January 02, 2012

✿Happy New Year !!

This is my chestnut maccha cake for celebrating 2012 !! 
(I made it really big to feed lot of people)

We have a custom to do a big cleaning at the end of the year in Japan, so I did a big cleaning and also got rid of clutter especially from the garage.  All the papers I kept since 2000 for my business are thrown away and all the photos I want to keep are on photo albums now.
I feel so good and free by getting rid of clutter.  I was so ready for 2012...

On December 31st, I went for Zazen, (meditation) at temple in Berkeley the first time and we had Soba noodles after that.   
I have been meditating almost every day since September 2010, so having meditation at the temple was a different experience.  
Having Soba noodles at the end of the year represent a long life and it's a custom of December 31st in Japan.

After Zazen and having noodles, my friends and I went to Yoshi's Jazz club in Oakland which is the most famous and popular jazz club in the bay area.   By the time we park the car near Yoshi's were 11:56 pm so we run to the club. ( I felt like Cinderella running right before midnight...)  For me, it was so special and fortunate that we arrived in time when the MC was counting down  3, 2, 1... Happy New Year !!  
On December 31st, I was already experiencing so many fortunate things around me among the other things !  
I'm so grateful.   

New years day is the most meaningful day for Japanese people and we have traditional Osechi food with family.  Osechi food is something we prepare at the end of the year so the first few days of the new year, we don't have to cook each time. 

My friend invited me to her house and many of her friends made lots of Osechi food.  I never made Osechi before so I made my favorite chestnut cake which is mix of French Mont blanc cake and Japanese maccha cake.

There were a lot more food than you see on these photos and I really had an amazing new year Osechi food.

I was very fortunate to meet lots of people and doing a fundraising for Japan last year.  Fundraising was a big event for me fiscally and mentally because I spent 4 ~ 5 months doing it.
I learn so much from this experience and I realized helping other is so important.  Even thought gathering $36000 from the fundraising could be just my self-satisfaction, but it definitely felt so good by doing it and I would like to continue to be helpful. 

Thank you so much for visiting my blog last year and I will continue writing about 
♥ cute things ♥ 
♥ fun times 
♥ lovely people  
and my hand made hats 
in 2012....

I wish 2012 will be your wonderful year as well as here on earth.