Friday, March 25, 2011

my first Haul =)

First of all... can I just say how happy I am to eat American Chinese food??? OMG... I missed beef and broccoli and pork fried rice. 

So the other day I went to the mall and got a few things. I already mentioned the victoria's secret things that I bought. 
Here are the actual pictures. I picked things that smell fruity and sweet, so here are all the things that I loved in the garden collection. 

from left to right: luscious kisses, coconut passion, wild scarlet, ravishing love

strawberry and champagne, lost in fantasy, and pure seduction body butters
The pink sweet and flirty wasn't part of the deal...
last but not least, love spell

I also stopped by to get some china glaze polish, because I've never bought any (too expensive in Japan). There was a deal for 2 for $10. I was pretty excited, and I want to buy some more china glaze polishes. 

I also bought a few things from a drug store that are everyday things like deodorant (lord knows I need to stock up on those before I go back). I decided to buy the "crystal" deodorant, but I'm a bit skeptical... Let's see how it works... I've been dying without my neutrogena face cleanser/mask. It was my holy grail face cleanser and I felt so lost without it.... ::sigh:: And I had to stock up on summers eve cause I haven't found feminine washes in Japan...

So here's my question: what other nail polish brands do you recommend, or what colors do you think I should buy?
If there are other drug store products that are must haves, what are they? I can't wait to buy more!

Monday, March 21, 2011

I'm in America guys!!!

I can't believe it, but my family got me a ticket back home and before I knew it was am back home in Jersey! OMG I missed it so much! I ate at Olive gardens, dunkin donuts, and home town buffet so a reasonable price!!!!! I got some victoria secret body sprays, 8 for 35 bucks, and each spray goes for that much on it's own back in Japan. Felt SO good.

Anyway, just letting you know I am away from Japan for now but will be back pretty soon =)

I will be be doing some hauls soon enough!!! I def wanna go to forever 21 and other stores!!!

Miss u guys and will be back soon =)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nails of the week

Hey guys, here are some pictures of my current nails. Florals on a simple white nail.
The flowers are just stickers I bought at the store =)
I'm hoping it gets to be more like spring soon... This has been one crazy week. 
Can't wait till spring!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Something bright.

It's weird how I spent my day pretty much the whole time in this same seated position. I can't get my self to get up and do anything I wanted to. Finally I packed an emergency backpack, but no water or snacks to put in cause...well I just haven't gone out to the store which is low on supplies anyway.

The day I got back from Tokyo after the major earthquake hit, I cleaned up the house from all the things that fell over and I did my nails. I sat for ages, unable to decide on a look, and looked through so many pictures and finally settled on one picture. It was pink and white, and I don't know it seemed positive.  Right after I did them I fell asleep, so please don't mind the imprint of my sheets lol. All this little pieces have fallen off now, so I may finally get off my bum and do my nails again. It's weird, but it's kind of something to make me feel like things are back to normal and just blocks out all the things happening for a little bit lol...

We had another somewhat big earthquake today, and I didn't want to go to the bathroom right after because I didn't want the after shock to happen when I was taking a pee lol. I seriously started thinking... Would I flush the toilet if that happened?...would you even wipe if it was really bad?? LOL! It's a stupid question and gross, but it got me thinking if that ever happened in the history of earthquakes. Or maybe your in the shower... I'm gonna stop before I scare myself from going to the bathroom or showering for the the next two months lol. I'm just so thankful that I even have a home that I can go to a bathroom in. Please keep those who are displaced, missing, and injured in your thoughts..

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Can't even buy bread...

Hey guys.

So I'm still in Japan. The japanese government and the authorities are SO horrible about letting the public know about what's happening or what's really going on. That's kinda why even though they keep saying things are safe for now it's like...really? Like the whole radiation found in tokyo, they were saying how it wouldn't really happen, at least not that fast, then it did. Thank you wind for spreading the radioactive material down to Kanagawa.... They say the ones that came to Tokyo and Kanagawa are harmless. But as you go higher north, they are having 10 times the usual radioctive levels (chiba) and even 100 times (Ibaragi). Not to mention the 30 km radius around the site that's a no fly zone and how people had to evacuate if they lived with in 20 km of the area.

There were some explosions at the nuclear plant over the week. Some reactors caught fire and that maybe the reason for the increase radioactive particles that leaked. They say that the levels are going down now, thank god. but two of the reactors just keep getting hotter so they are still trying to pump water to cool them down. There are only 50 of them now I think, 750 of them were told to leave (which makes me wore worried. Things must be getting worse if that many people were told to evacuate and not help stop the plant from exploding..)Seriously those people that are out there rising their lives when dozens have already been injured just makes me want to...well I really don't even know what I can do for them but they deserve something BIG. 

We were told to try to stay in doors. As you can imagine, food's scarce here in Tokyo. Things are sold out, everyone's stocking up on food. Everywhere we go we can't find rice or bread, etc... They're all preparing in case things get worse and we cant get out. But honestly, if it comes my old unstable building will offer me no protection against radiation. My apartment is far from air tight especially with those new cracks in my ceiling lol...
in case you missed it
The number of confirmed deaths are rising. And even people in Tokyo and Kanagawa had deaths even though we're miles and miles away from Sendai. Buildings are really old here and they're just collapsing.
Take a look at this video ...

So anyway, things are still shaky. We had 2 more strong earthquakes tonight. My job announced we won't be working for the rest of the month this evening. I hope things seriously get better...

Monday, March 14, 2011

Update, I think I will be evacuating.

So after the earthquake, a nuclear plant in Fukushima was starting to meltdown and they've been trying everything to stop it from happening. They even started to pump saltwater in but apparently it's not working. They already found a factory worker that was showing signs of radiation sickness and rushed them to the hospital or something. That was a few days ago.
The plant is 270 km from Tokyo, so I though we'd be ok. But apparently, low levels of radiation was found in two parts of Tokyo. We have been told to stay in doors, but so many have already started leaving Japan. Apparently the line to get a reentry visa was so long, (8 hours) that people were recommended to go to a different prefecture down south to do all that stuff if they were planning to leave.
I thought things will be ok now that the earthquake was over with, We've been having many aftershocks still, and I know for a fact 3 of those were new earthquakes because I was watching the news and they announced them as earthquakes.
I wanted to comment everyone back that commented to me, but this is just a quick post I will put up then start packing my bag incase I have to get a move on.
Thanks guys for all ur prayers and support.
I'll be posting as soon as I get a chance! =)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

update... earthquake, nuclear plant explosion, blackouts...

So if you don't know, I live in Japan right now and we had a huge earthquake with a magnitude of 9.0 the other day. It was the biggest earthquake in Japan's history (actually, it was three different earthquakes at once). That's right, even more than the earthquake in Kobe in 1995...

these are some pictures from the Kobe earthquake...

It's a pretty crazy story, and it's not all over and done with apparently... but let's start from the beginning...

It was 2008 when I first came to Japan. We had a mandatory orientation in our university. That's where I first saw all the pictures about the earthquake in Kobe. Picture after picture of the disaster. "Welcome to Japan!" Right. They gave us warnings and told us how to deal with it. Mind you, I'm so terrified of earthquakes. Once my father proposed moving to california and I nearly cried because I was so scared of them. Good job moving to Japan, Nia, lol. 

So back to 2011. I'm on the 6th floor attending my music class as usual. We had a minor quake last week that woke me from nodding off in that same class (allergy medicine...). But this time it was different. Everyone started chattering and my teacher tried to settle us down until he noticed we were having an earthquake. We were just all talking about it looking around the room thinking it would stop any second because they only last for about a few seconds usually. Not this time though, it just kept getting stronger, the blinds were shaking violently, we FELT the BUILDING SWAY back and forth. The protocol is to get under the table, open the doors etc to secure an exit. No one was getting under the table, I think we were all freaking out. Then someone shouted "Get the door! Open the door!!"OMG, when I heard that, that's when I realized how bad it was. It took ages to get to that point, but as soon as it was said, I ran for the door and went straight to the stair case (I was sitting right next to the door). I RAN down the stairs, slipping and sliding because the building was moving so much. Everyone else followed and soon enough some teacher on the 4th floor or so shouted "no running". I know I know. but I was the first in line, me falling wouldn't have affected anyone at that point. and I was hella scared lol. 

So around the 3rd floor is where I ran into traffic. The students from those floors were trying to leave too, so it became crowded and took long to get out. All I could think at that time was the news report I saw on christ church (New Zealand's recent earthquake) where a boy was trapped in the building and had to get his leg amputated to be pulled out from the rubble. So there I am, in the shaking stairwell not able to move forward thinking "I'm gonna get my legs chopped off... I'm not going to have any legs!!" (please don't judge my train of thought in emergency situations). We were able to get out the building and were waiting outside when one teacher looked it up in his phone and saw it started in Miyagi, the prefecture RIGHT next to my family's prefecture. My stomach sank... My grandfather lives in a pretty old house, I didn't know if they survived an earthquake of that magnitude...
Remember the one in Kobe was an 6.8 (look at those pictures.) at the time they said ours was a 7.9. 

After a few minutes, we were able to get back inside. The class period ended so as I went to my next class, the after shock came in. Back out side.... Well after waiting for ages, school was canceled and we were urged to leave the campus. (they didn't want to be liable in case anyone got hurt there). But the thing is, where do we go? Trains all stopped. Shops, restaurants, offices, schools, everything was shut down. Kids at daycares were wrapped in blankets outside waiting to be picked up by parents. Nothing was moving, there was no where to go...

Now here's what I did, I went to Roppingi Hills and waited in a chair till about 9 pm, just sleeping or occasionally trying to make calls using a payphone cause all cell phones were not in service. I couldn't reach my mother's cell phone, and my grandparent's weren't picking up. 
There was a convienience store open, (though everything was almost gone...) so I bought food, snacks, and water. Trains were still not moving, and it seemed like I'd be sleeping out there that night. I called my boss because I had to work the next morning, and he suggested taking a cab. problem? from tokyo to yokohama all the traffic lights were out. traffic was not moving and the meter would still run. I'd get home so late (my friend that lives closer to tokyo got home at 4AM) it'll probably cost like 800? more? idk. I don't get paid that much. Busses were also crazy. Long lines, schedules changing, unable to move in traffic... then he suggested walking. At that time, I'll probably get home at dawn, only have time to change before I head out back to work... and it was cold.... yeah... wasn't gonna happen. 
us sitting on the chairs waiting

my dinner
 my rations

After an hour or so, there was some hope, some trains were moving. Sadly none of them went to yokohama. We waited till past midnight there... and then the final report came out that no trains were going to run that way.
us sitting at the station
my bed for the night?
lol a poster there... the black michelin man?

lol yeah... those trains are delayed for sure lol...

Anyway, luckily phones started working a bit, bad reception, but working non-the-less. He got in contact with a friend that lived close by, so we took a train 3 stops down and walked there... Up to the 26th floor. I was so thankful for her. Through the night, they building still shook. Out the window we could see traffic not moving. It was 2,3am by then.

I was lucky though. So many people walked 3 hours or whatever to go home and I'm sure more slept outside train stations etc. 

The next day, work was cancelled because still not all train were running. I finally got in contact with my mother and family eventually. They were ok. In their prefecture, so far they had the most that died and injured... But that's only because they haven't finished counting in Miyagi... I'm so thankful that they were ok. Apparently, they were all worried about ME, living so far from Miyagi because no one was able to bet in contact with me till the next day around 3pm. 
I can't even imagine what it must have been like for them. My grandfather had 2 strokes and has a hard time walking. During the earthquake, it was shaking so much he couldn't even move. He was shouting to my grandmother for her to run and save herself. That has to be so traumatizing..
This is what it looks like in their prefecture.
the tsunami swept BUILDINGS away.. imagine how strong that is...

Again. I can't say enough how thankful I am that they are ok and that their homes are ok... So many people lost their lives and homes... Hundreds dead, hundreds injures, thousands still missing. But all my family are ok.

As for now, it's not yet over. There's going to be another earthquake soon, about the same magnitude. There was an explosion or something at a nuclear plant and some people have already been hospitalized for radiation sickness or something. There are still warnings for tsunamis, and warnings about the rain that may have harmful chemicals from the nuclear plant. We are having a blackout tomorrow, and when we went to the store to get supplies, everything is gone and the lines were long...

Oh yeah, and my home was ok. just broken glass everywhere in my room (damn you mirrors!! I have how many years of bad luck now??)
and I noticed a crack on my ceiling and the light in the ceiling. 

And lastly... the horror... this is how I found my Rilakkuma doll... RIP...

hung to his death....

Anyway, sorry about this uber long post. If you stuck to the end, thanks for reading.
It's still shaking (after shock for days!! This morning it felt like I was counting contractions)
I hope things get better soon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Nails of the Week... and allergies

I've been slacking with posting lately. 
So here are my nails that I have for now. Went back to the dark fall/winter colors.

So I've been miserable all month...(and last month) because of my seasonal allergies. 
Apparently it's 10 times worse than last year, so even though we're in mid winter (and this started early January), my eyes, nose, sinus, skin, everything has just been aggravating me.

I finally went to see a doctor, and got tested to see what causes my allergies. There were the usual stuff, Japanese cedar tree (sooo many people are allergic to that and theres sooo much of that pollen flying around) other trees and grasses... then I looked at the English translation and saw Timothy. LOL My rabbit's food lol. 

So my mom was right when she told me not to bring him in my room cause I'm probably allergic to him. I do always sneeze etc for a while after he's in my room. I didn't get tested for bunnies tho... And it's ok, the sneezing etc from spending time with him is bearable compared to the itchy eyes from pollen.

Do you guys suffer from allergies? what helps you deal with allergies?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Caring for your curly hair

So if you are like me and have curly hair, you probably experienced some __ period when you just didn't know what to do with your hair and spend hours, days, years trying to figure out how you can make your frizzy curly hair look like those Curly Sue locks. 

Well, let me tell you, my mother is Asian. That being said, she knew nothing about ethnic/curly hair and treated my hair like she did hers. Washed it every nigh, brushed it out and tried to put them in ridiculous ponytails leaving the shorter hair in the front of my face frizzy and sticking up. 
(yes that was me as a kid. don't ask me how I knew about the myspace peace sign then)

I think a majority of us curly haired girls opt for the easy way out - straighten it. I never got a perm as a child, but as soon as I learned how to use a hot comb (12? 13?) I was taking HOURS literally to straighten my hair almost everyday.

Then I discovered gel. My hair looked like I had greasy jerry curls but was stiff and broke my face out. 

I finally figured out how to manage my hair, with out doing any of those things, but then I came to Japan. Finding hair products for my hair type isn't the easiest. Worse is finding a hairdresser who knows how to manage curly hair. 
(ignore the contacts phase lol)

Anyway, before I get carried away, let me tell you the tricks/tips I discovered over the years. Maybe it can help some of the half Japanese/Black kids I see all over Tokyo who are definitely suffering the same problems as I did... omg.. it brings tears to my eyes... lol

1. Get the right hair cut. I say this first because nothing you do with your hair will look right (unless its braided or something) if you have the wrong cut on curly hair. Your hair would either end up like a christmas tree, or a round ball-shaped afro. Funny, I had saved a document on my computer years ago on what results came up for the right cut for curly hair. I coped and pasted it :

Graduated layers, stacked on top of one another, with more length at the crown (instead of underneath), allowing lots of curls and spirals to form in a way that's pretty, not overwhelming.

2. MOISTURIZE. yes... can't say it enough. Curly hair are just naturally drier. So we need to give it lots of moisture. It will keep your hair less frizzy, so get to it. I don't wash my hair everyday cause that strips the natural oils in my hair and makes it drier. So I wash every other day or so, but in between I just use conditioners. 1ce a week I use a deep conditioner, and I also use serums and other things like that daily.

3. Comb, don't brush. Now this one, I don't always do but do as I say, not as I do lol. You should only comb your hair when it's wet. I untangle my hair while I condition, it's less painful and untangles the hair faster. Once your hair dries DON'T comb it anymore. You'll make it frizzy!!!

4. Be careful using dryers. Use a diffuser if you will blow dry you hair, but honestly, letting it air dry will help keep the curls in place. Once your hair is combed out after the shower, you can use your fingers to twist the hair to guide how you want the curls to look like. Blow drying will mess that all up anyway (unless you use a diffuser) One option is to braid the damp hair, and pin it up all night. This will also help give your curls some structure for the next day when you take them out in the morning. 

5. Products. Gel, well I mean it works I guess but I don't recommend it. Nowadays I like using waxes I found here in Japan. They come in many different strengths for different purposes. They keep your hair in place and the curls together, but they don't get hard or flaky. The curls stay flexible, bouncy, but neat! I can't get pink moisturizer here obviously, haha, so I use serums and other leave in conditioners.

Sorry for the uber long post, but I hope this helps someone. I'd also like to know other tips if you have any! I'm sure I forgot other things that will come to me later, but let's leave this already long blog post where it is.