Our New Coffee Station and Feeling Japanese

Our coffee maker was leaking water a bit when we ran it.  After trying to "trouble shoot" fixing it, Nespresso offered us a 50% discount off of a new one (they want to keep us addicted).  The new coffee maker gave me motivation to change things up in the kitchen.
These colorful oil paintings were bargains that I bought at the Long Beach, California flea market.
  (The leaky Nepresso is going back to college with Tommy).  

 Last week, my friends and I took  a morning off and went to

Located inside the Golden Gate Park, it's the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States.
We met a guide with SF City Guides there.  
He gave us a free tour (donations encouraged).

Trust me and take the tour…you will find it interesting.  
This granite basin was for the ritual of washing your hands before tea.

This is a big Buddha…but there is a little one hidden 
elsewhere that we wouldn't have known about without the tour guide.

The gardens are surprisingly serene and cool.
Here is the other little hidden Buddha.

Afterwards we went to Japantown
fun to walk around there!  
At the grocery store, I bought pickled ginger and wasabi for when we buy sushi at Safeway (surprisingly good--but not enough ginger or wasabi).  Then, we had a nice bento box for lunch.
 Afterwards, we went tBenkyo-do 

for the most amazingly delicious mochi, freshly made rice paste pastries.
(Alie, we have to go here…and same goes for any other visitors!)

The Japanese really know how to make lovely paper…
you will find a couple stores walking around Japantown.
 Look at this origami…  made from one dollar bills… no
cutting (according to the cheerful elderly Japanese shopkeeper).
She said "good way to save money--no one want to spend after all that work!"

This is a catfish!  All one piece of paper.
They even got the placement of the eyes right.
There is also a really fun dollar store there…I could go on and on…
just go to Japantown and see for yourself.

Back to our kitchen...
It's good Feng Shui (yes, I know that is Chinese) 
to have organization in a kitchen and "Voila!"
My spoons are flea market finds with "P's" or "M's" on them.
Have you taken my advice and purchased 
one of these Nespresso machines?
If you like a latte or cappuccino, this is your boy.
The cherries must be out of season already…
these were way overpriced.  But notice the turtle bowl.
"Turtles stand for 1,000 years of longevity", 
according to our Tea Garden tour guard.
We all knowingly shook our heads…
but exactly WHO is living 1,000 years?
Roosters stand for success in Feng Shui (this is all stuff I remember from reading a book five years ago on vacation so I am NO expert) and pointing him towards the window keeps the bad energy out.
So, anyway, I'm feeling good, Qi(氣)(pronounced "chee" in English)
positive energy in here.  

But now that I'm feeling Japanese, 
I'm going to drink more tea, 
I really think so.


  1. lovely post. what a pretty garden.I really need to discover SF again!

  2. coffee stations are pretty awesome- I like that yours fits in a simple tray and doesn't clutter up the countertop. Also love the Vapors reference...I really think so :-) :-)

  3. Perfect pretty morning spot! Those oil paintings are beautiful!

  4. I LOVED this post. It is so fun to see the city though your eyes. I am totally addicted to my Nespresso. When we went to Paris they had one in our apartment and the rest is history. I have a small coffee station in my home too. Nothing fancy, but totally useable! Happy Monday!

  5. Mary Ann the Japanese Tea Garden looks so lush; I love all of the sculptures and follies. Your coffee station is perfect!

    Featuring Artist John Matthew Moore
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  6. The gardens are beautiful!
    One of my favorite design ideas is to have art on the back splashes in the kitchen. Yours are perfect. Love your new coffee spot!!!!

  7. I have not been to the japanese tea garden in years, and sadly I have never been to Japantown. It sounds like fun!!

  8. Your coffee station is so beautiful and functional! I love the paintings... such beautiful colors! What an amazing flea market find!

  9. Loving the paintings and especially those darker blues! Thanks for the inspiration of the painting and coffee station!

  10. Everything...always looks beautiful at your house!

  11. Hi! Yes I've got a Nespresso and love it. Need to put it on a pretty tray! What a great find the pictures were!

  12. Love the backdrop paintings in your coffee station Mary Ann and I'm totally smitten with that Japanese Garden! HAve you tried Japanese soda? It's fun how they seal the bottles, with the glass balls!

  13. gosh. I learned so much from this post. too bad I gave away all my rooster stuff...I may need to get a little one to point towards the window. and that Buddha! that rung a bell for me...I have a picture as a little girl standing in front of that statue with my sisters. I was like three. had no idea that's where that was (just knew it was in SF). when not if I make it out to SF maybe you could be my tour guide around town :) this tour was fantastic. thanks!


  14. Hahaha, and now I have that song in my head. You know I still haven't purchased on of those machines, but I think I should. Love Japanese gardens, food and anything else related to overall harmony. Fun post.

  15. What a nice tour that was. It looks like such a peaceful place. And I love your coffee bar with the colorful paintings and those spoons! There's something about rummaging through old silverware at flea markets that makes me SO happy.

  16. So pretty and love the coffee station ... I am working on a whole Coffee Lounge for a client and your little snippet was quite inspiring ... I better make certain they buy a Nespresso!!

  17. You have once again inspired me! We have a new Nespresso too, and I love it, but I do need to create more of a coffee bar space.
    And the shops! Fabulous.

  18. Now that's a perfect coffee station - love the bamboo tray and the art! Thanks for the tea garden tour - so pretty…

  19. Your coffee station is divine...but you always do things so perfectly! The Japanese garden is lovely and I hope next time I get to SF, I can go there. The origami money is so fun! They should do some with larger bills!!!!
    Have a fun week! xo

  20. I adore your coffee station, and your insight on the Japanese traditions. Interesting!

  21. Hi Mary Ann,
    We share the same love.... our Nespresso machines!
    Glad your up and running with a new one. The gardens were lovely, thank you for sharing your outing there!
    A beautiful week to you!

  22. Such a nice new coffee station and love the view of San Francisco.


  23. This is what I love about the West Coast- the plethora of Asian culture. I miss going to the Japanese Garden in my old neighborhood. It is such a treat to the senses, so beautiful and so organized at the same time. It's a special treat.
    I love how your kitchen has turned out. I am also a Nespresso addict and have recently written a review, you can check it out on my blog. We had a leaking problem with another coffee maker and opted to get a Nespresso machine. I just love it http://glamistahome.blogspot.com/2014/07/product-reviewmake-your-morning-coffee.html
    Anyway, the coffee bar corner looks beautiful, love all the details you added to make it a cozy spot. Thank you for sharing!

  24. I need to update my coffee bar.....love those vintage pictures! The tour looks fun....you are always doing interesting things:)

  25. AMAZING photos :) I hope you had a great summer

    Check out my new post....Inredningsvis Swedish summer vacation :)

    I wish you a great autumn dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - Swedish decor, food, and fashion


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