Monday, February 29, 2016

The year you turn three in Japan, is a monumental birthday. My daughter just marked three years in January, and we wanted to put our efforts forward in attempt to follow tradition. These are her Shichi-go-san photos, donning a traditional kimono and "dress-up" gown. Shichi-go-san, literally means, 7-5-3, and in the Shinto religion are considered lucky numbers and critical years in a child's life for health and growth. 

*Shichi-go-san is celebrated all over the region on November 15, as families escort their children of 7, 5, and 3 years to a Shinto shrine for a blessing of good health and celebration of life so far. The tradition spans back to the Heian period of Japan (794-1185). The shrine conducts a customary short ceremony, with live percussion's, a prayer from a priest and a maiden ringing a bell. The parents and extended family pray for health and long life for the children. Afterward the children are given a long stick of candy called, chitose-ame (thousand year candy), for eternal happiness and health.

Shichi-go-san festival does not take place until November, and if we are still in Japan, we hope to do our best Western version of the ceremony. However, we wanted to celebrate the Japanese custom while living in Tokyo and get Maya's photos taken.

They are so special and a memory we will all have for ever.

Brand Collect in Harajuku

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I threw in a little Tokyo street art as a friendly, GOOD MORNIN'! :)

Anyway, I am currently writing an article series for Savvy Tokyo on all of the cool vintage/recycle shops in different neighborhoods. Apart from designer sample sales, recycle shops are probably as close to a shopper's paradise as it gets. I came across this store called, Brand Collect. It has a couple locations in Harajuku and appears to be a buy and sell chain. Regardless of it being a boutique or chain, the store carries some pretty dope stuff.  It sells slightly used and imported designer clothing. Famous brands such as Supreme, A Bathing Ape, Givenchy, The North Face and more are recycled in this menswear haven. Japanese sizes run so small, women could definitely shop here for some street style inspired looks.

I am loving the supreme jacket.

Check out below for the details and worth checking out if and when in Harajuku.


Store: Brand Collect

Address: Jingumae, Shibuya-ku 4-26-2
                  Tokyo, 150-0001

Hours: 11:00 am- 20:00 pm

Contact: 03-3478-2244

Misty Copeland Recreates Edgar Degas

Monday, February 22, 2016

Harper's Bazaar recently just broke the "art lovers" Internet after releasing this spread. Misty Copeland, first African American principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, recreates Edgar Degas iconic paintings and sculptures. I can't get enough of these! Degas's ballerinas rank fairly high on my "obsessed" list and my daughter's new love affair with ballet makes it even more relatable to me.

In the article Misty says, "It was amazing just to notice all of the small details but also how he still allows you to feel like there's movement," Copeland told the magazine. "That's what I think is so beautiful and difficult about dance too. You're trying to strive for this perfection, but you still want people to get that illusion that your line never ends and that you never stop moving."

Takashi Murakami's 500 Arhats

Attention Tokyoites! It is down to the final two weeks of the Takashi Murakami exhibit at the Mori Art Museum in Roppongi Hills. It has been one of my favorite exhibitions to date, and I highly suggest checking it out before it leaves Tokyo. Check out my article below for my information behind the artist and the meaning of his enormous piece, "500 Arhats".

The Mori Art Museum (MAM) is known to host works by some of the world’s most noteworthy artists, and the current exhibition is nothing less than extraordinary. For the first time since 2001, Takashi Murakami is showing his contemporary pieces here in Japan. You may be familiar with the cute cartoon-like images around Roppongi Hills or with Murakami's famed Mr. Dob character, but after visiting the MAM exhibit you will likely start to see his aesthetic in art as well as fashion all around the city.

As one of the world’s most significant contemporary artists today, Murakami has created quite the buzz for himself in Western culture. Collaborating with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton and designing Kanye West’s album covers have further solidified his popularity outside of Japan. Often compared to Andy Warhol, Murakami has coined his artistic style as “superflat,” a method of fusing anime style designs with post-war traditional imagery and scenes. 

Because of its sheer scale, The 500 Arhats is not likely to be shown in many exhibits following the current one. So if you are running low on date night ideas, we suggest hitting up MAM, checking out the Tokyo City View before or after, and indulging in a little holiday spirit throughout Roppongi Hills. The Christmas Village is full of cheer and galaxy lane is a spectacle in itself. Happy hour, an art exhibit and some festive fun sounds like a fail-proof evening!

Here is what you need to know:

When: Now through March 6, 2016; Wed–Mon, 10 a.m.–10 p.m.; Tue, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (admission until 30 minutes prior to closing)
Where: Mori Art Museum, 53F Roppongi Hills Mori Tower, 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo
How much: ¥1,600 per adult; ¥1,100 per university or high school student; ¥600 per child aged four to junior high school students
Tel: 03-5777-8600


Sunday, February 21, 2016
I covered the Opening for the new concept store CPCM for Savvy Tokyo. Check out my article below and the pictures from this amazing new store. Definitely check it out if you are visiting TOKYO!

A new hot spot has opened its doors in Jingumae. CPCM “Crafts and Permaculture Country Mall”, is a 30 meter concept store filled with artisan goods and handcrafted art pieces ranging from craftsmen leather, custom made hats, interior décor and pottery.

CPCM is the first permaculture shop in Japan and is a reproduction of the RTH store in Los Angeles, California.  Designer René Holguin, established RTH, and worked with Takashi Kumagai in mimicking his California based boutique .The aesthetic of the store takes nods from the American southwest, marrying rustic décor with stylish bohemian clothing. A mix of Edward Curtis type photographs, ceramics, and furniture creates a multi-layered merchandising experience and everything is for sale!

Poncho’s, bandana printed bags and denim shirts are amongst the men’s and women’s apparel sold by artisan brands, as well as one of a kind vintage Ralph Lauren and Levi jeans. Leather goods and accessories are seen throughout the entirety of the store, including three chairs with a” Charles Eames design” resemblance.

The second floor host’s hand woven artworks and products from designer Emily Katz, as well as ironware pottery and accessories from Iwake Prefecture. Custom hat designer, Bono Coppollo, is an onsite collaboration that is currently taking orders at the store.

The massive “mall” creates a flea market vibe with multiple vendors and crafts. Spend an afternoon checking out the artisan designs and stop by the little snack shack, which sells coffee and sandwiches.

Check out the deets below!

Address: 150-0001 Tokyo Shibuya-ku Jingumae 6-12-22

Telephone: 03-33406-1104

My Crew at Midtown

Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Our weekends follow an unspoken routine, and somewhere in the pattern a park falls into place. One of the things I love most about Tokyo, is the neighborhood parks. No matter where you are in the city, it is certain that a child friendly, green patch of land will be a stones throw away. After brunch, we pile the kids in the submarine of a stroller and let the sounds of kids screaming and laughing guide our direction. Often we are led to Midtown Park. Slides, swings, a Japanese garden and pond all nestle in a green esplanade behind Midtown towers. A little serenity in the chaos of Roppongi and one of the most beautiful little areas in Tokyo. A picnic must for tourists and a favorite hang out for locals. 

We spent the afternoon chasing Maya up slides and keeping leaves out of Isaiah's mouth, all while enjoying the cityscape of Toks. It was a good day.

Brunching with Babies

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

       My baby boy is officially one years old.  The cliché phrase, "time flies", has become so redundant and overused in our era, but it is the most natural observation when raising little babies. In one year they blossom from from our tiny, 100% dependent cubs to walking, talking, messing-yet-adorable little humans. We held a party in Seattle for both kids with family and friends prior to leaving over Winter break. So for Isaiah's Tokyo celebration, we kept it just immediate family and went to his favorite brunch. Well maybe it was my husband and I's, but Isaiah, with his refined palette at the ripe age of one,  insisted on the location! :)  Whoever's decision it was in the end, all I know is that my husband shot me the look of insanity when I mentioned our intended morning escapade.  I powered back with the look,  "Don't trip my chocolate chip, we know what to do".  Three years with kids in restaurants, I think we got this. Thanking the stars above for a painless and actually super fun, fancy brunch with babies. Cheers to more in the future! Right babe? RIGHT?! 

      It is a no brainer that Park Hyatt in Shinjuku, is one of the top brunches in Tokyo. Beyond the panoramic views on the 52nd floor, the New York Grill's minimal, yet refined classic interior, is a reason to go there just to take a looksy. A grand piano greets you as you walk in, and large Matisse-esque paintings draw you in as the focal art pieces on the wall. Shall we discuss the food? I won't bore you with the detailed description of the appetizer buffet, complimentary champagne and entree choices, but the experience is above par. If you are in Tokyo, def check it out.

Brunching with the babes is always a hit or a miss, but we have broken it down to some basic rules to avoid the ever-so-lovely table tantrums. 

1.) BRING SOME TOYS - Ones that are hanging around and don't get love at home.
What we have found that bringing small little figurines (typically ones that haven't been given that much love quite yet) are the perfect treat at a restaurant. My daughter will play with these little plastic, attention-keepers for at least a good 30-45 minutes uninterrupted. (That's allows enough time to quench those champagne cravings! #doyouhearme #poundit)

2.) The obvious answer = Technology
As tacky as it may be, when it gets down to crunch time, an educational app is a sure bet. Our favorite apps are Sparkabilities for babies and toddlers, all of the Monkey Lunchbox and, Endless Alphabet. You won't feel guilty giving in to a little technology with these apps. No judgey.

3.) Getting them excited and involved in the experience
My daughter, loves taking pictures, so I bring my camera and let her snap away at all of the photo-worthy subjects along the way. She get's excited about where we are going, what we are seeing and our happy observations of her participation. I think this was her fifth Park Hyatt brunch, (disclaimer: it is a visitor must-do, which we've had many in the past year), but she actually remembers the hotel, the fun lobby and it pumps up the enthusiasm for the "experience." It is a short fix but, it makes the whole transition in and out of the hotel painless and really adorable.

4.) Let them get in on the fun! No dietary restrictions today
Rewarding their amazing behavior! Dessert bar time!

Birthday Celebrations

Can my boys be any cuter? I must say, Park Hyatt were so accommodating for the Birthday celebrations and did their best to give us a great table and nice view.


Outfit deets:
Dress: Altuzarra for Target
Jacket: Japanese Brand: FUR FUR
Tights: H&M
Shoes: Christian Louboutin


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