Monday Matters · Projects

Keeping track on cute calendars

I have two cute Rilakkuma calendars, and have been using one of them to track my fitness each month. I get a star sticker for every run, a bigger sticker (in this month’s case, monkey stickers) for other workouts, and just the satisfaction of jotting down walks and morning yoga/lighter workouts. It makes me feel really good to see a lot of stickers at the end of the month, silly as that may seem!

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I was thinking of using my other calendar to plan bucket list activities to make sure I remember to get them all in, but I haven’t decided just yet! Do you like to use calendars to track progress? What kinds of things are you looking forward to in October?

Monday Matters · Projects

My Day in Photos & My Summer Fun Bucket List

Yesterday we went to a Hanshin Tigers baseball game, followed by a judo farewell party for Chad (one of his teachers started the party by saying, “Ladies and judo-men, thank you for coming. Kanpai!). Both events were really fun, but drinking in the sunshine followed by drinking at a small izakaya led to two sleepy friends this morning. So, we slept in and then lazed around all morning. Chad played League of Legends online and I drank coffee on our balcony while reading blogs, twitter and the news.

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We finally got going in the early afternoon, walking from our apartment to Nunobiki waterfalls, down through Kitano (spotting a woman with a monkey!) and to Starbucks, to Sannomiya for a little shopping, and then all the way to HAT Kobe for some more shopping and sushi.

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We ate sushi at a kaiten sushi restaurant called Kurazushi, and while we were waiting for some of our specially ordered sushi to come zooming down the sushi train, Chad surprised me with a Rilakkuma stuffed animal! Yay! Just looking at it makes me so ridiculously happy. You can’t deny Rilakkuma is one of the cutest characters ever, not to mention the fact that our favorite things are the same in life: eating sweets and relaxing.

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I know. I look tired. Focus on my cute Rilakkuma & the striped bag I got for only 300 yen instead!

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We tried some new sushi today, as well as some yummy sweet potato sticks (top left corner, above). You can see sushi with grilled bacon and mayo on the bottom left, and lemon steak sushi on the bottom right. In the upper right corner is my handsome husband with his cheeks full of sushi, and in the middle you’ll see more normal types of sushi (crab salad, tuna salad, shrimp mayo and cucumber salad, shrimp, and tuna).

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Chad expertly making green tea with the powder and hot water.

All in all we had a really nice day. We’re both feeling sad about leaving Japan, despite our excitement about going home, so I made a summer fun bucket list to help cheer myself up! The warm weather was a welcome reminder that summer is on it’s way, so I thought I’d share my list (so far!) with you!

Caitlyn’s Summer Fun Bucket List

1. Drive-in Movie

2. Binder Park Zoo

3. Go fishing

4. Make S’Mores

5. Have a Star Party

6. Learn to play guitar again

7. Make a bird feeder

8. Make jam

9. Join a book club

10. Go mini golfing

11. Go bowling

12. Have a BBQ

13. Go on a picnic

14. Make banana splits

15. Make homemade ice cream

16. Tie Dye Shirts

17. Blow bubbles

18. Paint rocks with my niece

19. Cheese Fondue

20. Make Root Beer Floats

21. Board Game night

22. Milk Carton Boats

23. Go to a museum

24. Friendship Bracelets with my niece

25. Look at bugs/plants/nature under a microscope

26. Learn to make egg tarts

27. Get a cat!

28. Can tomatoes

29. Play badminton

30. Run at least one 5K

31. Have a fancy night dressed up around town (going to ordinary places)

32. Find a gym with yoga and zumba that’s reasonably priced

33. Volunteer

34. Pay it Forward by paying for someone behind me at a drive-through

35. Paint Balling

36. Wine and Cheese night

37. Make kimchi

38. Make homemade pickles

39. Make homemade Bloody Mary’s

40. Make pineapple upside-down cake cupcakes

41. Make sun tea

42. Dandelion Blowing

43. Make a sandcastle

44. Make/decorate pottery

45. Bon Fire

46. Celebrate 5th Wedding Anniversary at Guster concert!

47. Visit Green Dot Stables in Detroit

48. Go to our high school reunion

49. Traverse City & eating/drinking cherry-flavored things!

50. Shorts Brewery

51. Make waffles

52. Make homemade bread

53. Make cookies with my niece

54. Make trail mix and go for a walk with my niece & nephews

55. Make dreamsicle orange punch

56. Make strawberry mimosas

What fun have you been up to lately, and what fun things do you have planned for summer?

Monday Matters

Monday Matters

Well, even though I worked over the holiday, today is the first official day back. It’s nice to see familiar old faces, and to see the bright, smiling, eager faces of new trainees. This job is a lot of work, but man will I ever miss it. I feel so sad to think about leaving my kids, leaving the teachers who have become such close friends, and leaving the school. But, not yet! Not yet.

Chad and I have been holding to our cherry blossom viewing plans–we went last night (with a mini feast of tacos, apples, mandarin oranges and soda/beer), and today with a Japanese style fast-food set (Yoshinoya for those of you who might know or be interested in knowing). We bought something to hold us over after the training at a 100 yen Convenience store, and the receipt was so cute! I’ll miss that about Japan.

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Okay, enough! I’m not leaving yet! 🙂 Enjoy your week–I hope you find a little something cute to brighten your day.

Monday Matters · Seen/Heard/Tried

Lately…

Today I spent a good portion of my day at work, which is kind of a bummer since I’m technically on holiday, but at the same time not too bad. Once I get started working it is so hard to stop, hence the reason I’m on my way home now, at around 8:00 on this super cold night. Anyway, I also had to work a bit on the weekend too, but on the side I watched two movies: Lincoln (slow, but interesting), and Argo (good, but super tense). I know it’s a very cliche thing to say, but with both movies I felt so saddened by what humans are capable of–saddened by killing and war.

I also started watching a new documentary “shorts” series with Chad called Crash Course World History. We’ve watched about 5 episodes so far and really like it. You can watch them for free, too, by going to Watch Documentary. (There is also a Crash Course series for biology, but it’s a bit over my head.)

We were able to meet some friends on Sunday for lunch, and one of them took this lovely photo of Kobe Tower with cherry blossoms:

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Later that day I saw this pretty cherry blossom wine I might have to try:

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And earlier that day I saw dancing dragons in the China Town:

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I indulged myself and bought a sparkly Rilakkuma pencil and these adorable socks:

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He’s like, “Look everybody! I’m super cute and I’m drinking coffee! Don’t you wish you had coffee?”

And saw these three confused station attendants:

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How was your weekend? Is your Monday off to a good start?

Seen · Tried

Now that’s what I call a relaxing day!

Today Chad woke me up with a cup of coffee, and I just hung out in bed reading and enjoying it until my tummy started to grumble. After a walnut pancake breakfast, I spent the morning writing letters and preparing little packages, tidying up, and watching videos for one of my coursera classes, Know Thyself. When it started raining, we decided to take a nap. A two.hour.nap.

As if the morning wasn’t enjoyable enough, when we woke up it had stopped raining so I went for a four and a half mile walk around Kobe. (Chad played futsal.) It was quite a bit colder today than yesterday, but I saw lots of delightful little things that kept me going. For example, I saw:

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    Little macaroon gardens…

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    Chocolates shaped like other sweets…

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    And pretty cups!

Also, I bought:

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Butaman, (or pork stuffed-buns), from my favorite nikkuman shop, 551 Horai (one for me, and one for Chad)…

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    Pretty notebooks for my coursera classes…

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    Lemon Poppy Seed bread to have with green smoothies for breakfast tomorrow…

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    And after meeting up with Chad, wine and chocolate for after dinner tonight!

We are trying a Belgian chocolate from France called Côte d’Or, which means Golden Hillside (according to Wikipedia, anyway!). We chose milk chocolate hazelnut, and I will definitely keep you posted on the flavor once we try it!

We’ve arrived home for the evening now, and have plans to eat grilled salmon with rice, tsukemono, or pickled veggies, and miso soup for dinner. (That makes up for the chocolate, right?) Then, we’ll enjoy our treat while watching a movie. Doesn’t get much better than that!

Monday Matters

Over the Weekend…

I watched my husband become a black belt in judo:

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Chad’s name on the list of competitors

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Opening Remarks

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After he won his third match & got his black belt

I saw these cute, pink construction worker signs:

20130211-181401.jpgI participated in an awesome nomihoudai, or all-you-can-drink at Rokko Diner to celebrate with Chad (they had a Valentine’s special–only ¥2000 for girls, ¥3000 for guys, for 2 1/2 hours, any beer!):

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Crystal Amber Ale & karaage (fried chicken) made with Rokko Pilsner

I bought really cute dessert forks and spoons:

20130211-181818.jpgWalked to China town with a pit stop to split a rice croquette:

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There was curry inside!

Saw huge lines at the China Town for nikkuman, or meat-stuffed buns, and other Chinese food:

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Many people were checking out China Town to see events related to the Chinese New Year.

And split a nikkuman and “burger” with Chad:

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And was generally happy because it was a much needed three-day weekend. Oh yeah, and because I saw this guy with a pig face:

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How was your weekend?