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Woo-Hoo! The time is almost near. Tomorrow I’m going to a concert performed by my all-time favorite Ska band SAVE FERRIS. This while be the first time in nearly 20 years since I’ve last seen this band perform live. I’m so super excited, but I’m still feeling the lingering effects from my cold, so I’m kind of bummed that I won’t get to fully sing along with the band tomorrow night. However, I still plan on fully enjoying myself & dancing along to all my favorite songs, & groove to the new songs from their new album Checkered Past. 

The day after tomorrow, I’m heading off to Los Angeles to celebrate my niece’s 7th birthday. I’m bummed out that I didn’t get to do my usual “aunt thing” & go hog wild on a massive birthday present for my niece this year. Jian made me stick to a budget & only get my niece a small gift. I love spoiling my niece & nephew, especially splurging on birthday gifts, so it was especially hard for me to keep it simple this year. I’m really excited to be celebrating my niece’s birthday with her this year. Usually my niece & nephew only want to have a party with their friends, but this year we are having a family celebration as well.

Shortly after I come back from Los Angeles, I have to unpack & repack my suitcase, so I can jet off to jolly ol’ England. I still cannot believe I’m going to London! I’m excited & freaking out at the same time. I’ve always wanted to visit London & never thought I’d get the opportunity, but it’s all really happening! Being able to check something off of my bucket list has such a rewarding & fulfilling feeling. I know I am going to fully immerse myself in this experience. I’m going to take it all in & fully enjoy myself.

I also want to let you in on a secret. Lately I’ve been listening to more ASMR audio & watching more ASMR videos. Okay, that’s not the actual secret here. The secret part of this fun fact is that I’ve been particularly drawn to a very specific genre of ASMR audio/video. The genre I’m referring to is highly mature themed & risqué, & that means the theme is one you would put a parental control on if your kids were in the room. I don’t want to get into too much specifics about what I’m listening to; that is wading into an extremely personal area I am not comfortable sharing with you. I will say one mor thing about these ASMR audios/videos before I move on. After listening to these audio files, I feel so much more lighter & happier. My daily mood  has turned in a very positive direction. I’ve been smiling more, & I’m definitely more upbeat throughout the entire day. I can’t wait until the sources I follow will update new content for me to listen to. One of my biggest inspirations for going back to listening to these audio files is a person who means something special to me.

My inspiration.

Before I finish this post, I’d like to add one random thing. There was a slightly older gentleman who was sitting across from me at the communal table at the big box coffee shop. I took notice of him almost immediately after he sat down because I thought he looked attractive. Hey, before you get any silly ideas in your head, I was not stealing side glances at him the entire time (just partially), & I was not stalking him. I first took notice of the gentleman himself, then quickly observed (snooped at) what he was doing while drinking his coffee. He was writing very meticulously in his neat & tidy notebook while reading from a slim reference book & glancing at notes on his smartphone. The first thing I noticed was how impeccably neat & precise his penmanship was while he was writing in his notebook. That attracted me more than anything. Listen, if a guy has neat penmanship, that’s a win in my book, or should I say, that’s a turn on for me. The second thing I noticed was this gentleman was writing some sort of mathematical/scientific equations along with his notes. This guy was pretty incredible, which is what I gathered from my short notice of him before he packed up & left. Man, I can’t stop thinking about this gentleman’s clean handwriting & feel envious. I’ve made it well known that my handwriting looks like chicken scratch. No matter how much I practice my writing, I always feel like my handwriting is so sloppy & looks too masculine for a lady, but too childish to be considered masculine. It’s just blah penmanship. I kind of wished at that moment that I had nice handwriting like that gentleman. The only good thing I can say about my penmanship is that it’s legible. I’m not going to forget this gentleman anytime soon.

This is just for reference, to paint a picture of my scenario. I’m NOT a creep, I promise.

Ok, lastly, I must sign off with my usual send-off. Cheers, mate.

Today’s song of the day:

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First of all, I want to say that I’m so excited to be going on another vacation at the end of this month. Although I have proclaimed many times in the past that I’m a lover of traveling, I am getting a little burnt out from all of this back-&-forth flying & packing/unpacking. I am extremely appreciative & grateful that I am able to travel (regardless if it’s near or far), I’d just like to say that here & now. I love what I do, & I want to express my sincerest & humblest of gratitude & appreciation.

During this past long weekend, when most Americans were celebrating Fourth of July/Independence Day (also jokingly referred to as #Amexit on the Internet), Jian surprised me with an impromptu road trip to Los Angeles. He was somehow itching to go on a long drive, & he was throwing out random ideas like driving to Portland, Oregon or perhaps Las Vegas, Nevada. While I was all for driving to Portland, I didn’t want to spend too much time driving & not enough time exploring the city. So, I threw out the random idea of driving to Los Angeles. It’s far without being too far. Jian absolutely loved the idea, & we pretty much pulled this hair-brained idea out of our derrièrs at the absolute last minute.

Once we had our weekend mapped out, we pretty much had one goal in mind, well, actually two goals: 1. to revisit all of our favorite hang-out spots from our college days, & 2. to visit the California location of Lady M Café. Yes, our minds were pretty much blown away when we found out Lady M Café opened a location in Los Angeles. Our minds were blown even more (if that’s even possible) when we found out that this shop was only 5 blocks down the street from our hotel. Needless to say, being a huge cake lover, I made several trips to this shop, & I do not feel one bit guilty for eating so much cake.

What makes Lady M so special? Well, they specialize in various delicate cakes, but their absolute specialty & signature cake is the infamous Mille Crêpe Cake…a cake so delicate & delicious that I would do just about anything for a slice of this creamy crêpe heaven.

What is Mille Crêpe cake? Well, it’s a French invention, but has been popularized around the world by the Japanese. It’s basically a stack of thin crêpe sheets with thin layers of soft cream in between the sheets of crêpes. These cakes, in more recent years, have expanded from the traditional vanilla flavor to other flavors (i.e. matcha, coconut, chocolate, etc.). My favorite flavor will always be the classic vanilla flavor.

lady m los angeles

This is a sample of the various cakes we bought for our friends. From Top Left: coconut crêpe flavor, Courrone du Chocolat, matcha crêpe flavor, strawberry Mille Feuille. Bottom Right: signature flavor.

Over the years, Jian & I have tried various forms of this cake, but we could never find anything as comparable to the first place we ever experienced this golden unicorn of cakes.

la voie crepe cake

Café la Voie in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo is where we first encountered this cake. It is so beautiful & delicious, I nearly burst into tears every time I eat Mille Crêpe cake at this café.

harbs choco crepe cake

HARBS is also another famous high-end cake shop in Tokyo that has their own crêpe cake recipe. I tried this chocolate explosion just to compare the flavor to the original. This one is very, very sweet, so proceed with caution if you’re not a sweets fan. This cake was also particularly dense, which I was not used to.

We’ve had various crêpe cakes from here to there & everywhere in between. Some of the the chain coffee shops in Tokyo have Mille Crêpe cakes that are also as delicious as the high-end cake shops. Chain shops like DoutorExcelsior (which are like the Starbucks & Peet’s equivalent in Japan) have some of the best inexpensive crêpe cakes.

Back in the States, I’ve had my fair share of ups & downs with this elusive cake. Many years ago, there was a Japanese restaurant that had opened in Japantown. The pastry chef that worked at that place specialized in Mille Crêpe cake. Jian & I were so ecstatic that there was finally a place near us where we could eat this cake again. Sadly, after 2 years this restaurant closed & the pastry chef moved on.

There have been other American restaurants all over the city that have attempted to serve their version of the Mille Crêpe cake (eg. Café des Amis, Cockscomb, & Hog&Rocks), but somehow they weren’t able to quite grasp the light, airy, soft texture of the cake. Some of the cakes were just too dense, too hard, too sweet, too dry, &/or too over-the-top in avant grade flavor for such a delicate cake recipe. I just cannot wait until I go back to Japan at the end of this month & will be able to try the original cake recipe once again. Yessssss!
In other news, like I’ve said in my previous blog, I’ve decided to decorate my new backpack, & I’ve already begun the process. So far, I’ve only added two things to my backpack, a keychain & a pin, but I’m in love with the progress.

hellolulu chain

I chose this Rilakkuma bird keychain because it fit with the yellow color scheme of my backpack. Also, I liked how it was a small discreet size without being too tiny to notice.

hellolulu pink

I chose this Victory V hand emoji pin because I using this emoji often on all of my social media accounts. It’s my favorite emoji icon to use.

Well that’s just about all I have to say for now. I’m sorting through all of my things to pack for my next trip. Three weeks will really sneak up on you fast. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

Boy, greeting card companies like Hallmark™ must love me!  I am the customer that keeps on giving (my money, that is).  I am such a sucker for any type of greeting card or postcard with a cute design, illustration, graphic or photo on it.  No matter what the occasion is, I have a card for that (except for, say, Sympathy or Get Well).  I don’t quite know what it is about those awesome little bi-folds of card-stock that keeps me coming back for more, but be it 1 or 100, I will not stop collecting them.

It’s not only about collecting, I also use the cards I buy.  I am constantly making/writing cards for friends & family.  For example, one year, a friend of mine was really upset over the passing of her pet, so I sent her a note to convey my thoughts.  It was a serious matter, but all those With Sympathy cards you see at the store just seemed too heavy & sorrowful.  So, I decided to lighten the dark mood by using a Bon Voyage (a.k.a. going away) card…to say one of those “This is not a ‘goodbye’, just a long ‘see you later’ ” type things.  That’s what I do…it’s a small example of how I use all those darn cards I’ve hoarded over the years.

So, after all that’s been said, I recently came back from a trip to Los Angeles.  My companion & I were entertaining some relatives visiting from overseas.  We took them to a new favorite hang-out spot, the Abbott-Kinney district in Venice Beach.  While we were there, I stopped by my new favorite shop Urbanic Paper Boutique.  As you all may know by know, I always find a way to sniff out new stationery shops every time I go on a trip.  So, while I was there, I couldn’t resist getting a few cards & things.  You couldn’t expect me to leave empty-handed, could you?  Nope, I didn’t think so.  Now for the reveal… Dun, dun, da-dun… 

urbanic 1

1. blank card w/ fruits, metallic hearts & striped circles graphic
2. “Wedding Day Wishes” card for an upcoming wedding of my friends in Taiwan
3. blank French-themed card that says “Bonjour” on the cover
4. blank “World’s Best Husband” medal card (that I might give to my husband soon)
5. “Happy Birthday” card w/ a hatchback car & presents illustration
6. black & gold decorative washi-tape w/ a honeycomb/link type pattern
7. color swatch inspired bookmark (it was free)

Here’s a close-up look at the washi-tape pattern:

close-up

close-up view

 

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Good, hot, black coffee. ☕️ . . . . . . . . . . #BlackCoffee #good #hot #beverage #coffee #CuppaJoe #cafe #caffeine #delicious #EditedByMe #JustForFun #ILoveCoffee #CoffeesOfInstagram #DrinksOfInstagram #DamnFineCoffee #TrackName #SongTitle #MTBRD #Chillhop #ChillhopMusic #LoFiHipHop #chill #LoFiBeats #music #InShotApp @chillhopmusic @inshot.app @mtbrd
Break time is for doughnuts and milk in a classic retro Sesame Street mug from the 1980s. 🥛🍩 . . . . . . . . . . #BreakTime #HappyHour #doughnuts #donuts #OriginalGlaze #glazed #milk #IceColdMilk #SesameStreet #VintageMug #classic #retro #MyCupIsFromThe80s #80sThrowbackCup #KrispyKreme #ComfortFood #snack #delicious #nostalgia #FeelLikeAKidAgain #SweetTreat #SoSatisfying #FoodsOfInstagram #Instafood #SnacksOfInstagram #SweetsOfInstagram #LineCamera #FoodieApp @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official @krispykreme
I might be late, but in the spirit of Father’s Day, this is my tribute to my dad. This was his favorite shoe horn that I remember from my early childhood. I used to play with it all the time even though my parents told me not to. Not to prove how small/short I was/still am, I used to pretend that this was my cane that I used to walk around with. I loved the dog carved on the handle & pretended that it was my pet dog (like the talking bird umbrella from Mary Poppins). This shoe horn is a symbol of my father & a lasting memory I will always cherish. 🐕 👞 🎺 . . . . . . . . . . #ShoeHorn #OldRelic #vintage #retro #StillFashion #memories #nostalgia #FathersDay #ChildhoodMemories #HandCarved #wood #shell #dog #dad #father #childhood #HappyFathersDay #TheyDontMakeThemLikeThisAnymore #FoodieApp #LineCamera @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official
I am very happy at this hour. 🍹 . . . . . . . . . . #ChefsGinJams #GinJams #cocktail #drink #gin #lemon #tonic #PineappleJam #pineapple #jam #garnish #HappyHour #WeekendMode #FridayFunday #Cockscomb #SF #SoMa #CityLife #CityLiving #SummerVibes #InHonorOfAnthonyBourdain #LetsHaveAnother #DrinksOfInstagram #LineCamera #FoodieApp @cockscombsf @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official
Some food for comfort from home. 🍛 . . . . . . . . . . #ハヤシライス #HayashiRice #FavoriteDish #rice #MushroomAndBeefSauce #AlmostStew #delicious #flavor #CityLife #CityLiving #lunch #Usagi #ウサギ #洋食 #DTSM #FoodsOfInstagram #DoingItForTheGram #LineCamera #FoodieApp @foodieapp.official @linecamera_official @usagi_yoshoku
It’s not a proper Instagram without a glamour shot of delicious food. 🦆 . . . . . . . . . . #duck #HalfOrder #meat #game #NotAGoose #DuckDuckGoose #delicious #flavor #HappyHour #drinks #FavoriteDish #DoingItForTheGram #GlamourShot #Instagram #Instaphoto #FoodsOfInstagram #CityLife #CityLiving #TheMorrisSF #SF #LineCamera #FoodieApp @themorris_sf @linecamera_official @foodieapp.official

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