revisiting japan

I don't know if it's the rain that's suddenly come down on Sydney, but lately I've been feeling a bit of nostalgia in the air. If you've followed my blog for awhile you may remember posts from my Japan trip, way back in 2010 when I was still a young'un! Needless to say it was one of the best times of my life, not only because I hardly get to travel but also because I'd never done so without my parents in tow. Furthermore, for some reason Japan was a place that I needed to experience at least once, though I'm sure I'll visit over and over again in the future.

Anyway, out of boredom I thought I'd look back and edit some of my old photos again. Sure, they're pretty grainy and I was still using a crummy kit lens, but it was interesting to re-edit my photos in a way my 15 year old self never could have. That being said, I still want to slap younger me sometimes for hesitating or being too shy to bring out the camera! Stupid regrets like these stay with me, like how I didn't buy giant Pocky or neglected to take a picture of our amazing Japanese breakfast. Anyway, I guess there's a lesson learnt for next time... But to be honest, nothing will be the same as that first trip when my friends and I were bumbling about and probably breaking every rule that exists in Japanese etiquette. As with any country, really, nothing compares to that feeling of excitement and uncertainty when you visit a new place for the first time, not knowing what to expect and just taking everything as it comes. I guess that feeling is what I'm really getting all nostalgic about!
Posted by : Mani

organised mess

They say that girls can be classified as either bag or shoe lovers, so if that's the case then I definitely fall under the latter category. Pretty much all handbags look the same to my untrained eyes, so it's probably not surprising that my collection is black and inconspicuous as possible! Handbags just don't strike a special chord in my heart, and if I could get away with it I'd probably choose to carry nothing on my person... On the other hand, I'm also quite nosy and it's pretty ironic that I love seeing 'what's in my bag' type videos and posts on the interwebs. Anyway, I thought I'd share some of the stuff that I usually carry around with me (hover over the first picture for numbers!):

1. Colorado leather backpack: Believe it or not this was a thrift purchase, and possibly the best one I've ever made. It fits a surprising amount of junk including my DSLR camera (not pictured here for obvious reasons).

2. Clean & Clear blotting paper: When I first bought this I was overwhelmed by the amazing grapefruit scent, but it's sadly faded since then! This stuff's useful for avoiding the dreaded shiny face, especially on hot summer days.

3. Train ticket: These always seem to be floating around my bag, which is a really bad habit of mine... More often than not it has led to instances where I've stopped traffic by accidentally using an expired ticket in the machine, whoops!

4, 6. Earphones and Samsung Galaxy S2: These are used for apps and musical needs, more than anything else. Besides, who uses a phone for the sole purpose of texting nowadays...

5. Fish coin purse from my grandmother. I've accumulated a ridiculous number of coins and decided my wallet was getting too heavy, so any loose change has been delegated to my fishy friend here.

7. Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula concentrated cream: This stuff is divine and smells like chocolate, need I say more?! Apart from smelling delicious, it also does a pretty good job of keeping my hands soft in the colder seasons.

8. Oroton wallet: I posted about this wallet almost two years ago, and it's still going strong! Even though it's not as shiny as it used to be, it gets the job done and I still love it.

10, 11, 12. Unnecessary stash of lip products, namely the Revlon Just Bitten Kissable balm stain in Honey, Carmex strawberry lip balm and Revlon lip butter in Candy Apple. The only thing I really need is the balm stain, so much so that the markings on the tube have completely rubbed off... Anyway, I can't say enough good things about this product! The shade 'Honey' is especially great, it's definitely a my-lips-but-better kind of colour.

9, 13, 14, 15. kikki.K pen from Kat, Tic Tacs, vintage mirror from grandma, my keys and Totoro who guards them for me.

So there you have it, those are the contents of my bag! Admittedly I haven't been taking it out much after the semester recently ended for me, so instead I'm currently in the middle of a crying marathon. No really, I've decided to rewatch the drama 1 Litre of Tears for some bizarre reason and every episode's like an emotional battle... Not to say that it isn't an amazing story (it really is!), but if you want to save face I suggest you don't watch in the presence of other people. Who knew crying could be such good entertainment? Anyway, hope you're having a good week and see you soon!
Posted by : Mani

jagged edge

H&M beanie, T by Bettina Liano jacket, Monki skirt, Siren boots, Covergirl 'Midnight Magic' polish

To be honest, I've always had a love-hate relationship with winter. On the one hand I like drowning myself in cosy layers, having an excuse to turn up the heater and drinking tea constantly. On the flip side, it's a bit hard to love the season when you wake up to fog outside your window and icy cold feet (although I should hardly be complaining, coming from a place where 20 degrees celsius is considered chilly)... Anyway, on the positive side of things can we talk about this pleather jacket for a second? To cut a long story short I've always wanted one, but none of the contenders I came across were just right. Thankfully my pickiness paid off though, because I finally snapped up this one on sale over the long weekend! Even though there are so many other types that have studded lapels and embellishments, I've never felt badass enough to pull off anything other than the simple option. This probably won't help the fact that I'm seemingly incapable of wearing colour, but hey! At least I know I'll definitely get some wear out of it.

On a random note, I ate at Sydney Madang after a small shopping trip with my mum recently! We had an assorted seafood hotpot and seafood pancake, which was nothing less than what I expected it would be. Be warned though, unless you have stomachs of steel all that food between two people is probably not advisable, especially with the complimentary side dishes... It's kind of a shame, especially since I always seem to crave Korean food but can never try every dish when I eat out! I guess that just means I have an excuse to visit again in the near future.

P.S. To be perfectly honest, I'm not sure what's going down with this business about Google Reader being ruled out and what that means for GFC followers... nevertheless, if you still want updates you can follow me here on Bloglovin! See you soon.
Posted by : Mani

vivid sydney

Guys, I think I may have a damning confession to make. Before this year I've never attended Vivid Sydney, a real shocker for someone who's lived here her entire life... In past years the timing's always clashed with exams and all that other jazz, but guess what! Last week I finally managed to have a look around and catch up with friends in the process. As a first-timer I don't even think I saw half the things I was meant to, but whatever. I must've been on my feet for a good five hours, so if I walked all the way to the Opera House I think I might have died. P.S. you'll have to excuse my lack of night photography skills! Despite the fact that I brought a tripod, I'm still rusty when it comes to using manual settings...

Before doing any physical activity, I obviously had to satisfy my cravings for Japanese. What else is new? Anyway, I've probably eaten udon noodles a million times before but it's impossible for me to get sick of it... especially with that delicious ontama egg on top, oh my goodness.

After aimlessly walking around Darling Harbour, my friends and I realised that all the action was in Circular Quay and caught a ferry there. Best decision ever! There was a really nice view of the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park on the way. On that note, I've always thought the Luna Park face looked freaking creepy and never liked it. I take back everything whenever I see pictures of the Melbourne version, though...

If I had to choose, this display on the Museum of Contemporary Art was by far my favourite. I probably would have watched it all night if I had the chance, it was that mesmerising... Even though it's kind of a shame that the colours weren't as vibrant in real life, I guess that can't be helped!

We spotted this odd couple and their fancy outfits walking around the Rocks. It was pretty comical to watch, they'd both take a step every five seconds or so and ended up creating a following of people behind them. I saw them again ten minutes after this photo was taken, and they must've travelled about fifty metres in that time...

Within that area there were also installations in random museums and art spaces, which I found pretty cool! When you talked into these microphones, brass instruments would mimic you and the lights would flash accordingly. Pretty fun, even though our rendition of the Harry Potter theme song didn't exactly work out as planned...

Failed attempt at creating some fancy long-exposure shots. Anyway, that's it for now! Hopefully the animations weren't too much of a pain to load and you can actually see them... Making them was the easy part, but it was just so hard trying to reduce them to a decent file size afterwards. I hope you're having a great start to the week, and see you soon!
Posted by : Mani