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Monday Mode ☆ AND Gray Dress

March 31, 2014

AND gray dress

I walked into AND India store one day not realizing that was the store my friend recommended and I totally fell in love with the brand!

I took photos of the dress and posted on my instagram because I wasn’t sure. I knew I liked it, but it was more than I normally spend on a dress. It wasn’t expensive. I’m frugal. Then I received responses, which made it easier for me to make a decision. Thank you!

AND Indiaは、友人が良いと教えてくれていたブランドだったのですが、ある日そうとは気づかずに入り、すぐに好きになりました。


chuzai living instagram

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I love this AND gray dress especially because of the design on the back which is not commonly seen. I also like the high waist which allows my body to look better proportioned and balanced. It is a long dress, so it suits well in India.

I have one more dress I bought from AND. That is for another day!

このAND Indiaのグレーのドレスは、あまり見ない背中のデザインが気に入りました。ハイウェイストなので、全身のバランスを良く見せてくれるところも嬉しいです。また、ロングドレスなので、インドで着るには合っているかなと思いました。




Some Locations in Mumbai

Bajaj Niwas, Linking Road,
Mumbai – 400 052.
Tel: 022 6526 0711

Level 1, Skyzone Extn,
High Street Phoenix,
Lower Parel.
Tel: 022 6523 1234

Upper Ground Floor
Phoenix Market City Kurla,
L.B.S Marg, Kurla(W)
Tel: 022 61801233

For More locations in Mumbai, click here. There are many other locations all over India. They also ship to outside of India as well according to the store keeper.

Friday Finds ☆ Jamu Spa in Cipete, Jakarta

March 27, 2014

Jamu Spa Jakarta

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    Jamu is traditional medicine in Indonesia mainly made from natural materials. It became popular during the Hindu Javanese period and is claimed to have originated in the Mataram Kingdom, a Hindu-Buddhist kingdom that was based in Central Java and later in East Java. Jamu is said to be influenced by Ayurveda.

    Having lived in India and learned a bit about Ayurveda, it is very interesting to know that India and Indonesia, the two countries I have lived back to back have such interesting historical ties.

I dedicate this post to those who are in Jakarta, Indonesia. Even though I have left Jakarta 10 months ago, the biggest readership till today is in Indonesia. This is my humble way to say thank you to them. At the same time, Jamu is definitely blog worthy. Even though I learned about Jamu during my second year of our three-year stay in Jakarta, I did not visit Jamu until the last month of our stay. It is such a shame. The good thing is that I’ve got to visit twice! I am eternally thankful to my Japanese friend, Kaori, who gave me the two opportunities to visit Jamu. Thank you, Kaori!! If you are an expat in Indonesia, I hope you take advantage of the wonderful spas available in Indonesia. Spas in Indonesia are something else. I don’t think I truly appreciated the spas in Indonesia until I left.


Jamu is a wonderful place for the purpose of getting pampered in a true meaning with all natural materials as the name Jamu suggests. The cream bath at Jamu is probably the best among all the places I tried cream bath. Cream bath is a hair and massage treatment where the massage starts from the head and continues to the neck, shoulders and arms. It is divine and very relaxing. If you ever visit Indonesia, I highly recommend trying out a cream bath.

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Other Recommended Spas in Jakarta
That Are Popular Among Expats

I have posted two other spas in Jakarta in the past. Now with Jamu, I recommend all three of them for different reasons and they are very popular among the expats I know in Jakarta. I love Puri Santi for the combination of the service, ambiance and reasonable pricing. It is a great place to bring your out-of-town guests. I loved going to A Mi Casa in Kemang for getting a pedicure by myself for a quick pampering and it is the cheapest among three which is the reason why I went there for regular pedicure every time my feet felt like rocks.

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At the first visit, I had a cream bath and at the second visit, I had a massage treatment. Both were absolutely fantastic.

To read more about Jamu Concept, please click here.

at Cipete, South Jakarta, Indonesia
Jl. Cipete VIII/94B Cipete,
South Jakarta, Indonesia
Tel : 021-765 9691
Fax: 021-765 9693



There is another spa that I went with my great friend, Anita. She was so sweet to treat me to the spa and I absolutely loved their massage. I might say that their massage was one of the most relaxing. I would love to write about it, but I cannot find the photos or remember the name of the spa! One of many things that is tough about moving is losing information in the hectic transition. If I can find the information and photos, I hope to post them here. In the process of looking for the photos of the spa, I saw many photos of several places in Jakarta that I would love to share with you here especially for my readers in Indonesia and potential expats or visitors to Jakarta. Let’s hope that I will be organized enough to get my act together!


Want to know what other people thought of Jamu?

I posted about Jamu on my Facebook and I received very positive responses. I wanted to embed the post, but it’s not working well. Please click to see my Facebook page post and the comments. Thank you!

Wedensday Wall2Wall ☆ My Girl’s Bedroom

March 26, 2014

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My oldest daughter wanted to have her own room, so when we moved to Mumbai, we decided to let her have it and my younger two, my another daughter and son, share a room.

Since we live in a furnished housing, I have to use the bed. I removed the bed headboard to create more of a kid friendly ambiance.

I decorated this room with what we have already owned and used in our previous kids bedroom back in Jakarta. The few new items I purchased to add to the room are the small pink rug from Urban Outfitters and the pompoms.

The pompoms are recycled decor items from a birthday party my girls had in 2013. You can see how they were used at a party in the following posts Bollywood Dance Party Table and How to Steal Bollywood Dance Party.



既に持っていたものでこのお部屋を飾りました。以前ジャカルタに住んでいた時に使っていたものが殆どです。ジャカルタの子供の寝室は、こんな感じでした。新しく加わったものは、Urban Outfittersのラグと、天井から吊るしているポムポムくらい。


Bollywood Dance Party Table
How to Steal Bollywood Dance Party

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A few months after I decorated, my daughter requested that we change it into a blue theme bedroom. What? I have known that she has preferred blue over pink in the recent past. I like blue and I thought about it, but in order to make such changes, some cost will be involved and I would hate not to use the resource we already have. I think I have to keep the idea pending.

I hope you enjoyed viewing the room.



Monday Mode ☆ Meeting Stephanie ☆ Behind iSanctuary

March 24, 2014

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From the left Meredith, Alex (front), Stephanie (back), & Sunita

Some of you probably already know that I am a big fan of iSanctuary. Since my first post on iSanctuary, I have worn iSanctuary jewelry on 7 posts. I added a list of my styling with iSanctuary jewelry (I’d love it!) on this post. Please scroll down to the bottom to see the list if you are so inclined! Thank you!


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meeting iSanctuary

I first learned about iSanctuary when I saw an iSanctuary vendor booth at a German Christmas event at the Turf Club in Mumbai in December 2013. Alex, the manager with iSanctuary in Mumbai, was at the booth and I asked her who designed the jewelry for iSanctuary because I recognized that the design was different from what I typically see in Mumbai and I could tell that it had a Western touch. She told me briefly about iSanctuary and Stephanie. Ever since then I have desired to meet Stephanie, the founder and designer of iSanctuary jewelry. She totally inspired me.

Meeting Stephanie

Thanks to a great help from Alex, the day I met Stephanie came exactly 2 weeks ago. I had been so looking forward to this day. When I first met Stephanie, I thought she was even more beautiful in person, as friendly as I imagined and much cooler than I had expected. She has a great sense of humor and wherever she was, there was energy and laughter. She brightened the room with her presence. As a person, I thought that she was down to earth, humble, personable, funny, and fun to talk to.




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Stephanie’s Footsteps To iSanctuary

I asked Stephanie how she started the organization. As you can also read in Founder’s Bio under About on iSanctuary’s website, she told me about the magazine article that changed her. The article was about Maiti Nepal by Anuradha on a Marie Claire magazine she read in 2003. After reading the article about human trafficking in India, Stephanie felt the need to go to India. She didn’t know how at the time, but several months later she learned that her church was taking a group to India, so she signed up for the trip. She made her way to India and then eventually she found a volunteer position with a local NGO and lived in a small village in Andhra Pradesh for a year. After that, she moved to Mumbai and contacted International Justice Mission to see how she could help the trafficked women.

She went to foster homes to see if she could buy some items made by the survivors and sell them in the U.S., but she did not find the items that would be sellable for the U.S. market. Then, she thought that she could teach those survivors of human trafficking and make something that she could sell in the U.S. The answer to her was jewelry.

Stephanie taught how to make jewelry designed by her to the survivors of human trafficking not only to bring awareness of human trafficking to the world, but also to train them to be marketable for a job market in the future. The key to her success to me is that she put an emphasis on the design and she has an eye for design with a great sense of business. When you go to developing countries, you can find craftsmanship, but often times they lack of the trendy aspect in their designs. When I live overseas and shop locally, I find myself often attracted to locally crafted products made with the design from Europe or the U.S. or who studied design in these regions.

When Stephanie was telling me about how she came to India, she said “I was naive.” She came to India with her passion and determination to pursue her mission without having done much research on how to realize it in India. I would say she was courageous. Sometimes people need to jump into what they dream of doing. I, however, recognize that she’s quite smart. It might look like she just threw herself into this, but she knew what kind of choices to make and certainly knew how to start up an organization and business in India on her own. Having lived in India for 8 months, I can tell you that what she has done is hands-down amazing. It is not something that everyone can do. She’s one impressive woman for sure.

私は彼女にどのようにしてiSanctuaryが始まったのか訊いてみました。Founder’s Bio「創設者の経歴」で書いてあるように、ある雑誌の記事との出会いが彼女を変えたと教えてくれました。Marie Claireに載ったその記事は、Anuradhaによって書かれたMaiti Nepalについての記事でした。人身売買に関する記事を読んだ後、ステファニーはインドへ行く必要性を感じました。でも、その当時はどうやってインドへ行ったら良いのか分かりませんでした。数ヶ月後、彼女の通う教会がインドへグループを遠征することが分かり、その旅行に参加することにしました。彼女はインドへ渡り、その後現地の非営利団体での仕事を見つけ、アーンドラ・プラデーシュ州の小さな町に一年間滞在しました。その後、彼女はムンバイへと移り、International Justice Mission(アメリカを本拠地とする人権問題を扱う非営利団体。世界の至る国で、人権乱用の被害者となった人たちを救う活動を行っている。)にコンタクトを取り、人身売買の被害者になった女性達をどのようにして助けられるかを調べてみました。




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She served me some chai as it was an afternoon chai time in India. Then she surprised me with a gorgeous necklace she just asked her helpers to make for me. Isn’t this so sweet? I was so smitten by it!


iSanctuary necklace

Stephanie, thank you very very much for your time to meet with me during your time in Mumbai and for the lovely necklace you gave me. I have been wearing it along with my other favorites from iSanctuary store. Please keep up your wonderful work.


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Stephanie, Alex and Meredith

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Thank you Stephanie, Alex and Meredith for your time! I’m sorry that Stephanie and Alex are blurry! My bad!!

For those who are curious about jewelry by iSanctuary, you can browse and shop for their jewelry pieces on iSanctuary online shop. I love how reasonable their prices are. As a mom, a budget for my fashion is limited and I love how I can afford fashionable iSanctuary jewelry!!

iSacntuary for Mumbaikars
iSanctuary jewelry is available at The Yoga House (at their new location)!



This is to show how obsessed I have been. Here are the Monday Mode posts where I styled my outfits with iSanctuary jewelry.

*You can find all my fashion posts under the FASHION tab.

Monday Mode ☆ Mango Shirt, Gap Green Pants & iSanctuary Jewelry + Technical Difficulty with a Camera Remote Control
Monday Mode ☆ Neon Yellow Maxi Dress & Leather Bag by MANGO
Monday Mode ☆ Black & White Polka Dot Shirt
Monday Mode ☆ Stripe Shirt & Maxi Skirt
Monday Mode ☆ iSanctuary Turquoise Choti (braided) Necklace With Zara white shirt & two kinds of jeans
Monday Mode ☆ Styling with scarves
Monday Mode ☆ Cottonworld Blue Shirt





Friday Finds ☆ Palate Culinary Studio ☆ Santacruz, Mumbai

March 21, 2014

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Parents are constantly on the lookout for birthday party ideas, aren’t they? This was a birthday party where the kids were invited to have a cooking experience at the Palate Culinary Studio in Santacruz, Mumbai. My daughter loved it! They all made a cupcake in a jar. Isn’t this such a cute idea?

The Palate Culinary Studio offers cooking classes for a variety of cuisines, baking and decorating cakes. You can take a look at their cooking schedule and rates for the classes in the near future here and a list of courses with rates here on their website. The rates are between 2000 Rupees (US$30+) and 3500 Rupees (US$60) per class. I find the rates rather pricy, but Palate Culinary Studio looks like a celebrity cooking studio and the chef instructor seems like a celebrity, too, so I guess that’s the price you have to pay. It’s expensive to live in Mumbai even though labor is quite inexpensive, which many people outside of India don’t realize until they move to this mega city.

Have a look at their website if you are curious about beautiful Palate Culinary Studio!




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Palate Culinary Studio

Ground Floor, Survodaya Co-Op Housing Society
7, Juhu Road, Plot no 28
Mumbai – 400054
*Opp Society Stores, Behind SBI Bank
Santacruz West
OFFICE: 022265695221
Contact them on this page


Hosting A Party For 30 People

March 19, 2014

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My husband and I hosted a holiday party at the end of last year, 2013, for the local staff who work in his office in Mumbai, India. We had about 30 guests who came. This gathering was held after Christmas in the same week because that timing worked the best for everyone.

I promised my mom last year that I would post some photos of our table with snacks I prepared for 30 guests. Now it’s mid March that I feel this is way overdue to post photos from the holiday season in 2013 and posting these photos in December this year (2014) would probably be more suitable. I, however, decided to post these now. I hope some of you find this post interesting.

As you can imagine that it was overwhelming for me just to think that we were going to entertain 30 people. I had already been exhausted from having 2 birthdays and cooking for Thanksgiving in November, and participating in events leading up to Christmas and cooking for Christmas in December before we hosted this holiday party. This was a last spurt of a ‘holiday marathon’.

I told my husband that I could only handle an afternoon party where I do not have to cook a meal. Using a catering service would be one way to entertain a big group of guests, but we covered all the cost out-of-pocket and you know how it is after Christmas. We have 3 kids and planned a vacation in January. Who has a big budget to throw a party for 30 people around that time of a year? Certainly not us. Thus, we held an afternoon holiday party and this is the spread I had. I baked two different kinds of cookies. I wish I had energy left to cook more, but alas, there is so much I can do.





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Thanks to TH Bakes, our dessert table looked quite festive without my stressing out too much to bake. I don’t know what I would have done without TH Bakes.


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I made tomato and mozzarella cheese salad with local fresh paneer instead of mozzarella. It is more fresh and inexpensive in India. Paneer actually goes well with tomato, basil and olive oil. I recommend using paneer.


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I baked these cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookies & Citrus-Drizzled Cranberry Cookies



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My Japanese friend taught me this paneer salad/sashimi with Asian dressing. The dressing is soy sauce base with wasabi or ginger. Believe it or not, this paneer sashimi (just slices of paneer) and Asian dressing go well together.

Paneer 500 g (1 lbs)
Spring onions cut small (I omitted this in another word forgot to use it for the party) 2-3 Tablespoon

Soy Sauce 3 Tablespoon
Salad Oil (sesame oil for Chinese flavor) 2 Tablespoon
Vinegar 2 Tablespoon
Sugar 1/2 Teaspoon
One of the following 1/4 Teaspoon
Wasabi paste (like real sashimi), Ginger (Japanese), or Spicy Bean Paste (Kind of Chinese. I used spicy bean paste for the party)

Slice paneer into a bite size. Mix dressing ingredients. Sprinkle spring onions and pour dressing.


パニール  500g
万能ネギ みじん切り   1束

醤油   大さじ3
サラダ油(中華風にはごま油)  大さじ2
お酢   大さじ2
砂糖   小さじ1/2
以下一つ 小さじ1/4



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Mixing sparkling water with Monin’s flavored syrup makes great party drinks!


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I hope you were able to get some ideas from the way I entertained our guests!


Monday Mode ☆ Cottonworld Blue Shirt

March 16, 2014

Cottonworld Blue Shirt

Today is a holiday in India called Holi. It is a spring festival also known as a festival of colors. I’m sure you have seen some photos or documentary on TV about Holi with people covered with colored powder and water. I’m excited to experience my first Holi in India, but I’m worried about getting sprayed!!

I bought this Indian design blue shirt at Cottonworld. I wrote about Cottonworld before here with its casual sleeveless T-shirt. I often wear this blue shirt with white jeans, but I decided to wear it with dark denim pants which I purchased at UNIQLO in Tokyo, one of my favorite shops to go to when I visit my family in Japan.

I sometimes tuck the shirt in, but this time I had it out and used a belt to add a form. I wore it with 3 different pairs of shoes/sandals to play around and experimented the different look. I love flat ballet shoes, but I realize that I need any bit of help to make my short legs look longer.

My middle daughter helped me take these photos. My remote control broke and I can’t find a place to have it fixed. Maybe it’s time for me to get a new one?

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