October 27, 2012

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Hello!  Today is quite miserable.  There are clouds blanketing Tokyo but as of yet no rain.  Who knows if it's coming.  It's raining.  Meanwhile, I'm safe inside sipping tea.  Because I'm Arizona born I'm not particularly fond of cold weather.  However, I sometimes wish it was always cold enough for hot tea.  This weekend I'm hiding from Halloween (no costume, no money, pure sadness).  So, I did my cooking.

I was lucky to find cornmeal at Nissin which they call "Corn Grits" so I've been having much fun with it.

I made these lovely corn muffins (no cornbread for me as anything perfect comes in a muffin cup).

To go with this:

I lovingly topped the chili with chopped onions and healthy Greek yogurt.  Japan does have sour cream but it's just not right.

For breakfast today (continuing with the cornmeal kick):

I chopped up my pancakes to check for doneness.  I'm a horrid pancake maker (if you believe that).  My children would always cook pancakes for me.  (I miss being spoiled by them.)  Anyway, I've found I have to treat pancakes like other baked goods and just walk away man.  Three perfect pancakes.

Now I'm chowing down on Rajma.

It's total comfort food and warming me up as I type this.  I made this myself but I can honestly say that I was never a fan of Indian food until I came to Japan.  Weird right?  Now I crave naan like you wouldn't believe and I find myself cooking a lot of Indian food.  Next week I'm going to try my hand at Chana Masala.

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend.  I'm bundled up and inside.

October 26, 2012

Weekly wear...

Hello!  It's Saturday in Japan and the weekend before Halloween.  I've yet to see anything scary but I've been in my house.  I cleaned the place, did a ton of laundry and now I'm just waiting until 10 so I can get my bangs cut.  I also need to pop into the grocery store and pick up some things for cooking.

But I think you came here for the fashion?


Jacket H&M, shoes Target, shirt Uniqlo, flats Target, jeans Kohl's, necklace Disneyland.


I bought this jacket (?) ages ago and it's finally been cool enough to wear it!  It was on clearance too.  50% off!  There are no words for how much I love it.  Jacket (?) Putamayo, shirt Target, leggins Uniqlo, boots Couripie.


Sweater J. Crew, tights Daiei, shorts Goodwill, boots eBay (Shiekh).

Maybe you've seen this sweater before:

That's Zooey D. on "New Girl" (like the best show ever).  It was one of my birthday presents.  Thanks Mom!


I know I need to clean my mirror.  It's done as of now.  Trying to get in the Halloween spirit.  Outfit was well received even got a "cute" comment from the lady at the post office.  Hat CanDo, jacket Colleen Collection, shirt Uniqlo, bracelet Forever 21, skirt Kohl's, tights Tutuanna, socks Daiei and boots Payless.

I hope you have a lovely weekend.  Stay safe out there!


Surprise surprise!  I'm a vegetarian.  Though, I've never been a big fan of labels so I usually just say "I don't eat meat."  However in Japanese it's easier to just say ベジタリアンです。Or "I am a vegetarian."  Regardless and surprisingly Tokyo had a it's annual VegeFesta last weekend which is a vegan/vegetarian festival in Yoyogi.  You may be also surprised to find out that I ate and then I ate some more and then some more.  (Okay that probably didn't surprise you.)  Oh I've missed fake meat!

Super packed:

Some fake chicken and ridiculously good ginger apple soda:

More fake (teriyaki) chicken:

Not so good Sheese burger:

At the fest I bought some veggie burger mix.  Later, I made this obscene burger with it:

In case you're wondering, that's blue cheese,  jalapeños, cheese bread, onion, mayo, ketchup, and mustard on that sucker.  Don't worry.  I didn't kiss anyone afterward.

I hope you had a lovely week.  The weather is strange.  Warm and cold seem to fight day after day and everyone around me is sick.  I might be staying in this weekend as I haven't any motivation to celebrate Halloween this year for various reasons.  It makes me sad because Halloween is my favortie holiday.  Maybe I'll get out of this funk and maybe not.  Who knows?  Happy weekend everyone!

October 23, 2012

Kit Kat time!

Today is positively hideous.  It's been raining all day and I swear it was full dark at 4:30.  What better day to write about Kit Kats!  I realize that I haven't updated this section of my blog since July!  You'd think being in Tokyo would afford me the opportunity to try many different flavors of Kit Kats.  Unfortunately, this is not the case.  Aside from Narita, I have no idea where to find the funky flavored Kit Kats.  I've scoured all my local and non-local stores as well.  Any idea where I can get 'em?

However, I have managed to track down a few Kit Kats.

First is Caramel:

I'll be honest.  I love caramel.  Caramel everything.  I'd have it in my house like a salt lick if I could.  That said, this Kit Kat didn't quite do it for me.  It seemed to be missing something.

Next for Halloween Pumpkin Pudding:

Cute packages, of course, but didn't taste much pumpkin here.

Finally, Cookies and Cream:

These are quite delicious!  They taste like inside out Oreos.  Definitely a fan of these!

Berry Pomegranate
Apple Vinegar
Green Tea
Sakura Matcha
Vanilla Ice
Pumpkin Pudding
Cookies and Cream

Well, I'm going back into hibernation because it's wet and cold!

October 22, 2012

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

Sorry!  I had meant to update the food section of my blog last week.  Oops!  Time gets away from me sometimes.

Black Bean Chili & cornbread from my local bakery:

I didn't use a recipe.  Just my mad chili skills.

Caramel Apple Muffin:

I got this recipe from Pinterest but I didn't save it.  Do you like my stalagmite frosting?

Some caprese and bruschetta from Allegrezza:

Delicious Mulligatawny:

I made it vegetarian.  Feel free to do as you please.

My lovely meal from Eat More Greens:

If I ever make this again, I'll need to flavor boost.  It was slightly bland.  Pretty though.

Next, heaven on a plate:

I can't even begin to describe how good this is.

Finally, it's taking all my willpower not to eat all these muffins right now:

Unbelievably delicious!

That's all the food for now!

October 21, 2012

My week in clothes...

Hello all!  Today was lovely!  Such a beautiful day and not a cloud in the sky.

Apparently, I wasn't too fashionable this week.


Sweater ANAP, leggins Kohl's, boots eBay (Shiekh).


Sweater Treasure Factory Style, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), boots Kohl's.


Shirt Target, pants Forever 21, boots Macy's.


Dress Treasure Factory Style, boots eBay (Shiekh).

Well this weekend is almost over.  They always seem so short.  I hope your weekend didn't go by so quickly!

October 17, 2012

But really, who HASN'T cried in Japanese class...

I thought about calling this Lost in Japanese (again) but this title is much catchier eh?  Last week I started Lesson 7 in みんなの日本語 in Japanese class.  Not having studied, I failed miserably in class.  This week determined not to look the fool, I studied the entire chapter.  Previously in the book there were a couple related verbs per chapter (most I knew from previous studies).  Lesson 7 decides to throw a ton of verbs into one chapter (most of which I didn't know prior to studying it).  A little bit of anxiety surfaced when my teacher was missing as was my entire group.  No doubt thwarted by the miserable rain drenching Tokyo currently.  As per usual, I was assigned a new teacher (who's very nice.)  She helped me through Lesson 7 and even drew the most adorable pictures to help.  She wasn't a bad teacher.  She spoke slowly (albeit quietly) and tried to help me learn.  My brain, on the other hand, had other ideas and refused, flat out refused to learn this lesson.  In my frustration, I started to tear up and couldn't suppress them (even though I was able to shut down the first tears that tried to come out).  I soon felt horrible about crying because, of course, she blamed herself.  She tried to say that she spoke too fast or she didn't prepare well enough.  I tried to explain that it wasn't her fault and that I was stupid.  (I said that in Japanese.)  And she gave me two packages of tissues and would not accept them back.  She was so nice and comforting and I felt horrible because I knew she wouldn't stop blaming herself.  She promised to prepare better and we can learn this together next week and I promised to study.  I lost the end of my lesson because of my tears and frustration.  She tried to help me some more but I couldn't turn off the tears.  My friend Alice says I have hit a wall.  I don't know what to do or how to get over it.  Is this normal?  Any comments or advice would be much appreciated.  I have to cut this short because I am starting to feel dizzy. 


October 16, 2012

Weekly wear...

I had meant to do this yesterday and do another today but the week, it seems, has already gotten away from me.  I've been wrapped up in blankets and my TV shows and warming myself with mug after mug of hot tea to fight this Autumn chill.  (On a side note, one of my prerequisites for living in Japan was access to my favorite teas.  Needn't fear, I am currently drowning myself in Earl Grey and Chai.  I still haven't found a suitable Jasmine as the one I drink is much too strong.)  The weather is so bizarre lately.  Yesterday it was quite warm and today a bit of a chill and tomorrow they predict rain.  I guess we'll see whether or not I'll be riding my bike to Japanese class tomorrow evening.

Anyway, here's some clothes!


Sweater & star shirt Daiei, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), boots Couripie, necklace ???


Shirt, jeans & sweater Uniqlo, necklace Disneyland, flats Target.


Sweater Uniqlo, leggins Wal-Mart, boots Couripie, bracelet Lattice.


Dress Momo, boot Kohl's, bracelet Lattice.


The weather forecast lied to me and it was way to chilly for this.  After about an hour outside, I wanted to be inside.  Dress H&M, boots Kohl's, bracelet Forever 21.

The best thing to happen last week was that I found a thrift store (a good quality one too).  It is right in my own backyard and I will be venturing there again soon.  It's called Treasure Factory and from what I understand they have various locations.  I bought a dress and two sweaters for under ¥3000. 

I hope your new week is staring off nicely.  I for one am off to bed!

October 14, 2012

Adachi-ku Fireworks...

Tokyo is quite awful today.  It's very chilly and misting rain.  I went out for a bit but I was eager for the comforts of home: my warm jammies, a nice cup of tea and steaming soup. 

Yesterday however was beyond beautiful.  Just a touch of warmth and clear skies.  It's almost like mother nature knew which weather was best for the Adachi-ku fireworks.

My friend has planned everything perfectly.  Despite a 6PM start time we met at 3PM at Kita-senju Station.  (While waiting for everyone to show up, I snuck some Krispy Kreme donuts.)  We walked to the river and even though by some of his friends asked frequently to "stop here," we pressed on to quite literally the perfect spot.  (Coincidentally we also ran into another friend who within the great hoards of people had set up camp close to us.)

This is the first fireworks I had ever done properly and I was so happy.  I mean, who isn't while watching fireworks.  If you've never been to a Japanese fireworks show, you're missing out.  I think their motto is "go big or go home."  Such a perfect display of magnificent fireworks.

Here are some of my favorite pics:

 (pre show)

I was using my iPhone so some of these pictures were pure luck.  Dahlias happen to be my favorite flower so my favorite fireworks?  Dahlia fireworks.

I hope you enjoyed these pics and I hope you had a nice weekend!  I'm off to cozy up and hide from the Tokyo chill.

October 12, 2012

Lipton Tea...

I don't have anything exciting to post.  I didn't do anything exciting this week or go anywhere spectacular.  However, I did get to try some great new Lipton Tea flavors.  (Yay for my fabulous life!)

First is 50/50 Tea and Fruit Punch:

I am a huge fan of the 50/50 series.  This is definitely a winner for Lipton.  I wonder if there is anything up and coming in the series.  Like what else could they mix with tea?!?!

Next is Matcha Milk:

Some people flat out hate matcha.  I've never had a problem with it but even if I did, my goal is to try all Lipton Teas no matter what.  Unless they came out with a mushroom tea.  Or a green pepper tea.  I wouldn't try either of those.  Or a meat tea.  I definitely wouldn't try a meat tea.  Anyway, got off on a silly tangent.  I really like Matcha Milk and with 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch I've added to my Top Lipton Teas list.

The list:

Milk Tea
Maple Milk Tea
Lemon Tea
Peach Tea
Earl Grey Milk Tea
Green Apple Tea
50/50 Tea & Lemonade
Tropical Fruit Tea
Chamomile Citrus Tea
Roast Milk Tea
Jasmine Lemon Peel
Grape Tea
Straight Tea
Apple Tea
50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
Matcha Milk

The Top Three List has now become a Top Five:

1. OG Milk Tea
2. 50/50 Tea Lemonade
3. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
4. Matcha Milk
5. Jasmine Lemon Peel

Today I woke up to Mt. Fuji and the weather in Tokyo is absolutely perfect.  It makes me want to run around in the grass (if there were any grass here).  I hope you have a lovely day wherever you are.

October 9, 2012

In clothes...

Last week's wear.


Jeans Colleen Collection (Target),  shoes Payless, shirt Uniqlo, Jacket H&M.


Sweater Daiei, jeans Kohl's, shoes Payless, bracelet Forever 21.

Thursday (my birthday):

Shorts Goodwill, sweater & tights Daiei, boots eBay (Shiekh).


Sadly this dress is ruined with some unknown stains on it.  :(  Dress H&M, bracelet Forever 21, boots Kohl's and sweater Goodwill.


Zooey D style!  Sweater Goodwill (Target brand), dress Kohl's and shoes ???


Shorts Daiei, sweater Kohl's, tank Goodwill, boots eBay (Shiekh).

I hope your week is starting off nicely.

October 8, 2012

A vegetarian foodie in Japan...

I'm gonna make this brief so I can (hopefully) finish American Horror Story tonight.

Lately it seems I've made mostly baked goods.

Beautiful spinach salad:

Using these:

I swear I sometimes only buy things because they remind me of America.  (They're not as good as I remember them to be.)

My birthday cake:

It's a Brown Sugar and Caramel Cake (made by me because who else would make me a birthday cake).

Salted Caramel Cupcake:

Just google it.  There are a million recipes.

Tomato Soup with Cheese Bread (purchased from my local bakery):

A lovely brunch at Rose Bakery:

Some fried bites (tomato, potato and onion) in Ameyoko:

And finally a Pumpkin Cupcake with Cream Cheese Frosting:

There's no canned pumpkin in my hood so I made my own.  Pretty simple really.

Anyway, hope you had a nice weekend.  My long weekend is just about over.  I'm off to watch scary TV.