Friday, November 1, 2013

All Good Things Must Come To An End...

This is not a happy post.  But I don't find it all that distressing either.  It is most definitely a sad post, but I feel that it's time to let the world know.

Yuta and I have ended our 4 year relationship.  While differences attract, I now feel that we were too different.

I'm not going to get into many details, because when you hear one side of the story, it's only half of the truth.
I really liked doing this blog while he was here, and I am going to start a new blog about all my new plans and travel decisions I'm going to make or at least explore those options!

I look forward to growing as a person with everyone and I hope you continue on with me and my journey!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Zoo Adventure!

Hey everyone!
So about once every leap year, Yuta and I miraculously have the same day off!  So how do we spend such treasured days with each other?  Well, this time, we went to the Zoo!

I was a little skeptical about going to the Detroit Zoo, because one of my friends at work had just went and she said while she had a good time, the place was really small...As in no Elephants small.  But I disagree.  I mean, yes, there were no elephants, but that doesn't mean we didn't have an AMAZING time looking around ALL DAY.  Did I say all day?  Yes, I did because that place was still HUGE!  There were so many exhibits of animals from all over the world!

So starting from the entrance and going clockwise around the park map, they had: Penguins, Amphibiville (frogs, lizards, etc), Holden Reptile Conservation Center (crocodiles, snakes, turtles, etc), the adventure zone with the 4-d and other rides, South American Animals (Rhea, Guanaco, Flamingo, Vulture) prairie dogs, elk, bison, bald eagle, kangaroos, ostrich, white rhinos, meerkats, snow monkeys, tigers, lions, red pandas, gorillas *pause for huge breath* polar bears, seals, artic fox, giraffe, zebra, ant eaters, chimps, porcupine, and SO many more I don't have the patience to type out!  Here's some photos instead!

After going and experiencing the Detroit Zoo, I just want to tell you to GO!  Go right now!  Get in your car and go!  It's a cheap(er) day out idea (only $14 general admission with $5 parking)


Monday, June 24, 2013

Awesome Photography Skills

This just in!  The July Photo-A-Day list has been uploaded to the website and I will be partaking in it!  "But Roren, you NEVER finish!"  So?  I've already got all the topics programmed into my phone, AND it's SUMMER!  It's so much easier to go outside and snap a few than in the blistering winter.  I don't know about you, but I hate getting frostbite...

What is the Photo-A-Day?  It's a photography challenge that a woman in Australia comes up with every month and you can use instagram or whatever to post your amazing photo's of that days topic.  If you are going to use Instagram or Twitter, you can use the #FMSPHOTOADAY or @FMSPHOTOADAY tags.

Are you interested in doing this challenge?  Let's do it together!  My Instagram and Twitter name is @Roren11 so don't be afraid to tag me to check out your photos!  I really encourage you to try your hand at taking some pictures during this month and seeing where they take you in life!

Here is the topic list for July:

I will be posting my photo's on here every now and again, but the right side of my blog has a direct Instagram feed, so if I don't post them here, you can still see them on this site!

Day 1. Happiness Is...Talking with friends on Skype who don't live near you

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Next Youtube Sensation?

Yuta and I have been on pretty opposite shifts lately, and that has left me with a lot of free time.  So what's a girl to do?  Go to the gym? Pfft, no.  Do some Japanese homework?  Eventually....Watch videos on Youtube?  DING DING DING! We have a winner!  Youtube has become my new anti-boredom gig and I have been doing a lot of thinking.  I really want to make my own Youtube channel when I go to England and vlog about all my adventures, just like my current idol Micaela Braithwaite.

Micaela is a Canadian who went to school for 2 years in Japan and since she arrived, she has been vlogging about her adventures, mishaps, and local culture differences/things that others find interesting.  When she finished her schooling, she can now speak fluent Japanese and the school has given her a visa to continue to live and work there.  She has been in very high demand lately with her latest series, "Made In Canada" comissioned by the Canadian Tourism Board.  Micaela gets to travel across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto on the Via Rail and she has been updating the series regularly.  They are short videos, usually no more than 10 minutes per vid, give or take 5 minutes.  She always has so many interesting things to say, and the way she shoots her videos MAKES you want to watch!  Her topics for her viedos are so fun like different types of sho-chu (alcohol), or what she bought in the fashion district of Harajuku that day for an upcoming trip! She is currently employed with Nestle Japan, so in all the beginnings of her newest Japanese videos, you'll see her making a cappucino or a coffee.  When I grow up, I want to be just like her (minus the coffee!). Haha!

Another video channel I have begun frequenting is a girl called Rachael and her husband Jun.  Her name on Youtube is Myhusbandisjapanese.  She is an adorable little redhead who is married to a Japanese man, just like I will be one day!  She makes a lot of informative videos about what to do/not to do, manners and etiquette, what to wear/pack, and how to do a lot of things.  I just watched a video she and her husband did on some slang words from Japan, and I learned a new word for impossible!  Her videos I find are very basic, but so informative.  There are no special effects but just straight honest truth, with some quirkiness thrown in with her absolutely adorable personality!

These wonderful women have inspired me to do something adventurous too, when I go to England.  Over the next few months, I will be pondering channel/Youtube account names, as I want to do this in Japan too!  And anywhere else I may end up!  I want to share my experiences with all my friends and family, and the world as well!  Any suggestions would be welcome!

Here are the links to Micaela and Rachael's accounts!

Micaela -->

Rachael -->

I hope you enjoyed them as much as I do!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The First Shop Of Coffee Prince

So about a week ago my bestest friend from Japan came to visit me in Canada after 3 long years of being apart and chatting over skype and facebook, with and empty suitcase and a full wallet.

She is currently living in Ireland and she told me that the fashions there go from one end of the spectrum to the other with no inbetween.  Either you are dressing like a nun or a streetwalker who belongs on droullard.  So I told her that she should come here because she knows how I dress and the fashions here are a lot more diverse than over there.  So one night, while searching online, she found a cheap flight and booked.  She was coming in April.  I was so excited that I could finally see my best friend again.  There is something to be said for modern technology, but it just doesn't beat having a person in the same room as you.

Since her main goal was shopping, I had it all planned out.  She was flying into Toronto, so we would obviously make a stop at the Eaton Centre.  Our friend Robbi lives in Peterborough and I asked her if she wanted to come to Toronto and meet us there, and she was all over that idea.  She also came with a few ideas of her own but that can wait a bit.


We met Cesca in the airport 2 HOURS after her plane was set to land because there was a weather delay due to the rainstorms we had been having that week.  But it was worth it when we saw her come out of the arrival bay.  It already felt like we had never been apart.  We were going to meet Robbi later at the hotel, so we got into the car and made our harrowing journey into the heart of Downtown Toronto.  A very scary place for someone who hates city driving.  I almost got hit 3 times in the same intersection, but don't worry mom!  All your airbags are still intact!  Once we got there and parked in the underground garage we went to check-in where I was greeted with a not so nice surprise.

We booked the Delta Chelsea on and I have never had a problem with them.  But with the Delta Chelsea I do.  I booked for 3 (count them THREE!) adults and when we went to check in, they said they had given us a room with ONE queen bed.  That's not enough to sleep 3 adults comfortably.  When the front deskman asked if we would like to upgrade to a room with 2 beds, well I thought that was the logical choice.  Until he said it would be a $35 fee.  That I would have to pay for.  But since it was technically their mistake, he would knock off $10.  WHOOPEE......I was not happy, but I wasn't about to let Cesca's first night in Canada be all snuggled up with me and Yuta in one bed.  So I paid (and wrote a scathing review when I got home) and we went up to our room.  Tiny is one word to describe it.  Mediocre is another.  But I honestly don't believe that staying in that hotel was worth even the discounted price I paid on Hotwire.  But enough of that rant, let's get back on track.

Knowing Toronto has a diverse population, I began researching ramen joints and came across one that was right downtown called Kenzo's Ramen.  Halle-freaking-lujah!  I have not had real ramen since being back in Japan and I was oh so excited to try this place.  So Robbi met us at the hotel and played tour guide on the way to the ramen joint.  It was actually quite simple to get to as it was just down Dundas street not far from our hotel. We sat down and since all of us had lived and met while in Japan, we all knew what we wanted and ordered very quickly.  Cesca and I ordered Sho-yu ramen and Yuta had miso.

We all took one bite and then didn't stop except to drink and have a quick chat.  Oishii desu!  So delicious!  I strongly recommend going there if you are in the area as it was superb!


When we finished eating, Robbi took us around the area of our hotel showing us an underground Market in the College Park (?) area.  while in there, I have never seen one person get so excited as Cesca did when she stumbled upon some of her favourite items she knew from living in the states as a child.  Lucky Charms, Goldfish crackers, and many more, but she settled on the first 2.  

Once settled back in our hotel room, Robbi stayed for a bit and we all caught up on each others lives and talked about nonsense in general.  It felt so good to be back with old friends!  We ate oreos and goldfish crackers and feasted like kings.  But alas it grew late and Robbi had to go home to her boyfriend.  We told Robbi as she was leaving our plans for the next day was the eaton centre and then home and she had a suggestion of going to kensington market as well.  Since nobody but her knew what that was, we decided to give it a try and we would call her in the morning.

We woke up on Sunday wide eyed and bushy tailed and after a shower, we were ready to begin Cesca's shopping spree.  We got Tim Hortons breakfast panini's as our morning fuel and I think I created a Tim Horton's monster!  Once we were done chowing down, we made our way over to the eaton centre just on the other block from our hotel!  It pays to pay for the hotel right downtown.  We started in H&M and Cesca's bought about 4-5 shirts and a dress.  I know what you're thinking if you know my friend.  A DRESS?!?!  But I did it!  I made her buy more than one!  And I hope she wears them more than once....But I have a feeling she will ;) We didn't look around too much because we were anxious to meet Robbi but we did do some damage in H&M and also Aerie where Cesca FINALLY got measured properly and bought some fabulous new bras that a super comfy and also stylish.

Our lunch at Mr Green Jeans

Once we were done in the Eaton Centre, Robbi joined us to become our downtown Toronto tour guide and take us to the neighbourhood her boyfriend lives in called Kensington Market.  It's so funny how it is so close to downtown Toronto, but that's not the feeling you get from being there!  It's located on the other side of Chinatown on Dundas.

The street in Kensington Market we did our shopping on

This is the street where Robbi took us.  It was the coolest neighbourhood I've ever seen!  All the shops were in the first floor of the houses you see in the photo above.  Robbi took us to a couple of shops where her friends worked and once again our bank accounts took a hit.  Cesca and I each bought a dress at the first shop we checked out.  Mine a deep burgundy and hers a bright purple.  We went into a couple of shops where we didn't seem to find anything that fit, and also explored Robbi's friend's shop called The Fairies Pajamas.  We didn't end up buying anything, but I strongly recommend checking out that shop because of all the interesting items they carry.  Around the corner we went into this one dress shop where I ended up buying 2 new dresses, one blue and black mod inspired and the other a reversible dress. We finished in the street quickly after that because it was Sunday and everything was closing up before 6PM.
This shop is for you Angel!  It's got some loli/cosplay goodness!

So as Robbi was bid goodbye, tears were shed, and we made our way back to downtown Toronto to head back home.  We stopped for a quick bite just over halfway home before reaching my charming little home in the quaint town of Emeryville.

Yuta's meal of champions: Wendy's burger, Tim Horton's Iced capp, and New York Fries french fries

After a night of rest and dropping Yuta off at work because he got called in, me and Cesca went out for a whole other day of shopping in my local mall, Devonshire.  This was an excellent idea because of all the great stuff we bought, but at the same time a bad idea because of all the stuff we bought!  While here in Devonshire, the stores we shopped at were Maurices (a size 0-24 store that I am in LOVE with), Old Navy, Payless, Bath and Body Works, Ricki's and some more that I can't even remember now!  OH TARGET!  We bought things from target too!  And Ardene's!  After wiping out our daily allowance for that day, we hit the hay at my house.  

Cesca's big splurge: a $200 amethyst necklace for everyday fabulousness!

On Tuesday, once again after dropping Yuta off at work, we just had a nice relaxing day.  Shopping so much for a non-shopper like Cesca is an exhausting feat.  Taking it easy seemed like just the right medicine.  We took the dogs for a walk, watched TV, ate our faces off....It was perfect!

Wednesday, once again after Yuta went to work, but this time joined by Renee, we made our way across the border into Michigan.  Our destination: Birch Run Outlets.  It's about an hour and half over the border, straight shot on the I-75N.  I was actually disappointed with the outlets but maybe that's because I didn't really have any money left by this point....maybe $200 dollars but that included travel fees back to Toronto!  So I didn't go crazy.  We went into Yankee Candle where I bought a big apple scented candle and a small lemon one!  It was then Cesca told me that we used to sell Yankee Candle's stuff in the shop!  I never bought one for fear I would burn the staff house down, but I also never noticed that they were Yankee Candle.  I also, while in Japan, didn't know what Yankee Candle was!  We went into Sketchers and the Nike outlet and I had a super hard time deciding between a new pair of mint running shoes.  But I didn't get either because I ran out of money by the time I made my decision.  We hit the Bath and Body Works outlet where they have all my favourite Apple scented things!  Body wash, body cream, and body lotion!  Plus some Plumeria scented lotions and a White Tea and Ginger body wash.  I'm going to smell so yummy all summer!

From there, we went to a couple of other places including Dress Barn but didn't find all that much (although if I had unlimited funds, I would have DESTROYED Dress Barn!  So much cute stuff!).  The Old Navy outlet was a different story!  I ended up getting a coral cardigan, a new pair of skinny jeans, and some new tank tops.  Plus I found a big Hello Kitty metal lunch box that Renee graciously bought me for my birthday coming up in June.  And Cesca bought me a fab water bottle with a filter built right in!  AND she was kind enough to buy a replacement filter as well!  I have the bestest friends!

When we were done in Old Navy, we were shopped out.  We made our way home but not before stopping for dinner at OLIVE GARDEN!  Yum!  I ordered fettuccine alfredo and we all split a risotto ball order.  We were all stuffed by the time we finished!  So full and broke, we made our way home.

Thursday was another relax day.  Now broke and exhausted, we crashed here for the day and just had fun!  I thought I would introduce her into the Korean drama world, and decided that Coffee Prince was perfect.  It's a KDrama where a girl who looks like a boy to get work in South Korea, meets a guy who is super rich and handsome, and mistakes her for a boy and asks her to be his gay lover so that he doesn't have to go on any more parent-set-up blind dates.  Well long story short, chaos ensues, lots of romance and confusion.  But it's super adorable and one of my go to dramas for when I'm feeling blue.  This day we had to just relax together meant that we could pretend we were back in Japan, just goofing around.  But it also meant we had to start packing.  And with only 1 suitcase, it became a little tricky.  We packed as hard as we could but we still ran out of room and weight limit.  So what could we do?  She was only allowed ONE piece of checked luggage...That's right.  We went and bought a super awesome carry-on with wheels from the Air Canada brand to fit all her lovely North American snacks Cesca wanted to bring home.  Bright orange.  
All packed up and ready to go home! :(
Here are some photos of the almost brand new wardrobe Cesca bought!

Her everyday clothes: pants, shirts, sweaters, jackets, accessories, etc

Her 6 stunning dresses!

6 new pairs of shoes? YES PLEASE!

Friday meant heading back to Toronto to go to the airport.  Destination: Departures.  A heavy feeling hung in the air between us the whole way.  Even though we sang at the top of our lungs (horribly out of tune).  Not even the Pussycat Dolls could lift the sadness in the air.  We were super early for the check-in and waited nearly an hour for Cathay Pacific to switch to British Airways.  But after all her bags were checked, the shops in the airport thoroughly browsed, and our stomachs full, the clock looked at us and laughed.  It was time for her to go through security.  It was time to say see you later (goodbyes are so final).  We hugged.  She cried.  I told her she was amazing and to embrace her fabulousness.  I was so sad to see her go.  Even though 3 years had gone by, it felt as if nothing had changed.  And I hope it stays that way forever.  

Though we might not get to see each other every day, I know that we will always have each others back and be there for each other.  You don't meet a lot of people and have the friendship that Cesca and I have.  I can honestly say I have maybe 5 other friends I would put into this category.  And I can say I am blessed to have  her and my other friends in my life.  So here's to friendship's that last a lifetime, the people you'll never forget, and the memories that will stay with you for a lifetime.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shed Those Layers!

I know in my last post, I mentioned that spring had sprung. Well I lied. It's only just beginning now! And that means that we can start losing those heavy winter coats, scarves, and gloves! Let's lighten up with mint coloured heels, a flowy dress, and super cute jean jacket! Mint seems to be all the rage this season as spring fashions hit the stores and I am super excited! Mint is a pastel-y colour of a mostly green blue colour. I've already bought those mint heels I mentioned above and a plaid shirt in the colour as well. Embrace the mint!

It also means that my best friend that I met while I was in Japan is coming to visit me! She will be here in a couple of weeks and we are definitely going to go big or go home. Mostly, we are going to single handedly help the Canadian fashion market because of all the things we will be buying!! I know I've got about $400 to spend while she's here and she's got quite the little fortune saved herself!

I can't wait to see her an how much she has changed and grown into herself! This is going to be such a fabulous adventure!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Has Sprung....Finally!

Can you smell that in the air?  The aroma of fresh dirt and greenery?  How about the sounds of hope coming from the trees, like a concert waiting to be heard?  Spring is here!  And it's about damn time!  I have waited all winter for you dear Spring!  Through the snow, and cold, and wind.  Just to hear your sweet sounds and smell your fresh air.  And to not have to wear a coat of course!

Over the winter, as I sat in my freezing car after work, waiting for it to heat up, and all I could think about was spring.  Spring, where are you?  Spring, why aren't you here yet?  God dammit Spring, hurry up!  And now that you are here, I never want you to leave!  Unless it's to go get your friend Summer.  Because she is MORE than welcome to come join this party!

This coming warm season, I plan on doing a whole bunch of new/old things.  I want to go bike riding with Yuta down to the river and have a picnic, Bike ride to go get ice cream, go swimming, go up to our property and have a nice vacation, do LOTS of shopping, and mostly, just make some guidelines for my life.  Where I want to be, where I want to go and what I want to do.  These are all things that I want to accomplish this coming spring/summer!

And with Spring comes spring cleaning!  So I decided to spruce up my blog layout with some nice new gadgets and a fun spring colour, just in time.  I can practically hear the birds chirping on my my pages!