A Few of My Favorite Things


I’ve been a bit homesick lately, as the golden hues of autumn spread over most of the United States. Despite all my wonderful adventures here in Asia, I find myself longing to join my friends and family on their foliage-rich hikes, visits to the pumpkin patch, ventures into haunted woods, revelry at costumed Halloween parties, and savoring of the omnipresent pumpkin spice latte. Continue reading

First week of grad school: check!


 My first week of grad school was off to an awkward start when our internet – which has been working just fine since we originally hooked it up – decided to completely and totally crash. It took me 3 days to figure out that I could just detach the modem’s cord from the splitter and plug it directly into the wall, but until that point, I was pretty stressed trying to keep up with my assignments during spare time at work (which also has an intermittent, unreliable internet connection.) Luckily, I had copied down some readings into my trusty Lilly agenda in the weeks prior, so I could at least keep up the old fashioned way – studying theory in my textbooks!

I am really liking the class so far. I was skeptical about what an online degree would be like, but I am impressed with the availability and involvement of the professor and the facilitator, the interactivity with other students, and the quality of the feedback. The assignments are very real-world (I feel I would actually use the skills in any number of job settings), while the reading is mostly academic and theoretical. It is more work than I anticipated it would be, but it probably seems that way because I was scrambling to maintain an internet connection the whole time. I’m sure that once I settle into a routine and get more familiar with the format, it will be easier. In the meantime, I still feel up to the challenge, and I am grateful that my job has turned out so flexible, for the most part. I also have an advantage in being a day ahead of everyone else. Much harder to miss deadlines that way 🙂

On a random side note – it’s kinda cool to be taking this class while Chuck and I watch the West Wing. I keep finding myself relating what I’m learning to what I watch Toby, Josh, C.J., and Sam do in the Oval Office!

Anything is possible with sunshine and a little pink: Introducing Lilly, in Japan

I was first exposed to Lilly Pulitzer designs in college. At the time, I disliked the brand – I associated it with the seemingly cult-ishImage
sorority life on campus, of which I was decidedly not a part. Not that I had (or have) anything against it. I went to a few open houses, and looking back, I think I probably would have enjoyed it. But after 4 years at the all-girls’ prep school that inspired the movie Mean Girls, I just couldn’t get fully on board.

Then, I moved to the charming beaches of the southern corner of North Carolina. I found myself meandering into a signature Lilly Pulitzer boutique called “Palm Garden” one lazy summer afternoon, and truth be told – I was hooked. The bright colors and playful designs sucked me in, and I couldn’t escape the pure happiness of its message and the sunny charm of its origin. Before I knew it, I was trying on one of the signature shift dresses, and was delighted by how well they fit me. The only downside was the price… but let’s not talk about that. 😛

When I learned we were moving to Japan, I figured my Lilly wear was the one brand that would seamlessly transfer into the cutesy, colorful, tropical culture of Okinawa. Of course, most of it is still packed away, so I have yet to rock my Lilly dresses, shorts, and tops, but I did walk into yesterday’s nail salon with my latest (and most useful) accessory, the Charlotte Wristlet and Phone Case.

ImageNow, the ladies in Cocok spoke minimal English, but before long, they were all squealing over my happy little wristlet and exclaiming “Lee-lee-PULL-itzer” to each other across the salon. Through a combination of facial expressions, a few basic English words, and hand gestures, I managed to explain that it is only sold in America at this time, but they have a website! It wasn’t until I left – after I wrote down the URL for them to pass around – that I remembered Lilly doesn’t ship internationally. D’oh!!!

As for me, I am keeping my fingers crossed that APO addresses are an exception, and I can still get my Lilly fix. If they are, maybe I should mass order and open a little franchise here in Oki. I had a feeling it would fit right in!

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Guilty confession

I may or may not have set my alarm early this morning to catch the online Lilly Pulitzer sale as soon as it opened. I NEVER do things like that! Unfortunately (or maybe quite fortunately), very little of what I’ve been admiring the past few months was actually on sale…

But still! No shame… no shame. The sales are just too dramatic to miss. And this particular style will be great for life in tropical Japan. Am I right??? Yes, I am right.