Tag Archives: sushi

I love sushi

27 Oct

Anthony proposes to his bowl of udon

Our first night in Santa Cruz we arrived hungry and tired after making the long trek from the Valley to the sea. In our childless days we’d think nothing of a trip like that and look immediately for some form of entertainment before reluctantly climbing into bed past midnight. Now, however, the sheer effort of going anywhere with a toddler drained us to the point that choosing a restaurant for dinner was an effort.

Anthony  were searching for something both close by and delicious – the fact that it be affordable went without saying. A place called I Love Sushi caught our eye and we decided to try it out. Almost as soon as we got there they set out sunomono and delicious fried squid. I love me some fried squid and so does Isobel. Isobel tried octopus before her first birthday and it was a big success. (Shrimp went over less enthusiastically.)

Anthony ordered a Sapporo and I got piping hot tea. We were ravenous from the drive and the cold sea air and we fell on the appetizers greedily. Over the course of our dinner we were showered with more gifts on the house: sweet, piping hot sake, California rolls, edamame. I ordered shrimp tempura and the shrimp was so fresh it was unlike any I’d ever had before. The only way I can describe its freshness was that it was shrimpier than other shrimp and very tasty.


Anthony ordered a roll and some pork udon, which they made especially for him, as the pork version wasn’t on the menu. The service was so attentive and friendly Anthony kept thinking that they mistook us for someone important. I kept telling him I really doubt there are two famous people who look like us and have a one-year-old baby that we’re not aware of. They just have really good service.

Our next trip was even better. I don’t remember what Anthony ordered but I got a vegetarian roll with sweet potato tempura and macadamia nuts whimsically called The Wham Bam Thank You Yam.

It was slightly less crowded the second night so the staff had time to fawn over Isobel. They didn’t mind the total mess she made of her food at the table and they brought her a special bowl of miso soup filled with white rice. They made a pair of child-friendly chopsticks and Isobel enjoyed spearing avocado with them and pinching them together for affect. It was her first experience with chopsticks and it made me want to run to Diaso for the child-friendly chopsticks immediately.

If you’re in Santa Cruz I highly recommend you try I Love Sushi, but skip the poisoned beach.

Eight DIY Couple’s Costume Ideas

24 Oct

Sometimes it’s not enough to have a costume. Sometimes you need a costume that matches another costume. Here are eight suggestions to get you started.


My husband decided to be a vampire hunter for Halloween the year I was pregnant with Isobel. I decided to be a vampire, not because I have a particular interest in vampires, but because I was not going to tolerate my husband hunting anyone but me. My options were still wide open since I was in the middle of my pregnancy still—my only caveat was that I needed a high-wasted, flowing dress. Which is easy enough.

We recycled parts of other costumes to create the Vampire Hunter look. He wore a pair of thrifted black leather pants, thrifted black combat boots, a simple black t-shirt, and some creative accessories. The he made the stakes himself by slicing up a wooden dowel into the right shape and covering the handle with black electrical tape. He borrowed a cross from my parent’s house and bought a plastic gun at the flea market for a dollar. A bandoleer found while yard saling and some garlic finished off the look.

I’m the first to admit my costume isn’t very convincing or inventive. It was actually supposed to be a lot better: I had ordered these lacy black gloves and matching kneesocks on etsy but the seller flaked out. Boo. And I bought some stick-on fangs that David recommended but the adhesive was SO FUCKING NASTY I couldn’t go through with it. I bought some knit black stockings at Target at the last minute and added a sparkly thrifted broach.

Vampire Hunter Accessories: garlic, steaks, gun, cross, bandoleer, combat boots, badassery

Vampire Accessories: cool gloves and tights from etsy, fangs, dress, sparkly thrifted broach, baby bump


Stef rocks the dryad costume with a thrifted green dress and her natural beauty. She added a “crown” made of ivy and berries and made matching wristlet and belt circlets as well. Dave has the beard and physique of a lumberjack, so this costume wasn’t a stretch. Add a piping axe made out of foam, PVC pipe and duct tape, and you’re good to go.

Woodsman Accessories: beard, hat, flannel, jeans, “axe”, stoutheartedness

Dryad Accessories:  ivy crown, belt and wristlets, green dress, natural beauty


Angela was very, very pregnant during Halloween one year, and when you’re 8 months pregnant it’s hard to find more than one pair of pants that fit, let alone a costume. But she and her husband Justin had a great idea: she would be a pregnant prom queen and Justin would be her lecherous high school science teacher/baby daddy. The funniest part about this scandalous couple’s costume is that Justin unzipped his pants and put part of his shirt through the fly.

Pregnant Prom Queen Accessories: giant belly swollen with child, fancy dress, tiara, beauty queen sash, vacant stare
Unscrupulous Science Teacher Accessories: corduroy blazer, glasses, dress shirt, tie, leering stare



My friends love a good zombie story and have often theorized about what it would take to survive an apocalyptic zombie outbreak scenario. Caleb dressed as a survialist prepared for a post-zombie world and equipped with a toolbelt, work gloves, and 2 liter of Mountain Dew. My husband enjoyed zombification via white costume make up and fake blood. He wore old clothes that he could rip and spill blood onto for effect.

Zombie Survivalist Accessories: tool belt with leatherman, bowie knife, first aid kit and firestarter, back pack, work gloves, hat, and ability to shotgun a can of Mountain Dew
Zombie Accessories: make up, fake blood, old ripped clothes, unrelenting appetite for brains



Poor Melynda. She was really distraught the year Michael Jackson died. As a fan of his music she dressed as MJ in homage to his life for Halloween. Her boyfriend, Justin, dressed as a low-key zombie and they both did the Thriller dance together. A moving tribute.

Michael Jackson Accessories: one sparkly glove, hat, shoulder-padded jacket and MJ makeup–don’t forget the pasty skin!

Low-Key Zombie Accessories: ashen face, circles under eyes, halting walk



All the romance of a dime store novel! None of the sheepish embarrassment of purchasing it! Stef and Dave win the Most Epic award for costumes with this one. Stef purchased this Arwen dress online but similar dresses could be found by the conscientious thrifter.  Dave’s craftily-inclined mother made him the knight’s tunic. I’m not sure about the cape. Anthony had a very similar cape made by a seamstress friend of ours, but Cindy could have made this, too. I’m not sure if Dave borrowed Anthony’s or not. Either way? Epic.

LOTR Knight Accessories: tunic, cape, official LOTR merch leaf-pin, large hairy feet

LOTR Elf Accessories: princess dress, regal bearing, soft focus lens



Here’s a post about my daughter’s first Halloween costume: a piece of sushi. To complete the couple’s theme, I was a Japanese housewife. My awesome friend Valerie sewed up the salmon pillow and green nori belt for Isobel and we put her in a plain white onesie. I just happened to have a beautiful kimono and obi belt given to my by our friend Aiden who was stationed in Okinawa for a few years while serving with the military.

Japanese Housewife Accessories: kimono, obi belt, parasol, graceful manner (which I probably lacked)

Adorable Piece of Sushi Accessories: White onesie and leggings, nori belt, salmon pillow, excessive cuteness

Birthday Sushi

17 Oct


Thank you friends who took time out of your busy lives and drove into town to visit me and share in my birthday dinner.

Thank you to my husband for watching Isobel when it was time for Mama to have her time.

Thank you to friends who came even though it wasn’t the easiest or most convenient thing to do.


Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes. I was truly awesome that so many people wished me well yesterday. I had a great day.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

DIY Baby Costume Inspiration

4 Oct

It’s that wonderful time of year when my thoughts start turning to what the heck am I going to be this year? Except this year I really don’t care what I’m going to be. I’m focused on Isobel.

This is the last year we are going to choose her costume. She’s still too little to have an opinion but next year she’s most definitely going to have an opinion and I can’t wait to find out what that is, but for now, Halloween is basically an excuse for Mama and Dada to dress up baby.

Isobel’s costume last year rocked: it was cheap, simple, and completely adorable. It also matched with a costume I already had for myself:

She was a piece of nigirizushi sushi and I was a Japanese housewife.

My friend Aidan spent some time living in the military base in Okinawa and he came home with all sorts of presents for us. He brought me this beautiful kimono and obi belt, along with several hilarious Engrish shirts.

I saw the idea for the sushi baby in an issue of Parents magazine and my crafty friend Valerie whipped up the “salmon” pillow and green “nori” belt in about ten minutes on her sewing machine. Thanks again, Val! This awesomeness was made possible thanks to you.

While looking for online inspiration I came across this contest at a website I love called Ohdeedoh. It’s a great website and my nursery was even featured there once. I could totally enter it in the Ohdeedoh contest since it meets their qualifications perfectly, but in reading the fine print I sign over the rights to my precious baby photos for them to use forever and ever. So, um, no. Thanks, but I don’t need to win a contest to validate that 1. my baby is adorable, and 2. that her Halloween costume rocks.

If you’re looking for an adorable, cheap, simple Halloween costume for your baby, might I suggest this one?

(Cute baby not included.)