October 31, 2014

On planning an American wedding whilst in Japan...

Well if you've just joined us, you should know that I'm engaged and I'm planning my wedding.  Now first of all, we decided not to get married in Japan.  We are getting married in America, so that means I get to plan everything while in Japan (Yay!).  I did a search for this and came back pretty much empty handed, so I hit the internet hardcore.  Here are some sites that may help you no matter where you are planning to get married.

Sites I recommend:

For ideas & planning:


For just about everything:

Wedding Wire

Note: I found my florist through here, but you can also search for venues, caterers and anything else really.

For the dress and bridesmaid dresses (any dress really):

Light in the Box

They also ship internationally.


Wedding Paper Divas

My favorite thing about Wedding Paper Divas is that they will send you 8 sample invitations you can look at before you decide which ones to buy.  They ship internationally.

Odds and Ends



For gifts for your bridal party:


My advice to you is book your venue first because you can't do anything else without a place to get married.  After that things mainly tend to fall into place easily.  Of course, I wouldn't try to delude you and say that this is an easy experience.  It comes with its stresses but hopefully, I've managed to help a little bit.

October 28, 2014

Spend a comfortable life..

This is a phrase I hear a lot in Japan.  If we overlook the awkward sentence construction, what does this mean exactly?  Easy?  Convenient?  Relaxing?  All of the above?

(Side note: I had orginally intended to write about how safe Japan is.  After all, is that tantamount to comfort?  But as I thought more about it, I decided to veer a different direction.)

Here's another question set for you: Does where you live affect you as a person or does the person you are just transport to a new place with you?  Would all my gaijin friends at the table pounding beers be doing that in their home countries?  Or has the atmosphere of Japan radically changed them into beer pounding machines?

It took me a while to feel comfortable here.  Of course, I've always felt safe but comfortable is different in this case.

Back in America I was a bit of a homebody.  I didn't party and hardly ever drank, and because I was older when I moved to Japan, I felt those days were behind me.  When I moved to Japan, my only friends were my coworkers.  Don't get me wrong I like these guys (almost all guys) but they went out every Friday night.  At first this was fun for me but I realized that I didn't have any other friends.  I would occasionally hang out with the other female who I worked with, but she was my only female friend.  For a little while it seemed that Japan had changed me, and I wasn't happy.

I hit the internet.  I searched on language exchange sites, I joined Meetup, and I looked for ways to widen my social circle.  Soon I had girl friends!  We went shopping.  We ate lunches.  We did プリクラ。

Then just last year, I became very close with one of my new co-workers.  I didn't know it the first time we hung out because we mainly bitched about work, but I soon found out we had the world in common.  We both loved to sew and make costumes.  We loved" Glee".  We found joy in being lazy homebodies.  I was happy and comfortable in her presence.

Japan is such a transient place.  I had known that but it never affected me like it had when she decided to take a job in another country.  I've been tremendously busy since she left but I remain a bit withdrawn.  It may sound cheesy but it's difficult to form durable bonds like that with people these days.  Everyone is so busy here (even me).

Another friend of mine told me she didn't make friends with people much anymore.  She said she had been hurt too many times by people who have left Japan.  I'm starting to understand where she's coming from.

I hope I can continue to form strong friendships like that.  I'm not ready to give up just yet.  Every other aspect of my life remains quite comfortable: job, fiancée, master's classes (well sort of), home, and anything else I'm forgetting.  I love Japan and I'm happy it's my home but I don't think I will ever get used to how much people come and go here. 

This post is part of the J-Bloggers Comfort Carnival.  

October 21, 2014

Lipton Tea...

Hello!  I have two new teas for you.  These are both part of the Tea Loves Fruits Series.

First is Peach & Mango:

This tea is awesome!  I liked this one so much it made it into the Top 5.

Next is Mixed Berries Milk Tea:

Honestly, I couldn't finish this one.  It was way weird.  Maybe a mixed berries would have been okay but the addition of milk, just no.

The list:
  1. Milk Tea
  2. Maple Milk Tea
  3. Lemon Tea
  4. Peach Tea
  5. Earl Grey Milk Tea
  6. Green Apple Tea
  7. 50/50 Tea & Lemonade
  8. Tropical Fruit Tea
  9. Chamomile Citrus Tea
  10. Roast Milk Tea
  11. Jasmine Lemon Peel
  12. Grape Tea
  13. Straight Tea
  14. Apple Tea
  15. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  16. Matcha Milk
  17. Tea Cappuccino
  18. Mikan Tea
  19. 50/50 Tea & Nectar
  20. Luxurious Milk Tea
  21. Muscat Tea
  22. Plum Honey
  23. Cream Milk Tea 
  24. Grapefruit Tea
  25. Orange Marmalade Tea 
  26. Royal Milk Tea
  27. Golden Pineapple Tea
  28. Italian Fruit Punch Tea
  29. Honey Milk Tea
  30. Green Apple with Honey
  31. Thailand Lychee Tea
  32. Sweetened Condensed Milk Tea 
  33. Turkey Apricot Tea
  34. Milk Caramel Tea
  35. Navel Orange Tea
  36. French Pear & Apple Tea
  37. Creamy Milk Tea
  38. American Tea Lemonade
  39. Hojicha Latte
  40. Gold Kiwi Tea
  41. Bitter Caramel Tea Latte
  42. Green Tea & Muscat
  43. Green Tea & Peach
  44. Extra Black Tea Latte 
  45. Green Tea & Citrus:
  46. Caramel Tea Latte
  47. Peach & Mango
  48. Mixed Berries Milk Tea
The Top Five:
  1. OG Milk Tea
  2. Green Tea & Peach
  3. 50/50 Tea Lemonade
  4. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  5. Peach & Mango