Sunday, March 25, 2012

And the beat goes on...

It's funny how things work out.

How the people you meet and the choices you make shape what is to come.  About six months ago, Takuya and I started playing together - just for fun, and because we both have the same taste in music.  Some of my friends wanted to hear us, so we set up a few performances here and there.  We've learned a lot of things these past few months  (Always bring a mic if you're gonna play at TK6), and we've met some great people along the way.

I'd say since December, we've been playing pretty regularly together, and it's interesting how other performing opportunities have opened up to us since then.  Two months ago, we started playing at a monthly open mic held at a cafe near our apartment.  The place is tiny, and can really only fit those people who are playing, but what a friendly bunch they are.  They've welcomed us with open arms, and always invite us to come back next month.

In fact, the owner of another cafe/bar was there, and he invited us to play at his bar called Legends.  Then, a few days later, Takuya received a call from a friend of that guy who'd heard about us and wants us to play his open mic as well.  Quite an interesting domino effect, I'd say!

But, perhaps the performance I'm most excited about is happening on April 1st, where we'll be opening for Wakaba at Brian Brew.  A huge shout out goes to our friend Sebastian who put in a good word for us with the band.  Again, another lucky connection!

Here's a couple of videos from our Bistro DEPOT open mic performance last week.  Bonus: me speaking Japanese!

And I'm not really sure how many Sapporo-ites read this blog (and if you do, you're probably my facebook friend), but for those interested, I'll put our April performance schedule on here for you.  We hope we'll see you at one of our shows!!


April 1st - Brian Brew
Minami 3, Nishi 3, FA-S3 B1 1F, Chuo-ku, Sapporo市中央区南3条西3丁目FA-S3ビル1F
Opening for Wakaba

Start time: 9:00

From the Brian Brew Blog:






『Sarah & Takuya』




April 28th - Mellow
Cafe & Live Mellow
とき  4/28(土)
OPEN  18:00
START 19:00


Sarah & Takuya
佐藤 留美
鈴 音

Don't have the address yet, haha.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Style inspiration for Spring

When I came to Japan, I brought only enough clothing to fit into two of my large suitcases.  My goal was to not buy too much while I was here, and to leave with about as much as when I came.

But, well, I'm a girl, and that's just not gonna happen.

Some of us girls got together and had a clothing swap last Sunday, and I'm happy to report that I gave away almost all the clothing I brought.  Even though I did come home with a *few* things!

There's no question I love to shop - and for clothing especially - but I am trying to live a little more simply while living in Japan.  My goal is to buy nicer, simpler pieces that are timeless and can be styled in different ways.  But sometimes, I think it's OK to give in on a few trends here and there.

Here are a few trends I wouldn't mind adding to my closet this Spring:

I've never really wanted to wear pastels, because I thought it didn't look too good with my very pale complexion and light brown hair.  But one look at these dresses, and I think I'm willing to risk it.

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Graphic Patterns
Yes, I'm a thirty-something year old woman, but I think it's OK to have fun with what you wear.  I think patterns like this make a girl feel young - and fun!  And there's nothing wrong with that!

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

Source: via Sarah on Pinterest

And on the opposite end of the spectrum is chambray.  But I think it's the perfect neutral for spring.  I love the ways that women are dressing it up a bit - I definitely want to try this out.

Colored Jeans
I've already jumped on the bandwagon on this one.  I went in to Zara the other day with a friend, with the full intention on buying black pants for work.  Instead, I came out with red jeans much like this.

My wardrobe is so full of greys and blacks, and tans, so it's nice to have a pop of color.

What are you wanting to wear this Spring?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Kawaii DIY

Our Japanese kitchen has taken some getting used to.  Not only does it not have a full size oven (just a small range and little fish cooker), but it was seriously lacking in storage space.  A few metal shelving units were left for us from our predecessors, so one of them became our pantry for non-perishable foods and snacks.  It did the job, but I hated that our food was out there for all to see.

My mom sent me some tea towels made by one of my favorite Swedish designers, and I was at a loss about what to do with them.  And then it came to me: Curtains for the pantry!

Fortunately, they were the perfect size for our shelves.  This was so easy to do, I'm ashamed to even call it a DIY, since all I did was attach safety pins to the towels and then attach the safety pins to those rings you buy at office supply stores.  Et voila - a cute little pantry.

It's the little things, right?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


Lately, I've been feeling really tired.  The kind of tired where you want to go to bed at 9:30 and not get out of bed in the morning.  And no, it's not because I'm pregnant (haha), I think I'm just tired of winter.  But it's getting a little bit warmer every day, and I can just feel that spring is just around the corner.

So here's what's been going on in my world lately:

  • Keihoku had their graduation for the third graders last Thursday.  It was nice, and almost exactly like the junior high graduations.  I couldn't understand any of the speeches, so I entertained myself by watching some of the other teachers nod off for quick naps.  I didn't get to teach the third graders, so I didn't know too many of them, except the ones in English club.  It's always neat to see some of the moms and female teachers wearing kimono.  
graduation flowers
  • Takuya and I performed once again at Monkey Bar, and despite the heavy snowfall, we had a good turnout.  We sang a few new songs, as well as the old stand-bys.  I feel like we're getting better with every performance, and we're even thinking of branching out and writing our own songs.  My friends have been so supportive through it all, coming to our performances.  I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life!

  • When I lived in Texas, seeing live music was a big part of my life.  Me and my sister would go to venues quite frequently, and I made friends with lots of musicians, local and from other places.  I've been lucky to see a few bands perform here in Sapporo, and one of my favorites is Wakaba.

They call themselves the Drunken Scottish Band, and although I don't know about the drunk part, they certainly have roots in Scotch/Irish punk rock (think Flogging Molly or Dropkick Murphys, but in Japanese).  They've got a bagpipe, accordion, fiddle, and mandolin, and boy, do they know how to rock it.  Did I mention they wear kilts?

Takuya and I met with leader/bagpipe player of the band, and we may open for them sometime in the near future.  A really nice guy, and love to get to know them more.  

They played this song Sunday, and I was happy I could sing along!