This reindeer dog snood is too cute and hilarious! “What in the world is a snood?” you ask. Well, a snood is a funny little dog hat that keeps the dog’s ears tucked away so that long ears stay clean while eating or prior to a dog show. If you want to keep your dog’s ears clean and are in a festive mood, then this is the snood for you!
After Raymond and I visited my friend in Tokyo, Japan, we popped over to South Korea to visit another friend of mine. Neither of us had been to Korea before, so we were excited to experience a new culture and country!
It was really hot while we were in Korea—especially compared to the North Pole—but we just ignored the heat and ventured out to explore. The Korean Peninsula is so full of history, so we made sure to take in plenty of historical sites. The first of which was the Jongmyo Shrine, a Confucian shrine located in Seoul. This shrine is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and houses memorial tablets for the kings and queens of the Joseon Dynasty.
At the entrance to Jongmyo Shrine
Outside Yeongnyeongjeon [Hall of Eternal Comfort] where the memorial tablets are stored
Checking out the different architecture in Jongmyo Shrine
While walking around another afternoon, Raymond & I happened upon Jogyesa Temple, the headquarters for the Jogye Buddhist Order. With its vibrant lanterns and colourful architecture, this temple really caught our eye.
Raymond about to enter Jogyesa Temple
Raymond especially loved the colourful lanterns
Another afternoon, Raymond and I emerged from the subway in Seoul to see a martial arts performance happening right in Gwanghwamun Square—how neat! After watching the amazing performance, we saw a statue of Sejong the Great, one of the most important kings in Korean history.
“Annyeonghaseyo, King Sejong!”
The statue of King Sejong is located near Gwanghwamun Gate, the main and largest gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace. Unfortunately we did not have time to visit this palace, but we at least took a photo near the gate
Raymond smiling, despite how hot it was. We shared a Mango Fruit Pudding Blended Juice at Starbucks [mmm!] to cool down.
While we didn’t have time to visit Gyeongbokgung Palace during this trip, we did make it to Changgyeonggung Palace where we enjoyed looking at the architecture and learning about the history of the palace.
Raymond taking a gander at Myeongjeongjeon [main hall]
Before Raymond & I went to Korea, I was a little concerned about finding vegetarian dishes for us to eat since most Korean food isn’t veg-friendly, but we were pleasantly surprised! From time to time, it was still a little difficult to find vegetarian food, but when we would find something, it was usually pretty darn yummy.
One of my favourite new dishes is bibimbap, which is white rice topped with julienned vegetables, sprouts, tofu, greens, sesame seeds, and an egg. Mix all that together with gochujang [hot pepper paste], and you have a super tasty meal! Bibimbap can also be served with meat, but of course Raymond & I would never want that
Raymond eyeing my bibimbap in the 63 Building in Seoul
Another yummy treat we had was patbingsu, a shaved ice dessert that was perfect for the hot and humid summer weather. It definitely helped us cool down!
“Yummm!” says Raymond.
Raymond and I had a lot of fun on our adventures this year! Where do you think Raymond should go next year? Let us know in the comments!
These lovely heart ornaments combine felt, lace, and buttons for a very sweet—and very Scandinavian—decoration. Give one to a special someone to wish them “Hyvää Joulua!”
This peppy Christmas tassel garland caught my eye because it combines classic red and green with soft mint and pink, plus some gold for sparkle. String one to liven up your wall or hang several for a fun photo booth backdrop during a party.
Oh. My. Goodness. Is Neva the Christmas Hippo not just the sweetest thing you’ve ever seen? Hippos are my second favourite animals, so I melted a little when I saw this cutie-pie. Made of red fleece with green cotton ears and tootsies, Neva would make a fun, whimsical addition to anyone’s holiday decor, especially those of us who really do want a hippopotamus for Christmas
Raymond has been such a good little reindeer this year that I planned a fun surprise for him during the autumn before we started getting really busy preparing for Christmas. Remember Raymond’s dream from the springtime when he was obsessing about baseball? Well, I took Raymond down to Atlanta, Georgia to attend an Atlanta Braves game! We had a fabulous time watching the Braves take on the San Diego Padres, and Raymond had an absolute blast taking everything in—the organ music, the lights, the grass, the wave, the nachos, and of course the game!
Raymond rooting for the home team
One happy reindeer
Scoping out the outfield
This felted acorn garland has a cozy, homemade, yet rustic feel. I love the fact that the designer combined super soft merino wool with actual acorn caps! This would look charming strung on your tree or simply hung on the wall. Felted acorn ornaments are also available.
Etsy Seller: Delica
This crocheted leaf necklace—with its soft grey leaves and red flower brooch—is both cozy and feminine. You could spiff up any outfit by simply adding this unique necklace, and the removable brooch adds a nice festive touch.
As if this polar bear ornament wasn’t adorable enough in the first place, he’s also wearing a sweater to up the cuteness factor. Each handmade polar bear is personalized with an initial embroidered on his sweater, and there are several lovely sweater colour options to choose from. This ursine decoration would be a sweet addition to anyone’s Christmas tree.
Raymond has been quite the little traveller during his downtime this year. We’ve already told you about his adventures in Ventura, Portland, Orlando, and San Francisco, but he also travelled to places outside of the United States. Any guesses on where he went?
When I told Raymond that I was going to Tokyo, Japan to visit a friend from university, he begged me to let him tag along. And how could I say no to his sweet reindeer face? Japan is one of my favourite countries, so I was excited for Raymond to experience it, too.
Raymond taking in Tokyo from our balcony in Setagaya
If you’ve been reading about Raymond’s escapades and if you know me at all, you know that we both love to experience new and different foods, especially when travelling. For me, trying out local cuisine is one of the best parts of travelling! Finding vegetarian dishes in Japan can be a little tricky, but we definitely found plenty to make our bellies happy
One Japanese dish I love is miso soup, and I was delighted with this giant, hot bowl that I had at Misogen. Full of okra, mushrooms, greens, and tofu skin, this soup really hit the spot for lunch. The steamed rice served with umeboshi [pickled plum] was an excellent accompaniment.
About to chow down at Misogen
When we decided that we wanted to try a new food, monjayaki, we headed over to Monja Street in Tsukishima where there are literally dozens of monjayaki restaurants to choose from. Monjayaki is pan-fried batter filled with chopped veggies and/or meat. It’s sort of a runnier version of one of my absolute favourite Japanese dishes, okonomiyaki [savoury pancake]. For both of these, you usually cook the food on a grill right at your table. However, with monjayaki, you eat it directly off the grill using a wee spatula.
Raymond and our natto monjayaki
Where else in the world do you think Raymond went this year? Stayed tuned to find out!