Matsuri 2014

I know I’m about 3 months too late, but I decided to finally get around to posting my Matsuri pics (all… 5 of them that I can find).

For this year, I wore a komon that I had bought a few years back along with a new obi that I purchased in LA this past winter. I felt that the colors worked well together.



I also decided to wear some chidori tabi with this outfit. I paired them with the zori that I got with the tourist kimono a few years back.

I didn’t manage to get many pictures this year D: But I did capture some video of the Odori dancers.


To Tailor a Shirt

While at my grandparents house over Christmas, I found that my grandmother had a few large shirts stashed away in her closet. My grandfather wasn’t going to wear them, so I asked if I could have them to attempt to do some tailoring practice.

Here is what they looked like originally (sorry for the crummy photos):




And after a ton of trial and error, here is what it turned into:





I learned quite a bit through this process. I learned not to cut the sleeves until the very end- and even though a lot of standard sewing practices seem to like to do one clean seam down the side and up the sleeve all at once- that process is not for me. Sleeves are best saved for last.

I also found that my method for attaching the extra piece of fabric to the top was not the best, as it creates a small pucker towards the bottom of the sleeve. In the future, I’ll have to consider other methods to finish that seam off.

And lastly, I need to include extra fabric in the back than what I did- its a little tight if I need to lean my shoulders forward.

Even so, not bad for a first attempt.

Chicken, Beans and Rice

This is a recipe that my family created recently. It is gluten free, dairy free and should work for those with fructose malabsorption or HFI (please correct me if I’m wrong on this last one). I’m not sure if the FODMAP diet allows beans, so I am not certain this recipe would work for them.

This recipe will require a crock pot/slow cooker, and some way to cook rice. I prefer a rice cooker, but you’re always welcome to cook them on the stove or through other methods. This recipe can also be customized with extras such as cheese, onions, corn, different beans, tomato or tomato stock (common in Mexican rice). If you do make a version of this recipe, I’d love to see what you come up with!



  • 1 Cup of Beans
  • 3 Cups of chicken stock (I have been using this bouillon)
  • 1 small hen
  • 1/2 tsp Cumin
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 4 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 tsp chile
  • 1 1/3 C rice
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  • Rinse beans and chicken as needed.
  • Place all of the spices, stock, beans and hen into the crock pot.

  • Cook on high for 8 hrs (we like to cook ours overnight).
  • Remove chicken and de-bone. Chop up or shred the meat to preference.
  • Use the excess water in the crock pot to make the rice.
  • Once rice is finished, mix all of the cooked ingredients together.
  • Enjoy!

I enjoy this dish with corn chips



Obon 2012

This past weekend I got the chance to attend my first Obon festival! Obon is a Buddhist festival for honoring your ancestors and it usually involves lots of dancing. This was my first experience, and I wasn’t sure what to expect. It turned out to be an awesome experience.

The Dance Floor

The setup was pretty simple- there were a bunch of chairs set up in a large circle. In the middle, there was a white line that you could follow for the dances. In the center of the dance floor were the teachers for the Bon Odori. All of us who weren’t very certain about our dancing skills were along the outside- and you could follow along. What was even better about this particular odori is that they had fans, kachi-kachi, and all of that for us. So if you didn’t have all of the supplies, you weren’t left out.

I decided to wear my Ro kimono, which I bought from a member off of IG. I went with ro because it was supposed to be incredibly hot that night- around 105. I went with a basic hanhaba, tied in a way that is easy to drive in.

My friend wore their yukata with a kaku obi that I made. It has a western paisley pattern on it. And there is a mini Iron Man used as a netsuke.

We got to see a couple of our friends at this event. It’s been quite a while since we could all do something together. It was nice to be able see them again 🙂

There was a small rummage sale in the Hondo. I managed to find an obi, komon kimono, and an obijime. There were some zori and tabi, but they were too small for my big feet!

I decided to quickly try on the kimono to see how it fits. It’s actually quite large for me. The wingspan is almost long enough for me. However, the lining seems to large for the kimono… so I might have to pick it apart and adjust it a bit. Otherwise, it’s nice! And the obi is nice and stiff. It ties really easily.

All in all, I’m super glad that I went- even though it was warm. It was such a great feeling to be a part of the community and to watch everyone join together for this event. I can’t wait for next year!

Here is a blog post from one of my friends who was with me.

There was another friend of ours taking photos while there. So there might be another post in the future, showing some of the pictures he took 🙂

Homemade Hanhaba Obi

Today I set out to create my first obi with some fabric that I bought at a local store. To test it out, I decided to try it in an outfit. Please forgive my crappy mirror photos, and all of the junk behind me :S



While I’m not too sure about the color combination, I still don’t mind the obi itself. It’s a bit softer than your average hanhaba, so I’ll have to practice with it. The obijime that I used is actually strips of fabric from a jersey knit t-shirt. I pulled the two loops through one another to create a knot in the front. I think it’s an interesting look, if nothing else.

Adventure in San Diego!

A few weeks ago, I was lucky to have the chance to spend the day in San Diego. I was excited to see what was there, as I had never been any further south than LA while in California.

To make the most of our day, my friend and I got a Go Card so that we could see a lot of stuff for one flat fee. We got to the dock a little early to pick up our cards, so we decided to walk around and see what was there. We were able to find a non-coined metered parking lot right by the Midway, so we started our trek there (note to self: next time bring quarters!).

The Midway

After we got our cards, we decided to head up to Balboa Park where we walked around the San Diego Zoo. I usually don’t care for zoos, but this one was large and nice.

We were having fun taking pictures, moving through hoards of children when my friend asked for the camera. And as I handed it over, there was this huge SMACK!

And the camera hit the ground.

So after that, there are pretty much no pictures 🙂 We did manage to go see the Japanese Garden, the Museum of Man, and the Art Museum. We also went to the aquarium over in La Jolla. And we ended our day by staying in the La Jolla Cove Suites. La Jolla was awesome, though the ocean culture is very different from what I’m used to. Most of my adventures to the beach have been in the Pacific North West, and I’m not sure to major cities being right on the beach. So it was a different experience.

I managed to get a picture with my phone of seals lounging on the beach.

And I captured some video of the cove. The sea lions are talking in this video, but my phone didn’t capture it very well.

All in all, the trip was awesome. And my camera breaking mid trip did allow us to live more in the moment- seeing our vacation through our eyes instead of a camera lens. We did eventually fix the camera once we got home. So alls well that ends well 🙂