Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Review: Infusion

Huge apologies for the mini-hiatus I have taken from this blog!  Now that I'm all done with my papers for school, I'm back in Japan to spend the holidays with my loved ones.  First order of business: food.  If you know me, I'm a huge foodie and the cuisine is one of my favorite parts of Japan.  Last night, my mother, her friend, Sue, and I went to Infusion, a French restaurant in Sakurashinmachi.  I always noticed it while walking to the station, but never had a chance to go.  What a disappointment that I hadn't ever eaten there until last night!  It was absolutely amazing!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Happy December! My Holiday Gift Guide

So it's finally December and I've started my holiday gift buying (UH-OH..). I know holiday shopping can be tricky and buying things for those girls and guys who have everything (= almost all my friend) will bring on those headaches. So, I'm here to try and help!

Your BFF, Sister, etc.

Personally, I know I'd be beyond stoked getting this for Christmas so I know I'm being biased but I can't imagine any girly girl who loves getting glammed up every once in a while not enjoying this palette.  The NAKED2 was just released today at but is already sold out, so keep your look out for their arrival at Sephora or Ulta. The original Naked Palette is still available so if your bestie still hasn't gotten her hands on it, it's a definite recommendation and a grade A gift for sure.

2. Gift Cards (various prices)
Jewelmint is a company that is run by Cher Coulter and Kate Bosworth that has original pieces of jewelry that show up in your "Show Room" each month, determined by a style quiz you take when you sign up.  If you join, each month you're charged $29.99 and can pick a piece of jewelry you like to be delivered to you.  If you like more than one, you're more than free to purchase more, and if you don't like anything, you can skip the month and use your credit on a different piece the next month. Giving a gift card would be a lovely opportunity for your friend, sister, bestie, whatever, to check it out and give it a shot.  There are several renditions of this website, such as (run by MK and Ashley Olsen), and (Jessica Simpson),, so those are options as well.

3. Hello Kitty Fisheye Camera ($60 + 20% off with FB20 code)
Last year for my birthday, my girlfriends got me the Fisheye 2 and I was ecstatic! For those shutterbugs out there, any lomography camera would be a fun and exciting gift. Look around Karmaloop and you'll find all kinds of gift ideas! Feel free to use the code to get 20% off your entire purchase. Grab something for your friend, and yourself. Double whammy!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Real Talk: Pretty Powerful

A couple months ago, my good friend Dayna convinced me to join a competition held by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.  I decided 'why not?' and entered to be Bobbi Brown's "Next Pretty Powerful Face" for Hawaii, messaged a few friends on Facebook and... won! So thank you if your were one of my friends who voted and are reading this!  A lot of them went above and beyond, posted it on their walls, sent it to family members, voted from different computers, etc.  I am so ecstatic!!  According to the founder, Bobbi, the Pretty Powerful campaign is:
Celebrating my belief that all women are pretty without makeup - and can be pretty powerful with the right makeup.  Beauty comes in all ages, colors, shapes and sizes.  It's not about looking like someone else or trying to be someone you're not.  It's about figuring out what works for you and making the best of what you've got.  Loving yourself is key - and makeup can help you get there. Pretty Powerful 2.0 is about being pretty.  It's about being confident.  And it's about being who you are.
I think the message is absolutely empowering to all women and I just felt compelled to blog about it.  I really believe that no matter how much make-up you put on, your inner-self will shine through no matter what.  Like in my Ugly on the Inside blogpost, I am a firm believer that before you work on your outer appearance, you have to work on your inner appearance.  I have met people who I thought were beautiful at first impression, but upon getting to know them, you start noticing that their inner personality really affects what they look like.  I don't know if any of this makes sense but you know when you meet a someone and their inner beauty really shines through? That's what I think everyone should strive for.  Make-up should simply be an enhancer, not something that changes who you look like completely.  My friend sent me a hilarious picture:

As funny as that is, it's pretty ridiculous.  I noticed that in Japan, a lot of girls look exactly the same, due to their make-up, hair, clothing, etc.  Why would you want to be a clone of everyone around you?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Beauty Gurus

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving - I know I did! So much to be thankful for; I am so blessed and could go on forever about all the blessings in my life but I'll keep it simple and saying I have an amazing family, great friends and am thankful for life in general.

My #1 guilty pleasure is watching beauty videos on YouTube.  First thing I do in the morning?  I check my  subscription box on my youtube account to see if there are any new videos. 15 minute videos? Yep, I will lay in bed to watch them before I start my day.  It's a bad habit but what can I say?  I love them!  Come January 1st, I'll be posting my own videos on YouTube over at my blog with Rio but that's a whole 'bother post I'll be doing later on :) Anyway, I just wanted to share two of my favorite gurus on YouTube.

1. Kandee Johnson
I know she's gotten a lot of bad press from people but she's just so darn adorable and I always love watching her videos - both on her makeup channel and on her blog channels as well. She's got such a bubbly personality and I always love waking up to see new videos from her.

2. Wayne Goss
Yep, he's a dude, and he might be gay...or straight... I can never tell with those British dudes but his tutorials and tips are always spot on - I learn something new from him every day.  Here's an example of one of his fabulous videos I watched today and love.  I think everyone should take a minute (or 9) to watch this video.

So that was just a list of two beauty gurus that I wanted to share. Who are your favorites and why? 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tokyo Dreamin'

As the days fly by me, I find myself constantly dreaming of the three weeks I'll be spending at home with the family.  The holidays always make me homesick as friends talk about plans with family, decorating their homes, and holiday movies start playing on TV. I am blessed in that I get to go home to see my family and friends in a few weeks, but doesn't change the fact that the only way I can talk to them at the moment is through Skype, e-mail and iMessage (thank you Mr. Jobs!). So, in order to torture myself more, I decided to post some of my favorite places I can't wait to return to with some of my favorite people.

1. My beautiful home
The photo is a little blurry but it's still one of my favorites. We had to downgrade to a little tree this year because of the new puppy, for the fear that he would eat the tree and decorations (!!!). Either way, the familiar smell of my home the minute I walk in the door after getting back from the airport is the best smell in the world.  Seeing my mom and dad when I walk out of baggage claim is also the best sight ever.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Real Talk: Ugly on the Inside

Image Courtesy of Flickr
The most important lesson I learned during my undergraduate years in California is to never doubt yourself. Ever since I was really young, I was always outgoing, a little weird, and confident in myself.  My parents always supported my eccentricity, and never made me feel that I should change who I was.  If you know me in real life, you know that I like to be silly, and I will never hold back on saying what's on my mind.  For the first few years of my college career, that part of me disappeared.  Because I doubted myself and listened to other people, instead of holding my head high and being proud of who I was.  So, I suppose this is a little story that I hope will touch some people out there who are doubting themselves, and holding back from who they really are because of what other people are saying.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: Panya Bistro

Image Courtesy of Joy of Cooking
For lunch yesterday, I went to Panya Bistro at the Ala Moana Center with a good family friend, Lauren, and I figured why not choose it as my first review here. Panya Bistro is one of my go-to places for a casual but "nice" lunch.  Located in the mall, it's usually pretty busy during lunch time, but I've been lucky most of the times I've gone as I've arrived just as a table opens up.  Their menu is pretty diverse and actually rather interesting.  I love their pupus, especially their karaage, wings and gyoza. Mmm. We got the karaage today to start, and share. Their tofu salad is exquisite, with a creamy goma (sesame) dressing, a healthy amount of tofu and sprouts (my favorite).  Today, I got the shrimp and avocado sandwich on a croissant, and Lauren got the coconut chicken curry, which I recommended.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Tiny Con of Living in a Tropical State

I would be lying if I said I don't love that Hawaii is warm basically all year around, but it's definitely a con for all fashion lovers who live here - especially those who sweat a lot.......... Ha. Kidding. Kind of.

Don't get me wrong - I love that I can sit around all day in my bikini after a day at the beach, or not feel the need to suck in my tummy after consuming a plate lunch full of kanak attack ensuing "local kine grindz" by wearing a flowy dress that doesn't restrict my breathing.  But, there's a little bit of heartache that is inevitable after watching Fall/Winter runway shows, fur coats on TV, and snow-covered pictures of the East Coast. I see girls at Ala Moana shopping center in coats, and boots, and can't help but wonder, "How the hell are you not sweating?" while I sit there in my maxi-dress and slippers (flip-flops).  I can't express how excited I am to go home to Tokyo over Christmas, and wear all those bulky sweaters and scarves that I didn't even bother bringing here, and to be reunited with my beloved leather jacket.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

I don't think it's just me but once October rolls around, time seems to fly so fast because you have so much fun. There is an exciting holiday each month - Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years - until January.  This year's Halloween was so ridiculously fun, as it was my first Halloween in Hawaii. I pulled a freshman year and wore three different costumes on three different nights. My favorite, by far, was dressing up as Wilma Flinstone, with Jack as Fred. So much fun! I started off the celebration on Friday, at Apartm3nt, with Elyse and Jack. A low-key night, spent mostly people watching, but it was fun nonetheless.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


So here it is, a fresh new start. You may have joined me from my previous blog, and if so - this is a continuation, and if not - welcome. This is my personal blog, which will consist of some fun pictures and stories from my life, along with other things I find interesting; such as recipes, reviews on everything from beauty, fashion, to restaurants, life questions that I probably will never come to a conclusion to, etc. I created this blog mainly to accompany a fashion & beauty blog that my friend and I are launching on January 1st, 2012 so look out for that! Other than that, I hope you enjoy your stay here and if you feel like it, leave me a comment, follow me, shoot me an e-mail, whatever! I hope you enjoy this journey with me.

xoxo, Tina