Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Mochi mochi ~


Have you tasted mochi? It's a type of Japanese sweets that have a very, uh, I guess interesting consistency? :'D It's super good and once I got to taste mochi for the first time I've gone and grown horribly addicted to these things, I kid you not! They are just really different from any sweets and bakeries that we have here in Scandinavia...
You can get them in very many different flavors too: green tea, red bean, taro, sesame, peach, sakura etc. I really like the green tea one but I don't think I ever had a bad-tasting mochi either. xD They are all either good or awesome!

A pack of green tea mochi!
Big pack of mixed sortiment mochi! :'D
I remember once in Thailand I had something that had the same consistency of mochi (this was before I ate "normal mochi" for the first time, by the way). It was a small ice cream on a stick imagine a lollipop, make it bigger and ice cream version! Oh and yeah, the ice cream was still "flat" like some of those normal ice creams on a stick (Magnum and the like, except that the shape was round but the thickness was like Magnum, sorry if it's confusing!), not the type of ice cream that you scope and make a ball off.
I bought it from some ice cream stand (it only sold these special ice creams, nothing else) that was in the middle of a big shopping center; I remember that the shop had a Japanese name but I can't for the life of me remember what it was called! It could possibly have been the name of the ice cream... hrrgrnnnnnnng.
But yeah, basically it was a very soft ice cream with a thin mochi-ish coating on top; almost a bit jelly-like. I swear it was one of the best things I've ever tasted in terms of ice cream– and since then I've been banging my head on the wall trying to figure out what exactly it was! OTL And guess if I want to eat it again? It was soooooo good. ;_; 

So, have you ever tried mochi? Or anything similar to it? :'D


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Camera bag!


Remember earlier when I talked about that I'd get a camera bag? Well, I got it today!! :D
It's slightly smaller than I expected but it fits my current needs perfectly! I mean, I don't have over 9000 camera lenses just yet. I really can't complain because my awesome aunt gave it to me. <3
Now I don't have to carry my SLR camera stuff together with all the rest of the things that I keep in my main bag, yesss! (the camera took so much space and I didn't like it rubbing/hitting against everything else...)

I am now ready for the con season and to photograph my cosplay friends at the events! Be prepared! ;)
Bye bye ~

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hakoya samurai bento box from Japan!

Hi there! (◕‿◕)/

For a while now I've been wanting to buy a cool bento box to keep my food in for school and such, especially now that I'm studying and the school restaurant is way too expensive to eat in everyday. Yes, Hasakitsuki slowly brainwashed me into wanting one because she uses one frequently for school too.
Actually I knew that I wanted a specific bento box because I had seen it at a Japanese online store long time ago (don't remember anymore what store it was) and well, it got stuck on my mind I knew that I wanted this one. But I also remembered said store selling it for either an expensive price or a too salty shipping price. Then, one day not so long ago, I decided to check if by chance some sellers in eBay would carry the same one – they did! (there were even other variations from the same set, like a maiko shaped one etc! :D)
Because it was reasonably cheaper on eBay I bought my much needed food box and played the waiting game. Normally shipments from Japan tend to be crazy fast (from my experiences at least) but this one took a bit longer, possibly two weeks or such.

Close-up on the sticker in the corner.
My samurai style bento box arrived safe and sound, packed in a cardboard box inside another bigger cardboard box, that was stuffed for protection. There was some bubble wrap around the bento's own box that I undid before taking the photos.

Taken out of the box.
Notice the black elastic tie on the left side.
When all three pieces (face, body and kabuto helmet) are stacked on top of each other this little samurai fellow measures approximately 14 cm long. The body box alone is approximately 4 cm and the head is 3 cm long. Diameter for all the pieces is 9,5 cm.
All parts seem to be made of plastic. He's very lightweight, save for the helmet which is a bit heavier than the rest and feels really solid and durable; it has a nice sheen to it as well and the inside is colored red.

Front view.
Side view.
Back view.
Bottom view feat. sticker.
What can I say? He's super cute and his facial expression seems so sure of himself, proud and ready to guard my lunch any time! o/ Definitely a unique and cool bento box and you sure won't mix it up with someone else's!

All box parts when separated.
There is only one plastic lid, but that's not really a problem since these bento boxes come with a 15 mm wide elastic tie that you can put on to hold the two food storing boxes (aka head and body) nicely secured. The helmet even has lowered parts (poor illustration example: ----___----___---- ) on opposite sides of the little protruding circular "foot" on top so that, when you put the elastic on it, it will stay put and not slide around. You can see this if you look closer on any of the photos on which the helmet is visible, except for on the photo below this text.
Oh, and before you wonder what other function the helmet has...

Yep, our samurai's kabuto helmet can be used as a bowl to prepare your instant miso soup in, for example! It's quite handy I must say... and stylish. *nods nods*

Head piece with the lid.
The plastic lid fits snugly (no leaking worries!) and it's shaped in a way to keep the helmet in place and support it. This samurai has a rather transparent hairdo.... :'D

Oops, I think something went a bit wrong here...
But yeah, this kind of character shaped bento box is a great addition for anyone who wants things a little bit different. ;) All the pieces are super easy to stack on top of each other (you can even put them in the wrong order if you feel like being silly!) and I really have no complaints whatsoever – definitely seems like a quality piece. I would of course recommend hand-washing him, just to be on the safe side; that's what I would do at least. Oh and yeah, obviously clean this little samurai from all battle dust before you put him into use! ;)

In these last photos I'm just showing the tiny instruction paper that came with.

View in full size in case you actually want to read what it says...
Notice how the usage instructions even come in English!
(and French, for some reason...)
That's all I have to say about this glorious bento box that will tell everyone around you that you are a fan of bushido and all things samurai. ;) Sits fine with me it's true! ahaha ~

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day visit


Yesterday was Mother's Day (at least in Finland) and so of course mom called me over to come and have some cake and eat dinner there. I don't say no to free food and neither to homemade cake so of course I was on my way! :'D

She had baked a cake and as per usual it was good. Mom never makes bad cakes, haha.

If you wonder some of the cream had melted, for some unknown reason??
Actually one of my aunt's happened to be visiting at the same time we arrived at mom's place and that was a happy surprise. You see, it's the same aunt who always provided us a free sleeping place when me and my company traveled for anime events in Oulu; she's a photographer and loves The Legend of Zelda games too. Yep, definitely awesome!
We talked about camera stuff and she had bought some new items for her SLR and asked me if I had laid my hands on anything new in the camera land. I said not yet, haha. I want to buy so much stuff for my camera but don't know what to prioritize first! x) She also then asked if I had a camera bag, I said I hadn't bought one yet but that I planned to do it very soon (I'll need something proper to carry my camera in when the con season starts!). My aunt then immediately told me "DON'T BUY ONE" and said that she had some leftover camera bags lying around that she had been trying to sell for quite a while. She told me that she could give me one the next time we meet, aka I'll get a camera bag soon! Ermahglerb yess!

That's all for today's quick post! Cya!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Hakuouki – Japanese teacup (Yunomi) 03: Hajime Saitou version!

Hello there! ~

Today's post is going to be about a Japanese-style teacup featuring cute anime motif!
Of course because I'm a fan of Hakuouki Shinsengumi Kitan I couldn't resist buying this teacup when I saw it online for a rather cheap-ish price. :') It's just too cute and I love having some geeky useful/everyday items in my home anyway!
It arrived safe and sound a week or so later after the payment had been made – pretty damn fast shipping!

I won't talk so much about it; it's mostly gonna be photos so that you can see for yourself! ;)
Let's start with photos of the box it came in! (it was individually packed in its own box inside the main cardboard package)

Close-up on the info sticker.
I took it out and inspected it for damage – turned out it arrived in perfect condition, yey!
If anyone wonders this cup cost me 970 yen, excluding shipping.

Next up is photos of the cup itself, taken while rotating the teacup around so that you can see what the full artwork/print looks like!

Inside view. It's smooth and without any print.
It was released in Japan around late March 2015. The maker of these teacups is Gift.
The measures are approximately 9 cm for the height and 6.5 cm in diameter.

Lastly I'll show some photos comparing this geeky teacup next to some other cups, just to give you an idea of what size it is!

Compared next to an average sized teacup.
Compared next to a genuine Arabia Finland Moomin teacup.
The Saitou cup fits into the Moomin one! :'D
(it has a slightly smaller diameter)

How do you like this teacup?
Do you like having anime-themed everyday items too? Do you own any?
Tell me in the comments, I'd love to hear about your collection! :D

Psst, stay tuned for more posts about other Hakuouki Yunomi teacups from the same set! I have ordered more of these but with different characters! ;)

That's about it folks!
Bye! ~

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Lucky second-hand store finds!

Hillu evriboudi! :'D

For not so long ago I was in town, just passing time after school and checking stuff out. I tend to check the multiple second-hand stores because sometimes you find really cool and unexpected stuff in there – and this time I found!

One of the stores had a table where I saw these really awesome shoes! At first glance I thought "they're probably gonna be either too big or too small for me" (which is pretty much always the case when I find cool stuff) but lo' and behold, these fit me perfectly! Ermahglerb, cool shoes that actually don't crush my toes! What makes it even better is that these are almost in new condition and only cost me a measly 5 €, fuck yeah!! 8D
These shoes seem to be USA imported. I actually don't know the brand... shame on me. :c

In another second-hand store there was a table selling items that had pretty obviously been bought from Japan, including vintage/retro postcards (incl. Astro Boy motif!), origami paper, a manegi, a samurai-themed car window sticker (if only I had a car I would so have bought it...), Japanese yen play/fake money bills for kids and then –the best of all– a bundle of old Japanese Pokémon cards! :'D By old I mean mostly first and second generation cards, but also a few from the third.
Seeing how it was only 3 € for the whole thing (mostly common and uncommon cards, but also some rare holofoils and promos) I decided to buy it! Nostalgyyyy ~

Most of the common and uncommon cards spread out.
(all cards are not visible)
The holofoils and the non-foil Raikou EX.
The different promo cards, as well as a 1st Edition Pikachu card.

That's about it for my latest second-hand store lucky finds! See you!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Vappu 2015 – Bonfire, motorists, circle lenses and free sima!

Hello everyone!

On last April and 1st May we in Finland and Sweden celebrate Vappu/Valborg it's also known as May Day or Walpurgis. I'm most used to call it Vappu, the Finnish version.
What we do depends on if you are a Swede or a Finn and yes, there are differences. The traditions are slightly different and well, because I live between both countries I get the best of both worlds! :'D

On last April Swedes lit a huge bonfire that burns for hours; it's called "majbrasan".
In my town the biggest one is at the shore area. I went there with Hasakitsuki after we had eaten some pizza in town because our original food plans got screwed over and we were late visitors – but it was still burning.

May bonfire still burning while the sun is setting.
We also saw some swans passing by – Finland's national bird.
I don't know much more of how Swedes celebrate because I've been brought up with the Finnish traditions which, honestly, are a lot more fun!
Vappu in Finland is a public holiday and it's the only carnival-style street festivity in the country – in other words Vappu is the perfect excuse to dress up in wigs, costumes, wear crazy contact lenses and party hard in town! :'D Yes, people both young and old particularly students  party outside and some wear their student caps. Towns will hold different activities and the mood is set high.

On first May it was time to wake up early and go see what Finland had to offer, in terms of May Day events. Of course I dressed up a little bit more fancy than usual!

Outfit of the day selfie!
I wore my new cosplay wig, a Batman shirt, scarf, a hoodie and circle lenses. I chose to wear one blue lens and one black lens – more fun! If you wonder what lenses they are the black one is GEO Mimi Cafe Cappuccino Gray and the blue one is I.Fairy Hanabi Blue. :)
I also wore normal gray jeans and a belt that is teal and black, but it doesn't show on the photo.

We got to Finland just in time to watch the "motoristien vappuajo" (lit. the motorist's Walpurgis drive) event! It's basically all motorbike and car enthusiasts driving a sort of parade around town to show off their vehicles – both old and new!

The Finnish flag was raised!
First some motorbike glory...
... and then the cars! :'D
(I edited out the register plates)
There were a lot of super cool old cars and badass motorbikes! I was surprised how many there were in total – the vehicles just kept coming and coming! And you kinda wished it wouldn't end because it was really awesome to watch.

Once the motor enthusiasts had left we headed back into the mass of people and checked the outside stands – there was the usual ice cream bar, of course.

If only the weather had been less dull and hey-it's-gonna-rain-any-minute I
would have wanted the monster ice cream... (to the right)
Yep, I forgot to mention earlier but the weather was.. disappointing. It was all gray and cloudy and the sun was nowhere to be seen! Then again, this is seemingly our average Vappu weather and every fourth time it rains to boot...
So yeah, the weather kinda screwed up the ice cream mood
– who feels like ice cream when it's chilly and gray outside?

Oh well, no ice cream for me meant that I checked another stand and there I saw sima and typical pastries all over the place. I also saw some random people taking said pastries and drink and then I stepped closer and asked the person behind the counter how much it cost – she said it was free. FREE.
OMG yes! Nom nom nom! ~

Free sima and jam pastries! <3
What made it even better was that the sima tasted like home-made one, yum! And the empty big coke bottles in the back hinted that it veeery likely was. I do say that the pastry was pretty damn good as well!

There were also some political parties holding their speech outside but well, I don't care about politics and neither does Hasakitsuki so we just went back inside the shopping center to kill some time, while we waited for the male choir to start.
Inside the shopping center all stores, except food stores and the restaurant/food places, were closed. We just walked around and then we needed to go the bathroom. After all the strolling around we had spent enough time waiting so we went back outside to listen to the choir – it consisted almost only of middle-aged men, much to my surprise. They were really nice to listen too though! I want to do that when I get old lol.

The choir singing.
The songs were mostly songs about Finland (in different ways) and songs for celebrating spring and the students graduating.
I did have a panic moment during the choir though! After the first song I thought that I'd change my camera lens to take some more photos and then it hit me – I HAD FORGOTTEN MY GODDAMN BAG IN THE BATHROOM!! OH NOEZ--
I ran like hell back into the shopping center and into the bathroom I had used. Much to my luck my bag was still lying there on the floor (how could I have forgotten it?! *failwhale*) and it seemed to have been untouched. I checked inside it and my camera lens, wallet, gloves and even my lens case was still in there. Phew!
I took it and walked back outside, all tired and panting from the running and with blood taste in my mouth... yipee. ._.

The choir performance didn't last long (maybe around 15 minutes) and after that we decided to go and eat lunch in town; we both were fairly hungry and some fried chicken from the Chinese restaurant wouldn't be all wrong!

Fried chicken and rice – so good!
After having eaten we went back home and then later on the evening we went to Jäätynyt Enkeli's and played video games late into the night. It's called Monster Hunter and we love it! <3 
Oh, and of course –for snackswe had some home-made donuts and sima that mom had made earlier. There is no Vappu without home-made sima!

That about wraps it up! Thanks for reading and bye bye!