Pull up a chair and get comfy so I can tell you a bit about adam and e.. I {e} recently married the most AMAZING man in the world. The hubs {adam} decided after he graduated from law school he wanted to join the USAF and become a JAG {A Few Good Men?.. that's right, he's like Tom Cruise [back in his good days].. but WAY more good-looking}. While he works hard to maintain the law, I'll be photographing the world around us. This blog is about where we've been, where we're going, and where we hope to be... our first destination was ENGLAND... and now you can find us in J A P A N. Come share our adventures with us.


now presenting...

every interaction, greeting, farewell, meal, purchase, thought, way of life, book, article of clothing, and (especially) gift you buy for someone special is 
beautifully and wonderfully presented to you.
presentation is over the top in the best way imaginable. 
in case you haven't heard-- japan does everything 500%.
it is truly mind blowing. 
M I N D  B L O W I N G, people!

 even in mcdonald's it feels like you're at a 5 star restaurant...  not that i've eaten there or anything.
i mean, who would even consider that option when they have access to so much amazing japanese food!?
those people are fools. 

okay, so i may or may not have ordered a cheeseburger, fries and a coke within the last two weeks. 
i never said i was perfect... so, please... take your judgment shoes off and leave them at the door. 
(for the record... the mcdonald's in japan is amazing.)

so, word to wise-- if you find yourself out and about at a local restaurant, don't squeal like a little girl if they happen to bring out carrot that's been carved in the shape of a bird.
be cool.
be cool. 

mudge love.


the moose diaries:: an introduction.

meet moose.
he's furry.
he's tiny. (weighing in at about a whopping 2 lbs.)
he's cuddly.
he's extra playful.
he's japanese. 
he's part toy poodle/maltese/pekingese.
 he's the most adorable pup you'll ever see.
...and he's the newest addition to the mudge family. 

now, some of you may be thinking right now (apart from the fact that you thought the mudges fell off the side of the blog'osphere due to radio silence for the past month{s} ), "i thought winston was your doggie name for your pug." well, my friends, marriage is all about compromise... and since we both couldn't agree on a puggie we had to choose another kind of pup. 
and lemme tell you-- i'm so glad we did. 
L O V E.

without further ado.....  meet our dog child.

yes, it's okay to cry because of cuteness overload.

mudge love.


whAt tO exPect wHen liVinG iN jApan.

in case you were wondering, japan is quite lovely. 
but today is not a day to talk about it's loveliness.
oh no, let's talk about all the crazy things that happen here. 

we're coming up on 3 months thus far of attempting to be a local and it has been very... awkward/hilarious/stressful/fun/overwhelming/adventurous/ and everything in between.

 for example:

kiss (or make out with it) your personal space goodbye. 
queuing up. 
sitting in a restaurant.
more walking.
recreational activities.
any other activity.
and especially taking the TRAIN--- queue story time and go:

never make the mistake of taking the train during rush hour. 
don't worry, i didn't either... but unfortunately, non-rush hour is still rush hour to the rest of the world.
like, i'm talking about being sandwiched between so many people the man touching my back (who was sweating profusely) transferred his own sweat onto me... never has the phrase "packed like sardines" made so much sense to me.
would you believe that this man managed to fall asleep (standing up) despite any room to move? i couldn't turn around to see but i could feel his hot, breath on my back and hear his faint snoring pounding in my eardrum. 

no room for picky eating.
odds are at some point you're getting something on your plate that you have ABSOLUTELY no idea what it is... be a sport, try it out.
most restaurants have a picture menu so you can feel like a 5 year old again and point to things... but, let's be honest... pictures don't always say a 1,000 words... especially when they look like fried chicken but it's actually tofu (for what it's worth, it was actually delicious).
(i actually LOVE the food here... and i'll let you in on a secret-- i was once the pickiest eater on the planet)

japanese festivals have so much culture!
it's also a good place to people watch.

until next time.

mudge love.


yoU caN finD uS in TokYo.

suShi. tokYo tower. shriNes. zeN garDens. milliOns of peOple. veNdinG machiNes oN evEry coRner. hellO kiTty gear. skYscrAperS. 

yup, you guessed it.
this weekend the mudges are off to soak up downtown tokyo.
(heck to the yes for it being a four day weekend).

seeing as how we haven't even booked a hotel yet , or don't really know how to navigate the trains, or (still) don't know any japanese (we know what you're going to say but we like to refer to ourselves "spontaneous and adventurous" not procrastinators), um... yeah, let's just say this is going to be a hilariously, fun weekend filled with tons of inside jokes and stories that will probably be documented here. 


now, you may be thinking to yourself, "wait a second... i thought you said that you lived in tokyo?."
well, to that i would say, "yes, you're right however tokyo is MASSIVE." 
... and well, we live in a sleepy part that's sort of on the outskirts of the downtown madness.

so, this is us... throwing caution to the wind and saying, "hey, tokyo
 ready or not we're coming to hang out with you!"

sayonara kemosabe.

mudge love.


a piCturE saYs a tHousAnd woRds

... and when it comes to ordering food at a restaurant in a foreign place, you will be so thankful for pictures.

because, let's be honest... when things look like this:
and there are no pictures... you could be ordering $100 worth of cow's tongue.
my knowledge of asia as a whole is not very great... so, i deeply apologize if i offend those of you who are local (or who are wildly intelligent and just happen to know the ways of far eastern cultures.
i ask of you to please educate me in your wise ways of eastern knowledge.


sometimes when i think of the japanese language and how it was started, i picture two elderly men playing a very detailed and creative game of hang man. 
neither player wants the opponent to lose so they just keep adding elements to the man (or in this case a house).

these men thought it was so fun and entertaining that they decided to create a language completely out of symbols.
they were also quite witty and so they made up stories and created inside jokes for each symbol.
 i like to think it went a little something like this:

actual translation: daughter
 their version: person running from arrow... translation: "run for your life"

 actual translation: honor
their version: man and woman caught in rainstorm... translation: "don't forget your umbrella"

actual translation: life
their version: pitching a tent next to trees= bird poo everywhere... translation "don't forget to shower after you go camping"

.... you know, they would say stuff like that.
that's how i like to think it all started. 

mudge love


learniNg lesSons: a biT oF etiQueTte

some time ago when we first arrived in england everything was new and oh so strange to us. 
there were many lessons to be learned.
 (in case ya missed it you can go here, here or even here.)

well, guess what? living in a new place brings new lessons to learn.
let me be the first (or 4th billion) to tell you that this is a tricky place to learn them.
so, let's crack on and go over what we've learned thus far.
1. NEVER put your chopsticks in a bowl of rice... unless you're at a funeral. Then it's okay.

2. if there's a a small tray at the checkout counter ALWAYS lay your money/credit card inside it... otherwise, get ready for a look of disgust coming your way from the cashier (sorry mister man checking me out at the ZARA counter).

3. gomen'nasai means "i'm sorry". get used to saying that word... i say that one A LOT.

4. when in doubt ALWAYS BOW... what about when driving? um, i catch myself doing it even while driving. what does bowing even mean?!? bowing is a sign of respect. the deeper the bow, the more respect you're showing. so, show some respect to those hard, working men in the 100 degree heat repairing the road you're driving on.. go ahead and "get your bow on" in the car. 
when i do a typical american thing i say in a broken japenese accent, "gomen'nasai" as i'm bowing.
ex. knocking merchandise over while trying to correct myself from handing the cashier my money and put it inside the tray... hence, IMMADIATE BOW and GOMEN'NASAI. 

5.  before a meal is served at a restaurant the waiters will bring you little towelettes.  these are for wiping hands only... don't wipe your face with it.... (whoops)

6. the japanese don't eat or drink on the go. if they are hungry or thirsty they stop and stand to the side and then eat/drink. soooooo, i'm guessing walking around with a blended green tea latte to-go is frowned upon?!?... and all those times i was carrying a water bottle... and the time i was walking around eating ice cream?

7. if you have blonde hair get ready for a major stare off. i was sorely wrong thinking i would see other blondes in the crowd of people.

8. ALWAYS remove your shoes when entering a persons home.

9. if you're lost don't worry!! the japanese are SUPER helpful and will go out of their way to help you out. phew! good to know, right?! (just remember to bow.. and throw out a friendly smile!)

so many unspoken rules.... 

oh, boy... the mudges have a lot to learn.

mudge love.


a jApanEse suRpriSe.

 good surprise: presents. treats. waking up before your alarm and realizing you have HOURS left to sleep. getting a hug from a friend. seeing pretty latte art on your cup of coffee. having a day off from work- and it's sunny! smiling babies. free refills.

bad surprise: missing your alarm clock. cold showers. craving a bowl of cereal only to find the milk is all gone. working long hours in the office- on a friday. going to work on the weekend when everyone else is posting pictures of how awesome their weekend is.

japanese surprise: waking up to a beautiful, sunny morning... turn the shower on to warm the water... open the glass door only to discover THREE IPHONE SIZED ROACHES CRAWLING UP FROM THE SHOWER DRAIN!!!!!!!  despite running the water, they don't drown... and it takes a double shoe smash to kill these devil dragons. (that's six times of me working up the courage to open the shower door).

japanese surprises= psychological shower fears... FOREVER.

CONFUCIUS SAY: always let water run in drain for five minutes before stepping into shower... and keep shoe close by.

(yes, that's right people.. i said iphone-size)

mudge love.

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