May 10, 2011

Chotto matte, kudasai!


Well, Blogger's back, but I think I'm going to have to be on hold for a little while longer.

I'm stressing mad-bear-style right now, trying to find a job, an apartment, a life... I'm going to keep updating as much as I can, but a girl's gotta make bank! So, I'm off on my search. Wish me luck!

May 9, 2011

Broken Blogger!

Welcome to May, lovelies!!

Sorry I wasn't here to welcome it in with all of you, but I was on a much needed (and deserved) Golden Week vacation. Here in Japan we have four national holidays in a very close vicinity (April 29 (Showa Day), May 3 (Constitution Memorial Day), May 4 (Greenery Day) & May 5 (Children's Day)), and I took off May 2nd and 6th to make it a 10 day vacay.

And now I'm back and ready to rumble, but for some reason Blogger has different plans for lil ole me. It will not load to let me me post a new post, and so I'm using a "Blog This!" link on my Google Chrome. Unfortunately, it won't let me post any pictures or beautiful things, so we'll all just have to wait till tomorrow. I'll tell you all about the vanilla cupcakes I baked! And the chocolate cupcakes, too!

Until tomorrow!

Apr 27, 2011

Have you heard?

Yeah, OK, it's everywhere. A little too much everywhere if you ask yours truly, but I don't recall you asking me anyway. Regardless, I'm all for the world celebrating what is quite possibly a dream-come-true for Miss Middleton. What girl hasn't dreamt of becoming a princess? My Halloween costume was pretty much the same for most of my childhood - a pink frilly dress, a crown and a scepter. (Except at the age of two, when I was a vampire. That was awesome.) When folks asked cute little Amy what she wanted to be when she grew up, she firmly stated that she was to be a journalist princess. Of Missouri.

Alas, my Missourian Prince never did come knocking down my door. But while I was meeting my very own (not literal) Prince in Oregon, a beautiful girl from the small village of Bucklebury was nabbing herself Mr. Wales. And it sure isn't hard to see why Prince William - a man who, while having lost his boyish good looks (and glorious hair) in the past few years, could have had his pick of any eligible (or probably even ineligible) woman in the world - would fall for this anything-but-common beauty.

Miss Middleton has done amazingly well given her catapult into the spotlight. She holds herself with confidence and class, and perhaps most importantly, has an impeccable sense of style. Let's take a look at some of the possible future Queen of England's best outfits thus far (so excited to see the wedding dress!!).

While not her first shining style moment, this dashing, deep midnight blue Issa dress is by far one of her best. Miss Middleton has been spotted in Issa garments for more than five years, so it came at no surprise that she would remain loyal to the label while making the biggest announcement of her life thus far (I'm guessing a royal pregnancy would outweigh this). The engagement dress seen 'round the world sold out in less than 24 hours and Kate Middleton cemented her place as a royally incredible style icon.

Kate donned another Issa gown at a friend's wedding in 2010. This electric blue number was plastered on magazines everywhere as speculations of an imminent royal engagement grew. The poor bride was probably out-shined on her very own day.

Care to wager a bet on the designer of this gorgeous grey gown? 10 points if you said Dior! You'd be wrong, but you should at least get points for not guessing Issa. If you did guess Issa, give yourself 2 points - one for being right, and one for being predictable. Regardless, this stunning full-length dress made certain that all eyes were on the future princess and not the prince at her side.

But Kate doesn't only look put together at formal functions. Even pancake-tossing events call for a certain level of style, and on one of her first official events as a representative of the monarchy, Miss Middleton wowed in a beautiful Burberry trench with a flared hem. Showcasing her stylish superpowers once again, this double-breasted classic coat sold out within 24 hours of being seen on this beautiful lady.

Skinny jeans and a blazer are classics in every woman's closet and Kate shows all the ladies of her court how easily casual can be done. Alas, her face is saying, "Sure, you can dress like me, but you'll never be me. ::smirk::" Imitable and bitterly enviable in one swoop. That's how she rolls.

Here's to a happy marriage for both Prince William and Catherine Middleton. And congrats on stealing my dreams having your fairy tale come true.

...Prince Harry is still single, right?

Apr 26, 2011

Recipes for Beauty

This is one amazing cake. I love the brushes and the loose powder all over the makeup bag and eyeshadow palate!

While I would love to stuff my face with this masterpiece (given it's chocolate on the inside), I'm not sure how my skin would respond to all that sugar. Luckily for us gals who love to be beautiful but also wouldn't pass up a good plateful of yummies, there are loads of things we can find right in our kitchen that can be incorporated into our beauty routine. I'll just have to resist the temptation to snack as I spa.

Honey -- This sticky sweet is a humectant, or a substance that promotes retention of moisture. Humectants can be found in many moisturizing cosmetic treatments, such as conditioners and lotions. So for those with skin on the drier side of the spectrum, honey is a great way to fight the flakiness. Soak a cloth in warm water, ring it out and place on your face for a few minutes to help open your pores. Cover your skin with the honey and leave on for 15 to 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water, then pat skin with a cold, damp cloth to close pores back up.

Honey & Papaya -- Once again, honey proves to be a great beauty tool for women of all skin types. This lightening mask is made specifically for those who suffer from hyperpigmentation, sun spots or uneven pigment. Start by blending two tablespoons of honey and half a cup of ripe, mashed papaya. Spread it evenly on your face and neck and leave for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water and follow up with a moisturizer.
Raw egg yolk -- Rich in vitamin A, which is commonly found in acne-fighting products, egg yolks are a simple and easy - be it a bit disgusting - DIY face mask. Beat the yolk, spread on a clean face and let it sit for about 30 minutes. Rinse it off with cool water. 

Raw egg white -- Don't throw away the other part of that egg just yet. Egg whites are great full of protein, which will give you a bit of a lift as it dries on your skin. Beat the egg white until frothy and cover the face. Let it dry and then rinse with warm water. 

Banana -- Magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, iodine, folic acid, and vitamins A, B, and E can all be found in a banana. All of these are also very nourishing for your skin, making bananas a very popular all-natural ingredient in DIY face masks that will leave your skin feeling and looking softer. Leave a mashed, overripe banana on your face for about 15 to 30 minutes then rinse with warm water.

Apple cider vinegar
--  If you can get past the oder, apple cider vinegar serves as a great toner, and has for centuries. It promotes blood circulation in the small capillaries that irrigate the skin, while also preventing the spread of bacteria, viruses and yeast, which can cause infections. Dilute one part apple cider vinegar with two parts water and use it every morning and night as a cheap cleansing and tightening toner. 

Those are just a few of the homemade DIY beauty tricks that you can pull straight out of your kitchen. What are your favorite beauty recipes?

Apr 25, 2011


It's Monday...
Except I'm on a futon on the floor...
I've been feeling so unmotivated lately. I'm feeling angry and restless, bitter and disappointed. I'm not sure what's going on in this brain and heart of mine, but I'm having a difficult time finding my way out of it. Last week, I thought it was just because it was getting close (but not close enough) to the weekend, but I still can't quite seem to shake this. Perhaps it's the weather - one minute it's beautiful and sunny, two minutes later, there's a crack of thunder and the sky has opened up. But if you wait five minutes, it'll be sunny again. Only to repeat.

But I'm always up for a good laugh. Join me, will you?

Please, please, please WATCH THIS VIDEO!!!

And now the sun's back out! Feeling much better...

Apr 22, 2011

My 12.5

Happy Friday, lovelies! I'm so glad the weekend is finally upon us and though it's another rainy day here in the city, I'm in a jolly mood cause I know I'll get to sleep in tomorrow!

So, the boys and I have created a rating scale. It's kind of complicated and kind of confidential, so just briefly I'll say that 13 is the highest ranking someone (or thing, depending on the category) can get. We sat for a few hours over dinner a while ago, going though all the celebrities we could think of. When I was asked who I think my highest rated celebrity would be, I shocked them by pulling out this guy:

Haha, right? No, but seriously:

I remember when I first saw this picture and my jaw dropped. Can you believe this kid:

grew up to be this guy?

Joseph Gorden-Levitt is my 12.5 (for right now). While there are a few others not too far behind, I've got to say I currently have a major soft spot for this man. And that's not only because I think he's incredibly handsome, but he's also a pretty amazing actor. While I really did not like (500) Days of Summer (waaay too hipster for my taste, but also I saw it on a plane), I thought he held his own next to the amazingly talented Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception. I'm excited to see him in the upcoming Hesher, also starring Best Actress winner Natalie Portman.

He's looking quite different in that flick, though, so for now, let's just sit back and enjoy some pretty pictures of this pretty man.

With Zooey Dechanel, who ranks about 11.5.
Also, doesn't he look like Heath Ledger here?

Have a lovely weekend!!

Apr 21, 2011

Brilliant! Daily Outfit Planner DIY

Some days, I enjoy pulling out random pieces of my wardrobe and mixing and matching them. I love trying out new things, especially with my look, and some of my favorite outfits have come from a "What if...." kind of moment. The only problem with this is that my closet ends up looking like a disaster area and I'm too exhausted from putting on and taking off all those darn clothes that I skip the hangers and end up washing a load of already clean clothes (what a horribly lazy lady I am, I know!!)

But I stumbled upon a brilliant DIY idea that will help keep my closet organized: a Daily Outfit Planner, complete with cut up pictures that you can mix and match! It's like in Super Mario Brothers when you're in the Toad House and you have to match the top, middle and bottom of the pictures to get a prize. In this case, your prize could be a whole new outfit that never even crossed your mind.

Looking fresh, Mr. Star Plant-toad!

I had never even thought to do something like this, but it's such a simple and brilliant idea! Check out Photojojo for the simple step-by-step directions. They also give suggestions on how to kick it up a notch with outfit planners specifically for work or play, or even make-up planners to see if that purple smokey eye clashes too much with the pale pink lipstain you just bought.

Have fun!

Apr 20, 2011

Spring in my Step

With only 10 days left, April is already drawing to a close. May is one of my favorite months of the entire year - the sun shines, green leaves spring out, and I can finally stop wearing two pairs of socks every day. My pampered feet hate being restricted and I love the feeling of that first step into my spring sandals.

Unfortunately, I have been strictly forbidden to buy any new shoes. There's no way I'll be able to bring even half of my shoe collection home, so I know that if I can't resist the temptation to purchase a new pair of pretty pedicure protectors, I'll be forced to part with one I've already decided to save.

But that hasn't stopped me from looking! Right now, I'm set on finding a pair of yellow shoes. I mentioned in my post on Paris Fashion week that I was drooling over a pair of bright yellow pumps, and I haven't been able to get them off of my mind since. Here are a few of the lemony looks I've been lusting after.

Nine West Blanca

Aren't these beauties just incredibly gorgeous? Wedges are in style pretty much every warm season, and of course spring 2011 is no exception. These cuties are not only affordable at $99, but they come in all kinds of bright, springy colors. These are definitely on the top of my list when I get back to America.

MK16251 by Michael Kors
Designed by the Project Runway resident Sass-meister himself, Mr. Michael Kors, these thick-strapped, 5-inch wedges are simply to die-for. Unfortunately, the price could also kill. Would you spend $727.20 on a pair of (really, really adorable) espadrilles? I would, but that would mean I couldn't eat for a month or two...
Fritzz by Steve Madden Madden Girl
A strappy sandal is always a go-to for spring and summery days, and these ridiculously precious striped Madden Girl heels would get many miles out of me. At just $69.95, they'd be worth every penny. As an added bonus, every purchase over $20 from Steve Madden will get you a free subscription to Us Weekly! Beach reading and beach shoes all in one place, ladies! (But try to avoid the sand in these suckers. You'll sink!)

Naughty Monkey Carumba Platform Sandal
From studs to snakeskin, these mustard-hued caged bootie beauties are a trendy girl's best friend. With a price of $74.95, they're a pretty good friend to a poor girl, too. The more I look at these, the more I want to pull out my credit card...
A good pump is always a staple in a girl's closet. These super stylish peeptoes stand out thanks to the lovely color, but are demure enough for a working girl to rock in the office. At just $70.00, a working girl could afford them as well.
BB Suede in Yellow by Repetto
A lady always has a good flat in the mix (even us shorties) and this saffron suede ballet flat could be perfectly paired with a frilly, floral skirt or casual, cuffed jeans and never fail to impress either way. But at $265, the good impression would not come cheap.

What spring shoes are you looking for?

Apr 14, 2011

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

Though it's ridiculously stressful, I'm so excited to move into a new home. It's not that I don't love our current abode - I know it probably won't get any better for a while, anyway - but it's so temporary that it's difficult to really invest anything in it. If I had my way, my hubby and I would be in the market for an actual home that we could call our own, but that ain't gonna happen anytime soon (hello, future student loans...ugh). That doesn't stop me from dreaming, though, and I've put together my perfect little home, located in the beautiful, rolling hills of my brain. Welcome! Let me take you on a tour!

Here's our spacious, bright kitchen. Isn't it just lovely, with our re-purposed hardwood floors? Ahhh, I'm so glad we chose to live somewhere that's 75-degrees year-round. I love having the windows - or in this case, the entire wall - open, with ocean breezes drifting through my home. And why, yes! I am baking cookies! Don't they smell delish?

Here's where I sit and read in the afternoons while the children do their homework quietly in their rooms. I simply adore window seats and this cozy little nook even overlooks our lake. (Yeah, we have a lake and the ocean by my house.) That's our dock there, you see. And once the boys are done with their math, you can find them fishing together before dinner. We're kinda perfect like that.

"Where's Momma?" 
"I think she's taking a bath." 
"Again? That's the fourth time today!"

Ahem. Sorry about that little outburst. Let's take a walk outside, shall we? You can take a look at my porch bed. That's right. I said porch bed. Oh, you don't have one of those? How do you live with yourself?

Surely you have a laundry room, though. Look how perfectly organized and clean mine is! This little table above the washer and dryer was totally my idea. That way the maid can fold all the laundry as soon as it comes out and I won't find her folding clothes all over my living room floor. Pretty ingenious, wouldn't you say?

And here's one of our guest bedrooms. Yes, that's an alcove bed. We've been told by guests that this is actually nicer than their real beds at home. Never mind that it's in a closet; look at all the throw pillows! They say there's a direct link between the number of throw pillows and how comfortable a bed is. It was proven by scientists. No? That's not true at all? Throw pillows are actually kinda annoying because they're too small to use properly but you can't get away from them cause they're everywhere? Well, whatever. Alcove!

And finally, let's take a look at our library. Isn't it to-die-for? The shelves multi-task as steps! You can climb all the way to the top, where there's a little skylight and the floor is actually one giant fluffy bed/pillow thing. When I'm not baking cookies and staring out of the wall, or reading in my cozy nook overlooking our dock, or poking the fire in the bath, or snoozing on my porch bed (that's right, porch bed), or walking past the laundry room, or counting the throw pillows on our alcove bed, you can find me up there. 

Well, that's about it for now. Thanks for stopping by! It's not quite done yet, and once we add on, I'll be sure to update you, fair readers. Oh, and I'm venturing in to Tokyo this afternoon (for business, not pleasure), so I may not be able to update tomorrow. Let's just hope I don't come back as a radioactive monster, shall we! Tootles!

Apr 13, 2011

Style Crush - Rachel Bilson

Hello, ladies! What a lovely day it is again today. It's a picturesque spring afternoon; the sun is shining and there's a slight chill in the breeze, but not quite enough to make you pull your jacket tighter. It's the perfect day for jeans, flats (or cute closed-toe sandals) and a fitted blazer.

Ms. Rachel Bilson, known best for her breakthrough role as Summer on The OC, never fails to effortlessly exude an exquisite but easygoing look, and is currently serving as my biggest inspiration for this spring's style. She's a gal that gets caught by the paparazzi doing mundane, dull as dishwater errands like shopping, stopping for coffee, paying a parking meter, or catching a flight but always looks pulled together without looking like she tried too hard. She's a prime example of  what I like to call "nonchalant-casual-fierceness."

Glasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
Jeans: Seven for All Mankind Ginger jeans
Top: Juicy Couture Cropped Top
At just 5'2" (or so), the petite actress knows how to dress for her body type and does so with such ease. She knows the importance having a good fit, but illustrates it with pieces that aren't restrictive, uncomfortable or tight. She's my hero for wearing flats with cuffed jeans at such a height, and as a fellow shorty, I find such inspiration in her stylish fearlessness.

Glasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
Sweater: Juicy Couture Chiffon Backed Cardigan
Tank: T by Alexander Wang French Terry Tank Top
Purse: Chanel Woven Fabric Shopping Tote with Lemarié Tweed Flower
Flats: Repetto BB Flats
Glasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
T-Shirt: Monroe Striped Tee
Stilt Jean in 22 Year Destroy by AG Gold Goldschmied
Flats: Repetto BB Flats
I can also take a page out of her book as she travels around the world.

Glasses: Ray-Ban Wayfarer Sunglasses
Gerard Darel Marilyn sweater
Paige Premium Denim Skyline Ankle Peg Skinny Jeans
Liana Bootie by Coach
As you can see, Rachel Bilson has an easy, everyday style that can be imitated by gals of all heights and lifestyles. She has basics that she's attached to (those glasses and the flats), which makes her seem even more relatable and inspirational. I can't wait to try out some of her looks on these April and May weekends.

What do you think of Ms. Rachel Bilson's style?