Friday, October 31, 2008

This was a fun little distraction!

I took this little "test" and I have to say it is true!! I do lust after shiny objects!!! ^__^ Though, I'm not sure I am free of inhibitions and hang ups!

What Your Cute Monster Says About You

You are a very natural, real person. You're comfortable with who you are - and your spirit truly shines through.
You are free of inhibitions and hang ups. Because of this freedom, you tend to be very creative.
Your inner demon is greed. You can't help but lust after wealth and shiny objects.
People think you're cute because you are so lively. Your natural glow makes you charming.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Shopping at the "big" mall

I'm totally enjoying my vacation! What have I done? Mostly work on the business but since I love it hardly feels like work!

Yesterday we went to a "big" shopping mall. I say "big" because really...they aren't as big as the ones we have in North America but for around here it is pretty big. To get there we have to take the train and got off in what appears to be, the middle of nowhere!

From here we call a taxi and go to the mall. Inside we find that it is decorated for Christmas!

From the second floor they hung balls and lights and they twinkle....not sure the pics are so great but here they are. The first pic is the first floor looking up and the second pic is taken from the second floor looking down on the first floor. Many of the malls are carpeted and since we don't get a lot of snow I guess it is be honest I prefer no carpets!

So we did the usual at Starbucks which was playing Christmas music (but sadly didn't have eggnog flavored anything). Then we went shopping to one of my favorite stores in this mall. We were lucky...we found a ton of stuff for our businesses!! We go there often enough that the staff recognizes me. I'm pretty sure we are the only ones to shop the way we do. Now...a bit of interesting trivia about Japan. Did you know that many Japanese stores have a limit to how many items you can buy at one time? By this I mean...for example, yesterday we had probably over 200 items.....the cash register could only accept about 80 at a time so we have to pay after 80 items are rung up. This happens to us all the time!! Even the post office is like this. I think each store has it's own limit but the fact that they have a limit at all is a bit strange, isn't it? (Ok I am asking....are there limits like that in America, Canada or other countries? My first thought is no...but I might be wrong!). Anyway, at this store after we paid for the last time, the clerk leans over to me and whispers a question (of course in Japanese)...."Is this for a business?" and I whispered back "yes." to which she bowed and thanked me "itsumo arigatou gozaimasu" which basically means "Thanks for always shopping here." I get asked all the time about the items I buy....I mean who normally buys $700 worth of stickers and memo pads at one time? Depending on what I'm buying I lie and tell them it is for my mom (her house must be filled to the ceiling with fabric and Japanese paper!! ^__^). I'm just not comfortable saying I sell things...I mean they don't really care....they must just be happy I'm buying all the time from them!
Anyway, we didn't shop for very long but it was power shopping for a few hours. Then we ate sushi and took the train home. I must have tired out my poor honey because he fell asleep on the train clutching a few of the many bags we had.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


We have had lots of requests for sabokappa (a water imp pretending to be a cactus) items in both our stores so we have been ordering new items and one of the items is this little basket of cuteness.

I was really happy to get this little thank you present in the envelope with the invoice.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Christmas tofu, white pepsi and more!

Lots has been going on! First...the pics.

Went shopping the other day and bought a whole bag of goodies!! Tofu dressed as reindeer, Santa and snowmen!! So cute! And more styles are coming!

This pic is of a new Pepsi product....Pepsi and yogurt flavor!? My honey tried it and ....let's just say he won't be buying it again!!

Well, I'm not in Tokyo! At the very last minute my plans changed. See, the real reason I was going to Tokyo was to go to the Canadian embassy to get some document signed that says I'm single and can get married (I call my honey "hubby" because we have lived together for 5 years but technically....he isn't yet). All foreigners need this piece of paper. Fine except that last year they closed the consulate near me which was why I was going to Tokyo. Of course while there I would shop for my businesses. Anyway, I had my tickets and was packed and decided to email the embassy just to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything and in the email I happened to mention that I live in Fukuoka. Well, I came home to an email that ended with:

"We have a recently started new notarial system which affects Canadian residents in Kyushu area and would like to explain to you if it is not too late."

Not too late? What the hell did that mean? I envisioned needing to spend more time there than I thought ... The next morning I got up and called and it turns out that they recently found 4 lawyers in the big city near me that can sign the document (I still have to send it to the embassy but at least I don't have to go with it!) because they figured it wasn't fair that we had to go to Tokyo (duh!!!). So, we called the train station and asked if we could cancel and they said sure but it would cost us about $8. No problem! So....that is why I'm not in Tokyo!

Even though I'm not in Tokyo I am on holidays!! I have 10 days off! I'm soooo happy! My students were surprised and asked why...ummm.....because sensei needs a break and Shimbarasan sensei (my boss) is going to Thailand. Have I ever mentioned that I love my job? I get close to 8 weeks (54 days) of paid vacation per year. I get these next 10 days off and then I work for about 6.5 weeks and I have another 17 days off!! Woohoo! So I will be doing some shopping!!!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kappa themed bentos!

I was looking online (on Yahoo Japan) for more kappa (water imp) goods and came across these fabulous bentos!! What kid (or kid at heart) wouldn't love to open their lunch box and find one of these!! Japanese moms seriously get creative for their kids!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

How cute is this origami?!!

Thursday I ordered from a new site for my etsy and yahoo businesses. They had many cute products but I mostly bought "sabokappa" items from them. "Sabo" is short for "saboten" which means "cactus" and "kappa" means "water imp" so ...this is a water imp pretending to be a cactus!! Anyway, we got our order from them today and inside was this cute little handmade origami of a "sabokappa" with a little jack-o'-lantern. What a cute thank you gift!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Geisha and mini Santa Christmas cards!

I am soooo happy! We have these again this year. I LOVE these Christmas cards! I also love the store that I buy these at! They allowed me to look through their catalogues and pick out the ones I wanted. Then, when we went in today they brought me a box filled with cards and we got to pick out the ones that we liked the best. I am soooo excited by the ones we bought. These 3 are ones we had last year that we were lucky enough to get again this year. We also picked out some more stunning cards that we will be putting up in the next few days. Whoever came up with this idea of combining traditional Japanese scenes with mini Santas is a genuis!!!

A little info about these 3 cards:

The top card is of a traditional street in Kyoto and sadly the picture can't show you how stunning this card sparkles with silver!

The second one is of a pagoda that I've actually visited in Yamaguchi prefecture (though I have never seen Santas).

The third is in a "dohyo" (the circle where sumo matches take place).

Thursday, October 16, 2008

How cute are these little pig cakes?!!

So I was on line shopping for my business and I came across these little guys!! These are famous characters in Japan called "monokuro boo". "Monokuro" means "black and white" and "boo" is short for "buta" which means "pig" so....these are little black and white pig cakes! I just wanted to share these pics as I thought they were sooooo cute!

Note to self...what is up with all the food posts?! ^__^

Monday, October 13, 2008


I LOVE oden but to be honest it took me about 8 years before I realized that. I just didn't get it....boiled brown food. Hmmm.....that couldn't be good in my opinion. I guess I didn't grow up with a lot of boiled brown food! Well, about 2 or 3 years ago I tried it and LOVED it and the great thing (then ,before I went gluten free) was that you can buy it at almost every convenience store (7-11 etc) from October - March. I have eaten a lot of oden but then I went gluten free so I can't just go to 7-11 and grab some so I decided I would have to make it. So, I went to the supermarket and bought the ingredients to make it.

So the first pic shows everything (except the diakon) that we wanted to eat.

The second pic shows little "tofu pockets" as I like to call them but they are called "kinchakumochi" and they are little fried tofu skins filled with mini rice cakes. There are also some filled with cabbage.

The third picture has tofu squares and "ganmo" which are puffy round tofu cakes with veggies. And there are shrimp dumplings.

The fourth pic shows them in the broth cooking.

The last pic shows a few pieces of oden with a blob of "karashi" or very spicy mustard-the mustard really helps it taste amazing.

Again, this is a perfect fall/winter food!!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

It's cool enough for nabe!

I LOVE nabe!! This is a one pot dish and tonight we ate kimcheenabe. We started with kimchee (actually Korean) broth-red and spicy and we added many veggies, mushrooms, beef and mini mochi (the white "blobs" which are mini rice cakes). We put them in the pot and boil and then scoop them out and eat. It is one of the best dishes for cool nights and is soooo healthy and tasty!
I just wanted to share!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Champagne at the salon!

I went to the salon last Saturday with my friends Phee and Susan (hey girls!) and my hair dresser was so sweet and opened a bottle of bubbly since my birthday was on the 8th! So we sat there for hours gabbing (about vibrators among other things), drinking bubbly and eating figs! It was great girl time!

All last week my students brought me gifts....very sweet! I got gift certificates, hannari tofu goods, sweets etc. I am a very lucky person!! I had to work on my bday but after we went to a delicious steak place in town and I had a couple of drinks-it was great!!!

I finally joined twitter (as you can see on the right hand side of my blog...there are updates). I am really hoping to be able to connect my cell phone as I would love to be giving updates on the go when I'm in Tokyo as I imagine I will find a ton of things that are unique.

Speaking of Tokyo, I bought my shinkansen tickets (bullet train). I'm so excited as it is my first time! Some people say "it's too long to get to Tokyo". Yes, it is 5 hours but as I'm used to it taking me 30+ hours to get to my dad's house in Canada, 5 hours is nothing! And when I think about flying-going from my house to the airport...waiting at the airport....flying and then taking a 2 hour ride into Tokyo...ummm...the train can't be that much longer. Besides I LOVE the trains in Japan!!!

Oh and I got the delivery of bread and had my first sandwich! Mmm...bacon and egg sandwiches! I'm so happy. I can't wait to try all the different kinds and then figure out the ones I love best so I can order more! I made gluten free brownies last week and OMG....can't be having those in the house on a regular basis....way too yummy!!

The weather has been crap (humid) but I can feel a crispness to the air tonight...perfect walking weather so hopefully I will start after work on Monday (if not tomorrow night).

Just got a load of hannari tofu things today so I should go re list them!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Delicious and unique Japanese kit kats have been added!

Well, we have started to add yummy food to our store . Watermelon, caramel pudding and grape kit kats are now up. We will be adding more food (and tea etc) soon. Thanks everyone for your ideas on what to add!

Have more to blog about but it's 1 am now and I'm tired so I will blog soon!


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