Happy Donazz

I think almost everyone knows about Doughnuts/ Donuts.

I first learned about them through the TV Series 'The Simpsons' when I was a child.
The first Doughnuts I tried in Germany were ok, but not outstanding.

Some years ago the triumphal procession of'Dunkin Donuts' began in Germany. They first had shops in the big towns. I knew shops in Berlin and Düsseldorf. I found them on my journeys through the country. Later smaller towns like Nuremberg also got a shop.
I loved Dunkin Donuts. 

But on my trip to Dresden in the mid of November I stumbled across an unknown shop.
They had a small market stand in a shopping mall.
It was called Happy Donazz. 

They had really nice creations of Doughnuts. I had to try them. They were delicious. I have to confess they were better than Doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts. (My personal opinion) 

I noticed that they have several shops in Germany. 
You may visit their website:

Today I had the chance to visit another shop of Happy Donazz.
My husband and I bought a box with 4 filled and 4 unfilled Doughnuts.

My Doughnuts
Chocomel - Doughnut filled with toffee, toffeechocolate and toffeeflakes
Homers Doughnut - strawberrychocolate and coloured sugarsprinkles
American Crystal Cinnamon - Crystalsugar and Cinnamon
Baked Apple - Doughnut filled with apple-cinnamon-buttermilk-rumaroma with white chocolate and applejam

My husbands Doughnuts
Mandelino - white chokolade and almond slices
White Snow - white chokolade and Kokosrasper
Cookies & Cream - buttermilkfilling, white chocolate and Oreocookies
Happy Vanilli - vanillacreamfilling, dark chokolade, white chokoladesprinkles


The days before Christmas

It's that Time of the year - Advent season. Only a few days until christmas. Everyone is in search for the last presents. Almost everyone is in a rush.

We have been to our first christmas market this year. We went to the next big town. It has been Simons very first christmas market also. But he slept all the time. ;-)
Unfortunately it has been raining and was very cold. So after a while on the market we went to the next Starbucks coffeeshop and had a Gingerbread Latte. I had mine with whipped cream and cinnamon on top.


It's the best drink Starbucks offers during Christmas season and I am Happy about this drink every year!



Miyamairi Kimono

I bought this beautiful Miyamairi Kimono about two months ago on Ichiroya. I was just looking through their homepage and the newly listed articles as I came across this beauty. It was a bargain and since I was expecting a boy I really couldn't resist it.
Surely it has some stains, etc but that's ok for me and I only want to use this kimono for display.
My boys first kimono ^ ^

Quote from Wikipedia:

Miyamairi (宮参り, literally "shrine visit") is a traditional Shinto rite of passage in Japan for newborns. Approximately one month after birth (31 days for boys and 33 days for girls,[1]) parents and grandparents bring the child to a Shinto shrine, to express gratitude to the deities for the birth of a baby and have a shrine priest pray for his or her health and happiness. The practice is not dissimilar to a Christian infant baptism.

Normally a Miyamairi kimono is not worn but tied over the baby. You can browse the net for pictures.


Happy Birthday

Let me introduce you to our son

Simon Josef
He was born on 05.10.2014 at 12:36

I wanted to give birth at home so I stayed at home with my midwife.
Unfortunately my uterine contractions were not long enough so I had to finish the birth at hospital. But everything went fine and I gave birth to our first child. A healthy son.

We are very proud :-)


Umeno Okiya Maiko Hikizuri

Completely unexpected I got a really special birthday present.
My friend gave me a Maiko Hikizuri of her collection!!!

I was shocked! 
She knew I loved this Hiki since she bought it about two years ago.
It has been listed on Yahoo Japan together with some other Hikizuri. 
Some research on the internet showed that these kimono belonged to the Umeno Yakata/ Okiya of Kamishichiken and have been worn until recent years.

Closeup of the pattern.

There are pictures on their blog where Umeraku-san is wearing this kimono in July and August 2010.



I have examined it closely and am a little bit surprised that this kimono is somehow in a 'bad' condition with many obvious stains, discolourations, etc and is really worn off. So I almost can't believe that this kimono has been worn by a Maiko-san until recently.

I own a Maiko Hikizuri that has been property of Mi No Yae Okiya of Gion Kobu that is still in almost perfect condition with almost no stains but nevertheless has been sorted out of their collection

Don't missunderstand me. It is still a very charming and beautiful piece but I always thought a Maikos appearance  has to be 'perfect'. I don't want to blame the Okiya too for using this piece so long. They might have had their reasons and I really don't understand much of the business and daily life of an okasan. Maybe they only used this Hikizuri because they had 4/5 Maiko at that time and maybe somehow run out of Hikizuri, especially for the summer.

Let me show you some of the stains to make clear what I mean.

The front seam. Left side lays folded over the right side. Notice the colour difference.

The front side of the left sleeve. Many brownish stains.

The upper front of the kimono. Maybe you can notice the colour difference especially of the left and right sleeve.

I know the red stains are very common on worn Hikizuri, especially on the summer kimono. They are from sweating and the red cloth (forgot the name) which is worn between kimono and obi. The red stains won't be visible when the Hikizuri is worn correctly.

Stained as it is, it will be a loved piece of my collection and surely match perfect with my new Darari Obi. (*^^*)


My new beauty

Sometimes life goes it's own way.

After the loss of my beautiful golden Darari Maiko Obi two years ago (actually it has been 'stolen') I was on the search for a new one.
And everyone who collects things Maiko/Geiko related -Hikizuri, Kanzashi, etc- knows how crazy prices for them became the last years.

I bought my Darari five years ago for the price of 300€ which was a bargain. The Obi was in almost perfect condition. 
I made the mistake and 'borrowed' it to someone living in Japan who actually cheated me with a very good story and didn't give it back until now.

So I am still angry with myself that I didn't take care enough.

I am/ was on the search for a new Darari since then.
Today I found a wounderful piece on Ichiroya that will go perfectly with my blue Ro Dragonfly Maiko Hikizuri.

It was listed as a Maikos Ro Maru Obi possibly worn by a Maiko.
The length is perfect - over 6m long - so maybe the real deal or switched from a normal fukuro to a Maru Obi for a henshin studio. Considering the 'bad' condition I think this might actually have been used in a henshin studio for some time.

I'm not sure with the kamon/ crest on the obi. I know this crest existed in Kyoto sometime but don't know if it is still used today by an okiya.

Real deal or not - I'm more than happy that this piece will find it's way to my home soon. It will help heal my wound a little bit.
I almost gave up searching for a Darari. It's almost impossible to find one nowadays. And if you find one the prices are ridiculous high.

This beauty was affordable and not already sold. As it would have been waiting just for me.
So sometimes life goes it's own way.

I will combine it with my Ro Maiko Haneri I also bought on Ichiroya some time ago.


Milka and Oreo

I have been to Munich last week. I visited a Shop which sells baby diapers made from cotton and placed an order.
After that we visited Sea Life in the Olympic Park. Entrance fee was quite expensive, but it was really worth its money.
After that we went Shopping in the City. Near the world famous Viktualienmarkt is the Schrannenhalle where you can buy gourmet food from Käfer and so on.
And there Is also a shop of Milka included. It sells almost all things  available from Milka. Perfect for chocolate lovers. We bought some chocolate because it is cheaper than in regular shops. I noticed that the company Mondelez which owns Milka also owns Oreo. They also had Oreo Latte available and I really had to try it.
It wasn't bad but I didn't taste much of the typicall Oreo Cookies. Was more like a chocolate Latte.
If you ever visit Munich and love chocolate Don't miss the Milka Shop in the Schrannenhalle.


Tsukimi 2014

I hope you all have a nice Tsukimi (moon viewing) today.

This year I'm not going to cook the special dishes like I did last year.

I'm sharing a picture of one of our Japan souvenirs from this years journey instead:

It's a Noren (door curtain) which I got for a really good price in Takayama.

It found its place on the door to our balcony and it has got the perfect motive for september and Tsukimi.


Souvenirs from Japan Part 1 - Things for the Baby

We used our trip to Japan to do some shopping, because buying directly in Japan is way cheaper than have it shipped and pay for toll, etc.

Japan is the best country to buy really kawaii (cute) things. For me as a girl it is sometimes really difficult not to buy every item with rabbits, cats or something like that on it.

So this time I often thought 'I really don't need it - but it would be cute for the baby' 

So I got some of the things I couldn't resist buying.

Here's an overview of the nice things we got:

From the Ghibli Museum in Mitaka:

Small towels with Totoro on them.

And with Jiji from 'Kikis Delivery Service':

And again from 'Kikis Delivery Service' a small plush cat that I will put on the baby buggy:

From another shop in Tokyo:

A napkin with Totoro and a baby rattle:

From a shop in Beppu - Panda socks:

And from the same shop some wounderful quilted fabrics:

In Takayama I bought a childrens yukata:
I thought a blue one would be fine for either boy or girl and it has beautiful dragonflys on it.
Unfortunately I think it won't fit the baby next summer....
The Yukata was about 1000¥ cheaper in Takayama than in Kyoto.

And a nice mobile made of chirimen fabric - found in Kyoto:


Baby Kimono

The parcel with the last souvenirs we bought in Japan finally arrived at our home.

Nice things like a Mirror in Miyako Odori design, Adzuki Bean Paste small toys for our child and a sewing pattern were inside.

In a big shop in Beppu I found this wounderful pattern for a babys 'kimono'. 

It's called Ronpers Jinbei.
The description is completely in Japanese, but I think I can do it only with the pattern and without a description.

I'm 29 weeks pregnant now and will soon be on maternity leave. 

I will start work then.
Pictures of it will be posted after the birth of the baby because it's still a secret if it will be a boy or a girl ;-)


Pregnancy Kitsuke

We had a little spring picnic today in a nearby park.

We used my new big Bento Box which I bought in Japan and is perfect for a picnic.

We had chicken yakitori and rice.

And cooked string beans with miso dressing, japanese omelette, tomatoes and cucumber and a wounderful fruit salad with small balls of glutinous flour and sirup.

We dressed in Yukata very quick. 

I am wearing my blue ukiyoe print Yukata with an old Hanhaba Obi of mine.
The Ohashori became too big, I know.
And since I'm 25 weeks pregnant now I had to tie the obi a little bit higher.

I got married last week.

So for the official kimono rules it means I cannot wear Furisode Kimono any longer.


Miyako Odori

Maiko Mikako-san and Geiko Mao-san

On April 28th we visited the Miyako Odori.

We got the first class tickets including Tea Ceremony right before the Odori.
On this day Geiko Mao-san and Maiko Mikako-san did the Tea Ceremony.

Mikako-san brought the tea to one or two costumers.

We sat in the second row and could watch her closely.
Her kimono was amazing.
She was already wearing a wisteris kanzashi since the blooming of the cherry trees was already over and wisteria already in bloom in kyoto.

And notice her white collar!
She's still a very new Maiko and looks already very senior.
But she is still wearing the wareshinobu hairstyle.

Somehow the whole Ceremony felt like a mass event.
You had to eat and drink fast, the servants almost urging you to leave soon.

And I felt a bit sorry for the Maiko and Geiko being photographed like animals in a zoo.
Ok I took pictures too so I have to feel guilty too.

The. Odori itself was wounderful.
We had amazing places near the hanamichi (flower stages) on the side where the Maiko and Geiko enter at the beginning in their beautiful blue kimono.
I had tears in my eyes because it was such am emotional moment for me to see them dance that close. To see the Miyako Odori after all those years of following the girls careers on the internet.

I knew most of the names, but not all.

We've seen Mamehiro, Koai, Sayaka, Satsuki, Sonoe....

I can't remember all of them now.

I really enjoyed the performance!

If you ever have the chance to visit Kyoto in April be sure not to miss the Miyako Odori!


Japan 2014

We are back from our big holiday in Japan this year. 
We stayed from the end of April to the middle of May.

It was a wounderful journey with many great experiences.

I want to write a little report here the next weeks/ months and share some moments with you.


Robe a'l anglaise

Finally we finished the first Robe Anglaise - one and a half weeks before the ball. 

The robe anglaise of my friend. Made of offwhite and red synthetic fibre - I think it looks like silk :-)

Here is a first impression.


Impressions Of New York

Nothing to blog about recently, so I thought I post some pictures of our trip to New York in December.