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This month I’m … June 2022

EXCITED ABOUT
spending some time in Germany with family & friends

Turquoise Port will be closed for the month of June – click here for the summer schedule.

CELEBRATING
having visited each of the 47 prefectures in Japan!

I’ve written a blog post about the best hotels we have come across on our travels. Read it here.

SPENDING
days without rain in our little garden

Watch the “Styling Video: How to create a stylish outdoor space for summer” for inspiration

DECLUTTERING
the house

Being stuck inside during rainy season is the perfect time to declutter.
There will be some things I’ll give away – keep an eye out for them on my Instagram and Facebook Stories.

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This month I’m … May 2022

Sitting woman holding ceramic jar
Sitting woman holding ceramic jar

SUPER EXCITED ABOUT
the arrival of new ginger jars & candle jars!

The lovely new items will be released to my mailing list, on Thursday, 26 May. Not on the list? Sign up here.

Japanese temple at night

EXPLORING MORE OF
Tokyo before the heat of the summer hits

Some of my favourite Tokyo places are listed on my blog. Take a look here.

Corn fritters with tomatoes and avocado

ENJOYING HOME COOKED
weekend brunches

Happiness = a simple home cooked Sunday brunch. These corn fritters topped with chopped avocados and tomatoes, a dollop of sour cream and some Thai sweet chili sauce are yum!
Recipe: here

Instabasics

LOOKING FORWARD TO
the last ‘InstaBasics – Instagram for small business’

We have 3 spots left for the last class (1 June) before the summer break.
Click here for further details
.

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This month I’m … April 2022

Auckland New Zealand skyline from the water
Small balcony overlooking trees

MAKING THE MOST OF
the spring weather on our small balcony

Click to watch the short Tiny balcony styling video’.

Japanese historical town

WRITING MORE
Japan travel blog posts

Have you seen the one about ‘Hiking the Nakasendo trail’?

Cloud Cuckoo Land book cover

READING
“Cloud Cuckoo Land”

by Anthony Doerr

I loved “All the Light We Cannot See” by the same author and can’t wait to get started on this novel!

Auckland New Zealand skyline from the water

TRAVELLING TO
New Zealand!

Can’t wait to catch up with family & friends after such a long time! Turquoise Port will be closed for Golden Week – click here for further details.

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This month I’m … March 2022

Sign up for the annual sale

HOSTING
The Turquoise Port annual sale

Check your inbox on Sunday, 13 March at 9am to get the early access link for email subscribers.

SPENDING
More time outside

The Nature Reserve at the Institute for Nature Study in Shirokanedai is a local favourite.

READING
“Stolen Focus: Why You Can’t Pay Attention”
by Johann Hari

FOCUS is my word of the year and this book is a total eye opener…

LOOKING FORWARD TO
The 2022 cherry blossom season

I’m already super excited just seeing the plum trees bloom 🌸

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This month I’m … February 2022

EXCITED ABOUT
The arrival of some fab new textiles!

I have a shipment on the way from Turkey – lovely bedspreads, scarves and towels. It’ll be the first time I stock towels – I hope you’ll love them as much as I do!

DECLUTTERING
The house

The colder months are a great time to get into those boxes that have been lurking in dark corners for a while. I don’t like throwing stuff into the trash & give most things in good condition away – decluttering just feels so good!

MAKING
Lots of soups

I love soups. And winter is the best time to cook & eat lots of them. 
ThisQuick carrot & sweet potato soup’ is a winner: quick to make, nutritious and full of flavour.

RECOMMENDING
“Soup for Syria : Recipes to Celebrate Our Shared Humanity”
by Barbara Abdeni Massaad


I bought this wonderful book at the height of the Syrian refugee crisis a few years ago. It is a collection of soup recipes by acclaimed chefs and food writers who came together to help food relief efforts to alleviate the suffering of Syrian refugees. All profits from the sales of the cookbook are donated to help fund food relief efforts through various nonprofit organizations.

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The Turquoise Port Summer 2021 Playlist

Hello from Germany everyone!

If you follow my stories over on Instagram and Facebook, you’ll know that I’m busy decorating our new tiny house in the village I grew up in. We finally got to lay our eyes on on the place more than a year after it was completed. 😅

With the music on full blast, we spend our days assembling furniture and unpacking numerous boxes containing things that make a house a home.

Listen to the Turquoise Port Summer 2021 playlist 🎶

Hope you are well,
Alex x

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This month I’m … August 2021

FINALLY SEEING
Our tiny house in Germany!

The place was built last summer and we were meant to be there for it, but Japan had closed its borders for non-Japanese visa holders. I just cannot wait to walk through the door and start decorating! 

DECORATING
That tiny house

Internet connection permitting, I will post videos and pictures on my Instagram and Facebook stories as I go along. Did I mention I’m mega excited? 😅

WATCHING
“Physical” (Apple TV+)

I’m a couple of episodes in and love it!

“Sheila Rubin is a quietly tormented housewife in ’80s San Diego. Behind closed doors, she battles extreme personal demons and a vicious inner voice. But things change when she discovers aerobics, sparking a journey toward empowerment and success.”

READING
“What Could Be Saved” by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

“An enthralling, redemptive novel set in Bangkok in 1972 and Washington, DC, in 2019 about an expatriate child who goes missing, whose family is contacted decades later by a man claiming to be the vanished boy.”

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This month I’m … July 2021

WATCHING
“Peaky Blinders” (Netflix)

We got absolutely hooked on this Netflix series.
It’s a fictional story based on the real life Peaky Blinders, a notorious gang in Birmingham, England who were active in the city from the 1890s to the early 20th century.

Expect brilliant acting combined with a great soundtrack.

READING
Old Filth by Jane Gardam

FILTH = Failed In London Try Hong Kong – is, in a nutshell, the life story of an English lawyer, born in Malaya during the British Empire’s heyday, his schooling in pre-war England, his professional success in Southeast Asia and his return to England toward the end of the millennium. I loved this book and I was sad when I turned the last page.
But hurray: It’s the first of a trilogy so I will keep on reading!

LEARNING
How to make my own clothes!

I’ve always loved fabrics and tend to collect them on my travels wherever I go. Melanie Uematsu offers sewing & pattern making classes in her atelier in Oyamadai – 5 classes later I’ve already made a skirt and I’m half way through sewing a top to go with the skirt.

PLANNING
Our trip to Germany

I haven’t seen my family in 2 years and after postponing our flight 5 times, we keeping our fingers crossed for our mid-August departure. Travelling used to be fun – I’m currently buried neck-deep in Covid-related rules & regulations…

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This month I’m … June 2021

WATCHING
“Halston” on Netflix

Ewan McGregor is absolutely fabulous in the role of fashion designer Roy Halston who dictated American glamour in the late 1960s and 1970s. 

LISTENING TO
The “Superwoman Wellness” Podcast

If you only listen to one episode, make it EP 218 – Bras & Breast Health. It’s truly eye opening.

EATING
Lots of yummy summer fruits

Click here for the recipe of this refreshing Mango Lassi Bowl recipe – a summer breakfast favourite in our house

SPENDING
My mornings on our tiny little balcony

To watch the fun little 30 second balcony styling video I made a couple of weeks ago, click here.

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This month I’m … May 2021

GETTING
My strength back after surgery

A nodule had to be taken out of my lower left lung a couple of weeks ago; I talked about it here: Video

WATCHING
The Mosquito Coast

An idealist uproots his family and moves them to Latin America.
Apple TV+ is currently releasing one episode each week and we are hooked! 

SAYING
Sayonara to some dear friends & customers

The Sayonara season is upon us…

READING
The Midnight Library
by Matt Haig

I’ve been reading a lot of non-fiction and autobiographies lately and can’t wait to get started with this story:

“Between life and death there is a library, and within that library, the shelves go on forever. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices . . . Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?”