January 28, 2013


This week has been a whirlwind but the best whirlwind I've ever been a part of.  More on that later.  Now for some clothes.


Love this color!  Sweater & necklace Kohl's, skirt & tights Target, boots Chiyoda.


Sweater & skirt Goodwill, boots Kohl's, tights Daiei.


Shirt Target, sweater Kohl's, jeans Colleen Collection (Old Navy), boots Couripie.


Scarf Target, sweater Goodwill, jeans Collen Collection (Target), boots Couripie.


Sweater Goodwill, shirt Target, scarf Marche, jeans Karen Collection (Target), boots Couripie.


Sweater Kohl's, tank H&M, shorts Goodwill, tights Daiei, boots Chiyoda.

That's it.  I'm tired but happy.  Hope you are too!  (Happy that is.)

January 24, 2013

The Puffy Coat...

You might (then again maybe not) remember me talking about this fashion trend when I visited Japan back in March.

Well, ladies and gentlemen the puffy coat has returned to Japan for another winter season. 

Here are some puffy coats for sale in Japan:

They come in any color you like.

I call it the puffy coat.  Some call it a down jacket.  Either way, I don't own one.  I've tried them on and I don't think they look good on me at all.  Now this is just how I feel about them on me.  On others they don't look so ridiculous or hideous.  Maybe I'm just not meant for the puffy coat. 

Regardless, I hit the mean streets of Tokyo to find out why so many people like this fashion trend.  (I asked everyone the same question: "Why do you like the puffy coat?")

First is Stephen:

Stephen had this to say about his puffy coat: "It makes me feel manly and warm.  It makes my muscles look bigger than they actually are."

Next is Max:

Max had this to say about his puffy coat: "Because it's cool.  It makes me cooler than I am.  I don't care about being warm."


Ben likes pinnipeds as much as he likes saying the word pinnipeds.  Ben wanted everyone to know that he doesn't discriminate where coats are concerned.  "I don't just like puffy coats but it's a bit like taking a blanket with you."  He also wants you to know that "The hood rim is not real fur."

Next is the lovely Katt:

Katt's puffy coat was purchased at Neiman Marcus in Las Vegas and cost her around $900.  She had this to say about her puffy coat: "It makes me look hot and compact."  I was surprised to see she was wearing a sleeveless shirt underneath.  She said it kept her warm enough that she didn't need long sleeves.

Ed was happy to model for me:

Ed is modeling the lesser popular puffy vest.  I honestly don't see many of these.  He had this to say about his puffy vest "It squashes up into nothing and fits in your bag.  It's incredibly light and warm."  He demonstrated this for me.  It really can get quite tiny.

Come to think of it, I have seen someone else with a puffy vest:

Marty McFly, the original trendsetter.

Next is the beautiful Vrusheli:

Vrusheli had this to say about her puffy coat: "It keeps you warm.  It's snug and not heavy."  I do love the vibrant red.

Erika also modeling a puffy coat:

Erika had this to say about her coat: "It's warm and I have a lot of different colors and styles.  I like matching them with my outfits.  No particular reason though, just because it's warm."

Next is the most adorable person ever, Mamina:

She's so adorable that it took three blurry pictures of her to get a good shot because she wouldn't stop giggling.  Adorable.  Mamina was attracted to American brand A&F because of their "sexy models."  She purchased her coat in Ginza.  I think "sexy models" was her main reason but she also stated "because it's warm."

Phil also has a puffy coat:

Explaining this blog to Phil was an awkward experience.  He mostly just looked at me like I was crazy.  Phil said "It's warm.  This one in particular is waterproof.  Little pockets kinda zip up like a tent."  He demonstrated this for me.

Scott did not want to model his puffy coat:

This explains the look on his face.  When asked why he liked the puffy coat Scott answered "No reason in particular."  I'm sure he's still sore about being featured here.

Here are some random Tokyoites in puffy coats:

(The elusive ombre puffy coat)

People coordinate these like they are a part of their outfit and not just a outerwear.

Here are some more puffy coats for sale:

The puffy coat was also featured in New Year's 福袋 offered by Uniqlo:

I did not buy it.

So what have we learned?  The puffy coat is great for braving a Japanese winter as well as a fashion statement.  Am I sold?  I don't know.  For now, I've yet to find a puffy coat that looks good on me.  you're welcome to take me shopping to try and change my mind.  I do love shopping after all.

So what do you think?  Do you have a puffy coat?  What are your thoughts on the puffy coat?

(Special thanks to Stephen, Max, Ben, Katt, Ed, Erika, Mamina, Phil, Scott and Vrusheli who let me photograph and quote them for this blog.)

January 23, 2013

What do you like about Japan?

"What do you like about Japan?"

"Why do you like Japan?"

I get asked one version of these same questions ALL.  THE.  TIME.

Is it just me or are these questions weird?  I mean in my experience there is not American equivalent.  I don't ask foreigners on American soil why they like America.  Do you?

My major problem with these questions is that the people asking them expect only one answer.  Responders can say only one "manga, anime, culture, kimono, Japanese food, convenience, Shinkansen, shrines, temples, etc."  The reason that this is a problem is that for me there is not just one answer.  I really can't pinpoint one reason why I love Japan.  Can you?

When I answer "everything" this just confuses people.  They can't seem to understand that I like "everything" about Japan.  (Okay maybe not all the ridiculous paperwork and the occasional clinging to outdated traditions involving said paperwork.)  So, the real answer is "Of course, I don't like everything about Japan.  I like many many things about Japan.  I can't pinpoint any one thing I like about Japan."  It's pretty hard to communicate this in English let alone in Japanese.  Sheesh!  Confusing!

I've actually been working on this blog for a while now.  I've since thought about a great answer to that question.  (I tested the theory out this weekend while I was out with friends.)  What is one thing that I really love about Japan that I never had in my home state?  The answer would be プリクラ。

It's so unique to Japan (even though I know they have it in other countries and even the US.)   Plus, because I live in Japan I get first crack at new machines.  I don't really make New Year's Resolutions but if I did my only one would be DO MORE プリクラ!

So I was asked again "What do you like about Japan?"  (It makes me wonder if they teach this in English class as a question to ask anyone and everyone who speaks English.)  I tried out my new found answer and my friend laughed.  We decided to do プリクラ together and hopefully soon.

Anyway, this is the answer I came up with.  Now it's your turn.  What about you?

What do you like about Japan?

January 22, 2013

Lost in Shinjuku...

I can't even tell you how many times I've been lost in Shinjuku.  That place is a maze!

On Friday, I met up with a friend to go to a meetup.  (By the way, if you move to a new place, join meetup.com.  Seriously, I've met so many great people already!  You know who you are.)

Shinjuku Station itself can be quit confusing, but I think I've got that mapped out pretty well.  Now the street is an entirely different story.  Shinjuku is cool but it freaks me out.  I really like Shinjuku-Sanchome and I mainly hang out (read: shop) there.  I tend to avoid the main drag of Shinjuku at all costs.  Though riding (read: walking) my bike through there was kind of cool.

Back to the story, my friend and I armed with ambition and iPhones made our way through Shinjuku heading toward the designated blue dot which lead us right into a deserted alley.  For real, there was a warehouse and nothing else.  I think we manged to find the one not busy place in Shinjuku.  We headed another direction which lead us away from the blue dot.  Shit.  We walked all around asking anyone who would help us where this mystery place was.  We took a taxi.  We asked a karaoke employee who directed us right back to the deserted alley.  Finally, we just gave up and went to Hub.  What we learned the next day was that she gave us the wrong address.

In the end, it was okay because Hub is a good place to meet people, both foreigners and 日本人 who speak English.  (Good advice for you travelers out there.)  Also, it's a chain, so you can usually find one just about anywhere in Tokyo.  I recommend the spicy fried potatoes.  So we made some new friends and created our own version of meetup for the night.  I thought I was outgoing but my friend so much more than me and by the end of the night we had some eight new friends.  All in all it was a good night so I'm glad we got lost in Shinjuku.

January 21, 2013

Lipton Tea...

Woo sorry about the lack of updates on this feature!

I have three new teas to tell you about this time.

First is from the 50/50 series, Tea & Nectar:

Seriously!  The 50/50 series is the best created.  And the nectar is peach!  Could this be any better? Totally made the Top 5 list.

Next is from the Premium Series Double Shot Luxurious Milk Tea:

More like punch you in the throat milk tea.  I did not like this.  Not at all.  I am not sure if this lil carton was meant to be 2 servings but I drank nearly the whole thing and felt a bit sick.  It's heavy and not in a Back to the Future way.  Definitely not recommended.

Finally is Muscat Tea:

Now I love grapes but I don't like muscat.  Seriously, I have never liked muscat anything so I was not surprised that I didn't like this.  But hey, if you like muscat give it a go.

The list:
  1. Milk Tea
  2. Maple Milk Tea
  3. Lemon Tea
  4. Peach Tea
  5. Earl Grey Milk Tea
  6. Green Apple Tea
  7. 50/50 Tea & Lemonade
  8. Tropical Fruit Tea
  9. Chamomile Citrus Tea
  10. Roast Milk Tea
  11. Jasmine Lemon Peel
  12. Grape Tea
  13. Straight Tea
  14. Apple Tea
  15. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  16. Matcha Milk
  17. Tea Cappuccino
  18. Mikan Tea
  19. 50/50 Tea & Nectar
  20. Luxurious Milk Tea
  21. Muscat Tea
The Top Five:
  1. OG Milk Tea
  2. 50/50 Tea Lemonade
  3. 50/50 Tea & Fruit Punch
  4. 50/50 Tea & Nectar
  5. Jasmine Lemon Peel  
Seriously 21 teas!  That's my age.  ;)

January 20, 2013

Weekly wear...

Hey!  This week a lot of things and stuff happened!  I got lost too!  That's for another post though.

Now here's some outfits!

Sunday (day):

Dress Treasure Factory Style, leggins Kohl's, boots Chiyoda, necklace Lia Sophia.

Sunday (night):

Dress & leggins Kohls, sweater Uniqlo, boots Chiyoda, necklace made by me.


Sweater Goodwill, shirt Daiei, jeans Colleen Collection (Old Navy), necklace Kohl's.


Sweater Treasure Factory Style, Cowl Neck Sweater & boots Kohl's, jeans Karen Collection (Target).


(I was told I look like the ocean today.  I'll take is as a compliment.)  Sweater & shorts Goodwill, tights Daiei, boots Chiyoda, shirt & necklace Kohl's.

Friday (day):

Boots, shirt & pants Kohl's, sweater eBay.

Friday (night):

Shirt made by me, pants H&M, boots Kohl's, necklace Honey's.

This week I'm thankful for meeting new friends and having fun times.

I'm also thankful for my new follower Miki!  I hope you like it here!

Stay warm out there!

January 14, 2013

Tokyo has a snow day!

The weather forecast said some awful rain was in store for Tokyo today.  By noon, that rain had morphed into beautiful snow.  Maybe you know this about me but I am from the desert.  It doesn't snow in the desert. 

At first, I hid out in my apartment and took a ton of pictures but then I went down to the ground level to get a better view of my neighborhood in a whole new light.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

It has since stopped snowing but I am still bundled in layers, hiding inside and cooking chili.  The rooftops in my neighborhood are still glorious white.  Snow is such a beautiful thing but it made my life for a moment seem surreal.  I mean, I live in Japan.  It's snowing outside.  These kinds of things never happen to me!  I do hope though, that if this is a dream, I never wake up.

Stay warm out there!

January 12, 2013

My week in clothes...

Hi everyone!  I've been busy this week.  It's back to my regular routine plus cramming as much fun and new people into a week as humanly possible.  I've met some great people this week.  Maybe a boyfriend will come along next.  ;)

Anyway, this is not about my social life but clothes.  Despite the awful cold, I think I managed to be quite fashionable this week.


Dress Green Parks Topic, leggins Kohl's, shirt Target, boots Chiyoda.


Sweater Target, shirt Uniqlo, jeans Colleen Collection (Target), boots Couripie.


Sweater Green Parks Topic, scarf Goodwill, jeans Karen Collection (Target), boots Kohl's, necklace Forever 21.


So I've had this skirt forever.  Never worn it.  It's so hard to coordinate orange without looking like Halloween.  I think I did a great job with gray.  Sweater Goodwill, skirt H&M, tights Daiei, boots Kohl's, necklace made by me.


Sweater Wal-Mart, skirt Goodwill, tights Daiei, legwarmers Kohl's boots Crocs.


I think I purchased this dress when I first moved to Japan.  This is the first time I've worn it.  I may have been too fancy last night but hey whatever.  Dress H&M, tights Daiei, boots Kohl's, necklace Payless.

I hope you had a lovely week!  Stay warm!