Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tokidoki Store Opening @ Santa Monica Place!

Yesterday was my first visit to an official Tokidoki store, I attended the grand opening of the Santa Monica location. There was a long line when me and my boyfriend got there at around 9:30 AM, but we managed to be numbers 67 and 68. We weren't able to keep the little card they handed to us to let them know what number we were, but we got some nice cell phone pictures of the front and back of the cards:

Here's a picture of the store front (as well as a random Asian girl who was standing there):

Tokidoki Store Opening - 58

The first display on the left when you enter the store:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 13

Check out this cool Tokidoki Christmas tree, complete with giant Ciao Ciao!

Tokidoki Store Opening - 14

All the Tokidoki Skate deck designs:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 16

Makeup counter with a fun holiday theme:
Tokidoki Store Opening - 17

Tokidoki Store Opening - 29

Bambino clothes for kids complete with Tokidoki Plushes:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 26

Sunglasses with cleaning cloths and jewelry display case:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 48

Cosmetic bags and my Tokidoki Manga/Black shoes:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 47

Newer bags on display:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 46

Cute Hello Kitty Unicorno skate deck, with pillowcase sets and shoes in the background:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 39

Even the carpet behind the cash register counter was done up with Tokidoki art!

Tokidoki Store Opening - 52

The watches are probably the most expensive items in the store:

Tokidoki Store Opening - 57

Awesome back wall art with custom store screen saver!

Tokidoki Store Opening - 55

Friday, December 03, 2010

My philosophy on spending

I currently have an obsession with bold floral prints, thanks in large part to Liberty of London for Target. I managed to find a lot of the kitchen stuff on clearance through Target's website, and a bunch of clothes, bags, and accessories on ebay. The only real problem (aside from spending a lot) is when huge packages arrive and my mom freaks out and thinks I need to take medication. I wonder when buying a lot became a medical issue. I know spending is a sign of mania, but mine is actually very controlled and focused on things that I consider to be good prices.

The bulk of my spending last month was related more to a recent trip to San Francisco and then the purchase of a new washing machine and dryer. There were a few expensive shopping events aside from that, including the Scott Pilgrim and Tokidoki signings - Black Friday and Cyber Monday definitely did not help my financial situation. There are always positive events that arise out of desperation. My brother finally got a new laptop and I am finally selling lots of yarn and other stuff I don't need.

My mom said she'd help me pay for my health insurance, but she says a lot of things. She still thinks I need to see a doctor for spending a lot. I know it's not good to spend money, but I think it's worse to keep old stuff that doesn't work well and using the excuse of being too busy to not clean up after yourself or organize things. Anyways, I'm pretty sure I spoil myself so much now because I was more of a penny pincher before. 

The economy only improves when people are more willing to spend, not keep their money under a mattress. I like saving money, but I like saving it all the time - not waiting for when everyone else decides to spend. Maybe that's bad for my own bank accounts and credit cards, but it really does make me happy and the stores I buy from happy. It's a win-win! Personally, I can't stand shopping in crowds, which is why I prefer Cyber Monday and online shopping in general. 

In terms of physical stores, I prefer Target, Wal-Mart, and thrift stores since on occasion since you can often find some great things at rock bottom prices. Shopping like that takes a lot more time than most people have, so I only really get to do that with my brother - who revels in the thrill of the hunt. I enjoy it too, just on occasion rather than as a way of life. It is pretty enjoyable when you do have the time for it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stars w/The Pains of Being Pure at Heart @ The Glass House in Pomona

Last night's show at the Glass House was so good, that I felt it was worth a mention. I had originally chosen to get tickets for this show just for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, who are easily one of my favorite new bands in recent years. As far as openers go, they are definitely ones to watch. I don't mind seeing their headline shows either! They're really talented musicians and you can hear a big shoegaze influence while keeping their songs interesting and hook-filled. They write really amazing songs and are definitely able to play them live well.

Search for The Pains of Being Pure at Heart 

It has been awhile since I saw Stars live, so I had almost forgotten what an excellent show they put on. For awhile, they seemed to be really popular and that is not undeserved. I do recall seeing Metric opening for them at the Knitting Factory back in 2003, and most people probably are more familiar with Metric than Stars. Both bands are good in their own right, it just seems that Metric has managed to play more big festivals over here. Or maybe I've just seen them at more big festivals... Anyways, Stars are pretty cool. They have a sophisticated indie pop sound which is also very polished.

I hadn't heard the new album "Five Ghosts" before the show last night, but it was more because I didn't even know they had a new album.  Now that I have heard it, I definitely recommend it - only $5.99 to download and $9.99 for a physical CD. What makes a Stars show special is not just the lights and talent of the band, but also the graciousness and encouragement of them to their fans. It's always nice to hear the band members thanking the fans for their support and telling them to start a band. They also thanked the openers multiple times.

Last but not least, I must point out that the Glass House is one of the best venues in Southern California. Free parking, safe college town, plenty of shops and restaurants to hang out at before and after gigs - that's definitely a win win. Another nice thing about the venue itself is reasonably priced food, sodas, energy drinks, and water - which makes up for the fact that they don't serve alcohol (which I don't normally drink anyways). They also have a big area for merch tables, which makes it easy to buy stuff and support all those talented artists we love so much. 

Tokidoki signing

I just posted about the Simone Legno signing this weekend at the Beverly Center on the Sneak Peeq Fashion Blog, but I did not include pictures of all the special bonuses that came with the shoes! So here are some pictures of the top of the shoe box, backpack, plush Tiger keychains, and tote bag:

Friday, November 12, 2010

Scott Pilgrim, fashion blog, O'Reilly tech books, and job hunting

I know it's been over a month since my last post, but I really have been busy!  Last month, I went to San Francisco and ended up staying an extra day and half for an in-store at Amoeba by a band called TsuShiMaMiRe, I'm not sure why I didn't post anything about it... in fact the whole trip was pretty interesting since we stayed in the Marina District and walked around a lot. We even went to the Exploratorium, which has always been one of my favorite places in SF... I think I got too distracted after I got back since I had to finish a Digital Video project... I think I'll post it on my website as well as a blog about that trip...

For now, here's what's happening now. I've been contributing to a fashion blog called Sneak Peeq, these are my posts to it so far:

Soft and Sexy Wrap by Victoria's Secret
Madden Girl Sheldun Boots and Floral Petticoat Skirt by Forever 21
My Favorite Brands

I went to a Halloween party in Seal Beach, which was fun and great for my boyfriend to talk to other gamers in person. The next night, we went up to the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood for a screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World and panel discusion moderated by Guillermo Del Toro (who was hilarious!) with Edgar Wright, Bryan Lee O'Malley, and Michael Cera. It was awesome seeing the movie with a bunch of fans and then watching/hearing the discussion about it. Here's a picture from the end of it, during which Guillermo Del Toro was making some funny remarks about how much he hates taking photos:

We were sitting pretty close to the front, so I did get a lot of good photos - more of which can be seen on my Flickr account. To continue with the Scott Pilgrim blu ray mania, we went up to Amoeba early on Tuesday morning to secure our spot in last night's signing event. Lots of waiting around, but it was pretty cool to meet a bunch of the cast and creators of the movie and get them all to sign the blu ray sleeve. Here's a picture of the signed sleeve and box:

Aubrey Plaza, Mae Whitman, Michael Cera, and Edgar Wright were kind enough to also sign the outer box for me. There were 12 people signing total, so there was very little time for chit chat and none for photos since they had to sign about 400 items total. That's like 48,000 signatures total!  I'm really glad they had this kind of event, since it shows just how dedicated the fans, creators, and actors involved are to this film.  I hope it really is a game changer in how movies are made.

I've recently been contacted by a few different recruiters about web design/development jobs, and since I did drop a couple classes - I decided I would look for part time and telecommuting jobs until I'm ready for a full time job again. I want to finish my Photoshop and Final Cut Pro classes, since I do enjoy them and I don't want to fully drop all my classes for work. There are also some Web Programming (ASP and Perl) classes I want to take at Cypress College (which are online, except for exams).  As much as I enjoy the graphical side of web design, I think the programming side is very useful and important in understanding and creating better websites.

I also recently applied for O'Reilly's Blog Review program, so that I can review their stuff while learning useful things. I applied to review this book: Building Android Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript By Jonathan Stark.  It combines stuff I already know with stuff my boyfriend wants to learn, so I figured it would be helpful if we both read it and learned to make Android apps. I am still in the process of reading it, so I'll let you know all about it when I'm done.

I actually still have a lot of reading about the Bento Box stuff I mentioned on my last post. I have pretty much everything I need to make cute looking food and the containers to put them in... the hard part is actually trying it out and making stuff!

Monday, October 04, 2010

Bento Boxing

Growing up, I knew how expensive and fattening eating out is. Regularly eating fast food was put into practice after I started hanging out more with my boyfriend. I realized he prefers fast food and restaurants because he grew up eating it. My family saved fast food and restaurants for special occasions. I grew up eating brown bag lunches, which were not too appetizing though they did the job.

Now that I've already gained more weight than I'd like, I really want to get back to preparing food at home. Since I live at my mom's house, I have access to a full kitchen. I like eating pasta since it's simple and tasty to me, but my boyfriend is definitely a meat eater. Since we're both fans of Japanese culture and food, I decided that learning to make cute and delicious bento box meals is the way to go.

I'm currently taking classes full time and even with 4 courses, I plenty of time to relax. So instead of just playing Facebook games all day, I will be devoting more time to meal planning and preparation. I've already looked into different types of bento boxes, and decided to go with Laptop Lunches. Their bento boxes seem to be a good size and shape, while also being made of quality materials. I hope I made the right choice!

Next, I searched for books and websites with recipes and ideas on what to make. There are so many choices out there! I decided to start with these books:

Face Food: The Visual Creativity of Japanese Bento Boxes
Cute Yummy Time: 70 Recipes for the Cutest Food You'll Ever Eat
Bento Boxes: Japanese Meals on the Go

Maybe later, I'll try Kawaii Bento Boxes: Cute and Convenient Japanese Meals on the Go and Yum-Yum Bento Box: Fresh Recipes for Adorable Lunches. My boyfriend mentioned The Manga Cookbook before and I think it might be worth picking up too.

Though I could probably pick up bento preparation items at Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa and Japantown in San Francisco (since my dad lives there), I decided to start ordering some things off of ebay and Amazon so all my Bento Box related stuff will arrive at the same time. I am eager to start trying out recipes, but I'm still in the research phase of figuring out what to do.

Well, I'm excited to find out some of the cool bento items and creations there are out there. I saw a bunch of cool anime bento boxes on Danny Choo's website even before I seriously entertained the idea of making my own. I will probably need to start off with the basics before getting that creative with it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Lucky Art Show: Spicy Brown @ Leanna Lin's Wonderland!


Eagle Rock is not a totally new area for me, but Leanna Lin’s Wonderland is like a different world. I wanted to get there early for the Spicy Brown art show today, which started at 6 PM. We managed to get there at around 4:30 PM, when they had just started setting up. It was a very cute and family friendly event, with the Spicy Brown couple, Scott and Laura, and their kids.


After meeting them at Anime Expo and Nisei Week, I feel like I already know them and am possibly stalking them - though that’s what you do when you appreciate what someone does, right? The first 25 people there all got free goody bags, which made it worth the trip alone! I bought a couple pairs of Spicy Brown socks, along with a cute cupcake shaped manicure set, and a bundle of earrings.


The goody bags included a Lucky cat shirt, a sushi cat bag, a small ID/card wallet, a pair of socks, postcards, and Lucky Charms! It was great to chat with the nice people of Spicy Brown and Leanna Lin’s Wonderland. I look forward to future events with both. We were even introduced to one of the designers of Spicy Brown, Kazuko Shinoka. She created the Sushi Cats and Tofu Robots! For more photos, you should check out my Flickr photo set.


After the Lucky Art show, we made a short drive to Alhambra for Sweet Streets II. I had gone to last year’s Sweet Streets, and this year seemed even bigger. Lots of interesting outfits there, bright and colorful clothes and plenty of Lolitas. It was very crowded and there was a long line to get in. I took a bunch of photos of the cool art there too, but didn’t stay too long. There were lots of cool postcards and free CD’s and magazines.



Sunday, September 05, 2010

FYF... more like FML!

I had previously written about how excited I was to attend this year's FYF Fest. The line up looked good and the price was right, so I thought "Why not?" I didn't realize that it would be extremely hot, dusty, smokey, and crowded. On top of that, no in's and out's and no outside food or drink... meaning big bucks for vendors.

Lines for food were really long and I have not idea even how expensive it must have been. I know it's expensive to put a big festival like that on, but it was a largely unpleasant experience for the mere 2 hours I spent there. I arrived around 3:30 and left soon after the Soft Pack finished their set.

I know the people in charge of the festival had good intentions and even tried to make up for it by reducing the price of the after shows. That is very cool of them, but I am still soured on the whole festival thing. It was the kind of experience that makes me never want to return to an outdoor festival. I am planning to go to Filter's Culture Collide in October, but it's indoors and at night.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Review of The Sushi Party Tank

Cute and comfy tank top

By Liane from Buena Park, CA on 8/28/2010


5out of 5

Sizing: Feels true to size

Pros: Figure Flattering, Versatile, Stylish, Quality Materials, Soft

Best Uses: Exercise, Going Out, Casual Wear

Describe Yourself: Stylish, Comfort-oriented, High-end shopper, Trendy

This tank top is comfortable enough to sleep in and at the same time, can be worn outside without looking like pajamas. The design is really cute and the material is much softer and cooler than a rib knit tank. I recommend it!


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Summertime & FYF Fest 2010

This summer has been severely lacking in good concerts. In general there has not been many bands touring that I like. Also, there don't seem to be as many free shows as there used to be. This year's FYF Fest is actually really good, of the bands playing here is a list of who I would want to see:


There's a bunch of other bands I haven't even heard of, so I may even discover some good bands if I go. The tickets are only $25, which I would think is worth it for the headliners alone. I'm still working on convincing more people to go, but I'm definitely up for it. I've felt really out of what's going on in music in general, so it'll be nice to enjoy some live music again.

My contract position ended much earlier than I expected, but this allowed me to really enjoy my free time and also take more classes. I had applied for some CIS scholarships earlier this year, and I actually got one. Now that I'm not working, I will actually be able to use it. I've already enrolled in the following classes:

PhotoShop for Mac, Intro to Web Graphics, Intro to 3D Graphics, and Digital Video

I'm excited to be able to focus on school again and enjoy being a student again. Though I did enjoy the last job, there were many things I didn't like about the company and it's procedures. I really just feel fortunate that they let me go when they did since it really opened up my schedule and allowed me to really enjoy my summer.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Busy busy week...

I've had a very good and busy week. Today, I finished a website that I designed and built from scratch. It is based on a template the customer liked, but I put a lot of my own ideas into. I did have help from a developer who's been with the company awhile, and I am really grateful that she's been guiding me. She's also been very encouraging and helpful to me and my fellow co-workers, who are also still pretty new to the company.

I ended up having time to take on a bunch of other developers' website revisions, which will keep me busy tomorrow. Before getting all those revisions, I had time to look into the Certificate programs at Cypress College. I'm very interested in the Web Development one. Some of the required classes are XML, Perl, Python, and PHP or ASP. The Web Page Design Certificates have required courses that include Java, C++, and XML. I may go for that one too.

It really depends on what they offer and if the classes are online or in person. I'm leaning more towards online since I hope to continue working full-time and would like to keep up with my workload. It is nice to finally have a good job doing something that I enjoy. Also, it's good to be working with some nice smart people, most of whom are also pretty creative. I think my team has been great to work with so far, and I feel like I've already learned a lot from them.

Anime Expo is next week, and I am very excited about it. I got my time off approved last week, and I've had everything else (tickets, hotel room) planned for awhile now. I'm going to all 4 days of Anime Expo, so it'll be very fun to see how big it's gotten. The 4th of July is on Sunday, so I'll also get the day off for the Monday after it. It'll be like a 5 day weekend! It's hard to believe tomorrow is already Friday, this week has gone by so fast.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

so many blogs... so little time!

After a bit of tweaking to this blog, I've decided to start writing here again. I was going back and forth between this one and my old Xanga, but I think the improvements to the Blogger templates makes this one better. Plus, I somehow manage to get 8 hits a day here, which is surprising because I haven't posted in months. I have a travel blog on my own domain, but it's an iWeb site and I'll only update that after a trip of some sort. This will be my normal place for me to write about what's on my mind.

A lot has happened since my last post. Just last month, I got a job doing actual web design full-time (though it is a long term contract position). I really like my company, the commute is not bad, my co-workers are great (and most are new too), benefits are good, and the cafeteria is excellent. I enjoy the work and it's actually what I want to be doing with my life.

Aside from working, I'm planning to go to Anime Expo at the beginning of next month. It'll be exciting since the last time I went was in 1992 (it's 2nd year) when it was still in Anaheim and only 1 day. Now it's 4 days long (though the last day is shorter) and at the LA Convention Center. I managed to reserve a reasonably priced and well review hotel that is fairly close to the Convention Center. I'm still waiting to get my 2 days off of work approved, so there's a little uncertainty.

I have been a bit more selective about concerts lately, partly due to financial reasons and also partly due to not knowing what's going on in music these days. I did go to a bunch of BRMC shows, Coachella, some Amoeba instores, and a concert with a bunch of Japanese bands. I don't mind being more selective about shows, it is a bit tiring to be out late for concerts and I am working more now.