The January Link Love

Haaaaaaappy new year!!!

How did you all welcome twenty sixteen? I made it home to Ehime, just in time to watch Kohaku with the family and wake up at the crack of dawn to climb a mountain to see the first sunrise.

My sister and I huffed and puffed our way up a small mountain. I did not expect to be exercising this early in the year but it felt really good. We made good time and made it to the top with a few minutes to spare, which we spent hopping around, waiting for the sun to rise above the clouds. We watched as the tips of the clouds started to glisten like caramel. Then suddenly the first light burst above the clouds and it instantly warmed our faces. That sun, so dramatic!

I had a really fun time at home with the family. This year my sister came with her fiance and I suddenly realized that having the whole family together will come further and further apart. I guess that’s the whole point of “leaving the nest.” But that still doesn’t stop me from yearning for more time together. (Or maybe it’s just the holiday sentiment?)

This year should be very interesting, with family dynamics changing and work being more challenging than ever. But I am excited! Something about the new year that makes me optimistic! (Yes, even more than I already am…ha.)

I’m looking forward to exploring new places, even if just around the corner, and learning new things. I’m also going to continue practicing my skate boarding and maybe take up running again. I feel so much better after exercising. And more than anything, I’m going to appreciate the people around me and make sure they know that I care. I hope to make this year meaningful 🙂

What are you looking forward to this year? xx

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My nengajo this year.

– Keep it simple.

– We’ve all experienced it, right?

This reminds me that I need to read more often.

– Ha! Remember this song?

– A do-for-yourself-at-least-once-a-year list.

– Tokyo in these photos.

December Link Love 

The holidays are here! Whoop whoop!

I am welcoming December with open arms this year, bring on the Christmas songs and merry gatherings! And by merry gatherings, I mean bonenkai, of course. Just kidding, I am actually cutting back on all the bonenkai this season and going to only a selected few. Makes the few more special, don’t you think?

December is like a blur every year. My head is already filled with a long list of things I need to do. I’m sure yours is, too. But this year I’m going to take deliberate time to enjoy this season with family and friends and to just soak it all in. Or in other words, what cookie monster said.

I hope you’re all staying warm and enjoying the holidays! xx

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– Embrace winter like a Norwegian.

A 2015 update of Ironic (has it truly been 20 years since Jagged Little Pill?).

– I never get tired of this smart kid and his tiger.

Screw finding your passion.

– Ah this postage stamp is too delicious!

– This happens to me sometimes.

– “How will we change the world if the lady cats are always in dresses?

China from above is fascinating.

– Climb every mountain and get these pins!

Interesting look into Japan.

November Link Love

Happy November everyone!

How are we doing? Good, I hope? I am doing swell (and I don’t use that word lightly). And it weirdly connects to my home computer breaking down.

Mid month, my computer stopped working. So I am currently updating on my cell phone. lt’s beyond inconvenient, thus making it easy to cut out a large portion of web browsing from my daily life. And despite a couple of other hurdles here and there, October was a highly fulfilling month filled with morning walks, good conversation and even a short hike!

This month is going to continue to be computer-less. This should help with my productivity, especially since I have a list the length of my arm of people I need to write a letter to. I know, who does that anymore? But, I do 🙂

What are you up to lately? x

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– Ways to say no, thank you.

– Baseball is bigger than baseball

– A lovely  visual introduction to kanji.

– That was way harsh, Tai.

– To broadcast your deepest secrets.

– This is all true.

The October Link Love

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Hi everyone! Gosh, it is definitely fall around here in Tokyo!

Every year I mourn the loss of summer but at the same time revel in the coziness of fall. Although I desperately yearn for the hot burning rays of summer…the hot drinks, warm sweaters and bold colors of nature that come rolling in the fall are some of my greatest loves. Fall really is gorgeous. It’s kind of a conflicting time of the year for me, emotionally, when it comes to seasons. Ha.

Well, last month just flew by quick as a panther. I have a bunch of photos to share from my trip back home to Ehime, which I hadn’t been to in over a year. It was good to go back and see all my relatives. I got to eat figs right off the tree…which is a dream come true for me. I LOVE figs. We also made tempura from veggies straight from my great uncle’s garden. Nothing tastes as good as fresh vegetables you picked yourself. I loved getting to experience this organic lifestyle…almost wish I had more space in Tokyo to do this myself.

This month starts the second half of the fiscal year in Japan. Lots of new things to experience and work towards at work for me, which is always exciting. Personally, I have a couple of friends coming to Japan (doesn’t it seem like everyone is coming to Japan these days???) so I’m really looking forward to seeing them! I think my college friend and I are going to try to eat at the university cafeteria, just for old times sake. Let’s hear it for the 230 yen bowl of ramen!

What are your plans this month? I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful season of harvest! x

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– The punctuation test.

– These were delicious!

– Found this in my mailbox last month.

– Dine in a library? Yes, please!

Dictionary stories.

– Love these photos of ships from above.

– Interesting. Did you walk to school when you were a kid?

The September Link Love

Hello there September! How are you here already?

I felt like I only just did the August post…then I realized that technically I really did just do the August post. I haven’t been blogging at all lately. I think it’s a mixture of having to go through a lot of photos and information on Istanbul, and just simply enjoying off-line life at the moment. It happens! 😀

It’s been pretty chilly outside lately. Summer is definitely over.

But one of the things I love about fall is that it’s the harvest season. My grocery shopping is somewhat out of control…everything just tastes so good. My baby sister will be staying with me this month until school starts so I’m going to use that as an excuse to cook and bake away. Ha.

I’ll also be heading home with my sisters during our Silver Week! Since we spent New Years in Okinawa this year, I haven’t seen my dad’s side of the family in Imabari for awhile now. So I’m really looking forward to going home and catching up with everyone.

I hope you’re enjoying the harvest season, too! xx

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– This personality test is so spot-on, it’s almost scary.

– I cannot wait to read Mindy Kaling’s new book.

Japanese words you need in your life.

– Made this and it was delicious. (evidence here)

– *snicker*

– Listened to this while cooking yesterday…so bizarre!

The August Link Love

Happy first day of August!

It is a joyous day, not only because it’s the start of my favorite month of the year but, also because today is the start of the firework festivals and all that summer matsuri season!

I’m going to the Edogawa Firework Festival on the Ichikawa-side tonight, just like last year. Crossing my fingers it doesn’t rain. I hope Dru’s teru-teru bozu does his thing!

Also very excited to share my trip to last month to Istanbul with you. It was so so so amazing. If my company had a branch in Istanbul, I would definitely put in a notice to go for a year or two. I came back with more questions than answers but I kind of like that, too. I’ve even more interested in Turkey now than before I went. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to go back again someday.

What are your plans for the summer? Any firework festivals? 😀

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Could Detroit rise again? (via)

– I love to-do lists; apparently Leonardo did, too.

This typeface is awesome.

Um, yes. (so funny!)

– Love letters to a tree.

– Currently reading this book.

– Taking sand sculptures to a new level.

The July Link Love

Happy first day of July! How is everyone?

I am so glad June is gone and over with. Besides the great time I had with my sisters and friends, it was a roller coaster month of just hanging in there. I blame everything on the air-conditioning at work.

I caught a cold in mid-June that just wouldn’t go away. I’m sure there are quite a few people who get sick during this season. For me, gone are those days when you have a high fever one day and you’re right back on your feet the next. It felt like the plagues of Egypt…one calamity after another (in case you couldn’t tell, I tend to be overly dramatic when I’m sick). It pretty much kicked me in the butt for more than a few weeks.

But it could have been worse (the real ten plagues of Egypt could have been inflicted on me). So I’m definitely happy to be back on my feet to welcome July!

Especially since I will be taking a short trip to…(drum roll please)…TURKEY! Woo hoo! I’ve had a crush on Istanbul for years so I can’t tell you how excited I am to be going there.

It will not only be my first time travelling to Europe (technically Turkey is located in both Europe and Asia…but they’re part of the EU, right?) but my first time being in a predominantly Islamic country during ramazan. It should be very interesting, I can’t wait!

As always, I would love it if you have any tips or recommendations! x

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– A friends sent me this link and I thought it was beautiful.

– Currently my favorite hashtag: #kaorilovesthealphabet

– Gotta love this lady.

Just jump!

– How fabulous is this cake!

Love wins.