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When it comes to my stationery shopping or collection gathering, I am no longer going to make any solid promises. I am not going to say (yet again) that this will be the last purchase or anything like that. I just keep proving every time that I can’t stick to any of these ridiculous declarations. I will never stop collecting the things I love. So, now we’ve come to yet another blog post about my stationery/office supply (sort of) hoarding. Instead of making a bunch of little, meaningless posts each time I get something, I am just going to throw everything I’ve gotten so far this year into one medium-sized post… because this is getting a little out of hand, & I am happily spinning out of control.


I might have mentioned a long time ago that I’ve got a quirky collection of nearly 300+ postcards that I’ve been keeping since I was a young teenager. I recently purchased a few more postcards that I’m planning on not keeping for my collection, & will actually be using them to write messages to friends & family. Not all of these postcards are the kind I’d like to keep for myself. Some of them are formal enough for me to be able to turn them into greeting cards for friends.

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Jian is not happy about this, but I keep filling my pen case, Leroy, with more writing tools. Yes, I have way too many pens, but I actually use them more often than not. I use all of my writing tools. I don’t collect them for no reason; that would be a terrible, frivolous waste that I would never condone. I use all of my writing tools on a day-to-day basis, making To Do lists, marking appointments on my home calendar, making craft projects, writing everyday sticky note reminders, etc..

Then, when I find a brand of writing tools that I really love, one that writes well & does not ruin your paper, I will truly invest in it…which means I’ll buy the same pen in all of my favorite ink colors. Very rarely will I buy any pens in an ink color that is not useful in an everyday scenario (i.e. white, gray, lime green, powder blue, or anything metallic). I like to choose colors that are vibrant & will be easy to read when writing. The ease of use is also important when selecting a good pen. I like pens that are smooth when writing & don’t skip, bleed, or scratch the paper.

This is why I’ve recently chosen to invest in the Pilot brand’s series of FriXion writing tools. I have a full set of their felt tip colored markers. I keep a pair of their retractable ball knock gel ink pens in my purse, & now I’ve gone on to invest in their series of color pencil-like pens. I haven’t purchased all of the colors in this pen series, & I don’t think I plan to do so either. (I really do not need 4 different shades of orange pens.) However, I did get all of the colors that I think will be useful in my everyday writing.

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My photography skills are horrible. This photo does not properly show the pens’ true colors.


I have a Japanese masking tape hoarding problem. It’s gotten so bad that I’ve gone on to start a second storage box to contain all of my washi tape rolls. I keep on telling myself that I don’t need any more decorative masking tapes, but it’s so hard to stick to my own words when Japanese office product companies continue to make the most cute/adorable/eye-catching products that draw customers in every time.

Of course, I don’t just collect these tape rolls for the hell of it. I do actually use these tapes in my everyday life. I put decorative masking tape on all of my travel luggage, so I can easily identify my suitcases whenever I travel abroad. I also use these tapes to make labels for basic household items like spice jars & miscellaneous kitchen containers. I have also used these masking tapes to decorate my wireless Apple Airpod earphones (so I can identify which is the left ear & the right ear).

I recently got more of these decroative washi tape rolls, but out of the vast selection of tapes they had at my favorite store in my local Japantown, I tried to be very selective in my purchases, choosing styles that I would use often & did not look too kitschy. Of course when I saw the fox themed tape roll, I did a little happy dance in my head. Also, I just could not resist the sexy nurse lingerie themed tape. It’s super duper cheesy, but I have a thing for frilly, lacy, racy lingerie. As for the food themed tapes, well, I really enjoy eating Japanese snack foods & pub/grilled food. Lastly, I am trying to branch out & play more with glittery/metallic craft products. I didn’t like to use them in the past because glitterized crafting supplies tend to be very messy (as in the glitter gets all over everything & is hard to clean up), & metallic items (like masking tapes & stickers) don’t adhere well to one’s crafting projects.

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I’m going to continue with this subject, but switching to a sub-topic…masking tape accessories, more specifically, tape cutters. So far, I have been using the old fashioned traditional route & using a pair of generic scissors to cut my decorative tapes. I’ve got a lot of cute washi tape dispensers saved on my Etsy favorites list, but I have never actually pulled the trigger, so to speak, & bought any of them.

I am not much of a fan of traditional tape dispensers. In my opinon, they are bulky, clunky, & they take up too much space if you want to neatly store them away. I don’t like having too much clutter on my work desk, even though my desk is cluttered right now, & I don’t like having too many office tools sitting on top of my desk. So, this is why I have invested in a few rather discreet tape cutters. I bought two types, & they both easily fit in my craft supplies storage box, Trevor. One of them is by the Japanese brand Kanmido, called the Maco tape cutting pen. The other is a Karu-cut tape cutter clip by another Japanese brand called Kokuyo.

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The Kokuyo brand tape cutter clip is the most convenient & easiest to use crafting tool I have ever used. It’s very clear & obvious to see that you clip the cutter on to any roll of decorative masking tape (I’m pretty sure you can use this on other forms of adhesive tapes as well). There are two sizes (& various colors) to choose from, & I chose the larger of the two sizes since I have a few odd sized rolls of decorative tape that are not standard sizes. The larger tape cutter allows me to cut any of my rolls of tape without me having to buy different tools for one type of usage.

The Kanmido tape cutting pen, however, is more complicated to use. I will admit that this was a completely impulsive purchase. I saw it & instantly thought it was so cute. I barely skimmed over the information written on the front of the packaging. I took one look at the name of the product on the front of the package & threw it into my shopping basket straight away. It wasn’t until I got home & thoroughly read the packaging & instructions when I found out there’s more to this product than simply cutting masking tape. There’s some work involved in using this tape cutting pen.

I am calling this product a pen because it has a pen-like shape, & it is a compact product meant for office workers & students to be able to throw into their pen pouches in their breifcases or school book bags. How it works, & this is where the more complicated part comes into play, is that this tape cutter is only meant for you to cut small amounts of tape. It’s designed so you don’t have to carry whole rolls of masking tape in your bag, you can carry a small sample of your favorite masking tapes all in this one pen-like device, & you can also carry multiple sample rolls of different tapes. It’s kind of a hassle to have to make your own sample roll of washi tape to put inside this device, but this will be a lot easier to carry in your bag than a whole roll of tape, & you can easily switch your tape rolls if you buy extra roller guides, so you can have a variety of tape designs at your disposal.


Ok, I am now going to blame Jian just a little bit for what I’m about to say next because he encouraged me to do this. Yes, I said it. Jian encouraged me to buy more pins to add to my fast-growing pin collection. I didn’t go hog wild on pin shopping like I did when I went to Las Vegas for the LV Comic Con, but I did get a few cool pins along with one iron-on patch (to decorate my colorful backpack with). I also purchased a minimalist storage box from my new favorite office goods shop in Downtown Los Angeles called Hightide Store (not to be confused with the L.A. bar & café called High Tide), & of course I had to give this new storage box a name, just like I do with all of my other inanimate objects. I named this little white box Franklin. I think ‘Franklin’ is a fun name.

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Some of my pins & patches were purchased at my favorite coffee roaster’s shop, Verve Coffe Roasters, when the two of us set out to satisfy our caffeine craving. First of all, Jian & I are coffee addicts. Well, I am a bigger coffee addict than Jian is. He can go without coffee from time-to-time, but if I skip even one day of drinking coffee, I will experience the usual withdrawl symptoms… mild headache, yawning all day long, etc.. We both enjoy a high quality coffee bean roaster, especially if they hail from the Bay Area region of California (our home region), & Verve Coffee is originally from the city of Santa Cruz (not near, yet not far to where we live).

We love visiting one of Verve’s coffee shops whenever we’re down in Los Angeles, since L.A. doesn’t really have any coffee roasting companies of their own. I picked up one of Verve’s Tokyo pins as an homage to both of my familial backgrounds. I have roots both in California & in Japan, & I love the fact that one of my all-time favorite coffee roasting companies has branched out to my dad’s home country.misc pins1.png

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You didn’t expect me to post a stationery haul without my sticker purchase, did you? Well I kind of cheated a little & had bought these stickers over the Christmas holiday time, around the time when I bought my new calendars for 2019 (which I’ve chosen not to include in to this post). If you can zoom-in to the inserted photo below, you can see that I’ve already started using these stickers. I couldn’t resist.

Most of these stickers I bought for the specific purpose of making & decorating birthday cards. I have got a lot of extended family members & friends who have birthdays pretty early on in the year, so I’ve already been making greeting cards & sending them out.

I don’t really have much to say about these stickers. They are pretty generic everyday stickers like candies, hearts, & “Happy Birthday” banners. When I was shopping at my all-time favorite online Japanese retailer, I had a hard time whittling my shopping cart list down to just a few select sticker themes that I knew I would be able to use in a multi-purpose format. I wanted to grab all of the stickers, but after a long, internal debate, ended up choosing the ones you see in this photo below.sticker collage


We have finally reached the end of my haul post & my final purchase, which I believe is a very practical office product. I got myself a folding metal book rest. I’ve been looking for one like the one I just purchased on the internet recently. I have recently been doing more paperwork at my job which requires me to copy a lot of documents & templates onto the computer, & having a book rest to prop up my papers is very handy. I also like the fact that my mom can borrow my book rest (any time she wants) so she can use it to hold her super thicc, large piano book. She’s been looking for a book stand for a very long time that can sit atop her baby grand piano, & also prop up her heavy piano book without the bottom lip of the stand to cover the bottom half of the sheet music. The book rest I got has skinny arms that can easily hold the pages in place without covering up a lot of the book’s pages. It’s also sturdy enough to hold the weight of my mom’s heavy piano book. Ilike this book rest as well because I can also use it to prop up my tablet when I am following a cooking recipe, or if I’m watching a movie while taking a bath. This book rest was a little more expensive than some of the other cute ones I found on Etsy (& definitely better looking aesthetically than the ones you’ll find at the big box office supply chains like Office MadStaples), but it is worth every penny. I am definitely going to be getting a lot of good use out of this product from now on.

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Well, this is officially the end of my blog post. I am running out of things to say. Oh, wait. I have one more thing to say, but I am not going into detail about it until my next blog post, which will be posted very soon. I’ll just give you a teaser of this new annoucement. I got an eary birthday present from Jian over this past weekend. My birthday isn’t until the end of next month, but since we’ll both be extremely busy within the next couple of weeks, Jian decided to gift me my birthday present early. In fact, I am using it right now as I am typing this blog post to you. I will end by saying I am completely in love with this new item, & I am so incredibly grateful to Jian for such a generous gift. It’s very over-the-top, but since I’m already using it, I guess it’s also quite practical. So, until the next post, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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Oh, come on guys. Do I even have to say it? You know what this post is going to be about. Nearly every time I go on a trip, I  have to bring back crap souvenirs &/or unique finds (like that handmade tooth necklace I got in Vancouver…every time I wear it, people stop to ask if I’m a dentist or work at a dentist office.) When I was in my twenties, I used to be so irresponsible with my travel expenses. I would buy so much useless stuff & never us them. As I have matured &/or learned important valuable lessons quite a bit since then, I’ve trained myself to become more practical with my finances. I don’t go around buying everything I think is cute cool.

Of course, I can’t say that my wallet is safe whenever I visit Japan, but so far on my other trips, I’ve been pretty well behaved in the shopping department. On that note, I was surprised when on my trip to fabulous Austin, Texas, I didn’t buy one thing; nope, not even one postcard. I didn’t even swipe the hotel pen from my hotel room. Ok, well, this might be considered as one purchase; I brought home a coffee mug, but technically it was Jian who bought it, & it was his idea to get it in the first place.

We found this really delicious coffee spot in Austin called Jo’s, & Jian went ahead & snagged one of their coffee mugs. I’m actually glad he picked up this mug because I practically use it everyday to drink coffee. I really love the shape of this mug. The handle is long but doesn’t stick out too muc, so I can snugly fit my hand around it without burning my knuckles. The body is taller than most standard mugs, but it’s a little skinnier in diameter, so it turned out to be a perfect fit for someone like me with small, chubby hands.

Almost immediately after coming back from Austin, I had to prepare for our work/pleasure trip to Vancouver. Jian was lucky to get a free day on our last full day in Vancouver, so we were able to relax & go sightseeing together. And guess what? We finally were able to use our Car2Go (car rental/carsharing) membership for once. I mean, for real, yeaaaah. We signed up for this carsharing/car rental service over 5 years ago when we took our first trip to Portland, Oregon, but we never actually used it until this year. This carsharing/car rental service is a dream come true to use. We were able to rent a car for a couple of hours, & we barely spent ten bucks (in USD).

Ok, this post isn’t about renting cars or drinking coffee. This post is about my tidy little haul I made in Vancouver. (I can just feel Jian sarcastically shaking his head from wherever he’s playing his Spider-Man video game today. Haha!) Let’s get down to the nitty gritty…well, I meant to say my meager findings. I tried really hard not to go hog wild with my spending, & I think I did alright.

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I don’t know what to say other than I am a sucker for FriXion style gel pens. In my purse I carry two different colored FriXion ball knock pens (one black, one blue). In my arts & crafts pen box I have almost every single color of the FriXion colors felt-tip markers. Yes, when I find a brand/product of writing tool I like, I tend to go nuts & buy one in every color. These pencil-like erasable gel pens that I found at Paper-Ya (Granville Island) are the newest style of Frixion pens by Pilot, so of course, you know what I did…I bought them of course, but I controlled myself as much as possible & only chose two colors (one soft coral, one light orange).

When I tested these pens out, they really did feel like a pencil. The barrel feels like a pencil, but writes as smoothly as a gel ink pen. Per Pilot’s standards these pens erased beautifully, with no smudges, residue, or tears in the paper. I chose these two colors out of all of the other pastel colors, mostly because I am a creature of habit & I will always gravitate towards anything pink, & my current favorite ink pen color is orange. I’ve already used these pens to make a birthday card for my oldest niece who recently celebrated her 26th birthday.


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It’s always convenient to have some generic greeting cards on-hand at home, for any last minute gifts & such. I always keep a stack of birthday cards in my crafting tool box, so I am prepared when another birthday pops up on my calendar. I have a large family, so it’s always one person or another’s birthday at any given time. Sometimes when my mom gets a last minute invite to a friend’s event, she’ll come to my room & raid my greeting cards stash.

Paper-Ya on Granville Island in Vancouver is one of my newly discovered favorite places to shop for unique stationery, books, & souvenirs. This is the same store where I found my cool, handmade tooth necklace. This shop is a great source for cute greeting cards, & I tend to stock up on all kinds of cards &/or postcards when I’m away from home because I can generally find interesting cards that I don’t always see when I’m at home.

I must say that the Hello Kitty themed birthday card is my most favorite, & I really wish I had gotten more than one. When I first saw that card, I immediately gushed over how cute Hello Kitty looked on the card, but little did I know that the card was actually an official Sanrio licensed product. What a real treat (& rare find)! I also recently used the “birthday queen” card for my older niece’s birthday & had embelished it with Swarovski rhinestones to bling it up a bit. The card was a real hit amongst all the guests at her birthday party.


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I think I spent the most time while I was shopping at Paper-Ya going through an entire bin of stickers, just to walk away with these few gems (literally). I don’t think I even spent this much amount of time picking out greeting cards. Listen, when it comes to stickers, I’d like to consider myself a bit of a connoisseur. I’ve been collecting stickers my whole life. Unlike my sister, who as a child would keep all of her stickers in a bulky 1980s photo album, I actually used all of my stickers. Well, I’d at least keep the last one or two stickers in a sheet of stickers just as a memento of that once full set of stickers.

If you didn’t know already, I keep a rather large arts & crafts tool box in my bedroom closet, & it’s filled with my most essential stationery & crafting items. I’d probably guess that three-quarters of this storage/tool box is filled with sheets & sheets of various stickers, flake seals, & decals. Some of these stickers that I’ve collected are well over 10 years old. (I mostly keep them for sentimental value.) I try to use my stickers whenever I can in various arts & crafts projects, but I end up buying more than I use, so I pretty much never run out of stickers.

When I was much younger, I used to buy whatever stickers caught my eye, even if I didn’t have any use for them, but now I’m trying to be more selective & choose only the styles that I know are universal & can be used in multiple ways, or on various art projects. I specifically chose these sets of stickers because they can serve a general purpose in my crafting projects. When I first saw the “animal life” sticker set from the Mind Wave brand I nearly freaked out in delight right in the middle of the store. I was so excited to find a physical version of this sticker set because I use the virtual version of these stickers quite often when I’m editing my Instagram photos. I always enjoy Midori branded stickers, but they’re often very small, or the designs are not easy to match with everyday craft projects. I really liked these four designs that I chose. I love their soft pastel colors & their easy ability to match with generic crafting projects (like cards & gifts).


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“No more enamel pins,” I once said. Well, I lied. I got more pins to add to my growing collection. Jian urged me to get the “salty” pin when we were shopping at Paper-Ya. We both thought this pin was hilarious & also clever. Jian was pretty excited when I got this pin & almost wanted me to wear it immediately. He said it paired really well with my sometimes salty vocabulary.

As for the “letter writer” pin, it caught my eye after searching through the many varieties of pins at The Regional Assembly of Text shop in the Riley Park neighborhood. I saw a lot of really cool packs  of pin-back buttons that really spoke to my current interests, but I was trying really hard to not buy frivolous items just because they were cute (or because I was shopping freely & unsupervised by my logical-half a.k.a. Jian). I happened to find a little basket full of single pin-back buttons & this one immediately caught my attention, 1. for the minimalist design, 2. because I still hand-write letters to my friends & family. Yes, I am old fashioned, & I am a letter writer.

There were so many super interesting things at TRAOT that I kind of wished I could’ve picked up, but almost immediately after I had arrived it started raining. I was getting worried that I wouldn’t be able to carry my purchases in the rain, & as luck would have it, that was the one day I decided to not bring my umbrella. I had been checking the weather forecast all day, & my weather app had been saying that it wasn’t going to rain at all that day, so I reluctantly decided not to take my umbrella with me. What a mistake that was!

At least my jacket was water-resistant & had a hood, but it was too hot outside for me to wear my jacket. So, I ended up heading to a nearby general store to buy a cheap $9CAD plastic umbrella (that looks like a cheesy kids umbrella when an adult my age is seen using it). Luckily the things I had purchased were able to snugly fit into my jacket pocket. You know, I really hate it when it’s drizzling rain outside, not heavy enough to warrant the use of an umbrella, but if you don’t use an umbrella you feel really soggy from the wet mist.


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I’m guessing you all know by now that I love writing lists, especially To-Do lists for myself. It really helps to keep me organized & focused because let’s face it…I can be quite scatter-brained on even the best of days. Making daily To-Do lists was one of the most valuable habits I learned from working at my previous 9-to-5 desk job. I’ve always written To-Do lists for everything.

Well actually, if you ever visit my home, you’ll find my handmade/self-designed signs & notes posted all over the house (& they’re all laminated, I might add). My siblings, when they come to visit, all think that I go totally overboard with my notes & signs, but these signs/notes posted all over the house really make a difference. It helps all the people living in the house to remember to do things like leaving the garden gate unlocked for our gardener once a week, or to not do things like not putting certain shrinkable laundry in the dryer.

I very easily use up all the notepads & Post-It sticky notes in our house, so when I can find a good notepad for all of my lists & little reminder notes, I’ll snap them up in a jiffy. I chose these three notepads for three reasons: 1. they’re compact in size (so they’ll be easy to bring home), 2. I love their soft pastel-ish colors & their checklist style layout, & 3. I have not seen any of these notepads in any of the stationery shops in my area (so I thought they were very one-of-a-kind).


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Okay, one last thing from my new favorite Pacific-Northwest city, Vancouver. Yes, it’s another enamel pin, but technically it’s not mine. It technically belongs to Jian. He said we could share it since he doesn’t wear pins that much. He mostly chose this pin because it was the most affordably priced item from one of Jian’s favorite Japanese streetwear brands Wacko Maria that he could find. He also chose this pin because he knew I was super into collecting pins of all kinds, & he wanted to share this pin with me.

These days it’s becoming easier to find popular Japanese streetwear brands outside of Japan. Before the huge explosion of internet shopping, most Japanese retailers did not have much of an online accessibility to overseas customers. You’d used to have to travel all the way to Japan just to shop Japan exclusive streetwear brands like: Wacko Maria, Neighborhood, Fragment Design, WTaps, A Bathing Ape, Visvimetc.. Then, you’d only find a few select licensed resellers/retail outposts in a few select towns, usually far away from wherever you lived.

Now with the wide range of the internet, you can easily find these brands no matter where you live, but it’s often times hard to find affordable items. So Jian & I usually look for small accessories or unique home goods from these brands. They can carry an even deeper sentimental value than just getting another t-shirt or trousers, & they’re way more interesting too. When Jian & I shop these brands, we usually grab the pins if we can find them. The pins sell out fast, & they’re usually a limited release item. I’m not as much into the military/biker theme as Jian is, but I still really like this star-shaped pin. It was definitely one of our most memorable purchases in Vancouver (aside from that damn tooth necklace I keep referencing).


Aside from all the eating, drinking, & meager shopping we did…I also did a bit of online shopping just before we left for Austin. There is this wildly addictive, weekly web comic that I am completely obssessed with called THE DEVIL IS A HANDSOME MAN. Every time a new episode/chapter gets published, I practically get heart palpitations, I am so incredibly excited & anxious to read the newest episode each week.

I have not fallen in love with a comic series as much as I have with this one since my manga obssession days many, many moons ago. I love the storyline, the writing, the illustrations, the suspense, the mystery, the drama. Everything. All of it. I know I sound like a crazy fan-person, but I can’t gush enough about this beautiful tale about fictional characters set in a fictional town in a fictional realm. There’s so much intricate details & depth to the story’s plot, & the characters are all super sexy & mysterious. I seriously encourage anyone & everyone to at least check out this comic for yourselves.

I love this comic so much, & I also seriously admire the artist so much so that once I found out this comic creator had an online retail space for fans to buy merch, I was all over it like butter on toast. I wanted to support this artist, so I ended up buying some of this person’s merch, & patiently waited one month for it to arrive by post. Let’s take a look, shall we?

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One weird thing I’d like to note is that the artist of this comic does not like to reveal their actual identity on the internet (due to their self-professed shyness). So, the artist herself illustrated her own profile picture to make herself look like a human cactus. That’s why some of her merch is cactus themed, as a nod to her funny, yet self-depricating online profile. That’s also why some of the stickers that came with the main one I bought are of various cacti. When the artist of this comic comes out with new merch, which she teased about on one of her Instagram stories, I’m definitely going to snag a few key pieces for myself again.


Well, this just about sums up my post. Gah! I never know how to write a closer for my blog posts. I don’t want to bluntly end it with some short, hurried good-bye, but I do anyway. So, let me end it here with a ‘Cheers!’ & my usual song of the day:

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Today it’s raining pretty heavily (& steadily, I might add). It’s a perfect day to sit down with a big cup of coffee & hammer out a blog post. So, guess what I did before I went to Taipei? Well, while Jian was busy looking up all the different places we could stop to have food &/or cocktails, I was busy researching various stationery shops I could visit to grab some supplies for my ever-growing horde of arts & crafts supplies. I love getting stationery & craft supplies whenever I visit Asia. I find them more functional & cuter (& sometimes more affordable) than the stuff you can find in the States.

Man, I think I’ve already talked about this a couple of times before, but it’s so much more affordable to go on a stationery spree in Asia & bring back my haul than to buy all of the same stuff on the internet or at an import stationery shop here in the States. For example, if I want to buy a sheet of stickers, they’re usually marked up $1 to $2 dollars more than if I just wait to go back & visit family back in Asia. As much as I make it seem, I don’t actually travel back to Asia very often. So, I don’t really make big hauls like this that often. I try to keep the things I choose very functional & practical. I tell myself over & over to only choose the things I absolutely need, but sometimes I don’t listen to myself, & I end up purchasing a few frivolous items as well.

So, are you sitting down? Do you have time to read this ridiculous post? You might want to grab a comfy chair & something to drink. With my ability to go on & on & on, you’ll probably be here a while.


Let me start this off with Paddington Bear. I’ve loved this little illustrated, Britt-y bear ever since I was a young child. If you’ve seen my Instagram feed, then you’ve probably seen my stuffed Paddington doll. I used to love watching the children’s program on the PBS channel & reading the books. I don’t know the exact story as to how I came to possess this delightful bear, but I believe my brother brought it back as a souvenir for me when he took a trip to London. I’ve always cherished this bear & took gentle care of it. It’s because of this furry Brit that I’ve grown to love orange marmalade & baths. I also love London!

I love collecting postcards. I’ve probably got over 300 that I’ve collected since I was a teenager. These two were kind of one of those frivolous purchases. I know I don’t actually need them, but I couldn’t resist getting them when the graphics on the front include two of my favorite themes: Paddington & London. Each of these postcards cost $1.50 USD, so I didn’t feel to guilty “splurging” on them.


I love writing myself notes & reminders on paper. I find it so much more practical than setting a reminder or calendar alert on my smartphone because for one thing, I tend to neglect regularly checking my phone for notifications. Also, I can’t press the “snooze button” on a paper note. I can tape these notes anywhere they’d be most visible (& hard to ignore), like on my bathroom mirror, or on top of my car keys.

I have a lot of little generic blank notepads & Post-It ™ pads, but what could be cuter than a Paddington Bear themed notepad?? Shinzi Katoh is one of my favorite illustrators, & I love all of his products, but those products are so incredibly expensive to buy where I live. Don’t even get me started on buy this stuff on the internet. The prices are usually double the retail price. This notepad only cost me $3 bucks, & its got lots of pages, so it’s well worth the effort to get it.


Oh my gahhh, what is this hole I’ve dug myself into with these cute-as-cuss hand towels?!?! I think I swore up & down last time that I wouldn’t add to my pile of hand towels, but I was lying (mostly to myself). How do you expect me to resist this cuddly brown bear? And beefeaters? And Union Jack flags? Annnd Paddington’s suitcase filled with jars of delicious marmalade?! Well, this guy came home with me anyway. I love this & cannot wait to use it.


November is calendar & planner/diary/journal season in Asia. Every bookstore &/or stationery shop will have at least two shelves stocked floor-to-ceiling with these guys. I love buying calendars in Asia mostly because of the variety of functionality, sizes, shapes, & themes. Paper calendars are my favorite way to write down important dates & upcoming appointments. It helps keep my life organized in a fun way. Plus, I love decorating them with stickers & my poor attempts at drawing.

The best part about Asian calendars are the large squares in which you can write things down. It really irks me when a calendar page has a large graphic that takes up ¾ of the page & the actual dates are written in small letters at the bottom. I like calendars with larger spaces for you to write things down. This calendar has a quirky theme of polar bears, penguins, & panda bears doing random everyday things. My favorite part of this calendar is how clear & concise the numbers & months are written.


Ok, so this calendar is not exactly mine. I know what I just said about these types of calendars, but this calendar is not for writing down information. This is just a generic calendar that will be placed in a common space in our home, mostly to accommodate my mom. My mom is always occupying our common space, & she’s always grabbing the calendar to look at dates. I always put a calendar every year in this common space for my mom to use. It’s become a fun tradition that I get her a new viewing calendar every year. She likes to wait & see what designs I get each year.

I got this calendar at a new home goods shop that recently opened in Taipei called Niko And… . This shop was so fun to explore. We got there right when they first opened, & it’s such an inviting store. One-third of the store is a craft coffee shop brewing fresh pour-over coffees & espresso drinks with delicious fresh baked pastries. The other third of the store is dedicated to young men’s & women’s fast fashion. The last third of the store was all housewares & miscellaneous goods. That’s where I got this mini calendar. Jian helped me pick this out. He liked the colorful illustrations of everyday objects.


I got this Snoopy calendar for the home office desk where the family PC resides. My family & I are big time Peanuts fans (maybe we’re Snoopy-philes), so I thought this would be cute on our shared workspace. There were a few Snoopy calendar choices, but I chose this one because it looked the least busy, yet still colorful & whimsical. I also went for the large squares style, so we could all write shared family events & appointments if we wanted to. You know, on an unrelated note, I always wanted a beagle dog when I was a kid. I specifically wanted a white one with black ears & a black patch on the rump, but I heard those breeds of beagles don’t exist, so…we don’t have a dog.


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I’m trying to learn how to stamp. I go to the arts & crafts store Paper Source, & I get so envious when I see their handmade-by-the-staff greeting card samples. I always wished I could make a greeting card with stamps, but I could never get the stamp pattern/graphic to look straight, or get the letters to match up. Then, while I was browsing the shop Tools to Live By, I saw this stamp printing kit. I grabbed this kit, thinking that I could make a lot of envelope labels. (I don’t like my sloppy handwriting anyway.) I don’t think you can clearly see in my photo, but this kit comes with both sets of Uppercase & Lowercase alphabet letters, as well as numbers & basic punctuation marks. I’m so relieved that this stamp comes with various plates as guides, which make it so much easier to stamp words in a straight line. I can’t wait to use this kit on future correspondence!


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This is not quite a stationery related item, but I did get it at the stationery store Plain Stationery & Homeware Café. It looks & feels quite generic & flimsy (being that it’s made of lightweight plastic), but it’s very practical & useful. After all, it is an emergency whistle. I used to have a generic metal coach’s whistle on my keychain that was given to me by my mom, but somehow I lost it. I’ve always thought that it is good to carry a whistle, so that I can signal someone (or make a loud noise/distraction) in case I get in a bad situation. I really like the sleek look of this whistle & how slim it is, so it fits perfectly on my keychain. Also, don’t underestimate this whistle. While it may look flimsy & small, it produces a nice loud sound when used.


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I love coffee themed stationery, & Tools to Live By had a ton of them. I tried to only choose the items I thought I would get the most use out of. One of those such items was this octagonal notepad. I love the minimalist design with a simple navy blue graphic on the cover. I especially love the phrase written on the cover, “Great ideas start with coffee”. I tend to agree with that statement, which is probably why I’m slightly addicted to coffee. As I’m writing this blog post, I’ve already started using this notepad. The paper has a nice weight & thickness to it. The sheets are thin, but not too thin that pen ink will bleed through. I tend to jot down a lot of little notes & numbers when I’m sitting at my computer, especially when I’m trying to copy or remember a color code to use on Photoshop. This is a great notepad for just such a use!


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Circling back to my blurb about stamping, I got these three miniature stamps. They’re so tiny it’ll probably be hard to see the image once it is stamped, but I’m determined to improve my stamping skills. I got these three stamps at Plain Stationery & Homeware Café, & when I saw them I had so many crafting ideas flowing through my thoughts. One idea I had was to use one of these stamps on the corner of an envelope or card & draw something around it. I still haven’t decided how I’m going to use these stamps yet, but I’m excited to try them out.


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Let’s get to the meat of the haul…the stickers. First off, these are three random decals I got from various places (listed in the photo). The first two decals (the holographic decal from United Arrows & Sons & the angry Donald Duck decal from Faith) were free. The round decal with the campfire only cost me $0.75 cents USD, & I got that one at Niko And… . I’ve already started using these stickers & have plastered them all over my belongings. One of these decals I’ve already affixed to my beloved crafting box that I’ve named Trevor. What can I say? I like to put stickers & labels all over my personal objects.


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I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ll say once again that I’m not particularly fond of flake stickers (a.k.a. individually die cut stickers). They’re often too small & thin, & it’s hard to peel off the backing. However, I found two sets of flake stickers that I thought  were too cool to pass up. I have a set of stickers on my phone’s photo editing app that’s of random middle-aged men working out & doing various weird athletic poses. It’s called Middle-Aged Sports Club. Those stickers are so hilarious to use every time I’m editing a photo for Instagram. These flake stickers totally reminded me of those guys on my app. It cracks me up every time I look at them. I also love how each guy has a random name. Even thinking about it now makes me chuckle.


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One of my favorite Japanese foods is お握り(a.k.a. rice balls). My aunts back in Japan make the best rice balls I’ve ever eaten. They’re able to make the rice so fluffy & delicious. I’ve made rice balls on my own before for my mom’s friends, & I was quite proud of them, especially since they all said they really enjoyed them.

I saw these flake stickers of various rice balls, & I fell in love with them. I’m kind of disappointed that the pickled radishes, though, look like rolls of gold coins. They’re supposed to be lines of sliced pickled radishes (& yes, the radishes are a bright yellow color when they’re pickled). My dad loved pickled radishes, but I don’t particularly like them. However, like my dad, I do enjoy the pickled plum..but only when they’re mixed with rice. Alone, pickled plums can be too sour for my taste, so I like eating them in rice balls to cut down the sour taste. On another note, the steam pots of rice don’t look like what they’re supposed to be unless you really look at them closely. The wooden rice paddles look like deflated khaki balloons. I think my favorite sticker out of the whole set is the rice bowl. I particularly love the raw egg at the top of the rice. It’s so cute!


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I’m terrible at keeping promises to myself. I said that I wouldn’t buy any more washi tape, but I ended up getting more. Oh my cuss, I have to tell you something about washi tape. In Taipei, washi tape is so popular. They’re at every bookstore & stationery store. When I visited Eslite Bookstore’s flagship store, there was a whole room on one floor dedicated to only washi tape in various sizes, patterns, & every color imaginable. There’s even tape sizes large enough to be used as gift wrapping paper. I was so overwhelmed at all the varieties of washi tape, & I was determined at the start of my trip to not cave in, but once those happy endorphins start coursing through your body, you can’t help but feel very itchy to grab all the cute things you see & plop them in your shopping basket.

As you may recall, I said earlier that I love coffee related stationery, so when I was atTools to Live By, I picked up these two washi tapes that were exclusively designed by the shop. I thought I might not be able to get these patterns of washi tape anywhere else (online or otherwise), so I snapped them up without even giving it a second thought. When I saw the fruits & veggies washi tape, at first I thought the pattern was rosette flowers with lose leaves. It wasn’t until I actually started using the tape (yes, I’ve already used it) when I finally noticed the pattern. As for the roses with stripes, I just loved the vibrant colors. Most of the washi tapes I have are solid colors with no patterns, so this one seemed like a good choice to round out my selection of paper tapes.


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I also hauled a bunch of sticker sheets from various stationery stores all over Taipei. Since I got new calendars I wanted to get stickers I could use on my calendar, like labels & infographics. I like adding sticker details on my calendars to fill up the blank squares, & to make my upcoming appointments look at least somewhat appealing.

As for the two sets of neon animal stickers, I don’t know exactly why I chose them. It’s like the “shiny nickel” effect happening here. When you’re on your way to do something specific, but you see a shiny nickel off on the side & divert your attention to go after the nickel. That’s what happened here. I was looking at one section of the store when these guys came into view. Thus my attention was averted, & I ended up bringing them home with me.

One of my favorite illustrated characters from the San-X brand is the adorable sock-wearing black kitten Kutsusitanyanko. Whenever I see a new set of Kutusitanyanko stickers, I get them. This is probably my favorite set of stickers out of the bunch. In my paper crafting projects, I probably use my Kutusitanyanko stickers the most.

Finally, I got a sheet of Mount Fuji stickers. Every time I see a set of Mt. Fuji stickers, I always waffle on whether to buy them or not. This time, I decided to get a sheet once & for all. When I look at them, I am reminded so much of my dad, who used to hike up the trailways of Mt. Fuji in Japan with his Boy Scout/Eagle Scout troop. My dad was the troop leader of his Eagle Scout troop, & they often hiked up Mt. Fuji & camping around the area. My dad used to tell me lots of stories when I was a kid about his hikes up Mt. Fuji with his troop, & those stories have stayed vividly in my mind even until today. Oh man, I love to hear all of the adventures my dad went on when he was living in Japan.


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I love getting birthday cards & random greeting cards in Asia. The varieties are endless, & the designs are much cuter than anything at Hallmark. Plus, they’re sometimes cheaper. Well, I know the pop-up cards are cheaper. Most of the pop-up cards here in the U.S. can cost anywhere between $6 to $10 USD for one. These two pop-up birthday cards I bought in Taipei only cost me $7 USD for both.

Whenever I travel back to Asia (as in Japan), I like to stock up on all sorts of greeting cards & share them with my mom. We have a large family with lots of birthdays throughout the year, & we both have lots of activities on our schedules that might require a nice card for the host(ess). I’ve already used one of the cards from this stack (I used the coffee card to send to a friend). That shows you how often I use greeting cards.


…And here is my pièce de résistance. I always look for new pen styles & ink colors when I go stationery shopping in Asia. I mostly look for styles & colors that are hard to find back at home. For example, 4 years ago (the last time I visited Tokyo), was the first time I saw the Pilot Frixion Ball Gel Ink pens. I bought a few of the pens along with the ink refills. I didn’t see this series of pen in the U.S. until 2 years after I had already bought my pens.

This series of pens that I bought (shown in the photo above), the Zebra Sarasa Gel Ink Clip, is pretty common. You can easily buy them online or at the import stationery shop, & they’re approximately the same price everywhere. However, when I go overseas I try to look for the limited edition colors or sets (like the Kumamon &/or Japanese Culture sets shown in my photo). I saw these pastel colors & could not resist them. I don’t see these colors very often in the stationery shops where I live, so if I see them elsewhere, I will snap them up quickly.

This will probably be the last of the Zebra Sarasa pens that I will buy for a long time. However, I’ll definitely get more ink refills. This series of pen is my favorite, so far, to write with. The pens come in various thicknesses from super thin (0.3mm) to heavy thickness (1.0mm), but the best part is that even if you use the super thin pen, the tip will not scratch or tear the paper. Also the ink does not bleed through, & the gel ink writes smoothly without patchiness or blotchy ink spots.


Well, this pretty much concludes my stationery haul post. That was as long for me to write as it was for you guys to read. I hope I made some sort of sense somehow. I tend to over explain sometimes, & Jian says I use too many examples to explain something simple. Like I’ve mentioned before, if you want to see more photos & get real-time updates on all my travels & adventures, you can follow my Instagram feed. Until then, cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

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