Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Japan -Beauty series 5

1. Kate CC lipcream in Mode Pink

I bought this in Autumn because I needed something to keep my lips from cracking as the weather was getting colder.

This lip cream was amazing. The pink colour is beautiful and is totally me! I wear it everyday to work and I don't even need to add any lipstick over it. Plus the colour stays on till you eat something and wipe your lips.

2. Mercury Duo Nail polish

This set here is part of a free gift from a japanese magazine. I bought the magazine just for this set because the colours are so pretty!

I love the colours and the consistency of the nail polishes.

3. Platinum Label Hatomugi Extract

I buy this toner here over and over again because it's such a good product. I use it on both my face ad body. It's especially good during summer when you want to moisturize your skin but don't want to use a body cream as it might be sticky.

4. Aeon Topvalu Manuka Honey body soap

Love the smell and how the product lathers in the shower. Plus it's cheap!

5. Media UV whitening compact powder

I don't know how many Media compact power have I used. I just keep going back to them everytime I run out. I like that they have it in my skin colour and there's a slightly different one for different seasons. e.g. whitening for summer and moisturising for winter.

6. Dodo colour point mascara

I bought these mascara before Halloween because I thought that these might come in handy if I do go for any Halloween events....which I didn't! hahaha.....except for a school event.

I used them only twice, once to Disneyland and the other to USJ. I use the blue one on my upper lashes and the pink one on my lower lashes. While I might sound weird, this combination is perfect for me! It really makes my eye pop! Plus the mascara curls and hold the lashes up nicely the entire day.

7. IRIS heatpacks

While this is not a beauty product, this is an absolutely must have for winter. Just stick them onto your shirt and they can keep you warm for up to 12 hours! Good for days when you will spend most of your time outdoors.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sukiyaki & Roppongi Xmas Illuminations

Dinner at Onikunosemmontensugimoto (お肉の専門店 スギモト 東京ミッドタウン店).

Mish & I both ordered the sukiyaki set, priced at 3000yen.

My first sukiyaki set and it was delicious~!!!

Wefie with our food~

Look at the beautiful marbling on the beef~ <3

After dinner, we went for the Xmas illumination

We're both crazy and I'm so thankful to Mish for doing it with me because it was cold and it was raining!

Love the lighted paths, really good for a date night on a day with a good weather

I was here in Spring with S for sakura which were lighted pink back then and now it's all blue. Just goes to show nothing is stagnant and everything can turn a 180 degree on you.

The blue was really pretty and I will definitely be back again in Spring!

If only it wasn't raining....

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the illumination

After that I bought some pastries from Maison Kayser but lunch the next day~

The croissant was good....if only, I could heat it up in an oven before having it. I especially like this pretzel looking thing at the bottom~

1 Year

I boarded a flight to Tokyo on 24th of Feb last year, not knowing when I would fly back home. I arrived the next morning at Narita airport, where it had just snowed the night before.

When I first arrived, I had a place to stay but not my own. I was homesick and was hanging on to friends whom I thought were my friends. I had many things that I had to do.....so that I could settle down in a new country.

A year later, I'm staying in an apartment that I have found for myself. I had bought all of my furniture. I paid for the rent, electric, internet, water and gas bills. I have my trusty bike to bring me around. I have half a closet filled with new clothes. I have new friends and lost friends who really weren't real friends to begin with.

The first few months were tough and I was crying myself to sleep almost every night. Looking back on my struggles one year on now......they don't seem so big anymore. Maybe it's because I've finally let go and am in a happier place now.

Looking back, I have a lot to be proud of and truth to be told, I'm glad for all the help that I had received and never gotten, for it had helped me grow.

I'm proud that I have managed to get my own apartment even though I went through the Japanese way and paid a whole lot of money. 

I'm glad that I didn't have a friend to help me with internet which led me to do it myself online and while I paid a lot of money up front for the device (about 22,000 yen more than what most people paid), I did not have any problem with my device compared to my other 2 colleagues who got the same one.

I'm happy that all the furniture that I've bought are good purchases and I did not regret any of them. I did put in a lot of research into each of them before I bought them.

I'm thankful for people who made me realise that I'm better without them in my life because without them, I would not have made new friends and widen my circle of friends as much as I would have.

I'm also thankful that I didn't have any one that I could keep going back to for help, for it really pushed me to try and get my own credit card. I have failed soooo many times before finally getting this one. I almost gave up myself until a friend told me that I should not be defeated before even trying.

I guess when you are alone in a foreign country and have no one to depend on, it really pushes you to grow and learn new things by yourself.

Meanwhile, I do have some regrets which I think happened for a reason because it just wasn't right.

I regret for asking for so much and not accepting the job offer for a research position at this company that researches on compounds that I have worked with before. At that time, I was focused on earning back the money that I had invested in moving here. I thought that what they were offering me was a little low and because it was so far, I would have to move, which means I would lose all the money I've paid for this place and have to spend more money to move. I was also afraid of being alone because if I have moved, I would lose my friends and had to start all over again. Thinking back now, at that time, I was only thinking about the present, I didn't think that in the long run, that job would have benefited me more. 

Well, it's not like I could turn back time. I hope that in the future, that decision of mine will no longer be a regret and I could find a reason to prove that it was a right decision all along.

For my second year here, I want to just focus on myself. To build on my skills, strengths, emotional well-being, friendships....I want to pass N1, improve on my cooking skills, get healthy and build my career. This year, I will not be strayed into other petty things that depends on external factors other than myself. 

Friday, February 24, 2017

Konakara (こなから 新丸ビル店) & Aoyama Itchome autumn leaves

Lunch date with A san at Konakara, which is a restaurant that specialises in oden in Shin-maru building (こなから 新丸ビル店).

They have this grand set up in the centre.

I ordered their lunch set that came with 4 oden of choice and chicken soboro gohan.

While the daikon was delicious, I made a mistake by ordering the wrong chikuwa. I wanted the yaki chikuwa and not this soft non-chewy one. I have another seafood ball behind the daikon which was also soft and non-chewy.....not exactly a texture that I like.

My last one is this really dense dango which tasted like there's pumpkin in it.

The rice, which I though was the only other delicious item.

My pretty lunch partner

Overall, I prefer the oden at Oden Kashimin (おでん かしみん) at Marunouchi Iiyo that I visited a few months back. (http://melissa1311.blogspot.jp/2016/12/nihombashi-and-marunouchi.html)

Spotted this Xmas trees after lunch

As the weather was lovely that day, I decided to head over to Aoyama Itchome to catch the beautiful yellow leaves from the ginko trees there.

There were sooo many people there as it was a Sunday

So glad I made the trip because the view was absolutely breathtaking.

Yup, one day, I shall return with a special someone.

Even the fallen leaves look beautiful

A super long queue in front of the Shake Shack

After that, I took the train to Yoyogi and managed to catch some Autumn leaves there too :D

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Steamboat with colleagues

Steamboat is the best on a cold in November,

We had the xiao fei yang steamboat at a colleague's place and it was nice. Hot food in a warm room, as we chat away~

Unfortunately, the food was not enough for the 3 of us because we're such big eaters.....2 of us decided to order pizza~!!!

We ordered 2 medium pizza that came in 4 flavours each to be shared among the 2 of us. My first time having pizza hut in Japan and it was delicious because they have flavours that I've never heard nor tasted before.

My colleague and I exchanged 4 pizzas so that we each got a piece of all the 8 flavours and it was great because I got to try 8 different flavours. 

To be honest, all of them are good while I did enjoy the seafood ones more.

There were left-over pizzas, so I ate the rest for breakfast and lunch the next day.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Soranoiro & early snow

Dinner with Moon at my fav. vegetable ramen place

Moon didn't order the veg ramen and ordered a pork based one instead.

My favourite....with yuzu spice~!!! Love this~ I always empty the bowl! This time I got the normal noodles and while the texture is still different from normal ramen noodles, it has a better texture than the one I ordered previously.

It was set to know that day.....The earliest snow Tokyo has seen in 54 years, on 24/11/16.

What a surprise it was to see snow when I opened by door the next morning. While the snow did not settle, it was an exciting scene for a tropical girl like me.

And because it was sooo cold that night, I had pizza for dinner~!! My convenient frozen 4 cheese pizza on a cold night. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI paris, Marunouchi

pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI paris

I was really excited to visit pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI paris because I have read about this before and had always wanted to visit.

I'm really happy to be able to try the cakes here because they're just soooo elegant and DELICIOUS!

サヤ (Saya)

<3 this cake~ the biscuit base with the different layers of strawberry and pistache creme~  The cake is not too sweet and it has a pretty colour!

バンブー (Bamboo)

Aoki's matcha endition of the opera cake. I chocolate and matcha flavours marry well in this cake.

フォレ ノワーレ (Foret Noire)

This is their special from Sept to Nov. This is like the adult version of the black forest cake. While I've never been a fan of the black forest cake, I enjoyed the small bite that I got from this cake.

Us, enjoying our cakes~

While they're expensive, I highly recommend the cakes at pâtisserie Sadaharu AOKI paris. I would definitely come back for more of those delicious cakes.

After that it was more walking to hunt for Moon's sweets~

Laduree's macaron's.... So pretty~ I have to revisit to get some when I'm less high on sugar.