Osaka Through My Chopsticks

DAYS 4 & 5

Here I am, riding the shinkansen yet again, this time on the way back to Tokyo where Sean and I will spend the remainder of our holiday in Japan. We have another full day left on the trip before we have to fly out at noon on Friday.

The last two days were primarily spent in Osaka, with quite a bit of time wasted when we decided to change our accommodation. We booked a place on Airbnb, and we checked in late Friday evening,  but the place turned out to be way too small, and had a few amenities that were faulty/broken, so the following morning, we contacted Airbnb and made a complaint. We got a full refund, including the night we spent on the very thin futon in a very tiny room. We then booked a room for two nights at Hotel Mystays Otemae. This meant half of our day was wasted going from one place to another, but we still managed to salvage it as best as we could.

Eating My Way Through Tokyo

DAYS 2 & 3

I began writing this while I was on the Shinkansen to my next destination, Osaka, but I've been incredibly busy ever since and haven't the energy to sit down to write. If you haven't read the first entry for this trip, you can access the post here So far the trip has been going well, and funnily enough, I've mostly been taking photos of my food. I seriously cannot help it, I'm more of the 'through my eyes' sort, so I rarely ever experience anything through the eyepiece of my camera. Well, except for Universal Studios today, but more on that in my next post which should be up tomorrow, no later.

A Little Taste Of My First Day In Japan

Konbanwa minna-san! Yes, I did just say 'good evening, everyone" in Japanese. Deal with it. I'm in Japan now, and I am allowed to partake in the occasional usage of the Japanese language on my blog so *blows raspberries*. I apologise if there are any typos, spelling or grammar mistakes, but I'm running on three hours sleep because no matter how much I try, I just cannot sleep on planes. It never works! We had a red-eye flight that departed at 12:15am, and took almost 10 hours, so most of my time was spent with me tossing and turning, and then catching up on the latest episodes of Gotham and Brooklyn Nine Nine, as well as working my way through Parks and Recreations.

Eventually, after what felt like years, the plane landed, and we dragged ourselves through customs and baggage claims, which took forever. And then we had to lug everything over to Terminal 2, to the basement floor so that we could exchange our Japan Rail Pass Forms for the passes themselves. And then we had to get Suica Cards so that we could travel on the subway. Fast forward an hour later we were sweaty, hungry and tired as hell, walking almost a quarter of an hour to our AirBNB home in Katsushika. 

DownUnder Cosmetix


Recently, while getting in touch with Kinnaly Burrows, the face of DownUnder Cosmetix, she made the suggestion of reviewing the entire range of DownUnder's Mineral eyeshadows on the blog. I was happy to do this, as Kinnaly is an old friend from way back in Primary School, and I was super keen on trying the pigments out for myself. DownUnder Cosmetix is a cosmetics brand founded by the owner of the DownUnder Makeup store in Bayswater, and they recently held a launch event, complete with glasses of champagne, to promote the pigments.

There are 54 pigments so far, though I was given 53 shades to work with, as Eucalyptus was unavailable at the time. There are three, maybe four, matte shades, while the rest range from shimmery, glittery and metallic. Man, there were so, so, so many swatches. It took me at least a couple of hours to just photograph the pigments in their pots, and a couple more just to do the swatches of said pigments. Not to mention that I almost ran out of makeup remover, and used a huge handful of cotton pads during this shoot.

This post is super long, so you have been warned!

What's In My Travel Makeup Bag?


I'm really sorry that I haven't kept up to schedule with this blog, but as you may have read from my previous post, something came up. Yesterday, one of my family cats passed away, because he was ill with an inoperable tumour that was progressing quickly. We had to make the unfortunate choice to have him euthanised, but we wanted to do it on our terms, to spoil him with all the love we had first. I had time to come to terms with the diagnosis over the past week, but it didn't make letting him go any easier. It was so hard watching him go, but I'll always remember my last look at those beautiful eyes of his. Even now, 36 hours later, my heart still breaks and I am crying again.

I tried to upload this yesterday, but I had such a hard time even functioning, and Nemo's passing had taken its toll on me. I could barely keep awake, and all I felt like doing was locking myself in the bedroom and crying my eyes out for the rest of the night.

I've got two more days till we're to fly out, and I've been trying hard to keep myself occupied and distracted, but I don't have the slightest scrap of excitement for this trip. I'm trying, I really am. If not for my sake, then for Sean's, after all, he's never been overseas before and he needs to recharge his batteries after a long and grueling first three months of work. However, I really need to get myself into the mood for travel, so this is why I decided to do a "What's In My Makeup Bag" post. Unlike my last visit to Japan, where I only brought some foundation and an eyeliner, I wanted to bring a bit more. While thinking about what I wanted to bring on the trip, I realised that because I wanted to carry this in my carry-on, it meant I needed to limit the number of liquids as much as possible. I didn't need a full face every day, but enough makeup to hide my ever-present dark circles and blemishes, as well as create a fresh-faced dewy appearance.

Saying Goodbye To A Beloved Pet

I'm well aware that I haven't been around much on social media this week, and I deeply apologise for that. I also apologise for not uploading anything new to the blog, but it's incredibly hard trying to function when your world falls apart, let alone string two words together. I've been having a hard time keeping my emotions under control, and I have no idea what I'm going to be like when Monday comes around. Going by how I've been the past few days, no doubt I'll be a mess. I've almost gone through an entire box of tissues already.

On Monday, Mum, my sister and I took Nemo to the vets, and as soon as we entered the room and relayed Nemo's history, the vet found a mass about the size of a golf ball in his bladder. They said it was possibly cancer, and they wanted to keep him overnight to run a blood test and perform an ultrasound for a proper diagnosis, as well as put him on a drip to rehydrate him. The next day, we were told that he had a tumour in his bladder that was blocking his right ureter and it had damaged his kidney. The tumour was medically and surgically impossible to treat, and the vet recommended that we let him go within a week or two before it became painful.

Nemo has been in my life for the better part of the last twelve years despite living at Mum's. He has always been my favourite cat, and in my opinion, no other cat could ever compare to the perfection that he is. I may be biassed, but I'm not joking, he is seriously the best cat you could have ever asked for. Never have I ever found any other cat, or person, that even came close. He was affectionate, loyal, sweet, quiet and just always there for you at your worst moments. He also has the most piercing blue eyes I have ever seen.

I have so many fond memories of Nemo, and I still remember the night that we got him and his late brother. Mum's friend brought him and Rocky over to us in a shoebox, and they were so cute. They easily fit into the palms of my hand and were full of endless energy and curiosity. On the way home they became active and shot out of the shoebox like fireworks, happily staring out of the windows. From then on, I was fiercely protective of them. Whenever mum needed to find Nemo at night, she knew to check under my blankets first, and there we were, soundly asleep and curled around each other.

Nemo has been what we call a good omen, as his name spelt backwards is 'Omen'. I know, it's weird to call him such, but he has been the main source of comfort and happiness for us in all of his twelve years. We added another two felines to the family, but they did not show the same kind of love, patience and compassion as Nemo had. When you picked him up and held him to your chest, he would rest his head in the crook of your neck, as if he was returning the hug. He didn't have silly cat moments, but there was one thing he excelled at - being human.

We've organised for a vet to come to my mum's house on Monday morning to perform the euthanasia and then he will be cremated. He will be scattered over the backyard as soon as I return from Japan. Until then, we've been spoiling him with lots of cuddles and feeding him to his heart's content with milk and fish. Just typing this paragraph brings tears to my eyes, as have all the other paragraphs. It is so hard trying to deal with the idea of his passing. I am still trying to come to terms that soon, he will no longer be around to greet me every time I visit the family. Whoever said this sort of thing was easier than a sudden passing is very wrong, it is a thousand times harder and I wouldn't even wish this sort of pain on an enemy. My heart feels like it is splintering into a million pieces every time I think about him.

I'm going to try my best to upload a post on Monday night, but I cannot guarantee anything. I won't be surprised if I suddenly forget how to do something as basic as tying my shoelaces.

I'm going to miss you so very much, you beautiful creature.

Photos courtesy of my sister, Naomi

Yesterday's Lunch Date and Makeup Haul!

Recently I got in touch with Kinnaly, an old friend from primary school. She is the face of DownUnder Cosmetix, founded by the owner of the DownUnder Makeup store in Bayswater, and she models and promotes the products in her own time as well. Kinnaly and I decided to meet up at Melbourne Central for some dumplings and then end the day with a visit to the store. It took more time than expected, but it was a great day, albeit a long one. The weather was slightly chilly, with weak sunlight reminiscent of early Spring.

I Went To The Gym Today For The First Time

Technically it was the second time, but the first time doesn't really count, so I like to think that today was a first. I was going to post something about my new haircut, but I wasn't able to take a good photo of myself, and since then the weather has been downright lousy for me to even attempt blog photography. So today, you get this post about my experience at the gym, and on Friday, you'll hopefully be able to read the post on my hair.

My Packing List for Japan | Keeping It Minimal

I love having a vacation, it's just so much fun getting away from home and visiting somewhere entirely new and interesting. It doesn't matter if it's just a couple of days at the beach house, or a drive around Tasmania in a camper van. However, I have a bad habit when it comes to planning for my trips. I am always over and under-prepared, believe it or not. I make lists months in advance, and will carefully go over it with a fine tooth comb. And then, I will pack my suitcase two weeks early. BUT...

...I always forget something.


... I always overpack.

What I Realised During My Blogging Hiatus

Some of you may remember that I took a break from blogging for two weeks, as I needed to deal with certain aspects with my life. Now, I may not have gotten everything sorted (I still don't have a job, for that matter) but, at least, I got some things done. For example, I've got everything booked for my trip, so that's a win for Stephanie! Well, I still have to finish the itinerary for the trip but *shrugs* there's plenty of time for that.