Series: 5 on the radar

obsessed 2

Uka oils hydrate parched nails and ragged cuticles. They can also be used as perfume and even lip balm.

Okuhoshima "Bunny" Island in Japan. photo c/o fromicetospice

Okuhoshima “Bunny” Island in Japan. photo c/o frommicetospice

Lush Hanami Scrub: to die for scent of lavender, rose, ylang ylang and sweet orange oil

Lush Hanami Scrub: to die for scent of lavender, rose, ylang ylang and sweet orange oil

Sakae art- incredible!

Sakae art- incredible!


Blythe dolls dressed in kimono (image from Junie Moon)

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Skincare Inspired By Geisha Beauty Rituals

obsessed 20 decoist

sublime space c/o Decoist

Series: 5 On The Radar

obsessed 17 furoshiki

furoshiki c/o

obsessed 8 yo ho brewing craft beer

The most clever beer can designs by Yo Ho Brewing

obsessed 9 hotel okura tokyo

Hotel Okura Tokyo: Beautiful Japanese hotel and design landmark

obsessed 7 kokedama co designsponge

Kokedama: hanging gardens c/o Design Sponge

obsessed 4 naka

Naka Los Angeles: Discovered after watching the Netflix show Chef’s Table. New take on kaiseki art


Craft: Kawaii flower planter


After cleaning with soap, I just cut the top off



Next, I draw the design



Prime and Paint







Add “kawaii” features

Kawaii planter

After visiting the nursery, we added our flowers

kawaii planter 2

Kitty planter gets some wild, spiky grass

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Little bear and pig

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All three done!

This was a fun craft! The best part was getting to reuse something I would normally just toss in the recycle bin. We used old Silk Almond Milk and Horizon Half and Half half gallon cartons (water tight, no leaking). First, I cut off the tops and washed out with soap and set aside to let dry.

Next, we primed them using Premium Gesso Canvas Primer. It absorbs well to accept oil and acrylic colors, pastels, charcoal, pencil, and crayon. You can use it on a wide variety of surfaces besides just canvas. This acrylic Gesso primer is non-toxic as well. I would highly recommend using a primer. If you don’t, your paint may not stick to the material. We used two thin coats of primer before painting.

After the paint was dry we took a trip to our local Armstrong Nursery and picked out some colorful flowers and wild, spiky grass. You could also fill the planters with potting soil and plant seeds (wheat grass or catnip) or herbs.


Japanese Arts and Crafts Camp 2015


Here are the details to the 5-day Japanese arts and crafts summer camp I teach each summer. This fun, hands-on learning experience highlights all there is to love about Japanese culture, crafts and traditional arts. The kids have a great time creating and making new friends. See pics from past years camp here, here, and here. Hope to see you!
Sign up online at

Local Spotlight: The Spice and Tea Merchants

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Need a custom gift box made up?


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Looking for new recipes to try?


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I never knew there were this many different kinds of salt!


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Trying out some of the Himalayan salt


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Everything is neatly organized. The people know a lot about their products!


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Enough said: TEA WALL


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Blooming teas!


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This really is one of my favorite places to visit in Temecula. Tucked down a small alley in the Historic Down town you will find the Spice and Tea Merchants. This place has everything you need to prepare a tasty meal- spices- (think truffle salt and several different curry), spice blends- my favorites are Togarashi (a spicy Japanese blend), Jamaican Jerk (made this with it), Saugatauk Steak Rub (this makes grilling steaks extra yummy), herbs, extracts, local honey, and an amazing tea variety. I love their Bombay Chai and Cha Cha Chai. The Spice and Tea Merchants also carry a wide variety of pastas, rice and gifts. For those living outside of Temecula, The Spice and Tea Merchants offer an online shop to have their goodies shipped directly to your door. For more information, visit

Anza Borrego Desert

agua caliente


For me there is only the traveling on paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart, and the only worthwhile challenge is to traverse its full length -and there I travel looking, looking breathlessly.” ― Carlos Castaneda



Last weekend we went camping in Anza Borrego Desert at the Agua Caliente campgrounds. When we travel here, it’s like being transported to another world. The fact is, it’s only 1.5 hours from home in Temecula, California.

I’ve always been in awe of the desert. From its rugged landscape, to other-worldly feeling, it is a wonderful place to reconnect, recharge and unplug-being without cell reception was a major bonus.

Many describe the desert as desolate, lonely, bare and infertile. To me, the desert is a magical place. It offers the choice to really slow down (more here), explore the fauna and beauty and just be. One late afternoon, I sat motionless and watched the beauty of afternoon light, dance across the mountain scape into a beautiful show of color. Nature has a way of making me see so much, feel so much.