Emily in Paris – Say Bonjour to Netflix Most Anticipated New Original Series

Oh my goodness , it has been eight months since my last post! 2020 has so far been a strange year filled with never-ending negativity and uncertainty. There is something that I am definitely certain about, though…

Emily in Paris, starring the ravishing Lily Collins, streams on Netflix October 2nd and I CANNOT WAIT.

The show’s creator is Darren Star, the man behind Sex and the City… which means, we’ll see lots of drama, love and fashion, AND SHOES. Patricia Field, who was the forefront of costume design in both Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada is also leading the costume department in Emily In Paris.

I mean, watching the trailer gave me goosebumps because maybe because in another universe and another life I could have been Emily. Who wouldn’t want to be Emily? She’s in Paris, the City of Light- look at the sceneries, the Eiffel tower, her outfits, her shoes, the people, her job, and OMG did I mention her shoes?!

Enjoy & Au Revoir,

Honey

Galentine’s Day Celebration Ideas

Galentine’s Day is just a few weeks away.  (Yes, you read right, and No, it is not a typo.)

For fans of the show Parks and Rec starring Amy Phoeler as Leslie Knope, you are probably no stranger to the non-official holiday, Galentine’s Day.  What is it exactly?

“It’s only the best day of the year!” 

Galentine's Day

Galentine’s Day is a celebration of friendship.

A time to spend with the important people in your life that stuck around.. those who are there for you whether or not you’re in a romantic relationship.

There’s so many ways to celebrate!  Brunch with waffles, lots of waffles! Dress up and look fab, RSVP at a fancy restaurant  or go hiking, have a mani-pedi with your gal friends.  Go to the beach, have a picnic, lie around in your jammies reading a book or watch a movie with face masks on… do ANYTHING you want.  Exchange gifts, or not… but if you’re planning to, here’s some cute ideas to gift to your favorite gals…

Photobooth Kit
Everyone taking pics will absolutely love these funny sayings. #selfiefirst

Note Cards
Sweet and sassy sentiments perfect for your besties.

BFF Journal
So easy, just fill-in-the-blanks, and voilà

Coffee Mug
Pretty and useful for caffeinating!

Sleep Mask
Nappy hour comes after, and rhymes with Happy Hour.

Hot Seat Card Game
Find out who your friends are, who they really are! ūüėõ

Face Mask
Every gal’s face has a story, protect it!

Self-Defense Alarm Keychain
More than just a keychain, this will keep your galfriends safe from the creeps!

Or if you’re stuck and can’t think of anything, there’s always the lifesaving AMAZON Gift Card.  I’m sure your special someone won’t mind, the possibilities are endless : )

Last but not least, here’s another one of Leslie’s iconic, girl-power quotes…

“You’re a beautiful talented, brilliant, powerful musk ox.” -Leslie Knope

 

‚̧

Honey

The Magical World of Ghibli

Our next Japan trip is only three months away.¬† ¬†As we plan to revisit the magical world of Ghibli, it inspired me to create a quick post to share with you some of my most favorite quotes from Hayao Miyazaki’s creative masterpieces.

 

Not but not least, wise words from the legendary man himself…

Hayao Miyazaki Quote

Sharing with you a shot outside of Studio Ghibli Museum on our last visit to Tokyo in 2018.¬† Luckily, we were able to book tickets in advance through JTB USA. Can’t wait to go back!

Studio Ghibli Mitaka Honey Aubrey

‚̧

H

Hello MMXX!!!

In just a couple of days, we will be ringing in 2020!¬† What a grand celebration as Wednesday, January 1st, 2020 marks the first day of a new decade, the 20th year of the 21st century and the 20th year of the 3rd millennium!¬† Not to mention that 2020 is also a leap year!¬† For ladies wanting to propose to the love of your life, you can do so this year as do the Irish¬† ūüėČ

Most of us go through thoughts of New Years resolutions.¬† Whether it’s a new diet, fitness program, hobby or personal development, beginning the new year starting fresh always seems like the best time to do so. Sometimes we follow them, most times we break them.

The past few years I have quit on the NY resolutions as I have learned to just be grateful for every single day.¬† The one thing though, that I consistently have to do is to learn something new.¬† Never stop learning.¬†¬†Every day I want to learn something new.¬† It doesn’t matter about what it is, or who it’s about.¬† It may or may not even be relevant to my life at the moment, because for all I know it might be useful for something later.¬† My mind is reminding me every day to “learn something, Honey.”¬† Growth and continuous education keeps me motivated.¬† Learning allows the mind to be knowledgeable but still curious, and always wanting more…

Here’s some inspirational quotes to encourage you this upcoming year to go beyond what you know.

Learning_LoveHoney

  • ‚ÄúWonder is the beginning of wisdom.‚ÄĚ – Socrates
  • “What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing.” – Aristotle
  • ‚ÄúAnyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young.‚ÄĚ – Henry Ford
  • “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you‚Äôll go.” – Dr. Seuss
  • ‚ÄúIf you are not willing to learn no one can help you. If you are determined to learn no one can stop you.‚ÄĚ – Zig Ziglar
  • ‚ÄúEducation breeds confidence. Confidence breeds hope. Hope breeds peace.‚ÄĚ – Confucius
  • ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold.‚ÄĚ – Bob Marley
  • ‚ÄúLearning never exhausts the mind.‚ÄĚ – Leonardo da Vinci
  • “When you know better you do better.” – Maya Angelou
  • ‚ÄúWisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.‚ÄĚ – Albert Einstein

BTW, fun fact I just learned: for those of us born in the 80’s, did you know we would have already experienced living in¬† four decades (80’s, 90’s, 00’s, 10’s) going into a fifth and we have yet to reach the age of 40?!¬† That is amazingly mind-boggling when you think about it.

Wishing you a wiser and fabulous, Happy New Year!!!

Love,
Honey

Japan Travel Essentials

Current mood: super, super excited!

In just a little less than two weeks, Brons and I go back to Japan.¬† I can’t believe it’s been almost a year since we were there.¬† It was such an amazing experience that we decided to go back again.

If you’re a first-time traveler or need a simplified list of things to bring, read on ūüėČ

JapanChecklist2018

BACKPACK – better than a handbag or shoulder bag as it fits more items and doesn’t cramp one side of your shoulder.¬† The more compartments, the better.¬† Find a lightweight, versatile and classic style that will match any outfit, such as the Calais backpack from TUMI’s Voyageur Carson collection.

TRAVEL MAP & GUIDE – I’m a bookworm and I’ve preferred hard-copy books over digital books.¬† Same goes with a physical map.¬† It’s easier to see the big picture, just need unfolding ūüėČ Also, just in case your phone loses battery, you’ll have a back-up.¬† A survival phrasebook is useful to have, to familiarize yourself with the country’s culture and learn basic conversation phrases.¬†Lonely Planet¬†Japan¬†Map and Japanese¬†Phrasebook and Dictionary¬†will make you feel like a local when you no one knows how to speak¬†eigo.¬†

COIN PURSE –¬†We’ll get to the “cash is king” memo in a bit, but in Japan, you will rack up lots and lots of coins because the most common form of payment is cash.¬† As you use cash, you’ll end up with coins, so having a coin purse will help you organize, locate and separate your crisp bills from your baby yens.¬† Might as well get a cute one, just like this exquisite handmade buckle coin purse from Jan Dee.

MONEY – Of course without money, how can you have fun, let alone survive your trip?¬† Save up and cash in the yen.¬† To-date $1 = 112Y.¬† Carry more cash than credit card as we recently learned Japan is predominantly cash-culture.¬† A lot of the places we went accepted cash only.¬† Don’t be afraid to carry a lot of cash as Japan is super safe.¬† As far as utilizing credit cards- VISA or Mastercard are the most common.¬† Make sure to inquire with your bank or credit card company for fees associated with international transactions.¬† Personally, I know that Capital One does not charge foreign transaction fees.¬† If you run out of cash, the best place to get it is at an ATM at your nearest 7-Eleven.¬† With 22,000 locations, they’re conveniently everywhere in Japan and they’re open 24 hours.

HAND SANITIZER – Japan’s cleanliness is immaculate.¬† Ironically though, their bathrooms lack soap and even hand towels.¬† Therefore, you must carry with you at all times, hand sanitizer or hand wipes.¬† Most people carry their own handkerchief.¬† Stock up with travel-sized hand sanitizers and single-use wipes from Bath & Body Works or Purell.

COMFY SHOES – For a shoeholic like me, I cannot stress it enough that you should not only find fabulous shoes, but also comfy ones.¬† Trust me, you will do miles and miles of walking.¬† And yes, the mythical combination of looks & comfort exist.¬† Last trip, I learned to value my boots and booties as they are fitting for the season.¬† However, I’ve learned to absolutely love my casual white sneakers as they matched with almost any outfit, whether it’s with leggings, skinny jeans, or even a dress!¬† In Japan no matter what type of skirt or dress – flowy, midi, maxi (even mini), a pair of white fashion sneakers¬†will finish the look!

ELECTRONICS – Your phone, of course!¬† A digital camera to capture memories, a travel adapter as most of Japan’s electrical outlets are two-pronged “Type A”.¬† Don’t forget to rent a pocket WiFi for Google and Google maps, the internet have¬†all¬†the answers when you’re on an adventure.

JR PASS –¬† Hands down, a total money saver.¬† This will save you hundreds of dollars in travel fees especially if you’re going from one major city to another.¬† We used our passes mainly to get from Kyoto to Tokyo and Tokyo to Osaka in the shinkansen (bullet train), and any transportation owned and operated by Japan Railway throughout the rest of our stay.¬† You can buy them in 7-day increments and you have an option to purchase a regular pass or Green (First Class) pass.¬† We opted for the Green pass as it guaranteed seat reservations and more leg room for Brons.¬† Learn more about the JR Pass here.

LUGGAGE – Packing a light, small suitcase can help you navigate Japan a bit easier.¬† Crowded stations and trains leave very little room for large luggage.¬† Even the shinkansen¬†allows minimal space for large luggage, with the overhead compartment being able to accommodate carry-on sizes.¬† Opt for a suitcase with spinner wheels, 4-wheeler even an 8-wheeler if you can – so much easier to maneuver!¬† Especially towards the end of your trip in which it will get heavier as you fill it up with¬†omiyage.¬†¬†This innovative carry-on Luggage Crew 11 from Travelpro might just do the trick.¬† It’s expandable and lightweight, and it has an external USB port to charge to gadgets!¬† Super cool.

 

Hope this helps your planning.  Would love to hear about your trip!

 

<3,

Honey

She was beautiful…

 

…. but not like those girls in magazines.
She was beautiful for the way she thought.
She was beautiful for the sparkle in her eyes
when she talked about something she loved.
She was beautiful for her ability to make other people smile,
even if she was sad.
No, she wasn’t beautiful for something
as temporary as her looks.
She was beautiful, deep down to her soul.

She is beautiful.”

– F. Scott Fitzgerald

Brunch Perfection: Brother’s Cafe – Namba, Osaka

I love breakfast.

I absolutely do and in addition to coffee, I have to have it every morning or I have no energy for the rest of the day.¬† Sometimes I might also get a little grouchy.¬†¬†But I don’t like to have it too early in the morning.¬† The best breakfast is eaten after 10am but before noon.¬† ¬†Oh yes, so sorry…. that actually makes it brunch.¬† So I retract my statement.

I love brunch.¬† I do.¬† ūüôā

Another highlight during our trip to Japan was the food.¬† So much food!!!! Of course Japan has the most exquisite selection of food and they are served to perfection.¬† ¬†From the sushi to the takoyaki to the noodles to the broiled salmon to the supermarket bentos, everything was just… perfect.

And for brunch lovers like me who are searching for the PERFECT breakfast/lunch cafe, let me introduce to you Brother’s Caf√©.

BrothersCafe1_HoneyAubrey

Brother‚Äôs Caf√© is a quaint little pancake house in Namba, Osaka- their second location is in Umeda.¬† Brother’s Cafe serves a variety of pancakes, toasts and sandwiches.¬† They also serve coffee, which smells decadent as you enter the shop, and matcha.¬† It was here that I was introduced to spoon pancake-¬† a pancake soooo fluffy you can eat it with a spoon.¬† Spoon pancake is limited to their Namba location and takes 20 minutes to bake.¬† It tasted heavenly and worth the wait.

Here are photos, I’ll let you swoon (and maybe even drool a little ;P)

BrothersCafe3_HoneyAubrey

BrothersCafe8_HoneyAubrey
Coffee & Matcha Love

BrothersCafe4_HoneyAubrey
One of their specialized toasts, with grilled vegetables and chili sauce

BrothersCafe5_HoneyAubrey
Cornflake french toast

BrothersCafe6_HoneyAubrey
Another version of their sweet & savory french toast

BrothersCafe7_HoneyAubrey
The undeniably delicious and one-of-a-kind spoon pancake

Still drooling?¬† Here’s a quick little video of our dine-in…

Brother‚Äôs Caf√© is a cozy restaurant that can satisfy even the biggest sweet tooth…..including me!

Aloha,
Honey

Memoirs of a “Geisha” – A Maiko Makeover Experience in Kyoto

Just over a week ago we returned home to Hawaii after a 10-day vacation in Japan.  From Osaka to Kyoto to Tokyo then back to Osaka again.   Even with the threatening typhoon Lan and stormy days during the trip, it was still oh-so-amazing!

To me, the most memorable experience was the opportunity to be a Maiko for a day.

GeishaMaikoKyoto_honeyaubrey_1a

A maiko¬† is a geisha-in-training.¬† The term “Geisha” means “art person”.¬† This means one must be highly skilled in their arts to be considered a geisha.¬† ¬†Geishas are experts in traditional dance, classical music, tea ceremony, and much more.¬† ¬†They are well versed in social situations and are expert conversationalist. The role of a geisha is constantly misunderstood (mostly by westerners) as they are thought of as escorts, sometimes prostitutes.¬† They are not.¬† They are exclusively hired to entertain during sophisticated dinners and events.¬† They portray beauty, elegance, and their talents that they perfect.¬† They go through rigorous years of training, and they are an important cultural asset to Japan, sadly there are very few of them left.

Having a maiko makeover wasn’t just the chance to put on white makeup and dress in a kimono.¬† It was the experience of being¬†professionally made up, to wear a warishinobu¬†wig adorned¬†with colorful hair pins¬†and be¬†beautifully¬†dressed in a¬†traditional¬†kimono.¬† Not to mention being able to tour (in tabi socks and platform clogs) a few of the most historic and preserved streets of the Edo Period in Gion, Kyoto….. specifically Ninenzeka, one of the oldest streets in the history of Kyoto.

For a few hours you get to feel like a real maiko or geisha, and it was an unforgettable experience!¬† Although it was a bit tiring because of the stairs, slopes and uphills, and the nonstop photo ops/selfie requests by tourists and locals alike…..but well worth it….

AYA KYOTO –

This Maiko Makeover Experience would not have been possible without AYA KYOTO. They have been very accommodating since the beginning.¬† They were responsive through email even while I was still on-island (Akiko and Wakana were my contacts through email). We rescheduled because of the storm and they even allowed my bff Kelsie to participate.¬† Another geisha makeover company in Gion, who will remain unnamed, wouldn’t allow any woman expecting, no matter what stage of pregnancy, to participate in the makeover.¬† AYA accomodated Kels, and we had the time of our lives!¬† Here are some photos from our maiko makeover, to help you get a feel of how the process works.

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_0

The AYA studio was a traditional teahouse during the Taisho Period in the early 1900s so it has an authentic, traditional feel as you enter.  You are welcomed into their common room where you fill out paperwork and choose what poses you would like during your photo shoot.  You will then have to remove any makeup you are currently wearing in the washroom, where there are lockers to place your belongings.  They will give you a simple white under-robe  and white tabi socks, the robe which you will be wearing beneath your regular kimono.

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_1

You then go into the makeup room, partnered with one of their professional makeup artists, where all of the magic happens!  

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_2a

Phase one includes skin cleansing, moisturizing and the application of white makeup powder.

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_2b

Phase two Рfour includes eyebrows, eyes, then lips!  Pictured above with my makeup artist Yukiko.  She was such a joy to work with, such a sweetheart!  After the makeup was applied, my hair was styled and sprayed to accommodate the maiko wig to make it look as natural as possible.

Here’s a quick video clip of how much fun and laughter actually happens during hair and makeup!¬† Look at those adorable little maikos behind me! ūüôā

After makeup you go into the dressing room where you pick from over a hundred choices of kimono and obi combinations.  I picked a black and red color palette.  Pictured below are the racks of exotic and colorful kimono designs and obi sashes you could select from.  

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_2c

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_3

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_4

In the photo above, pretty Kelsie is getting dressed after choosing a pink and light green ensemble. 

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_6

After dressing, we are taken into a different room where the indoor photo shoot takes place.  Below is a candid while doing a sitting pose, with photographer Mark guiding  proper body angles and where to look.  

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_7b

After the indoor photo shoots, we were given one hour outdoors to walk/tour the streets Maiko style ūüôā¬† ¬†We could not do it without our platform clogs, or slippahs as we call it here in Hawaii.

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_5

During the walking tour, our husbands Marlon and Bronson along with little Kellon became our personal photographers.  They took candid photos as we strolled the fascinating streets of Gion.  It was like taking a step back in time as you meet tourists dressed in casual kimonos and yukatas.  There were some locals who may have believed we were also real maikos on the way to an appointment.  It was sooo fun to see how curious and starstruck they were. 

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_9

Photo above were students from Sakurajima Elementary School who wanted a photo, they were soooo adorbs!

And just a few more photos featuring Honey-san and Kelsie-san as Maikos, promise ūüėČ ….

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_8

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_10

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_10b

Doesn’t it look fabulous?!?!

If you are thinking of doing something as amazing as this during your travel to Japan, contact AYA KYOTO below:

AYA03
“Maiko or Geisha in Kyoto. Try on a Maiko Costume at AYA and experience the exotic worlds of traditional Kyoto culture. to be a Maiko makeover yourself. “

They recently received a 2017 Certificate of Excellence from Trip Adviser where they hold an average of 5-star reviews!!!

If you are still not convinced, watch their official YouTube video below

Thank you so very much AYA KYOTO, we had the time of our lives, we will never ever forget our memories in Gion.  Much love and Aloha from Hawaii!!!

AYAMaikoExperienceKyoto_11

‚̧

Honey

 

Gifts for Mom

Happy May, everyone!

One of my favorite celebrations this month is Mother’s Day, which is¬†less than a couple of weeks away.

Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 14th. ¬†Of course we have to spoil her because she is supermom and every amazing thing about you, you most definitely got it from your mama! ūüėČ ¬†If you are not sure what to get her yet, don’t worry too much as Miss Honey have some wonderful gift ideas that will sure to wow mother dearest.

Here are some of my faves:

GiftsForMom

Pandora Vintage Allure Gift Set –¬†¬†An exclusive, dazzling set with silver drop earrings and matching necklace will sparkle mom’s heart and any room she’ll walk into while wearing this striking jewelry set from Pandora.

Fraas Lightweight Solid Scarf –¬†A wardrobe staple that can be worn for all seasons. ¬†The pastel color is perfect for spring and summer and can take any of mom’s outfit up a notch! ¬†For fashionista moms, let her know this one’s made in Italy ūüôā

Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing AboutРMs. LaBelle, the original Lady Marmalade songstress, superstar singer and bestselling cookbook author recently came out with her desserts/baking book!  This will definitely have mom singing and you wishing for more, more, more pies please.

LipSense Lipstick–¬†Say goodbye to smudged lipsticks, lipstick on cups, clothes or even on your loved ones! As a loyal user of LipSense, I can definitely say it what all the wonderful things everyone say it is! ¬†Mom needs lipstick that will stay all-day and LipSense will give her that. ¬†She can pick from a whole range of color and gloss styles, from glassy to matte. ¬†For my fellow island girls, please contact my dear friend Lila Uyeno, or order online through LipSense Distributor #277486.

Kate Spade Flower Metro Watch–¬†For no-nonsense moms that don’t want anything too fancy, but they deserve it, this rose gold watch etched with a single blossom will surely catch her attention.¬†Simple but special enough to wear every day and/or on special occasions.

S’ip by S’well¬†Insulated Water Bottle in Pineapple Bliss¬†– This stainless steel water bottle use ThermaSwell to keep drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. ¬†It will keep mom well-hydrated for all of the multitasking that she have to do.

Godiva Sweet Dreams Deluxe Chocolate Gift Box РThe perfect indulgence for a chocoholic queen who is as sweet as what she eats.   Pamper her with this gift set that includes two boxes of chocolate, cosmetic bag and a satin pillowcase.

Nest Fragrances White Camellia Reed Diffuser¬†A breathtaking scent¬†of fresh camellia, wisteria and Indonesian jasmine with notes of white tea and amber will fill mom’s home with luxurious and memorable fragrance.

Minnie Rose¬†Cashmere Slippers –¬†For the low-maintenance mom who wants comfort around the house. ¬†These cashmere slippers speak for themselves with a “Cool Mom” embroidery.

Tory Burch Block-T Brogue Tote– This sleek leather tote is ideal for any tasks that must be done whether it is for quick errands or a weekend away. ¬†It¬†features a distinct perforated trim and can easily hold a full-day’s essentials. ¬†It also includes a removable zip pouch for smaller items.

Hope I inspired you a little. ¬†As most of us can agree on, mother knows best, and she deserves the best. ¬†To our angel mother in Heaven, you know if you were here I would get you anything you ever wanted. ¬†To everyone else, have fun shopping for mom!¬†The price shouldn’t matter, the most important thing is the thought and effort you put in it ūüôā

**For more ideas, SHOP Mother’s Day Gifts here.**

Love,
Honey

Pretty-In-Pastels

Hope everyone had a blessed and beautiful Easter Sunday! ¬†Today’s fashion post takes inspiration from the soft and sweet candy hues of our most recent holiday – pastels! ¬†We are already¬†seeing pastels as one of the biggest trends this year, and with spring and summer (almost) here, it doesn’t look like it’s going to fade out anytime soon.

Pastels can be incorporated with almost any color. ¬†The light, delicious hues range from blush pink, pale yellow, sweet sorbets, lavender to mint and seafoam green, to baby blue. They are indeed, very ladylike, however pastels can be worn by anyone, even if you don’t consider yourself to be a “girly-girl”.

Here are some wardrobe ensembles you can put together, whether you’re just beginning to add a touch of soft colors in your wardrobe or you’re a fashion diva experimenting with color blocking.

BlushPinkPastelOutfit

Anson Asymmetric Stretch-Ponte Mini Dress, TIBI
Alexia Suede and Leather Shoulder Bag, M2Malletier
Jurassic Rose Fan Station Necklace, Lele Sadoughi
Keenan Block-Heel Sandals, Charles by Charles David

BabyBluePastelOutfit

Cutout Hammered-Crepe Top, Michael Michael Kors
Scalloped Crepe Shorts, Madewell
Crystal & Gemstone Daydreamer Earring, Isabella Tropea
Harper Crossbody Bag, Tory Burch
Lafayette Loafers, Diane von Furstenberg

YellowWhitePastelOutfit

Wool-Blend Cardigan, Vince
Pointed Toe Pump, V Italia
Crepe Blouse, Atos Lombardini
Pleated Tulle Skirt, H&M
Rayne Pendant Necklace, Kendra Scott
Gancini Crossbody Bag, Salvatore Ferragamo

MintGreenPastelOutfit
Le Skinny De Jeanne Jackwood Stagger Hem Jeans, FRAME
Bomber Jacket, H&M
Chuck Taylor All Stars Dainty Sneaker, Converse
Cotton Drawstring Backpack, Baggu
Women’s Aloha Forever Hat, Billabong
Marled linen-jersey Tank, MAJESTIC

Hope these ideas inspired you to mix and match your candy colored wardrobe pieces!

 

Love,

Honey