Jun 8, 2015

mother's day

I know Mother's Day was a little while back, but I was looking through some photos, and remembering a day that was just right. 

Mothering is one heck of a tough job. It is ceaseless, and 24/7, and at times, I think I will lose my mind completely if I have to cook one more meal or have to be on the receiving end of yet more toddler attitude. There are certainly days that I want to curl into a tight ball and let go of all responsibilities for even five minutes. 

But it is the job I wanted more than anything in the world. I dreamed about being a mother for years, and desperately prayed to become one, when it seemed that fertility was not in the cards. When I found out I was pregnant, it was a joy unspeakable. Now with my daughter here with me, my heart continues to expand infinitely every day.

We spent our Mother's Day first with my wonderful in laws, and then as a little family of three. We played in local gardens, had some incredible vegan food, and I got to have some coveted cuddle time. It was simple and sweet and perfect. 

Julie, I love you more than I ever could have imagined. Thank you for making me a mother. I am so honored to be yours, little one. 

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May 18, 2015


"A Portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

Why hello there, little mouse! Ready and oh so excited to go on her first visit to Disneyland.

May 10, 2015


"A Portrait of my child, once a week, every week in 2015."
Mother's Day explorations, bunny sidekick in hand.
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May 6, 2015


I'm so honored to be a part of the new HERITAGE series on the Indi Moonrose blog. I wrote about my experiences growing up bi-culturally, and the struggles of coming home again after thinking you have lost yourself. Here is an excerpt:

"At sixteen I made the decision to return to America, to my father who was now a stranger to me, and to old friends who were no longer children. It was a terrifying prospect to return home to a place that was pieced together from memories, and film and TV scenes, but sometimes leaps of faith must be taken. Sometimes the scariest choice is truly the right choice. So I said goodbye to my mother, family, to friends who had grown to be irreplaceable extensions of my heart, and flew fifteen hours to a new life. Reverse culture shock was waiting at the other end, and it’s true that it never gets easier, but I’ve found that life is made meaningful by such challenges."

Please visit Bri's beautiful blog to read more.

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May 2, 2015


"A Portrait of my child, once a week, every week, in 2015."

The bangs make her look so much older...My baby has been replaced by a full blown little girl, and I'm feeling all sorts of bittersweet. Of course, her bangs will stay put for only a minute or so, before they spring back up into a mess of wild and untameable curls.  

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May 1, 2015

wanderings of a vegan foodie-donut friend

When I moved from Tokyo to LA in 2007, the vegan options in Tokyo were still few and far between. Most of my favorite places were somewhere in the Omotesando vicinity (If you're ever planning a trip to Tokyo, let me know! I can recommend a few amazing places.) I made a trip back back to Japan this past winter after eight years of living in LA, and it was a completely different place! There were so many juice bars, and the ease with which I could find vegan food offerings blew my mind. Tokyo is constantly re-inventing itself, and I love that about that city.

Being that the options were still few in Japan eight years ago, coming to LA was like moving to a vegan paradise. Whole Foods was my new Disneyland, there was vegan fast food, and being plant based was totally accepted by most people I met. It was an exciting time getting to try out all of these amazing restaurants.

I'm happy to say that LA is still a vegan paradise, and the options are even more endless. Now that I have a toddler, its's important for me to go to places that have kid friendly options, as well. I'm always excited to share great finds with others, so I thought some vegan restaurant/store reviews were in order. Having yet another excuse to visit some of these eateries didn't contribute to this idea at all... ;-) So, to kick things off:

LA now has its very own almost vegan donut shop! In the heart of the ever hip Highland Park, this donut shop takes donuts to another level altogether. You can either customize your donuts, or choose from a vast menu of concoctions that range from your traditional cake donut with glaze and sprinkles to creative donuts filled with coconut cream and and glazed with vanilla glaze and lime zest, such as my favorite "Coconut of Conformity".

Most donuts can be veganized, there is a gluten free option, and they informed me that they have plans to go all vegan in the near future! Pure music to my ears and taste buds :-) If you are a donut lover and happen to be in the area, or feel like making a special trip (it's worth it.), I cannot recommend this place enough.

P.S. If you feel like making a full meal of it, Town Pizza is a couple doors down with a stellar vegan pizza on menu. (Review to come.)

Donut Friend
5107 York Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90065
They are closed Mondays, and are open 7 am-10 pm tue, wed, thurs, sun & 7 am-12 am Fri, Sat

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Apr 30, 2015

from the kitchen table (vegan family meals)

I've been working on refreshing my diet--I say "refreshing" because it sounds a little less menacing than "overhauling"... I see an amazing Chinese doctor and naturopath who have been such a wealth of information, and have been the catalysts to this particular wave of change. It's not a bad change. Just less sugar, wheat (sob), with the addition of more healthy fats. It gets a little tricky cooking for the whole family, but we are making it work little by little. Here's our day:

Breakfast-Jasmine rice with natto seasoned with toasted sesame oil and nama shoyu//stewed pumpkin//nori seaweed

Snack-Gluten free zucchini muffin//cashew milk

Lunch-Baked falafel sandwich on sprouted bread (for Julie), home made hummus, and avocado//a large salad with more avocado and carrot ginger dressing//coconut yogurt

Snack-Vanilla chia pudding//rooibos chai tea

Dinner-Kamut pasta with roasted cauliflower, olives, and walnuts//kale salad

*Muffin and carrot ginger dressing from Choosing Raw, Hummus from Oh She Glows, Chia pudding from Living Raw Food and the rest was thrown together willy nilly. Time to get some of these recipes written down!
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