Sunday, January 29, 2017

Having Matcha Tea in Hama-rikyu Gardens in Tokyo

Sunday, January 29, 2017















We started the day like all other days, in the Lawson convenience store to grab two tamago sandos (egg salad sandwiches - SO good!) and onigiri. It was the perfect breakfast. We spent the afternoon exploring Hama-rikyu Gardens which used to be an old villa.

In the middle of the pond, there is a tea house where we enjoyed matcha paired with Japanese confections (called wagashi) in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony style. They weren't strict, knowing that we were tourists, and they were extremely helpful when it came to the etiquette. Even the other guests that were Japanese were willing to show us how to properly participate in the ceremony.

It was a long day of walking around, but it was perfect to relax with matcha for a little. After, we found a bench on a hill, overlooking to gardens and the city, and we closed our eyes for a little while under the sun. 

After the garden, we made our way to a museum called Intermediatheque. We weren't allowed to take photos in there sadly. I would have loved to share photos because it was so cool! The space used to be the old post office, and now showcases natural history specimen beautifully. The website describes the museum's purpose with a bit of broken English, but it makes sense: "The design policy conducting the revival of this historical heritage within the contemporary urban cityscape is one of the highlights of the exhibition." By re-purposing the old post office space to show off natural history specimen that are important for research, within a city setting is incredible. You can see some photos here.

From there, we walked through Ginza, a really nice neighborhood in Tokyo. For dinner, we went to Tokyo Ramen Street within Tokyo station. While there are a few ramen shops in this cluster that are well-loved, all of the ramen spots here looked good. After walking around all day, we were hungry and chose not to wait in line at the two most well-known shops. We took a chance at another ramen shop that didn't have a wait, but every other table was full. We chose our ramen bowls at a machine and paid there. When we sat down, we gave our tickets to the server and shortly after, the ramen we selected was at our table. It was comforting and delicious. 
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Sunday, January 22, 2017

Women's March on Chicago

Sunday, January 22, 2017













Yesterday I joined the Women's March on Washington in downtown Chicago. I don't normally like large crowds or places without easily accessible exits, and this was the largest crowd I've ever been apart of with 250,000+ people. Everyone was extremely respectful and in good spirits, with messages of equality, love, and hope. I was surrounded by Chicago's most beautiful people, inside and out. 

While there, I thought of the future generation, and how this world is theirs. I thought my nieces and nephews, my friend's children, and my own future children. I'm excited to tell the future generation about this day. And I hope in turn that they can tell me how far we've all come.
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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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