29 February 2016

Things That Make You Go Oooooo (February 2016)

Dream

I hope everyone is enjoying my weekly blog posts about Japan I really did have an amazing time and there is so much more to come I think you'll be hearing about my adventures for the next few months, speaking of I'll be off on another adventure in just over a month as I'll be going back to Thailand to celebrate Songkran (Thai New Year) with my family, this year is already looking to be an epic year of travel for me and I can't wait to start a new adventure.

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♥ 6 Things The Most Productive People Do Every Day

♥ Decora Tokyo Style

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♥ The Comparison Trap: Your Real Life Isn’t A Highlight Reel

Of a dream

♥ 20 Reminders For The New Year

♥ How to Handle Crippling Anxiety

♥ Romanticize Yourself!

♥ The Force Fashioned

♥ When friends go from IRL to URL

359/365

♥ 50 Things To Do in 2016

♥ The Best Reminders When You're Having a Bad Day

♥ On Young Industries: Blogging

♥ 80 Reasons to Exercise

♥ 13 Signs You're a Witch

Gentle Spirit

♥ Coffee and Cameras: The Selfie

♥ I Didn't Marry My Husband

♥ 5 Failures You Need to Experience If You Want to Succeed In Life

♥ 5 Tips To Wake Up Stress Free

♥ Getting Rid of Toxic Friends




Love & Cupcakes
Cate
xoxo

23 February 2016

FYeahJapan: Ghibli Museum & Totoro Cream Puff Café

Studio Ghibli Museum

A visit to the Studio Ghibli Museum was high on my list of places to visit whilst in Tokyo so much so I reserved our visit months in advance which I would totally recommend doing as tickets sell quickly and you need to have tickets booked prior to your visit as they only let a limited number of people in a day to preserve the magic.

Studio Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli Museum

I adore the Ghibi Movies and own the whole collection, there's not a single one I don't like aside from Grave of the Fireflies which just is so sad I can't bring myself to watch it again but it's still a great movie even though it makes me ugly cry. Photo's aren't allowed inside the museum so I'm going to keep what we saw a secret but I will say everything was amazing and adorable and if you're lucky enough to visit you'll get to see one of their exclusive short movies, that day they were showing Mei and the Baby Cat Bus and oh my gosh it was the cutest I loved it!

Studio Ghibli Museum

There are so many little hidden details around the Ghibli museum so if you're lucky enough to visit be sure to keep an eye out for them and look in every corner, I also loved that so many of the exhibits were interactive although the giant Cat Bus was only for kids to play with, which I was kinda sad about because I mean who doesn't want to play in a giant Cat Bus?

Studio Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli Museum

Studio Ghibli Museum

The Straw Hat Café is the Ghibli Museum's exclusive restaurant they have an English menu to and although the selection is small what I loved most about them is that when we told them we were vegetarian they offered to make us a sandwich without meat which is a rare thing in Japan as they don't often allow you menu substitutions, it was very delicious to and much needed after a day of exploring I also adored the plate they served it on.

Shirohige's Totoro Cream Puff Shop

Speaking of food another place on any Ghibli fan's list to visit is Shirohige's Cream Puff Factory which sells Totoro shaped cream puffs in various delicious flavours. Shirohige's is near Setagaya-Daita station which is about 10 minutes away on the Odakyū line from Shinjuku so quite a distance away from the Ghibli Museum but definitely worth a visit as it's in such a cute area and if you're into Lolita fashion the Grand Bazaar shop is short walk away as well as an awesome 700 yen clothing shop and lot's of other cute shops and cafés, definitely an area I recommend you checking out.

Shirohige's Totoro Cream Puff Shop

The cream puffs cost between 400 - 440 yen each and are very filling, there is a shop and a café upstairs where you can eat them to but I would recommend buying them at the shop and eating them at the tables outside as they charge a more for them if you chose to eat at the café, they also sell little Totoro themed biscuits at the shop which I bought to give as gifts to my family. I chose the caramel banana flavoured cream puff and it was so delicious I would totally recommend it to anyone wanting to go there as it was one of the best things I've ever eaten so much so I even bought a strawberry flavoured one to bring home but the caramel banana flavour was definitely my favourite and I would go back to Japan just to have another!

Shirohige's Totoro Cream Puff Shop

Let me know what your favourite Studio Ghibli movie is in the comments
Love & Acorns
Cate
xoxo

21 February 2016

It's 2016 Can We Stop Using The Phrase "Real Women" Already?

BOTK_E_168A5699-Edit

One of my fave bloggers Zoe London posted this video on her YouTube recently and it's a subject I've wanted to discuss for a while in fact this blog post has been sitting in my drafts for months so I thought what better time to publish it than now when the discussion is happening.


Nothing irks me more than hearing people using the phase "real women" I literally scream every time I hear it. The thing that bothers me the most about it is that the people who use this phrase somehow thing they're promoting body positivity in women but in reality they're doing just the opposite and reinforcing exactly what we're trying to fight against. I feel like using this phase promotes unnecessary competition between women and not the body positive message it tries to imply.

This phrase is normally used in regards to celebrities or models but models/actresses etc. are real women, whether they work out to achieve their looks or come by it naturally they are all women it doesn't matter if you weigh 100lbs or 500lbs, whether you're flat chested or have big boobs, are trans or just identify with being female we are all still a real women!

So I'm pretty much done with this phrase and the term "real man" maybe the term came from a good place but I think it's about time we stop the unnecessary competition and instead build up positivity, support each other and stop judging each other on appearances because #wearerealwomen

Love & Positivity
Cate
xoxo

16 February 2016

FYeahJapan: A Rainy Day in Kobe

Kobe, Japan

Whilst in Osaka we decided to have a change of scenery and take a trip to Kobe for the day unfortunately it decided to rain that day and was one only rainy days we had during our whole stay in Japan but we didn't let it put us off too much although the plan to visit Mount Rokko had to be cancelled as that was probably more suited for a nicer day.


Kobe, Japan

Ikuta Shrine was the first stop on out Kobe trip and just a short walk away from Kobe Sannomiya Station. Ikuta Shrine is like a peaceful sanctuary hidden behind a city of hi-rise buildings and despite the rain there were quite a few visitors that day giving thanks and praying.

Kobe, Japan

As New Years Day was just over a week away then the shire was making preparations for new years and had a big painting of a monkey outside, in fact there were cute monkey decorations all over Japan. It was very beautiful there and I enjoyed the pond in the back and the little garden where you could write down your wishes and hang them on a tree.

Kobe, Japan

After gaining a sense of peacefulness we walked over in the drizzle and through arcades of shops selling various foods, clothings and goods to Chinatown for some snacks. For some strange reason Chinatown felt a little like home to me, maybe it was seeing all the delicious Chinese buns or the smells which reminded me of my Mum's cooking but I liked it there and of course there were lot's of Panda themed things there to for me to squeal over.

Kobe, Japan

Kobe is known for its beef but I no longer eat meat so I wasn't interested in that aspect but you'll be happy to know that there are vegan options there and they are delicious, we visited a place near Chinatown called The Pink Weed which had such a cool vibe and was possibly one of the best meals I had whilst in Japan, they also get bonus points for playing The Beatles in the background and all the cool posters they had on the walls, so if you're in Kobe I'd definitely recommend it!

Kobe, Japan

To end the day we took a train over to Kobe's Harbourland which had some beautiful views at night and the rain seemed to make it even prettier, also there was an amazing Kiddyland store there but I managed to resist the cuteness. Despite the rain we actually had a nice day in Kobe and saw most of what was recommended, I would like to go again though and finally conquer Mount Rokko and possibly buy everything in Kiddyland.... Kawaii stuff is just so hard to resist!

Kobe, Japan

Don't forget to check out my Instagram for more of my Japan adventures!
Love & Lights
Cate
xoxo

15 February 2016

Inspirational Quotes #71

"I am happiest when I am looking after myself, surrounded by positive people, being with my family and being by the ocean."
- Phoebe Tonkin

11 February 2016

FYeahJapan: Nerdy Shopping in Nakano Broadway

Nakano Broadway

Akihabara is probably one of the most popular and famous places in Japan for nerdy shopping but there is another place which is just as awesome and only a couple short stops away from Shinjuku station Nakano Broadway. We visited Nakano during our first few days in Japan and it was amazing I had honestly never seen so much awesome nerdy stuff in my life it was even better than comic con and the prices were pretty damn reasonable to.

Nakano Broadway

Nakano has several Mandarake stores which I only discovered whilst I was there and now I'm addicted, they even ship Globally to but the best thing is that if you're looking for anything in particular you can check online to see what store has it AND they will tell you exactly the store to find it HOWEVER be prepared to search, these stores aren't really organised and there are boxes of random stuff everywhere! I wanted to get a Nana Hello Kitty keychain and it was in a box with literally hundreds of other Hello Kitty charms so I had to dig but I did eventually find it YEY!

Nakano Broadway

As with Akihabara it's good to shop around in Nakano because prices can vary drastically from store to store for example I bought a Sailor Moon figure for 500 yen from one store but there were other stores charging 1500 yen for the exact same figure, as Japan isn't custom to price haggling it's best to search all the stores first for what you want before you buy to find the best price.

Nakano Broadway

Nakano Broadway is a great place to find items from older anime which is great for people like me as I haven't really watched much of the newer stuff, other stores like Animate were completely alien to me aside from their tiny Sailor Moon and Attack on Titan sections. There were quite a few superhero related things there to which caught my eye (ALL Captain America Hot Toy's) but most things were Asian based (YEY Kamen Rider) and there was a lot of Disney things to so if you're a big Disney fan definitely check them out!

Nakano Broadway

Most stores in Nakano (and Japan) only accept cash so be sure to bring lots with you and if you need to use an ATM the best ones to use (re: the only ones that worked with my card) are ones by 7/11 which you can find in their stores of some bigger department stores, so if you want to shop be prepared and bring the cash.

Nakano Broadway

Gashapon are everywhere in Japan and of course you can try your luck with them in Nakano a there are rooms dedicated to them and they have anything from Sailor Moon to garbage cans to banana birds to used panties.... Errr yeah... but if you don't want to risk your yen getting something you don't want you can just but the ones you want from the stores there which is what I ended up doing after many failed attempts of trying to complete my dog sandwich collection.

Nakano Broadway

Nakano is just like Akihabara but on a smaller scale and more focused on the nerdy side rather than the electronics, both places need about a day dedicated to them to explore as most of the shops are tiny but packed full of things and as I mentioned nothing is really organised so there's lot's of digging through random boxes to find the things you want but it's totally worth it as you can find some awesome stuff you never even thought existed.


Be sure to check out the videos above for our Nakano Broadway and Akihabara hauls
Love & Robots
Cate
xoxo



06 February 2016

Valentine's Day Choco-Orange Cupcakes ♥ (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Choco-orange Cupcakes (Vegan & Gluten-free)>
Valentine's Day is just a week away and what better way to surprise the one you love than with some yummy homebaked treats. If you didn't already know during my holiday in Japan I got obsessed with Kamen Rider Gaim and its handsome male lead Gaku Sano and so I thought I would bake something in his honour and what could be more perfect and delicious than some choco-orange cupcakes.

Choco-orange Cupcakes (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups self raising gluten-free flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/3 cup rice bran oil
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
For the frosting...
  • 1/4 cup dairy-free butter
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsps orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp cacao powder
(Makes 12)


♥ Preheat and oven to 180 & line a cupcake tray with 12 cupcake cases

♥ In a one bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and orange zest.

♥ In another bow mix together the orange juice, oil, vinegar and vanilla.

♥ Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix it into a smooth batter.

♥ Divide the batter in half so you have two bowls and add the cacao powder into one of the batters and mix together thoroughly, if you don't want two different flavours you can omit the cacao for a plain orange cake or double it so the whole batter is chocolatey.

♥ Divide the batter equally into the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 15 - 20 minutes.

♥ Once baked removed the cupcakes from the oven and allow them to cool on a wire rack.

♥ Mix together all the ingredients for the frosting leaving the cacao powder until last unless you want your frosting to be all chocolate in which case again double the amount or if you don't want a chocolate flavour you can leave it out altogether.

♥ Spoon about a teaspoon of the frosting onto the cupcakes, making sure the cupcakes are completely cool before frosting or the frosting will melt.

♥ Decorate with some love hearts or cute sprinkles.

♥ Eat and enjoy with your special someone ♥

Choco-orange Cupcakes (Vegan & Gluten-free)

Happy Valentine's Day
Cate
xoxo


03 February 2016

FYeahJapan: Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland

I have wanted to visit Sanrio's Puroland (AKA Hello Kitty Land) ever since I was a kid and I was super duper excited to finally get the chance to on my visit to Tokyo, Japan. Hello Kitty has been a part of my life ever since I can remember and I have at least one Hello Kitty themed thing with me wherever I go, in fact I didn't realise until recently just how many Sanrio things I have so I think it's safe to say I'm more than a little obsessed.

Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland

Puroland is quite small in fact it's only 3 floors and the top 2 floors are mostly for food and shopping if anything Puroland is probably a big Sanrio shopping mall and yes I wanted ALL the things! There were rides and games on the lowest floor, more shops, food and cute shows you could watch featuring all the Sanrio characters.

Sanrio Puroland

The other and possibly most fun part of Puroland is meeting the characters and taking lots of photos, I probably got a little too overexcited at this and although I missed out on meeting one of my favourite characters (Kuromi) meeting the other Sanrio characters was a pretty fun experience and had me bouncing around like a giant 4 year old.

Sanrio Puroland
Sanrio Puroland
Sanrio Puroland

Japan is all about the fun selfies and I totally embraced this whilst I was there and had so much fun taking silly photos and playing on all the little games. Puroland is definitely more child orientated but there were lots of us "adults" there and I think we had more fun than some of the children visiting.

Sanrio Puroland

Sanrio Puroland

We ended our day at Puroland, which also happened to be Violet's birthday with a cute show featuring Hello Kitty and Dear Daniel and the magical tree, although the shows are all in Japanese you don't need to know the language to enjoy them as they're so cute and fun to watch. This was definitely a dream come true for me and I had so much fun being a big kid, hugging all the characters, taking lots of silly photos and playing on all the fun little games, I would definitely go back there one day and do it all over again!


Be sure to check out the little video I made of our day there!
Love & Kitty Hugs
Cate
xoxo

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