Learning Flora

Learning-Flora-1

I follow several florists’ Instagrams and blogs and oh, do I envy their job! Getting to work with all sorts of flora/botany and making masterful artworks out of them sounds like a dream. I got bit by the flower-arranging bug (sounds like it could be a real aphid-looking like bug) while being a bridesmaid for a dear friend, where we did all the centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres on our own with fresh flowers from the SF flower mart. Another one of our friends loved our arrangements so much, she asked that we do the centerpieces at her own wedding reception! I wish I had more opportunities to do flower arranging, or at least more access to a bounty of fresh flowers, but maybe that’ll happen sometime in the future. I am hopeful. 🙂
Images found here:

Poppies, ranunculus 

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Interview Time

Interview Time
It’s utterly bewildering that the time has already come where  getting my cap, gown, and  ’13 tassel is on my to-do list this week. How has it come to this already?! Four years already! And with the impending transitions is the advent of one frightening and intimidating hurdle: job interviews, oh boy. So here’s an outfit post dedicated to how to look professional, yet classy, but also with that tomboy-ish twist that I always love to add to my outfits. I would say this outfit would be good for a more creative position. Okay! Who wants to hire me, please!

A Project: Now, Then, Always

It’s been a bit quiet on the graphic design front for me since the past two weeks, but suddenly, new projects are popping up and I couldn’t be happier! Thought I’d share a peek from one of those projects today.

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This is the layout for a testimony book for the graduating class (me! ah!!) of InterVarsity CCF. Tried to incorporate the blue and gold of Cal, but not in an overly cheesy way, as well as my favorite shape, the triangle. I love that it symbolizes the trinity/perfect community and delta/change. In the blank squares there will be headshots of the different seniors. Perhaps I’ll be able to get some actual photos of the final, printed product and report back on them!

Quick and Hearty Barley Salad

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I love having the time to come home and actually make lunch in between classes, but it’s a rare luxury! Last week I had a fridge full of fresh veggies and the weather was warm, so I just threw together what I had to create this yummy salad. Trader Joe’s always delivers on its convenient and delicious products, and I was pleased to find a cooks in 10-minutes packet of barley. I often ate barley at home because it’s a common grain in Korean dishes, but I knew it would hold up well in this salad too.

Ingredients for the salad (though honestly, just use whatever veggies you have!):

– yellow squash
– radish sprouts
– kale/chard/spinach
– cherry tomatoes
– barley, or any hearty chewy grain you like (farro, orzo)

the dressing:

– 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
– juice from half a lemon
– small clove of garlic, chopped
– fresh parsley
– salt n pepper to taste

I also ended up having leftovers to eat for dinner, which I couldn’t resist taking another photo of because the colors were just so darn pretty. (I added a soft-boiled egg to have some extra protein, too)

7E23DB6C-5DF2-4587-B340-2F65739303BDSimple, delicious, and so healthy. All wonderful things!

Easy Does It

Easy Does It
Been favoring more simple, comfortable wear lately. I am still on the hunt for the perfect hat, and this one looks pretty amazing…but that price not too much amazing. Also, my head is quite large and my ears often get in the way of making most hats an easy fit, so this hunt is tough.

Oh, Kyoto

Kyoto-2

 

More lovely bento boxes. This one had many fun secrets to unwrap, like mochi and such in the little green leaf pockets! Kyoto is absolutely beautiful and I wish we had more time to see more of it. The first afternoon, we went on a whim to Nara, which is famous for its free roaming deer that will come eat crackers right out of your hand! The train ride over there was so magical. I love that the hangout spot for after school fun is in a vast field with cherry blossom trees.

Kyoto-1

 

Our second day was spent exploring some of the neighborhoods, as well as the famous temples and imperial palace. Can you believe that temple is made all out of gold?! Amazing. One of my favorite things about Kyoto was that everyone rode around on bikes, and my other favorite were the many canals lined with lovely trees. I spied many people having picnics along the water and I wish we had time to do the same!

Hakone and Odawara Trip

Hakone-Odawara

We took a train (a smaller version sort of like the Shinkanesen, which I’ll explain more in the Kyoto posts) to the smallish town of Odawara. There was still rain and mist, but the weather made everything even more beautiful and romantic, with the moisture-ridden clouds slowly settling themselves on top of the gorgeous mountainside. Truly, I’ve never seen more beautiful mountains! The forests were so dynamic in color and variety of trees, my eyes were glued to the window and I kept wishing I could ask the bus driver to drive slower so I could soak it in longer.

One of the best things about riding trains in Japan: BENTO BOXES! Wahoo! There are tons of vendors outside and inside the subway stations that sell so many different kinds of bento boxes (as well as onigiri, sandwiches, snacks, and gifts), and it was so difficult picking one. They all look so tasty! Sidenote: Odawara had many stores selling various seafood and kamaboko, which is processed fish cake.

Hakone is a small town known for its hot springs and the smell of sulfur aka rotten egg in the air. The sulfur smell actually wasn’t too bad, and we really, really enjoyed the hot springs. It made our skin so soft and smooth, but sitting in that hot steaming water really tired us out, so Hakone was basically: rain, hot springs, and sleeping. Which I didn’t mind! The one thing I was bummed about though was that we couldn’t see Mt. Fuji because of all the rain 😥 Next time!

We stayed at the Hakone Kowakein Hotel, and while they did have lovely outdoor hot spring bath options (no clothes, Japanese style. Also, Korean style though, so it felt fine and natural for us. But of course still separated gender!), I wouldn’t say it was the best hotel. I think we could’ve found better options, but this was the hotel the Sunrise Tour booked for us for our stay in Hakone. We did booked our hotels in Tokyo, but for Hakone and Kyoto, Sunrise Tour did the booking.

Kyoto next! And oh, how lovely Kyoto was!

Tokyo Second Day

Tokyo-1.5

 

So many things to do and eat in Tokyo! I included some leftover pictures from the first day because I wanted to show you all the Tokyo Tower. The hotel where we stayed, the Prince Park Tower Tokyo, had an amazing view of the Tokyo Tower and the city lights at night were surreal, especially when coupled with a Shiso Ginger Mule and an Ume Cosmopolitan.

Our hotel also provided complimentary tea and yukatas in our rooms, and we enjoyed an afternoon of slow sippin on some genmai and resting to recover from all the walking we did.

Something you must eat a lot of whilst in Japan is the egg custard dish, chawan mushi. I think this is my favorite way to eat egg! I have no idea how its made so silky and soft, and there are always fun things inside of them. Like little shrimp, fish cakes, button mushrooms, and one time I even got a piece of mochi! So delicious. The one shown here is from our hotel breakfast buffet.

The proliferation of vending machines that offer a plethora of options is something me and my sisters really got a kick out of. The most fun ones are often in subway stations, and this one pictured here is at the Akabanebashi station (accessible through the Oedo line). It offered corn soup, so what could we do but pay the 150 yen and try it? It was very tasty and just like the Japanese corn soups we often eat at home.

In started raining in Tokyo the morning that we were leaving for Hakone, but even despite the dismal weather, Tokyo was still beautiful. It was fun to watch everyone in their variety of umbrellas commuting to work.

I realized I ordered the pictures a bit non-chronologically, but the last picture is of a menu at an Izakaya place in Nishi Azabu near Roppongi. I got the recommendation from a friend through a friend, and it was such a fun and tasty experience! The place is called Teyandei, and it is quite difficult to get to but if you give the address to the taxi driver, he should know where to go. It looks like somebody’s house, and there isn’t even a sign, so we hesitatingly walked up the stairs and in but were warmly greeted. My favorite dish of the night was this spicy cod roe, kimchi, nori, and udon dish. Perfect with the biru (beer) on tap. Here’s the address: Nishi Azabu 2-20-1 and phone is 03.3462.6411

Hakone will be next up in the Japan travel posts!