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Hey! Should I be this happy/relieved that I didn’t get sick until after my trip to Asia? I don’t know. Well, I’m very much relieved that I didn’t get sick at all during my trip to Asia, but I did, however, get a cold & a fever when I got back home. My body just can’t adjust to the rapid climate change fast enough. It was super hot in China, then coming home, it was quite chilly, & that sent my body’s immune system into a tailspin, which resulted in myself catching a cold that became compounded with a small fever. I am now at 87% recovery, if you can claim regaining an appetite for Taco Bell fast food burritos to be a sign of good health. But hey, at least I’m back to the point where I can sit up long enough to write this blog post & not feel like the room is swaying, or like I want to physically recall what I ate for lunch. Yuck! Anyway, let’s get on with it then.

One thing I love to do whenever I travel to Asia is to stock up on a ton of stationery goods that would usually be imported, over-priced, & expensive back in The States. This is especially & exceptionally true whenever I go back to Japan (because everything made in Japan is so damn cute & resistance is futile). So, needless to say, I pretty much gorged myself silly while I was in Hong Kong & Guangzhou on stationery goods, as well as a bunch of souvenirs for friends & family. Did I ever mention to you that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE GIVING GIFTS??? Yes, I love to give presents to friends & family even when it’s not any special occasion. Hey, I can give as well as I can take…but I like to give more. Ok, I’m going to jump right into the thick of things & just post my G*d D*mn photos already.

hk stationery haul

Zebra Sarasa Push Clip Gel Pens

I am a Zebra Sarasa Gel Pen addict & fanatic, especially of the 0.5mm tip sized pens. I think I have nearly one of each color in the entire pen line. When I first saw the “pastel milk” series of pens at my favorite online pen shop, I nearly creamed my pants. I was tempted to buy every single pen right then & there, but ultimately decided to wait. However, when I finally saw these pens in Hong Kong, I could no longer resist them. I saw these pens at the popular bookstore chain JP Books (by Joint Publishing Hong Kong) near my hotel, so I grabbed every color I could get my grubby little hands on. Since they didn’t have the entire pastel milk series of colors on hand, these are the colors I chose:

  1. Yellow (not part of the color series)
  2. Milk White
  3. Milk Pink
  4. Milk Orange
  5. Milk Green
  6. Milk Red

Aaaannnd…do you know what’s the best part? The bookstore was having a “buy three gel pens get one free” event that day! Now, you know I won’t pass up that offer. However, here’s the catch: the “free pens” only come in black ink. You don’t get to choose your own “free pen”. These are the free pens I ended up picking:

hk stationery haul1

I also have a passion for washi tape. My storage box that I keep all my tapes in, which I named Pierre, is now full to the point of nearly bursting. The same goes for my pen box, which is named Leroy. Leroy got so full, I had to take away some unused & unwanted pens to make room for my new additions. Now, I’m not saying that I’m exactly a stationery hoarder, but I’m getting there. I’d much rather say that I’m an avid collector.

hk gz stationery haul

washi tapes

Some of the washi tapes I got at JP Books in Hong Kong. Others I got at a different bookstore called Eslite Bookstore in Hong Kong. The rest of them I got at a third bookstore called “方所书店” (a.k.a. Fang Suo / a.k.a. Commune) in Guangzhou. These are the designs I chose:

  1. London print
  2. Pink cherry blossoms
  3. Metallic gold Japanese geometric pattern (this metallic color is more bronze)
  4. Blue & Red plaid pattern (this pattern is a comedic parody to the cheap plastic woven shopping bags popular in Hong Kong)
  5. Metallic gold with white pin-stripes (this metallic color is more yellow-gold)
hk stationery haul3

Sanrio washi tapes

I should also note that I am a Sanrio fanatic (more accurately, a “purist” fan). I’ve been an avid fan & collector of Sanrio goods since the early 1980s. My sister’s biological father used to manufacture goods for Sanrio, so my sister would get a lot of free goodies from her dad when she was younger. As she grew older, she would pass down a lot of her unwanted stuff to me, which I cherished greatly. Also, I would get a lot of cool & unique Sanrio gifts from all of my aunties & uncles from Japan, which turned me into an instant fanatic. So, obviously when I saw these washi tapes, I snatched them up immediately. Ok, I’ve seen these tape designs in the U.S., but they’ve always been too expensively priced, so when I saw how affordable they were in Hong Kong, I bought them right away. These were the designs I chose:

  1. Sanrio characters with a vintage stamp pattern
  2. Timeline of Hello Kitty designs
  3. Hello Kitty’s family & friends pattern

I saw one roll of tape with a pattern of Hello Kitty faces in a neon colored artsy avant garde design, but I didn’t get it because I thought it looked too weird, & I probably wouldn’t use it in any of my DIY craft projects. I am a purist Hello Kitty fan at heart, & I covet the very traditional Hello Kitty style from the 1980s & 1990s, NOT the new, modern designs of Hello Kitty wearing rocker clothes or wearing “nerdy” glasses.

On top of pens & craft tape, I also got a few greeting cards. I love the unique designs of greeting cards from Asia. A lot of the cards will have intricate cut-paper patterns or a cool pop-up effect. Plus, they don’t cost much more than U.S. based Hallmark greeting cards. Most of the cards I chose were birthday cards, since those are the category I tend to use the most. I also got my friend a “new baby” card, since he became a new dad two months ago. These are the birthday cards I chose:

hk cards collage

birthday greeting cards

How could I write a stationery blog post without including the most important item of all? S-T-I-C-K-E-R-S! Yes, folks! I bought even more stickers. My sticker box, Trevor, is almost bursting at the seams as well, & he is already huge! Jian says I have a sticker problem, but I think buying more stickers is a great solution to my problem. These are the stickers I chose:

hk stationery haul2

my sticker hoarding continues

  1. Motor scooters
  2. Chocolate bars (this sticker has some metallic elements)
  3. Sail boats (actual stickers are primary colors, not neon colors)
  4. Pink cherry blossoms with cats
  5. Tea cups, saucers, & plates (this sticker has some metallic elements)
  6. Korean lovely bear
  7. Shiba Inu & Japanese theme
  8. Miscellaneous animals
  9. Metallic schedule stickers with borders, frames, gems & ribbons
  10. Schedule stickers for the calendar
  11. Metallic seal stickers with message: Especially For You

When I was in Guangzhou, Jian took me to the modern art museum that recently opened. It was beautiful, & we learned quite a bit of history about the city. I originally had no intention of buying anything from the gift shop, but Jian encouraged me to buy these fun name stamps. Of course, he just wanted me to buy the stamp pad with his name, but I ended up getting more than just that. These stamps are cool because you can pick whichever stamp base you’d like, & all of the stamp pads can be interchanged. (They were also cheap as hell & extremely kitschy, so why not?) I chose these stamp bases & stamp pads:

gz stationery haul

staaaaamps!

  1. Limited edition “Year of the Monkey” base
  2. Asian girl (which coincidentally resembles the Korean cartoon character Pucca)
gz stationery haul1

If you can read Chinese characters, congratulations! You’ve figured out our names. 😐

  1. Jian’s surname
  2. Year of the Monkey (this came with the monkey base)
  3. My mom’s maiden name (got this for my mom, just for fun)
  4. My surname (or is it? Mwahaha!)

We are getting towards the end of this blog post. No, wait! I have one more thing to show you. Well, it’s not exactly stationery related. Actually, it has nothing to do with stationery at all, but I thought I’d include it in this post because, a. it’s a part of all the crap stuff I brought back, & b. it won’t fit anywhere else. Now, I normally don’t post anything about beauty or makeup, but I recently found out that one of my all-time favorite Japanese brands MUJI now carries their own beauty & makeup products. I only picked out three things to start because I don’t normally wear makeup, but I wanted to try them out. In the U.S., most, if not all, of our MUJI shops do not carry the full line of cosmetics (nor do they carry the awesome line of food products & groceries made by MUJI). These were the items I chose to try out:

hk muji mini haul

Me so pretty!

So far, I’ve only tried the cuticle oil & the nail care oil, & I must say that I am in love with them! They work really well, & none of these products were even wallet draining. If the lip gloss works just as well as the other beauty products, then I’m so glad I took a chance to try these items. For those of you who don’t know what the first two items are, 1. cuticle oil is supposed to moisturize the skin around your finger nails to prevent unwanted dryness & peeling, which makes the hands look sloppy & unkempt, & 2. nail care oil often gives your finger nails a healthy looking shine & is supposed to strengthen your nails to prevent brittleness & chipping. Of course everybody knows what lip gloss is used for. It’s for you to eat. No. It’s for kissing. No. It’s makeup. Duh.

Well, that concludes the end of this long-winded blog post about stationery. I still have to post my pictures from my trip, but I am still sorting through all of them, & I’m editing the photos Jian has shared with me, so that’s going to take a while. Plus, I’m still getting over the last remnants of my recent illness. I promise you, my immune system is not as weak as I make it seem. I am a healthy person, & haven’t gotten ill this many times in a rather long stretch of years. I just don’t know why I’ve been prone to getting ill so easily in the more recent months. I’ve been taking good care of my body & myself, & I will continue to do so. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

“The Ghosts of Beverly Drive” by Death Cab for Cutie

The Ghosts of Beverly Drive

 

I haven’t really splurged big time on myself in a long time. Yes, I’ve gotten myself a few little trinkets here & there, but I haven’t exactly gone buck wild in a long while. So, this past week, I kind of went on an online shopping binge.

Firstly, I purchased a few necessities. I recently finished remodeling a room in my house, so I bought two BELL+HOWELL Ultrasonic Electromagnetic Pest Repellent wall plug-ins. I’ve got these little suckers pLugged into every single room in my house, & I pretty much swear by them to chase away 80% to 90% of the creepy crawlers (a.k.a. spiders, mice, ants, etc.). I usually buy them on Amazon, & they’re relatively inexpensive. I’ve been using these plug-ins in my house for nearly 3 years, & I’m quite happy with them. They’re quiet & have an extra outlet built in, so you’re not taking up precious outlet space. So they don’t repel every single bug that finds its way into your abode, but they DO keep out MOST of them, & that’s good enough for me.

Secondly, I bought a pair of wedge-heeled sandals to go with the formal dress I’m planning on wearing to my cousin’s destination wedding in Mexico. Her wedding is coming up in one month, & I’m very excited. Like I’ve said many times in the past, I’m not very fashion-minded, so I felt as though it was quite a bothersome chore to look for accessories & accoutrements to go with the equally hard-to-find dress to wear to a wedding. I think I do like to go shopping, a little bit, but I don’t get amped-up shopping for clothes or shoes like most women my age. However, I will say that I LOVE SHOPPING FOR GIFTS / BUYING GIFTS FOR OTHER PEOPLE. I also love picking out children’s clothes…especially for my young nephew & niece. I guess it’s sufficient to say that my wedding ensemble is nearly complete. I am contemplating on whether I should buy a hair clip to do up my hair for the event or not. We will see.

Next, I bought myself an extremely personal item that I do not wish to reveal its identity here. I will say that I’ve been wanting this time for a very long time, & I am extremely happy that I got it for myself. Well, I wouldn’t buy this item for anyone else. That would just be way too intimate & a little gross. That is all I’m going to say about it.

Lastly, I went crazy with stationery goods again. I bought three new sheets if stickers (sorry, no photo), & I splurged on even more pens. Yes,I know I’m nuts. I admit it. I just absolutely adore Pilot’s “Frixion” series of pens. These pens are incredible. The ink is so smooth & does not bleed or become spotty. They also erase cleanly. No other erasable pen series can boast their cleanliness like Pilot can! Seriously, these pens erase like a dream. I always keep two Frixion gel pens in my purse at all times. I recently learned about their felt tip color pen series & fell in love with them. They give off a watercolor texture & are so easy to use. The color pigments are so vibrant & beautiful…not as light as you might imagine with watercolor type pens. I bought my first set of these pens in a retail store. I ended up picking every color this store had (which was limited). I then found the other pen colors online. I decided not to get every single color, & only chose the colors I really wanted. Here is a picture of the pens:

The top row are my existing pens. The bottom row are the new addition to my set. The colors I have are:

  1. Honey Yellow
  2. Rose
  3. Black
  4. Red
  5. Brown
  6. Baby Pink
  7. Yellow
  8. Navy
  9. Pale Orange
  10. Pink
  11. Violet
  12. Orange
  13. Blue
  14. Mauve
  15. Light Blue
  16. Coral Pink
  17. Cobalt Blue
  18. Grey
  19. Green
  20. Emerald Green
  21. Lavender
  22. Soft Green

I think I may have gone overboard just a little bit. Pierre, my pen box/case (YES, I NAMED IT!!) is nearly reaching his max capacity. I may have to get a larger soon. Until then, cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

「殺し屋危機一髪」Koroshi-ya Kikiippatsu (The Asassin’s Asassin) by SOIL & “PIMP” SESSIONS ft. Sheena Ringo

I am sitting here in my local big box coffee shop, thinking about the things I’ve got to do this week. Then it hits me, like a baseball straight to the face, I haven’t written anything in this blog for a hot second. I know it’s not mandatory for me to write anything, but I’ve been trying to impose a goal for myself to write at least once per week, & I am surely losing that battle. Most of the things I write about is nothing of worldly importance or of life-altering significance anyway, so I don’t think missing one or two blog posts will make any difference.

These past few weeks have gone by in such a blur, it really makes me scratch my head & wonder where has all the time gone. Each week passes by as though it’s only been a few days. I’ve got so much going on lately with friends & family pulling me in all different directions. I am amazed at myself, at how I’m able to keep it together & stay organized. It’s fun to be busy (& not idle or lazy), but it’s a little draining on my energy, which has made me become more susceptible to getting frequent allergy attacks again.

These past few weeks, I have been to numerous birthday parties & friendly gatherings. I’ve also been furiously planning my trip to 2015 San Diego Comic Con, as well as preparing for my cousin’s upcoming Summer destination wedding in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. I feel like I’ve barely had any breathing room to think let alone update my piddly blog. This coming weekend I’m attending both my cousin’s bridal shower party and my niece’s 5-year old birthday party. I’m trying to squeeze both events into one day. That’s going to be real fun! (She says with mock sarcasm.)

On an unrelated note, I took some time out to freshen up my stationery hoard. I bought some more new pens & stickers (with a bonus free postcard) because one simply cannot survive on only one color or style. When buying pens, I almost always stick to the Zeebra Sarasa Clip Gel Ink pens. The colors I got were a light pink, gray, light blue & teal. (I realized, once I got home, that I accidentally bought a duplicate of the light blue color.) As I said before, I also bought stickers. The designs I bought this time were more feminine in style. I’m pretty disappointed that my favorite Japanese stationery shop is carrying less stickers in their inventory, but I understand from a logistical viewpoint as to why they are cutting back. (I still don’t like it though.)

Well that’s all I can think of to write in this blog post. I’m off to do some packing for the weekend. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

“A Beautiful Morning” by The Rascals

Why do I keep doing this to myself? I feel like I am a total hoarder, especially when it comes to stationery goods. Whenever I see something cute or interesting (or shiny), I try my damn hardest to walk away, but ultimately I cannot resist & end up getting it. This particularly applies whenever I am near pens (&/or all other writing instruments) & stickers.

I don’t know why I am so obsessed with pens, to be honest. I don’t think I even have nice handwriting or good penmanship. I feel like my handwriting looks too masculine, too messy, & much like chicken scratch…or a person hyped up on 6 shots of espresso (which is called a Revolver, by the way).

This time, I went a little nuts & bought several Pilot Frixion Color Marker Pens. Now my pen container Leroy is getting full. (Yes, I named my pen container, an inanimate object, LEROY. Whatever.) Anyway, I really love the Frixion series by Pilot. So far, I have 2 Frixion gel pens that I keep in my purse, & I absolutely love them. They are very easy to write with, & they erase beautifully (i.e. very cleanly, with no smudges or paper damage). Since I’ve fallen in love with this Frixion series, I decided to try out these colored markers. The markers don’t erase as cleanly as the gel pens, but they write very nicely without smudges, & I like the medium thickness of the felt tip.

Here are the pens that I got recently. These are not all of the colors in the entire series, but they were the only ones I saw, so I snatched them up quickly.
frixion markers

Here is a closer look at the pen:

frixion marker pinkI think I am going to try out these pens straight away, & see how it turns out. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:
“Sloop John B” by The Beach Boys
beach boys sloop john b

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.

20140220-123340.jpg

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.

20140220-123838.jpg

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.

20140220-123954.jpg

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

20140220-124250.jpg

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.

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When the S.O. only wants: 1. half&half for coffee, 2. light, refreshing beer for less cals & carbs, 3. whole milk so he can dilute it in a cup of ice. Your grocery list is easy. 🛒
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