Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Best College Kid Food Ever: Ramen

As a kid I have to say that I sure did live the good life.  Theeennn, I made the transition into college and a lot changed.  

My first year of college I was struggling to find food for my dorm room that was cheap and filling.  My friend finally let me in on a secret: Ramen.

Ramen is a Japanese noodle dish and is probably the most popular food among college students.  It's uber cheap (less than $1 for a pack of six) and is totally filling.  The best part is that it only takes like three minutes to prepare!

It's also a popular food among my friends and I for when we come back from a long night out on the town.  If ya know what I'm sayin'.  *nudge, nudge*


Imports Rock: Japanese Casual Wear = Uniqlo

Uniqlo is Japan's leading clothing retail chain in both profits and sales.  Not only does the company operate overseas, but they have stores right here in the United States.

Uniqlo has the most bomb basics.  They are mostly known for their t-shirts, tank tops and other basic apparel.  The store also specializes in graphic tees featuring up and coming artists.
The first time I visited Uniqlo was last year while I was living in New York.  I was totally blown away.  The store is sleek in appearance and the merch was amazing.  Not only do the clothes look amazing, but they are made to last.   

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Japanese Style: Cell Phone Charms

My style could best be described as a little bit ridiculous, with a splash of over the top with a whole lot of gaudy embellishment.  With that said, I will forever be in love with the cell phone charm trend that originated in Japan.

On most cell phones you can find a little spot for cell phone charms.  These charms can come in any size, shape, form, color and material imaginable.

The best part about this trend is that you can find cell phone charms anywhere. You can buy them online, in clothing stores and even your local drug stores.  You can be as simple or as over the top as you want.

I personally like large, obnoxious charms since it makes it easier to find my cell in my purse annndddd because that's just my steez!  HOLLA!!  

Character of the Week: Cinnamoroll

Cinnamoroll is yet another Sanrio character!  This little puppy is snow white and loves cinnamon rolls.

One day while the owner of Cafe' Cinnamon was outside, Cinnamoroll floated by.  It was on this day when the owner of the cafe and the tiny pup met.  

The owner decided to name the pup Cinnamoroll because of Cinn's love for the owner's pastries and his tail that actually curls like a cinnamon roll.

Cinnamoroll became Cafe' Cinnamon's official mascot.  When he isn't napping on the cafe's terrace, you can fine Cinn floating around town looking for adventures.

Monday, November 10, 2008

TREND ALERT: Sushi Restaurants

My boyfriend has to be the least creative person i've ever met when it comes to cool ideas for dates.  I have to say that he finally came through in the date department when he took me to a sushi joint.  His trendiness caught me completely off guard.  

The more i talk to my girl friends, the more I've noticed a pattern.  In the last few months one of the most popular places to take your partner on a date is to a sushi place.  

Not only is Japanese food super yummy, but it is totally affordable.  The settings are usually very serene and sometimes even romantic.  Perfect for a date.  Some sushi restaurants even feature a bar area or a habachi grill where you get to watch the chefs do their thang.  

Where else could you get food, ambiance and entertainment all in the same place?  My personal favorite restaurant is Sushi Yama in Boca.    

Pokemon...Gotta Catch Em All!!

Ok, so anyone who grew up in the 90's has gotta remember Pokemon.  

Pokemon is a media franchise owned by the Japanese company Nintendo.  Originally released as a series of Game Boy role-playing video games, Pokemon has since become the second most successful game based media franchise in the world.

Pokemon the series follows a young boy named Ash and his small group of friends.  Ash's first Pokemon, or pocket monster, is Pikachu (who is so super cute).  The show chronicles Ash's journey to becoming a Pokemon Master.

The franchise has recently seen a re-surge of popularity when Hot Topic stores started to carry Pokemon merchandise.  They carry everything from slippers to wrist bands.  Just like the show says...GOTTA CATCH EM ALL...POKEMON!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

It's All About the Momoberry Bling

Recently, Sanrio has released a brand new shopping experience. Momoberry, is a new sector of Sanrio that features accessories, clothing, Hello Kitty products, and even an exclusive line of fragrances and eyewear.  

The only Momoberry store is located in the heart of Los Angeles, but anything that is available in the store is also available online.  SO CONVENIENT!

This is a more sophisticated side of the Sanrio brand, which features finer materials, like leather, and more crazy embellishments.   

The Horror Movie!!! The Horror Movie!!!!

Halloween is almost here and it only felt right to base a post around something Halloween-y.  

Most of the great horror movies of my time have originated in Japan. Godzilla first arrived on the silver screen in 1954, and since then has appeared in 28 films!  Busy dino-lizard-thing!

Then there is the movie The Ring, which is a remake of a Japanese film called Ringu.  Both movies are based off of the same novel by Koji Suzuki.

One of my personal favorite remakes is the movie Dark Water. Originally a Japanese film, the movie is about floating water.  Spooky, I know.  Don't be scared, it's only a movie!

This year, i plan on honoring Halloween by watching some of my favorite horror movies, and then watching their Japanese originals.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Video Gaming Killed the Radio Star?

One of the biggest trends in the last five years has got to be video gaming, especially new and improved gaming systems. I'm not much of a gamer myself, but I am totally freakin' obsessed with the Nintendo Wii.

The system itself costs about $250, but it is totally worth it. The Wii is the most interactive gaming system I've ever played. It forces the user to get up and get active.

One of the best features about the Wii is that you can connect to the Internet and download old school Nintendo games like the original Super Mario Bros.

The Wii takes the old and combines it with the new, encompassing everything in between. I give this system two very enthusiastic thumbs up!

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Art of Layering

Hot on the streets of Harajuku is the art of layering clothing.  I'm a huge fan of this trend because I think it adds a whole new dimension to an outfit that might otherwise be...well...BLASE'.

The term layering refers to putting one article of clothing on top of another.  This could mean putting a black t-shirt on top of a longer grey tank top.  It might be putting a green sock on top of a pink sock.  

The main reason I love layering is because it allows for self expression. So, knock yourself out and go layer crazy.  Go on wit yo bad self!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to Get Your Hair Super Duper Straight

One of the biggest crazes in the beauty industry right now is pin straight hair.  I don't know if any of you are like me, but i have wavy, coarse, puffy hair.  Basically, think of the complete opposite of soft, straight hair and that's what I have.

Also known as thermal reconditioning, Japanese hair straightening is a method of permanently straightening human hair.

Chemicals are applied to the hair, which is then ironed in sections.  The hair is then rinsed and blow dried.  This entire process could take anywhere from two to eight hours depending on the length and thickness of the hair.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Japan-Ify Your Flash Drives

As the mascot for Japan's NHK television station, Domo Kun has turned into a celebrity all his own.  His fame grew so much that his popularity crossed over into the United States.

Today, Domo can be found on virtually any product including notebooks, T-shirts, mugs, pens, and even flash drives.

I'm a total computer geek, so when I learned that I could buy a flash drive that looked like one of my favorite Japanese characters...I TOTALLY FREAKED!

The flash drive is limited edition and holds one gig of memory.  It's pre-loaded with icons, animated shorts, a sound application and wallpapers.  You can find the drives at your local hot topic.

JapanLA aka The Best Online Store Ever

One day while i was online stalking one of my favorite Internet celebrities, Hanna Beth, I saw a link to JapanLA in one of her blogs. Like myself, Hanna is very into the Japanese urban counter culture.  I linked myself to JapanLA and was utterly amazed.

This is an online site where you can buy anything your Japanese loving heart desires.  They have everything from Gloomy Bear to Super Mario Bros. phone charms.  

Some of the items are really cheap, while the site also specializes in some of the more expensive imports, like the Tokidoki Sanrio collaboration.

The site is constantly being updated (I would know since I'm on it like, every day) and the amount of shipping is a small price to pay for the super cute things i get in the mail.


Friday, October 24, 2008

Charmmy Kitty, Not To Be Confused with Hello Kitty

Ok, so it really peeves me when people confuse Hello Kitty with Charmmy Kitty.  Charmmy is a white persian cat that Hello Kitty's papa gave to her as a gift.  

Charmmy is a really obedient pet and always listens to what Hello Kitty has to say.  Charmmy is most often seen wearing a lace ribbon and a necklace that holds the key to Hello Kitty's jewelry box.

C.K. loves anything that's bright and sparkly (just like me).  She's just precious!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tate's Comics, Toys and More?! Neva Hear of 'em

Way back in the day, when i started to get into all of these Japanese nick-nacks I learned early on that it was EXXTREEEMEEELLYYY difficult to find the things i wanted.  I could never find Gloomy Bear, and forget about Tokidoki figurines.

Fast-forward to the present.  I currently live in the oh-so-lovely city of Boca Raton and I have found the answers to all of my problems (insert cheering and applause).  Yes, I said it, and there is no need to thank me.  No more going online to order things and paying a gazillion dollars in shipping.  Tate's has come to the rescue!

Tate's has everything from Pocky to FriendsWithYou figurines.  Located in Lauderhill, it's about 30 minutes from the Boca Raton FAU campus.  NOT TOO SHABBY!!!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Inked Up

I have 11 tattoos and have quite a few friends that stick needles in people for a living. According to them, one of the most popular trends in tattoos right now is the use of Japanese symbols and pictures.

The thing about the Japanese inspired tattoos is that each symbol has a meaning and each pictures stands for something.  This makes it super easy for people to personalize the art.

Some of the most popular Japanese tattoos usually involve the use of a dragon, a coy fish or the Kanji symbols.

I'm a big fan of tattoos and any type of self expression.  I was actually thinking of getting a Japanese tattoo soon.  SHHHH, don't tell my mother!!!

Check out this clip from Miami Ink.


Monday, October 6, 2008

Best Candy Ever!!!!

One of my favorite things in the world is candy.  There's just something so nostalgic about sucking on a lollipop or taking that first bite into a Wonka Bar.

The last time my dad visited Japan, he brought back a bunch of Japanese candies.  

I love the candy from overseas because they always come in exotic flavors like pineapple and banana.  B-A-N-A-N-A-S (sorry for that random Gwen Stefani outburst).

The best part about the Japanese candy though, is that FYE recently started carrying these candy products along with Pocky.  Who knew?! My personal favorite brands are Kasugai and Meiji.  


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Goin' Green while Stayin Trendy

One of the biggest trends to sweep the world has been that whole Go Green campaign. Basically, the campaign is aimed at environmental awareness in hopes to clean up, or at least maintain, an eco-friendly world.

At the forefront of all this environmental hoopla is, of course, the Japanese.  Honda was the first car company to release the Hybrid.

The Hybrid is an environmentally responsible car that offers an alternative to fuel.

Not only are these cars super good for the environment and totally affordable, but they are super sleek looking.

Honda offers the Hybrid in three different styles:


Jewelry Galore

Tarina Tarantino is not only known for her bright pink hair, but also for her amazing jewelry designs.  Worn by celebrities like songstress Katy Perry and alternative model Audrey Kitching, Tarantino's jewelry is known for her brightness, shimmer and originality.

Recently, Tarantino has teamed up with both Sanrio and Kid Robot to create some totally rad pieces.

The Hello Kitty collection is called The Pink Head Collection which features Ms. Kitty with Tarantino's signature fushia hair.  So super cute.

The Kid Robot pieces feature the use of the Dunny and Munny Japanese toys.  I have three words honey, FAB U and LOUS.

Adorned with Swarovski crystals, you can get bracelets, necklaces, earrings and even tiaras. You can't go wrong.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

It's-a Me-a...Mario!

Making his video game debut in Donkey Kong in 1981, Mario is one of the most recognizable video game characters of all time.  Mario games have sold more than 200 million copies worldwide. DAAYYYUUMMMM that's a lot of copies!

Mario himself is a short, stout Italian man usually seen wearing a red hat, shirt and blue overalls.

As Nintendo's mascot, Mario is said to be the most famous video game character in history.  He was even recognized by Guiness World Records who awarded him "Most Prolific Video Game Character."

Maybe even slightly more popular than the Mario character is his theme music, created by Koji Kondo, a Japanese composer.  The beats and beeps go unrecognized by gamers and non-gamers alike.  

I must say, that as a non-gamer i L-O-V-E this theme song.  It's even set as my text message ringtone!


If You Don't Mind Dubbed Movies...

My first year of college i had a roommate who was obsessed with anime films.  I wasn't so into it UNTIL she made me sit down and watch Spirited Away.

Directed by famed animator Hayao Miyazaki, Sprited Away tells the story of a girl, Chihiro, who is forced to move into a new town by her parents.  On the way to her new home her father makes a wrong turn somewhere and they end up in some abandoned theme park.

I'm NOT going to give the rest of the movie away, but just know that it involves a witch, some dragons and a series of hardships that Chihiro has to go through in order to prevent herself from disappearing. Spooky, i know.

Check out the trailor for yourself.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Oh Girl! I Just Got My Nails Did!


One of the biggest trends of the year in Japan is nail art.  Basically, any polishing you do to your nails is considered "nail art," but the Japanese have taken it one step further.

If you were to walk down the streets of Harajuku, and could stay focused long enough to take a gander at the nails of some of the girls, you would completely understand.  The Japanese have started up the trend of using nail decals, nail charms, appliques, and even hand drawing little pictures on each nail.

Some of the nails are so ornate that the girls purposely get super long acrylic nails put on so they have more surface area!


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Where's my Shiseido Lipstick?

Okay people, get ready for a super short, quick, one minute history. Believe me, you'll thank me when I'm done.

Shiseido is a make-up company that was founded way back in the day (1872 to be exact), in Ginza.  This is one of the cities in Japan known specifically as a culture and fashion hub. In 1917, Shiseido released their first face powders revolutionizing the way Japanese geishas did their make-up.

Shiseido is now one of the top cosmetic companies in the world, and one of my total favorites. Every shade of lipstick is super vibrant and ever blush is heavily pigmented.  The colors just pop.  Let's face it girls, and some guys, we DEFINITELY don't look gorgeous when we wake up...think of Shiseido as a make-up pick-me-up. 

You can find Shiseido cosmetics at most Sephora locations.

Character of the Week

So, here's your Sanrio fill for the week.  Deery-Lou is one of the many adorable characters created by the famed Japanese company.  

D.L. is a "cheerful fawn" that lives with his friends in the Rainbow Forest that's filled with butterflies and flowers.  He spends most of his time chasing butterflies and he lovesssss making new friends.

Born on January 8, D.L. shows his happiness with his life by swinging his tale from side to side. Just precious!

If you love Deery as much as I do, you can visit the Sanrio website and download all of the free wallpapers and widgits they have.  You can even send you friend an e-card featuring Deery.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Urban Chic...Japanese Style

BAPE stands for A Bathing Ape and are one of the most popular brand of shoes in the urban/hip hop world.  BAPE is a company that was started in 1993 in Harajuku, Japan by Tomaoki Nagao.

BAPE is known mostly for their crazy sneakers that feature patent leather and super bright colors.  These kicks are a favorite among high profile names like Kanye West, Pharrell and Jay-Z.

The detail and unique quality of BAPE products doesn't come cheap though.  A pair of BAPEsta sneakers will set you back a few hundred bucks--a very well spent couple hundred if you ask me. But hey, can you really set a price on lookin' fly?  

I didn't think so either.

Check out this awesome music video "I got me Some Bapes" by Soulja Boy!!


Monday, September 15, 2008

Hello Kitty has a villain? JIGGA WHAT?

A lot of people are familiar with Sanrio's super cute character Hello Kitty.  You know, the kitty cat with no mouth.  Well, what people usually don't know is that Hello Kitty actually has a villain.  Enter Kuromi stage right.

Kuromi is just as cute as Hello Kitty and her favorite colors are black and pink.  She hates Hello Kitty, but loooovvvesss boys.  She may have a tough exterior, but inside she's just like the rest of us girls.

Hot Topic just recently released exclusive Kuromi gear.  It's the follow up to the Super Cute Hello Kitty line that was also released as an exclusive for Hot Topic.  


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Knockout Collabo!

So, nothing tickles my fancy more than when two of my favorite things join forces to equal one super awesome...thing.  Famed Japanese designer, Tokidoki, and Sanrio have come together to release a series of Hello Kitty merch.

There's everything from keychains to pencil cases to a tote bag, and they all feature Hello Kitty dressed up in the Tokidoki cactus suit.  SO FREAKIN CUTE <3

These types of things just melt my itsy bitsy heart.


Saturday, September 13, 2008


Pocky is a Japanese snack food and is probably one of the most delicious things I've ever tasted...LIKE EVER!  This delightful treat is basically a biscuit stick coated with different flavorings.  There's chocolate, almond, strawberry and even mint.

First sold in 1966, Pocky is one of the most popular food in Japan and is sometimes even served with glasses of water at bars.

You can find Pocky at any Asian market, but if you live in a more urban area, FYE sells pocky in their stores all around the country!

Thursday, September 11, 2008



Gloomy Bear is one of my all time favorite Japanese characters. Basically, Gloomy was an abandoned little bear who is rescued by a little boy named Pitty.  At first Gloomy is affectionate and cute, but as he grows older his bear-ish traits begin to show.  Gloomy attacks Pitty, even though Pitty is his caretaker, which is why both Pitty and Gloomy are usually seen with blood stains.

As violent as it sounds, it's so hard to deny how cute Gloomy really is...When he's not clawing out eyes anyways.

You can find Gloomy Bear merch online.  I'm quite partial to the stuffed animals, but basically anything you can put Gloomy's face on you can buy.  I've even seen a dining set based around Gloomy!

Cute and Cuddly?  or Deadly and Violent?  You decide.

Harajuku Girl: You Got that Wicked Style

Harajuku (hara*joo*koo) n. 1. A style and attitude of Japanese girls from Harajuku, Tokyo.      2.  Anything goes: outrageous, layered, and eye-catching.

Ever since we went B-A-N-A-N-A-S for Gwen Stefani's solo project we've associated her with four Harajuku girls that seem to stalk poor little Gwen.  Love, Angel, Music and Baby are the four gals that make up Gwen's posse and now they're immortalized in glass...And they smell good!

Inspired by the electric street scene of the Harajuku shopping district in Tokyo, Sephora just released a series of fragrances modeled after the girls.  I've smelled them myself and trust me, the fragrances aren't only unique but they come in super cute doll-decanters.  

If you have "a fatal attraction to cuteness" then you'll definitely love these!

Check out Gwen and the Harajuku girls in the video "Hollaback Girl"