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 😉

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 😉 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

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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! 😉  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 🙂

Desserts LaBelle: Soulful Sweets to Sing About– Ms. 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 – The 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 🙂

**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

Hello 2017

 

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Another year, another set of new year’s resolution for most people.  But then again, it’s perfectly okay to not have a specific list for a change.  After all you don’t want to go through feeling like a failure after missing spinning class, or taking a bite out of that delicious-looking brownie midway through Day 3!

How about just some words of wisdom from great minds and big hearts?

Below are some of my fave quotes on celebrating and appreciating another new year…

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, DARLINGS!
LET’S MAKE 2017 ANOTHER FABULOUS ONE!

Secret Tips to Combat Aging After 30

Well here I am.

After talking about it for years, months, weeks, days…. I’m finally here.  And yes, for those who have heard my daily rant counting down to this momentous event, this may be the last time I publicly acknowledge it.  I however am not making any promises, haha! 😉

Anywho, in a haze of fabulous shoes, career changes, bridesmaids dresses, blessed godchildren, familial bonding and getting hitched…I managed to somehow get here.  As of yesterday, Dec. 27th, 2016 I reached the point of true adulthood.

A crowned thirty-year-old.

That’s three decades.  360 months. 1565 weeks. 10,957 days.

Oh, and thank you to my wonderful friends and family who greeted and celebrated with me on this fabulous day! Hugs & Kisses!

Amazing how time goes by faster than you know it.  The goal is to age gracefully, yes? Soon enough I’ll be in my sixties, older, wiser, grumpier, wrinklier.  Although at that point of my life, I would love to still feel (and look) like I’m in my thirties, (it doesn’t feel that bad at this moment, kind of glamorous almost) hence this blog post.

To look and feel healthy and young for as long as the hands of time allows can indeed, be possible.

Let’s unveil some secrets to fight off the not-so-glamorous signs of aging.

stopaging

WATER
Water is essential to all living things, making up 2/3 of the human body.  It’s not only important to life itself but also for the quality of life so make it your best friend.  Water is needed in our bodies to transport nutrients to our organs and oxygen to our cells. Water lubricate  joints and eyes and keeps skin healthy by eliminating toxins.  Did you know that when you are dehydrated your body pulls liquid from  your tissues and skin to maintain the balance in your blood?  When that happens, your eyes look sunken and your skin feels dryer, there is no elasticity, hence you look older. Make a conscious effort to drink water to keep hydrated. There is no denying water is the elixir of youth.

MEDITATION
Meditation is important to keep a stress-free life.  Without stress, life is happier!  Stress affects our bodies in more ways than you can imagine.  Our immune system, quality of sleep, our hearts and mind…. our relationship with others can be affected by stress.  Meditation can help relieve stress by focusing on being in the moment and appreciating the present. Studies show that there is an increase of melatonin in our bodies after meditating.  Melatonin energizes the immune system and slows the aging process as it has the ability to repair damaged cells.

ANTI-AGING SERUM
Serums are more lightweight than creams so they are able to penetrate deeper into the skin delivering active ingredients.  Industry fave Estée Lauder “Advanced Night Repair” serum is a must-have. The serum contains the exclusive ChronoluxCB™ Technology improving dryness and dehydration, reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles and restoring radiance.

EYE CREAM
Keep an eye on your peepers! One biggest sign of age is that thin-skinned area under and around your eyes. Crows feet dig in during this decade so commit to purchasing a high quality eye cream such as La Mer “The Illuminating Eye” Gel. Great eye creams protect against the aging effects of the environment, fatigue and stress while making eyes look youthful, energized, and awakened.

SLEEP
There is a reason why we call it beauty sleep. Our cells grow and repair while we sleep and our immune system is strengthened by sleep. The more sleep we get, the less time aging catches up to us. Be sure to get about about 8-9 hours of sleep to keep your mind and body healthy.  If you are a light sleeper grab a cute sleep mask to help you sleep faster and stay asleep.  Besides that, sleeping is absolutely free.  

TEETH CARE
Your smile is one of the first things people notice. Protect it. And keep them guessing about your age by showing those pearly whites!  Brush and floss at least twice a day or after every meal.  Basic habits can go along way.  In advanced technology, now available at your Dentist’ office is a toothbrush designed to build better oral care routines, the  Phillips Sonicare FlexCare Platinum Connected toothbrush.  You can download its coordinating app that offers in-depth tracking of your brushing habits. The toothbrush includes location, pressure, and scrubbing sensors, which allow the app to map out the areas in your mouth that need some work.  What a way to throw off a youthful look with missing, black or rotten teeth!

EXERCISE
Exercising regularly can fight aging by protecting cells and lowering the body’s level of inflammation.  Yoga, due to the extent of stretches and core exercises involved, is believed to help reverse signs of aging such as sagging skin and loss of muscle strength. Endurance activities such as running may also be able to slow down aging.  Benefits of running include a stronger heart, more efficient blood flow and a powerful immune system.  Exercise fights aging by protecting your cells from the ticking clock but make sure that you also protect your body by investing in proper attire and gear.  On a personal note, this is the best time for me to include running as part of my physical activity and to do so properly, I will need to purchase running shoes, like the  NIKE Air Max 2017.  I am in love!
They are the perfect running shoes, but can also be street casual.

HEALTHY EATING
Fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that combat free radicals, oxygen fragments that attack cell membranes. Nutrients in fruits and vegetables can also help do everything from preventing wrinkles to killing off cancerous cells. Luckily I have had a pescatarian diet for half my life now (since age 15) so I just have to continue the greenery and fish intake.

SUNSCREEN
SPF not only prevent skin cancer, but it also prevent wrinkles.  A study conducted has proven this to be a fact.  So be motivated to SPF your skin every day. AVEENO Sunscreen with SPF 50 For Face contains sun protection while hydrating skin to keep it soft, smooth and feeling healthier than before you went in the sun.

GREEN TEA
Green tea contain powerful anti-aging and antioxidants that help slow down the skin aging process such as sagging skin, sun damage, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles. The polyphenols in green tea help neutralize harmful free radicals, which can cause significant damage to the skin.  Antioxidant properties of tea help fight off cell damage, can help revive dying skin cells, and even prevents high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Besides green tea, white tea has been shown to slow down the breakdown of elastin and collagen, which is essential in keeping skin look young and supple.

Purposefully, not mentioned in this list is HAIR CARE, which is as important as  those above. If you have time, read a couple of my favorite health and beauty posts “Locks of Youth- Secrets to Luscious Hair” and “Superfoods for Superhair”, both which goes into detail about how to keep your hair healthy and lustrous as it indicates well-being and youth.

The other unsaid secret of youth is laughter.  Lots and lots of it.  I’ll elaborate but I’ll save it for another day 😉

Love,
Honey

Pantone Color of the Year 2017

Global color authority The Pantone Color Institute revealed the 2017 Color of the Year-Greenery.

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Photo Courtesy of Pantone

Described as nature’s neutral color, Greenery signifies new beginnings, as this bright yellow-green hue “evokes the first days of spring.”  Tapping into minimalism, Greenery inspires us to be more connected with nature as well as with one another.  We live in a stressful world which can be draining.  Sometimes we just need to stop what we are doing, take a deep breath, put away those electronics and just embrace mother nature.  Doing so is rejuvenating.

“It speaks to what we call the ‘re’- words: regenerate, refresh, revitalize, renew,”

said Leatrice Eisemen, Executive Director of The Pantone Color Institute.

Just like in the spring, Greenery gives a sense of hopefulness and affirmation  that things can change.

Here’s a fashion tip this coming year:

Having a bad hair day?  You’re absolutely not having it?  Want to de-stress?  Wear Greenery. 😉

pantonecoloroftheyear2017

1.  Dolce & Gabanna Small Sicily Leather Shoulder Bag
2. Kenneth Jay Lane Jade Bib Necklace
3. Stella McCartney Eva Silk Crepe Blouse
4. Smythson “Inspirations and Ideas” Panama Notebook
5.  Laura Ashley Green Watch
6. ILA Gold Green Onyx Drop Earrings
7. Bajra Cashmere Scarf
8.  Manolo Blahnik Hangisi Satin Crystal-Toe Pump
9.  Maje Pleated Crepe Mini Dress
10. Marco De Vincenzo  Green Wool Skirt