Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Real Life goes nuts, I wear two scarves

     Yeah, it's been about a month. Not quite, but almost, yikes! But this time I actually have a valid excuse-rather than pure laziness-to blame. Basically a month ago the Canadian embassy surprised us by telling us that my visa and PR was approved, so since then we've been running around like crazy to get ready for our big international move that is coming up fast in 3 weeks time. I'm looking forward to re-starting this blog when we're in Toronto... actually, it'll be my first Western Christmas in years... I've almost always been in Singapore or Japan for the holidays, so I can't wait! And we'll be joining the rest of the civilized world by finally getting iphones, so I'll also have access to a much better camera. Yay!
     I'll try to keep up with posting more, though I'm sure you all understand why it's been rather quiet lately.

In the meantime, I'm loving these two scarfs:

Synthetic leather jacket (old) and faux fur scarf by some random Japanese store
Sweater and metallic-effect scarf from Zara

And not loving the fact that our apartment looks like this:

Warehouse-chic


Friday, November 4, 2011

Over the knee socks: yay or nay?

     So Autumn marches on... rather slowly, unfortunately, I mean it's November and at night Tokyo is still just under 20C and rather humid. C'mon, get cold already!
     This mild weather is also annoying because it allows for the continuance of one of the most annoying hosiery trends: over the knee (OTK) socks. There. I said it. Some people may laud the look, and fashionistas and style mags may try to push it, but I'm not buying it.
     Now, on some occasions, even I can admit that OTK socks can be the cute, even practical. Under tall-shafted boots? Sure. Even cuter, peeking out from said boots against opaque tights of a similar or complementary color. Warm, layered, and perfect for winter, I don't doubt.

Even Gossip Girl couldn't make OTK socks happen Stateside. And with good reason, if they can make even Blake Lively's legs sport a little hosiery muffin-top.
     What I shudder at is the fashion of wearing them against bare legs, paired with micro-shorts or skirts, and high-heels/mary-janes/whatever.  Even worse are the OTK socks that are not socks at all, but sheer tights/stocking material.

Why??? Just go all out and wear tights. Or better yet, pants. 
     Luckily, despite cropping up in magazines over the last few years, OTK socks are usually restricted to runways back in the States. Girls in Tokyo, however, love this look, but really, it doesn't do anybody any favors. It can make even the slimmest legs look bulgy, and really, what's the point? Tights are much more practical. It's just my opinion, but I doubt anyone takes a glance at such a look and thinks, "wow, that's so classy and elegant." I even (rather evilly, I admit) refer to them as "slocks," combining "socks" with a rather unflattering term (that you'll have to figure out on your own, haha). And I always wonder, how comfortable can they be? Inevitably they'll start to slip down, giving the girl yet another thing that she has to monitor/touch-up during the day.
     I do wonder, however, if my abhorrence is merely due to the fact that about 70% of the girls I see are sporting these oddities. What do you ladies think? Are OTK socks haute, or horrid?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Seasonal Suede

     Suede has got to be one of my favorite clothing elements, right up there with metallics and scalloped edges. Previously the only suede I had was on my autumn/winter boots, but this year I branched out a bit, first with a suede H&M dress, and recently with a suede skirt from F21. I bought it on a whim online (gotta love the cash on delivery option here in Japan), because I needed a brown skirt anyways, and the suede intrigued me. I didn't know if it would wrinkle, or get scuffed or marked easily, especially since it was not real suede. But after wearing it one day at work, with my favorite speckled brown tights and suede brown boots (which luckily was close in shade to the skirt), I was pleasantly surprised. I can tell I'll be wearing it a lot in the coming months!



    Now if only I could find a new pair of black suede boots that weren't over $100! I bought 2 pairs a few years ago, one black and one brown. The brown are still going strong, but the black has faded and for some reason have become very slouchy and lumpy, so I had to toss them out. Right now I wear a lot of brown shades, but come winter I love me some black and grey, so they need to be replaced ASAP. There are some decent one on Aerosoles, but nothing too interesting and at a higher price point than I'm used to paying for the brand. I LOVE these from Born, great quality, I know the size 11 fits me perfectly, and at $250, not a crazy price for a gorgeous boot. But I'm thinking I'll be able to see a lot of options in Toronto, so for now I just settled for this pair I found on endless.com. Cute, sleek enough for work, cheap (under $70, including international shipping; they have some crazy sale on boots until the end of the month, so my order was $20 off!), and with a side zip for easy wear. The 11 only came in a wide width, so I sized up to a 12. Which is fine, since sometimes 11s can be a little snug on me, especially if I'm wearing thick winter socks.
     Other than that, I've been dying for some autumn candles. One of my favorite seasonal things, besides the weather and the clothes and the Starbucks drinks, are the candles that Bath and Body Works put out every year. I love the old favorites, like Cinnamon & Clove Buds and Creamy Pumpkin, and I just saw they have some interesting new ones with names like Winter Night and Sleigh Ride. Their candles are huge, cheap, and actually do a good job of scenting the whole room, BUT of course they don't ship internationally. And I'm not going to ask my dear Mum to ship some heavy candles all the way to Japan.
Why oh why haven't the Japanese embraced the candle trend? 

   They do have stores in Toronto, though, so I've actually sealed away some cash so when we get there in mid-December I can pop out to the store the day after we arrive to stock up. Sounds a little crazy? Maybe haha. But I love candles, even more than eggnog and turkey and fireplaces (okay maybe not more than fireplaces), so I will brave the Toronto snow and late Xmas shoppers to get me some. And then I will have an eggnog latte. Or two.
     Speaking of seasonal coffee drinks, my German friend and I were traumatized at Blenz coffee earlier this week. Now, a bit of backstory. My friend is from a small village in Germany, and we met at our pre-job training a few years ago. We bonded instantly over our shared German heritage (including our unpronounceable last names), our love of shopping, and the fact that unlike many other coworkers, we were actually sane and somewhat competent. Her finacee is American, half French and half Vietnamese, who looks 100% Japanese, a fact which causes much hilarity and confusion on a daily basis. When my friend went to the States with him for the first time, she was introduced to the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice latte, and fell in love. Hard. But Starbucks here doesn't offer most of the American seasonal drinks, and neither her pumpkin nor my eggnog variants have ever graced the menu. We met up for lunch recently and then decided to have coffee at Blenz, which is a Canadian chain on par with, if not better than, Starbucks. We were ecstatic to find that they were offering a seasonal drink called a "pumpkin latte", and ordered two without a second thought.

Perhaps the ultra-bright orange topping should have been our first warning.     
     So we eagerly took a sip, then another, more cautious one. And my goodness, it was utterly DISGUSTING. It was neither pumpkin, nor a latte. In fact, I don't think the hot version even had any coffee in it. The flavoring was Japanese pumpkin, not Western. For Westerners, pumpkin always means something spicy, autumnal, and nutmegy. For Japanese, it just means a type of Asian squash, which is nothing like a North American pumpkin. Usually this squash is called "kabocha" and "pumpkin" (or "pampukin" in Japanese) is reserved for the spicy/nutmeg flavor. So the advertisement was definitely misleading, not to mention the picture they showed was of a pumpkin, not the green-rinded kabocha. And with Blenz being a Canadian chain, what they heck were the doing offering a kabocha flavor? Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh. As my friend put it, it was like warm squash milk, a taste which I definitely could have gone my whole life without experiencing. It was so bad we just left, ran upstairs to Starbucks, splashed out another $10 on a pair of cappuccinos, splashed in some cinnamon and vanilla powder, and downed it as fast as we could to counter that horrible lingering taste. I think she's still having nightmares about it now. As for me, I'm just dreaming of one of these...

Get in my belly!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hunter Green

     Well, as I'm sure you guessed, I've taken to wearing all my new Zara purchases shown in my (first) vlog in the previous post. I haven't had the chance to take photos of all of them, and some I haven't worn yet (and probably won't for awhile as the weather has gotten a bit warmer lately), but I think the winner from that lot is the sheer green sweater. Combined with chocolate brown jeans and boots and off-set with a white under shirt, it looked and felt great. So much so that I immediately went out and bought the navy version!



All clothes by Zara, silver bead necklace by Rope Picnic Japan

Friday, September 30, 2011

First Vlog! Hear my raspy voice after speaking all day at work as I share my autumn haul!

video




Here's the shirt I mentioned, it really is gorgeous, a little short, but no matter. I like how the lack of collar and the fact that the buttons don't continue to the hem keep this shirt from looking like a "work shirt." The skirt is from H&M, probably my favorite purchase of last winter.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Typhoons and Slytherin Skirts

     Well, here we are on the other side of the autumn equinox, and the weather has suddenly shifted from super hot and humid (just a handful of days ago) to dry and cool, even when it's clear and sunny outside. So long Tokyo summer! Nobody's going to miss you!

And it's supposed to go down to 20 degrees during the day next weekend! AMAZING. 
     This midweek Tokyo was blasted by a rather strong typhoon, not the stuff of disaster movies but crazy enough to make walking outside an unwise move and downing nearly every train line in Tokyo. Overland trains were stopped for obvious reasons, and subways were flooded (I think, I really have no idea why the subway wouldn't be somewhat protected against such a thing). Work was cancelled that night, but fortunately/unfortunately it was our day off, so we couldn't cash in on the cancelled work-but full pay trophy. But I guess it was fortunate, since our slow to decide company only officially cancelled rather late in the afternoon, so I would've been made up and dressed or even at the office already, and I would have been PISSED if I had to turn around and figure out how to get home from freakin Shinjuku. As it was, we were only about 20 minutes from our place, so we squeezed onto a packed bus (the driver let us on without paying, given the emergency situation, and that there was no way we could squeeze through other passengers to get to the pay spot) then had to walk/run five minutes in heavy rain/wind to our place. So we got soaked, but we were happy to be home. Right after we got in, the typhoon really went nuts. We dried off, then spent the rest of the evening killing zombies on the PS3. Not a bad evening, actually.

     Recently I wore my new H&M skirt, which I LOVE. I will love it even more in the next few weeks once it gets cool enough to wear with a form-fitting black turtleneck and black tights. Can't wait! Also, I am alone in thinking that the black/green combo will forever remind me of Slytherin House out of Harry Potter? Probably not.

Ugh, need to get a haircut soon. I don't know about you, but I hate going to the hair salon.  At least they have plenty of US/UK fashion mags to read, since I could never afford to buy one myself (they cost almost $20 here!)

Wow, hair actually looks good in this one.
Skirt (H&M F/W 2011), black tie-neck blouse by some random Japanese label, pearl bracelet (anemone Japan)
     Just realized that all the shows are starting their fall seasons now. It's weird to go from having next to no TV to download/watch to having almost too many shows to keep track off!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Week(end) in Review

      Nothing new to report, no new clothes to share. Like the rest of Tokyo, we're just struggling to remain upbeat through the final weeks of the horrible, humid, and annoying summer. Even all those people who profess to love this wretched season because they like the increase of beach visits, barer limb sightings, beer guzzling, or whatever seem to have had enough.
     As for me, I'm just counting down the day until I don't have to shave my legs everyday or make my way to the office only half-dressed. Until then, I'm focusing on the little pleasures to get me into October (my favorite month!).

1. New books!

     My usual distraction of choice at home (besides the internet, obvs) is usually of the video game variety, but I regularly check the Amazon fiction and bestseller lists to see if anything catches my eye. Recently, there have been a fair amount of interesting debut novels so I'm happy to say I'm reading more than usual (though nothing will ever top the amount I read when I was a child, to be honest I think I burned out reading-wise in high school haha). And of course, I was bitten by the Game of Thrones/Song of Fire and Ice bug like everyone else in the English-speaking world, so I'm rapidly making my way through the five books.

2. Something Sparkly!


     Speaking of ice, gotta love how a cheap sparkler from Forever 21 can instantly lift one's spirits. Granted, it's going to rust like mad and fall apart any day now, but it was like $8, so whatever.

3. Banana juice!

     This may be just a German/Euro thing (courtesy of Dad), but damn, I love banana juice. Most people I know wrinkle their nose at the idea, though it's very similar in texture to mango juice. I never expected to find it anywhere in Asia, but recently I stumbled upon this banana/mango blend in a nearby convenience store, of all places. And it's surprisingly good, not too sweet and thankfully lacking a chemical aftertaste. This is Tokyo, so I imagine it will be discontinued come October, but I intend to enjoy it as long as I can.

4. Tuesday Treats!

     On our Saturday, we had a nice dinner at at amazing pizzeria near our place, and picked up some desert at the Payard counter. I had the amazing cassis (blackcurrant) mousse (just wish it came with more raspberries... my favorite berry every but they cost like $1 each over here) and the fiancee had a pumpkin/chestnut tart that tasted exactly like pumpkin pie. And I mean real American-style pumpkin pie, not the Japanese squash version (delicious as a veg, but as a dessert? Uh, no). Needless to say, he was in heaven.

5. YouTube favs!
 

Love the funk song he makes up on the fly towards the end of the video, had me in tears.

      Watching my fav Youtuber DarkSydePhil (DSP) play his way through the new gaming releases (September is that start of the hard-core 2011/2012 gaming season, so my wallet will soon be suffering). What I love about him is that he just enjoys the hell out of playing and can just happily amuse himself and his fans without taking it too seriously. Rock on, Phil.
 

     And, unfortunately, one thing that was definitely not appreciated this week. Our "weekend" kicked off with us finding out via Facebook that one of our favorite TV stars lost his battle with cancer. Spartacus is one of our favorite shows, and we loved Andy Whitfield as the titular character. He was a beautiful man and an incredibly talented up-and-coming actor, and he seemed like such an awesome guy in real life, too. So the next day, we made sure to make a toast to Andy when we had our Tuesday date night.

RIP, Spartacus. You will be missed.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blushing Fall

     For most Japanese, the start of September equals the advent of fall, no question about it. Despite the fact that most days are still hovering around the 90F mark, stores are filled with fall motifs, seasonal fall goods (Autumn everything, from bakery pastries to coffee concoctions to beer), people once again don wool suits, and on any cloudy or not so super humid day, some people even sport jackets and scarves. When it's like over 70F. Crazy.
     But there are some truth to these delusions, I suppose. At night, the breeze has a slightly cool hint to it, unlike in the summer months, when there was no breeze at all. The days are already getting shorter, the sunlight weakening well before 5pm, and, mercifully, the sun no longer rises at the unholy time of 4:30am. The office is not so crazed anymore, as clients enter the busy year-end season at their own companies and their freer summer days seem like a distant memory (haha, good for me, sucks for them).
     So I may be a bit deluded as well, which is probably why I decided to wear a long-sleeved outfit on a still relatively hot and sunny day. Granted, I only started work at 6pm and therefore didn't even get dressed until 4. And until I reached the office I was wearing just a t-shirt and my new favorite tan Zara jeans (that are just non-denim enough that I can get away with wearing them at work), but once I had arrived and cooled down enough, on went this awesome F21 lace top:

Zoolander?
Scalloped hems and cuffs? I'm sold.

     Pretty please, can we just skip this tropical typhoon season nonsense and have a real autumn now?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Poet Pose


Attempted artsy shot

Wow, just realized that this outfit is 100% Zara. Poet-sleeved blouse, orange and white undershirts (yup I was wearing three layers that day), tan jeans (new, love them), even the unseen belt are all from said store. 

Wax-seal medallion necklace by anemone Japan

     You know when you find a piece of clothing that you love so much you wish you could buy it in every available color? That feeling doesn't steal over me too often, but recently I came across this blouse at Zara, and I'd be lying to if I said that I didn't run back to the shop the next day to see if they had any other color options. They did, but only black (I like black, but not in loose-cut clothes), a horrible neon yellow and an intriguing deep bright blue. I considered the blue for a few moments, but realized I wasn't loving it 100%, so back on the rack it went. If only it came in green!
     I actually forgot to take a photo of the long back zipper (which is awesome, since it allows you to simply step in and out the blouse), which is gold-tone and framed by tracts of magenta grosgrain ribbon. The only complaint I have is that I wish the wrist cuffs were elasticized; I'm too lazy to deal with the fussy buttons so instead I gingerly work my hand through the pre-fastened cuff. Probably not the smartest idea, I know, but I'm not going to spend five minutes in frustration cussing out the buttons as I'm racing to get dressed in the mornings.
     This weekend we have the first of the official autumn typhoons descending on Tokyo, though luckily it seems that we'll just be getting some slightly heavy rain and wind instead of an all-out tropical cyclone. But September is a super-rainy season, so I'm looking forward to wearing my Hunter wellies more often!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cinnabar Lace, plus 5 more things

     Here in Tokyo we're now in the yo-yo weather season now, as we start to slide into fall (yes!). Still warm to hot during the day, but no longer super humid 24/7, often with a somewhat cool breeze in the air. Some days can be cool enough for long sleeves, while the next day can be pretty damn hot. So last week I could wear my heav(ier) Zara knit, but this week I had to go back to bare legs, sandals, and delicate layers. Not that I really minded, since I wanted to wear my older lace skirt, which went nicely with a sheer vermillion cardigan. 

Damn, that's bright... probably the brightest piece of clothing I own!

Love this skirt... it was super cheap, it doesn't wrinkle, and the elastic waist is a definite plus.

Cardigan and skirt by pour la frime Japan, cream undershirt by Zara

And now, another installment of 5 things that have rocked my word recently:

1. A new candle for autumn:



2. Melon cream soda (served in a pretty glass, of course): 



3. New time-sucker:


4. New tumbler (been looking for on with a lid to prevent accidental spillage, so this one from Starbucks fit the bill):


5. New H&M skirt (just a preview, I'm wearing it later this week):


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Golden Girl

     The year isn't close to being over yet, but I have to say I think I've already scored my favorite buy of 2011. It's part of the amazing fall/winter Zara collection, so I thought I wouldn't be able to wear it anytime soon. But for a few brief miraculous days this week, the weather turned unseasonably cool, dark, and rainy. It was incredible, especially because it made this outfit possible (and not bat-shit crazy, as it would usually be deemed in August).

Gold/white metallic sweater dress and slim-fit khakis (Zara)

Close-up of the metallic print, plus my favorite gold necklace that's meant to look like a wax seal (from anemone Japan) and a recent favorite nail polish of mine (Chanel's Pearl Drop)

Oh fall weather, can't you please stay?
     I seriously cannot recommend this dress enough... it's lightweight, the metallic print is gorgeous but not over the top, it doesn't wrinkle at all... and the kicker, it was less than $80. Full price. Don't know why this was so cheap but a wispy scrap of a miniskirt was over $100, but I'm sure glad it was!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tue-Date (aka meet Mr. So-So Good)

     Since Tuesday is our "Saturday," we usually go out for "dates" then, which suits us just fine since actual Saturday nights in Tokyo are nightmarish; every downtown street, cinema, and restaurant are overflowing with partying weekend warriors, shrieking kids and their oblivious parents, gangs of high school kids... shudder.
     So Yesterday we ventured down to Omotesando, one of the nicer parts of this concrete jungle, and had a nice, leisurely afternoon marked by the triumvirate of our favorite treats: good-quality coffee (sometimes at Starbucks, but yesterday we went to the Canadian chain Blenz, which is amazing), soup curry for dinner, and then gelato at Grom for a decadent desert. Omotesando/Harajuku is super-convenient for us since it actually has all of these things, as well as tree-lined streets, and interesting shops, and, most importantly, it's located just over 15 minutes (well, 30 if we count the 15-minute walk to the relevant subway station) by train. So we went and had a grand old time, despite the super-high temps, smothering humidity, and the throngs of people who happened to be on O-bon/summer hols this week.

Goofing off while waiting for the train. I look a touch demonic here,  awesome.
I will never, ever get tired of soup curry. Also, this top is one of the oldest ones I own... I think it's going on 6 years, got it when I first moved to London for grad school. Ah, Oxford Street Topshop, that place was heaven.
Grom! Mine is the girly-looking cup bursting with peach, melon, and fig gelato. 
Haha he HATES getting his photo taken. But he's a good sport, for me at least. One of the many reasons why I love him.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Belated OOTD, and Five More Awesome Things

     Yet another hot, humid week, and yet another without any interesting outfits to report, though I do have one from a few weeks ago, when it was actually kinda cool for summer. Like most of you, I'm sure, I'm dreaming of fall weather and, more importantly, the fall fashions that have stormed the store shelves and displays (despite the fact that this week the temperature has soared as high as 41C/105F). Though I suppose I shouldn't complain too much, since until August summer has been remarkably bearable, and even now the sun is pretty weak or shrouded by clouds most days. Still, I'm longing for the days when I can dress like this once again...

Skirt (Zara), cowl-neck top (Mango)

I seriously cannot believe that it was cool enough to wear this in July!
     I was thrilled that I was able to wear one of my favorite tops ever on a non-fall/winter day. The top has a more chain-mail appearance in real life than in the photo, though sadly the somewhat delicate weave is staring to snag and pill in places. If I hadn't been overseas on vacation (and therefore on limited funds) I would've snatched up two of these beauties. Ah, well, can't change that now!

     I decided that I liked last week's "Five Things" post (see below) enough to do another installment, and I'm thinking that you all find it interesting enough, since some of the items relate to expat life in crazy ol' Japan. So without further ado, here are five random things that rocked my world this past week:

     1. Summer nails! I always do my nails myself, though I'm looking forward to getting them occasionally done by somebody more skilled than I in Canada. I usually play it pretty safe when it comes to colors, but recently I felt like wearing some super-bright summery pink (which I like to call Barbie pink), at least on my toenails. I came across Mavala's Toulouse, a creme formula that is amazingly easy to put on. One my fingernails I played it a bit more safe with Rosee, my favorite Mavala shade.

I apologize for the frightening close-up of my toes (yes, I have five, the little one is just hiding!)

     2. Summer jam! Oh, my fiancee both loves and loathes me for finding this catchy Nicki Minaj song and playing it every five seconds on YouTube. I've never been a big fan of her music, though I appreciated her somewhat unique style (kinda Gaga/Katy Perry-esque, but still), and she does originally hail from my mater land of Trinidad and Tobago. But then I stumbled across this song, which is fast becoming my guilty pleasure pop anthem of the summer.





     3. Summer vegetables! Thanks to my super health-conscious fiancee (seriously sometimes I cannot believe that I'm marrying this uncanny mix of my father AND my mother) I have eaten foods that I previously shunned before coming to Japan. Especially vegetables... now thanks to him I crave things like eggplants, cauliflower, asparagus, and most recently, zucchini. A summer vegetable here in Japan, good quality ones can be a bit pricey, but today I managed to find some gorgeous specimens for 198 yen ($2.58), on sale from the their usual price of 298 yen. My fiancee just grills them in a mostly dry pan with a bit of olive oil, and then they're ready to eat. Yum!

Still can't believe it was that cheap. According to the label,  this one was grown up in Akita prefecture by the dude in the picture.

     4. Summer "only-in-Japan" moments! So, a bit of backstory: Japan has been gearing up for a few years to change all household TV signals/antennas to digital rather than analog, which requires all people still using old CRT TVs to buck up and actually get a decent TV (they're not expensive over here, and many reailers offered some crazy discounts when the deadline loomed). But in Japan, such a momentous occasion could never go without some official PR character mascot. Thus was born "Chidejika" ("chideji" aka digital terrestrial televison + "shika/jika" aka deer), a little deer sporting digital antennas instead of antlers. Now I love me some deer, and I love me some Japanese craziness, so I wondered if there was some way to get my hands on some Chidejika merch. And this being Japan, of course there was! The changeover came and went in July, but Chidejika is here to stay, at least on my phone.

In Japan everyone, young and old, male and female, decorates their phones with charm straps. All three of mine were gifts from Mr. So So Good. The Starbucks strap commemorates the fact that we both love coffee and all of our early dates were at the Starbucks near our office. In the middle is the Chidejika, with headphones on, for some reason. And lastly is a pink rabbit meant to resemble a famous traditional Japanese sweet (I hate the sweet, but I love rabbits). 

     5. Summer TV! Usually sucks, but a few weeks ago the fourth season of AMC's Breaking Bad premiered, and damn, is that show perfection. Teeth-grindingly tense perfection, so this is definitely not a show I watch before falling asleep. AMC is home to two of my favorite shows, Breaking Bad and Mad Men, and while both shows' staff seem to take FOREVER to write and film between seasons, if they can maintain the superb quality, then I suppose the long wait is worth it.



Friday, August 5, 2011

Good things come in fives

     Nothing new to report, no new clothes to share. So I decided to do one of those "Five Things" posts that other bloggers such as Cupcakes and Cashmere commonly feature, sharing things that made me happy this week. Not exactly original or revolutionary, but hey, it's summer, and I'm a wee bit lazy. And by wee bit I mean utterly and completely.

1. Haircut! Straightened out those pesky roots, got a deep conditioning treatment and finally got my bangs trimmed so that I can see again. Still trying to grow my hair out, but it's taking a butt ton of time.

There's something a bit Cleopatra-esque about this shot... top is an old Zara purchase.

2. Peaches! Japanese fruit and veg is nowhere near as tasty or varied as back home in California, but some things are absolutely delicious here. Peaches are at the top of that list, only available from mid July to the end of August, and pretty damn pricey (you can get cheaper ones, but they're half the size and not as sweet as the expensive varieties). We usually get the normal sunset-colored ones, but if we happen to spot these rarer, larger, sweeter and MORE EXPEN$IVE golden-skin versions, we snatch them up. Well worth it.

Looking at this picture, all I can think is "Marge Simpson's bosom"
3. Old-school American summer drinks! Lemonade has got to be one of my favorite drinks of all time. The problem? Almost nobody in Japan has ever heard of lemonade, let alone drank it. To my amazement I recently stumbled across a selection of Joe Tea beverages at a random boutique in Omotesando. Joe Tea stuff is all natural (cane sugar sweetened) and apparently is sold at Whole Foods back in the States. I got myself a bottle of half&half, a southern beverage that is just 1 part lemonade to 1 part iced tea (usually lemon, sometimes peach). Delish.


4. New bling! Got this awesome necklace for about $15 at a random shop in Omotesando metro station. I'm a sucker for all things sparkly.


5. Fruit yogurt that is a) cheap b) decently sized c) natural tasting! The Japanese do plain yogurt surprisingly well, and kefir and Bulgarian selections are easy enough to find. But fruit flavored ones? Yech. Usually only available in strawberry and blueberry (yawn), the brands found in most supermarkets or convenience stores are downright awful. They're cheap, sure, but are so chemically sweet and artificial tasting that you'd have to have never had decent fruit yogurt in your life in order to stomach it. But recently at some more upscale grocers I've come across a variety that offers interesting flavors that actually taste good, yet are priced the same as the cheapo crap from the convenience stores. I aim to enjoy these as much as I can before they disappear into the ether of Japan's fickle food market.

This being Japan, even yogurt has to be endorsed by some random celebrity. Well, at least it's actually a good product. The bottom two are orange-cassis and passion fruit-lemon. The one on top probably tastes like crap, but I got it at 7-11 because I can't resist anything that calls itself peach melba. Kinda funny how aggressively these yogurts are targeted towards female consumers. As if guys don't eat fruit yogurt!