Sunday, September 21, 2014


I had never changed my hair color in all of my 39 years. Save for some dabbles with Kool-Aid wherein I gave myself some cherry-colored red streaks (back in my early 20s) and a little lemon juice in the summer to speed along natural highlights, I've been squarely a brunette. Not that brunettes are square in any way.

A couple of months ago, I started thinking about changing my hair color. I'd never bothered with it because I didn't want to hassle with having to maintain a fake hair color, but I found myself digging obviously fake hair color--the hair color that often has glaringly dark-color roots attached to it. The trouble was, I started mentioning to others that I was thinking of going blonde. (A grungy, white-blonde with eventual roots, that was gonna be my game.) And once I had told enough people, it became a put-up-or-shut up situation and there I was making an appointment to actually have it done. Of course, the closer it came to the appointment, I found myself appreciating my lovely brunette hair more. "But it's such a nice brown," people would say. What am I doing, I thought? I took a day off work for the affair and here it is documented for you lovely folks.

OG me. More like, oh shit me.

After the first bleaching. My hair went comic-book-villainess yellow.

Which was also sort of cool, but we pushed on. Kitty, my stylist, moved back her next appointment. We were gonna make a day of this. It was blonde or bust!

Here I am with bleach round #2. It didn't burn or itch as much as I thought it would. Guess I've got a pretty resilient scalp. After this second bleach, Kitty did a toner and... my hair turned a beautiful... SALMON color. (It was straight up Frenchy/beauty school drop out.) It actually was pretty cool, but I didn't want to start my hair color escapades with pink hair. (I might get there eventually.) 

So she toned it again and here was the end result:

I really really like the color, though for the first week I kept thinking, "who put that stupid blonde wig on my head?"

The color's sort of mellowed out and looks more like this now. I absolutely love it! I've been penciling in my big eyebrows a little for maximum effect.

I don't know if I'm actually having more fun yet, but experiments are underway so I'll keep you posted if the theory holds.

Bits and Pieces

That day we both wore our beetle shoes.  (His from Acne, mine from &other stories.)

Giiiirl, you gotta get yourself one of those dot sticks to keep them nails on point!

New shoes by Chie Mahara.

Just try to tell me that Korea does not have the best sunglasses in the world. I give you Exhibit A and Exhibit B here.

I brought the horse trench out of the closet.

And here is my chola-inspired outfit. If cholas wore metallic purple eyeliner, that is.

Been Eating So Well

(Except for when we were in Paris last week. But carpe diem, you know?)

Roasted beets and carrots with beet greens, avocado, millet + red rice, and a tahini-lemon-basil sauce.

Can you believe this was breakfast THIS VERY MORNING.  Ladies and gentlemen, this blog has caught up with my life!

Anyway, these are banana-buckwheat-walnut pancakes with hemp seeds on top.

These are "tacos" made of spicy walnut-lentil "meat" with red pepper, tomato, avocado, and "sour cream" made from cashews.  All served in a lettuce "taco."  (Geez, eating vegan means one has to use a lot of quotation marks when describing food.)

We were on a popsicle run at the end of the summer. The top ones were watermelon-lime, I believe.  And the bottom guy's a cacao, peanut butter fudgey pop.

OBSESSION: The carob fudge from Oh She Glows. I use puffed quinoa instead of rice, but otherwise, it's true to the recipe. We are never without some in the freezer anymore.

OTHER OBSESSION: Shakshuka. What's that? Well, apparently now it's trending so pfffft. But I guess it deserves its moment. It's easy and delicious and you can tweak it oh-so-many ways.  

This was a delicious banana-date smoothie with cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and nutmeg. (Tasted like fall.) With some apricot kernel butter and hemp seeds on a gluten free cracker from my favorite gluten free bakery in Stockholm.

Nommy gluten free fruit bread (also from above bakery) with cashew cream cheese (make every week, never without) and fresh figs. Damn, I'm such a hippie.

Sweet potato (gluten-free) gnocchi covered in kale.

One Outfit, Three Photos

Oh man, I love a kaftan.  I picked up this one in St. Louis in June.

Trying to look edgy.

Showing off my wing.

New favorite shoes from Acne Studios. I've nearly worn them out!

Other stuff:  kaftan = vintage, purse = &other stories, sunny g's = &other stories, bracelet = vintage, shoes = Acne.

Meanwhile, In Seoul

After the best trip ever in Japan, I was off to Seoul to meet up with colleagues for some shopping.

I guess I'd be mad if I were him, too.

Rice-flavored ice cream. Y'all just can't get enough!

Cutie murals.

Seoul is obsessed with fried chicken. I like how direct this sign is.  

I'm batty for Seoul.

I had patbingsu for the first time this trip. It's shaved ice with condensed milk and here with red beans and sweet potato. It's so refreshing on a hot day!

What's more popular than fried chicken in Seoul? Coffee. This hipster with his Boston Terrier was happy to have his photo taken.

New obsession? Makgeolli. This fizzy, cloudy, semi-sweet beverage is my new alcohol of choice. Too bad I can't get it in Sweden. (And due to it's fizziness, it does not travel well via airplane. Believe me, I tried.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Last Days in Kyoto

In case you were wondering, Cochino kitty was on her own vacation of sorts.  Still in Stockholm, but getting lei'ed and enjoying every minute with her lovely caretakers.

Our nights in Kyoto were spent at The Screen hotel, where each room is individually designed.  Sometimes this can go very badly, but ours was pretty cool--and it was HUGE by Japanese standards!  Our artist was inspired by fog, so everything was hidden behind sheer white curtains.  This is what it looked like when the curtains were drawn.

There was also a seating area, where they would leave fresh treats for us each day, as well as the biggest bed ever.  Our hotels along the way were hit and miss, but The Screen was one of the best.


Some mirror selfies.

I think this one has a So Whatcha Want vibe...

And this was the day we were both in polynesian garb.  Oops.

Lunch at an underground art cafe.

Nice old Japanese architecture.


One of the best meals we had the entire trip was an 11-course lunch consisting entirely of tofu dishes in the middle of a bamboo forest.

Syouraian.  Or, sometimes, "Shoraian."  You can't drive to it, so getting there involves navigating the bamboo forest on foot.  Which would be a totally wonderful experience if it weren't 95 degrees out and you've got a reservation to make.

When we found this sign, we knew we'd made it.  Sweaty and huffing, we were incredibly only 5 minutes late.

Syouraian was also recommended to us by our pals who tipped us to Naoshima.  The dining room overlooks the river.  But it's the tofu you've come here for.

We splurged for the tasting menu, and I documented each course:

This is the artfully arranged "assorted specialties plate."  You can see the sea eel making an appearance here again.

This was course number two, at the right is a type of delicious tofu skin (yuba).

Oh boy, this was the tofu gratin.  Dairy bechamel sauce ain't got nothin' on tofu!

This is a piece of yudofu, which you cook yourself in broth and then garnish with onions and sauce.  (There were unlimited refills on this one, but truth be told, we were getting full.)

This was a corn fritter served with crispy tofu.

And here is a fancy version of agedashi tofu.

The prize course was wagyu beef with fresh wasabi and pickles.

And for dessert?  Tofu ice cream with caramel mochi.

After we rolled ourselves out the door, we had time to stop and check out the view nearby.

As well as to walk through the bamboo forest a bit, though just beneath this frame were hordes of tourists so it wasn't as peaceful as it seems.