Archive | January, 2011

Pi-chan disturbs my work

30 Jan

Pi-chan (my dog) lately seems to be frightened by dog clothes.
She didn’t have any problem wearing clothes, but somehow lately she starts shivering when I try to get her dressed. I don’t want to dress her only because that is cute. Air is too dry during winter over here, she always attracts dust and dirt whenever she walks outside because of static electricity. Her white colored legs turn gray because of dust and I don’t feel comfortable enough even if I wash her legs well with soap. I decided to give her a short haircut even though it’s in the middle of winter. I thought it was OK if I got her dressed with her clothes.

Well…I was wrong. She keeps shivering and looks so insecure and uneasy once I get her dressed. She never tries to stay away from me.

Usually this is the position she likes to stay, while I am working on computer.

Now I feel uneasy with her on my knees. ^ ^;

She must be wondering where to place her chin to relax.

I’m sure this should not be comfortable to her…lol

Funny face! lol I was more interested in taking her pictures than continuing my work. This is why I say she is disturbing my work. ^ ^;

She didn’t move for hours.

I feel sorry that I have to dress her no matter how she is frightened. But I have to because she will feel so cold without long fur. First of all, I wonder what was the cause that made her feel scared about wearing clothes. Now I give her a little treat whenever I get her dressed so I should change her fear to excitement against wearing clothes. I know I should give up dressing her clothing for her sake, but for some practical reasons and yes for my sake, it’s difficult.

What do you think about dog clothing? Is it good or bad, practical or superficial?


My Kawaii Entry 3

28 Jan

A new My Kawaii entry again! (If you are not sure what this project is, check out this page and join us now!)

entry #4

The first one is a pair of asymmetrical star earrings I bought in Namba a couple of years back. I still use them quite often, usually when I’m in a bit more of a ‘rock’style kinda mood. ^^ Favourite point: the fact that they don’t match, even though they’re still a pair.

This is a small handbag/purse I got as a birthday present a couple of years back. I often remove the handle and wear it as a choker necklace, so it’s pretty versatile. ^-^ The brand is Cache Cache.

This necklace is probably my most used and most loved accessory. It’s from Algonquins (one of my alltime favourite brands) and I’ll wear it with almost anything. ❤

A very wa-fuu handbag that I got as a going away present. I really love the pattern on this one, and since it’s pink I love it even more. ^^

Follow Lisa on her blog or twitter if you like her kawaii collections!

Thank you Lisa! They are very pretty. I especially liked the necklace. And it’s interesting you can remove the handle of the bag to use it as a necklace, I like that!! 🙂
Who is next? Send me yours. How? Read this page, thanks!

Kawaii Aussie Models

26 Jan

Kawaii Aussie Models 1/2

4 top models selected from one of the top-rated TV shows in Australia appeared at NHK to collaborate with Tokyo Kawaii TV. The 4 models are Sophie, Amanda, Kelsey, and Jessica who went through 8-week competition. They are assigned to dress Tokyo Kawaii fashion properly as a model. Tokyo Kawaii TV teaches them genuine kawaii fashion.

Jessica is tallest. She challenges to get dressed in Japanese school uniform, advised by Hiromi Yamakawa. They visited conomi in Harajuku where over 4000 kinds of school uniform items are available since they opened in 2008. There are many foreign customers. Japanese anime and manga have spread kawaii Japanese school uniform fashion in the world. Yamakawa-san is a charismatic sales assistant in this store. “If you wear the perfect size, that’ll make you look like an office worker. To add a cardigan on, then you look like a nurse. “Boyfriend size that looks looser to your body is the best to make you look like a high school girl,” she advises.

Kelsey’s challenge is lolita fashion with Misako Aoki as an advisor. Misako Aoki has been a top model of lolita fashion for over 8 years. She was also nominated as a kawaii ambassador by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and has visited 10 countries to spread lolita culture in the world. She receives fan letters from around the world. She has another job as a nurse. She works 3 days a week as a nurse to help bathe people who need it. She says she wants to continue the work as a lifework.

Kelsey and Misako came to Baby The Stars Shine Bright in Daikanyama. This store has selling lolita fashion for over 15 years. A couple of hundreds of Rococo tasted dresses are available. Kelsey seems to be too tall to wear the skit in a lolita way. Naturally, lolita girls are not supposed to expose their skin. Sexiness is not needed for lolita girls. Kelsey with adult cool face looks like a big baby in lolita fashion.

Amanda’s challenge is Shibuya gyaru fashion, advised by Yunkoro. Yunkoro is a popular gyaru dokumo. She shares in her blog how to makeup with mori (overloaded) style. Amanda doesn’t wear makeup often. She likes simple style. But look how she can change with bling-bling accessory, nails, false lashes, circle lenses and a blond wig! She is totally transformed as a gyaru!

Harajuku Fairy-kei fashion is made from pastel colored clothing, accessories of sweets motif, panier and character. Sophie’s challenge is fairy-kei fashion, advised by Yuu Kimura, a famous dokumo from Harajuku street-kei fashion. They went shopping at a shop that Yuu-chan frequents. Yuu-chan realized Japanese and western people have different body shape. In Japan we like to wear some paniers in layers, but this doesn’t work for western people. That’ll make their hips exaggerate. 2 hours later, Yuu-chan made Sophie a fairy girl successfully.

50 students from a fashion academy in Tokyo are to judge who is well dressed in Japanese kawaii fashion.

Kawaii Aussie Models 2/2

Summary of above story continues till around 09:53 of the movie.

Adrien, a French man who once was working in Kabukicho, Shinjuku as a host fell in love with Japanese host fashion and that was the reason he became a host. He is now trying to establish his own men’s host suit brand with his ex-coworkers. Mr. Ikki and Beni-chan are invited to a host club where most fashionable hosts gather. They check out host fashion there. Yui-san, prince-kei even wears beautiful nails. Ken-san, classic host style, wears nice suit and Italian tie. Casual style is increasing among hosts. They like to use small items to encourage conversations with their customers. Which host spends most for his clothing and accessories? Ken-san’s watch is 1 million yen, and he spends 1.4 million yen for total coordination!! Lime-san’s coordination is least expensive but still 700,000yen in total and 200,000yen for the necklace!

Mori-hair style boom is also supported by hosts. They drop at a mori hair salon before they come to work at host club. The mori-hair stylist says they have to always study what’s new because hair trends change rapidly.
Top 3 host hair styles:

No.3 all back mori
No.2 all front mori (small face effect)
No.1 slant-front mori (70% of hosts prefer)

Now what’s going on in Akihabara (abbreviated as “Akiba”)? “Samurai Girl” is a photo book of Akiba otaku pop that was published in Italy and sold 1.2 million copies. People on the photo book are fashionable and toned Japanese girls that changed the notion that “otaku = uncool”. Mr. Ikki and Beni-chan visit Julie-san, otaku-pop photographer. According to her, there are some techniques to allow otaku appear kawaii.

rule 1: Do not cosplay with ordinary cosplay outfits. Select basic items (must be cutting edge) from Shibuya/Harajuku.
rule2: Choose anime-inspired typical cosplay items in vivid color for accessories and details.
rule3: Choose Akiba for shootings. It’s good to have game stores or figure stores for the back ground.

Mr. Ikki and Beni-chan also try to take otaku-pop photos.

So what has become of the beautiful Aussie models? How did they change?
Misako tells Kelsey that lolita should not walk like a fashion model. Lolita should not be cool.

Which model is dressed in Tokyo fashion best?
1st: Amanda – gyaru fashion
2nd: Jessica – Japanese school uniform style
3rd: Sophie – fairy fashion
4th: Kelsey – lolita fashion

Kirin’s opinion:
I think the result reflects personal taste of all those school students. They are at the same age and similar interests. Gyaru fashion is already familiar to them. They were high school students only a few years ago, thus school uniform fashion is also very familiar. I personally liked Sophie and I totally think Kelsey and Misako did a great job. Kelsey even tried to walk like a lolita.
It’s convincing how gyaru fashion is well-received. Amanda definitely changed prettier in gyaru fashion!
What did you think?
Disclaimer: Tokyo Kawaii TV is a TV program owned and broadcasted by NHK Japan, and has nothing to do with this blog.

***There are archives of episodes listed under the page titled “Tokyo Kawaii TV” that is just located under the title banner of this blog.
***If you want to know the music that was used in the episode, please refer to this page and help yourself to find it by selecting the date when the episode was on air in Japan.

Get free samples at Lcafe

24 Jan

nearest train station: Shibuya
address: 15-1 Udagawacho, Shibuya-ku (Parco Part1 B1F)
phone: 03-5456-6397
open: 10:00am – 11:30pm
close: When Parco Part1 closes

I chose Lcafe for a business meeting the other day.
Lcafe has an unique system as I wrote a post before.

It’s spacious, comfy and not so noisy.

I don’t like basement, but a table like this will be good for business meeting.

1L coin for a drink. For 2 people, we got 2L coins. (Well, to be exact, I got them.) ^ ^; They were given when our drinks were served. But it’s not nice no one in the cafe explained about the coins. As I knew about Lcafe, I knew what those coins were. (I was also not nice I didn’t explain that to the man I was meeting then, haha! Well, I could have but I didn’t think he was interested in some cosmetic samples after all…)

There was a step by step of how-to-register guide at each table. I stayed there alone after we finished meeting, in order to make a phone call to FlutterScape. I sometimes visit their office to drop off the goods, especially when I have to come to Shibuya for other reasons. I would have ignored the Lcoins if I had left with him, but as I stayed there, I decided to register for Lcafe membership.

It started from QR code. Japanese cell phones can read the code, and once my cell phone read it, I was required to send them an empty email. Then I received their email asking for my registration and answers to several questions (questionnaire). Obviously this is the way they do market research. Interesting! 🙂

I was able to gain 1L coin by registration. At a cashier I showed this screen of my cell phone, 2L coins, and I was allowed to select samples that deserved 3L coins. I could also save the coins for next time. But I used up 3L coins then.

So what kind of samples were available then?
A small curry stick for 1L coin. Hmm… not my taste.

A set of 2 sample packs of cleansing cream was for 1L coin.

Bihada Ichizoku facial pack was for 5L coins! (Not 1L coin, as in the video!)

Instant Onsen (a set of 8 bath bombs) was for 1L coin. I liked that. 🙂

So these are all I got from 3L coins!! 😀 Let’s see what else they can offer next time! They said a lunch earns 3L coins. It seems they’ll email me questionnaires once in a while and I will receive 1L coin every time I send back my answer. How clever the system is! They will make us feel like coming back over and over again, while we keep contributing to their market research. But it all depends on how samples are attractive and how their food is good. :p

It was in the middle of winter sale. Not to speak of lucky grab bags, I had no chance of shopping at winter sales. I’ve been pretty busy these days.

I may want to try their lunch next time. Do you have a sample cafe or any unique cafes in your area?

My Kawaii Entries 2

22 Jan

Thank you for your participation in My Kawaii Project!

entry #2

i bought this costume from japan, and it is called kigurumi. it is a giant one piece costume made of fleece in the shape of pikachu. i wore this for halloween, and also participated in a contest for the san-x character rilakkuma which explains the silly hat ^_^

Follow Iomoo’s blog if you like her kawaii collections!

entry #3

The first Picture is of the Haiku Fragrance made by Avon. I really liked the smell of it! ^^

The second picture is of a headband I bought for 99 cents equivalent at 82.3432 JPY at a store down town! ^^ I bought it since it’s Harajuku styled like and I thought it was at a really cheap price.!

The third picture is of a Hello Kitty Fragrance set I saw at a store called “Sears” I smelled the Hello Kitty fragrance and it smelled so nice~

The fourth picture is a picture of Japanese Styled peanuts I saw at a super market in Mexico! ^^

Follow Jasmine’s blog if you like her kawaii collections!

Who is next? Send your kawaii collections and join this project!! 😀

Green Tea Living

20 Jan

Apple shared some interesting tips for your health and beauty. 🙂
===Apple’s post starts from here===

Recently I’ve been reading a book by Toshimi A. Kayaki. The title is “Green Tea Living”, and in it, she introduces a ‘traditional Japanese way of life’, which I find really interesting.

The book is sectioned into 10 chapters, in which each chapter focuses on a different topic of living, for example, health, beauty, cuisine, household management, recycling, and so on. She emphasises a lot on eco-living and eating properly, which I really like.

I will just share 3 of my favourite Green Tea Living tips from her book. I actually have more than 3 favourite tips from her book, so I really do recommend this book to you if you are interested in Japanese way of life.

Let me start with one of her tips in her book on “How to Make Delicious Green Tea”.

1. Pour hot water into each cup that you will serve. This helps to cool down the boiling water. The best temperature for tea is 158°~176°F (70°~80°C).

2. Put the tea leaves into the teapot. Use about 2 tablespoons (7g) of tea for five people.

3. Transfer the hot water from the cups into the teapot.

4. Wait 30 seconds.

5. Fill up each cup evenly, little by little, until the pot is empty. Pour back and forth between the cups to get the same flavour in each one. The tea should not be too strong or too weak.

So, with the knowledge of how to make delicious green tea now, let’s go on to her helpful tips on “Green Tea Living”!

1. Green Tea Baths for Clean, Smooth Skin

Five years ago, I heard from my friend about green tea bathing.

I was incredulous. Put green tea in the bathwater? Then my friend rolled up her sleeves and pulled up her pant legs and showed me her skin. It was silky smooth. She told me she had dry, flaky skin for many years and tried many remedies, but the green tea bathing had cleaned and smoothed her skin.

I found out that green tea has a lot of vitamins – five times more than limeon, in fact. The catechins in green tea kill surface bacteria, and help to clear up damaged skin.

A German study found that an extract of green tea mixed with filtered hot water applied to the skin three times a day for 10 minutes helped repair skin damaged by radiation therapy in sixteen to twenty-two days.

Here’s how to make a Green Tea Bath:

1. Put 1 ounce (30g) of green tea in a small cotton bag.

2. Tie the bag and put it in boiling water for 15 minutes.

3. Pour the hot green tea water into your bath and relax.

2. Olive Oil For Dry Skin

Olive oil is not only for cooking. It’s good for your skin, too.

I use it to remove makeup before going to sleep at night. It completely cleans off the makeup and moisturises the skin. I usually don’t have to use anything else. I can just then go to bed.

By the way, there is a reason that olive oil will help your skin. Olive oil has Vitamins A, E, and D. These nutrients change dry skin to healthy, moisturised skin.

Olive oil was used for cosmetic care as long as 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. One reason is that it lasts a very long time without spoiling. The Egyptians used it to protect against sun burn, and you can use it for the same purpose or, even better, use it to remove foundation or eye make-up. Always use extra virgin olive oil, which is thick and rich.

3. Bring a Lunch Box to Work or School

If you are concerned about your weight and health, I recommend that you take a lunch box with you. Carrying a lunch box is going green!

School lunch in America is totally different from that in Japan. American parents pack a sandwich, an apple or some other fruit, and packaged snacks in a brown bag, so kids can throw it away when they’re finished.

Japanese kids carry a bento box in a wrapping cloth (furoshiki) to school. The wrapping cloth can be used as a place mat. Inside the bento box are usually foods of five different colours: white for rice, noodles, or bread (carbohydrates); green for vegetables (vitamins); yellow for a fried or boiled egg (lipids); red for a sour plum (minerals); and brown for the fish or meat (protein). The colour coordination means a balanced diet, and the lunch box is not something to be thrown away. It is kept and reused every day for a long time.

From this daily practice, kids learn about a balanced diet and not to waste.

Taking a lunch box can save you a lot of money, too. If you usually spend $15 including a drink at a restaurant every day, monthly you spend over $330. Yearly, that’s about $4,000. This is big money for lunch. If you have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, it’s very hard to monitor the ingredients of a restaurant order. Carrying your own lunch box and managing what and how much you put in it is better for your health and your budget.

Actually, there is one more tip that I’d really like to share. It’s something Kirin had written before. So I’ll just share one last tip here. If you really like what you are reading so far, you should really read the book! ^^

Bonus Tip: Fill Up 80%

I was watching a TV talk show in Japan. The guest was Dr. Hinohara.

He is ninety-seven years old and still practicing medicine, writing books and a regular column, and making appearances on TV and radio shows. He conducts seminars not only in Japan but in other countries. He came to San Francisco when he was ninety-five. He is a very busy doctor. He said his schedule is filled up ten years from now.

One of his health secrets is sleep, but not long hours of sleep – only 4 hours a night. He says people misunderstand. “Long life means long living, not sleeping.”

“Even with 4 hours of sleep, I am not tired! I want more time!”

He also said when he has a meal, he eats until his stomach feels a little more than half full, and he doesn’t get hungry until it’s time for the next meal.

(If you concentrate on work, you will forget about being hungry. Life is about doing what you love!) He said for elderly people, eating to about 60% full is best, while most adults need to fill up their stomachs to about 80%.

Hara 8 bunme, isha irazu
Fill your stomach 80%, and then you don’t need a doctor.

The Japanese say this all the time. This means before you feel completely full, stop eating and make space for some green tea, and you will finish up full and satisfied with your meal. The food is digested easily, and you won’t get an upset stomach.

Some medical researchers wanted to check out this old wisdom, so they performed an experiment with mice. They kept the mice 80% full of food every day. They figured out the mice had more energy than overly fed mice, and they had less chance of getting cancer.

Your body makes many new cells every day and changes them. If you use up energy, the bad cells naturally die (apoptosis). This results in less cancer of the liver, colon, and breasts.

Actually this traditional way of eating can help you deal with the rising cost of food.

For example, if you paid $10 for meat and vegetables last year, and now you have to pay $12, don’t complain! This is a chance to improve your health and slim down. Just keep spending $10 like last year. Of course, you get 20% less food, but that’s OK.

Your stomach is 80% full, you’ll have more energy, and soon you’ll look good too.

What do you think? Are these tips helpful and interesting to you? Do you have your own interesting ‘Japanese way of living’ tips to share?

My Kawaii Entry 1

18 Jan

Sedonia’s kawaii collection is the first entry. Let me tell you why. She is the one who gave me a chance to hit on this idea. She was kind enough to send me a Japan inspired room photo she found from a brochure in the U.S. While we were exchanging emails, I naturally reached “My Kawaii Project“. So, I appreciate her first approach, that’s why I want to make hers absolutely the very first entry!! 😉

1. Jet Li B’Day -you can see the littel emblem on his gi of the bear in the middle of a karate kick.

2. Jet Li B’Day in his karate gi. (*gi = outfit, she uses Japanese!)

3. He has a special cupcake to wish people Happy Birthday with, lol

4. with his adopted son, Takeshi B’Day.

5. Jet Li B’Day in his samurai outfit complete with hakama pants and zori sandals.

On my 37th birthday (I’m 41 now), my stepdaughter Sarah and her mom had Jet Li B’Day made special for me at Build-A-Bear. They named him Jet Li – because I’m a huge fan of Jet Li. I’ve seen all his films at least once. lol. Which is also why he’s wearing martial arts outfits. The last name, B’Day is a joke between me and my boyfriend, part of a nickname.

Because Sarah gave me this gift, Jet Li B’Day quickly became very dear to me. I keep him with me all the time. If I travel, he comes with me wherever I go. He has two hearts inside of him, one put in by Sarah and one by her mom, Rose. It was one of the best birthday presents I’ve ever gotten and he is certainly kawaii! Thank you all for letting me share him with you.

Follow Sedonia on her facebook if you like her kawaii collection.

BTW, this is the first picture she shared with me in her email.

“I saw this picture in a brochure for a paint company here in the US and I thought of you right away BECAUSE, the name of the palette is called Tokyo Pop and two of the colors are called: Kawaii and Harajuku Girl. So, Kawaii style is making its way into mainstream here in the US! : ) ”

Thank you, Sedonia!! I love to see interior design and decorations from other countries.

Now I believe you have kawaii items to be shared with other readers of Tokyo Kawaii, etc. just like Sedonia did. 🙂
Please read this page carefully and now it’s your turn! You can post your kawaii collection under Tokyo Kawaii, etc. Share your kawaii with us!!