30 January 2010

Just OK

Over the past few years, many people have commented on the fact that I am always so positive & bubbly.
& I usually do try to give off a more sunny disposition.
But there are days when I am Just OK.
There are days when all I have to give is Just Satisfactory.
Sometimes all I can strive for is getting through it.

Often, as women, we find ourselves on one end of life's spectrum:
Extreme 1: Feeling as if we are not trying hard enough. Like there is SO much to get done you don't know where to start. This feeling of being overwhelmed can be disappointing and leave a taste of failure in the air.
Extreme 2: Trying so hard that we are running ourselves into the ground. Feeling like there is no end to the things you have to do and feeling exhausted. It can lead to frustration and agitation.

In my humble opinion:

Life is Messy (hence the blog title). It probably always will be.
Maybe sometimes it will be more messy than others, but life will always give you these little (or massive) messes to clean up.
Some days you will be able to tackle it all and be victorious.
Other days you will want to curl up under the covers (and not come out for a few days).
Right now for me, I'm Just OK
& It is OK to be Just OK.

[I find myself still grieving.
I find myself still stuck in a pattern of shame.
I'm working on renewing spirituality.
I'm striving to improve my mental health.
I spread myself thin amongst the many obligations I have.
I worry about so many things, I'm certain my head is one worry away from exploding.]

And I'm feeling Just OK.

So: I try to make the best of my life, including the messy parts.
But, it doesn't mean that I wake up every morning with a smile on my face.
I've recently been waking up and feeling like all I can do is the fundamental things to get us through another day. Instead of feeling disappointed in myself, I'm allowing this temporary time to be just satisfactory.

& I'm just fine with it.

Are you? Have you felt this way?
Can you allow yourself to be just OK?
"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day to day basis"
-Margaret Bonnano

28 January 2010

Yuzu & Honey Tea

My friend, Misa, brought by a very thoughtful birthday gift!
(I promise this isn't a birthday post!)
[this is her w/ her boyfriend (too cute!)]

  Not to long ago I posted about a Japanese custom.
It was about how I bathed in yuzu.
Do you remember? No?
[Its okay, you can read all about it here.]
 I've also posted about my love for tea. [& that can be found here.]

 I knew that she read my blog
(and that makes me want to translate everything in Japanese for my Japanese friends..)
& it totally surprised me when she remembered my posts and brought an incredibly thoughtful gift!
Yuzu & Honey Tea! 
This type of tea is a marmalade-like gel.
You spoon out 1 or 2 spoon fulls and add it to some boiling or cold water.

It has TONS of Vitamin C!
[Which is perfect for this mid-winter-germ-infested season.]
[And even more so for the germ-infested students I work with at the Middle School]
I believe it can be found at any Asian market or international aisle @ the supermarket. 
It truly is delicious.

This post is to send Misa a HUGE thank-you!
(You are keeping me healthy!)

 Make sure ya'll are getting your Vita-C.
It seems the flu is making its way around the world.
(Seeing as everyone on my Facebook has some sort of sickness...)

Stay Healthy & Enjoy the weekend!

27 January 2010

More Celebrating!

Are you guys sick of my birthday posts yet?!
Promise I won't celebrate forever (pinky promise!)!
But I just want to share a couple more things:
You know you've got a real friend, when for your birthday she gives you this:

An already-full-frequent-coffee-addicts-card.
Woo Hoo!!
& she may or may not have decorated my door on my b-day with these lovelies:

And then leaves me this message on facebook:
"It's been a while since I've gotten to do something fun while humming the Mission Impossible theme song"
You know when it's a true friendship? When it comes down to a covert undercover mission.

Overall my Birthday ROCKED!
We had such a great time at the hotel.
[Who doesn't love ordering room service and being able to call them to come pick up the dishes?!]
Then my students had a small b-day party for me.
[Think of the sweetest, genuine, most kind-hearted person you know. 
Then multiply that by 100. (Even a 1,000). 
That sums up these fabulous men and women.]

It was very special to spend my birthday with my class.
And Who could pass up karaoke with them??
Not I!

(Fun Fact: I have a membership to this karaoke place with my very own legit members card!)

I'm back to [non-b-day-normal] life tomorrow. 
Life is so much more fun when you are celebrating (but it is definitely not cheap!)
Now on to the mundane things like: 
cleaning, studying, and working...


Good News!
2 days till the weekend!

25 January 2010

Not me: Ferris Wheel edition.

I definitely was not excited to ride this & I definitely did not take 100 pictures of it.

The Hubby was not nervous to go on it
And I did not tell him to suck it up.

I did not almost jump for joy when we got in a pink basket.

We did not laugh and giggle at the top.

We absolutely did not love the view at the tippy-top.

We did not freak out when there was a little bump in the ride.
We did not quickly get over it & resume our photo op.

It was not the best day.
And the Hubby did not face his fears.
And I definitely did not have a smile planted on my face the whole time.

23 years...

... on this earth. That is 276 months.
That is 1,196 weeks.
That is 8,395 days.

As I blow out my 23 candles, I will hold my breath, make a wish, and think of the love & happiness I want to hold on to for now [and forever].

"One of the signs of passing youth is the birth of a sense of fellowship with
other human beings as we take our place among them."
- Virginia Woolf

[This is a scheduled post]

24 January 2010

Peaceful Sundays.

[This is a scheduled post.]
This picture epitomizes the very essence of relaxing.  
Enjoy your Sunday.
Take time to relax.

We are on our way to The New Sanno to enjoy the start of a peaceful and relaxing birthday.
Just Me & The Hubby.

23 January 2010

A Small Victory

I measure my life in terms of victories. Some are massive victories and some are tiny ones.
I substitute my "small victories" for "one step at a time"

One source of frustration was this closet:

[I can't believe I'm even showing ya'll this]
This is our front hall closet. It was a catch-all for shoes, purses, decorations, scrapbooking stuff and just CRAP.
(do you see the christmas wrapping paper smushed in the corner?!)

I dreamed of buying matching baskets and organizing everything into pretty coordinated and catagorized places. But lets get real, I don't have money to waste on that & I knew I could repurpose what I had to make this closet welcoming (again).

So - it took about 2 days to sift through all this.
I took my time.
I got rid of 5 bags of purses & shoes!
( I'm dropping them off at the Airman's Attic this week! Woo Hoo!)
[After my b-day celebrations of course!]
Now this closet looks like this:

I even found all my stuff for Valentine's decorating!
That way I can do fun projects like this:

close up:

[Can you spot the "K" and "J" - they are my favorite!]

Have a wonderfully-relaxing weekend!!!

22 January 2010

Birthday Weekend!

Okay - so technically my birthday is Tuesday the 26th.
(mid-week b-day = lame)
I decided to extend my celebrations to include the weekend! 

SO I am going to be a little preoccupied with this thing called celebrating! And because I will not be in blog-land (I will be in b-day-land) I will not be posting. (I have scheduled a couple, so dry your tears). But just for ya'll, who, I'm sure, are just dying to know what we will be up to...
Here you are: 

Saturday: Going to see New Moon on base (finally..).
Saturday night: To be determined, but I see myself at a little karaoke bar.
Sunday: The Hubby and I leave for The New Sanno hotel. (it will feel so good to get off base).
We will -hang around in Tokyo -definitely relax and order some room service. Sa-weet!
Monday: Tokyo - Tokyo - Tokyo. Might even get on this Ferris Wheel:

Which will undoubtedly give us an incredible view of one of the best city sky-lines, ever!

Tuesday: Is my ACTUAL b-day. And we will be returning back to base, because I have to teach that night. My students are planning a little party & karaoke after with some of my younger students! Woo Hoo! 

TOO FUN!  (am I spoiled -  or what?!)
I am definitely excited to spend some good quality time with The Hubby. It seems that work and school and teaching and exhaustion and chores take over our lives and leave us with very little time and energy to just chill-ax.
We are ready to do NOTHING. (Besides ride on that amazing Ferris Wheel).

Happy Weekend-ing!

21 January 2010

Harajuku (A Review)

This past Monday, a couple friends and I wandered down to Tokyo to do a little shopping. And of course that means a stop @ Harajuku. 

Harajuku was made famous (to Americans) by Gwen Stefani introducing her Harajuku Girls during her pop-solo phase.
Do you remember!?

Oh and these cute (but kinda creepy) perfume bottles from her Harajuku Lovers perfume line.

This is probably one of my favorite parts of the city. It is fashion at its best!
There is upscale shopping like Gucci & Louis Vuitton on Omotesando Street.

This is a crappy picture I took of Omotesando Dori, but if you can look really closely.. just check out how crowded it is!!! Yikes! 
Then there is my favorite place to shop...Takeshita Street. This is a pedestrian only street that is lined with famous and not-so-famous shops that offer various things at reasonable prices. My go-to store is the 500 yen store (about $5) and they sell cute earrings (2 for $5), necklaces, scarves, wallets, and hair accessories. I walked away with chandelier earrings and a new pashmina for under $10! Woo Hoo!
This is the entrance to the street - directly across from Harajuku station! 

Very crowded on the weekend. 
It is a must-do & must-see for tourists - even if you don't like shopping or fashion. It is quite the experience! It is worth it to see women (and men) dressed as life size dolls.


         And who could pass up a free hug?!
Not me! 

Want to experience what it feels like to be a canned sardine?
This is at the Harajuku train station on a Sunday afternoon.
Avoid at all costs!

Did I mention they have a 4-story Forever 21 and H&M - right next to each other!
How could you pass THAT up?

BUT - if you find that the fashion/crowds/life-size dolls are too much.. there are some tranquil places to go too.
Like Meiji Shrine:

Or Yoyogi Park:

These two places make it so you don't feel like you are in the city anymore.
It's amazing!
So if you ever find yourself in Tokyo, Harajuku should be on your list of things to see & do!
AND if you ever come to visit me - this is definitely something we will go and do!
My Mom and I went:

This is after we pushed our way through the crowd behind her... 

This weekend the Hubby and I are staying at a hotel in Tokyo for my birthday. He has yet to experience the Harajuku shopping.. Perhaps I will take him. 

Be Happy. The weekend is almost here! 

18 January 2010

Basement Affair

I am happily typing to all of you from......the comfort of my own home!
Internet is up and running! Which means - I will be able to catch up on all of your posts (finally!)!
Sorry for the lack of comments, I promise to make it up to you!

SO - my last post shared  my new addiction to reality TV.
And a couple people have asked me about Basement Affair.. well here is the low-down on this show:

Frank (The Entertainer) was a reject from I Love New York & 2x loser of I Love Money - Yikes! 
Anywho - Frank (or is it The Entertainer) still lives with Ma & Pa - and is a lazy mama's boy lookin' for love. So he invites these women into his parent's home to win the "key to his basement"
(cheezy -with a z!)
Oh - BTW: he lives at home because he is flat-out broke..... and the only way VH1 was going to give him his own show - was under the condition that it all be filmed @ his parent's house in NYC... Brooklyn maybe?! [And - yes they have accents and say things like twalk/dwag/harrrible/cwoffee]
These women are characters... just watch...you'll see what I mean.
This show is like a car accident - you can't seem to take your eyes off it..

They also have a blog that recaps all the stuff & you can watch old episodes on VH1... but I think there are 13 out of the 15 original girls... so you lucky people still have a majority of the season to catch up! (hope you sense my sarcasm...)

Now I leave you with the Mama's Boy - himself:
The Entertainer

(yes, that is his Mama)

17 January 2010

From the Library...


The internet is still out of commission, but I've caught up on all of the VH1/MTV reality shows (shameful, I know). How did I function before without all the drama of Teen Mom, Basement Affair, Taking the Stage, or Tough Love?!
I can't believe I'm admitting to all ya'll that I actually take time out of my (very busy) life to actually watch these. It is so shameful. But I cannot be the only one - I just know it can't just be me!!

Or how about the mess-of-a-show Jersey Shore?!

I've also fallin in love with Dog Whisperer. Seriously. He is ah-mazing - it is preparing us for when we can finally get our dog(s).

Moving on...
On Today's menu (late afternoon lunch) is a very simple and delish soup.
I got it out of a magazine (don't ask me which one... a cooking one!) a while ago. It is YUMMY!
I forgot the name/title of this soup so
Here it is - the...

2 - 14 oz. cans of Chicken or Veggie Broth
1 package of Tortellini
1/2 8 oz Cream Cheese Spread - Chive & Onion (softened)
1 - 10/11 oz can of Tomato Soup

First bring the broth to a boil. Then add the tortellini and reduce heat. Take about 1/3 cup of the hot broth and add it to the Cream Cheese Spread. Mix together until smooth. Then add that mixture & the tomato soup to the pan with the tortellini and broth. Keep on low heat until tortellini are cooked and the whole soup is warmed.

Total time = under 30 minutes.

I like to eat mine with some plain tortilla chips. It is SUPER yummy!
You could even add some fresh-chopped chives on the top!

Okay - So I'm off to eat this yummy goodness.
Happy Weekend-ing!

16 January 2010

If it's not one thing...

It's another!

My goodness - as soon as I get back on my feet and back to blogland - my internet fails me..

In all honesty, it is 100% my fault. I did something to try and fix [what was not broken, apparently] and by doing that I made it 500x worse than it was. The internet company is NOT pleased and royally ticked at me for doing, whatever it is that I did (& I still am not quite sure what that is). So, for the next few days we are without  internet! I feel very cut-off from the world, but I've taken this extra time to clean out the mess of a front-hall-closet! Woo Hoo!

How am I posting, you ask?

I am at the library - where I'm supposed to be working on my school work that I've fallen behind in because of the said internet trouble. But: I thought it was important for you to know that I am indeed alive and blogging (well atleast thinking about blogging)!

I thought (for a second) about how the universe might be telling me that I should get off the computer and actually DO something.... but then I dismissed that all together because there is NO WAY the universe would do this to me!

Hang in there while my 2010 (& internet company) works out the kinks!

13 January 2010

Going Green.

My Personal Thoughts:
This concept, though not new, is certainly catching momentum as more evidence is made apparent - of how we,the human species, have trashed our world. For me, it has been a relatively easy transition & we are still working on giving up paper towels/plates. But there are some people that have difficulty making this transition.

Side note & personal observation: Japan uses ALOT of green energy to sustain life around here. Bicycles out number cars (and probably people) and they all have reusable bags/lunch boxes/water bottles. In addition to this, they eat seasonal food from local farmers. Many menus make changes due to whats available during that season.

Here are some of the things I do around here to make my footprint on this planet much greener:

I ride my bike places everywhere. I bought a Japanese bicycle with a basket in the front & back. I go to the grocery store, the post office, the library, work, and the gym... I always feel good after a bike ride. Bonus: The Hubby and I have saved money on gas and I've lost weight!

I bought this basket @ The Christmas Tree Shop (which may be a northeastern thing..)But, I've seen them at Micheal's - TJMax too! 
I'm in love with this basket. I use it mostly for fresh fruits and veggies that I buy more frequently - but I also use it for the library, the craft stores, and carrying things (wine, cookies, chips and dip) to a party. 

These are the products that I buy, faithfully. I did a lot of trial and error with products. And, it didn't take me long to find what I liked. Most of the Method products I use make my house smell like a spa. They all really do as well as their chemical & non-green (a.k.a. death in a spray bottle) counterparts.
From Method.


I also use these commissary bags. They are awesome, but if I had to find something wrong with them.... I think they smell funky at first...

I bought about 10 of them. They hold A LOT of stuf (promise!)!

I hope that these are things you are trying to integrate into your lives. If not, I hope this sparks some interest...

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."
~Victor Frankl

12 January 2010

I'm here!

Are you!? 

I've been a little preoccupied with this thing called being sick. Ugh!
Thank goodness its over and done with.
The Hubby gets the MVP award! He went above and beyond his call of husband. For the past couple days my back muscles and abs are throbbing from all the heaving I did. I know gross.. The Hubby was there every step of the way. Bringing in food that I couldn't keep down. Making sure I kept drinking water, even if it would come up 10 minutes later. He even put me in the bath. I felt like a pathetic, weak, little child. I cannot thank him enough for loving me even on my worst days. It really says something about love when you can see someone at their absolute low (hovering over a toilet for what seems like the millionth time) & he still says 'I love you'. But, Sunday night I made a turn around and Monday morning I woke up refreshed and very un-sick!

So, I'm slowly putting our apartment back together. Washing all the sheets, towels, and clothes. Disinfecting our bedroom. Airing out the place. Catching up on the dishes. All those things seem to pile up when you are out of commission for a couple days.

And, getting back to a normal school schedule. I have a paper due today & I have so much left to finish!

This morning, I woke up feeling groggy and still sore... But the apartment looks much better. I'm off to start this Tuesday morning with a bit of paper writing. Followed by a doctor's appointment. After which, I'm stopping by our friends house and tear up while the movers pack up all their stuff. (insert sad face)
I'm hoping to leave enough time for me to get my butt moving on turning this paper in on time. And finish the day off with my fabulous English class. 

I have not forgot about you all. In fact, I've been missing you! I will be catching up on all ya'll and I will be checking in more often!

And now for the award ceremony...
The recipient for the Most Valuable Player Award goes to:

[For taking on sickness one vomit at a time.]
[For your strong stomach as I heave over the toilet.]
[For your hustling to get to me when I needed you.]
[For the care you give as tears come to my eyes.]
[For rubbing my back countless times.]
[For loving me.]

07 January 2010


Before I dive into my pigeon story...
I want to say thanks for the comments about my bedroom. But- let me clarify -the state of our bedroom is not an accurate representation for the rest of the apartment. Specifically speaking of our spare bedroom, which is otherwise known as the dumping-grounds for anything sport related, military related, or non-Kate related. It doubles as our guest room (when we have them) and then, and only then, do we have order. But once our guests leave - craziness is restored.

You are all very sweet, but I am in NO WAY an organized-neat-freak. I simply apply rules for the bedroom, so that we have at least one room in our limited-space housing to relax.

Now that I've cleared that up...
[I may or may have not been feeling guilty about possibly misleading everyone into thinking I am organized]

Today I witnessed the single most animal-related sadness EVER! I ride my bike to work daily and on the way home today it was really windy. Windy, as in, it took me twice as long to get home due to the wind-resistance [needless to say I skipped the gym]. As I'm pushing my bike carrying my large load of excess baggage on my hips and thighs [thank you holiday season]- I see this pigeon.
Note: Living near a large city - pigeons are the equivalent of rats and cockroaches (in my opinion, of course).

It was laying on the ground, wing crooked back in an awkward position, just going in circles on the ground. It looked so helpless and sad. Was it hit by a car? Did it fly into a car? Could it not move out of the way fast enough?
I don't know the specifics - but tears came to my eyes as I struggled to pedal faster (against the damn wind). I thought for a minute half a second about helping the poor fella. But, really - what could I have done? Carried him back to my apartment and mend his broken wing?
Um no.
I started to cry knowing that there was little I could do to ease his pain and help him out. Later this afternoon I went back to see if he was still there and I found him 20 feet from where he was.
I don't know why, but I was devastated. I was so saddened by this little-plump pigeon.
Are my opinions of these winged-rodents changed?
Not really... they still poop on my car and wait until the very last OMG-I'm-going-to-kill-a-pigeon moment to get out of the way of my vehicle. But - It did make me think twice before cursing at them.
And: I had to get this out. I was feeling more-than-a-little guilty about leaving an animal like that. 
From now on: 
Instead of verbally voicing my opinions - I'm going to silently will them move outta my way! 

06 January 2010


Our bedroom is a place for the Hubby and I to unwind. Our days are usually crazy and if I walked into a room full of craziness... I might actually go [crazy].

So here is the updated slice of heaven:

And here is where we started:

[yes. an air-matress]

 [This was the pain-in-the-arse comforter cover that made me want to throw it away every time I made the bed]
*Clearly the Hubby made the bed this day...
I think this is when I was in NY and I asked him to take pictures of the apartment for people. 


I'm in love with mis-matched stuff. I have blacks with browns. Furry with quilted.
I have a random lime green pillow that physically abuses you with it's feathers every time you get on the bed...
I have our dream board right on the wall next to the bed. It has stuff like PSC to Europe, save money, get all A's in classes. Graduate.
Oh and the sun-faded rug that I've had since my freshman year of college.
Still love it.
And now with my new addition of a colorful quilt I have mis-matched bedding.
Damask with beach-y cottage quilt. Hmm..
So here it is again:
[I'm a bit in love with it - as if you couldn't tell]

[Can you spot our dream catcher? My Mom bought it for me!]

I think that quilt (which was a fraction of its original cost) is just what I needed. 
It is a breath of fresh-colorful air.