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

Advertisements

The Power of Honey

There is something about Honey.

No, not me, honey – honey. Like Honey, as in Honey Bee.

Honey is one of the most powerful food on the planet.  

rawhoney_fotolia

Besides the fact that it has a shelf life of almost forever, Honey is proven to have a vast list of health benefits for the whole body.  It’s literally liquid gold. A sweet, golden fluid from beehives loaded with antibacterial and antifungal properties that when kept in its raw state, can be stored for centuries and still be edible. Honey contains hidden nutritional and medicinal value used for thousands of years, and can be traced back to Ancient Egyptians.

One tablespoon of honey = 64 Calories, 0% Fat

Here are some amazing health benefits of Honey:

1. Helps with Allergies: Aid in reducing allergy symptoms because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
2. Natural Energy Booster: Honey has high-carbohydrate load without the processed sugar. Honey’s natural sugars also prevent fatigue during exercise.
3. Cold Relief:  Soothes sore throat and is a natural cough suppressant.
4. Memory Booster: Honey helps the brain absorb calcium, helping to enhance memory and prevent cognitive decline and dementia.
5. Anti-Cancer: Studies show that honey possesses carcinogen-preventing and anti-tumour properties.
6.  Wounds and Burns:  A natural remedy containing antibacterial properties prevent infection and functions as an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing swelling and pain, and even scarring.
7. Skin & Beauty Must-Have:  Honey helps prevent acne, deep-clean pores, decrease wrinkle and fine lines and increase cell renewal.

Isn’t Honey just undeniably remarkable?!!  Sweet and powerful there is no denying it.

Below are some of my Beauty Faves with Honey as a key ingredient::

sweetlikehoney_beautybuys

  1.  Garnier “Honey Treasures” Whole Blends Repairing Shampoo- A delicious fragrance of royal jelly, honey, and propolis extracts strengthens hair and helps prevent split ends and breakage.
  2. Touch in Sol “Feel Like Honey Moon” Skin Base- A honey and collagen-based rejuvenating skin primer that supports smoother skin for flawless makeup application.
  3. The Body Shop “Honeymania” Hand Cream- Helps soften and protect hands with light, juicy moisture.
  4. Laura Mercier “Crème Brûlée Honey Bath”A foaming, honey-scented moisture bath.
  5. Farmacy “Honey Potion” Antioxidant Hydrating Mask – This super hydrating mask with natural honey sugars is rich in amino acids and essential B vitamins.
  6. The Face Shop “Honey” Face Mask – The honey extract, with its nourishing properties, reveals younger looking, invigorated skin. Shop local @thefaceshophawaii
  7. Burt’s Bees “Honey” Moisturizing Lip Balm – This natural balm helps nourish your dry lips with a touch of golden Honey and Vitamin E, leaving them soft, supple and super happy.
  8. Josie Maran “Divine Drip Honey Butter Balm”This indulgent body balm combines two ancient holistic ingredients—Honey and 100% Pure Argan Oil.
  9. Freeman Beauty Infusion “Manuka Honey” Hydrating Cream Mask – Manuka Honey softens while skin-plumping Collagen helps to improve elasticity and restore smoothness.
  10. Marc Jacobs “Honey” Fragrance- A sunny, delicious floral—energetic and alluring, with a sparkling, golden touch. The perfect mix of brightness and warmth. See a my previous post introducing this fragrance back in 2013.

 

Stay sweet & lovely darlings,

(The Real) Honey

Superfoods for Superhair

Aloha everyone!

After my post “Locks of Youth- Secret to Luscious Hair” I have had numerous inquiries on what hair products I use on a daily basis.

Nothing fancy, really.  Just Head & Shoulders (2-in-1 Shampoo and Conditioner), and Herbal Essence (Volumizing Conditioner).

Here’s a secret for ya: Using the right shampoo and conditioner alone does not give us the luxurious locks we crave.  Our diet plays an important factor, as a memorable saying goes, “You are what you eat,”… the health of your hair depends a lot on the food you consume.  Just like the rest of your body, your hair needs balanced doses of protein, vitamins, minerals, and oils to grow.

Here are ten Superfoods for Superfabhair. 

EGGS

Eggs are one of the best protein sources you can find. They contain lots of biotin (which helps strengthen hair and nails) and vitamins B5, B12, and D.   In addition eggs also contains sulfur, a tress-boosting mineral.

SALMON

Salmon is filled with protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, a high-quality protein source that is loaded with Vitamin B-6 and B-12, which produces red blood cells to carry oxygen to follicles.  A deficiency in omega-3 fatty acids can result to a dry scalp and dull hair.

AVOCADO

Avocados contain lots essential fats and are a great source of biotin, which is key to growing healthy hair. Biotin helps hair grow thicker, stronger, and longer.  You can even apply avocado directly on to your hair as a hair mask, adding body and shine to your hair.

CARROTS

Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A, which aid in having healthy scalp and shiny hair, and not to mention good vision 😉 If shiny, well-conditioned hair is what you want, you need to have a healthy scalp, so keep munching on those carrots.

OLIVE OIL

Olive oil contains essential Vitamin E.  In addition, the polyphenols in olive oil help control inflammation which can damage hair follicles as we get older.  Like avocado, you can also apply olive oil directly on your hair, especially in winter or on humid days.  Combing on a tablespoon of olive oil can tame frizzy hair and help moisturize your mane.

FLAX SEED

Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  They also contain lignans- plant-derived chemicals that act as antioxidants.  Flaxseed help prevent hair loss and boost hair strength.

DARK GREEN VEGETABLES

Dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli provides iron and calcium, as well as Vitamins A and C.  Your body uses these minerals and vitamins to produce sebum, an oily secretion from your hair follicles, which naturally conditions your hair and promotes hair growth.


WALNUTS

Walnuts provide zinc and fatty acids. Walnuts have alpha-linolenic acid, an omega 3 fatty acid that help condition and moisturize your hair.

BEANS 

Beans are another example super food for healthy hair. Beans provide good amounts of protein for hair growth, as well as iron, zinc and biotin. A deficiency in biotin can result in dry, brittle hair.

YOGURT

Yogurt contain calcium, a mineral that is vital in the role of hair growth.  It contains whey and casein, both excellent high quality protein sources necessary for a healthy scalp and hair.  For better results, opt for unsweetened Greek yogurt instead of the sweet,colorful yogurts.
Next time you visit the store, try adding these items on your shopping cart.  Your chances of having healthy, shiny, luscious locks may be as close as your nearest supermarket 😉
Love,

Honey