Friday, April 25, 2014

happy cup coffee company

IMG_6298 I ran across this brand of coffee recently...Happy Cup Coffee Company.

They are from Portland Oregon and employ adults with disabilities ("People with Potential" as they say) to batch roast and package their coffees.

I loved the naming of the coffees..."Boom Boom Dark Roast" & "Morning Madness Espresso Roast"

IMG_6299 We tried the Morning Madness coffee and enjoyed it.

We also tried Boom Boom and I like this one more than Morning Madness, it seemed a bit smoother, richer.

Love the packaging as well.

It's Friday, I hope you enjoy the weekend.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

culture shock

IMG_6301 In Hawaii, my parents have a yard man. He uses a blower to blow all the leaves together to pick them up when he is done.

It's noisy, leaves fly everywhere...

He's gotten yelled at by neighbors because the leaves blow over to their side of the fence...well, when these neighbor's yard man comes over, guess who gets their leaves...ahem!

Anyway, I noticed this guy the other day. And thought, "oh no, they have leaf blowers here too"...and then I saw him "vacuuming" the leaves up!

Brilliant!

Now this is something I wouldn't mind seeing or hearing more of in Hawaii.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

alien to resident to fuji

IMG_6283 Recently Japan changed their "alien cards" for foreigners to "residence cards".

Since my re-entry visa was coming up for renewal, we called the Immigration office to see what we needed to do.

It turns out that all we needed to do was come in to change the "alien card" to the "residence card" and we no longer had to renew the "re-entry visa".

Talk about spending less time and money at the Immigration office.

I think we used to pay something like 6000 yen for the "multiple re-entry visa" every 3 years or so.

So, we got there after lunch, filled out the paper work, I took an ID photo in their photo booth....

Paying 800 yen for 4 photos & they only use 1 is a total rip-off! But I'm glad we received the card that day. The next time we need to renew this card is in 7 years...whoo!

On our way home, we noticed a board with a notice for the Noda Fuji Matsuri. Fuji is wisteria in Japanese and Noda is the area which this flower grows in Osaka, Matsuri is festival.

IMG_6285 Since the area was kind of on our way back, we checked out some of the many spots they have listed on the festival map.

Some turned out to be duds because they were located inside of many school grounds or some hadn't started blooming yet, but for the most part, most were located at parks.

IMG_6288 One location was in front of an apartment building this was really nice to see in the concrete jungle.

IMG_6289 I wish they would've given more addresses than just points on their map, we had a "scavenger hunt" of a time finding some of the locations.

IMG_6290 I want to go back to see some of the spots we weren't able to see.

IMG_6291 If I get a chance to I'll definitely share the photos with you.

Have a nice week!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

søholm cafe

IMG_6249 We recently tried Søholm Cafe's lunch.

Previously we tried the same cafe in Kyoto, but as I was writing this post, I found out that the Kyoto location closed earlier this year.

I ordered their meatball plate...900 yen plus tax. This came with their salad buffet & drink bar. The pickings were kinda slim when we first went to the buffet line, but everything was quickly refilled which was nice.

The meatballs were moist and the tomato sauce really tangy and flavorful. For the amount of sauce, I think they should've given at least one more cube of foccacia.

Satoshi had their avocado, bacon & tomato pasta...900 yen plus tax. He said he enjoyed it. I thought it would have had chunks of avocado but it was more of an avocado cream sauce. His lunch also came with the salad buffet & drink bar.

They also have terrace seating which should be nice as the weather warms up...we'll be back.

Søholm Cafe
Grand Front Osaka North Building 1F
Phone: 06.6359.2737
Open 10:00-22:00, when Grand Front Osaka is

Monday, April 21, 2014

downstairs coffee

IMG_6243 Located in the Mercedez Benz store is Downstairs Coffee, a cafe.

I recently had their Brunch Set...800 yen.

This came with a salad topped croque monsieur toast (toast with cheese, tomatoes and mizuna), honey granola toast (toast is topped with honey and lots of cinnamon granola) and vanilla yogurt with frozen fruits on it.

Of the choices for drinks, I chose their Americano.

At 9-something in the morning, to have strobey lights and loud music going, isn't the most peaceful, but I really enjoyed this plate...well, minus the frozen fruits...

I'll be back.

Downstairs Coffee
Grand Front Osaka North Building 1F
Phone: 06.6359.1780
Hours: 9:00-22:00
Open when Grand Front Osaka is

Sunday, April 20, 2014

flowers for easter

IMG_6115 It's Easter today. While we don't celebrate this, I wanted to share with you some flowers that I've seen on walks...Shibazakura (phlox). This is great for landscaping.

IMG_6138 Tokiwa Mansaku (Loropetalum Chinense). This one grow really tall but when I saw it they had cut it to hedge size...pretty!

IMG_6162 Kikumomo (Amygdalus Persica)...This particular tree was just filled with blossoms, so bright!

IMG_6206 Nanohana (Rapeseed)

I found these alongside the Minoo River...really brightened up the area.

IMG_6203 Not sure what type of flower this one is.

But I like how it droops down with lots of flowers on the stem.

IMG_6225 Yaezakura, a type of sakura (cherry blossom).

This double cherry blossom blooms after the Someiyoshi, the main type of cherry blossom, love the pom-poms.

IMG_6242 And lastly, some freesia from our lanai.

I think this year we've had more freesia than in the past.

I hope you all have a great week ahead!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

moulin du calanquet

IMG_6186 My host brother's wife recently gave us this bottle of preserves by Moulin du Calanquet, a maker of different condiments in Provence.

She said it could be used for meat and cheese.

I looked at the bottle and it is made from cherries and balsamic vinegar.

We enjoyed it with steak and some brie.

It was a little tart but we liked it.

Thank you!