Sunday, March 1, 2015

So many things

There is so much I have yet to cover, all my stories and trips are being mentally backlogged with each and every trip I take. With each one, I think "this one I want to share first. No THIS one." and so the cycle goes where I can't decide.

I have snow monkeys, and sumo, and umi (plum) blooms; a boat tour, Asakusa, and a Chinese New Year Celebration parade to share. Oh and the Sapporo Snow Festival...and Odawara Castle, and Nagano. Not to mention my in-between moments too. If I were a "bucket list" making kind of person, the majority of these would be on it and happily crossed off.

So many amazing trips that are truly once in a lifetime.

I'll probably start backwards since the Chinese New Year celebration is coming to a close, and I really enjoyed watching their parade this weekend. Its so fresh in my mind, I want to capture it before it flits away. Thankfully it was on Saturday since it rained the entire day Sunday. I happily stayed indoors cleaning, and eating snack foods, watching Netflix as the rain came down. 

Today marks the last day of my first set of Spring semester classes, and the first day of Spring break! Who knows what I'll do but I look forward to the break no matter what. 

G-man and I went out to eat a few weeks ago, and got to enjoy some delicacies of Japan. We had quite the fun night that night, ending with him buying a new Macbook and us enjoying a cocoa at Starbucks while we watched the crazy Shibuya is the busiest intersection in the world for very good reason.

One thing that's fun with Japan is they can't, or don't say their L's. L's are R's in every word. He"rr"o for Hello and bRanket for get the point, so its always fun when I'm out and about to see how "Engrish" strikes again. 

This time however, they actually NEEDED the R, and that just makes this all the more funny.

Technically you can "clash" with someone coming around the corner, but you most likely will "crash" if you aren't paying attention. 

I hope you all had a great weekend. 

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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Japan is like the South

I grew up on the West Coast. Been there for the entire 33 1/2 years of my life. I was around dry heat where I knew just about nothing, okay, absolutely nothing about humidity. Whenever someone from the Southern states would comment on the humidity and how heat AND humidity was worse than a dry heat like Las Vegas, I would laugh and say they didn't know what they were talking about.

Desert heat is miserable.

But then G-man and I went to D.C. in April 2008, and my west coast self wore a thick cashmere top with heavy thick jeans, and I was about to die. I remember G-man balking at me, saying it wasn't humid at all, (he being a Southern boy and all), but I was pulling on my clothes feeling claustrophobic.

Since then I've learned a lot. Being in Japan, I've experienced the Spring months where the humidity reaches 100%. Thankfully I haven't experienced the Summer months here, where I hear it is downright miserable, but having it be in the high 80's with 100% humidity is enough for me.

With humidity comes condensation on the windows and with condensation comes mold and mildew. Ick! Close the windows and the humidity gets trapped making more condensation which makes more mold. Keep the windows open and the humidity comes IN which keeps everything wet which makes more mold.

Its a lose/lose as far as I see.

I hear its exactly the same in the South. I now know your struggles.

We're constantly fighting mold in the shower room, but it wasn't until yesterday as I was cleaning the floor in the living room, that I saw the entire sliding door track full of mold. (yes, I'm grossed out with you).

Condensation drips down the windows all the time and pools at the bottom, but my west coast self never thought it was turning into mold.

Surprise surprise.

I've been working hard on reducing the chemicals used in the home, so instead of grabbing the (G-man loved) Kaboom (which leaves him with a horrible headache and coughing for at least an hour after...but to him that means its "working"....I love him), I turned to my On Guard - Protective Blend essential oil.

I filled my 8oz glass bottle with water, and put 10 drops of On Guard in it, shook it up, and sprayed the daylights out of the mold. Since I had a fresh bottle made up, I went around the whole apartment and sprayed all the high mold areas and the range hood (...its a great degreaser), then came back and wiped up the mold.

Its all gone (for now), but I'm going to be sure to spray it at least 3-4 times a week to see if I can't keep it from coming back. I'll report back in a few weeks to share if its returned.

And you know what the beauty of it all is? I'm not coughing and I don't have an unnecessary headache. I smell clove and cinnamon and have a smile on my face.

Oils, seriously, they're so great. I'm loving them and can't get enough of them. If you have any questions about oils, how they work, how you can get a sample of one to try, or how you can get your own, comment or send me an email (

I also just created a Facebook page too, if you want to get more information and great tips I'd love for you to 'like' and follow along.

I like sharing, and just know, this blog won't turn into a 'dōTERRA essential oil' promoting blog, but when something works like it did yesterday, I can't help but share it with others. So, I'll be doing this from time to time.

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Thursday, February 19, 2015

Staring at the ocean

I’m sitting at Starbucks staring out at the ocean, as ducks fly across the water. I have two Japanese girls to one side of me taking pictures of their pink Frappuccino’s while another on the other side is (tactfully) sketching women’s bodies, deep in her work.

 It didn’t rain today, so I thought it would be a good idea to get some fresh air. I went to this Indian restaurant (Indian here is so.darn.yummy) that G-man recommended. I admit I have a favorite place already; they’re so friendly, they speak English, food is the best, and their prices are superb. But G-man swore his place had amazing garlic cheese naan.

I should state I’m a plain naan girl but I’m kind, and nice, and said I would try it.

Today was the day, and after sitting down I heard a SQAUWK…. Birds…in a restaurant… I don’t like birds, let alone birds in a restaurant. I refrained from standing up and saying “FORGET THIS” while leaving, and ordered a chicken curry with garlic cheese naan instead.

I should have taken a picture just so you could have seen the amount of cheese there was. It was almost like a naan quesadilla. Cheese was oozing out. I could only laugh and start eating.

Everything turned out to be delicious.  Cheese was just a wee bit too much and too heavy, but the curry had great flavor.  I now feel like I could ‘lose’ everything I just ate if I move too much, but I was committed to tasting his favorite Indian place.

We’ve been eating quite healthy this week, which this Indian goes completely against that. We normally eat healthy, but we’ve taken it to a whole new level given G-man’s desire to lose a few, and I’ll be honest, its stressful finding and making approved meals. I put the stress on myself really. I hate making the same thing over and over again, and want variety, where he could literally eat a chicken with a seasoned pack on it every night (really, he’s told me), but I feel this is an injustice, and MUST make real, healthy, tasteful dishes.

Enter: stress.

I’m constantly thinking of what I should make, how should I prepare it, what kind of snacks do I need to make – non-stop! (Because let’s be real, chicken over and over is b-o-r-i-n-g)

Anyone have these dilemmas?  -- just me?

Despite the stress, he says he’s seeing a difference, and I actually have as well in myself, so at least I know it’s all worth it. It’s always worth eating healthy, isn’t it?

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Sunday, February 15, 2015

Getting in a habit

I need to get back in the habit of blogging. I've let it go so much and for so long over the past couple years, that I'm finding I'm going longer and longer between posts. It's for no other reason than lack of interest, if I'm being honest, but not, because I think of writing all the time. Confusing but true.

I've done a lot lately and have much to share, so let's say I'm going to be more on top of things in the near future, and lets not pay attention to the fact I've said that before and did not follow through.

So, where have I been and what have I been up to?

At the end of January I went back to California. There I got to see my family and got my typical schoolwork done. It was nice being in the same time zone as most of my friends and communicating more than a good morning as I was saying goodnight. I also did two classes on doTERRA essential oils.

Remember way back in November when I said I started my own business and it was keeping me really busy? That's my business! I joined doTERRA and have been thoroughly loving using essential oils and helping others learn more about them so they can have a chance to switch up the way they take care of their health.

I know for the longest time before joining or even USING, I heard About oils and Thought it WAS a FAD and I Admit, I rolled my eyes at all the 'band Wagon' users. But then WHEN I got a terrible 2 nd degree burn on my thumb from catching my falling hair STRAIGHTENER (I recommend no one to catch Those WHEN They fall, by the way), my Friend Gave me DoTERRA lavender oil to Apply, and within 20 seconds the Searing Pain WAS Gone.   I Kid you not !

After that, I dove in headfirst and have not looked back since. I love love using them and sharing them. If you're curious or have always wondered about them, I'd love to talk to you about them and even send you samples so you can have a chance to experience the oils yourself. Cause no matter how much I talk about them, until you use them yourself will it really matter.

In true G-man and Emily fashion, within two weeks of being in California, I was back on a plane bound for Japan. Within 12 hours of being back, I was on another plane set for Sapporo where G and I spent the next two days exploring. I'll definitely share that trip soon ... well, after I catch up with all the other trips. I'm so behind!

Now, present, I'm back "home" with G-man. He's containing his frustration while he figures out why the wifi is not working and I'm lounging on the couch listening to Michael Buble wishing I had wifi. My life , my business, my school depends on wifi and though I know it'll be back up by the morning (here's hoping), I work on patience of being "disconnected" when I'd rather not be.
In truth, its allowed me to be quite product getting things done around the apartment, so I can not complain too much. So this is me in a nutshell. I've traveled a bunch, getting to visit Odawara Castle, Shabuya and the busiest intersection in the world, the Sapporo Snow Festival; see snow monkeys in Yamanouchi, visit the Nagano Olympics museum, watch a Sumo tournament, and stay in a 400 year old traditional Japanese inn complete with traditional rooms (aka sleeping on a mat on the bamboo floors).

I have a lot to cover! Stick around for more to come ... .provided the man gets this pesky wifi working again. (its up!)

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Anjin - The White Samurai

Not too long ago, I read the novel Shogun and though fictional, its based off of the white English sailor who landed himself in Japan and the Japanese not giving him up. He ended up becoming, I think, the one and only white (non-Japanese) samurai, which is a pretty big deal for that time.

I found out that he was buried, along with his Japanese wife, in the town I'm staying in. His Japanese name was Miura Anjin, and the town is called Anjinzuka. He was in charge of this area, if I remember correctly, which I think is pretty neat. Just last week, I made the trek up the (rather steep) hill to view it, and it turned out to be quite a beautiful day to do it.

His is the one on the right. 

Every April, they have a memorial ceremony, and though I've never been, it sounds like its a big event. 

Before climbing the stairs to the top, there's a stone monument, that I admit, I have no idea what it says, but its quite large and imposing.

These stairs are steep and far apart in height. They definitely take a person time to climb. Once you finally reach the top, you're greeted with the monuments behind the gate and these lush fluffy green bushes lining the entire surroundings.

After walking around for awhile, I made my way back down, but not before smelling what I thought was incense, but saw far on another hill, a man burning what I can only guess to be weeds or an old crop. It was quite pungent . 

I enjoyed the views and felt it get colder as the sun was rapidly sinking, so I quickly made my trip downhill back to the apartment.

If you notice, in the far righthand side of the above photo, you'll see a set of winding stairs. That's only a small portion of those stairs, and I ran up them once as a workout. I almost died that day, actually fighting throwing up once I got to the top. I commend everyone who lives in that apartment complex who have to take those stairs several times a day.

I'm glad I got to view this park and the monument. Its a great workout, since its up such a steep hill and its incredibly quiet. I can see it as a great place to get away for a peaceful afternoon, if ever I need. 

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Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Eve Eve

Two days from Christmas and the sky is as blue as it can get and the ground is as dry as ever. I don't think we'll have a white Christmas here, but no matter what, Christmas will be here soon. Right now there's only a crock pot under the Christmas tree and its cooking a pork shoulder. 

I had to plug it into the transformer so it can get full power and cook it properly; the Japanese outlets don't give enough watts to get the job done. But there aren't any presents sitting wrapped under the tree and I'm not even sure there will be. I have one sweater to give to G-man but no wrapping paper. To be truthful, he's already seen it, so I debate even wrapping it. Should I bother?

Yesterday, I went to what was said to be the #1 thing to do in Yokosuka per trip advisor, and that was the Yokosuka Art Museum. I went and I thought to myself, how in the world is this the #1 thing to do? Its an art gallery, so I knew that going in, but I think I expected so much more...not creepy dolls that flip over when you crank the handle. Or paintings that all look the same. Or an entire wall covered in bunny and cat faces made out of wire? (they really love their cats here).

The only fun thing about the place was a Japanese couple calling me over to look at the creepy doll and then laugh with me when it flipped over. Then calling me over again to show me something else, and then again to show me something else.

I hate not speaking their language, but love when they actually acknowledge I'm there. 

I can't say I would recommend this museum to the average person but maybe an art enthusiast who actually speaks Japanese so they can read all the captions. I would actually recommend what I think is my favorite place to eat lunch, and that's Kawara Cafe. No matter how much I walk around to find a different place to eat, I always come back to Kawara. One for their free wifi (that helps), but also for their friendly staff and yummy food.

And if you notice, they play old Mickey Mouse cartoons on the big screen, which is a fun silly little extra. 

Japan ca

If I don't get the chance, I wish everyone a wonderfully Merry Christmas. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Hair, views, and odd translations

The past week I've had the chance to do a few things here and there. I always feel guilty admitting that more often than not, I am inside the apartment doing a whole lot of nothing. I don't go out and explore and even though its probably seen as a little lame, I don't because I hate spending money.

Not just the money, the time. It takes a lot of time to go somewhere and by the time I get there, my shoulders are killing me from lugging my heavy bag with my camera and before I know it, I have to come back to start dinner before G-man gets home from work.

I told you it was lame.

I went to my hair stylist three times last week (we're developing a nice friendship) and she's an hour away and my old self was pooped out from that. But let me tell you, she did a fabulous job. I wanted to go lighter, for the first time in 10 years, and she delivered like no one I think would have. It took four hours, but it was worth it. 

So you can get a full grasp of what my hair (and GREYS) looked like before, this will show you. Plus the amount of foil it took to cover my entire head. She leaves them flat so its two foils to one (small) section of hair. I can't even describe how heavy all that foil was.

G-man and I set up and decorated the tree over the weekend as well. With one strand of cicle lights and one strand of normal white lights, we got very creative and hung them up around the living room. Though we certainly won't be winning any awards for best decorated, we think its charming in a "wow, that's really bad" sort of way.

Feel free to notice the "tree skirt" is in fact a pillow sham and the transformer on the ground that keeps all the American electronics running smoothly. Keeping it classy over here.

This is where I wait for my trains whenever I want to go anywhere. This one passing is headed to Kanazawa-Hakkei where I would get off to get onto the limited express to Yokohama. As it was that day, I was waiting to go to Yokosuka in the other direction.

G-man and I went to Landmark Towers in Yokohama to see the city from their highest floor. They have the fastest elevator in Japan going 28mph. Ears were popping and the views were beautiful.

Afterward, we were looking for a place to eat, and would you believe we passed this place up?

I know, I'm sure you can't imagine why. 

That nearly rounds out all the happenings with me this past week.  Well, except the fact that while I'm in blogger, everything is in Japanese. Whenever I'm writing out a post, the page is constantly translating back and forth from English to Japanese, and because of this, while I'm typing, its nothing for it to completely delete an entire sentence mid sentence. I'm constantly retyping my sentences. Its odd and funny, and just another little quirk with being in Japan.

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