Things I’m Loving – May 2017

Now that it’s June, I think I have a new routine: I get comfortable with the baby’s current likes/dislikes and feel like I’m really clued into her cues, she starts working on some new skill and changes up many of her likes/dislikes, I work on adjusting to these changes and figuring out how to handle her new needs/wants, and then as soon as I’m comfortable the entire thing starts all over again! I think as soon as I accepted this cycle as my new routine and gave up on the idea of a regular schedule, I immediately felt more relaxed. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, right? 😉 Here are some of the things I’ve been loving this month as I learned this new life lesson. (more…)

Things I’m Loving – April 2017

It’s May already? What?! That doesn’t seem possible! I had hoped to have a routine down by now but that is not the case…I’ve had several days where I’d get into a routine and think I’ve got this mommy thing figured out, but then there is a growth spurt or tummy ache or something that makes a joke of my ‘routine.’ I guess babies laugh at schedules. 😉 May’s arrival means I’ll be heading back to work soon. But first, a look back at some of the things I’ve been loving! (more…)

Things I’m Loving – March 2015

It’s just now the beginning of April but the temperatures have risen here in Honolulu and it’s already making me think of summer. Even though it was just a year ago that I was in Japan and enjoying the beginning of sakura (cherry blossom) season, it feels like that was years ago and a world away. My days are still filled mostly with school-related activities, whether that be class, studying, or working on any of the several projects I’m involved with at the university. But I think when it’s so busy, that’s probably one of the most important times to take a few minutes and reflect so here are some of the things I was loving in March! (more…)

Things I’m Loving – February 2015

February was quite a busy month. So busy that when I went to write this post, I discovered I hadn’t ever finished my January Things I’m Loving post! I knew I’d worked on it but I forgot that I still needed to add photos and hit Publish. >_< Oh well. It’s done now. The one good thing about it I suppose is that it further supports my decision to cut back on my commitments. I’ve just had too much going on and was beginning to feel rather run down. I did reduce my hours on one project so hopefully I’ll feel like I have a little breathing room for a change. Considering this post isn’t a month late, maybe it’s already working! ^_~ (more…)

Things I’m Loving – July 2014

I have not been posting very much lately and that is because we’ve moved! It is very hard to believe but our two years in Japan are over and we’re back in Hawaii. I was definitely sad to leave. There were just so many things I loved about Japan and there was always something new to explore. But we definitely plan to visit again and I know there are plenty of adventures ahead here in Hawaii. ^_~ Getting everything ready for the move (selling furniture, packing, etc.) was quite a bit of work so I did not get to post many of the sightseeing spots that I visited over the past few weeks. And at the moment we are still in transition and staying with a friend as we search for an apartment here in Honolulu. But worry not, I will still share about those final sightseeing trips in Japan as things settle down! For now, here are a few of the things I’ve been loving in July.

1. Mint chocolate chip ice cream


It may seem like a strange item to pick, but mint chocolate chip ice cream seems to be a seasonal flavor in Japan and appears in most stores only in summer. As the heat and humidity increased in Tokyo, having a treat of cold mint chocolately goodness became a must for me. There are plenty of brands out there but my favorite this year seems to be Glico’s Panapp ice cream. So good!

2. ぷよぷよ!!クエスト (Puyo Puyo!! Quest)

This tile matching game with a card system RPG twist is so addictive! First of all, it’s very easy to start playing since the basic element is to simply touch and “pop” Puyo in order to make other Puyo fall into line with other Puyo of the same color. Once 4 or more matching Puyo connect, they are cleared. Unlike other tile matching games though, clearing the screen isn’t the only objective. In Quest, a player has cards to battle an opponent and clearing Puyo allows the characters on the player’s cards to attack the opponent (clearing blue Puyo allows the characters on blue cards to attack, etc.). Through defeating opponents, you collect additional cards as well as coins and other game items that can be used to level up cards. Of course you want to collect them all! And leveling up your cards gives you another objective rather than simply trying to clear the screen to get a high score. My husband introduced me to this and as soon as I installed the app on my phone I was hooked. And not only is it fun, but since it’s in Japanese, it gives me another fun way to practice my reading. So really it’s a study tool, too. ^_~

3. Summer fireworks


When I think of summer in Japan, one of my favorite things is the tradition of fireworks festivals. We managed to attend the fireworks display at Showa Kinen Park just before we left and it was so much fun! There are plenty of food stands to enjoy and, once the sun sets, an entire hour of fireworks! I think I’ll have to do an entire post on this once I can get some photos of the yukata I wore off my husband’s camera. Until then, think of this as a sneak peak!

4. Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Talk about a blast from the past, I originally watched this TV series when I was in high school and then missed a season or two once I went to college. I’d always meant to go back and watch it all and I’m really not sure what made me think of it but it became my trip down memory lane this month. Once we’d sold our furniture and appliances…and light fixtures!…there was not a lot of packing or cleaning we could accomplish after dark. So I ended up watching quite a bit of this series over the past couple weeks and enjoying the wonderful campy humor of the show. Plus it brings back memories of watching the show with friends. Ah, good times. ^_^

5. Upgrade to business class

By the time we made it to the airport on our last day in Japan, we were fairly exhausted. We had to be up early to get all the final cleaning done so we could put out the final bags of trash and recycling and then had several appointments with staff to cancel various utilities, followed by the actual apartment inspection. Then we had to get our final pieces of luggage (we used a shipping service to take 3 of the large suitcases to the airport a couple days in advance…such a good idea!) to the airport bus and spend two hours on the trip to the airport. So when Korean Air said they were upgrading us to business class, it felt a bit like a reward for all our effort that day (and the days before). My husband and I usually struggle to get any sleep on flights but maybe that’s because we never had a seat that reclined into a bed before! Now that’s the way to travel. ^_^

July has certainly been a very busy month and somewhat bittersweet with the move. I was sorry to say goodbye to Japan but there are so many things to look forward to here in Hawaii. I’m looking forward to seeing what August will bring!

Things I’m Loving – May 2014


What?! It’s already the end of May?! Maybe that explains why I’ve been thinking the days are starting to get a little bit hot over here. It also means it’s time to take a moment to reflect on the past few weeks. The weather in May has been beautiful overall. I love the warm days with gentle, cool breezes that are perfect for picnics, walks through the park and taking a boat out on the lake. And I’ve really enjoyed matsuri festivities of parades, dances and food. Here are some of the other things I’ve been loving in May.

1. Blue skies and sunshine


Longer days means more sunshine! Sometimes it really feels like the sun is giving me an extra boost of energy on beautiful, sunny days. I feel energetic and motivated to tackle just about anything. But don’t get me wrong, it’s not all ambitiously attacking the day. One of the best things for me is just lying in the shade and admiring the blue, blue sky.

2. Geeked Out Fitness T-shirt


The friend who visited me last month also brought me some awesome gifts, including this t-shirt from Geeked Out Fitness. The first time I wore it for a run, I loved it! It’s so incredibly comfortable and if I start to feel tired before a workout is finished, the Make It So line inspires me to keep working to create the body I want. To quote their website, the modern fit geek’s mission is “to boldly take her fitness levels where they have never gone before.” What’s not to love about that?!

3. Orphan Black

Orphan Black

This has definitely been my TV addiction of the month. Tatiana Maslany does an excellent job playing several identical women who have completely different personalities. It’s not just the clothing and hairstyles that allow you to tell them apart but the mannerisms, accents and attitude she gives each one. I love when I find a great science fiction series like this one!

4. 2048 game

2048 Game

Okay, I’ve shared my latest TV addiction so I’ll also share that my latest game addiction is 2048. It’s a single-player game that involves sliding numbered tiles on a 4×4 grid to combine them with the goal of creating a 2048 tile. The first time I played this I was hooked. Now I only play if I know I have time to kill because it really sucks me in!

5. Country Ma’am chocolate cookies


You knew there had to be chocolate somewhere in here, right? These Fujiya Country Ma’am chocolate chip cookies are my latest go-to treat. They are small enough that I can have one or two a day to fulfill my chocolate craving without breaking the calorie bank. And each cookie is individually wrapped so they stay fresh until you’re ready to indulge in some chocolatey deliciousness. So good!

May has been another great month and I’m really just enjoying my time here in Japan. My husband and I will be moving back to the US this summer so I really want to soak up every moment I can. I have lots of plans for June so stay tuned! ^_^