Monday, September 29, 2014

Kawaii Closet Organization: 6 Tips! (Kawaii Back to School)

I recently uploaded my Kawaii Closet Organization video as a part of my Kawaii Back to School series. If you've seen some of my room tour videos, you know I am a crazy organizer!! :3

I thought I would make a blog post to list out some of the great tips I've learned about keeping my closet cute, organized, and smell fresh!

1. The first thing I always do is separate all of my close by type: dresses, skirts, sleeveless shirts, blouses, sweaters, and t-shirts. I have some special hangers that hold 4 skirts on one, and a scarf hanger that I use for tights. I don't have drawers right now, so I have everything hanging up. It's a great way to see everything and avoid forgetting you have something shoved in a drawer.

2. After separating, I usually place them by color, going light to dark. It makes my closet look neater and is also helpful for matching outfits.

3. Keep cute boxes you get! They are great for organizing! I am using an old aerie gift box for my bras. I also have some travel bags that I use for undies organizing. 

4. Black hangers for some reason make my closet look so much better. I used to have the plastic ones, but everything just looked junkier.

5. I super love to either have my purses hanging up or placed up top like I do in this closet. It's a great place for my hats--and rilakkuma.

6. Make your closet smell nice by reusing dryer sheets and stuffing them in a cloth baggy (from craft stores). I then spray them with perfume! (I have way too much perfume lol)

I also keep the rest of my socks and knee socks in a set of plastic drawers and divide them by fabric and height. You can see in the video how I do it.

I hope this was helpful! Let me know any tips you have! : )

Sunday, September 28, 2014

October Skoshbox Review & Giveaway (2014)

Skoshbox is a monthly Japanese snack subscription service ranging from $10-12 dollars depending on how many months you sign up for. Right now they are only taking US orders, but hope to go international soon. Every month, you receive a variety of different Japanese snacks. They stock the snacks on their website, so if you really like something, you can order it from them directly. It's a great way to try different snacks if you don't have an asian market nearby. Also, my asian market normally gets the same snacks in, so Skoshbox is a good way to try new and different candies. Many of the candies in the box I never saw before, even when I was in Japan. (Japan has TONS of different kinds of snacks. Much more creative than the US brands!)

Above is a picture of all of the items in October's Skoshbox. They sent me a October box to review and offered two free boxes for my YouTube viewers! (Check out my video for the details) All opinions are my own of course, I simply received the box to tell you what I think about it. I hope my review is helpful and even if you aren't interested in subscribing to this kind of thing, you may learn more about Japanese snacks.

The first snack was Brown Sugar & Milk Senbei (黑糖みるくせんべい). I love senbei personally so this was exciting to try. Senbei is a rice cracker, and its not like those Quaker puffed rice snacks, the inside is much smoother with a crispy outside. Normally they have either a salty toasted flavor or have a sweet topping. The Brown Sugar was delicious! (My favorite senbei is Soft Salad ソフトサラダ! So goood!)

The second snack is Black Thunder Choco Bar (ブラックサンダー). The packaging makes it look like a very exciting energy bar, but its just a chocolate bar! (Why can't they make fiber one bars like this hehe) It has puffed rice on the inside and to me it tastes more like American candies than a typical Japanese one. It's more sweet and the taste is a cross between Kit Kat and a Crunch bar. Bo and I both liked it.

Next up is Maruko Marshmallow with Strawberry filling (ちびまる子ちゃんいちごマシュマロ). I have had these type of candies before, I think it was a Hello Kitty brand. The outside is a marshmallow, but it tastes less sweet than American ones and is much smoother (and fuwafuwa!). The inside has strawberry jelly inside. Very tasty! Good to try if you never tried this kind of thing before. 

And more senbei! Yay! This is Happy Turn Senbei (ハッピータンせんべい). These are really cute and have a sweet and salty taste. It may be a little strange at first, but senbei can get addicting!

Next is Pikachu Gum (ピカチュウガム) and Pokemon Monsterball Candy (ポケモンモンスターバルキャンディ). Both of these were grape flavored, but the monsterball comes in Cola and Spicy as well. These ones I gave to Bo :3. He is more of a Pokemon fan than I, and likes grape flavor. (Something about any grape flavor reminds me of medicine!) However, I tried part of the gum (you are supposed to break off pieces) and it actually wasn't bad for a grape flavor!

Kasugai Lychee Gummy (ライチグミ)is super tasty for a gummy! I love Japanese gummy (pronounced goo-mee ^.^) more than American ones. This brand also has different flavors. I have tried pear, orange, and kiwi. They are all really good. Lychee is good too!

I was pretty interested in the Summer Kinako Candy (夏きなこ)because I have had kinako on mochi before and it is really good! Kinako normally comes in a powder and you can cover mochi with it or even put it on yogurt. It's healthy and has lots of protein! 

But this probably is just a candy of course! It has a brown sugar flavor with a jelly inside. Really good! I haven't had anything like it before, but the brown sugar senbei does have a similar flavor. 

Hehe and this last one is Awa Soda Candy (あわソーダ). I'm a bit scared of popping and sizzling candy, so this one went to Bo to try out! He hasn't had it yet. ^.^

Here is their website if you want to check it out. It was lots of fun to try everything! Now I have my little snacks clipped with Rilakkuma until me and Bo eat everything up. (Those senbei are going down fast) You can watch our opening video of the box that includes me AND BO! It's been a while since he has been in my videos. Also details for the giveaway are in my video, so check it out!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

(*´∀`*) Perfect Whip Review: Shiseido's Perfect Whip, Speedy Perfect Whip, and Perfect Oil (*´∀`*)

In this post, I'll be reviewing three Shiseido (drugstore versions) Speedy Whip products: Perfect Whip (original), Speedy Perfect Whip, and Perfect Oil. 

If you haven't heard of this series, its an affordable Shiseido product sold everywhere in Japan and easily bought online at places like Amazon if you are overseas (usually under $10). Perfect Whip is so attractive because it promises a big fuwafuwa bubbly texture!

Perfect Whip (Original)

The original product is pretty good for any skin type, it is gentle and cleanses well with no coating left behind on your skin. After daily use, it doesn't diminish my face texture like some other cleansers. It removes some makeup, but I prefer to use the Perfect Oil for that purpose, and follow up with the Perfect Whip (explained in detail below).

The product has a thick consistency and with water feels slippery. It requires lots of lathering to build it to the foamy fuwafuwa texture. Simply using your hands will take a lot of time and more product. For an alternative, use a foaming net (I got mine from Amazon). I hear that different ones produce different quality foam, so you may want a nice one.

If you have a Clarisonic, this is a great product to use with it! I use my Luxe brush head (basically the softest and most $$ head) and either put the product directly on it to build up using my hand, or use the net first and squeeze it on the Clarisonic.

For me the product's appeal is the smooth luxurious face-washing experience, and because it's so cute!

"I'm soo cleeean!!"~ Kira Kira Rilakkuma ~ 

Speedy Perfect Whip

This is the product when you don't have time! I would definitely prefer to use the original all the time, but honestly, I don't ALWAYS have the time (or I'm about to fall asleep on my feet) to use the original. It still is a pleasant face-washing experience, but there is something about the original (probably the texture) that feels more luxurious. (Probably also the time to build the product and relax a bit.)

Fuwa fuwa time~~ 

Perfect Oil

You may have heard about makeup removing oils being popular in Asia. I had always been advised 'stay AWAY from oil' because of my acne (especially at Clinique). So I always had gel moisturizer and oil free cleansers and oil free eye makeup remover. However, what I have discovered, is that often cleansers with oil tend to take off a lot more makeup and can be just alright for acne-prone skin, as long as you plan on cleansing afterwards. The benefit is taking off ALL the makeup, then cleansing your skin a second time (to remove remaining makeup and actually clean your real skin)--which means less junk to clog your pores. No remaining makeup and totally clean skin.

So I tried out the Perfect Oil and I really like it! I first take two pumps and lather it in my hand, then spread it all over my face and massage in to start dissolving the makeup. After about 15 seconds, I then use a pink scrubber from Sephora to gently lift off the makeup. I rinse several times.

After that my skin feels moisturized and not super dry, like many makeup removers (if your skin already feels dry at this stage with another makeup remover you use, its probably too harsh to do a second cleanse. I know the feeling!) So after the Perfect Oil it is then safe to use my Perfect Whip to cleanse!

In the last year I have perfected my makeup removing technique, from some great tips from Mia's channel. I really recommend watching her makeup removal video. Basically, I start with my eyes. I soak a thin cotton pad in eye makeup remover (I looove this Bioderma one! The best ever) and set the pads on my eyes to dissolve the makeup. Let it sit for 20 seconds or so. Flip it over to use more of the product. Then, gently wipe down towards the lash line. After that, I like to open my eyes and scoop the makeup that moved down below my eye with the cotton pad folded. (Mia's technique is more complicated, but this is generally good enough for me to get everything off). Then I follow with my Perfect Oil/Perfect Whip routine.

Above is the video review I posted. I hope the video as well as this post is helpful! Please feel free to ask any questions about the products or make any requests for me to review. I hope to post my skincare/beauty haul from Japan very soon!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Hello Kitty 40th Anniversary Collection at Sephora

You may have seen my recent video about the new Hello Kitty Collection at Sephora. Since my video post, more items have been introduced to the set!

The previous line at Sephora was a collection of nail and makeup products (filled with lots of glitter!) and also accessories such as brush sets and compact mirrors. Previously I purchased many of these items, and also have a video about it. Generally I was pleased with the set, however I noticed that the quality was not matching the prices. I loved the glittery girly color schemes but I noticed items like the collapsible travel brush had a cheap feeling to it.

So the hopes for this new collection is that it is higher quality but still having the girly style Hello Kitty fans love.

I can't help but notice that some negative reviews are already coming in about the $49 compact from this collection. As I displayed in my current video, the present compact has a very similar design resemblance to the previous one that I purchased. The only exception is the gems decorating the new one (and possibly a size difference?) While there is nothing wrong with my compact, I feel that a similar one (embellished with normal gems, not anything such as Swarovski crystals) would be a tough buy for $49. The present reviews on Sephora say things along the same lines.

Wow! That's quite a mirror. It doesn't seem to have rubies or any real gems for the price ...

It's easy to get sucked in when things look cute, I'm as guilty of that as any other kawaii fan! But I aim to get good deals on cute stuff that I can use--not just buying cute for the sake of cute. (For example my very functional rilakkuma collection, lol just kidding!)

As we see here, high price items also don't always include the high quality.

However!! The other sets look tempting! As I said, I'm a big fan of the glitter, so a value set containing fun makeup and accessories would be of interest.

This nail set in the new collection comes with lots of fun goodies and is even called "Kawaii Nail Set"! Happy to see the use of the word kawaii in the collection.

What do you guys think? Have you seen the items in person or bought it yourself? I'd love to hear more. I'll keep updating this as I hear more.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

♡ Kawaii Wedding Invitations (Save the Date, Bridal Shower, Formal Invitations)(*^3^)/~♡

For our invitations, I wanted to include Rilakkuma and the kawaii theme.This post will include each set of invitations I send out, including our Save the Dates, Bridal Shower Invitations, Formal Wedding Invitations, and Thank You notes!

(Sorry in these photos I had to blur out our personal info~~)

If you are interested in having custom work done, please contact me by leaving a comment.

1. Save the Dates

I wanted a design that let Rilakkuma be the focus, with us in a photo strip. I finally found it! (The photos of us are actually from a photobooth in China.)

I ordered a magnet style design from They have many templates, but each are very customizable. The nice thing about this website is that whatever samples you order, though you pay for it, that amount is credited toward your final order. Sign up for their samples--you choose 3 free samples and you are provided with lots of great info! Once you order, be sure to Google coupon codes, but you'll also get more coupons in the mail after you order. You can also watch for deals because they run sales on different sections all the time.

2. Bridal Shower Invites

I was stuck on these for a long time. Finally, I decided to make my own shower invites from Rilakkuma stationery! I was inspired by the pen pal letters I had been writing, and I thought something with nice stationery in cursive would look very cute and personalized. Rilakkuma Natural Time was the current theme when I was wedding planning, so I decided to use those. 

The shower was held at a tea restaurant and a few of my guests even wore high tea outfits and hats! I wore my lolita dress as well. (Blog post on the Bridal Shower, soon :P) The restaurant wanted the meal selections in advance, so I mounted the meal cards/RSVP cards onto pink corner-rounded cardstock for guests to return in a self-addressed envelope. The meal cards were set at each place setting at the shower, to remind guests of their selection. The RSVP cards were also reused for a raffle during the shower.

The Rilakkuma stationery included beautiful golden seals for the envelopes! It was perfect.

To match the invitations, I created place cards using Happy Natural Time memo sheets, mounted on pink cardstock.

3. Formal Wedding Invitations

I bought so many invitation samples, and just was not happy. Each one seemed to not quite have something right. I looked on Etsy, but it seemed expensive and nothing hit me. So again, I decided to do it myself!

I was most happy with pocket style invitations, because I felt like I had a lot of information to include and I wanted everything to be very neat and organized (and not fall apart when you open it). So I bought heart patterned vellum from Jo Anns (get it when its 40% off), big pack of white cardstock sheets from WalMart ("marshmallow white", it's the best deal you can find), and pink cardstock I ordered online in bulk after finding the one I liked at Jo Anns. Oh and a huge paper cutter.

Glue was a mess! I finally got this huge glue rolling device and it was finally enough to hold the thick cardstock together. For the inside: I created the basic shape, then folded in the pocket (with a section cut out so you can see the inside easily), pasted the vellum backing inside, then mounted the white informational cardstock sheet. I printed out additional cardstock squares with more info on the wedding. Each one was scored about a quarter inch in to make it look more professional.

For the outside, I wrapped ribbon on the top piece and glued a bow and small pearls on top. I then wrapped our "Mary & Bo" Rilakkuma sticker mounted on two sheets of cardstock with a vellum sleeve. I custom made this sticker using Photoshop and ordered it through Zazzle.

Let me just tell you--finding envelopes to fit these darn things was a mess. Even though I made my invitations at a specific template size, they were difficult! I also made custom return address labels from Zazzle, and used our Rilakkuma custom sticker to seal the backs of the envelopes. For all of these, I used the New York-Japan Cherry Blossom edition stamp because I liked it better than abraham lincoln and all the cheesy wedding ones. However, I still had to stick old abe on my envelopes because I was short a few pennies.

why did it have to be abraham lincoln?!?! 

4. Thank You Cards

Thank you cards were easy! I just used our custom logo and had it printed from Zazzle. Look out for their custom card sales and coupon codes. It can be expensive otherwise. So sign up for their emails.

Each was sealed with my custom return address labels and custom Rilakkuma stickers.

Here is a very happy 'me' finally sending off all my invitations! できました!

Feel free to contact me about custom work or questions on your DIY projects.
My Kawaii Wedding blog posts:

My Kawaii Wedding videos:

♡ Kawaii Giveaway (*´∀`*人*´∀`*)

If you guys haven't heard, my Kawaii Giveaway is open!
I'm including a few things that I think many of you will like. I'm also picking multiple winners, so more people can win and you can get what you want!

Lol my face is cut off! and of course Rilakkuma got in the shot completely.

So the Giveaway is a mix of stationery (including Hello Kitty, stickers, pens, deco tape, etc), Rilakkuma, some souvenirs from China and our wedding, a skirt from Uniqlo, and a Nyanko figure!

Here I include some Chinese knots from our wedding, a cute lucky cat keychain, and some cute little chopsticks.

And here's nyanko for a special lucky winner!


Monday, September 1, 2014

Kawaii Wedding Idea: Polaroids*✲゚*。⋆

Today's post is an idea I had for our reception at our Catholic wedding. I wanted some way to incorporate my love of Rilakkuma and let the guests do something creative. Even if they didn't know Rilakkuma I figured they would have fun with it.

I set up a table with a Rilakkuma Polaroid camera with plenty of cute stationery, pens, and stickers to get creative. I made little folded cardstock in advance for guests to paste the polaroid and write a note for Bo and I. I got a big card box from Amazon and guests could put their completed ones inside!

But of course, a normal Polaroid camera was not enough--why not have the real thing! I found the official Rilakkuma Polaroid on eBay and bought the film too. I even found Kiiroitori plushies with him holding a camera! He was the perfect mascot and photographer for our wedding!

And it was a success! I was a bit worried when the waitress asked me how many chairs I wanted for the "kids table"...


But our guests had lots of fun taking pictures and writing special notes! 

The only disadvantage of Polaroids is that they are kind of pricy (It's about a dollar per picture). I had already considered getting a Rilakkuma Polaroid, but I didn't think I would use it much. This event was a great creative way to use it. Otherwise, they aren't very practical. 

You have to get used to the way it works. I experimented with mine before the wedding and preset the lighting/flash settings that I anticipated would work best. There is an online PDF with English instructions, so be sure to google that if yours doesn't come with English instructions!

It comes with a little mirror on the front for selfies, so that was helpful. It also has a special lens attachement which worked well for the event. Guests were typically within a close range of the camera so using the lens attachment let them be in focus. I was also worried about the batteries running out in the event, so I had bought two extras (which were nearly ten bucks each--a strange kind). However, it lasted the whole event with no problems and I have yet to change them even once. 

I bought everything through ebay (the camera $100+, the film $10/pack, the kiiroitori keychain $6, and the kiiroitori mascot plush $35). I also overbought film. I figured each guest would take a few pictures but I barely even needed one per guest because many friends paired up for photos. I think it was worth it to get the Rilakkuma design film because of the cute borders.

Overall, it was a super success! Now I have adorable mini notes to keep forever from my guests!

I have posted a short video about our wedding, with more detailed videos to come.

My Kawaii Wedding blog posts:

My Kawaii Wedding videos:

♡ Married! Our Rilakkuma Kawaii Wedding (´ε` )♡

But we are back!

We actually got "married" or rather "celebrated" our marriage three times. Things are pretty complicated getting married to someone from another country (legally). But also since our families live so far apart, we wanted to make sure we included everyone.

Our first wedding was a simple civil ceremony just to begin our long legal process. So why not have it at Dunkin Donuts?

At this time we were so worried about how long the process would take. We were worried about me applying for graduate school, and Bo applying for jobs with our upcoming graduation in May, 2014. Then we were hoping all of our legal stuff would be okay, we wanted to be together no matter what!

In the meantime, my mom and I planned our Catholic wedding for May 17. My family came, our mutual college friends, and also Bo's parents from China. It was a busy time, planning and finishing up our last semester. 

We were also booking flights and planning our summer--for our Chinese wedding in June (in China), and our honeymoon in Japan. It involved lots of work, applying for visas--including a trip to Detroit (for Bo's visa), and a trip to New York (for my visa to China).

For the Catholic wedding, I tried to incorporate Rilakkuma as much as possible! I had a Rilakkuma themed Bridal Shower in a cute tea restaurant. (More on that later)

I searched long and hard for a Japanese style wedding dress. A lot of the wedding dresses in Japan offer different colors and are fluffy big ball gowns. I wanted something like that! However, it was nearly impossible to find anything similar in the US. I finally found a pale pink and ivory dress and custom designed a big bow for the side. (I'll post more details on the dress later of course)

For the reception, I also incorporated some creative notes for guests to make, using a Rilakkuma polaroid and fun stationery. Check out my blog post on it here.

Our journey was far from over--a little over a week later, we were planning for our Chinese wedding in China. It was held June 8th, and luckily our Chinese style Rilakkuma bears arrived on our wedding day for some great photos.

And a grand finale of our two week honeymoon in Japan! It was a great chance to relax and be where we love most.

More detailed posts to come!

In case you didn't see the video I posted on Youtube....

My Kawaii Wedding blog posts:

My Kawaii Wedding videos: