Monday, December 12, 2011


I bought a bunch of Japanese Miffy books this weekend to try so I can try and get faster at reading kana. The illustrations in them are so cute. Especially the turtle riding!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Simple life

How lovely are these photos? What a fun family, and the dogs are hilarious. You can see more photos here.

One of the most rewarding things that has come from living in Japan has been befriending families and seeing the differences (and similarities) in how we live.  

Also, the exam is done and dusted. Eek, It was hard. I need to get faster at reading kana. Thanks for your well wishes!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Happiness (to me)

I found this list that I wrote way back when. 

My Dad said to me once, out of the blue, "you have to enjoy it, all the time, because it goes so fast and we can take that for granted." It was advice that struck me as both simultaneously inspiring and terrifying but it pushed me to try and cultivate a sense of appreciation.  In dire moments I hang on to Dad's words because when it comes down to it, we are incredibly lucky people.

What are the little things that make you happy?

Monday, November 28, 2011

寒いですね (It's cold!)

It's snowed last week!! I was kind of shocked that it had gotten cold so quickly. The seasons here are like bam! One minute your praying for a faint breeze to ease the heat, the next you're a set of chattering teeth immersed in piles of snow. Although I'm not a fan of winter, such an abundance of snow is rather breath taking. 

It also means the Japanese girls bring out whole new levels of amazingness with their winter wardrobes. Above are two pictures I drew inspired by girls I've seen around. I have my JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test) this weekend, eep! Wish me luck. This is my lame excuse for lack of posts for the last two weeks. Sorry.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Karma gods

I've been so lucky of late with all kinds of goodness finding its way to me. My postman has been a super busy dropping off some gems this week. I received a beautifully wrapped package from my best friend Lucy, filled with NZ goodness, and an amazing letter set gifted from the lovely Hello Sandwich. Kawaiiii! Lucky me.

Then finding out about The Kitten Covers courtesy of Cat Party. Oh. My. Goodness.

Miranda July's The Future - "A Handy Tip For The Easily Distracted" from on Vimeo.

And watching the trailer and deleted scene for Miranda July's The Future. It's so exciting. I can't wait to see it! You can see more on the movie here.

and Yotam Ottolenghi's food blog for the Guardian. YUM.

A good week!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


Halloween in Japan is always lots of fun and this year was no exception. I dressed as a Frida Kahlo inspired Mexican day of the dead skeleton which was lost on a lot of people. I walked past one group of Japanese guys on the street and they said 'ooh...Lady Gaga'. Ahh well. One can try!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Book off

Murakami's 1Q84 is the next book on my reading list and I'm feeling pretty excited about it. His biggest yet, at over 900 pages and I've heard this one is pretty weird. And no one does weird quite like he does! 

As an author I find Murakami to be a most interesting man. He wrote his first novel at age 29 after having an epiphany while sitting on the outfield at a baseball game, seeing a baseball fly through the air. He loves jazz, runs every day, sleeps from 9pm to 4am, speaks English, and ran a cafe for 10 years in Tokyo called 'Peter Cat' before beginning his writing career. He takes little credit for his brillance describing himself as a 'boring old vessel for his imagination'. There is something about him that is so strange, lovely and unpretentious, almost not of this world. 

If you'd like to read a wonderful article about him you can find one here.

Another kooky piece of amazingness is Miranda July and she has a new book 'It Chooses You'. YAY. It details her adventures with strangers she met through classified ads in the Pennysaver. There is a pretty wonderful piece on her at nextness with tips for young creatives. It reminded me that although sometimes things are hard you have to believe in your abilities and forge your own path.  I forget this sometimes.

I'm going to put my Japanese reading skills to the test with this Yuzuko's さんぽの時間 which roughly means 'time for taking a walk'. It explores various areas of Tokyo, taking readers on a lovely wee walk. It's so cute and has been divided into different seasons which is understandable as they are super distinct in Japan. I am pretty elementary so most of the time when I am attempting to read this my face has a furrowed brow! There are sooo many cute books in Japan which has really inspired me to try harder with my studies. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ku:nel fashion

The fashion spreads in Ku:nel are so so good it makes me want to throw every bedazzled and garish piece of clothing out of my wardrobe. That won't happen though. You never know when you'll need a purple sequined batwing sleeve. My grandma taught me well.

There is something beautiful about quality materials and simple cuts that is both refreshing and bare. Sometimes simple can be in fact, quite difficult. The nice thing about Japan is you see this kind of look on the streets a lot, and everyone has their own interpretation. I apologise for the quality of the scans, my wee machine may be in need of an upgrade.

Also, thank you for the lovely comments for the competition. The winner is Joy, congratulations! You can email me your postal address at and I'll have that package in the post later this week. Assembling the package was A LOT of fun so I'll definitely be doing some more Japan inspired give aways in the future.

Monday, October 24, 2011


My cute wee neighbor, always ready to hi-5
Living here, I've automatically started flipping peace whenever someone whips out a camera. Can't. seem. to. help. myself.
Dance festival on Sado island. Sugoi!
These ladies told me "I am strong woman. I am boss' and then burst out laughing. I think they have a lot of fun together.

My friend Mike tried on my denim jacket. Doesn't quite fit.
Occasionally it feels so good to talk English to other native speakers in Japan.
Hip hop night at a local club. Sometimes they'll stop the music and have a dance competition. I've witnessed some really cheesy synchronized moves. Amazing!

After toying with the idea for a while, I got a fuji film instant camera. It sure is nice to have a polaroid back in my life. I forgot the thrill of watching it develop before my eyes and the joy of being able to share it with people instantly. Thanks for all the lovely comments on the hyaku en post. I'll announce the winner tomorrow! 

More than one

Socks and rings - happiness

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The joy of the 100 yen store

When I first arrived in Japan I couldn't get over how amazing the hyaku (100) yen stores were. This was the place of dreams! Plants, house slippers, cute sponges, bento boxes, origami paper, washi tape and so much more, all for a pittance.

 Whenever I'm feeling rather poor but have the need for a mini shopping spree I bike on over and buy myself a pretty new plant or a nail polish bottle. Or I can pretend I'm being 'practical' and buy an array of kawaii sponges for the kitchen.  The nail polish is seriously the best I have ever tried which was a bit surprise so I've been stocking up large. It has the best finish and lasts for a week!

I'm happy to make a mini hyaku en package (some washi tape, nail polish, a set of cards, some origami paper and perhaps a few other little treats) for one special reader so just drop me a line in the comments box and I'll pick a winner next week.  

I hope you're all having a wonderful week so far! x x