The Kuro Clan – “Here We Go, 2015!!!”

The Kuro Clan rang in the New Year with dear friends here in Tokyo! Below are some photos from our fun-filled evening!
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I made some intensely festive headbands with dollar store goodies (& my loverly epson printer) for my friend Annie & Me! We looked fantastic! haha 😉
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When we saw that Kaiph was still awake at midnight, we let him join in on the sparkler fun! Hope everyone had a wonderful (& safe) New Year!!!

Credits ~ Photography by: Nathan Black, Taren S. Black, and Eric & Annie Boerm

Featured Friends – “Holiday Face Decor”

Well, hello there Christmas party season!!! To celebrate December festivities I’ve asked my make up guru friend, Sarah Marchlewski, to write up a holiday look tutorial for us, and I’m so excited to share her recommendations. Not only is she offering step-by-step directions for a lovely Christmas/New Years look, but she’s also providing an amazing giveaway! Check out her beautiful tutorial below!
Hi everyone! For this look I wanted to go easy on the eyes, and bold on the lips. Follow my steps to achieve a classy holiday look!
Eyes: Step 1: Using The Nudes Maybelline pallet, I first applied color #8 in my crease.
Step 2: I applied color #11 on my brow bone. Step 3: Apply color #7 on the lid.
Now it’s time for eyeliner, mascara, and brows!
Step 4: Apply black pencil liner (I used elf Shimmer Eyeliner, Black). Step 5: Carefully apply liquid liner across the tight line (again, I used elf Liquid Eyeliner, Black).  Step 6: I went ahead and lightly filled in my brows (my brow filler of choice is Mary Kay brow definer pencil, Brunette). Step 7: The last step for the eyes is to apply mascara (I used the elf mascara, Black)
Here’s a photo montage for steps 1-7.
Okay, lets do our lips now!
Step 8: I like to stain my lips when using reds, it holds the color so much longer. I used the elf Crimson Crush Lip Stain. Step 9: Line the lips with a similar color lip liner (I used Sonia Kashuk Lip Definer, China Red). Step 10: Apply the lipstick (my color is elf Luscious Liquid Lipstick, Ruby Slipper). Step 11: This is the last step. Make your red lips shine with some gloss! I used the elf studio Glossy Gloss in Merry Cherry.
And voila! You’re ready to get your holiday party on!!! Pass the sangria, please! 🙂
Here’s a photo featuring the products I used for this tutorial.
And last, but not least, the amazing giveaway!!! A cute cosmetic bag with the lip colors I used in this tutorial! I filled it with the Lip Stain in Crimson Crush, elf Luscious Liquid Lipstick in Ruby Slipper, and elf Studio Glossy Gloss in Merry Cherry. Here’s a pic of all the goodies you could receive!
To enter our giveaway please leave a comment below including your email address (so we can notify you if you win!), and follow: @sarahmarchlewski & @oslo_and_alfred (if you don’t already) on Instagram! We will choose a winner on Sunday December 7th, and notify the winner via Instagram and via email on Monday December 8th. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year ~ Sarah & Taren

Credits ~ Photography by Sarah & Mathew Marchlewski

A Look Back – “October Occasions”

The month of November has been crazy busy for us as we prepare to move stateside in December. My studio is all packed up, my art prints have been shipped to Florida, and we are starting to count down our final days here in Japan (Boo Hoo!!!!!). I say, “final”, but we are soooo open to living here again one-day. We’ll see what the future holds for us and Japan. 🙂 Here are some fun moments from our October!
I went as Jessica Day, “It’s Jess!”, from the tv show “New Girl” for Halloween 2014
My boys hit up the “trick or treat” scene as ninjas!
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Halloweeny doodles & Fall Festival fun!
A new textile design inspired by Kaipher’s fascination with the neighborhood summer spiders. Now that it has gotten cold, we don’t see the spiders on our evening strolls anymore.
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Jack-o-lantern fun!
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Missing these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies today!
I hope everyone is having a lovely fall season & wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!!!


Credits ~ Photography: Nathan Black, Taren S. Black & Eric Boerm of Boermania Designs

Around Town Ep. 2 “Flow Magazine in Tokyo!”

I was so thrilled to find out that the lovely ladies from Flow Magazine were coming to Tokyo, and having an event at the Daikan-Yama Tsutaya Bookstore! I found out about Flow Magazine when they contacted me and asked to feature one of my art prints in their upcoming “Book For Paper Lovers” issue. I was so humbled and thrilled by the offer! Meeting the creators in person was a great experience! I highly recommend Flow Magazine to all creative minds and anyone looking for a way to slow down and appreciate the little pleasures in life. 🙂 Below are some pictures from the event!
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With the creators of Flow Magazine, Astrid and Irene, and my art feature in their upcoming “Book For Paper Lovers”!
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Making new friends with fellow creative minds!
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My beautiful goodies from the event!!! Now to pour myself a cup of hot tea and cuddle up with my new magazines! Get your copy of “Flow Magazine” or the “Book For Paper Lovers” here:

Credits ~ Photography by: Taren S. Black & Annie Boerm of Boermania Designs

O&A Everyday – “Halloween Hair Bows!”

Boo! It looks like Halloween is sneaking up on us! May I suggest getting your festive look on with a few handmade hair bows? 🙂 I’m selling these to Japan locals only due to the proximity of the holiday. Please let me know if you’d like one for yourself. I have a few large bows and a couple small bows. You can see the size difference in the photos below.
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The small bows are featured above and the large bows are below.
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Hope everyone is having a fantastic October! Have you decided what you’re going to be yet? 🙂 Happy Haunting!!

Credits ~ Photography by: Nathan Black & Taren S. Black

Around Town Ep. 1 – “Tachikawa with Annie!”

Today my dear friend Annie and I went to Tachikawa for some afternoon shopping. Our little loves were with their daddies, so it was just us gals (Yay!). Everything was so festive and Halloweeny (which I absolutely love!). I know I enjoy seeing other blogger’s “favorite spots” around their town, so, here are a few of mine here in Tokyo.
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Along with getting some goodies at Loft, we also hit up my favorite art supply store, and checked out the new Moomin Shop!
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Then, after an afternoon of fun, my boys met me at the train station and we did some grocery shopping on the walk home.
Below is a picture of some of the goodies I found in Tachikawa today!
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I hope you enjoyed seeing a bit of our life here in Tokyo! Have a wonderful week!!!


Credits ~ Photography by: Taren S. Black & Annie Boerm (

The Kuro Clan – “Our Halloween Tradition”

The Autumn Equinox has not even arrived, and we are already having lovely fall weather here in Tokyo (it makes me a little fearful of winter, but I’m actively trying to ignore mental images of my house covered in snow). We thought it would be fun to share our Halloween tradition with you. We kicked-off our 2014 Halloween festivities this week, and here’s a snippet of what we started the season with. Blog collage 4 years ago, we started a Halloween tradition that involves a festive meal accompanied by a “scary” movie. Now, I’m a big wimp when it comes to scary movies, so we tend to watch the old classics, the Harry Potter series, and our favorite Halloween TV episodes. On this evening we made “Ghoulish Goop” (spaghetti & meatballs served over zucchini, recipe below), and we watched the classic film, “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. EEeeek!

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This whole meal took me about an hour to prepare. However, I am no pro when it comes to cooking, you may be a lot faster than me. Poor Kaipher fell asleep before the meatballs came out of the oven, so he had his “Ghoulish Goop” the next day. 🙂

“Ghoulish Goop” Recipe

– Spaghetti Sauce:

1~2 tablespoons of Olive oil (I use lots of olive oil when I sauté mushrooms, feel free to use as much as you like)
1 medium size onion coarsely chopped
5~7 cloves of garlic minced
5~7 Medium size Cremini mushrooms coarsely chopped (1 lrg Portobella mushroom will work too)
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce (We like the Classico choices because it best fits our clean eating diet)
Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions Saute onions & minced garlic in olive oil until onions are soft (about 5 minutes over medium heat). Add chopped mushrooms and additional olive oil, continuing sautéing until mushrooms are soft. Add entire jar of spaghetti sauce along with a pinch of salt and pepper if your sauce requires it. Let mixture simmer for 3~5 minutes then serve over zucchini and meatballs.

– Zucchini “Noodles”

3~4 zucchinis cut thinly. You can use a knife or vegetable peeler. If I had a spiral vegetable slicer, I’d use that! (yellow squash and eggplant can serve as a spaghetti base as well)
Olive oil or butter to taste

Instructions Pour water over chopped zucchini in a pot. Make sure the water covers the contents. Add olive oil or butter to taste. Bring pot to a boil. Boil for 2~3 minutes, until zucchini is soft (it softens quickly!). Strain cooked zucchini and serve as noodles with spaghetti sauce and meatballs.

– Meatballs/Eyeballs:

1lb ground hamburger meat
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1 egg
1 teaspoon ketchup
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon mayonaise
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Dash of salt and pepper
6~8 green olives cut in halves to make the eyes

Instructions Preheat oven to 400. Mix all ingredients together except green olives. Roll mixture into golfball sized balls, and place on foil-lined baking pan. Use your thumb or a knife to make an indention into the meatballs. Then, add the green olives. Bake for 20 minutes. Serve with sauce and cooked zucchini.

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Serve hot and garnish with parmesan cheese. As you can see, we used the cheese to create a scalpy dandruff on our ghouls’ heads, haha. That sounds so gross, but I mean, it is “Ghoulish Goop”. Enjoy with a Halloween-esque movie!!!

I’d love to hear your movie recommendations or any other ideas when it comes to fall family fun!!! This is definitely my favorite time of year, and I’m always curious to hear about how other people celebrate autumn holidays and festivities.

Hope you make time for a “scary” movie and festive meal sometime soon!


Credits ~ Photography by: Nathan Black & Taren S. Black