Sunday, January 15, 2017

Tokyo, day 6

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Looking back on our trip to Japan and all of the different areas we visited, I loved Tokyo more than I expected. The people were kind, excited to practice their English, everyone had such great fashion sense, and the city was beautiful. Above, you can see one of their city vehicles. All of them were such great colors, and the workers even wore uniforms that complimented the color of their vehicles. Below, I stumbled upon a claw machine selling sushi and yakitori (meat skewers) keychains.








We visited multiple shrines in Ueno Par and while walking around, we stumbled upon a festival near the museum. There were street vendors selling beers, meat on sticks, and long skinny fries overflowing from the containers! It was nice to rest our feet and try some street food. The meat skewers that the smiling woman served us were so juicy and delicious. Paired with an Asahi beer and you can't go wrong!




In many areas of Tokyo, it's not uncommon to stumble upon cemeteries. Behind the stones are long wooden slats with messages on them. The cemeteries look so different from ours, but are equally as peaceful as a  final resting place for loved ones. 







To end the day, we visited Rikugien garden during sunset, which is known for lighting up the trees, lake, and river to escort you through their Fall Evening Illumination. The garden's landscape was inspired by classic Japanese poems. The spindly branches of  the trees were illuminated throughout the garden, and even the river was flowing with wavering blue lights and a low and slow fog. From a distance, the tea pavilion glowed among the dark trees, still and calm. 

Back to present day... For dinner last night, we decided to head to an Asian grocery store for some goodies. We picked up some frozen gyoza to eat with our spicy tofu with rice and garlic broccoli for dinner. We walked through every aisle and had to bring home wasabi peas, spicy squid shreds, and rice crackers (my favorite bar snack when we were in Japan). In the candy aisle I found Meltykiss matcha chocolates and chocolate mushrooms - both of which I brought home from our trip, but I still want more! 

Lastly, the winner of the giveaway has been announced! But you can still receive 20% off your purchase at RugPadUSA.com with the discount code HyggeandWool. Stay cozy!
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Sunday, January 08, 2017

New Year, New Me! Updated Kitchen Breakfast Nook & a GIVEAWAY (Closed)!

Sunday, January 08, 2017








Rug Pad: RugPadUSA.com // Table: Ikea // Chairs: Ikea // Rug: Urban Outfitters // Blanket: Hygge & Wool

When we first moved to Chicago, our landlord was kind enough to ask us what paint colors we wanted for the rooms in our apartment. We had Deyrolle green in mind for years for our living room and dining room, and for the bedrooms and office, I wanted something simple and calming, so we went with a light grey. The only room that wasn't painted was the kitchen, because I couldn't decide.

Last winter, I spent some time painting the trim around the doors and the windows in the kitchen white, to match the rest of the apartment. You can see a cell phone photo of our kitchen when we first moved in, here. Being that I disliked the beige, drab walls in the kitchen, I decided on a moody blue for the wall where our little breakfast area is. Even after a defined breakfast area, it still wasn't complete. We left it that way over the summer, being too busy to do any home improvements. It appears that painting is my favorite winter nesting activity. Over the recent winter holiday we painted the rest of the kitchen a light grey over the beige. It's incredible what a fresh coat of paint can do for a room!

The last piece to completing the kitchen was sprucing up our rug under the breakfast table. RugPadUSA.com reached out to me about their rug pads. After walks, Mort is always running into the kitchen for a treat or his meal, and he often kicks up the rug! I went with the Anchor Grip rug pad, being that my kitchen rug is so thin. It's currently on tile, but I can still use the rug pad on wood or laminate flooring if we choose to rearrange things in the future. The Anchor Grip was an awesome option since it's quite thick, adding more comfort to this rug than before. Steven and I are finding ourselves eating both breakfast and dinner in here more often together rather than at the large dining room table, or in front of the TV. It's so much cozier!

Growing up, I remember spending a lot of time in the kitchen when my dad or grandmother were cooking. It was a place where the family gathered because both my Italian and Brazilian families focus a lot on food. I can see Steven and I continuing to spend more time in the kitchen together since it's so cozy now, carrying on the tradition of our families.

RugPadUSA.com is generously offering one Hygge & Wool blog reader a rug pad of their choice up to 12'x12'!

Giveaway closed on January 15th, 2017
The winner is Heather!

In order to qualify you must:
  1. Be living in the United States
  2. Be following in some way such as following Hygge & Wool blog on Bloglovin, or following @YelleTK on Twitter or Instagram
  3. Comment below letting me know what makes your home cozy! 
I will be selecting a winner at random on January 15th. But no worries, even if you don't win, RugPadUSA.com is giving blog readers an extra 5% off on their 15% off sale. Use the discount code HyggeandWool for 20% off your total order. Good luck!
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Monday, January 02, 2017

The Oldest Garden in Tokyo

Monday, January 02, 2017


















What better way to start my first blog post of 2017 than with the oldest garden in Tokyo. Koishikawa Korakuen was an incredibly calm oasis within the biggest city in the world. When we arrived, the maple trees were just beginning to turn their firey red. The pond at one of the edges of the park was so still, the reflection of the city looming above was as clear as a picture. Every corner we turned was more beautiful than the last. Growing up in NYC, I never thought that cities had much green spaces. Then I moved to Chicago and I fell in love with how much green Chicago has. But Tokyo? It worships it's green space and it's obvious how important nature is to the Japanese.

Steven and I have had a nice break from work this past week. We spent the holidays in the city, seeing friends and making lots of food. Since we were in Japan for Thanksgiving, I made all of our favorite Thanksgiving food for Christmas day. We had cornish hens, baked mac and cheese, corn bread, spinach torte, basically, a bunch of carbs. Being home during the days meant lots of holiday movies like Rare Exports and C.R.A.Z.Y. We also ventured downtown on the warmest day to go ice skating, visit our favorite roof top bar, and to walk around the parks. Our first dinner of 2017 was a Japanese feast made entirely by our friend John. It felt fitting to ring in the new year with soba noodles and matcha old fashioneds, being that going to Japan was my favorite thing about 2016.

We were oddly productive over our break. I kept up my new weekly yoga routine. We cleared out a few boxes of things that we were storing in a closet and never using. We even painted the rest of our kitchen - more on that soon! Our friends came over to enjoy leftovers with us, we went to their place to listen to vinyl records and cheers to the new year. The best part of every weekend this past year was all rolled into one week, ending 2016 in a really lovely way. I know that 2016 wasn't a great year for most, but I find myself feeling so fortunate for all that I have, and all that I've done this past year. 
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