It’s hard to believe, but I’m rounding the corner to my five year anniversary living overseas here in Japan. I will state with full disclosure that my stay overseas has been somewhat of an “expat lite” experience, as I live in an area with a huge American military population, complete with access to the American grocery stores and exchanges on the bases and, very conveniently, an “American” address. Having an APO address has been especially nice for me being a. tall with giant feet (Japanese stores rarely carry clothing I can fit, and never carry shoes that do) and b. having an ugly Sephora habit.
But, not every company, or every thing, will ship to an APO address. Even Amazon and Sephora, which are in general amazing with their (free) shipping policies and speed, have items that won’t ship to overseas military/diplomatic addresses. Sometimes they make sense (item is too large to ship USPS, flammable, etc) and sometimes you will have an item denied for reasons you cannot fathom. But, c’est la vie. Or, in my adopted home, shikata ga nai.
There are a few items that I have seen a zillion times come up, either in forums and Facebook groups, or just among friends, that people have a hard time sourcing if you need something shipped stateside. Outside of using a forwarder (and paying additional fees), here are a few tricky items that I’ve found ways to get shipped when living overseas. Continue reading “Living Overseas: Shipping (Tricky) Stuff to your APO/FPO/DPO Address”
It’s been a minute since my last fix … my last Stitch Fix, that is. I don’t do too many subscription boxes (The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing book has made an indelible hold in my brain, which is not visible in the slightest when you visit my home). I have settled into a twice-yearly Stitch Fix (there are, barely, two seasons in Okinawa), and I recently caved and signed my barely two-year-old lab up for Bark Box not too long ago (duuuuuuude I know it’s so bougie, but seriously, he eats EVERYTHINGGGGGG). Stitch Fix though, I enjoy because I don’t like to commit to things, I don’t like to shop (and can’t really shop locally because I’m too big for Japanese clothing) and with the service, I pay a bit more than my usual MO of shopping clearance off clearance sales, but I don’t have to shop OR commit. So after hemming and hawing over if I should schedule my spring Fix or not, I decided to go for it. If you want to see what my Spring 2018 Stitch Fix box contained, keep reading …
I just got my third Stitch Fix in the mail today, just in time for summer! I actually postponed the fix a month from the original interval I set; I figured I had enough spring/transition items and wanted a true summer fix. Like I mentioned before, I really hate shopping (and shopping for giantesses is pretty slim pickings in Japan) so this Stitch Fix box was a really terrific surprise (especially hot on the heels of my birthday — happy birthday to me!). So … how was my hot summer fix? Did I keep all the things? Keep reading to find out! Continue reading “Stitch Fix Part 3: My Summer Fix”
I am lucky to have houseguests right now; two family members are visiting us here in Japan from the U.S. One has been here before, and one has not. For any of you who have hosted houseguests from another city (probably everyone?), you know what it’s like to try and remember what it’s like to be new in your city so you can show your guests the best it has to offer in the limited amount of time they have. This was a truism in Alaska, and it definitely is here in Japan. Recommending products, when friends ask, reminds me a lot of this process.
Does this seem weird? Maybe. It’s true though. When I have guests come to town, I try and tailor activity ideas to not just what I consider the “best” my home has to offer, but to their interests and abilities. Also, I know how expensive travel can get, and I always try hard to not break the bank on the activities and restaurants we do. Recommending products is much the same. I try hard to evaluate the friend asking’s lifestyle and skin type, how comfortable they are wearing cosmetics if it’s a makeup question, and also price. Continue reading “Recommending Products and Tourist Shopping: the Conundrum”
I am a very fair person–a ginger, the fairest of them all (ha!) … as in, if I spend more than about a half hour outdoors, even with sunblock, my skin can start feeling about a half size too small. While this is unfortunate in and of itself, I enjoy being outdoors as much as the next person, and I also enjoy outdoor sports. Specifically, endurance sports and water sports–which are pretty much the antichrist for ginger nuts like me. Being a person that is also quite vain and likes not looking like grandpa’s busted old leather suitcase, I have learned a lot over the years on sports skincare: how to balance, as best as possible anyway, having an active life outdoors with not looking like Magda.