Goodies from Tokyo

31 January 2012

pakage details
Earlier in the month I received this awesome package from Nic of Bang Bang She Shoots who is based in Tokyo and one of my favourite beauty bloggers. I entered one of her giveaways and I couldn't believe my luck when I was the winner! She left a lovely note and hopefully one day I will get to catch up with her as she is actually originally from Birmingham. So here is what was inside...
cute packaging
I've always found post from Japan super fast and this package arrived in just 3 days, crazy! I'm a huge fan of Japanese cosmetics and as you know, I have an inexplicable love for all things cute so I was so excited to find all these goodies inside the adorable packaging. It was like Christmas again, yay!
goodies from bbsh
Japan is pretty well known for it's cute characters for which there are many and the Sanrio ones are probably the most famous. Other characters such as Rilakkuma and his buddy Korilakkuma are also one of my favourites. The phone holder and pouch are pretty random but adorable no?
rilakkuma and korillakuma
I've not tried the eye masks yet but the bath salts are lovely. Perfect for cold winter days like we're having now, it's the perfect treat. I used the peach one and it smells sooo good and turns the bath a candy pink colour. I rarely ever wear my hair up but the Odango hair bun (hair doughnut) is pretty nifty and my younger sister has taken to borrowing this on occassion.
bath salts and masks
odango bun
Testing out the Odango hair bun
Other things inside the package included some Green tea face soap, Dejavu Fiberwig mascara (Japan's no.1 Mascara) and some Heroine Make Kiss Me liquid eyeliner. I'm a massive fan of eyeliner and have used Japanese  eyeliners for the past few years because of their staying power and quick removal. This one works pretty well too and like many Japanese eyeliners, it lasts all day and is easily removed with just a bit of warm water, so handy! Luckily, a lot of Japanese cosmetics are easy to buy in Hong Kong, so I will definitely be asking relatives to stock up for me when they visit.
make up japan
phone holder rilakkuma
Finally here is a photo of the phone holder in action. Haha, how can I resist this little face? I really do think I've become more girly and childish as I have become older. The 15 year old me who lived in baggy jeans, hoodies, excessive kohl eyeliner and sweepy fringe (yeah I was one of those) would have been horrified. Oh take me to Japan!

Oh and before I forget, I'm now on Pinterest which is super addictive!
Follow Me on Pinterest


A little bit of Kirei

26 January 2012

pink and purple outfit
Continuing with my love for jumpers/sweaters at the moment, this dusky purple jumper from H&M which I bought after Christmas is another one of my favourite things. I wear a lot of purples and blues so this works really well in my wardrobe and goes nicely with this pretty silk scarf that I was sent over from HK for Christmas! FYI, I spent ages tucking and knotting that scarf to make it look like that!
pink and purple outfit 2
 Jumper (H&M) Scarf (Gift from HK) Skirt (UO) Knee Socks (Primark) Shoes (Dune) Necklace (HK), Bag (Sisters from HK)
rockinghorse dune flats
The candy pink coloured bag belongs to my sister Hailey. She bought the bag on one of our shopping trips in HK and I couldn't help but borrow it and attach this big fluffy charm on it.
little pink bag
The charm is actually made up of several charms which I had bought on a whim in Hong Kong in the Summer. They're actually intended as a phone decorations but unfortunately my phone doesn't allow phone charms (damn!) but it goes nicely on my bags! The fluffy ball and ribbon charms are from Kirei, a small accessory shop in Causeway Place which stocks lots of cute Japanese accessories. From what I gather, Kirei means pretty and this charm certainly is! The little Hello Kitty sitting in a Hong Kong taxi was a random (and touristy!) purchase in Sogo department store. It was far too cute and kawaii for me to pass up! Yeah so the charm in it's entirety is either super kawaii or sickeningly girly depending on the way you look at it. I'm OK with that.
kawaii charms
Other cute things in my life include these new iPhone cases which now join the collection that I have amassed since Hong Kong. Iconemesis got in touch recently and sent me these cases for me and Hailey to play around with. Iconemesis are pretty cool because they work with some really talented artists to create designs for their cases. The cases are sturdy (perhaps slightly heavier than what I'm used to) but they do the job at keeping my phone scratch free and pretty. Having bought a case from them before, I can tell you that their customer service is excellent and are also constantly looking to improve their products.
iphone cases iconemesis fifilapin phone caseSpeaking of iPhones, I think I may start to do one of those weekly Instagram round up posts. I take so many photos on my phone, it would be nice to share them on here! Before I sort that out,  here are some pretty pastels I captured last week.
I have been loving all these pastel shades that are starting to make an appearance in the shops lately. I am always swooning over Acne in Selfridges which let's face it, they're a LOT out of my price range but the colours of these coats over at Oasis are a lot more purse friendly!


Year of the Dragon

22 January 2012

It's hard not to do a repeat of the same post every year as I know my posts during Chinese New Year have always been pretty similar. Photos of CNY preparations, mandarin oranges, red and gold decorations around the house and that sweet box full of candied fruits. Maybe my instagram pictures will put a slightly new spin on things then? If you're on instagram too, my user name is Diamond Canopy. All but 3 of these photos here are taken from my iPhone, which has made photo taking today super quick, snappy and er...sneaky!
new year instagrams CNY 2012
It's the Eve of CNY and the tradition is to have a big noisy get together with your family. It only seems like yesterday when we were all at my grandma's on Christmas Day but here we were earlier today, gathered around several tables at my grandma's house (the one above is the 'kids' table!) tucking into some yummy traditional food.
IMG_4334Below are plenty more photos from around my grandma's house and all her lovely decorations. My grandma is hard at work cooking up a feast in her little kitchen in the first photo! I really do love Chinese New Year, I love the vibrant colours, the traditions and the awesome atmosphere. I am determined to celebrate it in Hong Kong one of these days, the celebrations are unreal!
DECORATIONS CNY 2012 I learn new things every year to do with traditions. One of them includes the first door decoration below. I asked why the symbol for 'good luck' was upside down and I was told that it was arranged that way on purpose. According to tradition, the upside down character is placed that way to show that luck is coming for the new year. I rather like that!
door decorations cny 2012
Of course we finished off the evening with a noisy game of Mahjong (yay, I won a game!) and I took a photo of these awesome Hello Kitty lucky red envelopes (laisee) which were a couple that were given to me today. I always keep my favourite ones because they're just so pretty.
SDC17619Right, off to complete one of the last traditions on the eve of CNY and that's to take a bath and throw in a whole bunch of fragrant pomelo leaves. It's meant to bring good luck for the rest of the coming year. It's strange one, but I love the tradition and it smells just lovely!

 新年快樂, 恭喜發財!
Happy Chinese New Year!



17 January 2012

Korean BBQ is one of my favourite things to eat and it's essentially, an indoor barbeque which is pretty fun. If you were wondering, Saranghae means 'I love you' in Korean and well, I guess I do love Korean food and that phrase is just about all the Korean I know after listening to Korean pop and watching their dramas. I wish I could say that my last decent Korean BBQ meal was in Korea but the closest I have got to that country is of course, Hong Kong. Cue, me opening up my HK folder and finding a bazillion photos of food which I have not blogged about yet! So lets get back to business and let me introduce you to Kaya, a Korean restaurant I visited back in the Summer in HK near Times Square.
Similar to hot pot, it's all about sharing and cooking each other food! It's fun but your clothes definitely smell of the smokey BBQ later and you only have yourself to blame if you get food poisoning....so you need to make sure everything is cooked through! You order the meat you would like to cook and it always comes with lots of side dishes which of course includes the traditional Korean dish, Kimchi which is a fermented vegetable dish (usually Chinese leaf) and it is chillies that give it the red colour.
Super blurry pic, sorry! One thing we always order a beef brisket/stew type dish but this pot was tiny and was hard to divide among so many people.
The restaurant was full of Korean customers which is always a good sign and also run by Korean staff. I always stress this, but if you find 'locals' inside restaurants then authenticity can be guaranteed which I suppose is obvious. The place itself was slightly more expensive than we had experienced before. You can tell just from the quality of the beef, the slightly marbled slabs of beef are definitely highly graded.
Grandma, Hailey and Me SDC18990
All finished off by some Sujeonggwa which is a Korean cinammon based dessert/tea
While this place was lovely for dinner, my HK family didn't rate it as much due to value for money and selection of food on offer. However, if you want more of an atmosphere (i.e. rowdy Cantonese style), cheaper menu and more side dishes, visit Han Ah Rum in Causeway Bay which was pretty good too but there was a distinct lack of Korean being spoken there...or maybe the HK locals were drowning them all out?

There are a couple of places that do Korean BBQ in Birmingham but they're not authentic and run as Hot Pot/Chinese restaurants. Though in a more international city like London, you're bound to find some authentic Korean restaurants if you wanted to give this a try!. One thing is for sure, Korea is definitely a place that Hailey and I are desperate to visit. I really need to visit and say hey to my friend in Seoul who said she would introduce me to the er...food. Sounds good right?


Acrylic Love

12 January 2012

I like Muji a lot. They're pretty well known for their minimalist homeware, stationery and for the foodie that I am, I never ever leave their store in Hong Kong without a quick trip to their snack section. I still wish they sold food over in the UK! I miss their green pea potato snacks and they are something I will be requesting off my dad when he flies back for a short trip next month. Anyway, their stackable acrylic storage boxes are pretty awesome and I bought the large double flip top box and two of the cloth trays and filled it right up!
muji jewellery box a
muji jewellery box b
muji jewellery box c
muji jewellery box d I love that I can see everything! I'm so used to storing my earrings and things in random bowls around my room so this has made a real difference. I know that Kristabel is pretty keen on the boxes too for make up and I agree, these would be an awesome make up storage solution too.

This has come a little out of the blue but it has absolutely made my day. Without me knowing, I've been added to the list of bloggers for the Company Magazine Blog Awards. I'm not really sure how this happened but I'm in the 'What I wore' and 'Favourite blogger' categories along with lots of other friendly faces.

So if you feel inclined to do so, vote for me and any of the other lovely bloggers mentioned. Yay!


Shades of Grey

09 January 2012

new knit I am definitely more of a Spring and Autumn kind of girl but one thing I do love about the Winter months is getting to bundle up in lots of warm layers. I'm always on the lookout for some lovely knits mostly because I have an abundance of cardigans but very few actual jumpers. I am practically living in this Zara jumper these days.
Zara sweater coral and grey brick wall coral and grey red bag and ring
Blouse (Miss Selfridge) Jumper (Zara) Skirt (H&M) Tights (Miss Selfridge) Shoes (UO) Bag and Ring (HK)
It's probably not the cosiest of knits, I checked and it has a tiny 5% Angora content but it's great for layering with a brightly coloured blouse, especially because one of my favourite colour combinations is grey with a pop of colour. Throw on a coat, scarf, my trusty headphones (beats ear muffs in my opinion, music and ears are warm? Definitely a winner) and I'm good to go!


New Treasures

05 January 2012

Hello 2012! Welcome to the 4th year of Diamond Canopy, well done if you've been reading my rambles since day 1 but also a big hi to all you lovely new readers! Maybe this year I will finally get round to buying my own domain but we'll see...

Let's start the first post of the year with a couple of sale and non sale purchases that I've made recently. You guys might recognise the L'Oreal Professional Mythic Oil in the post below as it featured in one of the Glossy Boxes a couple of months ago. I didn't really take much notice of it as I was set on buying Moroccon Oil but when my hair stylist used it on me, I was won over. So after Christmas, I promptly popped into my salon and purchased my own bottle. This stuff smells so yummy and makes my hair silky smooth!
Lippy and Mythic Oil
I also had a whole bunch of empty MAC products (my mum goes through the eyeliners like crazy) and I swapped them (see back to MAC) for this pink-red Creamsheen lipstick in Lickable. Since it's one of their Creamsheens, the formula is more moisturising, slightly glossy and adds a bright burst of colour. Yay. Not bad for a freebie.

The tie-dye flats below are from Dune. They were a bargain in the sale for £26 but armed with a couple of gift cards, I only had to pay a measly £6 for them. They are made from buttery soft leather and the bows are always a winner with me.
Dune flats
The dress below is from Dahlia on ASOS in the sale and it's the prettiest thing ever! Apologies for the bad lighting, the weather has been truly awful (gale force winds?!) so I've not been able to snap a pic outside for you guys yet. The contrast material in black makes this dress super flattering. As much as I love Dahlia, I would definitely be hesitant to purchase this at full price which was originally £65 on Asos (however, I know they mark it up a little from the actual Dahlia website) just because of the quality of the material. It IS very lovely though and I can't wait to wear it with thick tights, cardigans and then bare legged in the Summer!
Monki Ring
The Ring above, gloves and dress below were all new non-sale buys from my sister Hailey (she should totally start her own blog right?!) from Monki. She has such a great collection of rings, I will have to snap a picture one day and this double leaf ring fits in nicely with her collection. The gloves below I absolutely adore.
Monki Love
The dress is lovely too. It appears more of a mustard-orange shade on the website but it's definitely Orange in real life. Hopefully she'll wear it soon so I can get a photo of her in it!
Monki orange dress
So what other new things have I gained from the post-Christmas holidays? Definitely far too much chocolate. I really need to start eating more healthily, however I've been invited to hot pot at my cousins so that's not going to be put into action until at least next week. Ha, so we'll see about that one. What a fatty.
I've also gained new Mahjong skills! As with many Chinese kids, I grew up with the deafening sounds of clattering Mahjong tiles at every special occassion at my grandmas and often, my cousins and I would be playing Chinese card games (such as Big 2) nearby while the adults played Mahjong. On these occasions, the adults were the undoubtedly noisier than the kids! One of my favourite things in her house is her wooden Mahjong table with drawers to stash winnings, if you wanted to gamble that is!
Mahjong As kids, we used to use the resin tiles to play our version of Jenga (basically a wall made from the tiles!) but I finally sat down and learned how to play properly. It's essentially a noisy card game where you collect different combinations of suits. There is something very satisfying about slamming discarded tiles and shouting for tiles to complete your hand. I'm still getting the gist of the game (the scoring is the only thing that confuses me) but my grandma is a keen player and she loves that we now play with her!

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