Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hello and Japan Haul

Hello Blogsphere World! It's been such a long time! Happy 2015! I hope that this will be a good year for us all.

Last year was such a crazy year for me and I just couldn't keep up with everything that I needed to do. The hiatus from blogging had me rethink as to whether or not I wanted to continue. I have even been exploring the possibility of moving everything to another site. I think that I'm going to be lazy and not switch but we'll see. I've decided that I miss blogging--both reading and writing, that I've decided to continue but probably will not be extremely consistent and will only be able to do so as time allows. Does anyone really read and comment much out there anyway too? The main reason why I decided to continue on is mainly for me. I initially started out blogging as a way to keep Mai informed of products that I had been trying and using. It also became a log for my to keep track of items tried, used and liked. I have often referred back to a post that I've written to refresh my memory, especially with the "Using My Stash" posts and haul type of posts.

Starting off 2015 with a haul post. End of October and beginning of November was very hectic as I went to Las Vegas for 5 days, came home and 4 days later flew off to Japan. Never again will I do consecutive trips like that again. We spent part of our time in the Kanto region and the rest of the time in Tohoku region, mainly Koriyama, Aizu and Bandai. Since the Tohoku region is still in recovery mode, I decided to make most of my purchases in Tohoku region to help out businesses there. Not that I did a massive amount of purchasing to make any significant contribution but I figure that every little bit helps.

Amazon Purchase:

I had gone from store to store but couldn't find these products so we ended up ordering via Amazon JP. My son was wondering why he didn't think about it in the first place, especially since he purchases regularly from Amazon. They actually buy their Pampers that way instead of in store!

Hada-Labo UV Whitening Emulsion, SPF50+ PA+++. This sunscreen was once given to me as a gift by a lovely blogger and I've been in love with it ever since. Along with the Noevir sunscreen, it is my HG, go to sunscreen. The only problem is that I can't find it here in the States, nor is it easily available to purchase online.

K-Palette Real Lasting Eyebrow 24h Pen in Brown. This was also a very difficult product to find, in stores. The 2-way eyebrow was easily available not this one. I like to use this for touch ups.

Hand Soap Refill:

I love this hand soap and it's the one that I can't find locally either. I actually bought 5 of these but am currently using one. After I took the picture, I found another package. Any time I pack any type of liquid, gel or cream products, I always place it into a ziploc bag and seal it up with packing tape, just in case it pops and leaks. (It has happened.)

Various Cosmetic Purchases:

These were purchased from various stores that we visited, some of which I do not remember where. We were in and out of so many different stores, some drug store and some department stores.

Many items are loved items that I needed to restock up on.K-Palette eyeliners, Mezaik Stretch Fiber and Canmake Shading Powder are those type of items. Since I couldn't find the Hada Labo UV Whitening Emulsion, I purchased the Hada Labo UV Moist Emulsion to try. I liked the look of the Kose Visee Glossy Rich Eyes eyeshadow. I don't wear browns because it tends to make me look tired but I find that if I work with a pink-brown tone, it isn't so bad. I purchased the PK-2 palette. Also, not a cosmetic item but it ended up in the picture, is a pair of knee-length socks. It was quite chilly when we were there, in fact there was an unexpected, early blizzard and I thought that I would need more knee-length socks than I had brought.


This green tea pack is my favorite! The main reason is because you can use it to make either hot or cold tea. While you can do so with any tea, you usually have to first use hot water and then cool it down to make the cold tea but this one you can add it to cold water for instant cold tea! The packages that I bought you have to scoop the powder but you can also purchase packs with individual packets in it for easy, on-the-go cold tea. Just add it to cold bottled water, shake to mix it up and enjoy. Furuuche is a yogurt/pudding snack. Just mix it with milk and enjoy. I love Japanese snacks! I find that I like Japanese chocolates over Western ones because they are less sweet. Bake Cookie is a yummy cheesy, chocolate cookie. My daughter-in-law introduced me to the Ume Kuki Wakame snacks and it was instant YUM! It is a plum-flavored seaweed snack and I couldn't get enough of it.

Bargain Shopping:

100-Yen Shops, more commonly known as $1.00 shops are my kind of stores. (Although with the exchange rate, it was closer to $.80 at the time!) I have so much fun browsing in these stores and it's amazing at what you can find. While some items the quality is sub-par, a lot of them are quite exceptional.

Daiso is the name that I think of when I think of a 100-Yen Shop but the first one that we went to was called Seria. My daughter-in-law feels that it's way more oshare (fashionable) than Daiso. It was my first time there.

I bought quite a few things there and one item that is not in the picture is some mascaras. Since it seems that I'll be travelling more often, I decided to stock up on some travel containers. The little jars are so cute with the blingy jewel top. Since it was so inexpensive, I decided to try the hair clips and now I wish that I had bought more. I've been having trouble with the clips that I've been purchasing in the States for a few years now. Actually, even when I was young I had problems but maybe 10 years ago, I found some that worked well for me but those all broke or got lost. I have very fine, soft hair and the clips that I;ve been buying do not grip my hair. The ones that I purchased from Seria are awesome! They grip my hair! I'll need to go back there on my next trip and stock up.

Daiso was a store that we went to several times. 

I had heard that despite being inexpensive, the mascara is very good so I had to try it. There were actually so many different varieties that I didn't know which to choose so I bought a few. I also stocked up on my favorite brush cleanser--the Puff and Sponge cleanser, picked up more travel bottles, a scrunchie and some notepads.

Honestly, this was not all of my 100-Yen shop purchase. I believe that I spent over $200.00 but part of that was items that the husband picked up. At first he was like, "Another store?!" But then he ended up having so much fun too. He's really looking forward to going back. He actually picked up some dress socks and has been using them every week. Being only 100 yen, he was a little worried about how well it would hold up but he's not having any problems with them. Just like a $10.00 sock, he says.

I bought a lot more items which are not pictured but many of them were gifts that were already given away. Some were requested purchases from some friends and some I ate already. I wish that I had purchased more things but then I would have had a weight issue with our luggage. I think that I'm going to rethink purchasing the hand soap refills since it took up space and weight. One thing not pictured was boxes of curry mix. It was so inexpensive compared to here but that's going to be something that I won't be purchasing again since it is easily available here, just at a higher price. That will give me more space and weight to purchase other things.



K said...

Yay, a blog post from you! Quite a few bloggers have mentioned that recently people comment less. I wonder why that is?

Please let me know if there is anything else that you want me to bring for you. I have a bag with 10 Kuki Wakame and 12 mascaras in it!

galpal.hi said...

Thank you K, for both your comment and for the CP for me!

I noticed that there are less comments while reading other blogs and I'm not sure why that is.


Brianna said...

Happy New Year! Looks like lots of great goodies from Japan, totally envious!

I completely understand what you mean by people commenting less (I'm guilty of it myself), I'm not exactly sure why I read but don't comment...I think I'll try to comment and maybe even blog more this year. :)

galpal.hi said...

Brianna, thank you for your comment! Happy New Year to you too!

I'm guilty of not commenting much either but then again, I hadn't even been reading blogs much. Last year was ended up being pretty crazy for me so hopefully I can get back into the swing of things in 2015.