Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dining Room DIY: now my favorite wall of the house.

I've had this vision in my head of all a design of many origami cranes hanging so beautifully along a wall somewhere in my house. I had a vision, and executing it and seeing the finished product was so much fun and so rewarding. It turned out wonderfully in my humble opinion. I love just sitting on my couch and looking at this wall!
 It started out with purchasing this beautiful painting by J. Kirk Richards, and finally getting it custom framed after we arrived here in Japan. It's called "Every Knee Shall Bow."
Then, it took some online tutorials on how to make an origami crane, and I was on my way!
This is what an entire package of origami paper looks like in paper crane form:
 Then a trip to the beach to gather drift wood. Found some small pieces that I liked...
And then jackpot! Found this beauty. I don't know what kind of wood it is, but it smells great. 

 Then my friend Sherry helped me hang up the hooks (I feel like you need a second hand when drilling big holes in the wall)

And then voila!!

I am so happy with the way it turned out, I'm not going to lie.
And just as a run down, not counting the painting, this is how much the project cost
Wood: Free
Origami Paper: $4
Hooks: $9

Total Cost: $13 !!

I just love combining my two loves: crafting and decorating. What do you think??

Monday, March 25, 2013


Husband is still gone. This is what I do to pass the time:

Farmers Markets. And just retail therapy in general.
 Bike rides to the beach where I people watch and take pictures of adorable Japanese kids.
Getting pampered.
 Seeing a baby humpback whale up close. Unfortunately it was because it had washed ashore already dead, but it was still a memorable experience. Sad, but cool.
 Beach trips and treasure hunting:
 Sushi. Lots of sushi.
 And I've become obsessed with origami! I make it while I watch movies. I thought about taking an origami class here, but there are plenty of wonderful youtube instructors, like this one. This is an orgami firework. You proud??
Lots of walks. This walk left my calves sore. But the view at the top was cool. 
This place is wonderful. I sure do love it.

Have a great week!


Monday, March 18, 2013

Planning ahead.

My beloved google reader is shutting down in July. Why, google, why???

So anyway, so far I have switched over to bloglovin which seems legit, but if you have any other suggestions on a similar site like google reader, please let me know.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Happy Sunday from Cape Manzamo

I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.  
~e.e. cummings

I went on a Sunday drive with my friend April and my cousin Sarah, and we ended up here. We basically picked it out on a map not really knowing what to expect, and wow. We made our way down and around to where the divers go to get in, and we did a little whale watching (it's their migration season right now) and wow. That was sweet. 

We weren't the only ones who came to enjoy the cape. They really love their tour groups!

 Ending the day with the sunset and the sea. What a beautiful sabbath. So much to be thankful for! I hope you have a wonderful Sunday.

xoxo Annie

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Afternoon Adventures

All I have to say is that if your husband is going to abandon you (i.e. go on a training exercise) only a month after arriving to a new country, Okinawa Japan sure is a great place to get abandoned. There is plenty to see and do, and I have been extremely blessed with a great support system here: wonderful new friends, a great church community, and outgoing neighbors. I also have joined a book club, so that seals the deal. I love Okinawa. 

Two fun things that are in abundance here are roller slides and beaches. There are plenty to choose from. This particular beach I explored with my friend April had water caves and a coral reef you could walk super far out on. And a roller slide. Good times. 

Fishing in the crystal clear waters:
 Today's afternoon adventure was spent at the Okinawa Prefecture Museum to see their special Marie Antoinette exhibit. It was pretty interesting, and the best part was trying on a replica of one her wigs. Kind of sounds gross though as I am typing this now. But still, it was fun.
 The interior was very Frank Lloyd Wright-esque. 
Loved the replica of the Gates of Versailles to enter the exhibit. It brought back a wave of memories of how just less than a year ago, I was fighting off throngs of Japanese tourists just to get a decent view of Marie Antoinette's bed. And now here I am living among them and being a total tourist at their museums. Funny how things work out like that!
 Any Japanese person that saw me take this picture was probably like, "now who's the obnoxious tourist???" I've come full circle. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I got a job from facebook: An ode to social media.

I had only been here on the island for a couple of weeks when I saw a posting on the "LDS families on Okinawa" facebook page with a job opportunity. It was for a substitute teaching position teaching english at local Japanese schools. So I responded, and I have been teaching once or twice a week now for the past month or so. Teaching english as a second language seems to be inescapable to me. This is now my third time doing it: the first in China and then in Romania. I guess it's something I'm meant to do. Anyway--I really have been enjoying it. The kids are darling and call me "Annie Sensei": for cute!

I am just so happy to get to do something like this while I'm here. I love being in the Japanese schools and working with the Japanese. I love the schools here. They are happy and inviting. But besides all that, I wanted to say how thankful I am for social media. I got a job because a woman I had never met posted it on facebook and took a chance on me by letting me do it. Before my mission I thought facebook was just a shallow form of communication. Now I realize what opportunities social media gives you, when used in the right way. It gives opportunities to help others. It gives you discussion about issues we are all worried about. It gives opportunities to form friendships out of common goals, interests and feelings.

Instagram and twitter are my favorite forms of social media right now. Quick and to the point. I love getting glimpses into people's lives through instagram and I love that I can show my friends and family aspects of whats it's like here in Japan. And I love how it has reconnected me with friends who I haven't seen in years, and yet I feel like I am a part of their lives again thanks to instagram. And thanks to texting apps, imessages, and facetime, I can see my baby niece start to walk, and I can see a dear friend days before her wedding and share in her excitement even though I can't be there in person.

Technology sure is amazing. And such a big blessing in my life--especially now as I am living on a tiny island on the other side of the world from my original home.

So yeah, this post was mostly meant to let you know about my little job that occupies some of my time here and helps me feel productive, but also to say how incredibly grateful I am to be able to feel so connected to you from so far away. So please don't stop blogging, tweeting, instagramming, facebooking, facetiming, pinteresting, etc. etc. etc. Because it means so much to me.

Nora Ephron says it best: "The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something, but I just wanted to say that all of these nothings have meant more to me than so many somethings."

So thanks again.
xoxo Annie

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Azalea Festival in Higashi Village

Okinawa loves its festivals! And I don't mind one bit. I love everything about a festival/fair: the food stands, the shopping, the entertainment: it's just one of my favorite things. So Okinawa is the place for me to be. This festival was up in the northern part of the island and it was so beautiful. My husband is out of the country right now, so I adventured up here with my friend April and my cousin Sarah (who just barely moved here as well--how crazy coincidental is that??).  
The views never get old. 
And the smell was wonderful. It sure was lovely. Hope you're having a great weekend!