Japan Crate October 2020 Halloween Snack Box

Recently I re-subscribed to Japan Crate, a Japanese snack box. Since the next box’s theme was Halloween for October, I had to get it. ^^ It was filled with 18 different Halloween-type snacks, including a Lipton Creme Brulee beverage.

These boxes are so much fun! They are thoughtfully curated to a monthly theme, influencing the assortment and packaging.

With the boxes right now, there is an additional shipping fee using DHL, but because of that I got the box within days after being shipped. I also love the new shipping schedule; I actually get the box before the intended month. Although, I’m not sure that is so good since I enjoyed the treats before the season. ^^

Has anyone else tried Japan Crate?

Bye~!

New Editions of Sugar Sugar Rune

Hello! I am so excited to share this with all of you.  There were new editions of the Sugar Sugar Rune manga released this year in Japan.  There are eight volumes for the original editions, but with this new one there is a total of four books, each of them containing two volumes worth of the manga.

I have the complete eight original volumes in English, but I could not resist the new editions.  The cover illustrations are simply gorgeous.  Can you guess my fave?  It is the one with Pierre~! *^^*

I am so stoked that they have been releasing new merchandise and content for this series.  Over the years, the author, Moyoko Anno, has made new illustrations of the characters and has produced new merchandise, such as a 2020 calendar, newly released bookmarks (I’ve shown them in another post), and now these. 

Besides these new manga editions, there also was a different release of a collection book showing more in depth information on the series; more illustrations of characters, rooms, and the world.

I was surprised with the little heart, notebook-looking item attached to the back cover. It turned out to be a mini magical item catalog from the series~! ^^

The new editions are well made, easy to flip through. I opened the first and last book to check the contents, and from what I saw, the content is the same as the original—no new illustrations or plot changes.

The content may be the same, but the cover illustrations themselves make it worth it. Before, there was, like, nothing with Pierre on it.  And now there are more items than ever featuring him.  So happy~

Bye!

Angelic Pretty Dolly Cat One Piece Lolita Dress

Hello, sweeties~! I wanted to share my exciting news–I now have my dream dress!  It is a Dolly Cat print, one piece dress by Angelic Pretty in the pink colorway.  This was a re-release from 2015, and I was fortunate to find a seller that was offering one brand new with tag.  ミ( ❀ ◠‿◠ )/☆.。.:

This dress is a mixture of being super-sweet, girly-pink, while still incorporating the classical characteristics of Victorian clothing, such as a high-neckline, gold pearl buttons, bib collar, puffy sleeves, and lace.

The Dolly Cat print is so cute(>◕ω◕<)

This is such a lovely dress. I tried to get a full shot of me wearing the dress to show the whole silhouette and details, but none of the pictures were clear enough–they were too grainy.  ( ・-・̥̥̥ ) So here is a not-too-bad selfie~

Light was poring through the window–so bright

Bye, cuties~

 ​  ₍˄·͈༝·͈˄₎˒˒ 

Home Tearoom: Sakura Blossom Tea

It’s time for a Home Tearoom session! Right now is the season for cherry blossoms and I wanted to share what it’s like brewing the blossoms themselves into a tea. I have tasted a blended sakura tea, but I wanted to experience the pure flavor of the flower alone. The brand I purchased is Honji-En and the flowers are harvested from a cherry tree variety called Yae-zakura.

First off, the packaged blossoms are preserved with salt and plum vinegar, so they will need to be rinsed before using for tea.

It only took a light dip in the bowl of water to remove the salt. Once the salt was off I placed the flower into a cup of hot water and let it steep for five minutes.

I decided to use this girly Pikachu cup for the tea ~ so cute

It was surprisingly simple washing the salt from the blossom and the tea itself was not salty. However, I probably needed to use less water–there wasn’t any flavor… (*・‐・*)

Eventually, I will try it again, but I want to save the flowers for a special occasion next.

Anyway, if you want to try this yourself, just know that it is not too difficult to rinse off the salt, it’s worth doing, it’s so elegant, and makes for a very photogenic cup of tea.

Thanks for reading ~

Hanami: Sakura Flower Viewing ❀

Hello~!  For the last few days I have enjoyed my cherry tree’s blooms.  They finally opened!  I had been eagerly waiting for my weeping cherry tree to flower for weeks.  I was concerned that they would prematurely blow off because of storms, but they have lasted so that I could appreciate the bud-to-bloom progression.  This was my needed excuse to sit under a tree and to enjoy some treats I have been saving for the occasion.

​The items I had were Lipton sakura tea, two types of mochi, a red cocoa KitKat bar, and Little Twin Stars sugar star candies.  I also made roasted barley tea (mugicha) to sip afterward. ^^

Since I had several treats to eat with the tea, I just set them on the saucer and brought it outside.  The tea is a blend of black tea with Japanese cherry blossoms, so it is a dark color.

It is still pretty early in the flowering period, so the tree isn’t super fluffy with flowers yet, but it is still so pretty~ the flowers are pure white with yellow stamens.

This tree blooms during the changing weather, so there is a lot of wind and/or rain that tug at the the delicate petals.  All of these factors make the already short flowering period even more short-lived–I am lucky for it to last a week!  But because of this, I have learned to appreciate the beautiful flowers sooner than later. ^^

Bye~

Hina-matsuri: Girls’ Day or Doll’s Day

Hello!  Today is March 3rd, the day the Japanese observe Hina-matsuri, a type of doll festival or girls’ festival.  It is an event where families display ornamental dolls on a red carpet covered platform, sometime before the holiday, and girls would celebrate with a party, enjoying the company of friends, sweets and traditionally drink shirozake, a mildly sweet non-alcoholic rice wine.

Some years back, I visited an art institution when they had a Japanese cultural exhibit.  There were a variety of topics, including demonstrations of furoshiki,ikebana, obi tying and, of course, Hina-matsuri.  While I was there I took a few pictures of the display.  The dolls on top represent the Emperor and Empress, the next being attendants, musicians, etc.

This tradition apparently continues until a girl reaches the age of 10 years.  But while they are in the qualifying years, they get to enjoy this display for a single day, or perhaps for the whole month of March. 

A little detail I find amusing about Girls’ Day, though, is that there is a superstition that the longer the dolls are kept out, past March 3rd, the longer it will take for the girls (daughters) to marry.  So if a family decides to leave the display out, who knows how the girl’s future will be. ^^

XOXO~

Buyee: Japan Proxy Shopping Service

Recently, I found out about this Japanese shopping service called Buyee that enables you to purchase items that normally would only be available to Japanese residents.  They do this by shopping for you on websites like Yahoo! Japan, Rakuten, Mercari, and Yahoo! Japan Auctions for a fee. 

​Once the item is purchased, it is sent to Buyee’s warehouse where they will store the item for up to 30 days for free.  So if you are waiting for multiple packages and want to consolidate them into one box, you could.

There are different shipping options available.  However, if the weight or size exceeds a certain amount, be prepared to have to pay a lot for shipping.  The final shipping cost includes both the domestic shipping in Japan, plus the international shipping.  So until everything is put together, there is no telling how much the shipping would be.

I had a little too much fun finding bargains and rare items; so much so that once everything was consolidated into a single package, only the expensive shipping option was available.  Which was, besides being expensive, amazing because it only took four days to arrive from Japan to my doorstep in the US.

Are you curious of what is in the box?  Soon enough, I will write a post about it!

Stay tuned for more!