March 29, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Special edition!

It's a special edition because I am currently writing this faster than I can finish eating something I just made.

First, I found a recipe for cucumber salad on Pinterest that made for a delightful lunch.  Basically, it's just cucumbers, tomatoes, avocados and Greek yogurt.  You can add various spices.  I added salt, pepper, dill and some garlic powder.  Delicious!

At least two people came by and admired my lunch.  I served it up with homemade pita chips.

Next, I had this delicious Indian feast:

Lassi and samosa!  Yum!

Finally, I made these Pancake Squares:

I am fairly certain I will never made pancakes the traditional (read easy fail) way again.  I almost ate the whole pan.  Not only are they spectacular but this recipe can be customized.  Add your favorite fruits!  To die for!

I know I already said finally but the actual finally is this hamster (eating an orange) charm :

Try not to die of cute and have a nice weekend!

March 28, 2013

Waste not...

I come from a pretty wasteful country.  Admit it, Americans can be pretty wasteful at times.  The neighborhood I lived in in Arizona didn't recycle even though the city did.  In fact, we had recycle bins for cardboard and cans that were removed.  I ended up taking plastics, cans and glass to Fresh & Easy.

I once took a poll asking how many people fix their torn clothes instead of throwing them out.  Aside from those who said that rips were cool, very few raised their hands.  This reminds me of the adage citizens of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World are taught: "Ending is better than mending" (which is taught to promote consumerism).  It really freaks me out when old sci-fi novels predict aspects of the future.

Anyway, this long-winded narrative is a precursor to my boots.  My beloved boots which I bought over the summer and wore them so much, I wore the heels off.  They began making a funny noise which made me sound like a pirate with a pegleg.  I wish I had a before picture so I could show you what I did to them.

Regardless there are shoe repair shops all over Tokyo; you can usually find them in them in all major train stations.  Now this is something I have been putting off due to language.  Then my friend told me how to ask the cobbler (I can't believe I'm actually using this word in a sentence) to fix my shoes.  I still didn't go.  Finally, on my day off, I went to the shoe repair place in my neighborhood.  The cobbler was incredibly nice and he told me 10分 (ten minutes).  So I was free to walk around the store.

Ten minutes later, my shoes were fixed and now I no longer sound like Percy Pegleg.

Here's how they turned out:

Very nice work!  I'm glad there are cobblers in Japan.  It's something hardly seen anymore in the States which is not surprising considering most people use vehicles as their primary mode of transportation and not their feet.

Anyway, the cobbler was friendly and asked me questions (in Japanese) and said my Japanese was very good. As I was leaving he even gave me a free box of tissues.  Thank you friendly neighborhood cobbler!

March 26, 2013

Some clothes...

Some I like and others, meh.

March 18th:

This is one I didn't really like.  Anyway, shirt Target, over-sized shirt Uniqlo, jeans Karen collection (Target), boots Kohl's.

March 19th:

This I like!  However, I am on the search for some neutral flats.  No luck yet.  Anyway top & bracelet Forever 21, pants Kohl's, shoes Target.

March 20th:

Another cute one, a non work, spring-esque outfit for once.  Shoes Payless, overshirt g.u., pants Forever 21, tank Goodwill, necklace Kohl's.

March 22nd:

And it got cold...again.  Make up your mind weather!  Sweater Treasure Factory Style, skirt Goodwill, boots Kohl's, tights Daiei.

I am currently under the weather...again.  I mean seriously.  This is getting ridiculous.  I'm really tired of being sick all the time.  Cover your mouths people!

Anyway, I know it's half over but enjoy the rest of your week.

March 25, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

I have a couple of recipes to share with you.

Strawberry Avocado Gorgonzola Salad:

Oh my this is yummy.  First a couple of changes I made, I cut out the meat and used fake bacon bits.  I also swapped out regular lettuce for spinach.  I definitely recommend this one!

Next I made some onion rings:

Crispy and delicious!

I also made this Moroccan Sweet Potato Soup:

But I didn't blend it as the recipe said.  Soups with no chunks are not my favorite.  However, it was quite thin so I changed my mind:

Much thicker even though I didn't pulverize the entire batch.  Also, I added tomatoes which wearen't in the recipe.  I'm still waiting to try this soup on day 2.  Day 1 was a bit bland but maybe it will be better after the flavors sit a bit.

Anyway, I hope you had a nice weekend.

March 19, 2013

Lost in Shibuya...

I've not been lost in Shibuya but it seems like now is as good a time as any.  Shibuya station is getting a facelift

And this map of the new station has been released:

To which I say, good luck suckers!

March 18, 2013

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Here's some food!

Rigatoni with Goat Cheese:

Quite good.

Dining adventure with the boyfriend, big bowl of vegetable tempura and 赤みそ soup which has easily become my favorite.

Next, Pasta Salad with Broccoli and Peanuts:

Also good.

I love authentic Indian Chai, especially when it comes in a cute mug:

When dining at Slappy Cakes and you can't decide between sweet and savory, you can always share with a friend:

Unbelievably delicious roasted veg Benedict and butterscotch chip pancake.

My boyfriend took me to Ainsoph for White Day.  We had this amazing meal:


Tomato soup, Tandoori "chicken" and tofu omelette:

Potato something and pretty much the best rice I've ever tasted in my life:

Dessert parfait and tea:

My mom sent me these because she is awesome:

And finally, I made this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad:

Which is pretty much the best thing ever.

Happy eating!

March 17, 2013

Some clothes...

Here's some clothes!

March 9th:

Top Last Chance, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), shoes Target.

March 11th:

Sorry for the blurry pic.  Shirt Kohl's, sweater Goodwill (Banana Republic), jeans Uniqlo, boots Chiyoda.

March 12th:

Shirt and sweater Uniqlo, jeans Karen Collection (Target), boots Couripie, necklace Kohl's.

March 15th:

Dress from some store in the UK, tights Daiei, shoes Forever 21, necklace Payless.

March 16th:

Sweater Treasure Factory Style, tank and shoes Target, tights Daiei, skirt Forever 21.

That's all.  I hope you had a nice weekend!

March 13, 2013


I had yet another breakdown regarding my progress through (or lack thereof) the Japanese language.  I mean WTF?!?!  Is it just me?  Is my brain just too old and stupid?  Is it this hard/frustrating for everyone?

My recent brush with emotional instability resulted due to yet another switch of teachers.  See I go to a volunteer language class.  As much as I wish I could pay someone to surgically insert this language into my brain (or at the very least hire a private tutor), I am unfortunately not that well-to-do.  I can't even attend any other types of classes because they don't work with my schedule.

I know I don't study as much as I should and that's part of the problem.  Right now it seems like the world is sitting on my plate and the last thing I want to do is study.  I have, however, started to study more than I had been in the past.  (I dare someone to do a job as exhausting as mine and even attempt to learn anything at the end of the day.)  I'm not trying to make excuses for myself.  I want to learn, really.  Different methods work for different students and I'm trying to work out what works best for me.

At the volunteer language class I figured I have had almost every teacher there.  That's not normal as some people have had just one teacher for a long long time.  Maybe I don't fit anywhere.  I am an odd language learner.  I am not a beginner and I don't know if I'm intermediate.  The most frustrating thing is that as soon as I get used to one teaching style, they give me a new teacher and we have to start all over again.  I feel like this is impeding my progress.  So I asked what happened to my teacher (praying she didn't leave because I am such a difficult student).  They said she would be back in April and I am thinking that I don't really want to go back until April either.  This may sound childish but I really liked my old teacher.  My new teacher is okay but I miss my missing teacher and I don't want yet another teacher.

Has anyone had a similar experience?  I really would love to hear a nice encouraging story because I don't feel so great about learning this language right now.  Maybe someone persevered despite all odds?  Anything to shake off this negativity.

March 10, 2013


I know I already posted my clothes for last week and technically Sunday marks a new week but I couldn't wait to show off how awesome I am at copying!

If you know me at all, you know "New Girl" is my favorite TV show and Zooey Deschanel, my style icon.  Since it was a beautiful 75° this afternoon, I thought what better day to debut this outfit:

Sweater J. Crew, shorts g.u., shoes Payless.  You may now tell me how awesome I am:

If I had a bottomless pocketbook like the "New Girl" wardrobe shoppers, I'd try to get my hands on everything from the show.  Meanwhile, I do what I can.  This sweater was out of stock when this episode aired.  Now back in stock and on clearance seemed the right time to buy it.  Unfortunately, this outfit was thwarted by temperatures that dropped twenty degrees in the 4 hours I was out today.  Not to mention a dust storm and a light drizzle (seriously Japan?!?!).  I promptly hit up Uniqlo for some pants as it's one of the few places in Japan with pants that fit my ass (literally).

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this look at New Girl fashion as modeled by me and I hope your weekend didn't go as quickly as mine did.

March 8, 2013

Weekly wear...

Here's my week in clothes:


Cardi Treasure Factory Style, tank Goodwill, shorts Wal-Mart, boots Kohl's.


Sweater Forever 21, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), boots Chiyoda, shirt Target, necklace made by me.


Sweater eBay, jeans Colleen Collection (Old Navy), boots Kohl's, shirt Uniqlo.


Shirt Goodwill (Old Navy), skirt Target, boots Forever 21 and necklace Kohl's.


Shirt & sweater Uniqlo, necklace & shoes Payless, pants H&M.

It's a nice Saturday for some shopping!  I hope you also find something nice to do this weekend.

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

I've been cooking!  I recently took a trip to one of the bigger import stores and stocked up.  To my utter delight, I found a GIANT can of chipotle peppers.  Now I can make chipotle type stuffs!  I am so excited!

Anyway, on with the recipes!

Unfortunately, this soup turned out yellow instead of orange because I haven't seen orange sweet potatoes here.  Regardless, it was good but better the second day.

Next, I made for the boyfriend and me pretty much the best pizza in the world.

OMG!  To die for!  You must make this!

Next an easy salad:

Quite tasty.

I also made this easy fridge oatmeal:

This one was a little runny since I didn't measure.  Still good though but I should have photographed the other one.

Finally, some really good eggs:

So so good!

Happy cooking!

March 7, 2013


You may remember that I visited Japan almost a year ago.  Then again, maybe not (hence the link).

Whilst there I stumbled upon this tiny can of Balsamic Pringles:

I kinda went crazy and cleaned out the six cans at theコンビニ and brought some back to the US.  Since my return to Japan, I've searched high and low for these.  No luck.

Imagine my utter surprise when I saw these today:

Newly renamed and packaged Italian Balsamic Pringles.  They are delicious.  I ate almost half a can today. 

They must be seasonal.  Stores watch out!  I will buy you ALL!

March 3, 2013

Komoro & Karuizawa...

Last weekend my wonderful honey took me on a trip up to the beautiful Komoro & Karuizawa which are located in Nagano.  Our primary purpose was to relax and soak in onsen and just enjoy the heck out of each other.  All of those tasks were accomplished.

First, we arrived in Komoro starving and Honey wanted soba so soba we had.  I had wasabi soba.  Yum!

Next we walked around Komoro (which isn't massive) but it was nice, quaint.  Everything was decorated for ひな祭り which is the Doll Festival or Girl's Day.

Next we adventured to the hotel.  It was one of the most beautiful places I'd ever seen.

They have an abundance of furry friends at the hotel.

A variety of birds:

A goat:

And Chibi:

You can take Chibi for a walk if you so desire.  She loves walks by the way.

You better believe we took Chibi for a walk.  It was much fun.  She loves to eat snow.  In the end though I was just sad because I cannot have a dog.  I miss dogs.

We had an amazing dinner which consisted of many small dishes brought perfectly spaced out.

We had a soak in the onsen.  Of course, there are no pictures of that.  We slept on futon.

And when we woke up in the morning it was snowing:

The customer service at the hotel was beyond amazing.  Everyone was so kind and accommodating.  For example, they said they didn't have a vegetarian option for dinner but they could prepare special dishes for me and they did.  They were wonderful.

We went to onsen in the morning and then had breakfast:

 I haven't had Japanese breakfast in so long.  It was nice.

After checkout we boarded this train:

...for Karuizawa where there is a big outlet mall.  (I didn't even know Japan had outlet malls!)

Snow family:

We shopped, we ate lunch and then we headed back to the big busy city.

So this was pretty much the best vacation I've ever been on.  Both Honey and I vowed to return to that place but next time in the summer to escape the brutal Tokyo humidity.  I definitely recommend both Komoro and Karuizawa.