Friday, December 30, 2011

What I will try to live by...

2012 will be here soon, and I'm pretty excited! 2011 wasn't too bad for me (at least relatively speaking), but I sure hope 2012 will be better!

Every year, I follow the tradition of setting New Years resolutions, but they most likely won't work out - I make them in January and then forget about them a month later. /fail/

People say goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely), but since that never worked out for me, I'm going to do it a little differently this year.

Instead of specific goals, I'm going to set some general guidelines that I want to live by. I have a feeling that I will be less likely to forget them and they will stay at the back of my mind when the time comes and I need to make better judgements.

So here we go!

Guidelines to live by in 2012
♡ Gain more (work) experiences; try my best in everything.
♡ Cherish those who are important to me, while remembering my feelings matter too.
♡ To become a better person, be able to empathize and help those in need.
♡ 自分のペースで成長します。



I hope I will always be thankful, and have a lot of wonderful encounters in 2012!
Happy New Years, and have a good year!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Giving Something Back

As mentioned in my previous post, I've started volunteering at JSS.
So on Wednesday, I arrived at the office, thinking it's going to be a chill day since last time at orientation, the staff told me I'm just gonna be taking calls and stuff. Sounds chill right? I even brought a book with me!

JCCC - where the JSS office is located.

It was only Mr. and Mrs. Maekawa, and counselor Kuge-san at the office. Kuge-san was out most of the time, so basically I spent the whole day with Mr. and Mrs. Maekawa.
I took some calls, made some forms with this ancient edition of Microsoft Office /cries/, tallying volunteering hours of the year, stuff like that. At first I was so nervous for taking calls, 'cause I'm afraid the person on the line will speak Japanese to me and I wouldn't know how to answer - I'm not good with keigo (polite form of the language). Luckily, people who called can speak English for the most part, I was relieved /laughs/. I also met the craft club instructor (forgot her name), and helped her collect material fees from her class.

At lunch time, I ate with Mr. and Mrs. Maekawa. Volunteers have to bring in their own lunch since there's nothing nearby. At first it was kinda uneasy for me but they were really nice and talkative. They kept asking me questions about Chinese culture, and made me teach them Chinese. I think it's really hard for them to pronounce words in Chinese /especially Cantonese/, but it was quite fun.

In the afternoon, things got a bit more busy. Since it's near the holiday, JSS organized a holiday drive, where they take in donations, such as clothes, toys, non-perishable food etc, and give them to families in need. Aside from helping at the office, I also had to help with the drive.

All in all, during my entire time there, I didn't have a minute to spare! Although the work I was given wasn't that hard nor urgent, there were always stuff waiting for me to do. For a rare moment in my life, I feel helpful!
I feel really happy that I'm able to give something back to the community, while gaining some work experience. I'm also really glad that I have this opportunity to practice Japanese.

As a little bonus, I found out that JCCC is going to be holding a double screening of Gantz and Gantz: Perfect Answer in February. Although I've seen the movies already, I was excited to see the posters and trailers #fangirling

let's bust some aliens!

They even had promotional cards for people to take home - of course I took one home...okay, maybe two.

I enjoyed my day volunteering at JSS. Furthermore, I've been asked to go back again next week. I guess that means I wasn't completely useless afterall /laughs/

Saturday, December 17, 2011

DOG biscuits?!

Life has been pretty chilled for the past week. I'm already a week into my winter break :)

Other than farming (on pigg life - a super addictive game), watching Misfits (I'm nearly done season 2), I'm gonna be starting volunteer at JSS next week. Hopefully this is a good start for building my resume.

Trying to find something interesting to do, I've baked a batch of yuzu flavor cookies yesterday. I wanted them to look cute and stuff but the only cookie cutter I had was a bone shaped one. They turned out pretty cute (and yummy), but I also gotta day, they looked like dog biscuits! /laughs/It would be the perfect size for their cute little mouths :D

Living by myself this year, I've gotten really interested in cooking. It's a nice little hobby and I love inviting friends over for meals. It's rather satisfying when they like what they are eating (or do they? Hm...).

This year is almost coming to an end, it hasn't been an easy year, but hopefully next year will be better. *cross my fingers*

ready to be baked!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Beautiful Days in Japan - Osaka Romanesque 2

Time for another Osaka Romanesque post.

Read part one here:


Shinsaibashi (心斎橋) is one of my favourite shopping districts in Osaka.
For my last two trips to Osaka, my accomodations were within walking distance to this shopping heaven.
Shinsaibashi is a street of stores (商店街) running from north to south in the Namba area of Osaka, parallel to the main street/subway line, Midousuji. There is a variety of shops that will satisfy everybody's shopping desire. Whether or not you have a big budget for shopping, you are bound to find something that fits your price range. My favourite shops found on this street were Samantha Thavasa, Collect point, and of course, the Disney Store.

 Samantha Thavasa is a popular Japanese brand that specializes in bags, purses, wallets, and bag related accessories for girls. Since they don't have a lot of shops overseas (some lines do have a few), I highly recommend checking it out, especially if you are into Japanese fashion. Collect point is a fashion store that sells a variety of brands, such as Lowrys Farm, Heather, and Jeanasis. Their clothings are popular among young people who like a relaxed lifestyle. Last but not least, I definitely have to visit the Disney Store whenever I go to Japan. They sell the cutest Disney merchandise that captures the heart of not only kids, but also young females.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures while I was shopping - too busy looking and going crazy over everything./laughs/

However, I do have a picture of the hojicha ice cream I had there:
so yummy~
When talking about Shinsaibashi, another street must also be mentioned. Dotonbori(道頓堀), is a street that is filled with souvenir shops, restaurants, and takoyaki stalls, that runs adjacent to Shinsaibashi. I love eating takoyaki, a famous street snack that originates from the Kansai area of Japan. I often dream about owning a takoyaki griller and having a takoyaki home party. However, since I am yet to own one, I always eat them when I'm in Osaka.

takoyaki bought at doutonbori

I took quite a lot of pictures of Doutonbori, 'cause the shops all look really interesting and colourful :D

It looks especially spectacular at night when all the billboards light up.
interesting billboards/displays at Doutonbori
Landmark of Doutonori

night view of Doutonbori-gawa (Doutonbori River)

part of a summer festival happening at Doutonbori River.

breathtaking nightview ♡

EXILE 魂 billboard at Doutonbori x Shisaibashi ♥♥♥

The Shinsaibashi and Doutonbori area was the place I frequented the most during my trips to Osaka. It definitely became my neighborhood in this foreign land.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


As a loyal EXILE/ATSUSHI fan, of course I keep myself updated with their news.
Since the beginning of the year, I've been speculating that they were planning to enter the Chinese market. It certainly appears so, because of some awesome news I've been hearing lately.

1.) Jay Chou x EXILE collab - Jay Chou made a guest appearance at one of the EXILE live tour 2011 Tower of Wish shows. Atsushi x Jay Chou...EPIC!

2.) A short version of Atsushi's itsuka kitto (相信有一天), featuring David Tao, recently got released! What's more, Atsushi sang some parts in CHINESE...but David sounded funny in some parts :P

3.) Atushi's releasing a Chinese album, collaborating with various Chinese artists, Miriam Yeung, Na Ying, and of course Jay Chou and David Tao. He will also be remaking Wang Fei's hit song, 我願意.

and there are also rumours that Atsushi is planning to spend next year living in China to learn Chinese, though it hasn't been decided whether he would be in HK or Shanghai.

I'm so excited that Atsushi (and EXILE) is reaching to the Chinese audience because that means I have a better chance of seeing him live. Although a selfish part of me is worried that this arrangement will affect his activity within EXILE. I really like seeing him as a part of the group. Also, the even-more-selfish-Japanese-geek part of me don't really want to see him become mainstream in China/HK. But whatever happens, I will still whole-heartedly support Atsushi in the future. #truefan /laughs/

Friday, December 9, 2011

EXILE Live Tour 2011 - Tower of Wish Haul #2

I received my second EXILE goods order today ヾ(o´∀`o)ノ!!
So of course instead of studying for my exam tomorrow, I have to make a blog post for it /laughs/

I had to go to the post office to pick it up since I missed the mail man yesterday.
Been stuck at home /trying/ to study for the past couple of days, so I felt like putting some make up on, and dressing up a bit (not really lol) even though I'm just going to the post office. That will of course means some self-cam time! アハハヾ(≧∪≦*)ノ〃

giving Duffy some love ♡

hipster glasses ♡

I also mailed out some Christmas postcards for my friends in Japan and Korea.
After I got home, I couldn't wait a second longer and I unboxed my package./laughs/

I only got 3 things this time, a hoodie, Exbear (produced by Akira), and Atsushi's Compassion. ♡
Atsushi looks so cool on the cover /giggles/.
I have yet to listen to the songs, but I will do that tomorrow - after my exam - I have a feeling I would need it to make me feel better about the exam.

Onto the pictures >>


EXbears kawaii (●♡∀♡))ヾ☆*。
wearing my hoodie & Atsushi's Compassion.

My love for EXILE grows everyday. As if dreaming about them myself is not enough, I even got Bella to dream about watching EXILE on TV with me :P Oops~ maybe too much fangirling going on hahaha.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Beautiful Days in Japan - Osaka Romanesque 1

I think I'm going to start a series of "Beautiful Days in Japan" posts,  since I want to document my happy happy time travelling in Japan. I would've organized it in chronological order, but since I went to the Kansai area for the past 2 summers (2010 and 2011), there are a lot of places I went to on both trips. It would be kind of redundant to post those places twice. Well in those cases, I will probably combine the two experiences in one post. Also, there are just too many pictures so I gotta do it one day (or one place) at a time.

These posts are by no means in any order /laughs/.

To begin, I will start of by introducing a song by Kanjani8, the j-pop group that got me obsessed with Japan.
All seven members of Kanjani8, or Eito/エイト (eight), originated from Kansai. Although Kansai people are often perceived at loud and rude, Eito has always been proud of their origin, and they even have several songs dedicated to their Kansai pride.

The song I'm going to talk about is Osaka Romanesque (大阪ロマネスク),which deeply expresses their love to their home. In the song, a few places in Kansai (Osaka and Kobe) are mentioned, and while I was travelling in Kansai, I felt like I was mentally checking off the places in the song as I visit them.


The first place mentioned in the song was 梅田駅(Umeda station). In my 2010 trip, I met up with Angel at Umeda (specifically at the station /laughs/). We grabbed lunch at Hep Five, a mall that mainly targets young people (teens and young adults). We had udon, and then took some プリクラ (sticker photos). We walked into a few stores but didn't buy much.We procceeded to another mall called 'EST' nearby. I didn't buy anything there, since I was still overwhelmed with everything, and I was under the impression that nothing will fit me... I'm not a typical skinny Asian afterall (´ω`。). I had a lot of fun watching Angel try on clothes though. Everything was so cute :)

The infamous Hep Five whale installation
EST - mall for cheaper fashion goods

Angel left for her yoga session after shopping at EST, and I returned to Hep Five to explore a bit more on my own. I also had another mission in Umeda. I needed to find the legendary Rilakkuma Store! I had the address, so I was just walking everywhere looking for it. First I needed to find Hankyuu Sanban Gai (阪急三番街), where the store is said to be located. It didn't take long to find it, and I just had to walk around a bit more to figure out the exact location. I felt like I was in heaven when I reached the store!

roaming around in Umeda, trying to find the Rilakkuma Store
so many bears ❤

you'll be greeted by these cuties when you get to the store :)

I was a happy girl when I left that store with my bag of Rilakkuma goods. o(*⌒―⌒*)oにこっ♪

I returned to the store the following year (2011) for another Rilakkuma goods haul. This time I went with my parents so I didn't have a lot of time to shop. I just tried to grab everything I wanted as fast as I can. /laughs/
I also bought some things for my cousin this time cause she told me she likes them too.
Rilakkuma Store (2011)
For the 2011 trip, after shopping at Rilakkuma store, my dad wanted to find a cafe to sit down. He couldn't walk for long due to his health conditions. So I picked a place for me to get lunch and for my parents to eat dessert (they ate a late breakfast while I was getting ready at the hotel). I picked omurice again even though I had it just the day before.

omurice with hamburger patty
This one turned out to be more "western style", which was what I had in mind when I think about Omurice. The one I had the day before was more "japanese style", which was still good, just different from what I expected. More on it later.

Mom and dad had dessert; mom wanted shaved ice (カキ氷) while dad wanted icecream with waffles. Shaved ice wasn't on the menu but it was shown at the front of the cafe. My mom, who didn't know Japanese, tried to copy down the name on the tag next to the shaved ice display that she wanted so I can order for her. I successfully ordered it for her but turns out she copied the wrong one. The one she wanted was red but she gave me the name of the blue one. Haha oh well~

Mom's kakigori
dad's waffle. yum ❤

After the meal, I headed over to Hep Five - my parents followed me there - but after a while they got bored and left (not before they paid for me at Beams though /laughs/). I had plans to go to Kyocera Dome (more on it later) to buy Arashi concert goods later in the afternoon so I shopped at Hep Five until then. Bought some on sale pieces (they were a bargain!) at a clothing store and roamed 'round the Disney store - I had to control myself not to buy things there (oh it was so hard). I bought some really cute socks at  a 315yen store, and headed to Kyocera Dome at around 4pm.

There are a few more places for the Osaka Romanesque mini series (and even more Beautiful Days in Japan posts) coming up, so stay tuned!