Monday, February 27, 2012

Bum Boost

It's like finding a unicorn; I didn't think they really existed but apparently they do and they're just as magical, too!  I'm so tempted to buy one and just try it on...and maybe keep forever.  The fact that they are produced in various colors really shows how mainstream they are.  Japan has an amazing saturation level for unique products that normally would not see any near success in another market.

Top Positions in Demand for Luxury Retail in Japan

Focusing in FMCG, Luxury, Retail and Consumer Goods has allowed me to indulge in some of my favorite obsessions:  Fashion, Business, and Movement.  When I say Movement, I mean the inner workings of companies, how it affects consumers, and even how employees view both sides.

You might even call it business gossip.  Ok fine, maybe just gossip but dressed well with cute heels to boot (no pun intended). 

Positions I often find myself recruiting for (in no particular order but definitely among the top):

1.  Merchandisers
2.  Visual Merchandisers
3.  Brand Managers
4.  Product Managers
5.  eCommerce/Online Branding/Interactive Manger

The New Home

They say "Home is where the heart is" and if that were the case, I'd split all over the world!

However, here is where part of my heart is settling for now.  This first photo is one from the entrance and you can see that it's the kitchen/dining room that leads up to the living room and bedroom.  It's actually a really spacious apartment (especially for Tokyo) and has an amazing kitchen setup.  

Did you know that most apartments don't have an oven?  Japanese people don't use it much; instead they have a small "toaster" of sorts that grills fish for the most part.  Not much roasting of red meats here. 

Since I'm co-habitating, I've had to compromise on decor.  If it were up to me, there would be a lot more we've decided to stick with neutrals and navy blue, lol.

The bedroom is a mess because I don't have a dresser yet, so photos of that are yet to come.  Not exciting for anyone else but I'm so looking forward to really "settling in" and feeling at home in my new home!  

Sugar and Spice

Friday was my first Payday, so obviously that meant that I had to go spend some of it right away.  I'm also going to claim that the conversion rate and all the zeros confuzzle me in my impulse buys.  

I've been on a mission to rebuild my entire life: wardrobe, shoes, accessories, makeup, skincare, in any and every order.  Today was a bit of everything and I feel happy and content with my purchases!

1.  Mac lipstick.  My first Mac purchase!  I've always been a bit scared off by Mac, but I went through all their lipsticks to hunt for a perky pink I could wear as an everyday pick-me-up.  Next: the perfect red, nude and light pink.

2.  Rings!  I don't normally buy accessories, especially rings, because I always lose them, but these are just so exquisitely adorable that I had to splurge.  It's a terrible photo but it's a perfect amount of bling for my tiny fingers. 

3.  Black lace stockings.  I recently bought a black garter because I just love the idea of dressing up and these would go perfectly with it.  In fact, I bought a whole load of tights and socks:

I used to try and incorporate them in my SoCal wardrobe, much to my college roommates' dismay.  Now I can!  Who knew there could be so many designs in socks?!

I used to avoid frilly things, the color pink and feminine things when I was younger, but I've really come to embrace my (sometimes extreme) femininity.  I love being a girl!

Monday, February 20, 2012

It Snows in Tokyo

Quite bizarre to live in a city that actually snows.  In the middle of the day.  Like it's normal or something!  Clearly, it's a novelty to me and I was pretty gleeful even though it was freezing (of course).  I've been pretty proud of myself in being able to handle it so far, though I have found the secret to staying warm: heat packs.

I stick one to my innermost layer every morning and incubate myself all day (lasts 12 hours!).  That stuff is pure magic.  They even have ones you can stick in your pocket, shoes, etc.  Amazing.  I've even worn tights out and managed with these babies.  It seems that as long as my upper body is sealed up with layers and a scarf, I'm pretty okay.  My next goal: survive a whole day in heels.

Hope I'm not jinxing it, but I'm also very happy with work!  Time flies by and I really lucked out with my coworkers.  It really makes such a difference when you actually enjoy the people you work with and the work you do.  Who would have thought, right?

I'm excited for my new life!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Closet Space

He doesn't know it, but I have my sights on the The Closet.

It started out 50/50 between me and the boy, but clearly I'm taking claim to about 66% now.  Hey, those winter clothes take up way more space!  This doesn't included another closet about half the size that holds my coats and his work shirts.  Did I mention I'm shopping for a dresser (with a mirror on top for maximum makeup/jewelry accessibility, please), too?

Something like this would be ideal.  Of course, it doesn't seem to exist in Japan.  Just like crockpots.

Honestly, I don't know how people in Japan store everything they need in the tiny apartments.  Jackets and sweaters themselves take up too much space!  I wish I could observe people and learn their ways (in the most uncreepy way possible).

Drinking on the Job and Staying Warm

Well, not it really on the job if I haven't officially started?  I'm drinking English tea at the moment, bytheway...

...but I did just come back from having work drinks with my soon-to-be colleagues.  Apparently, it's the "British thing" to have work drinks at...2PM.  Is it?  English Boyfriend = useless.  Just kidding, I've learned lots from him...mostly about why everyone mocks Americans, that we're fat, have poor taste in style, and terrible footwear.

Anywho, very excited for my first weekend back in Tokyo, my first week of work and my first cup of tea.  I've been eating up a storm as well (on my second lunch and counting; I feel like a Hobbit) and I think that's due to my fast metabolism and the cold weather.  Brr!

This weekend, I'll be on the hunt for some gloves and a coat (of all things, I know).  The girls here are killer with their style and I have a sudden longing for a lovely wool coat with a fur collar.  I'm very particular about [faux] fur and I prefer fox, mink or rabbit...a sort of even, soft texture rather than the very long, scraggly-looking kind.

This one is just lovely...the huge price tag makes me want it even more.  It's sick.

And being female, of course I'm not satisfied with just one color, I "need" black, beige, navy and then something aqua or fuschia.  In that order.

P.S. Just realized that I forgot to take the price tag off my new sweater (pictured).  Nice one.  Apparently I'm worth $59.90 from Ann Taylor Loft (but it's now on sale for $12.88!). 

Thursday, February 09, 2012

I'm an Alien

It's my 2nd full day back in Tokyo and I'm feeling a bit tired!  I'm glad I bumped up my flight by one day because it's made a big difference in my settling-in.  I remember how to get to the train station and how to buy tickets, etc., however I've found that I've forgotten how to use the electric appliances in our apartment!  Other things I've noticed:

1.  Slow cookers/crockpots do not exist in Japan.  They cook rice, rice only and do a darn good job of it by the price of some of them! 
2.  Girls still look chic and amazing in the freezing winter.
3.  Fur really does make you warmer; it especially cuts down on the wind chill.
4.  I've forgotten what little Japanese I had so intensively studied.
5.  Adam's negligence of the refrigerator lead to a horrifying discovery.  The eggplant I found had it's own colony developing.  
6.  I want to buy everything. 

But most notable for today:  I applied for my Alien Registration Card!  It's just the first step to becoming a permanent resident here...O_o

Otherwise, I've mostly been adjusting the recent bachelor pad into it's previous decency.  Lots of cleaning, organizing, laundry (4 loads so far!), grocery shopping, unpacking, furniture/home shopping, and did I mention cleaning?  

I needed to take a bit of a break so I made myself a delicious dinner of chicken, soup and roast spare ribs.  The chicken came out so much better than anticipated!  Mom would be proud.  I even made the sauce to go with it.

I'm not sure what to call this's not Hainan chicken but it's similar. Boiled and served with brown rice, bok choy, and the homemade ginger sauce. No photo but I also made a pretty good soup after with the chicken stock, carrots, onions, dried dates and berries and salted turnip.

Grilled pork spare ribs with garlic salt, pepper and fresh thyme. I'm not sure if its the oven in Japan but I haven't quite got it down perfectly like Mom and Amah's.

I feel that sort of limp exhaustion now that I've laid down.  I'm just going to blame it on the weather, the walking, or the jetlag.  Or all of the above.  

Friday, February 03, 2012

Tokyo, Here I (and a Vitamix) Come!

I decided to take the job offer in Tokyo!  What a relief it is to make the decision and stick with it.  I know a lot of people think I'm crazy, but I guess I've always imagined life abroad.  Maybe it's because I know I'll always come back to California.

In all honesty, I am really looking forward to feeling a bit settled for a while.  This is the first time I've made a solid decision to actually move abroad with the intention of staying for a bit.  So now I'm frantically stocking up on things I feel I can't get (especially) in Japan and being a bit ridiculous about it.

For example, it started out with the idea that everything in the States is cheaper than in Japan (it's true), so I figured I should buy my work clothes here since the sales are ridiculously amazing post winter season.  Then I was reminded about how I can't read anything in Japanese and how I struggled to find cold/flu medicine while I was over there a few months ago.  So I stocked up on common meds and remedies.  Then came Costco food: dried nuts, berries, chocolate chips (seriously, I found a tiny bag for too much money in Japan), and I even contemplated a bag of radiation-free brown rice before my mom chastised me with an AI-YAHH!

While I was in Costco, I saw that the Vitamix people were blending together tortilla soup and talking about pulverizing avocado pits - it was amazing.   Because it's healthy and don't I want to be healthy, too?

So here I am with 3 massive suitcases (1 extra baggage already) full of clothes, shoes, meds, food and a 16-pound Vitamix box that will be my travel buddy and carry-on to Tokyo.

Have I mentioned I need to figure out how to carry my laptop and SLR camera?

Packing in a hurricane.