Hello July

Hey guys. I just wanted to do this short little post to say that I’m going on a little blogging break. I’m just feeling a little worn down, and finding it hard to find any ideas or motivation to blog lately.

I’ll see you guys later. I hope you have a great beginning of July 🙂

Angela.

If We Were Having Coffee (June Edition)

Another month, another coffee catch up! I missed this last month, what with getting back from Japan and all. It just passed me by, but now I’m ready to sit down and catch up on things. So, grab whatever beverage you want, and let’s do this!

If we were having coffee, I would talk about how much I miss our Japan trip. The post holiday blues are on their way out, but every now and then I do wistfully think back on our trip. The warm weather, the new places to explore, and the fact that we didn’t have to worry about chores.

shinjuku garden 06

If we were having coffee, I would talk about how much I’m loving working on all my indoor activities. I recently completed a 1000 piece puzzle and it was so much fun! It only took a few days and I’m keen to redo some of my older puzzles. I’m working on a Harry Potter one at the moment. I’ve also started really getting into cross stitching again. It’s just so calming and I always feel so happy and at peace when I do it. I finished my little hot air balloon one that I bought at the beginning of the year. I found my old bag filled with other kits I haven’t touched yet. It’s pretty much what I do for most of my time at home now.

hot balloon cross stitch

If we were having coffee, I would say that I’m getting into home workouts again, but mostly yoga. Just yoga actually. I’m finding it more enjoyable than any of the previous cardio or strength exercises. I’ll get back into those eventually though. I’m trying out the 30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne, and I’ve been sticking to it really well! I’m halfway through and once I’m done, I think I’ll try some of her other ones she’s done too.

If we were having coffee, I would tell you we’re adopting a cat! We’ve been talking about getting a pet since we bought our place. But first we wanted to settle in, then we went to Japan, so it kept getting pushed back. These past few weeks we’ve been visiting rescue shelters around town, and seeing the animals. We knew we wanted a cat, preferably more of an indoors one as we live near a busy street. We found a gorgeous black cat called Shadow at one of the centres. She’s 2, and they don’t know too much about her since she was just dropped off at the centre. She’s quite shy and keeps to herself (she pretty much stayed hiding in her corner while the other cats zoomed around), but we got along really well when we visited. We just hung out with her in her corner and she was just so sweet! She still needs some vaccinations so she’s staying at the centre for a few more weeks till we can take her home. We plan to visit her every weekend until then.

Now it’s your turn, what’s been going on with you guys this past month?

Angela.

Winter Bucket List

These kinds of posts have been around for a while, and I always enjoy reading them. So I’m finally going to be giving it a go! (By the way, I was looking on Pinterest for some inspiration for this list, but they’re all Christmas related. As someone who has a summer Christmas, this was of no use to me.)

Make some soup

Soup is seriously one of the best things to eat in winter. Warm, hearty soup. Pumpkin is my absolute favourite. I have bought some from the store the other day, but I also like making it myself.

Try lots of bath bombs

I’ve already talked about my fondness for bath bombs and hot baths, so I had to put this in. I haven’t set a specific number because I know I’ll probably go over whichever one I set. I do want to try lots of different ones though.

Finish at least 2 books

I’ve been quite bad with reading lately. I intended to read on holiday, but I was more caught up in exploring, even on the planes and trains. Since it’s colder outside, there’s more incentive to curl up inside with a good book.

Complete a few jigsaw puzzles

Like with reading the books, I enjoy completing puzzles. I can get caught up binge watching tv shows and blogging, so it would be nice to do some activities where I’m not looking a screen.

Complete a cross stitch kit

I’m now just listing my favourite indoor activities, but I haven’t completed a cross stitch in years! Like with jigsaws and reading, I find it relaxing.

Go to the movies

We rarely go to the movies nowadays, but it’s definitely a fun indoor activity to do!

Right, that’s probably enough. I do want to actually try complete this by the end of winter. So in September, I’ll come back to this list and hopefully I will have done them all! Winter seems like a good time to start trying to finish all my crafts and indoor activities I like to spend time on!

What do you guys like to do in winter?

Angela.

TV Shows I’ve Binge Watched

I wanted to share some of the tv shows that I watched this year. If I really get into a show I end up burning through them in a short amount of time. Here are some of the shows I’ve been binge watching. Most of them are on Netflix.

The Handmaid’s Tale

The only non Netflix show on the list. I binge watched the first season in a weekend. I am watching the second season as it releases, but I really wish I could binge watch it. I don’t often watch drama shows, I’m more of a sitcom gal. But I just can’t tear my eyes off this show.

The show is in it’s second season, and there’s currently 18 episodes. Each episode is almost an hour long.

Sense 8

I enjoy a good old sci-fi show. This show starts really slow though and I wasn’t paying too much attention in the beginning. However, it jumps from 0-100 pretty fast and I ended up binge watching the first season in a few days. The fact that they filmed all over the world with all pretty unknown actors (there’s a few faces you’ll recognize though) made this show more awesome to me. If you’re into sci-fi, I recommend giving this show a go.

This show also only has second seasons, but it is completed. There’s 24 episodes, each one ranging from 45 minutes to an hour. The last episode is a whopping two and a half hours though!

The End of the F***ing World

Rory and I watched this in a few days. It was just one plot twist after another and I had no idea where it was going. I haven’t watched something as unpredictable and entertaining as this in a long time. It’s a coming of age/road trip show like no other.

The show only has one season, but I think it may possibly get a second? There’s 8 episodes, with each one clocking in around 20 minutes. Very easy to blast through.

Just Desserts

So there isn’t a trailer for this show so I’ll explain real quick. This is an Australian baking competition. They have to create their own amazing creation based on a theme, then whoever has the lowest scores have to battle it out in a Zumbo test. In this, they have to do their best to recreate one of Zumbo’s desserts, and they’re always insane. I still rewatch this show!

This show only has a season with 12 episodes. Each one is around 50 minutes.

Good Morning Call

This show is amazing! This had been on my radar for a while, and as a fan of shoju manga, this was right up my alley. It’s silly, cute and I always watch this show with the doofiest grin on my face. I binge watched season 2 in less time than I did season 1.

This show has two seasons and I’m really hoping there’s going to be a third. The first season has 17 episodes and the second only has 10. The show is only subbed though. Each episode is an hour long, so there’s a decent bit to catch up on, but it’s so worth it!

Aggretsuko

I knew of Aggretsuko as a Sanrio character, and when I heard about this show I was curious and added it to my list. It wasn’t until last week when we finally put it on that I realized I had been missing out. It’s silly, cute and so much fun!

This show only has one season with 10 episodes. Each episode is only 20 minutes, and its dubbed!

What shows have you watched lately?

Angela.

(Featured Image Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash)

Hello, Winter

Here we are again. As all of you lovely people on the other side of the world start taking advantage of the nicer seasons, I’m stuck in wind and rain. Since getting back from our Japan trip, winter has officially greeted us. Wind, rain, hail has been pretty consistent these past few weeks. Its harder to get up in the morning since it’s freezing. It’s dark as we get up for work, and then it’s still dark when we get home.

I made a post last year about What I Like About Winter and after reading through it, I figured I should bring it back to remind myself that winter isn’t all bad!

Fuzzy Socks and Cute Slippers

unicorn slippers

With the arrival of winter comes all the cute and fuzzy footwear. I had fun picking out some new slippers for myself. I settled on these unicorn ones, because unicorns.

Hot Baths

Don’t get me wrong, I love hot showers too, but I live for baths. I have been trying out new bath bombs practically every week again and I have been loving them!

Sweaters and Layers

I will miss wearing dresses and shorts, and if you know me, you’ll know I love sweaters and cardigans. Knitwear is my favourite kind of clothing, and I keep buying them. Especially as the cooler seasons roll in again.

Hot Drinks

hot chocolate

Okay so I still prefer iced drinks most of the time, but I do love a good hot chocolate. I need to get some mini marshmallows.

Scented Candles

scented candles

Okay, so these can be used anytime, but lately I’ve been enjoying them quite a lot. I’ve been buying a few, like coconut and sandalwood. I’m keen to try find some more ‘wintry’ ones, cause I like having the house smell nice.

What’s something you’re enjoying about whichever season you’re in?

Angela.

Gifts Less Ordinary Review

Hello guys, before I get into this post, I will say that this is a sponsored post. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by Gifts Less Ordinary to do a review of their site, and talk about their occasion gifts. Specifically, Father’s Day as it’s coming up soon. (Not in New Zealand though, we have it in September funnily enough).  In return, they would compensate me for my time.

I’ll be real, I doubted that this was a real offer. But the site is real, and their products are pretty cute. So I wanted to share my thoughts on their site with you guys.

When I first looked at their site, everything seemed out of my budget. But as always, I like to look through everything, and I found heaps of cute things that are reasonably priced. They personalize a lot of their items, so you can get quite a lot of options. Here’s some of the ones that jumped out at me.

Coasters

1, 2

These coasters are kind of calling out to me, not gonna lie.

Chopping Boards

1, 2

Okay, so now I started looking at gifts more for me. That happens more often when I’m online shopping. The definition of hangry is accurate, and as an avid baker, I’m definitely eyeing up this board.

Accesories

1, 2, 3

So by this point, I was just actually looking at random stuff that I like. The compact mirror comes with lots of different backs, as well as other shapes. I saw a hexagon one which was neat. The pinwheel necklaces just seems so sweet. Also, I don’t own much bags, so it’s always on the back of my mind to get more.

This is just a snippet of what they have available on their site. They also offer free shipping (but only to Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the U.S) which is always a bonus. So by all means, check out the site if you want! I’ve been spending some time on it since I found it existed. It’s crazy how much is available online and that we’re only aware of such a small portion.

What new site have you discovered recently?

Angela.

What’s Up Wednesday #8

I haven’t typed those words in almost 6 months! I thought it would be nice to do this post as a little catch up post since I’ve been back from holiday! As always, this post was started by  Shay over at Mix’n’Match Mama.

Image result for what's up wednesday

What We’re Eating This Week

Lots of food. Especially as we’re heading into winter, we’re having more comfort foods. Roasts, soups, etc.

What I’m Reminiscing About

Obviously, our very recent Japan trip!

What I’m Loving

Getting back into blogging! I loved writing our Japan recaps, and coming up with ideas for posts this month!

What We’ve Been Up To

Since our bathroom has been remodeled, we’ve been thinking of other projects we’d like to do around the house. Nothing as big as remodelling a whole room, but little DIY ideas here and there.

flowers

What I’m Dreading

The sicknesses that come with the colder seasons. Since working with kids, every year I get hit with a variety of bugs and colds no matter how much I try keep myself healthy. One of the downfalls of working with very young children who will sometimes cough in your face.

What I’m Working On

A few projects I have in mind at the moment. Some Pinterest DIY’s that have caught my eye, and getting mementos together from our Japan trip. Trying to read more books to catch up on my Reading Challenge. Just keeping on top of my many hobbies really.

Doodles

What I’m Excited About

There is a few things we’re working on, but we’re keeping it hush at the moment as we work things out.

What I’m Watching/Reading

I’ve been catching up on The Handmaid’s Tale Season 2

I’m currently reading Still Me by Jojo Moyes.

What I’m Listening To

Again, mostly pop, it’s fun to sing and dance to.

What I’m Wearing

Many, many layers.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

We’re going back to visit the Cat Cafe! It’s also my brother’s birthday soon, so we’ll be having dinner with my family.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month

Honestly, there’s not too much going on in the next month. Just work and saving up.

What Else is New

Not too much else.

What’s been going on with you guys lately?

Angela.

Japan Wrap Up

I’ve been spending the last two weeks talking about our Japan trip and I’ve been loving writing these posts! It’s been such a nice way of reliving our recent trip. To end all of this, I wanted to share some food photos we took and just share some general thoughts.

food 01
Noodles and tempura – our first lunch in Tokyo

Arriving late afternoon at Narita airport in Tokyo was pretty overwhelming. We had just finished a 10 hour flight so we were already feeling weird, and now we were miles away from home in a different culture where everyone spoke a different language. I’m really glad that my friend Chris met us at the airport. She got us onto the subway and to our hotel that first night. If she wasn’t there, Rory and I both agree that we weren’t really sure how we would have gotten to our hotel at all.

food 02
Milk pudding from 7/11, I loved it so much!

Something that I still can’t get over is the sheer amount of people around when we were just wandering around, especially in Tokyo. 13 million people in that one city. In Wellington, we only have around 200,000 people. In New Zealand, all together it’s 5 million, we’re pretty small. So being surrounded by so many people was overwhelming.

food 03
Sea Urchin (did not taste good) and Salmon Eggs Sushi (fishy but good!)

It never felt crazy though. Everything is pretty structured and ordered. At the stations, there is marks on the ground to tell you where to stand as you wait to get on the train, as well as markings for people getting off the train. Everyone waits for everyone to get off, before getting on. The only time it felt a bit much was when we travelled in rush hour. People would pack themselves into trains as tight as possible. We got smooshed in once and didn’t really care for it. So after that, we decided to just wait for the next train. Which came in 2 minutes and was much emptier. I do love their public transportation system, it’s so organized and so many trains come every few minutes!

food 04
Typical Fast Food – rice with chicken, green onions and egg – so good!

Another thing that I get asked about is the language barrier. Rory and I don’t speak Japanese. We did learn a little before we went, but once you’re over there, you realize that you know nothing. The thing that worked in our favour is that Japan is quite tourist friendly for English visitors. In all the major cities, like Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka (which we visited), the signs will have both Japanese and English on them. On the trains, the automated voice would say something in Japanese, and then in English. Also, just the amount of signs in general was so helpful. Sometimes we would have to change trains, and that meant leaving the station and going to another one. This was made fairly easy by the sheer amount of signs pointing us in the right direction!

food 05
Ice cream from a vending machine

In the hotels, workers typically could speak in both English and Japanese. Some people we spoke to on the street or in shops could also speak a decent bit of English. I’ve since learnt that they learn English in grade and high school. So the base knowledge of the language is pretty well known. This came in handy when we wanted to ask for help. There was a few occasions though (like in a cafe) where no one could understand each other but we got by just using gestures. So all in all, the language barrier didn’t really stop us from much.

food 06
So much food for our lunch on the Mt Fuji and Hakone Tour

We did use some Japanese though, as we wanted to make an effort. Here are some of the phrases that came in handy. “Ohaio” (which means good morning), “Konichiwa” (hello), “Arigato” (thank you), “Arigato gozaimas” (Thank you very much), “Sumimasen” (Sorry/Excuse me), “Wakarimasen” (I don’t understand), “Hai” (yes), “Ie” (no). Finally when you wanted to turn a word into a question, you would add “Des ka” to the end. So if we were wanting to make sure that the train went to Shibuya, we’d ask someone “Sumimasen. Shibuya des ka?” while pointing to the train. The person would normally say yes or no, and that helped a lot.

food 07
Banana, caramel, and vanilla ice cream in a crepe

Another interesting thing about our time in Japan is that everyone uses cash. No one really used cards except for the hotels we stayed at. It’s expected that you have bills and coins on you. Chris told us about that and I’m glad she did, because she was right. From shops, to food, everyone just dealt with cash. The money itself was confusing for us. There’s so many coins! The smallest bill is 1000, and that’s easy enough since the number is on it. The coins break down in to 500 yen (silver coin with 500 on it), 100 yen (silver coin with 100 on it), 50 yen (bronze coin with a hole in the middle with 50 on it), 10 yen (silver coin with 10 on it), 5 yen (bronze coin with a hole in the middle), and 1 yen (silver coin with 1 on it). The 1 yen coins tend to build up over a while, same with 5 and 10, so I kept trying to get rid of them but then they’d come back. We were also quite slow at differentiating the coins from each other, that sometimes I just gave a handful to the person and they were way faster at pulling out the correct amount.

 

food 08
One of the limited edition coke bottles in Tokyo

So yeah, it wasn’t really that much of a culture shock or anything in Japan. We were definitely a bit lost the first 48 hours there, but we were lucky to have a friend there who eased us into it. By the time we were left on our own for the final week of our trip, we managed really well. Again though, Tokyo is very friendly to tourists. If you’re holding off on visiting Japan because of the language barrier, don’t. You’ll be fine. Do make a little effort to learn some of those key Japanese phrases though, it makes things a bit easier. Plus, they did seem to appreciate our attempts at Japanese. Although our accents were so bad, most people would smile and respond to us in English cause we’re obviously tourists!

We only saw a tiny bit of Japan and if I’m being honest, I’m dying to go back and see some more of it! It’s definitely a bucket-list worthy place to visit!

Angela.

We’re Off to Japan!

We’re finally off! Well, not till tomorrow actually. We’re flying to Auckland tomorrow night, then the following morning, we’re getting on an 11 and a half hour flight to Tokyo! Any tips on what to do on a long flight, I feel like I’m going to get bored. Beyond that though, I’m so very excited! I have been talking about this to anyone who will listen for the past few months. We’re off to Japan!!

My second announcement is that I won’t be blogging for the next two weeks. Normally if I go on a trip, I would pre-plan posts, but this time I want to take a break. I want to fully focus on this trip, so I won’t be online much. Once I’m back though, you can expect a never-ending onslaught of Japan posts. Meanwhile, I will probably still be on Instagram quite a bit, as I will be sharing photos as I go along. I’ll try my best not to spam though!

See you all in 2 weeks!

Angela.