Monday, May 30, 2011

Just a snippet...

I wanted to share a few pictures of our trip so far. We have eaten live squid, taken a boat ride down the Yanagawa River, ate at the most famous eel restaurant in Japan, and experienced a monsoon. I haven't even had the chance to be hungry and I am in awe at how much food Fumi's parents eat, and keep in mind together they probably weigh less than 240 lbs. Everything is miniature here, including the people. I will give a more in depth account when I get back, we have so much to see!

 View from first class... :D

Fumi's mom wearing the apron my mom made for her. She is seriously the cutest thing.

Fumi's mom made this for us the night that we arrived. Raw Bonito fish and pan-fried tofu.

At a beautiful Red Maple shrine right up the street from Fumi's parents house. Ya I don't know what a Red Maple shrine is but we washed our hands in a fountain and said a little prayer, bowed, and then listened to a priest chant. It was magical :)

Fumi and his mom, Toshiko, with their umbrellas. We experienced a monsoon while we were here. It rained all day for two days straight.

A local flower shop.

The best eel in Japan.

Riding the river. The man who drove our boat has been doing that same job for over thirty years. He said that he knows exactly where his stick hits in the bottom of the river every time he pushes the boat along.

Fumi's mom is an amazing cook, I'm trying to learn her ways while I'm here.

This is us at the squid restaurant. I'll post a video later of me eating the squid that was still moving while it was in my chopstick. Ya I'm brave. They actually catch the squid in that pier right behind us.

Pineapple :)

Squid's eye.

A Japanese delicacy, kind of like an oyster. In Tokyo these are $7 a piece, but we got four for a dollar :)

Another beautiful dinner made by Toshiko.

Just a little bit of what we have been up too.

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Shoes, Planning, & Packing

I have had an epiphany. 

I should wear comfortable shoes. 

People have been trying to sway me for years, but I guess it's one of those things I had to learn on my own.

We leave for Japan on Thursday(ah!) and I wanted to get some really comfy shoes to walk in and wear while I'm there.

So I found these:

They are Born brand, which I was hesitant on because I always thought only nurses and grandma's wore Born. Boy was I wrong. I don't know if I can ever go back to my little cheap-o flats from Target(no offense Target I will always be faithful to you, just maybe not for shoes anymore. Sorry.).
They are extremely comfortable, even though they are pretty tall. 

I did a little research yesterday on the happenings in Fukuoka, Japan while we are there.

On my birthday we are planning on going to the Edo Iris Ritual. The end of May is the best time to appreciate the shrine’s 100 different varieties of iris. A white-robed Shinto priest makes an offering of cut irises, and shrine maidens perform a beautiful dance. The best part is that it's free!

We are going to watch fireflies at the Firefly festival at the base of Mt. Mino.

Hopefully we will make it to the Waterfall Opening Festival. This festival features drum performances, lots of yummy food, and fishing. It all takes place among beautiful scenery that includes 300-year-old trees.

 The next few days are going to be crazy before we leave. Lots of work, cleaning, and packing.
I found an amazing packing list here
 if any of you are jet-setting this summer.

Have a beautiful Monday!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Uneven, patchy, ugliness.

So after all of the prep work of stripping, chipping, and sanding these doors (which has taken way longer than anticipated, but doesn't it always?) it was finally staining time, and the moment of truth. 

I had my lovely mom to assist me.

And no she is not pregnant, we wanted our staining rags handy so we would be ready to wipe that stain off at the drop of a hat. So we stuck them under our shirts :)

After MUCH deliberation (I seriously stressed about this) I chose English Chestnut to stain the doors with. I had actually originally wanted to whitewash them just to keep the house nice and bright. But after testing that I hated it. So I decided that a wood door with white trim will be woody, earthy, and clean, which is kind of the theme of my life. I actually considered calling my blog; woody, earthy, and clean. Bad idea? Ya everyone I asked thought so. 

Stain on!! And it looks gorgeous!! I was ecstatic! I was going to have one of those blogs that make everything look super easy to do, and everything they do, turn out super cute! My life is complete!


Wipe the stain off and this is what I saw. Uneven, patchy, ugliness. Nothing like the beautiful woody, earthy, clean vision I had. Dang. Oh and please forgive the cluttery carport, that's a whole other project in itself. So my journey in the DIY world is going to be a long road. But I am not giving up. I am taking all and every suggestion on what to do with these doors.

Instead of leaving you with this pitiful excuse for a picture I will leave you with yet another picture of my dog. Mocha, take it away.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Curb Appeal Baby Steps


Our "curb appeal" it seriously lacking... I hope I'm not wrong in saying that those slanted black and white house numbers are officially ugly. Our mailbox was needing a little face lift as well. Oh and the elephant in the room, that screen door. Unfortunately that is still there... But I have big plans you just wait and see :)

 So to start we went to the good ol' Home Depot and found some really cool house numbers.
 They came with these convenient little guides which I didn't discover until I traced the actual house number on paper, cut it out, and hung it up. I swear I make things way more difficult than they have to be. I am definitely my mothers daughter.

Excuse the duct tape :)

So much concentration on that face.

Not to shabby!

Here is the after! So much better. I am so happy with it, I will be posting a tutorial soon on how we made over our mailbox for under $20. Has anyone else looked for a cute home attached mailbox? There really isn't a huge selection out there. We still need to stain the mailbox. ( I have a small case of indecisiveness) But baby steps! I also want to get a bigger outdoor light and a new welcome mat. Someday. 

                   ~~~ Before


P.S. My alliums are blooming. These are officially my favorite flower. I recently got an aloe vera plant. Which is officially my favorite indoor plant. Extra bonus: I got them together in one picture. Snap.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Door Re-do Part 1

We have been pretty busy as of lately. With all of this wonderful sunshine we have been having Fumi and I have been working on finishing some unfinished projects. We are replacing our existing interior doors with vintage doors I found on ksl a few months back. 
Here is what they looked like when I bought them:

They are actually in pretty good condition but they have multiple layers of paint and I want to strip it all down and stain the original wood. I found a great tutorial on how to do it here. I don't know if any of you have ever stripped old paint before but it is quite the project and very messy.

 After we stripped all the paint off, we started sanding them down 
(we as in, Fumi: 90% Me: 10%. Fumi and the sander bonded, and I couldn't figure the darn thing out.)

Fumi used his sweet little tool to sand all the decorative edges.

Here is my 10% contribution:

After many hours of physical labor, here is the door all sanded down, well one side at least.

So I haven't quite decided which stain to use on them yet. 
But I do have some ideas...

I love the airy feel of these whitewashed doors.

This stain is pretty...

And I love the color of this coffee table mostly because it was stained with a homemade stain. Using only a glass jar, distilled white vinegar and a steel scrubber... The tutorial is here.

Oh and hardware! How could I forget! I want to keep the old charm and incorporate these little beauties into our design...

Hopefully it won't be too much longer until my doors are complete!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Green Drink

I am a vegetable lover. By the time that spring rolls around in Utah I am more than ready to incorporate lots of fresh, in-season, veggies into my diet. I found a great recipe for a green drink here. I kind of tweaked it a little, one because Fumi has a severe pineapple allergy (he says it makes his mouth itch), and two, Kale wasn't looking so fresh.. Here is the recipe:

-Coconut Water
-Two Small Bananas
-Green Apple
-Flax Seed
-Two Handfuls of Spinach
-Fresh Lemon Juice
-Pinch of Salt

Blend until it all up and you have a super healthy breakfast!
Happy Monday!