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Cloth Diapering in Japan

July 18, 2022

Our son has used cloth diapers since about 3 months of age.

We love that cloth diapers can be gentle on baby’s skin, cost-effective (especially for families that hope to have more than one child), leak far less than disposable diapers, make transitioning to toilet training easier, and have the potential to be environmentally friendly, depending on how you launder them.

While cloth diapering is not for everyone, we have had a great experience so far with cloth diapering our son (now 16 months), and are excited to share what we’ve learned!

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We Are Moving!

May 12, 2022

We are moving!!

This meaningful update has been in the works for a while, and a process full of hopeful anticipation and prayer.

We are so excited to finally share the news!!

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Keeping Warm in Rural Japan

January 23, 2022

When I tell people that it snows in Japan, they are often surprised! They seem to imagine that Japan is a warm, tropical island locale full of bamboo and monkeys.

In reality, Japan is geographically diverse, and has four distinct seasons and a multitude of climates. The scenery varies widely, from pristine beaches and fields of lavender to crowded cityscapes and deep forestbamboo and monkeys included!

For example, the area where we live in Hyogo has been said to resemble Germany or Switzerland. The mountains are covered with towering evergreens that are blanketed with snow for much of the winter season.

Yet, unlike 90% of Swiss residential areas, homes in Japan do not normally have central heating, and the walls can be thin and lack insulation. This is perfect for allowing wooden beams to breathe naturally, and has many benefits including decreasing damage during earthquakes, as well as increasing air flow and reducing mold during Japan’s humid summers. However, it can make for some very, very chilly winters indoors!

To learn more about just how cold it gets during the winters in Japan and the traditional (and not so traditional) ways to keep warm in a rural home without central heating, read on!

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Nursery Reveal!

March 6, 2021

At 39 weeks and 3 days of pregnancy, we are nearly to baby’s due date!!

I am now officially on “maternity leave” from our home business, and trying to enjoy this time as much as possible while we wait for our son Jamie’s arrival.

One of the projects that I’ve been looking forward to completing is the nursery!

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Upstairs Bathroom Remodel

January 13, 2021

One thing that I have become passionate about during the last few years is interior design and decor.

I had the opportunity to work on several renovation / interior design projects for our business locations (which I will hopefully get to posting about at some point!), and now that those are completed, I’ve turned my creative energy toward redecorating and redesigning our home.

In this post, I will be sharing about one of the smaller projects I tackled, which was the tiny upstairs bathroom! This was a neat project because so many bathrooms in Japan are really just a closet-like space with a toilet. Making such a compact space look fresh was a lot of fun!

But first, a little background about our home..

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Create Social Distance Without Boredom

March 15, 2020

The new phrase of the month seems to be social distancing.

As school closures and event cancellations increase, communities are implementing “social distancing” as a means to reduce the rate of the spread of COVID-19.

Last week cases of the coronavirus were found in a city where we work (a 1.6 hour drive from our home), prompting us to shut down the classes we teach there on Saturdays for at least one month. Services at a church we attend in the same city are now available only through internet streaming.

See here: Simulations of Quarantine vs. Social Distancing

For some, the idea of reduced crowds and fewer social obligations is a welcome one. For others, it might feel just the opposite! Precautionary measures may seem drastic or inconvenient, but one of the biggest complaints I have heard from others is boredom.

However, regardless of whether you are outgoing or withdrawn, there are ways to make the most of time at home, as well as to prioritize mental health.

Below I have shared a list of fun and practical ideas of things you can do this spring while practicing social distancing.. without binging on Netflix!

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Creating a Routine That Works

February 6, 2020

Those who know me well know that I like “doing all the things”, maintaining a healthy life, being organized, and making the most out of time.

Since Masashi and I run our own business, finding a balance between work and home is absolutely essential! We want to create and maintain a home culture based on our values and beliefs – and we believe that with the right amount of planning, any family can choose to do this!

The way we do this is through creating a routine that works.

Do you desire to create a routine that will keep your home organized? If so, let’s get started!

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Cost of Housing in Japan

January 5, 2020

I’ve heard it said that Japan is a very expensive place to live.. and while that may be true compared to low-cost countries such as Thailand, living in Japan does not have to be overwhelmingly expensive! It really depends on where you live, your lifestyle, effective budgeting, and your line of work.

Perhaps you are planning on moving overseas, or simply wonder how much it costs to live abroad.

While we feel that living in the countryside is one of the best housing options, Masashi and I have both experienced a variety of living conditions in Japan. You can read about our experiences and the pros and cons of different accommodations below.

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