Vegan Hello Kitty Birthday Food – Cream Cheese Cats on Toast



We spent our baby’s second Birthday in Japan so I thought some Hello Kitty theme food and treats would make it special for her. These Hello Kitty Birthday snacks were really fun and easy to make. I made them with vegan
Bute Island Foods original Sheese which is basically vegan cream cheese and it was just perfect!

How to Prep the food for the Hello Kitty Birthday Snacks This particular birthday wasn’t much of a “party” since it was just the immediate family. I did all of the steps in one sitting and it felt a little time consuming. 

My recommendation, if you are going to make a lot of these for a party would be to do the prep work a day ahead and store it it airtight containers in the fridge so you are not over-burdened on the day of the party.

Things you could prep ahead of time: 

Cauliflower “ears” Strawberry “bow” Pineapple “nose” Parsley “whiskers” and “eyes”

Here are close ups of how we cut up the different parts using either a pairing knife or kitchen scissors:










The noses were hard to cut. I am going to look into a larger sized steel reusable straw or see if I can find some kawaii cookie cutter shapes in tiny sizes here in Japan…


How to Assemble the Hello Kitty Birthday Snacks

First you slice and lightly toast your bread. I used a nice slim french bread. 

Then, spread your vegan cream cheese.

As I said earlier, I used Bute Island Foods Original Sheese, but in the US you can use Tofutti Cream cheese, or there are many other brands coming onto the market that you can buy pre-made. You may also have your own spreadable nut cheese recipe (please share if you do!)




You can add a little extra cream cheese under your ears. Then I add a bunch more to stick my bow on.




Once you stick your bow on, you can use a knife to spread the excess cheese under the bow and around the face.




Then you just place your eyes, nose, and whiskers.




I found some flowers in our grocery store produce section to place on my board to serve.




You could also serve like this with the cute flowers.




Voila! Hello Kitty Birthday Food!!!

























She was super happy to try the Hello Kitty Birthday Food!














Hello Kitty Birthday Snacks – Cream Cheese Cats on Toast Recipe

Ingredients:

1 long slim loaf french bread

vegan cream cheese

strawberries (can swap red pepper)

fresh pineapple (can swap yellow pepper or yellow carrot)

Parsley (can swap basil or cilantro)

Instructions:

Cut triangle “ears” out of your cauliflower with paring knife.

Cut strawberries into bow shapes with paring knife or sharp scissor.

Cut pineapple into small oval nose shapes.

Cut little eyes and whiskers out of your parsley.

Slice your french bread about 1/2 inch thick.

Lightly toast french bread slices.

Spread cream cheese with a little extra where your ears will go.

Place your ears.

Add a nice dollup of cream cheese under where your bow will go and place your bow.

Place your nose, eyes, and whiskers.

Serve with love!

St. Patricks Day LEGO Shamrock Salt Dough Craft



We had so much fun doing LEGO stamping on salt dough for Valentine’s Day and made these cute little decorations to hang up. I thought I’d do another design with the kids for St. Patrick’s Day. Salt dough is super easy to make and it is quite simple to make a LEGO shamrock shape and stamp it in.

What you need for the LEGO Shamrock Salt Dough Stamping Craft

We love salt dough. It is a simple recipe with only salt, flour, and water. To make the LEGO shamrock shape you will need a 1×4 brick and 2×2 round brick. I used the leaf piece to make it look like a little bit of grass and the little rocket bottom piece to fill in the center on one.




If you don’t want to do the LEGO stamping or you don’t have any LEGO for the littler kids, yet, you can just have fun making shapes and using cookie cutters. We did a little shamrock shape. I’m going to hang these little decorations on a holiday theme wall with other seasonal artwork and photos.

Here are some pictures of how the LEGO works in salt dough from our Valentine’s project:


 


You can use any LEGO pieces you like to stamp. You can head on over to our Valentine’s post to see some other ideas of what we did with our LEGO.

We used a dough scraper to get the designs off the table.




You can also make a design by stacking LEGO bricks and print that onto the salt dough.







Then you bake your salt dough designs…  

*DON’T bake your LEGO!!!*

It probably goes without saying but make sure all of your LEGO is removed before the dough goes in the oven or it will likely get ruined.







and paint them!











Salt Dough Recipe

Ingredients:

2 cups flour 1 cup salt 1 cup water

We used watercolor paint in tubes and a little ribbon to finish these off.

Instructions:

Mix salt and flour together. Then add water and mix, kneading with your hands to form a soft dough. If dough is too dry, add more water, if dough is too sticky, add more flour. 

If dough starts to dry out, you can add more water until it softens again and it can be stored in the fridge to keep it fresh if you have any left over. 

If you make things you want to keep out of your salt dough, just bake at 250 degrees in your oven for 1-2 hrs depending on how thick your object is.

Store your leftover dough in the refrigerator in an airtight container for several weeks.

Darling Pink and Grey Baby Room Ideas with Silver and Sparkle



Since it was International Women’s Day this week, we decided to focus on the girliest of girly girl style baby nursery colors. We are all for gender neutral tones for newborns but at the same time, we just love the color combo of a pink and grey baby room with touches of silver. We are seeing a lot of this in the #thatsdarling decorating movement and “darling” is exactly the best way to describe the delicate colors, patterns, details, and decorations. 

For some, this may be the only time in their child’s lives that you get to make the call of going all pink. For others, you will feel like you may never be able to get away from the princess gowns and pink EVERYTHING. After I told my son that his friend at school was wrong and boys were indeed allowed to like pink, he decided it was his favorite color too. So here’s to pink for everyone and anyone!



A lot of the furniture and decor in this post is super affordable and items come from places like Target, Amazon, and Etsy. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase using my links.

Pink and Grey Baby Room Ideas and Inspiration

When I’m looking for inspiration for a decorating post, I always like to pop over to Houzz where the professionals showcase their work. This is where I found some eye-catching and elegant inspiration for this post in this pink and grey baby room with silver furniture.



Photo by Rockabye Mommy, LLC
More traditional kids’ room ideas



Photo by Rockabye Mommy, LLC
Discover traditional nursery design inspiration


Photo by Rockabye Mommy, LLC
Discover traditional home design design inspiration

This is likely the crib that the designer from Rockabye Mommy used in this room:




Bratt Decor chelsea lifetime crib antique silver

Here’s another beautiful in pink and silver baby room from Jamie House Design. I think the Moroccan Tile or Clover patterned wallpapers look gorgeous in these ultra-girly pink and silver rooms! 



Photo by Jamie House Design
More transitional nursery photos



Photo by Jamie House Design
Discover transitional nursery design ideas

I was able to find a similar sleigh bed style crib that could be used to copy this look:




Bratt Decor chelsea sleigh crib antique silver




Photo by Jamie House Design
Look for transitional nursery pictures




Photo by Jamie House Design
Search transitional nursery design ideas




Photo by Jamie House Design
Look for transitional nursery pictures




Photo by Jamie House Design
More transitional nursery photos

Pink and Grey Crib Sets and Baby Bedding Sets

Here is a lovely crib set that you can purchase additional decor items like wall art and a mobile to match perfectly. This is a great way for those of us that don’t have time to try to mix and match and spend a fortune decorating but want a finished look.




My Baby Sam Olivia Rose 3 Piece Crib Bedding Set, Pink/Gray





My Baby Sam Olivia Rose Wall Art, Pink/Gray





My Baby Sam Olivia Rose Mobile, Pink/Gray





Lambs & Ivy Happi by Dena Charlotte 4 Piece Bedding Set





Carter’s Heart of Gold 4 Piece Infant Bedding





Glenna Jean Cottage Collection Rose 3 Piece Set


The beautiful 
Lambs & Ivy Swan Lake Bedding Set has an adorable lamp, mobile, and other decor to match the crib set. If you feel like all those baby kicks are coming from a ballerina to be, swans are the perfect motif for this pink room.





Lambs & Ivy Swan Lake Lamp with Shade and Bulb, Pink/White/Grey

I found this really cute 
Swan Head Wall Décor – from Pillowfort™ that I think would be a great addition to this room.

Pink and Grey Baby Room Furniture

There are also some gliders that would be nice for rocking the little darling to sleep and because you will need a place to put one of the gorgeous throw pillows you find for your baby room.




Delta Children Benbridge Upholstered Glider, Dove Grey





Baby Relax The Tinsley Nursery Swivel Glider Chair

I just love this Art Deco style crib. It gets rave reviews and is surprisingly affordable.





DaVinci Poppy Regency 3-in-1 Convertible Crib





Graco Standard Full-Sized Crib in Pebble Light

I also found these really fun black out curtains (to keep the room nice and dark for naps and sunrise facing) that are pink with the really cute little silver stars. 

Pink and Silver Baby Room Curtains and Walls





Blackout Printed Pink Stars Curtain

These fluffy curtains could finish one of these rooms off nicely. I love the layered ruffles in rows at the top.





Pink Sheer curtains for baby room

We see a lot of different graphics for baby rooms with trees and birds and pretty much anything you would like to fill space and add interest but I adore this slightly different idea of just adding silver dots. These could be an easy and much more cost-effective way to get a custom wallpapered look without the hassle and time spent hanging or hiring someone to hang wallpaper.





Silver Wall Decal Dots (200 Decals) | Easy Peel & Stick

I think this pink rug with puffy white clouds is one of my most favorite finds. I have a thing for clouds (as you can see on this blog design) but I never thought I’d see something like this in pink!

Pink and Grey Baby Room Rugs





Nuloom 7′ 6 x 9′ 6 Cloudy Sachiko Rug in Pink

I love these faux-vintage style rugs I found as well. These are fabulous for that modern eclectic look that is so popular and fun to work with because you can work in Art Deco, florals, modern and various styles with a common color scheme.



Nuloom 9′ x 12′ Vintage Odell Rug in Silver

I found this beautiful print of a carousel in Paris on Etsy.com that comes in various sizes. I think it would go nicely with some of these pink and silver rooms.

Other Pink and Grey Baby Room Decorations, Art, Lighting, and Accessories





Paris Carousel Canvas Print – Paris photography

I find that we are always looking for ways to fill space on walls but trying to find decorations that aren’t so busy that they are competing with other wall art, murals, or decor. That’s why I love these simple flower mirrors. I would put a trio together to make a wall section look interesting and reflect some sparkle and light.




Joveco Wall Decorations Series “Mirror in the Flower”

These floral canvas wall art pieces are a great way to add interest, fill space, and not get too busy either. You can buy them in all different colors and even sets where you can add the baby name letter.





Pink and Gray Nursery Decor Baby Girl Nursery Custom Wall Letters Canvas Letters

We love the idea of crystal chandeliers in a baby nursery. This shaded chandelier evokes more of deco style with the romantic crystals. 



Tadpoles One Bulb Shaded Chandelier, Pink

Of course there are the more traditional style baby room chandeliers which can be so pretty in a baby girl’s room.





Tadpoles Three Bulb Chandelier, White Diamond

But if you don’t want to go through the trouble of hanging an chandelier, I recommend a beautiful chandelier lamp that can sit on a dresser or side table and get the look without hiring an electrician.





Tadpoles Mini Chandelier Table Lamp, White or in Pink

AND it also comes in pink!




If you are like me and love birds, and happen to go with a grey upholstered chair or glider, I thought this pillow was fantastic!


Birds On A Wire Throw Pillow (20 x 20) – Rizzy Home – comes in Pink, Yellow, Hot Pink, and Taupe

There are so many great ideas for decorating a baby nursery and it is so much fun but I think this pillow says it all:




Beaded Love Throw Pillow – Nourison

As usual, congrats on the baby and enjoy decorating the little one’s special bedroom!

Did you decorate a pink and grey baby room or pink and silver nursery? We would love to hear your ideas and tips in the comments below!

Hello Kitty Party Veggie Tray



It was our little girl’s second Birthday last week and we were celebrating in Japan. We had tickets to the brand new LEGOLAND park for for 4 preview days so we didn’t throw a party and decided instead to spread out all the fun into a Birthday Week. She loves cats so we figured a Hello Kitty Birthday party theme would be perfect. I got to work making cute Hello Kitty party food and this Hello Kitty veggie tray was one of her favorites.





Let me start by saying that we have made a lot of cute veggie trays and this one was one of the easier ones. I threw it together at dinner time (hence the poor lighting and photography) because my cauliflower was starting to turn, and we weren’t going to have another day I could work it in before my girl’s Birthday. 

I usually would do a lot more veggies but it is not so easy to buy food in bulk in Japan when you don’t have a car to transport it all. Also, cauliflower is difficult to find and I had only ONE head so I had to be really strategic about how I used it. 

How to make a Hello Kitty Veggie Tray What you need:

1-2 head of cauliflower 1 red pepper 1 yellow pepper black olives 1 head broccoli 1-2 heads lettuce or kale purple cabbage for color Mixed veggies for sticks and snacking wooden toothpics 1 large plate 1 medium bowl 1 small bowl

What you do:

First you want to start out by finding an image of Hello Kitty for reference.




For this tray I used 1 large plate as a base, a medium bowl to hold Hello Kitty, and a smaller bowl turned over inside the large bowl to prop her up.




Then I sliced off 3 of the cauliflower florets very carefully to save for Hello Kitty’s hand and ears, making sure I was not changing the shape of the head in a way that would ruin it. This is why I recommend having more than one cauliflower on hand. Any extra pieces can be cut up and use for snacking.




Then I cut the stem off the broccoli to use for Hello Kitty’s arm. I stabilized everything with bits of lettuce around the head and arm.




Next I cut out the bow and nose shapes using a sharp scissor and sliced black olives in half and shaved a little bit off the florets to get a nice shape for the ears. 




I pinned everything on with wooden toothpicks.




There he goes… trying to take credit for my work. Just like his Daddy!!!!

Finally, I laid all my lettuce and cabbage leaves around the base and added all my cut up veggies and cherry tomatoes.

The kids LOVED it!















Duns Castle Scotland Vacation Giveaway with $11,200 Cash

*If you enter the giveaway in this post I may receive a commission.




The folks over at
Home Away has this unbelievable sweepstakes going on right now to celebrate the release of the new Disney Beauty and the Beast movie. They are giving away a 5 night stay for up to TWENTY people at the beautiful Dun’s Castle in Scotland, including transportation and $11,200 cash! There are also 5 first prize trips they are giving away!




Disney Beauty and the Beast Sweepstakes

ENDS: Friday, March 31, 2017

Open to residents of United Kingdom, France, Germany or the United States of America age 18+

1 Entry per person

GRAND PRIZE: (TOTAL ARV $56,000)

Stay for up to 20 guests for 5 nights at Duns Castle in Scotland (Date: Friday 4th August, with check out on Wednesday 9th August 2017)

Includes transportation

$11,200 Cash

(5) First Prizes: (TOTAL ARV $7,875)

Holiday Rental stay for 4 guests ( at any available property that accepts credit cards max $3200)

$1575 Cash

No transportation

Enter here:
Entry Form for Dun’s Castle Giveaway (*HINT: Answer to giveaway question is on the top of giveaway page)


*MommyOnTheMoney.com is not the sponsor of this giveaway. This giveaway is sponsored by Home Again and the Official Rules and additional information can be found on the giveaway site linked above.

LEGOLAND Japan Pictures Preview Part TWO



So this week we got to go to the LEGOLAND Japan preview days. It was my littlest’s Birthday over the weekend and two of the days her brother was in school so I thought it would be the perfect treat for her to have a little time with Mommy and even Daddy joined us one of the days. Then we went both days over the weekend with her brother. I took a ton of LEGOLAND Japan pictures to share with you guys! 


I know what you guys are thinking… “you are so lucky!” Yep, we had fun and the kids really love the place, but we are exhausted! We don’t have a car and mixed up a little public transportation, with some bicycling, baby-wearing, and walking. So. Much. Walking. We finally broke down and rented a stroller the last day just to carry around our backpack…




So on to the LEGOLAND Japan preview…




I chatted a lot about the place in 
my first post a couple days ago. Going several more times really gave me a little more time to find a lot of the funny little “Easter eggs” in the park, like the giant 1×1 round LEGO piece “poop” under the dino in front and angry minifig on cleanup. I got a good laugh out of that.

This park is so great with all the little photo-op scenes. We loved this little car with a bunny because there were buttons to make the horn blow, the engine roar, and the headlights go on.







A lot of the rides were not yet open or only open for short periods of time. Also, I’m not sure how popular the ones where you get wet will be in the winter, here, where it gets quite cold. There were a couple rides and walkways where you may be surprised with getting water splashed or shot at you and luckily it was on the warmer side because a group of hoodlums (my own kids) got me! Be vigilant for these water features and don’t let your guard down or you will end up looking like you work here when you have to buy a change of clothes in the gift shop and have to spend the rest of the day telling people where the restroom is.




If I didn’t mention it before, all the buildings and structures in this park are beautiful! Everything is so colorful, bright, with the perfect mix of decorations, scaled up LEGO pieces, props, signs, LEGO models, and design. I’m going to agree with my husband who has seen all of the parks up close and say that this is probably the nicest and best looking of all of them. Everything just looks so well-done and it truly embodies the quality of the LEGO toys. 




There is nothing cheap or as they say in the industry “value-engineered” here, or at least if there is, the average guests will not notice. 




It is all clean lines, chunky decorations, and details that are coming together cohesively as you walk from land to land yet keeping a common and stylized thread. I’m not just saying this because we are big LEGOLAND fans or my husband works for them. I’m thoroughly impressed. I feel like we are finally seeing what a LEGOLAND park is supposed to be.







Of course the other parks will still have their charm and their uniqueness. LEGOLAND Japan doesn’t make me love them any less, and certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t visit the other parks. In fact, quite the opposite. 




They are actually all quite different and special, especially their Minilands, which are all VERY different from one another.







My what big teeth you have…













This is a dragon footprint inside the store in Knights Kingdom. This is where the two coasters are in this park. I was a little surprised that there was not another bigger roller coaster but I’m also noticing that I can feel my age a little bit when I ride one so it was fine by me…










The food options weren’t really suitable for vegans. We try to eat food that should be vegan but we have no clue (like french fries) when we go to places like this. As a (mostly) vegan family I still need to do my research on the ingredients and I promise to share what I come up with. They are very good about identifying allergens in foods at this park and I’ve already crossed the very cute brick shaped tater tots off my list because they make them with eggs.







So far, I know these are NOT VEGAN… but darn cute. Who else thinks all things made out of potatoes should be vegan??? 




The fruit is the only food item I know FOR SURE is vegan. I’m SURE of it!!! I had a backpack full of snacks when they did the security check at the front gate so I’d say it is completely safe to assume that you can bring your own food here. If not, I would have cookie monstered my snacks right there – no problem. It’s hard because I’m like always hungry… please feed the vegans.







Really cute dance show in Adventure and the 4D is pretty cool but understandably all in Japanese. The Ninjago show is visually awesome, too, but also in Japanese. I’m glad we got to see it in the Malaysian park where they do it in English.



The landscape is all gorgeous. It is always cool to see it grow into a park… BEST landscaping is hands-down in LEGOLAND Florida, which used to have a botanical garden, and LEGOLAND Billund has a really beautifully landscaped Miniland as does the California park in my opinion.







Each DeMaria was entitled to lose 500 yen at the game of their choice. No second chances or you forfeit your souvenir in the Big Shop. No crying either. Only one broke that rule… I wanted a damn norwhal. They’re my favorite. Stupid games 🙁 







She cheered for herself even though she blew it. LOVE her!!!




Somehow, I’ve managed to avoid this so called “ride” at ALL the parks. I have sped past it with my stroller claiming potty break. I’ve taken alternate routes. I’ve secretly been super-happy when it was down for maintenance or turned into a snow slide. It is WORK. You pump a lever to move it and little kids cannot do it at all. Then you pump a lever to make water come out so kids with NO AIM try to spray a target that is too small. 

This time, we ended up with a group of friends and the kids took over and demanded it. It was actually pretty hilarious and a miracle that none of the moms ended up in first aid but an employee had to jump in and finish for our friends. I laughed myself to tears.










Why does he have to look like he would be THAT cop. The one that enjoys pulling you over. You can be a cop if you like, kid, but please be like the dancing one, or one that or the one that says, “I’m going to let you off this time…”







Then we went up into the observation tower to get some pretty amazing views of the park. We won’t see the Miniland on this tour but soon, my friends. It looks SO cool. It is all miniature cities and landmarks in Japan made entirely out of LEGO bricks, including Tokyo, Nagoya, I could see Nagoya Castle, Mount Fuji, Himeji Castle, Tokyo Skytree… I am so excited to see it and CANNOT wait to see if it was made with love. The cityscapes and layout look fantastic but I want to see if the designers were thoughtful and creative when it comes to populating the city as my colleagues and I were when I worked there years ago…






















Finally, for a special treat, you can actually run around the park with me in a little (well maybe not so little – like 10 minutes or so) video I put together! Enjoy.



Computer Camp, Game Design Camp, STEM Camp and More

* This post is sponsored by Digital Media Academy.




Summer is just around the corner and camps are already starting to fill up. If your kid is into games, technology, and digital arts, we have a really great deal for you for
Digital Media Academy STEM camps. They offer game design camp, photography camp, film making camp, robotics camp and more for kids ages 6-12.



Keep the kids’ minds sharp this summer while doing something they will love and will set them on a path to success.

What kind of computer and technology summer camps does DMA offer?

DMA offers camps in: Coding,  3D modeling  Robotics  Filmmaking Photography Game design Music production Engineering and more

You can view all the available summer camps at 
DigitalMediaAcademy.org 

STEM Summer Camps are Filling Fast!

Save $75 with Code SPRINGUSFG17 Ends March 31, 2017

At Digital Media Academy, each child will complete a project using the best software, technology, and equipment. The camps are taught by industry professionals and kids get hands-on experience, learn new skills, and gain confidence, as they inspire one another through teamwork and problem-solving.

All staff at DMA complete Federal background checks as well as First-Aid and CPR training to ensure that safety is a number one priority.

They also offer a need-based financial assistance program for those who qualify.
Apply here.














Sign your child up for Digital Media Academy today

and don’t forget to use your discount code…

$75 off discount code: SPRINGUSFG17  Ends March 31, 2017!

For questions or if you would like to register call 1(866)656-3342 or email [email protected]

LEGOLAND Japan Preview



We got to do a quick tour of
LEGOLAND Japan a month before their Grand Opening, yesterday, for a family and friends preview with my husband who is a Project Manager for the company. We have tickets for all the preview days and will be going on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. We didn’t talk it up too much with our son because he had school and we thought it would be fun for our little girl, who turns two on Saturday, to have Wednesday and Friday by herself. We were treated to another great LEGOLAND experience and the little one had a blast!

As you an see, some things are still under construction in the area outside and inside the park. There is an entire shopping plaza with food, a SEGA store, a Sylvanian Families store and more… None of this is open, yet but should be around Grand Opening time.




We got in line a little early and excitement was building. They are going to have a hotel and Sea Life opening up in 2018. I think there’s a chance we’ll come back for that…




Approaching the entrance was really exciting. There is a whole new concept to this LEGOLAND park. It looks completely different from the other parks I’ve seen in the States, Europe, and Malaysia.




There is a large entry plaza and everything looks like it is built out of large scaled up LEGO bricks. 




I love the look of this! It is such a much more immersive experience than we’ve had before. You literally feel like you are walking onto a LEGO playtable and you are the Minifigure!




We see some familiar faces, like the big red dragon from some of the other LEGOLAND parks but he has gotten a makeover with a wacky colorful tail.




Then things go completely bananas! If mixing colors, and patterns stresses you out, I suggest you shield your eyes, here…




She liked the trippy hippie elephant!







We spent some time exploring the beginning with my little piggie-tailed one. Then got to go on her favorite ride – the carousel. It continues the scaled-up LEGO theme and instead of horses, it has this sense of LEGO randomness where some vehicles are LEGO motorcycles, tigers made out of LEGO “pieces”, and DUPLO animals. Even the ceiling is the underside of a baseplate! It is cute, colorful and fun.







She loved it! She went on it a few times.







Maybe I’ll do a post someday soon about what to do with the toddlers and little kids at LEGOLAND Japan like I’ve done over the years at LEGOLAND Florida and LEGOLAND California. I was really impressed at how this park really catered to this age group. They seem to be getting better and better at this and understanding that parents will be bringing groups of kids of a wide range of ages to this park and you’ll find a lot more of the free play areas for the little kids scattered among the big kid rides.




This DUPLO area was a big hit, too. She spent a lot of time in here. 




After playing for while we worked up an appetite, which can be a problem when you are vegetarian or vegan in theme park…




My hubs already knew where to get the french fries. What is cool about this place is that there is an upper level where you can get a birds eye view of everything while snacking on your fries.




There’s a Pirate Shores land here… and it’s pretty awesome. 













Knight’s Kingdom has both the small Dragon coaster for the littler kids… and the full sized Dragon coaster for the bigger crowd, although I’m pretty sure my mini-me is a little too little for both.







What happens to vegans that have only eaten fries? They get hungry again! Luckily there is a Pit Stop with smoothies.




I’m going to assume at this point that the smoothies are vegan except for the yogurt one. This is, however Japan, and they are known for putting animal products in everything so I will have to ask to be sure. I am also planning a post for what vegans can eat in this park like I usually do, but that will come after the Grand Opening on 4/1. 




I hear there is going to be a Pizza Pasta Buffet like there is in some of the other parks. The one in California is UH-MAZING. The one in Florida works, but it is a little more simple and not nearly as gourmet as CA. We’ll see how this one compares. Maybe they’ll have cheeseless pizza??? That is a thing here in Japan, and it’s my fave.








I found the dopplegangers of hubby and I in the little play space by the Pit Stop. Fill my glass hubs!




Hubby said this is is his favorite model.




I really love this fountain. I will have to take a better shot when we go back. We were chasing a toddler, so it was all about her, today….




Get ur butt outa my shot!




*Warning – see that little door? You cannot stand up any higher than that little door when you get inside. Looks like you can from the outside but no. Oh, and when you’re a toddler and your mom bumps her head because she is in hunchback position and is facing her feet, apparently it’s hilarious. 




This was another great example of how they incorporated playing around the rides and how LEGOLAND Japan has become a much more immersive experience for the kids. Everything looks like it is made of actual LEGO pieces here and you are stepping right into the LEGO City sets! Careful on some of the slides here. My little got up the stairs with a group of kids behind her and went down this tall nearly vertical slide and there was nothing I could do to stop her. Heart attacks are no joke. 




There is a Submarine ride which I will not be going on. I’m not really a fan of small enclosed capsules that go underwater, as I’ve come to find out, thanks to Tokyo Disney Sea.


Everyone is SUPER friendly here! When you go to the parks in the States, you find the apathetic teenagers that don’t really seem to enjoy their jobs or add to your experience. You will be hard-pressed to find someone like that working at a theme park in Japan. Everyone is smiling, happy, waving, friendly and the enthusiasm is contagious! 




Pay no attention to the mom behind the banana…







I have a feeling we will be spending a good deal of time at the Build and Test this weekend! This is where you build and race cars. My son LOVES these!



We need to get him into the robotics, too. Not sure if he’s ready yet, but we’ll see…




We rode the carousel one more time before we left to pick up the boy at school. I cannot wait to come back here tomorrow with the girl and try a few more things with her. I’m really proud of my husband and his team for all the great work they’ve done on this place. It was cool to see a unique approach to the design and not just another copy of what has already been done elsewhere.

I’m going to take a ton of pictures this weekend. I’ve been adding pictures and videos on my Instagram stories, Facebook and Twitter accounts and may even put up another post or two. Miniland is not open for the preview but I will definitely do a mega-photo post after the Grand Opening for all to enjoy, so make sure you follow me with the handy little buttons on the upper right!

Easy Vegan Chocolate Crepes

*This post contains affiliate links and if you click the link and make a purchase, I may receive a commission.




I posted my recipe for
easy, vegan, 3 ingredient crepes not too long ago. My kids REALLY like those crepes and they are so quick and simple to make, even during the morning hustle. I assure you, I am not a morning person, but I am a chocolate lover as are the kiddos. I decided to take things a step further and do a chocolate version of my crepes. With only 1 more ingredient these easy vegan chocolate crepes can be made just as quickly, be filled with whatever you like, and they taste great!

One of my favorite things about these crepes is that I can mix the batter in my blender and there is no sugar. Ok, I fill them with sugary things like
Nutiva dark chocolate hazelnut spread or sometimes peanut butter that has sugar in it, or even whipped cream or powdered sugar would be nice…




Sometimes I use the peanut butter that doesn’t have the sugar, and sometimes I chop up a coconut chocolate bar and sprinkle it in or melt dark chocolate and pour that in if I don’t have a jar of chocolate spread.




I fill my vegan chocolate crepes with bananas and strawberries but you could put pretty much any fruit you like inside. Berries would be a fun thing to add. 

Since we are usually in a hurry, the kids and I pick them up and eat them with our hands like a burrito. Maybe I should start remembering to close the bottom like burrito but with the peanut butter and chocolate spread everything seems to stick together pretty nicely in there.




The crepes are pretty flexible but the edges can get a little crispy if you cook it too long so you need to keep a good eye on them while they are cooking.




I recommend a non-stick pan, but where we are staying right now, that is all we have. I’ll have to see how they fare in my stainless when I get home, I suppose…




I haven’t tried saving them and reheating, yet. I have tried storing and using the batter the next day and it works but they are not as good as they are on the first day. These are literally so easy to make I would recommend making them with fresh batter every time, but it isn’t out of the question to save and reuse the batter. Sometimes I make them again in the afternoon for snack!




Easy Vegan Chocolate Crepe Recipe Yield 4-5 crepes

Ingredients:

3/4 cup
organic whole wheat pastry flour

1/4 cup
cocoa powder

1 banana

1 cup water

Instructions:

Put all ingredients in a blender and run until smooth.

Heat nonstick pan on low. Remove pan from heat, and while holding it, pour batter into hot pan quickly, tipping and tilting pan until batter spreads out as thinly as possible.

Use a rubber spatula to smooth out any thick batter.

Return pan to low heat.

Once crepe is cooked on one side, coax it off pan with a spatula, flip, and cook on the other side being careful not to overcook.

Remove crepe from pan, fill with peanut butter, chocolate spread, fresh bananas, strawberries, whipped cream… whatever you like.

Enjoy!

*While it is possible to refrigerate and use batter the within 48 hours, it is best freshly made. I find it is more difficult to get off the pan and not as lovely the 2nd or 3rd day.

Diapering in Japan Vs. Diapering in the US with Luvs #ShareTheLuv

* This post was sponsored by Luvs. All thoughts and opinions are our own.




I’ve written a lot about diapers over the last 5 years. We currently have a little one in diapers, we’ve traveled with diapers, cloth diapered, tested and reviewed all different diapers, figured out where to find the best coupons for diapers, or how to get the best deals on diapers… This year we got to try diapering our baby in Japan and were surprised to find that things are a little bit different here.







Diaper choices are limited in Japan.

There are not a lot of diaper brands to choose from in Japan. Japan is not known for its variety. In America, we are used to having many, many choices for every type of product we use from American diapers like
Luvs that are an excellent value for a reasonable price to diapers with stylish designs.

In Japan, options are very limited. You are lucky to find a few different brands of diapers in stores and in smaller stores, you will buy the one type they carry.

There are no coupons for diapers in Japan.

You also don’t find the coupons and excellent deals in Japan that we are used to in the US. Back in America, you can find an amazing deal on diapers AND stack it with a coupon.

Luvs is sharing the love this February…

Here’s where to find the BEST coupons for Luvs Diapers:
$1 print-at-home coupon offer  for my US readers only (sorry Japan!)




Diapers aren’t sold in supermarkets in Japan.

If you want diapers in Japan, you will not find them in a supermarket or grocery store. You will need to go to a drug store. You will be lucky to find a small pack of diapers or wipes in a convenience store. I’ve been happy to be able to grab a pack of “wet tissues” in 7 Eleven.


Diapers don’t have tabs in Japan

The most popular diaper brands in Japan are similar to the American style pull-up diapers that do not have adjustable/positionable tabs. These are great if you are putting a diaper on a pants-free toddler and you just rip them open to get them off. However, if you are out and about and you need to put a fresh diaper on a child wearing pants and shoes, you pretty much have to undress the child from the waist down to get a fresh diaper on and then get it all back on again. Slip-on shoes are big here, for the younger set.

Although you can find diapers with tabs in Japan, you may have to search a few different drug stores for them. This makes me miss our options in the states!

Diaper sizes in Japan matter – but not that much.

In the US, Luvs diapers, for example are available in sizes newborn through 6. That is 7 different sizes! In Japan, you choose Small, Medium, or Large. Remember what I said about choices. They make it very simple for you here.




So hopefully you enjoyed another one of our little insights about life in Japan! We had fun sharing with you and guys and if you a have a little one in diapers make sure you
get the best deals on Luvs by printing your coupons, enjoy your wide range of sizes, styles, and the nice large tabs so conveniently attached.