Double the Fun: New Year’s Day 2013

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Happy New Year, everyone!

What’s so wonderful about being married to the most amazing guy in the world is joining the most amazing family. And with that comes an introduction to a cool new tradition.

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The first morning of the year was spent at a Japanese temple in Downtown LA to receive the New Year’s blessings!  Hatsumode, or the first shrine / temple visit of the year, was so refreshing as I haven’t done this since I was living in Japan! Visiting a temple on special days (like the New Year, and when people turn 20, etc.) is more of a cultural thing for us Japanese than a religious ritual.

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Little Tokyo was packed with people, hoping for a fresh start of the year! After we gave the offerings (throwing money in a wooden box), we bought some Omamori for ourselves and the family, to protect us for another year.

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After the temple, we all got together at the parents’ house for shabu shabu lunch. I think I ate too much too fast, because by the time we were done, I needed to head straight to the couch to lay down! I have to remember that my stomach is not as big as it once was before Pon Pon occupied the space, and I need to eat much slower to avoid this kind of situation! redface

After taking a nap for a good 30 minutes or so, Kevin and I left to head over to my parent’s house for Party #2! We weren’t able to join them for dinner (we were still way too full) but my mother packed a bunch of delicious traditional food for us to enjoy later.  It was so wonderful to see them on the New Year’s day. It was a little strange to not be spending an entire day with with my folks like I did all my life, but there’s definitely a way to squeeze in double the fun, if there’s a will.

I am very excited for 2013. I know that this is going to be the best year yet.

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Happy Birthday, Shannon!

Kevin, Raf, Shannon and I got together for a shabu shabu dinner at home, to celebrate Shannon’s birthday. We ate, laughed, and talked the night away, over good food and Shannon’s favorite wine, Beaujolais! It was a blast!

I love that the at-home shabu shabu dinner is quickly becoming one of the rituals for us. It’s so much more economical than eating this Japanese hot pot dish out at a restaurant, which can easily go up to $25 a plate. I also love that we can collapse onto a couch after eating just a little too much!

I sewed up a handmade bag using the lovely Etsuko Furuya’s Eshino collections for the b-day gift. It has an adjustable strap (so it can be used as a messenger bag or a tote), with easy-to-open magnetic snaps inside. I wanted to make something in her favorite color but this was the closest to red I can find in my fabric inventory.

You know you had fun when you see an aftermath like this! Happy birthday, Shannon!