21 April, 2013

a week of busy

This week has been a flurry of activity, finally started back teaching at elementary school again and gosh it was good to actually do something at school then sit there and try not look bored out of my mind which I was the last few weeks. Although I don't generally like teaching elementary school kids, I have to admit it was nice to be back in the classroom. 

Week highlights and happiness...

- having a kamehameha photo shoot at touch practice 
- cooking pretty amazing (if I do say so myself!) dinners
- getting all my errands done in one afternoon (FINALLY sending LL's birthday/valentines present!)
- buying more plants - purple basil, lemon balm, mint and strawberries, and they make my house smell so good.
- using my parents arriving in one week as motivation to start sorting out everything I have accumulated over the past four years and cutting ties with clothing I don't need - two MASSIVE bags are filled beyond closing, one for the rubbish dump and one for the second hand shop...don't even get me started on the shoes.
- using said motivation to clean the house like a maniac - starting before 9am on a Sunday morning!!
- going to the newly opened Costco in Hiroshima and buying massive bags of frozen fruit, fresh fruit, bagels, liters of cranberry juice, salad greens, eating the most delish churros I have ever had (maybe it was so amazing because I haven't had one in a big long while?) and then realising in the car on the way home that I might not be able to fit everything into my freezer (after some jiggling and rearranging and putting everything into smaller bags, it all fit)!
- having yummo Chinese dinner with some teacher friends who gave me low down of all the goings on in our school office, and one of them gave me gifts from Korea, all cosmetic related - clearly she knows me too well! There was even a sneaky skin food nail polish in there in the most perfect pink (currently doing my nails with it!)
- dinner with friends, homemade pizza (AMAZING), tiramisu and Mario Kart.. I suck really bad at Mario Kart. 
- buying fresh flowers for my house.
- finally getting my eyebrows coloured (it had been a while) and my hair trimmed.
- going to physio for the first time in a month, and although it hurt like a bitch it was really good to get all the kinks out and work on the lingering problems.
- going for a run and accidentally stumbling upon two of my ex-students canoodling along a dark not so busy road (I run along there just for that, so my students rarely see me - I run at night) it was major awkies they were just as shocked and surprised as I was - I waved and sprinted past, up hill I might add and then to save any further awkwardness. I didn't want to come back the same way like I usually do so I had to find a new route, which was surprisingly really easy and it was a nicer and more interesting way to return. Sunday night running success!
- making strawberry and peach crumble with the frozen fruit I got from Costco. Delish!

The feeling of accomplishment and relief after getting all this done was great too! I'm super happy and content in bed as I type - this week was pretty daymn good! Here's to another good week to come - and the preparation for my parents arrival in 5-6 days!

hearts and awkward hugs

17 April, 2013

No moving mountains..but climbing them

Weekend recap

Keeping with my fitness challenge (as well as my resolution to "try new things or retry things you don't like because you actually are an adult whether you like it or not") I climbed a mountain on Saturday – it wasn't as hard as I thought it might be, although still challenging. The view from the top was STUNNING. I felt so calm and at peace there. Now I know why my friend regularly climbs (or sometimes drives) to the top - just to sit and be. It was truly beautiful. I’m so happy I decided to challenge myself this year, to do things I don’t like or didn't think I could. Without sounding too cheesy and cliche, hard work does pay off whether it climbing a mountain to be rewarded with an amazing view or studying like a maniac to get a good result on a test. Sushi was also a great choice of dinner on Saturday - even if we did have to wait for 30 minutes to get a seat. Mr Smiles was working. I tried to take a sneaky pic of him and his amazing smiles but didn't manage one - maybe next time. Mr. Smiles probably has the best smiles ever. He can't stop smiling and his smiles are the big broad kind that are always attached to his face. He's never without a smile. I just love him, just looking at him makes me smile and I leave feeling so happy and positive. I suppose what they say is true - smiles are contagious. 

Sunday was spent watching Downton Abbey, cleaning my ridiculously impossible to clean Japanese bathroom, doing laundry and keeping an eye on the weather app on my phone and constantly looking outside checking for rain – it finally arrived in the afternoon followed by an almighty thunder and lightening storm, procrastinating cleaning more of the house, playing on pintrest, making a smoothie that I am absolutely addicted to, doing my hair and painting my nails ready for the school week,soaking my muscles from yesterdays mountain climb and procrastinating doing the 30 day squat challenge – 110 of the suckers (yes I did them!) I will make this squat challenge my bitch.

Hearts and squats
Fitness Barbie

13 April, 2013

Nails of the weeks..

Lots of free time and no school for a week had me with pretty nails. They're now gold sparkly & red, but I forgot to take a pic before they started chipping.

Pondering my next mani...

dem blurred lines...

Happiness this week is found in the form of coffee, the new season of Mad Men returning, cooking delicious meals at home (Mexican chicken wraps), getting things together - organising, making lists and planning, a clean house, morning messages from TM, new 50 yen bath salts from Muji (aloe,ocean and mandarin flavors), doing my nails while re-watching Game of Thrones from the beginning, deciding to make my own cook book, going on adventures to find graffiti, doing crafty things around the house, basketball Fridays starting back up, cherry and oolong tea from Muji, starting the 30 day squat challenge with TM (although he keeps forgetting!), doing hula workouts from you tube and Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke, Pharell and T.I. It’s the best song out – and the video is pretty awesome!

10 April, 2013


Spring is finally here..and the down jacket has been left at home (actually in the car just in case) and the hot water bottle retired for the year.

I love spring in Japan, the weather, the colours, the flowers, the atmosphere...but there's something about "hanami" that irritates me. I feel the beauty if the Sakura is marred by the sea of blue tarps that appear for the brief time the blossoms are out. I don't want to sound like the hanami grinch - I just think it's all so prescribed and fake.

I did "hanami" this year, but I chose to enjoy the Sakura in my own way & not with a thousand other drunk people.

I ran down Sakura lined roads along the river and watched an obaasan & her grandkids picnicking under the blossoms.

I climbed a mountain on a remote island enjoying the early blooms and taking a small branch home with me as a souvenir.

I enjoyed Sakura on a mountain overlooking the sea in a small fishing town on the coast - no blue trap but lots of colorful rugs and picnic blankets.

And I enjoyed a evening hanami date with Miss Lovely F in the city at a Japanese garden - no blue tarp just a few people with cameras. This was probably the most beautiful place I have been to see sakura & I was surprised but delighted that there weren't so many people there.

Maybe it's the blue tarps that irritate me?!

Spring is beautiful & once I look past the sea of blue tarps & the prescribed nature of it all I can appreciate it. It's about finding your own way to be grateful & appreciate.

The Hanami Grinch!

07 April, 2013

Round up

In a walnut shell or maybe in a peanut shell…

Said my final goodbyes to my favourite students and gave them their presents – blinging earrings and mixed tape Cd's. It was emotional and happy and sad and everything in between. They cried, I cried when I saw them all crying as they walked out the gym after the ceremony and everyone else in the gym probably cried – well maybe not everyone.

Forced myself to go to the teachers’ party the night after graduation, surprisingly I enjoyed it. It was very “Japanese” and it’s always interesting if not a little strange to see how they interact in these structured and formalised social situations.

Started the 30 (actually 35) days of fitness challenge. Decided that I really need to get more active (although I think I’m pretty active anyway) and change the way I eat – cue more homemade healthy dinners (not too much of a stretch as I cook most nights anyway) and stop snacking. I think snacking will be my biggest problem. And ice cream. Gosh the ice cream. So a group of us will meet once a week and workout – we are doing boxing and kickboxing training and then a quick circuit after that. Some of us are also not eating any fried foods, no fizzy and I’ve said no to ice cream. I’ll be using all the will power I possess.

Walked out of school on Monday before lunch with a migraine and throwey uppey stomach. Went home, showered, hopped into bed and fell asleep dribbling while watching Harry Potter. Woke up feeling much better, and even managed to clean the house a little. Sometimes you just need to chill out, take a break and have a sleep. After an emotional and busy-ish weekend I just needed some “me” time.

Counting calories is time consuming.

Japanese marshmallows are more delicious then NZ ones.

Thankful that Winter is pretty much wearing itself out and the days are getting warmer and the sun is staying in the sky for longer. Spring, my dry skin and lips thank you. My house is not so cold anymore, the frost on my windscreen is pretty much gone and I don’t have to wear a down jacket every day. I’m excited for cherry blossoms, wearing short shorts, having the windows and doors open all the time and going off exploring in the balmy air. 

hugs and hearts and blossoms galore