Saturday, January 29, 2011

T'estimo Frame Impact Eyes

This T'estimo Frame Impact Eyes #03 - Purple is another one of T'estimo palettes I'd forgotten about. It came out in Spring 2007 and I bought it around the winter time of the same year and didn't touch it since. I have been using the palette along with the T'estimo Grande Shine Eyes #01 - Pink Brown starting last October, the Pink Brown palette for work and this Purple palette for when I go out.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

T'estimo Grande Shine Eyes

After hubby and I settled down in Yokohama, I finally dug through my makeup (yes, I lugged them with me across the big pond) and -gasp- found a few brand new T'estimo palettes I bought ages ago but totally forgot about and haven't touched since! Oh T'estimo, darling, would you ever forgive me?

One of these forgotten palettes is T'estimo Grande Shine Eyes, belonging to the later collections T'estimo unveiled Summer 2007 before the brand folded. Then I open up the palette and remember why I chose to put it away for a while when I first got it (and ended up forgetting about it for, like, 3 years...): it had a cream liner. Yeah, I wasn't too thrilled about the cream liner then, and I'm still not too thrilled about it now. For someone who likes her makeup sheer, it's a bit too dramatic and too much work. Then again, I've forgotten it for so long that if I don't give it a try now, I might as well throw it out. Poor thing. I decided what the hell, I'd give it a try. Let's hope it hadn't gone bad and is still usable.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dishes from the 100yen Stores! Part II

These are the latest additions to my 100yen dishes stack ^.^ These aren't all of them, but the few other ones I sent home with my brother before I had the chance to snap a picture.

Anyway, can you tell spring is coming and the sakuras are well anticipated? xD The colorful plate with the white bunnies is a nod to the lunar new year, and the pink maple leaves sauce bowl is nostalgic for last fall, but otherwise, they're all flowers!

By the way, the white rectangular plate can double for a soap dish :) All are made in Japan.

See my previous Dishes from the 100yen Stores! post.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

BeautyMate Nano Eye Essence

BeautyMate is a Taiwan-made skincare brand based in Hong Kong (I'm just guessing from their official website URL and contact address), although according to the products are "developed" by a Japanese company. No idea. Found some information on this company from this blog, but the blogger doesn't provide any sources for reference...

Anyway, BeautyMate makes sheet masks and skincare items. I've tried many of the masks (haven't reviewed any yet, sorry!) and recently I've begun to use this Nano Eye Essence too.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tinun Thai Restaurant

Tinun Thai Restaurant is a chain serving cheap Thai dishes and noodles.

Since we live in Yokohama with more options of Ethnic food, my sister charged me the task of finding something close to our favorite noodles soup. I'm saying something close because there's just no replacement for it. You see, my sister and I grew up eating these noodles, among other delicious things from the various street stalls stationed along the alley where our grandparents lived. Every morning, we would wake up and run out to the stalls still in our pajamas, and pick what to eat that morning. Those are some of my most cherished childhood memories that I often recount to my hubby, who used to say I was just nostalgically biased with these noodles.

Then a couple of years ago, I took him on a trip to show him where I was born and spent the first ten years of my life. Miraculously, that noodles stall was still there, though the woman who originally ran the stall had retired in old age and her daughter had taken over managing the stall, carrying on her mother's noodles legacy - no joke, folks, these noodles are legendary! The daughter is in her fifties and was a classmate of one of my aunts during middle school. What a small world, no? Anyhow, for many years the daughter had helped her mother manned the stall, and as soon as my sister and I showed up she recognized the both of us immediately, marveling at how time had flown and we had grown.

These are "our noodles," the very noodles my sister and I grew up eating!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cecil McBee 2010 Summer Book

An older mook from Cecil McBee Summer 2010. I've no idea who Cecil McBee is or her designs, but the brand seems to be really popular here in Japan.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Steady October 2010 (Picture heavy!)

This is another backissue of Steady October 2010 that sold out quickly, thanks to the cute Rebecca Taylor laminated polyester freebie bag in pink lacy print.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Non-no June 2010

I bought this Non-no June 2010 issue a couple of months ago but didn't have time to post it until now.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Kracie Umi no Uruoiso Shampoo

This Kracie Umi no Uruoiso Shampoo is very nice and refreshing! After 2 bottles of Macherie, both the Moisture and the Air Feel kind, both hubby and I were ready to try something new and this one seems different. The bottle says it contains extracts of 11 kinds of seaweeds in addition to deep sea water, sea collagen, marine squalene, and marine herb essence. That's a lot of fancy stuff in a bottle (minus the fancy prices)!

I actually bought the refill bag and not the actual shampoo bottle. They burn their plastic trash here, and I like the pretty pink Macherie bottle much better than the kind-of ugly blue bottle this Umi no Uruoiso Shampoo comes in ^.^

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Hase-dera, Kamakura, Kanagawa

After Tsurugaoka and Kotoku-in, we arrived at Kaikozan Jishoin Hase-dera (not to be confused with the other Hase-dera in Nara) with only 30 minutes left before the temple closes for the day. We went in anyway for a quick look, again, which was a shame and hubby and I will have to come back another time to take it more slowly.

The entrance gate from the inside. I didn't take one from the outside because, well, we were in a hurry to get through the gate before the last admittance 30 minutes before closing LOL!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Kotoku-in Daibutsu, Kamakura, Kanagawa

Kotoku-in is, hands down, one of the most well known temples of Japan, thanks to its outdoor bronze seated Daibutsu (Big Buddha) statue. There is not much, and thus not much to say, of its actual temple, and so everyone comes here for the Daibutsu.

As you can see, it's quite huge.

SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber Water Jelly Essence

I've been staying away from the SkinFood Lettuce & Cucumber range after I found out they've got lots of alcohol in them. The Emulsion was alright, but the Jelly Cream wasn't moisturizing enough, and the Water Drop Essence dried out my skin like crazy! But then again, my skin's was so dry I thought I'd give this Water Jelly Essence a try, but only because I haven't tried this item in the range and I'm curious :P

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu, Kamakura, Kanagawa

Continuing with my brother and sister's visit ^.^ Kamakura was our next destination, since it's a short 30-minutes train ride away. Kamakura was the capital of Japan for about 150 years and has many historical sights, not to mention famous temples and shrines. Along with the all too well known Kotoku-in's Daibutsu, Tsurugaoka Hachiman-gu is a must-see!

It was a beautiful day with the sky clear and sunny, though cold as hell! :X But it was really fun with my friend N. joining us on her day off work. We had tabehodai (all you can eat)okonomiyaki for lunch and after 2 hours or so, all of us were stuffed full of yummy food ^.^

Tsurugaoka supposedly covers a large area with many beautiful sceneries, however we had a few places in mind for that day and thus didn't look around too closely, which was really too bad. Hubby and I will definitely return here on our own to take our time walking around. I mean, just look at the place, need I say more?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Taiyaki Part V

On with my Taiyaki saga ^.^

During our holidays with my brother and sister's visit, we all went to Kamakura, and old capital of Japan with many many famous historical sites, shrines, and temples.

A small clock tower on the east side of the Kamakura station.

The Body Shop Cucumber Cleansing Milk

I was really frustrated with my dry skin lately as my cheeks and chin were flaking and peeling constantly. When I complained to my hubby, he said, "Your cleanser might have been too harsh?"

Now why didn't I think of that? I had been using Etude House Happy Tea Time Cleansing Foam Peach Tea in conjunction with The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Facial Wash, the peach tea one at night and the aloe one in the morning since it's milder. The peach tea one has been a great cleanser, but I've forgotten that it's now winter, and although it's not desert dry like winter at home, it's still pretty dry, especially with the heat running constantly. In short, perhaps the peach tea cleanser might have been a tad too harsh for use right now, just like hubby said! I immediately switched the aloe cleanser to night use and have been using The Body Shop Cucumber Cleansing Milk in the morning instead.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Oedo Onsen Monogatari, Odaiba, Tokyo (Picture Heavy!)

Our next destination was Oedo Onsen, an Edo-themed onsen (though more like sento, a bath house, since none of the baths have actual natural hot spring water). This place was one of the highlights of our time together with my sister and brother, and hubby and I would definitely take our family and friends here again. We all had a such fantastic and relaxing time there, even the train ride there and back was spectacular!

Me walking along the fake moat at the entrance of Oedo Onsen.

Peach John PJ Special 2010

Peach John is a mainly catalogue retailer of cute and girly lingerie, apparel, and accessories. Check out their official website and online store (in Japanese)! At first glance, they seem like a much tamer Japanese version of Victoria's Secret, until I learned their targeted demographics are teens and ladies in their 20s, according to Wikipedia. Yes, tame for the ladies in their 20s, but for teens too?!? Woh. I suppose the teens in the states are wearing Victoria's Secret too, so I shouldn't be too surprised. I guess kids do grow up fast these days.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Gift Exchange

So sticking to the rules of our Christmas Gift Exchange, the afternoon of Christmas Day, all the small gifts we bought from Kiddy Land Harajuku into a basket and played rock-paper-scissors to determine who gets to pick first and so on.

The below are some of the cuter, more popular gifts.

My sister got a "bee-bear" LOL!!! A toy bear figurine wearing bee costumes xD

InRed October 2010

My next must-have is this InRed backissue from October 2010, which came with 2 Marc Jacob Daisy freebie pouches that were wildly popular and sold out in a flash before September was even over!

The Body Shop Cucumber Freshening Water

My brother brought this Cucumber Freshening Water to me from The Body Shop. It was perfect timing too, because as soon as he arrived I ran out of my usual exfoliator, The Body Shop Aloe Gentle Exfoliator. Yes, yes, I'm in Japan, and I should have ran out to my local drug store and pick up some of their lotions (toners here are called lotion) or the more popular peeling gels. But hey, I also had my hands (and house) full with guests and didn't have time to shop around. So yeah, I made do with this Body Shop toner instead and have been using it for a few weeks now.

This Cucumber Freshening Water belongs to The Originals line of products, and along with this toner, I also bought a few other items, such as the Passion Fruit Facial Cleansing Gel, Cucumber Cleansing Milk, and Ice Blue Shampoo. I will review these items as I get to them ^.^

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Japanese Incense

I'm not exactly a fan of incense. When I think of incense, I think of smokey altars and shrines and choking agarwood fragrance. Growing up, I only knew incense was strictly for the altar, as a way to give respect, and I've never heard of anyone burning incense recreationally to fragrance their home. It was my short time in Japan as a JET that got me thinking differently about incense.

In Japan, there are traditional incense at are burned at the altar, and then there are recreational incense that one collects and burns to fragrance the home. This recreational incense comes in many shapes and sizes, though mostly a thin long stick or cone shaped, and has many various fragrances, not just the traditional agarwood/sandalwood ones. And here's what I like about the incense business in Japan, there are many many ridiculously cute incense holders to accompany your incense! You can collect hundred and thousands of them, and many souvenir shops or touristy spots you visit, especially shrines and temples, will sell incense along with various holders.

On New Year's Eve, hubby and I stumbled upon a neat gift shop in Chinatown, and we found this heavenly home fragrance with the most beautiful and calming scent we have ever smelled! We both loved it upon sniffing the fragrance beads and initially picked up a bottle of fragrance oil with reed diffusions. And then we spotted this very special incense holder.

Liniere January 2011

This Liniere magazine reminds me of the US-based Real Simple Magazine in that it seems to target ladies beyond the late twenties with relaxed and casual cabin style fashion.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Taiyaki Part IV

So hubby and I took my brother and sister to our local Taiyaki stand, only to be terribly disappointed to learn that the delicious Apple Cheese Cream filling has been discontinued as it was available for only a limited time. In its place is Strawberry Cheese Cream filling, since it is strawberry season right now.

Strawberry Cheese Cream filling

Monday, January 3, 2011

Jonathan's Coffee and Restaurant

Hubby and I kept walking by Jonathan's Coffee and Restaurant but were never really tempted to try, after all, we live down the street from a Denny's and from the look of the menu, Jonathan's seems to a competitor serving very similar foods. Yeah, well, at least that was our thought process when we were not cold, tired, and hungry.

After walking around Meiji Jingu, none of us had any energy left to walk around in search of an interesting place to eat in Harajuku. That was when Jonathan's jumped out at us, being right beneath that flashing screen at a major intersection. Talk about good location!

Spring January 2011

Finally, a magazine that's not a backissue, although this Spring magazine January 2011 issue still came out in early December. I got this because I thought the quilted pom-pom freebie pouch was cute, and plus I was in need of another pouch to store various things ^.^

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Harajuku and Kiddy Land, Shibuya, Tokyo

After Meiji Jingu, our next targeted destination was Kiddy Land, or rather the famous 5-story branch of the toy store in Harajuku. Although as of current, it's no longer in the 5-story building due to a renovation project and had been temporarily moved to a nearby locationsince September 2010. So yeah, no pictures of the 5-story building, and no, no pictures of the Harajuku girls and their outrageous fashion either :P

A closer shot of Harajuku Station from the pedestrian foot bridge at the closest intersection.

Meiji Jingu, Shibuya, Tokyo

Next stop for me, hubby, my brother and sister was Meiji Jingu, where the deified spirits of the Meiji Emperor and Empress was enshrined. You can also read more about the shrine on itsofficial website. Meiji Jingu was quite easily accessed - it was right next to the Harajuku Station on the Yamanote train line!

Looking back at Harajuku Station from the pedestrian foot bridge at the intersection.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Yokohama Chukagai and Shofukumon Part II

Happy 2011!!!

Over the holidays, my brother visited from the states, and my sister visited from Chubu, and of course we went sightseeing all over and took lots of pictures! It will take me a few days (or even a couple of weeks) to post all the adventures hubby and I had with our brother and sister, but I had a head start with the Shin-Yokohama Ramen Museum post ^.^

Anyway, of course hubby and I had to take my brother and sister on a stroll through Yokohama Chinatown, even if we it was so cold that afternoon and we were all red-nosed and sniffling by dinner time. Here are some pictures of Chukagai at night, mostly taken with my sister's camera with some of mine mixed in.

In front of the main entrance gate.

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