Akemashite omedetou gozaimasu!

It’s an overcast day; clouds big and heavy and low; seemed like they’re brimming with water vapour and about to shower what it has been keeping anytime now. But I smile as I look at them clouds. Because it’s like the year is brimming of promise, full of blessings.

The December count-thy-blessings blogging surely was fun (35 posts! And to think there were still a number of blessings received that we just kept private!); reminding us again that there sure are many blessings that He showers as every day, so long as we just acknowledge it and not focus on the negative side.

And so here’s to another year of counting the blessings He’s given us (note of the past tense, because He already has it in store for us; it’s just a matter of us being willing to receive it and count it as a blessing).

But just as we are getting ready for the goodness that is in store for us, let us also, even in our own little way, be a blessing to others as well in that even when we may not directly affect the entire world and make this a better world, at least by touching lives and being a blessing ourselves, we somehow create a ripple of goodness.

Happy New Year everyone!! ๐Ÿ™‚

new year tradition

Being a member of a regular Philippine household, I grew up accustomed to the flurry and mad dash during Philippine new years with all its tradition and superstitions. There’s the preparations for offering 13 fruits on the family dining table, the thorough planning of what to serve during Media Noche – no dishes with chicken to avoid a hard life come new year, serving sweet and sticky dessert for great relationships, boiled eggs which equal the number of family members for unity the whole year next year, fish and seafoods and pork for prosperity, faux gold candies for prosperity, hanging of grapes on doors and windowsills for further prosperity und so weiter.

Even when I was away from home and spent the new years in Singapore and in Japan for four consecutive years, me and my friends and colleagues still try to uphold the Filipino tradition, at least by not serving chicken and by coming up with the 13 fruits although in Japan, it can be quite expensive haha.

Last year, hubs and I spent our Christmas with my family whilst we spend our first new year with a private party in Boracay watching the fireworks display in the party crazed island. This is my first time therefore to experience and really immerse with the Japanese tradition of welcoming the new year. The celebrations itself will be featured in a separate post. This here is for the preparations.

The habotan (่‘‰็‰กไธน). Cabbage looking flowers to ring in luck and prosperity.




The kadomatsu (้–€ๆพ)which are placed in front of establishments again for luck and prosperity.


Of course we just had to pose beside one ๐Ÿ˜€


Mochi or Japanese rice cake (้ค…)!


And yes, the mikan/mandarin orange is considered auspicious as well.


These dragon charms are just so cute!!!! Though a bit expensive.



Let’s ring in a great new year everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚


We’re staying over with Hubs’ family for the new year holidays. The past three days had been really interesting and fun that it’s just but right to have this post for them, which I know is not enough to express how thankful I am to them.

As we go drive around for a road trip, my chest swells with thankfulness. We have received a lot of blessings this 2011. But one of the biggest blessings is that Atsushi’s family warmly welcomed me as a new member of the family that leaves me with a feeling of wanting to be a better daughter-in-law because of all the good things they’ve done to me.

Ojichan, Obachan, Otosan, Okasan, Mayumi, ใ‚ใ‚ŠใŒใจใ†ใ”ใ–ใ„ใพใ—ใŸ. I’ll do my best to make your son even happier.

Will feature later on the places we’ve been to the last couple of days once I’ve downloaded the photos. Here are some teasers for now.

Free milk from Shionoe (ใ—ใŠใฎใˆ), the dairy farm we went to yesterday. Their milk jam is just so delicious!!


A stopover at Osaki no Hana (ใŠใ•ใใฎใฏใช) in our road trip earlier for this beautiful view.


By the loooong Seto Bridge (ใ›ใจใŠใฏใ—).


For most part of this evening, we watched videos of when Atsushi and his sister were still kids, with Atsushi as young as four years old (gee that’s almost 28 years ago!). One thing I learned: like how he is as a grown up, hubs was definitely NOT a boring kid as we had tons of laugh with Atsushi’s antics. As Otosan has said, he sure was a comedian. ๐Ÿ˜€

Yoi otoshi wo

Today was officially my last working day for the year. Hurray! Thankful for the work in general. And thankful for a very productive day at work. There were a number of design issues that surfaced within the day but thankfully they were resolved within the day as well. Happy as a bee.

Currently writing this on board a bus albeit I was only able to blog this during an interchange stop as I usually get nauseous when using a mobile device or reading on board a running vehicle. We’re now probably halfway towards our destination. Excited. ๐Ÿ™‚

“yoi otoshi wo” by the way is the expression that the Japanese say at the end of the year to greet each other a happy new year. A different expression is used when greeting each other once you’ve crossed the new year, but I’ll blog about that next time. Was giggling as I greeted my office mates earlier with this expression as it was my first time to say it.

Yoi otoshi wo! ๐Ÿ™‚

getting ready for the new year

It always comes as a surprise that the day right after Christmas, all those elaborate decorations in the malls disappear overnight; making you almost feel like Christmas had been only a dream. In place of the Christmas trees and decors though, these are slowly put on display, like mushrooms that has popped up overnight. And yes, it is for the New Year Japanese festivities.


Spent a number of new years here in Japan (all spent on shopping because January 1 sale gives you one of the best bargains throughout the year). But this’ll be my first time to really immerse myself with the Japanese festivities. And you bet I’m excited! ๐Ÿ™‚

Two things we’re thankful for. We finally placed an order for the Laura Ashley curtains which will be sewn and delivered in four weeks. Yey! Was also able to send a box for my family. I know it’s late for christmas but the box was bigger than I’ve anticipated hence it took me quite a while to fill it up.

Tomorrow’s gonna be a mad dash in the office to issue outputs that needs to be issued before the holidays. Good luck to me! ๐Ÿ˜€

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