Currently: Jan 2017

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What I’m doing: Prepping For Chinese New Year

I’m officially on holiday today! Hooray! Tonight my fiance and I will be heading back to his hometown for the Chinese New Year holiday. I’ve only met his mom, dad, and one cousin, so I can’t wait to meet the entire clan. I’ll be one of only a handful of foreigners in this small town so I’m excited to once again be representing Mexican Americans and sharing my culture.

What I’m buying: Chinese New Year Gifts

We’ve packed the car with fruit, wine, and gifts for the family. We’ve even got the traditional Chinese red envelopes with money for the little ones. I’m not even sure there’s room for our suitcases anymore…

What I’m watching: Terrace House

I started watching Terrace House when I just moved to Japan to help practice my Japanese. I LOVE this show and I’m so happy Netflix just released a new season in Hawaii. This is what reality TV should be and I’m glad it’s gaining popularity in the U.S. I found a great article explaining it’s charm and why American TV should be taking notes. 

What I’m eating:  Pineapple Buns

Pineapple buns are a delicious dessert I tried in Hong Kong . It doesn’t actually have pineapple in it; it’s called pineapple bread because of the crunchy outer shell that resembles a pineapple. It’s made of a sweet bread and often eaten during afternoon tea. It’s very sweet and comes with a giant slice of butter in the center. Pair this with a cup of Hong Kong style milk tea and WOW. Heaven. I like that they look like conchas but the taste is completely different. I associate conchas with my grandparents and coffee. Maybe this is my version.

 

Everything has been leading up to Chinese New Year and now it’s finally here! In addition to family time, we’ll be heading to Yellow Mountain to go hiking. It’s been a while since I’ve seen snow so fingers crossed we’ll get a beautiful white scenery.

Hope everyone has a lovely Chinese New Year!

K♥

 

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Not-So-Guilty Pleasures

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What I’m doing: Job Hunting

Our contract will be over in mid-March which means it’s back to the job hunt! I’m hoping to move to the Yokohama/Tokyo area. There are many English teacher postings on Gaijin Pot but I’m also interested in knowing if I can work in a creative field, like I did in LA, with my basic Japanese language skills. If anyone has any job site recommendations, I’d love to hear them. 

What I’m buying: Hand Warmers 

My Chicago days are long behind me so I forgot how brutal winters can be. Living in LA has weakened my tolerance for the cold. To keep warm in school, I’ve been buying hand warmers or Kairo (カイロ) . Toss two of these in the pockets of your sweater and your day will be infinitely better. The disposable versions typically last 8-10 hours and can be found in your local konbini. 

What I’m watching: The Walking Dead

I’m always late to the party when it comes to hit television shows and TWD is no exception. I’ve been curling up with a nice hot cup of tea and my daily dose of zombies to cure my winter blues. (Team Maggie + Glenn!) Nearly through Season 4 so no spoilers please! 

What I’m eating: Kibidango

The most famous character of Okayama is Momotaro. We’ve been reading this story in English at school and the constant talk of kibidango has made my craving strong. Kibidango are small delicious balls of mochi (basically rice flour and tons of butter and sugar) and I’ve eaten nearly two of these boxes. They also make a peach flavor and a version that’s covered in a peanut powder. I highly recommend picking up a box. 

 

This weekend we’re heading to the Kirin Beer Factory for a tour. Hope to come back with some fun pictures :) Have a nice weekend everyone!

K♥

Not-So-Guilty Pleasures

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What I’m reading: The Martian by Andy Weir 

A sci-fi drama with a sense of humor. This was recommended to me by Debbie (miss you) and I can’t wait for the movie coming out soon. You can watch the trailer here

What I’m buying: Camera Equipment 

I’ve always wanted to get myself a decent camera and when I realized I might spend this entire year in Japan with only iPhone photos, I knew it was time to make the jump. Lucky for me Japan is full of camera equipment at a lower cost than the U.S. Double lucky for me the U.S. dollar is doing very well compared to the yen. And triple lucky for me it’s almost my birthday. I am now the proud owner of a beautiful Nikon D5500. Thanks mom & dad for the early birthday gift. 

What I’m watching: Attack on Titan 

I really miss movies. So much so that I was willing to go watch one in Japanese. I picked one that looked VFX heavy since I figured I could understand at least 40% of it without knowing the dialogue (explosion = monster go boom. got it.) I later found out the movie is actually based on a popular manga & anime so in preparation for my movie trip, I gave it a watch and became addicted. You can check out the film trailer here

What I’m eating: Mango Popsicles from 7-11

Until recently, I couldn’t leave my house without carrying a sweat towel. (That’s not a joke. It was so hot.) To keep cool I’ve been snacking on these delicious popsicles from 7-11. Fruit is not as abundant in Japan as it is in California so every fruit flavored treat feels like a luxury. 

Now that the typhoon has passed, the humidity is finally going away. There’s a cool breeze in the air which means fall is right around the corner. I cannot wait! Scarves & beanies & changing leaves. I love fall. 

 

K♥

Coming Back

Hello blog. Sorry I’ve been gone so long. The last month brought a lot of changes. From finding out my trip to Japan with my best friend is now going to be my first solo expedition abroad, to having work go on a 2 week project hiatus, to losing my grandpa and coming back to Texas, it’s been a little bumpy lately. My motivation to blog was one of the first things to go which is a shame because there’s something really relaxing about sending your thoughts out into the world.

I’m nearing the end of my 3rd week sans-work and I’m already getting cabin fever. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending time with my family but I also need to be working on something to feel complete. Plus I am in desperate need of a distraction from the ridiculous number of mosquito bites I’ve gotten since coming to Texas. Everything is bigger in Texas. Including the mosquitos.

So to get things rolling, here are some things that have kept me smiling throughout this roller coaster month.

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What I’m reading: Hector and the Search for Happiness

I’ll admit it…the only reason I picked up this book is because I saw the movie trailer first (I love Simon Pegg). This is a great little book about a psychiatrist who, to better help his patients, goes on a journey to find out what makes people happy. As he travels along, he writes down his discoveries in a list of lessons. Such as…

1: Making comparisons can spoil your happiness

2: Happiness often comes when least expected

It’s a great airplane read & has sparked me to starting writing my own “lessons on happiness”.

 What I’m buying: Shoes

My birthday is around the corner and one of my goals for 27 is to look more put together. I am not a fashionista by any means. If you want advice on clothes I can give you a list of other blogs you should check out. I am never going to be at their level but that’s ok! They’ve inspired me to revamp my look because it’s true, I feel more confident throughout the day when I know I look great. Besides, 27 is far enough into adulthood that I should probably get rid of my sneakers with the holes in them.

What I’m watching: Trot Lovers

I just finished watching another rom-com k-drama. This time we’ve got a story about a girl who wants to become a successful trot singer, an old-fashioned Korean music genre. It’s got all my favorite cheesy korean rom-com plot elements: the awkward ‘girl falls down and is caught by boy’ moment, the love triangle, the ‘let me save you from that falling object’ moment, the awkward hand touch… I love it all.

What I’m eating: Queso

Where do I possible begin to describe queso? It’s life changing. It’s delicious. It’s a reason to live in Texas. Since I’ve been back, I’ve been  making my rounds to different local eats to try their queso and make myself an unofficial connoisseur. More on this later.

Man…I love eating. It’s one of my top #3 favorite parts about traveling. Hope everyone is having a nice weekend!

KLA

(& TX)

Not-So-Guilty Pleasures

What I’m reading: Nakama I

I’ve recently whipped out my Japanese book from my freshman year of college to start studying Nihongo again. I’m so excited for my trip this fall that it has motivated me to study.日本に行きましょう!

 What I’m buying: Target Bins

I don’t know about you guys but waking up to a clean & organized room makes me feel like I’m doing a good job at adulthood. I got these cute bins at Target to sort all my purses/scarves/hats/etc in my closet.

What I’m watching: The Leftovers

There has been a hole in my heart since Game of Thrones ended this season. The Leftovers kind of feels like my rebound. I know it’s not going anywhere but it fills my Sunday night. I give it another episode or two and then I’ll find something I can really connect to.

What I’m eating: Trader Joe’s Cheddar Rocket Crackers

The Trader Joe’s version of Cheez-its are dangerously addictive. I think I’ve eaten the whole box we have at work. Sorry coworkers.

 

 

This weekend I’ll be heading to the Renegade Craft Fair at Grand Park downtown with my BFF Kay. If you guys like indie crafts & cute animals, swing on by.

 

 

K♥LA

Not-So-Guilty Pleasures

I fully believe that it’s the simple things that make for a truly rich life. Those small things that keep your soul smiling. Here are my not-so-guilty pleasures of the week.

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What I’m reading: Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Magic, whimsy, and romance set in a small southern town. A great light-hearted read for the summer.

What I’m buying: 12-pack case of Guayaki Yerba Mate

I’m not much of a coffee drinker so an alternative (and delicious) source of caffeine is always welcomed. Plus you can order a case of it online & it ships for free! (Takes roughly 2 business days to get to LA) Doesn’t hurt that Guayaki is doing their part to save the world.

What I’m watching: El Tiempo Entre Costuras (The Time In Between)

My Spanish tutor is always telling me to watch more shows in Spanish as a part of my studies. I haven’t been able to find anything that hooks me, but I think this may be the one. El Tiempo is a period piece set during the Spanish Civil War and stars the lovely Adriana Ugarte. I’m 2 episodes in and I can’t wait to see what’s next. You can watch the entire season on DramaFever. Check out the trailer here.

What I’m eating: Chocolate. All the chocolate. 

No explanation needed.

 

K♥LA