blocks, a race car area where you could build a car and then race them down 3 different sized ramps (this was for sure Will's favorite area), a Lego Friends karaoke area, a giant, soft squishy Lego blocks building area, a giant jungle gym, and a Ninjago training run where you had to make it through a tunnel with lasers without touching any of them.  So, while not being huge, it definitely had enough to offer our kids and keep them entertained for several hours!  Going back will be a great outing this winter when we're trying to escape the cold!











GPS Coordinates: 35.629292, 139.776350

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Fire Museum

The other day, while stuck in a big rainstorm in Tokyo, we decided to do a FREE, indoor activity!  The Fire Museum!  It's really cool and a great place to spend a little time, especially if you're in the area and are trying to avoid the rain :)



The museum had a bunch of old fashioned fire trucks from several different decades.  They also had firefighting jackets and helmets for kids to try on, as well as an old ambulance and trucks that you could climb in and look around.


One of the coolest parts of the museum is the giant firefighting helicopter hanging from the ceiling.



The Fire Museum is definitely worth checking out if you're in Shinjuku with kids!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Kiddy Land

We just got back home from a mini vacation in Tokyo.  We stayed at the military hotel, The New Sanno, which is in a prime location for visiting Tokyo.  It's a few minutes walk from the Hiroo Metro Station, and it's about a 5 minute drive to Peter's cousin's house and in the other direction it's a 5 minute drive to the LDS Temple.  Staying at The New Sanno will definitely be a regular occurrence for us while we live here--why not make visiting family and the temple into a mini vacation every so often?!


We packed a lot in while we were staying in the city, but we made sure to visit Kiddy Land first.  Kiddy Land is a 4-story toy store in Harajuku.  It's packed with toys, lunch boxes, notebooks, and trinkets.  And most of them are character toys that are super popular in Japan, only some of which are as popular in the states.  

For example they had tons of Doraemon, Snoopy (and entire floor was dedicated to him!), Totoro, and Hello Kitty.  We found a few treasures though, and had tons of fun wandering through the shop.




If you have kids, visiting Kiddy Land is a must.  It embodies all that is kawaii in Japan!  Plus, it's in Harajuku, which is definitely one of the coolest areas in the city.  Peter and I could have spent all day shopping around and eating in Harajuku, but between our little ones and the pouring rain, we had to keep moving!  Maybe one of these days we'll get a babysitter and just go to Harajuku to do some more exploring.




Getting to Kiddy Land is easy.  It's right in between the Meijijingumae Station and the Omotesando Station; 6-1-9 Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku.  GPS coordinates: 35.668689, 139.706504.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Tama-gawa (Ome River)


Our travelogue of adventures here in Japan continues!  Yesterday, we drove out to Ome (right by Mt. Mitake) to explore the river.  I know I keep saying it, but Japan is so beautiful!!!  And I love our location--we're nestled perfectly between busy Tokyo and peaceful, beautiful, green mountains, rivers, and lakes.  We spent the day on Friday taking trains and subways around Tokyo, and then Saturday we were wading in a cool mountainside river!


The Tama River in Ome isn't too deep, but it has enough current and rapids to be a popular spot for kayakers and rafters.  And also fishermen, who by the way, fish with the very longest fishing poles I've ever seen!  But anyway, we didn't go to fish or kayak, we just went to explore and throw rocks in the river, and it was a ton of fun.



There is a big pedestrian cable bridge near the area we entered from, so we crossed it to find a cute little outdoor cafe.  We didn't end up eating there because they were closed by the time we were leaving, but next time we'll be sure to try them out!  After crossing the bridge, we followed a path that went along the river until we found some steps leading down to its banks.  The river is very rocky, and very shallow along the edges (don't know how deep the middle was, but I'm assuming not too deep), so it was perfect for little legs to splash around, explore, and throw rocks into the river over and over and over again! 


 

We had a blast, and this river is definitely a spot that we will return to, especially since it's only about a 30 minute drive from base!  And, there's a handy little free parking lot, with restrooms, right by the trail that leads to the cable bridge.  The GPS coordinates for the parking lot are: 35.80278, 139.19489.