DIY Chocolate Chip Cookie Macaron Coin Purse

0.diychocolatechipcookiepurse_introphotoWhile I was in Tokyo last year, I picked up another felt macaron coin purse kit. (I think I’m a little addicted!)

34.macaroncoinpurseI made a cute little half-and-half cookie macaron coin purse the year before, and within 6 hours of hanging it from my handbag, I promptly lost it somewhere on the streets of Tokyo. I did look for it, but never found it. (T _ T)

diychocolatechipcookiepurse_done1So the next time I went I intended to buy another kit and re-make the purse…except I couldn’t find the same kit again. So I bought a chocolate chip cookie version.  diychocolatechipcookiepurse_done2Here are photos of the process of making these cute little purses. You need yellow and brown felt, a thread and needle, a 5cm-long zipper, 2 pieces of stiff cardboard (like cut from a milk carton), some fiberfill stuffing, scissors, a pencil, brown eyeshadow, and a small ball chain to make these.) diychocolatechipcookiepurse_howto_pinterestHope you like it! Have fun making your own version 🙂
Happy DIY’ing!


Tokyo Photodiary April-May 2012 Part 2

It was Springtime in Tokyo and the cherry blossoms were in bloom whilst I was there.

As many of you know, my family and I traveled to Tokyo, Japan in April of this year to take care of my mother who suffered a spinal stroke.  (Who lives in Tokyo for her job.)  Though I didn’t have much time to take photos in the beginning of my trip, near the end my mother’s condition had improved, so I was able to do some activities with my family and take some pictures.

You can see Part 1 of my travel photo diary here.  Here are the rest of the photos I took during my trip: (more…)

The Cutest Little Coin Purse Ever! (Felt Handmade Japanese Cookie Coin Case)

Japan is just awash in adorable little accessories and things that can make even the most hardened person want to let out a big ol’ squeeeeee! every so often.

I was able to go to one of my favorite craft stores the other day (Mano Creare in the Futako Tamagawa Rise Mall…which incidentally I’ve written about for Cut Out + Keep‘s Snippets Magazine before)…and couldn’t resist buying a little kit to make a mini felt cookie-shaped coin purse.

Apparently these “Macaron Coin Cases” [read: round and double-sided, like a macaron) are currently all the rage here in Japan and are flying off retail shelves by the dozens (as well as the kits to make them!)(photo collage from Google “Macaron Coin Case” search results)

It took me about 20 minutes, tops, to make.

Now, the finished product is super, super-tiny, so it could only fit like 1 or 2 coins…so is pretty much useless as a coin purse.  But it’s so adorable I couldn’t help myself!

Now I have it hanging from my bag and I just love it!  (Knowing my luck, I’ll probably snag it on something and lose it next time I leave the apartment.)

P.S. Which in fact I did about 5 days after I wrote this post draft.  *Le sigh.*  Oh well, I can just make another one!



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What to Pack for Spring 2012 in Tokyo

So, despite the unhappy circumstances of my impromptu trip to Tokyo for a month…I thought to try and make the best of it in some way.  So, in case anyone’s interested…

Here’s what I’m packing for an entire month of outfits for April/May 2012 in Tokyo!

(items still available or DIYs are linked; Japanese brands are in green)1. Cropped grey sweatshirt [H&M] / 2. Striped puff-sleeve tunic [one clothing] / 3. Three pairs of leggings: Long black leggings [Old Navy] / long black leggings with attached legwarmers (can’t have too many black leggings!) [my honeybee] / grey cropped sweatpants [Forever 21]

4. DIY Lace Maxiskirt / 5. Knit grey maxidress [Forever 21] / 6. Two pairs of jeans: Acid Wash Skinny Jeans in Mint [Forever 21] / Black jeggings [UNIQLO] / 7. Grey tiered bandage skirt [BCBG] / 8. Marni flap-pocket Bandoleer bag [gift from my mother-in-law] / 9. Pastel blue tutu [Spiral Girl]

1. Pale grey camisole with attached chiffon skirt [YesStyle] / 2. Nude long camisole [SPANX] / 3. Swallow-printed black flared dress [Miss Selfridges] / 4. Hermes scarf [again a gift from my mother-in-law, which is why I’m taking it to Japan to show her how much I appreciate it!] / 5. Seafoam cropped hoodie [unknown, thrifted]

6. Hole-filled cardigan [osmosis, almost exactly the same one available here] / 7. Three tops: Putty sneaker-print LS Shirt [Spiral Girl] / Grey Mickey Mouse T-Shirt [UNIQLO] /  Striped LS top [Mossimo for Target] / 8. Bustier Top with peplum [Forever 21] / 9. DIY Denim Shirt fit to my size [tutorial here] / 10. Bug-Print Chiffon Shirt
icon [ASOS]

Not pictured: 2 sets of workout clothes, cobalt blue wool coat [Forever 21], blue bootcut jeans [Old Navy “The Flirt” jeans]

Shoes (also not pictured): jogging shoes / hi-top sneakers [AllSaints] / Pointy black flats [Steve Madden] / Studded Motorcycle boots [Zara]

 I always end up taking some things that I never wear…but I prefer to have too much with me than too little.  Early April tends to be quite chilly in Tokyo, but it can get very warm towards May…so I tackled the problem with bringing lots of layering items.

All in all, that’s 3 pairs of jeans, 3 knit pants, 3 skirts, 2 dresses, 3 tees, 2 blouses, 4 sweaters/cardigans, 3 tanktops, 1 bustier top, and 1 coat.  While in Japan I’m hoping that I might get the chance to go shopping and pick up a t-shirt or tunic dress, but if I don’t then I don’t.  Hopefully what I’ve brought should cover looking relatively respectable for getting my mother from the hospital and running her errands, as well as any dinners or outings with my in-laws, and then enough dressed-down stuff to work out and take Lil Tot to the park or something.  I’m really not sure what this next month will bring…and perhaps I won’t have the wherewithal even think about clothes at all!;-)

Upcoming post on Tokyo trends is in the works!


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Tokyo Trends: Mid-Summer 2011

I’ve now been here in Tokyo for just over two weeks, have gotten accustomed to the time-change, hit up the drugstore for numerous products to help me combat the mugginess and heat (more on that later), nabbed some of the latest fashion magazines, and been out and about to the main trendy shopping destinations. So I now have a bit of a handle on what is “on-trend” or, more importantly, what’s on the backs, feet, and arms of the young and fashionable.

Here are some themes I’ve seen so far:

1. Open-Weave Strappy Wedge Heels

Baby Pure Cross-Up Wedge Sandal, EVOL, ¥5806

Wedges are the current height of fashion, popular in wood and cork, as well as the ever-prevalent black.

2. Layered False Eyelashes + Heavy Eyeliner

Scan from PopTeen August 2011 issue

No longer content with just a single pair of falsies, Japanese girls are now layering 2 or even 3 pairs of full or cut lashes on the top lid, with 1 or 2 pairs of full lashes on the lower lid, surrounded by thick black eyeliner smudged out.  It gives the eye a very doll-like effect…especially since some girls offset the placement of the lashes at the outer corners to make the eyes look even bigger.

3. Printed Maxi-Culottes

Monotone All-in-One, DOSCH, ¥2980

I’ve seen tiny flowers and “ethnic” prints on these wide-legged chiffon pieces…I certainly couldn’t pull this look off but some are effortlessly!

4. Headbands Worn Around the Head 70’s-Style



Spotted just about everywhere: long, wavy, often ombre-d hair with black stretchy headbands or beaded leather strips worn around the forehead…Rumi clones?

5. Crochet or Open-Knit Tops

Biancheri Tutu, ¥4,095

Just to provide another light layer; in white, neutral, and black; open-weave crop tops are donned on top of maxis and tanks for a flower-child vibe.

6. Oversized Thick-Frame Glasses


I guess what could be called a “Fashion Blogger’s Staple,” these thick-framed nerd glasses have made their way to Japan.  I have to admit that Japanese girls look pretty cute with them!

7. Breezy Maxi-Dresses

Rapty, ¥5,990

Most days I feel it’s too hot for any separates, and girls here also default often to the “one-piece” maxi; this year, with shirring at the bust, skinny straps, vintage-style faded prints, and a loose fit.

8. Cropped/Batwing T-Shirts

Ribbon-print loose tee, Rapty, ¥2,300

Instead of the “body-conscious” fit that’s been popular for the last decade or so, tops now have dropped shoulders or batwing sleeves to provide a looseness on the top half – balanced out by their short length at the bottom.

9. Hats…Of All Kinds!


This year there seems to be an amazing array of popular headgear; from straw boaters, canvas Panama hats, and floppy American Apparel felt hats; to Marine-style structured pieces, newsboy caps, and crochet beanies…this year it seems that anything goes in order to keep the sun’s rays away.

10. Midi-length Pleated Chiffon Skirts

Dazzlin, ¥5,071

No longer above-the-knee or floor-length, skirts now are popular in a mid-shin length, in a pleated chiffon…favored in neutrals, drab colors, and pastels.


Many of these trends from above have been around for awhile, and even those from last summer (striped maxi-dresses, silk scarves as headwear, flat gladiator sandals, straw hats) are still going strong.

Other trends?

Snacks: Pickled-plum-flavored dried kelp sticks, fettucine gummis, collagen-infused parfaits by DHC, low-sugar sodas, “dry” Pepsi, the Jill Stuart cafe, flavored marshmallows.

Music: AK48, K-Pop groups.

Other: Tracy Anderson workout, UNIQLO t-shirts printed with Japanese drink and snack mascots, medical drama TV shows, polkadot-prints, asymmetirc hemlines, bolo-tie necklaces, mineral makeup.


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Current Tokyo Trends: Summer 2010 TOP 12

I’m sure you’re all just dying to know, right??!;-)

The top twelve trends that I’ve noticed out and about in Tokyo, mostly in the Shibuya and Harajuku areas:

Dot Ribbon Boater Hat, Cecil McBee, ¥2415; street style photo from
1. Boater Hats

The summer sun is fierce once the rainy season ends in mid-July, and many girls add hats to their ensembles just to ward off its rays.  The shape this year?  The cute retro-style straw boater, often worn akilter on the head.

How to Tie a Scarf into a Bow Headband from Ayumi Yasuoka’s blog; go there if you want to see the step-by-step; Rabbit Ears Wire Scarf Headband, ShopNikoNiko, ¥980
2. Scarves as Headgear

Sweet and 70’s-ish, scarves as headgear have made a major comeback.  Many scarves are also sold with flexible wire in them so you can stand the ends up like pseudo- rabbit ears, kind of a more ladylike version of that crazy Louis Vuitton-fueled trend that looks unfortunately dubious even on 16-year-olds.

Flower-Print Overalls, VIVAYOU, ¥6982
3. Flowered Maxi-Rompers

It almost sounds as if those three words strung together will cause a worldwide cataclysm, but yes, tiny flower prints (think of the good ole days of 90210 the ORIGINAL) paired with flowing, full-length jumpsuit shapes are all over the place.  There are also flowered dresses and blouses in similar patterns, and jumpsuits in more subdued hues (I have to admit I finally caved in and picked myself up one in black) to be found all over the place – it’s just these particular reincarnation of that 70’s staple seem to be everywhere.

Snoopy Basket Bag, LDS, ¥4788; street style photo from
4. Basket Bags

Going along with the neo-hippie-bohemian-flower-child-vibe is the wicker handbag, in all varieties of shapes, sizes, and sporting all sorts of accoutrements, be it silk flowers, cascading streams of pompons and lace, or chic leather and hardware.

from – tons of recent Japanese hairstyles there if you want to check it out!
5. Shoulder-Length Bob with Thick Bangs

This trend has been going strong for about a year, and it definitely lends a childlike innocence to those who wear it.  Now that summer’s here apparently the “new NEW” thing to do is create a small side part in the thick bangs.

6. Leather and Suede Gladiator-Style Sandals

But softer and more feminine than last year’s tough chic version, in brown and taupe and gray and black, with understated studding, fringe, or ankle-wraps.

7. Gel Nails

Now with acrylic nail sculpture a thing of the past, everybody whose anybody is doing gels.  And not just CALgels!  I got mine done with a state-of-the-art technique that does not use UV light to harden the gel, but instead uses LED light – and it lasts up to 4 weeks!  (I chose not to have my nails lengthened by building up the gel layers, which I was originally planning on doing.  If the gels extend beyond your natural nails they only have about a 2-3 week staying power.)  Right now lame (lah-meh) glitter powder mixed in with the gel and applied to the tips of the nails, in multiple layers, is really popular, and it looks fabulous even as your nails grow out.  The shine, glitter, and gloss of my nails is unending!

street style photo from; Logo T-Shirt and Tank, Rose Fan Fan, ¥1995
8. Cropped T-Shirts

Everything’s coming up mini here – with many girls opting to wear their shrunken-length, loose-fit tees atop maxi dresses and the aforementioned flowered jumpsuits.

Striped Tank Maxi, Moussy, ¥3591; street style photo from
9. Striped Maxi Dresses

Stripes are so big this year – and dresses in as many ways as you can fathom to make over the striped maxi dress are everywhere.

Frill Lace Gilet, Murua, ¥4462; street style photo from
10. Lace Vests

Bohemian and feminine, these vests I’ve spotted on everyone from teenagers to sophisticated 40-somethings lunching at swanky eateries in the Ebisu district.  They’re a soft and lightweight cover-up during the hottest months here.

Wide Braid Headband, Tamaya, ¥1020
11. Braided Hair Headbands

Many are soft and flexible braids of fake hair with an elastic at the back; some also on top of a rigid headband.  Adds a sweet flower child aesthetic to every ensemble.

12. Mickey Mouse T-Shirts

Following in the steps of L.A. brands Fred Segal and Joyrich, many Japanese brands have also collaborated with the animated icon to print t-shirts.  Since we were going to Disneyland, I planned to buy one there…until I was put off by the crowds and the prices and ended up buying one that was even better than those sold at Disneyland for a mere ¥1500 ($16) from UniQLO (above).

And of course, black leggings under everything from shorts to dresses to miniskirts, arm-covers to ward off the persistent UV rays, earrings with clear nylon posts for sensitive ears (a common complaint here), false eyelashes, high heels worn everywhere (even Disneyland- eek!!), and frilly bloomers under tunics on the younger crowd are all still going strong.