My Fabric Stash!!

Are you guys ready to see The Goods!?!?!

As promised from my last post, Im going to show you all the fabric I got at Happy Quilts in South Korea!

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There it is, the stash! Each of the large squares is two yards and the small squares on the bottom are fat quarters.

The best part about going to Happy Quilts (besides the discounted price, of course!) was the quality of the fabric…

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Sorry for the blurry photo! Here is my Riley Blake Christmas fat quarter stack!

Aren’t the Reindeer adorable?!‚̧

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This cost me $25!!

I got several Name-brand quilting cottons such as Kona Cotton and Riley Blake for 1/3rd the price!

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Here is another Christmas collection! I can’t with to get started on my Christmas quilts!!

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And The Grinch of courseūüėČ

The owner is such a sweet, sweet man. He lets you pick out an extra 2 yards of fabric for every $100 you spend (and he excepts US currency).¬†He also let us wait for our taxi inside the store (after it closed) because it was raining… intact he was INSISTENT we hang out inside!! Then he gave us each 2 MORE free yards of fabric… just because!

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In the end, I figure I ended up getting around $450 worth of quilting fabric (not to mention thread) for just over $120. Not too shabby!! I should be set for awhile with this stash… I hope!

 So there it is, my fabric stash! I hope you had fun looking at it with me! If you have any questions feel free to write them below!

‚̧ Kaci

Korea… Fabric Shopping

Hey guys!

I have an exciting post for today!

Recently, I’ve taking up quilting. I have a goal to make a Christmas quilt for every room in our house someday. I’ve learned a few things along the way, #1) It usually turns out different than you imagine (sometimes better). #2) It’s going to take at least 40X as long as you thought it would. #3) Fabric can be expensive!!

So, when some quilter friends of mine invited me to go with them to Korea to shop for deeply discounted fabric, I was IN!

You might be thinking… “Really?!?! All the way to Korea for fabric?!?!” … YES!!

This is why it makes sense… we live in Japan and can catch a free “hop” flight to Korea ¬†once a week. We land in the evening and take off the next morning which gives us about one hour to shop once we land and get a taxi to the Fabric Shop.

This is what the store front looks like…

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The expenses we had were the taxi from the airport to the shop and back and one night hotel (split 3 ways). So we ended up paying about $40-$50 each for this trip. BUT THE FABRIC!!! The fabric is all name brand, and high quality for approximately 1/3 rd the normal price!  That means, if you need $300 worth of fabric, you only pay about $100 for it.

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The shop is called “Happy Quilt” and is located near Osan, South Korea.

GPS Coordinates: 37.020115,127.06462

You can get there by train or by taxi. Because of our time restriction, we took the taxi!

THIS is an AMAZING post with detailed instructions how to get there! Thank you Angela!

After Fabric Shopping, we took to the streets to find dinner!!

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We went to dinner at a Korean BBQ place called Hangari Galbi….

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My shopping companions!

Jaby (left) was the mastermind behind finding Happy Quilts, and Michelle (right) is an AMAZING quilter with a company called Travel and Stitch! Look for her Etsy store coming soon!

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Michelle and I split the Beef Bulgogi and it was good. The best part though, was the Kimchi salad! It was Kimchi dressing over fresh greens, and it was to die for.

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After dinner we went to one of the many, many blanket stores and the girls bought HUGE, soft blankets! When in Korea…. I guess!

The we got some stunning and crazy desserts here..

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Check these out…

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Yes, that is an oreo, chocolate, macaroon shake with a grape on top…. a grape though?!?

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Mine was the brownie parfait… and it was a lot more than I could handle!

WARNING: if it costs over $10, it’s probably made to serve more than one person!!

The table across from us had a ginormous ice-cream sundae (such as the “choco ice”) that they split between two men and one woman… and barely made a dent.

After this, there was nothin’ to do but sleep! And prepare for our early flight home.

Tune in next post to see my FABRIC STASH!!!

‚̧ Kaci¬†

Japanese Tea Ceremony, Garden Edition

Happy Tuesday Friends!!

I hope you’ve had a GREAT start to your week so far!

I’m still in Montana visiting family, and soaking up every moment of the USA!! For today though, I wanted to share a sunny day this spring, where my friend Ari and I went to her Grandmother’s friends house for Tea!

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Look at these cuties!! Ari and her sister, Ann-Chan‚̧

I have briefly written before about the Japanese Tea ceremony. I’ve had the pleasure of participating in a couple ceremonies inside a traditional Tea House. This time, however, the tea was served in a quaint Tea Garden…

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We had many, many delicious treats to go with the Matcha Tea…

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Green Tea Mochi

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Black Sesame Cake

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More Mochi Sweets

As I’ve mentioned before, the sweet treats are supposed to cut the bitterness of the Matcha (powdered green) tea.

The ladies performing the ceremony (including our friend’s grandma) were all wearing Kimono, and had beautifully done hair and make-up.

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The woman above was so precise in every movement… every angle, turn, and pour was expertly calculated.

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This was one of my Matcha cups.

At the end, I was gifted two fans – one for Josh and one for me – and some thick, white, paper napkins for serving the Matcha Sweets! I am always humbled by the generosity of the people we have met here. One example is the time I was trying to buy bullet train tickets to Kyoto. I went to the train station and was wandering around, confused, when a Japanese woman came up to me and asked (in perfect English) if I needed help. After explaining my situation, she ended up taking the train with me back the way she came to help me purchase the tickets!

If you are PCSing, moving to or visiting Japan (the mainland at least) – I can tell you that I have felt very, very safe living here over the last year. The only scary part is driving on the narrow roads! Ha ha!

As always, I would love to answer your questions, so be sure to ask them below!

‚̧ Kaci

Jesus, Like a Plane

I heard a concept relating Christ to an airplane from my friend Jesse several years ago. I can’t remember the exact idea, but here is something inspired by that conversation that came to mind last Sunday at church….

There is an airplane on the tarmac. You can see it. You can examine it Рthe inside, the outside, the engine. You can learn all about it. You can go up and feel it’s cold steely wings, and rubbery tires. You can even study flight Рthe physics, the mechanics, the technique. You can watch it fly by as you sit on the ground. You can become and expert in the plane.

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Now, here is a totally different scenario… You walk up to the plane, you get inside, turn it on, taxi down the runway… and you fly.

 

Oh what a different way to experience the plane!

It can be a beautiful thing to admire, an interesting thing to learn about, and a wonderful thing to see in the air, but the true power and purpose of the plane cannot be fully understood until you fly in it.

I would like to propose that to have a plane is like having Christ Рyou can’t get to heaven without it.

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I would also like to propose that, if I am in the front seat, and Christ is the plane… then the Holy Spirit is that power that makes it fly.

Without the Holy Spirit, the purpose of your life, which God prepared in advance for you to do (1), can never fully be realized.

Yes, you own the plane; yes, it is an amazing and wonderfully complicated thing‚Ķ but without the POWER‚Ķ you’re staying on the ground.

‚ÄúNow to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all the we ask or think, according to the power at work within us. to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.‚ÄĚ Ephesians 3:20 -21

What do you think about this analogy? Where does it succeed, and where does it fall short?

 

(1)Ephesians 2:10

Shimoda Beach! Day 3

Welcome back!!

Today I’m posting about Day 3¬†of our adventure to Shimoda Beach on the Izu Peninsula!

If you missed the posts from the first two days, you can find them here:

Day 1    Day 2

Ok, so…Let’s talk about the breakfast…

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LAST WEEK I talked about the giant croissant-like sandwiches that come in the baskets… but there is also a¬†thermos of hot coffee, a flask of juice, pastries, fresh yogurt, fresh fruit (we had pineapple and cherries) and the biggest bananas I have ever seen…

 

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It is in a basket because they encourage you to take it down to the beach for a morning picnic!

The first day we were here it was raining, so we ate in the common room, but the next day was just perfect for breakfast at the beach!

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We loved this place, I hope we can get back! I highly recommend getting breakfast included with your room, but there are plenty of cool places to go for dinner (including a nice looking cafe/relaxed bar next door which we hear has good food and South Cafe, which I mentioned last week).

After our long and relaxing breakfast, we started the trek back home.

We made it a point to hit up the Kawazu Seven Waterfalls on the way!

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Josh, getting just the right shot

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The Kawazu Seven Waterfalls area was super hard to figure out for us!

HERE is a travel post with GPS coordinates!

Things to know:

  1. You’re going to exit just before a giant spiral bridge
  2. You’re going to drive up a little ways into the mountains (about 2 miles) and then you will come to a place where the road splits… one side goes up and one side goes strait. If you go up, you will get to a paved parking lot with a bathroom, but will have to walk back down to get to the waterfalls. If you go strait, you will see a dirt parking lot immediately on your left… no bathroom… but close to the first falls.
  3. That “strait” road I was just talking about turns into a hiking trail that takes you along all seven falls if you keep following it. The first mile or so of the trail has a couple falls, and is paved, wide, and stroller friendly…. After that, you have to hike up switchbacks on more “rugged” terrain to see the rest of the falls.

ALSO, and this is important… there is a BEAUTIFUL natural hot springs at the base of the first falls! I believe it is about 1500 yen ($15) per person to soak, but it looked heavenly. So bring your suit, a towel, and prepare to get lost for a good 30 min trying to find where to pay and enter the springs.

We then went up the spiral bridge (Kawazu-Nanadaru Loop Bridge)… which I found on dangerous roads.org… and made our way home!

It was a relaxing, quiet little trip. I truly can’t wait to go back when the weather is nicer and read a book on that beach!!‚̧

As always, if you have questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to answer them!

‚̧ Kaci

Shimoda Beach! Day 2

This is Day 2 of our 3 Day adventure to Shimoda Beach on the Izu Peninsula!

If you missed Day 1 click HERE to get caught up

If you read Day 1, are you curious to see where we stayed???

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Here it is, The Earnest House!

I learned about this quaint Bed and Breakfast from THIS post on YokotaTavel.com, and it did not disappoint!

We even ran into the couple that wrote that post, and had so much fun with them on Monday!

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They even have bikes and boogie boards you can borrow!

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And a fire pit!! I was wishing we brought our ‘smores ingredients.

You can see the parking on the upper left portion of this picture, there were plenty of free spots. The first night, we got here late, it was dark, and there was a fire going here‚̧ after we got settled in to our room… we basically crashed for the night!

After a rainy, sleepy night we woke up to this…

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Breakfast!!

Every morning at 8:00 a basket FULL of amazing breakfast treats was dropped off at our door.

The two mornings we were there, the basket included huge breakfast sandwiches with bacon/ham, horseradish mayo, tons of lettuce and thick, juicy tomatoes all served on a croissant-like bread.

It was rainy on this day, so we ate our sandwiches, fruit, yogurt, coffee ect. in the common room of the Earnest house.

like I mentioned last week, we ran into a couple we knew the first morning when we went to eat breakfast, and decided to tag along with them for some adventures!

First we went to MOB (Museum of Black Ships)

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Shimoda beach was the first port that Japan opened up to trade ships in the 1850’s which ended Japans “isolation” from the world. We learned about Commodore Perry’s negotiations with the Japanese government and other historical aspects of Shimoda City through pictures, artifacts and a short (15-20min) video (which they are happy to change to the English version if you ask!)

It was fun if you like Museums, but it may be a little boring for kids.

This appears to be a newer museum, and I cannot find the website for it, but it will be on the right as you drive into town from Shimoda beach just before Perry Road.

Next, We sailed on a replica of one of Commodore Perry’s Black Ships

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It was not as cool as I though it was going to be. It was plush and on the inside – like any ferry and we couldn’t go up to the second floor (I don’t know if it is alway like this or if it was just because of the wind/rain). I imagined feeling like a real pirate! But I just felt like a tourist. The ride was less than 30 min long and the informational video was only in Japanese… we won’t be doing this one again.

Then, we went to the Shimoda Floating Aquarium!

This was WAY COOLER than I though it was going to be!

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It is 2000 Yen (about $20) each to get in, so I was hoping it would be cool… and it totally delivered!

They have tons of interactive and unique animal shows

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Sadly, this is the only non-video I have… but here you can see the penguins running around the aquarium on their little path. Look how close they are! It’s amazing how close they let us get to SO many different animals here! We even got to pet a Leopard seal!!!!! (The have FUR by the way!)

Here is the layout…

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As you can see, the Aquarium is a semi-circle with a big pool in the middle (connected to the ocean). You walk along the boardwalk to get to the different exhibits including a giant fish tank, penguins, leopard seals, crabs and fish, sea lion, ext. The big ocean pool in the middle is where they keep several dolphins!

Some of the best displays they had were the tiny fish that eat your dead skin, one where you can pet small sharks, and one where they light up shark eggs so you can see the embryos swimming!!!! It was amazing!

If you are here with kids, this is the place to go! And be sure not to miss the dolphin/sealion shows that happen later in the afternoon (13:45 and 15:45) Рthey were very entertaining! The also have a time right after the penguin show, where you can get your picture taken with a giant penguin.

After this, we walked around the town and tried to go to this cute coffee shop on Perry’s Road, but they were closed (many things close early here)- so we went back to the hotel and hung out/read until dinner time.

We had a really great dinner with our friends at South Cafe in Shimoda City (which we highly recommend). It is a walkable distance from the Earnest house.

And that’s Day 2!

Shimoda Beach! Day 1

Over Memorial Day weekend, I kidnapped my husband and took him on an adventure! Here is part one, the way down to Shimoda Beach!

Next week, I will post Day 2 {with the beach itself and Shimoda City} and then I will post about Day 3 the following week {with the Seven waterfalls on the way home!}

_JDP1742We started out on Sunday, when we loaded up the car, and headed strait out after Church!

We visited a few places on our way down the Izu Peninsula. First stop…

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Atami Castle!

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This guy loves castles.

Atami is on the way to Shimoda so, I made this our first stop!

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The road up to the castle is a bit confusing, so if you drive around in circles for awhile trying to find the entrance… you’re not alone!

Once you get here, you will park (for 500 yen) and they will give you some towels.

Yes. I thought that was odd too.

We left our towels in the car, and would come to regret that decision for reasons that will become clear later…

Once you buy tickets at the front of the castle, you take the elevator up to the top floor (5th or 6th) and check out some amazing ocean views!

Then you work your way down from floor to floor. The pictures above are the next floor down, which is a small room that has interactive displays with water buckets, traditional Japanese beds (with wooden pillows! – see below) and other antiques.

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That’s the pillow! It’s wood wrapped in towels…. and its not as uncomfortable as it sounds.

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Next they have a few floors of historic paintings (some of which were REALLY WEIRD), tons of models of castles (made of matches), and antiques like this suit of armor, swords, guns ect.

Then… you come to a surprise around the 2nd floor…

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Balcony Foot Jacuzzi!!

So thaaaaaat’s what the towels are for! #onlyinjapanūüėČ

By far, my favorite¬†part of the Castle. So, bring your towels with you… you’ll appreciate it later.

We continued on down the coast to the Jogasaki Coastline

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The lighthouse is just down the path from THIS parking lot.

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There is also a 10km hiking trail along this coastline which would be amazing to do someday. DSC_0151

He was humoring me with his modeling skillsūüėČ

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I adore lava!

Lastly, we stopped for dinner on the way down to where we stayed (we stayed at an AWESOME place!! More on this next week.)

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Here is some of Josh’s Tuna. Yes, Tuna!

I have never seen Otoro (extra fatty) Tuna quite like this. He really liked it. I honestly don’t even know where we stopped… somewhere between the Jogasaki Coastline and Shimoda… about 45min before Shimoda.

It was some conveyor belt chain sushi place, but it was the second best Sushi I have had in Japan so far!

So that about wraps up Day 1!

Next week, the beach, the aquarium, the black ships…. woo!

‚̧ Kaci