Thursday, June 28, 2012

Follow via Bloglovin

I just signed up for this.  I've always been following my subscriptions through google reader, but I will be giving this a try!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Japanese Cooking

Hello Bunnies!

Lately I've been eating ochazuke for lunch and thought I would share this easy recipe.  This is so easy to make and if you don't have a lot of time for breakfast or lunch, then this is a super quick meal.  All you need is the ochazuke seasoning, rice, and hot green tea.  You place the rice in a bowl, sprinkle the seasoning on top, and then pour the green tea over the rice.  It's a delicious, yet very easy meal!  You can put fish or keep it simple and just put seaweed.  Or you could go daring and try other non-traditional toppings like tofu or random veggies.  Whatever you like really!

On the topic of Japanese Cooking, I'd like to share with you all my FAVORITE Japanese cooking youtube channel: Cooking With Dog.  Seriously, if you like to eat Japanese food, you must try the recipes from this channel (they also have a more original recipe for ochazuke).  I have tried a number of them:

  • Crepes
  • Hamburg steak
  • Oyakodon (chicken bowl over rice)
  • Gyudon (beef bowl over rice)
  • Tebasaki Chicken
  • Omurice (Omelette with rice and filling)
  • Dorayaki (Red bean filled pancake)
  • Agedashi Tofu (Fried tofu)
  • Gyoza (one of their absolute best recipes!)
  • Shabu Shabu (sliced meat cooked in broth & other veggies)
  • Sukiyaki (Beef cooked in sukiyaki broth and other veggies)
I have never been disappointed when trying a cooking with dog recipe.  These recipes, if followed properly (i've messed up before on the tebasaki chicken), taste SO good... It makes me never want to order these from the restaurants ever again.

Anyway, hope you all get a chance to try out the recipes from this channel.   I love this channel - It's probably the one I actually try the most recipes/tutorials from.  Let me know how it turns out!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

San Francisco Days - Post 2

I enjoy going to cafe's even though I am not much of a coffee drinker.  I am much more of a tea person so I really enjoy going to tea rooms or even just enjoying the occasional pearl milk teas.  You will notice from previous posts, that if I do go to a cafe, I order tea.  If a cafe has a nice assortment of teas, I will get excited.  If they don't, I end up getting hot chocolate or some non-coffee related drink.  I love the smell of coffee, just not the taste.

Over the weekend, I went to our neighborhood cafe which has really delicious sandwiches!  Didn't order any coffee or tea, just the sandwich, and enjoyed the afternoon in this cafe.  San Francisco is often foggy, at least on my side of the town, and so it's really important to savor the sunny days.  This day was open and bright and I just wanted to be out.

I don't like coffee, but this seems like it would be tasty for the coffee enthusiast to try.

Hot roast beef sandwich on dutch crunch with house made chips. *mmmmm**

Enjoying the sun through the cafe window.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baby Shower Card Making

Over the weekend, I went to my cousins baby shower.  I bought something off their registry and decided to include a handmade card.  I put together this set and I up cycled some of the materials - gift wrap was an old paper source bag, envelope an old paper source bag, and the enclosures were old file folders.  Was so fun to make!

 Gift and Card.  I used some of the papers from my paper swap partner!  Thanks islandshii :D

 Card and front of envelope.

Card and back of envelope.  I love the 'interoffice' look, so I had to do it for this envelope!

Monday, June 25, 2012


Some projects that I decided that I would engage in this summer.  I think these are really great ideas and will be truly enriching experiences.  I initially got the ideas from "strawberries and buttercups" who got them from the respective sites listed below.

The first challenge is a 30-day journal challenge where you respond to writing prompts each day.  I think this will be a process of 'healing' in a way since the prompts force you to reflect on some deep parts of yourself.  If you are interested in this challenge, go "The year of the pumpkins arrived late"

My First Entry:

The following challenge, most of you have probably seen since many people are participating.  It's the photo a day challenge.  I missed June, but will participate in July!  Check it out  at "fat mum slim"

I also am doing the "50 challenge" where you throw out 50 different things in your house to 'de-clutter.'  One section of the house at a time.  I found it on Lolalina's blog and it's based on a book called "Throw Out Fifty Things," by Gail Blanke.  I have accumulated too much clutter that needs to be tossed!

Are there any projects that you are working on that you would recommend?

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Last Friday, I got the chance to participate in a focus group for the launch of a new makeup product.  I can't really say anything about what it is since everything has to remain confidential, but I wanted to share all the free stuff I got from participating!  I love makeup and skin care products, and have another joy outside of crafting/packaging.  I really enjoy watching my youtube gurus.  Even though I'm not an expert, and I pretty much always keep a natural, simple makeup routine, I love learning more about makeup.  It's all so very interesting, and these gurus are all so inspiring to me. I will list some of my favorite beauty gurus below. But first, the free stuff:

 I felt so excited about getting all of these products: A taupe eye shadow palette, two eyeliners in black and brown, body creme, anti-aging cream,  a night recovery concentrate, eye cream, and a lip gloss.  These are name brand products, so the retail value is probably over $100!  I am most excited about all the Lancome products and the anti-aging serum (according to the beauty gurus, it's never too early to start using!)
The nice little bag it all came in.  So excited!  and so is korilakkuma ~_<

So, if you're like me, and you enjoy beauty and skincare products, here are some of my favorite youtube gurus:

michellephan - Many people already know her because she's gotten so huge and is the number 1 most watched female youtube star.   She has done so many amazing looks, but my favorites are always her DIY tips and natural tutorials. I've been following her since 2008, so I'm happy that she is so successful now.

bubzbeauty - She is so cute! And I love all her vlogs where she discusses non-beauty product related issues.  She does a lot of natural look tutorials, which I love.  

ILearnWithMinette - I just recently discovered her channel and love her so much! Maybe it's the personal connection to her since she is also a teacher.  

frmheadtotoe - She has a great style and I particularly enjoy her Korean star makeup tutorials.

beautifymeeh - She, like frmheadtotoe, does really great korean star makeup tutorials.  I also like how she connects with her audience through her personal stories w/ her husband!

chicachew - I enjoy her reviews.  She does a lot of beauty subscriptions like birchbox and glossy box, etc. etc. I really like hearing what she has to say about all the items and think that her recommendations are very thorough.

jaaackjack - I think she's a great makeup artist.  She's also a very warm person in her videos and I think her reviews are very thorough and honest.

Do you have any favorite beauty gurus?  Any you tubers that you subscribe to?

Anyway, hope you enjoy some of my favorites too.  Just type in their youtube names, and watch their videos!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Scented Candle DIY

I love candles and I love pretty fragrances.  If you have a bunch of tea lights or old candles that you don't really use and want to spice it up with some scents, then here is a quick simple DIY idea to transform your unscented candles into scented ones!  Granted, they won't be brand new after everything is said and done, but you will have nice smelling candles.  Here's what you need:


1.  Light the candle until most of the wax is in liquid form.  With a tea light in this size, it usually takes about 15 minutes.

2.  Once the tea light is in liquid form, add a few drops of the fragrance oil.  

3.  Take a metal chopstick or something metal to stir it with and carefully stir the wax so that the fragrance oil spreads through the wax evenly (it's ideal to do this while the candle is still lit to keep it in its liquid form and so that the wax doesn't stick to the chopstick as much, but I'm sure you can do it without too).  Melt the wax off the chopstick so that you won't waste any wax.

4.  Blow out the candle to let it dry, and you have yourself a nicely scented candle!  Some of the wax will be gone, but you will still have enough to enjoy the nice scent.

Now, you can't really do the above method with a thick candle because it will take too long to melt, so tea lights or smaller candles work best.  If you have a big candle that you aren't really using anymore, you can make new candles out of the wax.  Melt the wax by using this method from mythirtyspot.  She used scented candles, but if you were using unscented and wanted to make it scented, then adding and storing the fragrance oil in while it is melting in the pot would be the place to do it.  Then follow the rest of her steps, and there you go! New candle!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Nisol Day Series - Shabu Shabu

I've mentioned in a previous post that my husband is a writer and he is in the process of writing a YA sci/fi fantasy novel that is set in a dystopian world called "Nisol."  Nisol is different world, yet eerily familiar.  There are some Japanese elements to the story - one being the food.  My husband is so good at writing food scenes.  There is no way you will read the book and not get hungry/crave the food in the book.  So, since a lot of things remind me of his novel, I decided to create a "Nisol" series.  I posted the first one a while ago here.

Today in the Nisol series, I will post about shabu shabu.  There is one scene in the book where they eat it, and I craved it so bad, so we went to go have it.

My husband writer.  This setting reminds me of Nisol.

Shabu Shabu - Kobe beef & Sashimi. mmmm. 

These rolls were delicious

This restaurant was called Shabu Sushi, and I enjoyed it very much.  Other yelp reviewers don't seem to like it, but I thought it was great!  I don't have very discriminating tastes though and most things make me happy, food-wise.  

Yummy Yummy! Can't wait to eat here again!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Currently Watching...

...This Korean drama that has gotten me addicted.  It's called "Love Rain."  I usually tend to gravitate towards romantic comedy type dramas, so this melodrama would not normally be something I will dedicate myself to watching.  However, this particular one has got me.  Perhaps because it keeps reminding me of my own marriage - haha, i know, so sappy ~_<  

But yes, I highly enjoy this drama.  If you like melodramas, this one's for you!  It's set in the 70s in the beginning of the show where it develops the young love of these two characters.  Some tragic thing happens.  Then it flash forwards to the future where some surprises happen.  It's a little bit fairy tale-ish in it's presentation of love, and was slow at first, but I still love it and am completely hooked!!

It's actually not such great timing for me to be hooked to this drama since I have a teacher credentialing test to take on Wednesday... but it does provide for a nice little break in between the studying!  It takes so much discipline though for me to resist.  I'd much rather keep watching than stop to study.  I can't wait until Wednesday is over so I can really finish this drama and go back to enjoying the projects I was planning on doing and sharing them with you all.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Where do you buy your washi tape?

I was perusing through pinterest and saw someone pin this with the price listed on the top corner as $11.50.  I absolutely LOVE Paper Source, but sometimes they're a bit unreasonable with their prices -  I've seen the exact 2-set polka dot patterned tape at a local Japanese stationary store for $7-8.   For me, $7-8 is fairly reasonable for a set of washi tapes of this size & particular pattern (I know that other special patterns tend to cost more - which is reasonable depending on the pattern).

Anyway, seeing this got me thinking about where other people buy their washi tapes.  I've seen bloggers with amazing collections of washi tapes.  I want to keep building my collection, but it does get expensive!  So, I'm wondering.  Where do you buy your washi tape?  Any shop recommendations?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Freshly made ice cream each time...

A friend of mine recommended this little gem, in my lovely home of a city, San Francisco.  It's this ice cream place that makes each scoop to order.   When my friend told me of this, I was confused.  I mean, I'm still stuck in the idea that ice cream just comes in tubs that you buy in the grocery store.  How could it be made fresh each time a customer walks in?

But they do it.  And this wonderfully amazing place is called Smitten Ice Cream.  The taste of their ice cream is absolutely DIVINE!

Smitten ice cream -- made fresh for each customer.  
They had several of these little contraptions for each flavor.  The machine made the ice cream fresh for each customer's cup, cone, or sundae. So literally, you get to eat it within minutes of it being freshly made.  Go to their website to read their story.  It's pretty amazing because it all started with one person with this machine on her wagon.

I ordered a salted caramel sundae.  

Oh Smitten ice cream,  you were so ridiculously delicious.  Thank you for making my taste buds fill with joy.  I will be returning for you soon.  

With love,
hello bunnies

Monday, June 11, 2012

Sneak Peak at Paper Swap goodies

I mentioned a few blog posts ago that I joined a paper swap organized by Kelly Zarb.  I decided to put up a little peak at what I'm sending out in the mail, and then reveal what's inside in a later post so that my swap partner can be surprised about what's inside.  I don't know about you all, but I had so much fun doing this!  I hope my swap partner enjoys what's inside:

So here is the 110 by 220 mm envelope I made out of some really fun airmail type paper I had laying around.  A variety of paper goodies are inside this envelope.  I didn't want to put stamps or anything on the envelope though so that my swap partner can use some of this paper for her projects if she'd like, so I'm putting this in a bigger envelope.

Along with all the paper goodies, I included a short letter and decorated the envelope (since I didn't really decorate the outside envelope).

Sending this out within the next few days, and once she receives it, I will show what's inside!  Hope your weeks are starting out well.  I am off to a great start!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Can't resist the things from Daiso!

I went into the store to accompany my friend last week.  And I told myself that I would not buy anything, as I tend to do, every single time I go to Daiso, when I don't necessarily need anything from there.   To my chagrin, this did not occur.  As usual, I had left the store with items I didn't necessarily plan to buy.  Nonetheless, I left the store a happy girl:

I love Daiso!

So I shouldn't feel too bad because I was actually planning to buy carving tools and erasers in order to make stamps. Naturally, I felt super excited that I found them at Daiso for $1.50!  Such a great deal.  So regardless of whether or not I promised myself to buy something, I had to get it.  

Now I can try making my own stamps as I was inspired by Elisse to do in her awesome blog.  Please visit her blog if you're interested in finding out how to make stamps! I know that I will be trying it out very soon :D So excited! 

And of course, how could I not buy this? ok ok, I know it was useless (not very functional in the shower), but it was just too cute! I could not resist >_~

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Japantown Tofu Festival

Another fun-filled day at Japantown.   I was thinking about how I'm not sure if I could ever move to an area where there is no Japantown or equivalent type plaza because what would I do without a daiso, an ichiban kan, a maido, a kinokuniya, or a ramen shop?

Last weekend, there was a tofu festival and we decided to go.  It was a nice day as we enjoyed eating tofuyaki, tofu musubi, and watching the live acts.  Here are some highlights of the day:

JapaCurry Food truck had some yummy dishes.  I didn't try any of the curry, but decided I would make my own for dinner during the week.  I instead tried this tofu green tea tiramisu which was absolutely delicious!

 As always, the beautiful Peace Plaza Pagoda in Japantown.

Free natto samples.  Although I didn't try it since I still can't get over the smell.  Have any of you tried it?  Is it like the smell or nothing like it?

Open for business! Irashaimaseee!

All types of tofu

There was a tofu panda!

Also, I wanted to share with you that I did all the photo editing on this website:  That's right! This was not done on instagram!  They also have other editing tools such as adding overlays, adjusting the exposures, etc.
I found the website through ishtarolivera who's blog you should definitely check out!  She has amazing content ranging from crafts to mail to stamps to everything Im sure you all love!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Package and Letter Swaps

Hello Bunnies!

I'm sure most of you have already stumbled upon one of these blogs.  Me being new to this ring of blogs, I got carried away in joining a few swaps.  I'm really excited about them, and have ideas already.

If you haven't joined them or are interested in still joining, please take a look at their blogs!  The only one that you will not be able to join is the international paper swap since the deadline has passed, but still checkout her blog because it is lovely and I'm sure will catch your eye!  I will definitely share my experiences with each swap.

Packaging Pals on Write before your eyes

Elevated Envelope envelope swap

International Paper Swap

Have any of you participated in these type of swaps?  What was your experience like?  Any suggestions for a first time "swapper"?  :D

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Coffee Candles

I got this idea from pinterest and had to try it.  I love the smell of coffee.

I didn't have coffee beans, so I just used ground coffee and it turned out excellent.  I used the small jars I made in another post.  The scent is as strong as a high quality scented candle and I only lighted two of them!  

I would definitely recommend trying this out.  What are your favorite candle scents?  Perhaps it can be DIY'd too!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Paper Pastries Guest Post

It's kind of a strange thing to see your pictures and writing on someone else's blog, but exciting too!  Paper Pastries was kind enough to allow me to do a guest post on her blog while she is on vacation.  I had been an avid follower of her blog over the past few weeks and I have to say that I absolutely love her content.  She blogs about all things that I love and gives me so much inspiration - from paper to packages etc. She also has a shop full of really lovely stamps, stationary items, and washi tapes. Please check out her blog and my guest post here.
I posted about a trip to the flea market a few weekends ago.  It was tons of fun, but I only came away with $5 of random broken watches and keys to use for packages and/or jewelry:
Do any of you tend to shop at flea markets?  If so, what are your bargaining tips?  I feel like I am so bad at bargaining, I pretty much just pay the first price they tell me.  Hence, I would say the above haul of items probably could've been cheaper.  Oh well.
Hope you all had a nice weekend bunnies!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

DIY Graduation Gift: "Thrive" Kit

Graduation is coming upon us, perhaps passed already, but it's never too late to give a gift to a recent grad.  I got this idea from a friend, and we made "thrive" kits for our fifth graders.  I modified it for a friend of mine who graduated with a degree in education.  Being a fellow educator myself, I put together a "thrive" kit fit for a teacher.  Thrive kits are a play on 'survival' kits.  They contain random items that symbolize pieces of wisdom for someone moving on to the next big thing.  The original kit contains the following:

  • Toothpick: pick the good qualities in everyone including yourself.

  • Rubber band: be flexible, things might not always go the way you want.

  • Band-Aid: to heal hurt feelings, either yours or someone else's.

  • Eraser: everyone makes mistakes. that's okay, we learn by our mistakes.

  • Candy Kiss: everyone needs a hug or a compliment everyday.

  • Penny: so you'll never be broke and to remind you that you are valuable and special

  • Bubble gum: so you can stick with it and you can accomplish anything.

  • Pencil: list your blessings every day.

  • Confetti: to celebrate your joys and have fun

  • Small smooth stone: to remind you that rough times help refine and polish--use for smoother tomorrow

  • String: to tie things together when everything falls apart

I modified it for a teacher as follows:

  • Post-It Sticky Notes:  So that you always remember to “stick” with it and never give up on a kid.  Be Relentless.

  • Band-Aids/First Aid: Not only for the many accidents, scrapes, and scratches that kids seem to get, but also to remind you that as a teacher, you are also a healer.

  • Notebook: To write down all the silly things kids say and do.

  • Highlighter: to remember to focus on the highlights of your day rather than the low points.  Being a teacher is like being on a rollercoaster – high and low points - but focusing on the good of your day helps you through.

  • Eraser: Because we all make mistakes, so it’s important to start new every day.  As a teacher, we make many mistakes whether it’s the lesson plan that didn’t go how we thought it would or the wrong way we dealt with a kid or situation.  Also, kids make mistakes, so it’s important to always allow them to start new every day as well… Give em a chance to show you something better every day!

  • Rubber Band: A reminder to always be a flexible teacher.  Again, things don’t always go as planned, so being flexible is important.

  • Penny: So you never go broke and to remind you that even though teacher’ don’t get paid a whole lot, the work we do is worth so much more.

  • Tooth pick: To pick out the good qualities in your students as well as in yourself.

  • Hand Sanitizer:Because them kids always be getting stinky and dirty!! Gotta stay healthy to keep from getting sick!

  • Green Tea:  To relax at the start of each day and detoxify at the end of each day.  Being a teacher can be stressful.  Drink green tea to remind you to stay healthy and take care of yourself.

  • Motrin: To take care of the random headaches that comes with teaching

  • Stickers: to have in your back pocket because we all know that a sticker can get a kid to do anything. Haha. kidding…. well half kidding :P  But in seriousness, the stickers to give to students who need to be reminded that they are indeed terrific, excellent, great, awesome, etc. etc…. and also for YOU to be reminded that YOU are also all of the above!

And of course, the gift cannot be given w/o attention to the packaging:



Package.  Don't mind the wears and tears, I reused an old box.  I think it gives it character.


Happy Graduation to all those who are moving on.  Be proud of your accomplishment and good luck!  Life is too short to not do something meaningful!