Friday Five

Five Things I’m Looking Forward to In America

After spending nearly our entire marriage in Japan –even having our first apartment here together!– you could guess that we have grown pretty comfortable here. It’s easy enough to say: we love Japan. We’ve come to a point in which we’ll always be homesick, whether for Japan, or for Michigan.

That being said, we are super excited to go home this summer and see our family and friends. We’ll be buying our first house and starting an entirely new chapter of our lives. Aside from the general excitement of being back in the Mitten, I’m also super excited about some of life’s conveniences I’ll get to enjoy there. Below are a few:

1. Central Heating


That there is the little heater that we get by on, along with one of Chad’s creepy little Kobito Dzukan (Dwarf Encyclopedia character) perching below. Everywhere that is not almost directly under this thing is freezing. The Kobito is probably more comfortable than I generally am.

2. A washing machine inside, and a dryer! Oh god, to have a dryer!


You might ask yourself, “Why is it so dark? And…is that a house in the background?” To which I must say: because the washing machine is outside, and yes, that is a house in the background. The washing machine at that house is outside, too. And, like us, the people living there hang up their laundry outside in the freezing cold, hoping it’ll get dry eventually.

3. A bigger kitchen


Yes. That’s it. That’s the space in which we prepare our meals. Sometimes it gets a bit wild. I have been known to wedge my cookbook in between dishes in the drying rack there, to stack ingredients randomly around the area, and to force myself to take deep breaths when things tumble down after not having sufficient space on which to rest (as opposed to screaming and throwing things).

4. A bigger fridge and freezer.


Here you can see Chad modeling his sexy pajamas in order to give perspective regarding the size of our refrigerator (as well as perspective into his amazing fashion at night). Sometimes when we go home to Michigan we open the fridges at our moms’ houses and just stare in disbelief at the size.

5. A proper coffee maker


So, in case you don’t follow me on instagram or twitter, here’s the deal with this guy: Our coffee pot broke and we kept telling ourselves we could make it through without buying a new one since it would be one more thing to get rid of when we left. I think that was…about two years ago now? We read that pouring the hot water through a drip filter produced better coffee, so that became another rationalization (I can’t say I ever saw a difference in our case, though). Once we had to start making coffee with our ice container instead of a pot, things got dangerous. Earlier this week, as I lifted the container to move it and pour the coffee into cups and thermoses, the filter part dropped down into the ice box, splashing burning hot coffee all over my arm.



    The burn on my wrist about a week after the coffee incident

Granted, the last item on my list about the coffee pot is a bit more in our control, should we choose to do something about it. You’d think we would’ve on the day I got the burn, but the following day I found myself making coffee again with that same damned contraption, telling myself it would keep me from developing an irrational fear of…burning hot coffee. At least our freezer has more space.

Anyway, there you have it. I know the grass is always greener where you water it, and all of that kind of stuff, and that I’m sure to find things that I miss about the apartments we’ve had in Japan (such as the amazing view we have in Kobe!), but anticipating the five things on this list makes the idea of leaving a little easier to handle.

Friday Five

Friday Five

On my way home from a lovely dinner and trying to stay awake so I don’t miss my train stop. I will be working a lot at home this weekend, so I thought it would be appropriate to post this list I made earlier in the week about how to make working at home more enjoyable.


Tips for Working at Home in a More Enjoyable Way
1. Use cute stationary, if available.
2. Work out first, then shower, light a candle, and put on a face mask.
3. Listen to good music (I enjoy classical when working at home).
4. Take a break to remove face mask, and continue to take breaks every 30-45 minutes to stretch, drink tea, coffee, water, etc. and/or go to the bathroom.
5. Consume chocolate as needed.

On the day I wrote this list, I ended up using an aloe face mask (pictured below), and in lieu of chocolate I had some fresh strawberries–a real treat considering a little over a pint is nearly the equivalent of 7 USD here!


We’ll see if these tips help me through the weekend! What kinds of things do you do to make working at home easier?