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Why am I writing this blog post when I should be at home packing? Oh my gawd, I am procrastinating like crazy! There are some times when I am so good at organizing & I can pack a suitcase in one hour or less. For example, when Jian goes on his business trips, I can pack his suitcase in approximately twenty minutes; it’s incredibly easy. However, when it comes to packing my own suitcase, I drag my feet until it becomes crunch time & I absolutely have to pack or else I will be stuffing clothes into a plastic bag right up to the last minute.

I’m excited to be going on another trip, but I am kind of dreading packing my suitcase. I don’t like the feeling of anxiety that I might forget something important, or anxiety that I am over packing for such a short trip. I think I am an efficient traveler. I try not to bring everything plus the kitchen sink (like my mom does), but there are some times when I feel like I’ve over packed & don’t use half of the stuff I’ve packed. There are other times when I feel like I’ve packed the wrong items & wished I had brought that other shirt/pants. I also get anxious about over packing my toiletries. Of course, I’d love to pack full-sized bottles of shampoo & body wash, but it’s just not practical, logical, or feasible. I always have this fear that I’ll run out of my favorite bath product while I’m on vacation, & I dislike buying new bottles when I should’ve just brought more of it from home. I know that hotels offer their own soaps & shampoos, but I like using my own brand from home. I’ve gotten so used to the scents & how my body has adjusted to the products.

It’s hard to be a female sometimes…with all of those skin care products, body washes, hair products, lotions, etc….when all guys have to bring is a bar of soap, toothbrush, shaving razor, & deodorant. If a guy wants to “do” his hair, he can throw on a hat. Girls always want to style their hair, even for wearing hats. Jian’s got one small dopp bag for all of his toiletries. I’ve got two large organizer bags/pouches to hold all of my toiletries. I try to scale down as much as possible, but even with my bare essentials, I can still fill up two toiletry pouches.

I should stop complaining now & just get to it. I’m one of those types of people who, when pressed for time, can hunker down & get the task done in one fell swoop. So, I’m going to just focus on my task & get my suitcase packed. I’m leaving for Los Angeles on Thursday with my mom, & for the first time without Jian. We’re leaving early to celebrate my aunt’s 69th birthday before our tour. From Los Angeles, our tour group will be flying to Tokyo on Saturday. Then, from Tokyo, we’re taking the Shinkansen to Kyoto. We’ll be traveling around between Kyoto, Biwako, Gion, Osaka, & Nara.

This will be my first trip to Japan without Jian since 2006. It feels very weird to be traveling without Jian for the first time in a long time, especially to our favorite Asian country. I am excited though to be showing my younger cousin around Japan for the first time. I’m so fortunate that my cousin & I are super close & we get along so well. Although she loves hanging out with her parents, I’m sure she will feel relieved to have someone closer to her age that she will get to hang out with, rather than just being around older adults all day. My cousin is a huge Japan-ophile, just like I once was when I was in my teenage years until my twenties. I’m betting that this trip will only make her want to visit Japan more, & probably sign up for a study abroad program at her school. Either way, it’s going to be great. I’m going to leave this blog post & pack. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

fox hanky1a

“Okay. Say hello to my little friend.” – Tony Montana (Scarface circa 1983)

I was recently browsing the Internet, doing a little bit of online window shopping, looking for some last minute travel gear I might need for my upcoming trip to Japan. I like to shop at the online store MochiThings, which specialize in Korean-based stationery, gifts & home/lifestyle goods. Some of their items such as backpacks, luggage organizer pouches, & electronics carry cases can be on the pricier side. However, their stationery goods are often reasonably priced, & this website often holds discount sales events. I got extremely lucky when I saw this fox pattern handkerchief on their website. It just happened to be on the last day of their 15% off sale, & I knew I had to snatch this up immediately. I mean, hello! It’s a freaking handkerchief with foxes printed on it! Need I say more? Nopes (except, maybe they need to come out with a rabbit print handkerchief next).

Anyway, I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw this handkerchief smack dab on the front of their homepage, under the “new items” category. Then, I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw that this was part of the 15% off sale. I had to check my desk calendar (which I also bought on MochiThings) THREE times just to make sure I made the cut-off date for the sale. I grabbed this handkerchief right on the very last day of the sale, & with the discount, I was practically able to shave off the cost of the sales tax & reduce a tiny bit of the shipping cost. This handkerchief was already reasonably priced at $12USD. If I were to have bought this handkerchief at a department store, or some fancy Asian stationery store, it would have easily cost upwards of $18USD or more. So, I feel like I got a pretty good deal here.

When I first saw the handkerchief on the website, I was sort of skeptical about the fabric based on the description I read. The website listed the fabric as being 100% cotton, but based on the photos, I thought the fabric might feel a bit coarse or stiff like natural linen. I was so incredibly happy when my package arrived in the mail. When I felt the fabric texture for the first time, I was so incredibly happy. This weave of cotton material is just the right type of fabric I look for in a handkerchief. It is so soft & smooth, but also has a well-made structure, so when you iron the handkerchief, it will maintain a sturdy shape.

It is often very difficult for me to find a cotton handkerchief that is soft in texture. Ok, I admit that I am very picky when it comes to the types of handkerchiefs I like (almost to the point of being fussy/particular/critical). I find most cotton handkerchiefs to be too stiff & too coarse/rough in texture. It almost feels like natural linen. I like soft pliable textured cotton. That’s what I know from my early childhood, when my dad used to lend me his handkerchiefs to use. He would often buy packs of 6 or 12 soft white cotton handkerchiefs to keep in his trouser pockets. Every time I had a sniffle, he would lend me his handkerchief to wipe my nose. Eventually, he would just let me keep the handkerchiefs so I wouldn’t have to borrow them from him every time. That’s how I came into the habit of using handkerchiefs on my own.

This new handkerchief that I just got is quickly becoming one of my all-time favorites, not just because of the fabric & texture, but also because of the fox print. The fox graphics printed on this handkerchief is so perfect! It’s just the right balance of whimsy, charm & playfulness. What I love most about the fox print (other than the fact that it matches my blog’s name) is that the fox design itself is perfect. It’s sweet & cute without being too feminine, cartoonish, or childish. I am so in love! I can’t wait to bring this handkerchief to Japan & use it! It’s also going to make a great addition to my ever-growing handkerchief collection.

On that note, I’d like to end this blog post with a little update on the decorations on my backpack. I added a new pin to my backpack that says “Legit”. I don’t have any specific reason why I chose this pin. I guess I like this frequently-used pop culture word. I think it fits in well with my Victory V hand pin. I don’t think I’ll be adding much else to my backpack. I don’t want to over-clutter it, & most importantly, I don’t want to put too many decorations on my backpack only to break it, scratch it, or lose it. So, I think I will keep it simple like this. Cheers!

hellolulu pin1

Today’s song of the day:

 

In anticipation for my next trip to Japan, I got myself a new backpack. Jian offered to lend me his backpack, but his is too masculine looking & large, & it would make me look like an odd shaped turtle waddling down the slim streets of Kyoto. Therefore, I opted to pick out my very own backpack. Why buy a backpack? Well, Jian & I have been using his backpack on our last several trips, & it is such an incredible convenience. I hate hauling around my over-sized & cumbersome purse when I’m on vacation, especially when I’m traveling to a hot weather destination. Also, I hate it when I constantly have to stop & adjust the strap(s) of my purse. Well, I could get myself a travel purse, but let’s face it. Those travel purses look like old lady bags (no offense to women of an older age…) & they’re just overall unattractive (& more expensive than the backpack I just got). A backpack is so much cooler looking, even though they still scream “Look at me! I’m a bloody bumbling tourist.

Originally, I had bought a backpack from the brand Fjällräven, but I had to return it because I had picked the wrong size. I accidentally got the child-sized bag instead of the adult size, & to my defense, the website was very confusing in their description. They don’t ever mention the dimensions (i.e. height, width, etc.) of the backpack, but instead they list how many ‘litres’ the bag can carry. Since I’m not familiar with the European metric system, obviously it was harder for me to figure out. I was going to exchange the backpack for a larger size, but decided it would just be easier to return everything & get something else for myself. I was a little bummed that this backpack didn’t work out for me. It had a super cute fox patch already on it, & you know how I am about foxes (LOVE THEM, hence the blog name.)

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This is a sample of the first backpack I accidentally chose & the backpack next to it, was the one I was intending to get. (All photo credits belong to www.fjallraven.us)

So here is the backpack I ended up getting. It’s from a brand called hellolulu, & I think this backpack is sooo much cuter & more practical for my needs than the other bag I returned. I got this backpack from Flight 001, a travel store, during their backpack & luggage campaign. I still kept the mustard-ish yellow color, & I am so happy with what I got. Here is a proper description of my backpack as described from the website:

Make your everyday commute in the city a mini-adventure. Tate is here to declutter your journey by neatly and effortlessly organizing your belongings. The main zippered compartment, with magnetic closures, features an internal padded laptop sleeve, storage pockets, and pen slots. The exterior features two side slip pockets as well as a front zippered pocket with a key clip. The bag’s water-repellant coating allows you to take this bag anywhere to do anything, rain or shine.

Features and Benefits:

  • Polyester body with water-repellant & heavy duty UTX Duraflex buckles/accessories
  • Internal laptop compartment fits up to a 13″ laptop

Measurement: 11″ x 6.7″ x 16.1″

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Shall I give it a name?

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The straps are adjustable & very comfortable.

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This clip attaches to the ends of your shoulder strap to tuck them neatly out of the way.

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The front pocket is padded & large enough to fit an iPad sized tablet, & it even has a discreet carabiner for keys. The pocket on the side is roomy enough for large water bottles.

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There is an additional pocket on the other side as well.

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I love the green accents just on the zipper pulls to give the backpack a pop of color & a break from all that yellow.

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The opening of the main compartment has both a zipper closure & a magnetic closure for added security.

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There are FOUR additional pockets inside the main compartment. The largest pocket is also padded & able to hold up to a 13″ laptop.

I am so excited to be able to use this backpack in the future. This is going to be my new travel companion from now on, so I won’t have to only rely on Jian’s backpack, & I won’t have to schlepp around my bulky purse all the time. I’m thinking that this backpack would also be perfect to use on my annual Thanksgiving tradition of visiting Disneyland. My trip to Japan is still one month away, but I’m already itching to decorate this backpack with charm straps for the zippers & patches for the front. I might just post an update on how this backpack looks after I’ve decorated it. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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