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One of my best friends will be in Tokyo soon. I’m jealous and anxiously awaiting all the details of her adventure. I’ve been thinking about Tokyo a lot lately. Perhaps my friend’s trip prompted my pensive daydreaming about the capital’s city streets, or maybe I’m just long overdue for a vacation? Either way my daydreaming has led me to write this post – to share with my friend and with the world, my favorite places to visit in Tokyo.
I should preface, this list is in no particular order, this list is rather a mind full of musings on one of my favorite places in the world.
The department store of all department stores. My favorite locations in Tokyo are the Shinjuku and Shibuya locations. My favourite areas of the store:
– The beauty section – local makeup brands like CanMake (love their gloss).
– Bath products: Yes I do want 100 options for my bath salts.
– Stationary: Because I love stationary and someday want to write a real letter… You know like I did back in the 80’s
– The Toy Floor
My favorite location again is in Shinjuku. I love this store. I love books, but I really love Japanese Magazines. There are magazines for all sorts of things – like the best coffee houses in Tokyo… or  Nail Art. I could look at pictures of Nail Art forever.
I got my nails done here on my honeymoon and loved them. I highly recommend them. The location that I went to is in Shinjuku. Note that you should ask your hotel to make your reservation as all the nailists mainly speak Japanese. You could also use this handy reference from Universal-Doll for common phrases/ etiquette when getting your nails done in Japan. 
4. Shibuya Crossing – Getting Starbucks at the crossing and watching the world go by. Note – if you get a matcha latte in Japan… It tastes much better as they add more Matcha.
5. Shibuya 109 – I love this mall. Love it. I’ve been able to get some select items years ahead of the trends in Canada, particularly accessories. Tip – Start at the top and work your way down… I find the best stores have been near the top. On the very top floor is a makeup store and HUGE selection of circle lenses. OMG you must get some of these – they are insanely fun. Look closely and you will find a waiver you must sign (all in Japanese) but there is a cheat sheet for us non speakers. NOTE: If you have a prescription pick out 3-5 different lenses you want and bring them to the cash – prescription lenses sell out more quickly so you might not get your first choice but if you’ll brought a few backups you like they should be able to find you your second or third choice.  Shibuya 109 is also a mecca for eyelashes at the same store… the sheer selection is daunting.
6. Japanese baked goods. Especially ones with adzuki beans and or matcha flavoured.
7. Sushi. My favourite places include:
– Genki Sushi: http://www.genkisushi.co.jp
– Heiroku Sushi in Omotesando https://www.heiroku.jp
8. Fast foodish – Japanese Curry from CoCo Curry.
Get ready to Queue though – although the wait is worth it! Ohh and get the cucumber salad… I dream of that salad.
Also known as the inspiration for that famous scene in Kill Bill where Uma Thurman battles the crazy 88 – and on a personal note where my hubby and I celebrated our engagement together.
12. Watami. A popular Izakaya. Ask for non smoking.
Hope you enjoy some of the same places I do next time you travel to Japan.
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Elephant LR WM.

My prince, my knight in a ninja’s suit rode up on an elephant. It wasn’t a traditional wedding, it was our wedding, and it could not have been any more perfect.

I spent the 14th of August getting married to the love of my life, in Koh Samui Thailand. He just happened to roll up on a pachyderm.

Where to start – how do you start the tale of an epic adventure?

Once upon a time a couple wanted to tie the knot. But where do you get married when regardless of the venue many of  your family and friends all have to travel to attend? We knew we wanted to have a destination wedding. Travel in Canada is expensive and we wanted our guests to have a vacation. So to help us decide on the destination we put the question to our immediate family. Where would they prefer to go? The Caribbean?, South America? Or Thailand? To our surprise, when asked about their destination of choice, our family chose Thailand. I could not believe that our family and friends were down for this adventure, some of whom have traveled very little.

Thailand holds a special place in our hearts, my husband and I took our very first trip together to Thailand. We explored the amazing country together and learned a lot about ourselves and each other in the process. It meant the world to us that we were able to share this country with nearly 30 of our closest friends and family at our wedding. I still can’t believe how lucky we are to have all these amazing people in our lives. We had people travel from all across the globe, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Canada.

I’ve tried to write this post dozens of times, wanting my writing to somehow paint the vividness of our experience overseas. No matter how many drafts I make, I just can’t seam to capture the grace of the experience in words, or the intensity of emotion I feel when I remember the days spent leading up to the wedding with our wedding entourage. So instead I’m just going to say Thank you!

Thank you to Faraway weddingsOutside prewedding 2 lr wm

Planning the wedding was a daunting task, I researched for hours upon hours different venues on the Island of Koh Samui. Thankfully, I found Faraway Weddings. Faraway weddings is a wedding venue and organizer, they arrange everything for your wedding day but are not a resort. This worked perfectly for us as we wanted our guests to have the flexibility to choose where they’d like to stay.

Faraway weddings were totally dedicated to making our wedding perfect for us. Our wedding planner Mairead exchanged what felt like a million emails with me. Mairead was incredibly patient with my questions and special requests. I’m not sure how she kept everything straight but she did. If you’re reading this and planning a destination wedding I would highly recommend them.

My makeup was amazing and so was my hair, a big thank you to our hair and makeup artists. Danai,our photographer, was absolutely amazing as well (all the pictures used on this post he took). You can visit Faraway Weddings here.

Getting ready for the walk down the aisle.

Thank you to Leela Rose Moda for my amazing dress.

I wanted to wear a traditional Thai dress for my wedding.

After much online searching I found Lela Rose Moda and fell in love with their fishtail dress (a modern take on a traditional Thai dress). After some correspondence with the team, I made an appointment to go to the shop. I arrived in Bangkok on Sunday, and had my appointment on the Monday – and was leaving Bangkok on Friday am. (What a crazy timeline right?!)

Given my size I was lucky enough to be able to buy off the rack (custom versions can take weeks due to the cut and the care and attention the team gives every dress). Leela Rose Moda were able to not only help me find the dress of my dreams but adjusted it perfectly to fit me in an afternoon.

Not only was I outfitted marvelously but the team at Leela Rose Moda were so friendly and helpful. I will never forget how I was carefully shown the proper way to comport myself wearing their bridal masterpiece. Tips for walking and standing rather regally were instructed for my special day. They made me feel utterly beautiful and also helped me procure a set of Thai bridal jewelry for myself and my bridesmaids. If you are planning on getting married in Thailand and you want an amazing creation, visit Leela Rose Moda. You can visit them online here.

Cheers to our guests.

Cheers to all out guests! We’re so blessed to have you in our lives.

Thank you to all our guests.

You traveled to take part with us and no matter where we travel in the future this day made an imprint on our hearts and we’re so glad you were there to share it with us. I think of all the small intimate moments of our wedding, moments shared with each of you that I know we will revisit often throughout our married lives. We know that travelling to Thailand was no small trip, thank you for adventuring with us. We’re so lucky to have you all in our lives.

Walking down the aisle with my parents.Family

Thank you to our families.

Thank you for supporting us in this crazy adventure. I guess it’s not all that surprising given we were both raised by adventurous souls. We couldn’t ask for a better family, both in the family we were born to and the ones we joined in love. Thank you our parents who made touching speeches and to our amazingly talented MC, my favorite sister, Rena. And a special thank you to our two amazing flower girls, Essa and Rosa.

Thank you to my husbands Groomsmen. 

Thank you for being such amazing friends. Thank you for taking care of my man – on his wild bachelor party… which since it happened in Bangkok… could have been the makings of another Hangover movie. And a special thank you to Obie Wan Kenobie of speeches, you know who you are.

My special ladies.

Thank you to my Bridesmaids.

My girlie glam squad. You went above and beyond.

Dr. Lindsay travelling solo for coconut ice cream, calmly performing miracles, being friends all these years is such a blessing, it always feels like we just saw each other last week. Our talks always ground and steady me. I have some serious thanks to give your amazing hubby for his contribution to our wedding.

Marina charismatic-ally charming elephants and Aldo sales people, you gave me peace prior to my big day. You have such a big heart, and you share it so openly, spreading happiness. I’m not sure you know how much you give to all those who are fortunate enough to know you. I’m so happy you’re in my life.

Jaenine negotiating every cab, mastering manicures and questionable streetside delights (you put my adventurous spirit to shame with that meal). I’m so glad we met over 5 years ago – I never would have laughed as much without you or tried so many new things. Life is for living and you’ve helped me live mine more fully.

And thank you to all those who sent us your well wishes but were not able to attend. We know you wanted to be there and you were in our thoughts on our special day.

Ring time.But most of all – Thank you to my husband

Thank you for dealing with my crazy wedding questions and months of planning anxiety. You were my rock. Thank you for making our day so unique and fun. Thank you for picking a wedding song so perfect for us, and for my beautiful wedding day serenade. Our song is so much more to me than just words, its just another example of how big your heart is, and it warms mine every time I hear it.  I’m so happy we found each other. Life with you is an adventure I look forward to everyday.

K&U

Two weeks ago I had the pleasure of shopping with a friend at the Ottawa Vintage Clothing sale. As usual the sale did not disappoint.

Plenty of jewelry, scarves and other assorted bits and bobs. I found a lovely italian silk pocket square for my man as well as a new pair of cufflinks.

For me I found a lovely gold collar. I’ve been longing for a chunky gold necklace since spotting this look on Lilly Allan and Lana Del Ray.

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I also nabbed this scarf clip – I’m not exactly sure how to use it yet but from what I can tell I’ll have no trouble finding good tutorials like this one.

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Ok this post isn’t totally about chicken and waffles. It’s about how life can grab u by the waffles and shake u around a little. That’s. Me.

Or that was me for a solid 3 months. Sigh. But I’m baaaack. And I’m going to have a great post this weekend as I’ll be heading out to the Ottawa vintage clothing sale again. Ahhhh nothing says retail therapy like rows and rows of vintage do dads.

I hope anyone reading this blog has had a happy and productive 3 months.

K

Me wearing a fox trimmed poncho. My new Black Fox tail in the upper right image.

Me wearing a fox trimmed poncho. My new Black Fox tail in the upper right image.

Last Saturday I was in Toronto. I love Toronto. I spent my Saturday morning in Toronto catching up with friends and their lovely baby at the Easy Restaurant in Little Italy. It was a delicious breakfast, if you happen to be in Little Italy in Toronto you must stop here. I had the Breakfast burrito. I’m drooling thinking about it.

After breakfast, full of burrito fuel, I headed to the Queen and Spadina area. It was cold outside as I walked. I sought a small reprieve from the cold. Spying a fur in a shop window, I darted into Alex Furs on Spadina. When I stepped inside I was greeted by a friendly “hello”. It was clear this business was a family affair with 3 generations sitting and standing near the cash register. Family spending time together watching rugby between customers. I was welcomed and politely left to peruse the supple furs. I couldn’t help it, I tried on some as well.

Nick, the store’s manager, helped me try on a few furs. Mostly fox fur. I love fox fur. The picture below is one of myself wearing a fox trimmed poncho made of cashmere. So warm and so beautifully made. Nick was quick to point out that they help their clients with custom designs and understand the desire for their clientele to have something unique.

While I was in the store an existing client came in to pick up their jacket (a lady in her 20’s who had taken a vintage find to Alex Furs for cleaning and some gentle repairs). It was clear to me in watching  the team at Alex Furs take care of this younger client that their customers are family. The service they provided was warm and friendly, the type of real customer service that you don’t see often anymore. I got the sense that if I bought something from Alex Furs that I would be remembered and that I would actually share in something. Share in a passion for fine clothing, clothing that if taken care of will last a lifetime, garments created with care and purpose.

Once the younger customer left, happily carrying a revived vintage fur, I chatted with Nick about fur and their business. Alex Furs has quite the legacy, manufacturing fur garments and accessories since 1969. Located in the Fur district on Spadina Avenue they specialize in custom design, repairs, recycling cleaning and cold storage of furs. They love their work and it shows. It was hard not to nab a new fox collar for my wool coat. Instead I snagged a black fox tail for my purse.

But… I have plans ohhh yes I have plans for a custom cashmere jacket. Something suitable for a dress in the winter with a fox trimmed hood. Think Little Red Ridding hood with an edge.