Man Hole Covers

Seriously. They are. In Japan, each district has it's own man hole cover. In addition to that, there are a lot of neat decorations on the sidewalks. I took lots of pictures of these that I'd like to share- BECAUSE THEY'RE SO COOL!



The first man hole cover we saw, just outside our hotel

This one was in Shinsaibashi-suji. It was pretty tricky taking this picture since that area is always crazy busy with foot traffic.

In Kyoto with Sam. I don't know what this was, but it was neat looking.

Kyoto again with Sam.

So! While we were in Kobe with Hiro, we found this off a main sidewalk~ it's a hot spring for soaking feet! HOW COOL!

In Kobe with Hiro.

With Hiro on the way to a bar named "Cheers" who is owned by this awesome Austrailian guy, where we watched this amazing Jazz band, and Hiro's girlfriend was our hostess. This was one of the best nights we had in Japan. We ended up loosing track of time and the three of us ran from Cheers to the subway station to make the LAST TRAIN of the night. We were totally inebriated and laughed the entire way to the subway. It's something you see in Japanese shows and movies but don't ever expect yourself to do. It was magical. *^_^*

These pictures make me really happy and nostalgic. It's a little thing, taking pictures of our feet on pieces of metal, but to me it's so much more! The sites, sounds, smells, and experiences that went along with it are big memories to me. *^_^*

Coffee Quest Osaka Edition

Anyone who knows me (or at least follows me in Instagram) knows of my love for fruffy coffees. It's just so yummy and pretty looking. It's also fun! So I decided to take the opportunity while on vacation to try as many coffees as possible.

As it stands right now, I have no idea how many different coffees I tried and am excited to see the number when I'm done writing this post. :3



Almond Caramel Latte from Excelsior (maybe? I forget).


Iced coffee at Doutor.


Iced Coffee with Caramel at KoHiKan.


Iced Chocolate Coffeee at MaiDreamin.


Maple Iced Latte from Anne Colors Coffee. This was one of my favorites of the trip.


Caramel Cream Milk Coffee at Precious Moment Cafe. It was dreamy and awesome as you are imagining.


Our first of many "conbini" (convenience store) meals. Convenience stores in Japan are infinitely more awesome than in America. They're legit places to buy food, groceries, games, toys. This was from Family Mart (which is our fave conbini). These little coffees remind me of juice boxes because they're solid containers with a little straw you poke through the top. This was a Starbucks "Seattle Latte".


Starbucks "Candied Orange Latte". Its was ok. There was crushed orange candy on top, and I'm not a big fan of candy. The orange latte part was super sweet. I definitely got a sugar rush from this one.


Iced Coffee from a curry restaurant. Basic but good.


This "Beauty Latte" from Pronto was the most mind blowing thing ever. I'm pretty sure it was made with 100% fat butter milk. It was good but I couldn't drink half of my medium size coffee because of the crazy thick milk. Not quite sure where the beauty part of the latte comes because you definitely aren't doing your figure any favors by having many of these... I must have missed something there?


Mt. Rainier Double Ice Coffee. Another conbini coffee. Nothing special but a solid coffee non the less.


Cafe au lait with Brown Sugar. So. Good. Mmm!


This little guy was my #1 coffee of the trip, as silly as that might sound. The Mt. Rainier brand knows how to make tasty lattes! I might have had, like, 6 of them over the remainder of the trip lol!


This iced chocolate latte was a conbini coffee from 7&I (an affiliate of 7/11).


Iced Caramel Cappuccino and the best breakfast egg bun thing evar.


Penny came out and traveled around Osaka with us of the days we were there. I'll post about her day out some other time. Here she's being sneaky and trying to snag of my Olo Olo caramel ice coffee. She's a smart girl because that was one tasty coffee! This one was a common one in vending machines so I had a couple of these.


A Mango Something Frap from Starbucks while at the airport ready to head home. It was mango-y and good~ nothing crazy special though. This was my last fancy drink while in Japan.


Soy Hazelnut Macchiato from Starbucks outside of Seattle. The long drive home from the airport needed a little something something.

That is 18 different coffee drinks! I'm going to call my quest a success! I learned that latte's aren't as common in Japan as I thought. Cafe au laits and ice coffees are the most common drinks. "Maple" was a big thing as far as food and drink flavors go, which was cool. Also, on a side note: Starbucks in Japan don't have green tea. They have Passion Tea and Black Tea. Crazy, huh?

Well, thanks for checking out my quest. I hope you enjoyed it! *waves*

Osaka Japan 2013

When we came back from Japan last month and started going through all the pictures we took, we found that we took over 1,000 pictures between Aaron's camera and my iPod. I'm actually not very surprised, there were so many amazing places, foods, drinks, people, and things to remember.

That being the case, I've decided to split up the trip in to a couple of different posts. My Coffee Quest will be it's own, same with all the food & drinks we had, all the man hole covers we stood on, and then all the places we went and people we saw. *^_^* OH YEAH! And photobooth pics! I think we did something like 8 of them lol!

Today I'll start with a quick run down of the trip and a bunch of other fun things.

We went to Osaka Japan for two weeks this last March for vacation and for my birthday. This was the best trip overseas we've had. We did so many things, talked to so many people, ate/drank so many yummy things, and rediscovered our love for this city. Aaron and I have talked about how we miss Osaka on a scale of almost "home sick" like. It's such an incredible city!



Us at SeaTac before our flight.


Us is Osaka about 13 hours later.


Shinsaibashi-suji shopping district at night. This is a side part of it. The main part is a covered shopping area that feels like it's 2 miles long. I <3 it very very much!
A random side street near our hotel.


Us at at the big junction between the Shinsaibashi-suji and Ebibashi-suji shopping arcades.


Dotonbori (a main side street to Shinsaibashi) is full of amazing places to eat.


Batting at Round 1 (a sports and entertainment center). I'm so hardcore lol! We went here quite a few times for the crane game machines and darts.


It turns out that playing darts is a lot of fun! Quite a few nights ended here. The environment is chill, crisp & clean, and welcoming. Lots of business men come here after work and get their serious darts on. We mostly had drinks and laughed the whole time.


For my birthday Aaron, Sam, and I went to a Japanese wrestling live event. We got to see my favorite Japanese wrestler Shinsuke Nakamura among other super cool wrestlers. While we were there I picked up a Nakamura tshirt. *^__^*


Our new friend Hiro took us on a day trip to his hometown of Nishinomiya (of Haruhi fame) and to Kobe.

I can't gush enough about how amazing this trip was! These pictures are just a fraction of the fun we had. I can't wait to show you guys more! If you have any questions about our trip- let me know! I'm pretty passionate about Japan, the culture, the food, the locations so I'm more than happy to share what I know. d^__^b

That's all for today. Happy Monday everyone! <3

Silly

Hey guys! Know what is really fun? Making goofy faces and taking pictures.


It's also fun to do this at word and getting caught. Aaron laughs when I do this and says I look really guilty when I notice someone's watching. xD To each their own, right?

Happy Sunday!

Balancing

Hi friends~

How are you doing? I hope you are well. All is fairly well over here in my little part of the world. It's 80* today and there's a bit of a breeze blowing through town. It's rather nice. How is the weather where you are? I heard there was snow in Kansas City yesterday. Crazy!

Despite the happy sunshine I'm a little stressed today. Long story short, the people who did our taxes last year are dumb and now we're in this situation where there's lots of money needing to go in more places than we planned in a short amount of time and we're scrambling. Lucky for us we have been able to take care of the situation but it's made April and May very difficult. That light at the end of the tunnel we're "head down and powering through" is changing size on me. It was looking like I was getting close to the end, but actually I have a lot farther to go than I thought.

I'm not the first woman to get stressed out about things like this and I won't be the last. Working through it all in a productive and positive way is what I'm focusing on. Instead of fixating on the negative, I'm trying to turn it around. I'm trying to keep things lighthearted and fun so things aren't so hard. Lots of videos of baby animals are watched everyday, and Aaron and I share lots of kisses and back tickles.

Today my mind is taking over and I'm over thinking things- a lot: I'm stressed- yeah, so are lots of other people. We're super tight on money- at least we can afford our home/car/food/hair dye/new books/etc. I feel like I have time to do nothing but sleep/eat/work- Aaron and I do great about making the small amount of time we have together fun. I want to spend more time cleaning the house, picking up my big pile of shoes and clothes but I don't feel like I have the time- I should find the time because millions of other people out there find the time to pick up their shoes and clothes. So now I'm feeling bad about feeling stressed, and that's not helping anything.

Finding a way to slow my brain and body down- find a balance between work and home. This is what I need to do. What do you do to help not get stressed out about adult-y things? How do you balance your responsibilities and fun time? I think if I tweak the way I do things, I'll be less stressed about it. I'll find the balance! I WILL! In the mean time, I'm going to grab some food and have dinner with Aaron. *waves*

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