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Hi, I’m Melsenpai, & I have a problem. That’s how these confessions usually start off, right? Well, to really get into it, I do have a problem…a stationery hoarding problem. It mostly revolves around postcards & pens, but today I will only be focusing on pens.

This all started when I was a small child back in the mid 80s. My aunts & uncles from Japan would always send my parents presents & snacks from overseas, & they would often include small trinkets for my sister & I (mostly Sanrio/Hello Kitty related). Also at that time, my sister’s dad (my mom’s ex-husband) used to manufacture licensed Sanrio merchandise. So, my sister would always get a whole bunch of free Sanrio stuff, which she would pass on to me if she didn’t want them or got bored of them. That really jump started my huge obsession/fanaticism/passion for practically ALL THINGS SANRIO. Then, when you couple this with my habit of hoarding (a.k.a. not wanting to give away or throw away any of my toys & things), that’s where the snowball effect came into play.

What I am about to show is only a portion of my pen collection (with a couple of mechanical pencils thrown into the mix). I’ve got many more pens scattered around the house & stashed away in old storage boxes. A while back I got this large craft box from the Container Store & quickly filled it with stickers, pens & other supplies.


That is what the box looked like before I went nuts. Over the course of one year plus that box became cramped, dare I say…too small. I filled up that box with what my husband would call “useless junk”…but I would call them my treasures! After my last few trips to Tokyo, this is what my craft box has become.


I had to take out all of my pens. They were becoming unruly & kept falling out every time I opened the box. This box now houses a majority of my stickers & a few washi masking tapes.


I now store all of my pens in a new box, which I lovingly refer to as Trevor. (Yes, I gave it a name.)


Trevor is slowly being filled up as well. However, despite all of my “hoarding”, I DO, in fact, use all of these things. I don’t just collect them for the fun of it. I actually use the stationery I buy. Though it may take a long time for me to use them all. I keep adding to my stockpile before I can finish them. Oh well. Cheers.

I have tried many beauty products before, & I’ve got to admit that I really like all of the products I’ve gotten in Japan.  There is one particular product that I’ve purchased recently that I have absolutely fell in love with.  The product is called Aroma Moist Cream, manufactured by Kowa Company, Ltd.  It is a rich hand & foot moisturizing cream that comes in five different scents (Grace Rose, Relaxing Lavender, White Floral Bouquet, Juicy Citron, & Herb & Fruits Tea).

I came across this cream one day while I was riding the JR metro train with my husband. I happened to spot this advertisement posted next to the train doors & took a picture of the ad with my cellphone camera thinking that I could show the photo to my Japanese friend. Perhaps she could help me find out where I could buy this cream.  Then, one evening, one of my female friends had asked to stop by one of the drug stores near our hotel, & that’s when I stumbled upon this cream.  It must have been fate, or a coincidence, or something like that.  I was so excited that I found this cream, I was tempted to get one tube in every scent.  However, my husband being the skeptic (& logical/sensible one), told me to just get one or two tubes since I didn’t know if I would like it or not.  I ended up getting two tubes (Grace Rose & Herb & Fruits Tea).

I just fell in love with this cream almost immediately.  The cream itself starts off really smooth & soft, but as you work the product into your skin, it becomes thick & rich in texture.  It really moisturizes the hands well, & it leaves a gentle scent (not an overpowering perfume smell).  No matter what the season, my hands are always feeling dry & my cuticles are always cracked &/or peeling.  After using this Aroma Moist Cream for about a month, my hands are feeling less dry & my cuticles are slowly coming back to life.  I don’t usually like floral scented anything, but I’ve been using the Grace Rose scented cream, & I am enjoying the soft fragrance.  It has a very delicate flower smell without smelling like a chemical perfume (eg. Febreez or those Glade plug-ins).  The Herb & Fruits Tea scent has notes of eucalyptus, cassis, rosemary, roses & pear. I haven’t yet tried the Juicy Citron scent…so I’m excited to try it soon.

Aroma Moist_Fotor_Collage
By the time I had returned from my trip to Tokyo this past November, I was mentally kicking myself for not getting more.  For weeks I had scoured the internet to see if I could buy this cream online (like at: Rakuten or Amazon) or find out any information about this product.  I had practically hit a dead end, until miraculously I was able to find this cream on the Amazon Japan website.  The price was also the same as what I paid in Japan which was ¥590 JPY (roughly $5.83 USD).  I didn’t waste any time buying more of this cream.  I quickly bought 6 tubes, but I didn’t quite buy all of the scents.  The scents I purchased this time were: (more) Grace RoseJuicy Citron, & (more) Herb & Fruits Tea.  I think I may have gone a little overboard with the hand creams, but since this cream is hard to get/find, I had to grab as much as I could to fill up my addiction to this cream!  Buying these creams through Amazon Japan was a bit of a hassle, since there are, sadly, a lot of products that cannot be shipped to the United States through their website.  However, I found a small loophole in which I used a forwarding service to be able to ship these to my American address.  Unfortunately, you do need to pay a shipping & handling fee to the forwarding service, which can get expensive, but for small items such as these creams the small fee was well worth it…& these sweet babies arrived on my doorstep just in time!  I am so happy I was able to find these creams again, & I can’t wait to use the other scents!!

On a side note, here’s a little trick I learned from my mom on how to “squeeze” the most out of a tube of hand cream (or a tube of just about anything).  Once I’ve squeezed a majority of the product through the cap of the tube, instead of squeezing the tube until it is flat, I will cut off approximately 1/4 to 1/3 of the end of the tube.  Then, I can reach in & scrape off the remaining product from the walls of the tube.  To cover the open end of the tube, I will use the cut-off end of the tube as a cap.  Voila!  It’s an easy way to get the most out of your tubed products.
Grace Rose_Fotor_Collage


February 2014

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