Photo Diary; Life in Paris

A few random photos from my time living in Paris.
This weekend is going to be a very relaxed one for me…hopefully.
I think I had this in mind when I was choosing which photos to post next. So for me I associate being relaxed with these photos, either because of the scenery or just how I felt at that time.
You’ll notice these photos are mainly of Parisian architecture, well that’s because I love it so much!
I love French/European architecture in general, so simple yet beautiful. Don’t you agree?

I decided to end the photo-set with a lovely homemade French meal. 
Good scenery and good food. A girl couldn’t ask for more.

Check out my new toys!

Olympus Pen E-PL1 & 53″ Tripod
It occurred to me the other day that I never introduced the new camera I’ve been using for the blog. 
Well here it is, the Olympus Pen E-PL1. It’s a compact DSLR, which means no heavy duty equipment…well compared to my old SLR, which weighed a ton! 

The reason I decided to post about it is because I finally invested in a tripod, and it arrived yesterday!
So I spent the afternoon messing around with it and trying to take a few outfit shots etc. Having a tripod makes taking photos for my posts a lot easier, and just for shooting in general. It’s safe to say, I’m very pleased with my purchase.

Valentines Day Treats

This post and the above photos are to convince you that I can actually bake…did it work?
On Valentines Day I did the usual exchange of small gifts and a card with the fiancé. 
I say small because neither of us are really bothered by the ‘holiday’ – it’s nice, but I prefer to give him little gifts and show him I care all year round. I’m a serial gift-giver, seriously.

It also happened to fall on our ‘Tuesday Movie Night’ and since the crew usually consists of the guys and me, I decided to use my ‘Cherry & Green Tea Cake Mix’ to make little cupcakes for them all. I covered a few of them with regular icing, but the majority were treated to a special Matcha icing that I made with my green tea powder – I will never tire of finding different ways to cook with it.
There you have it. Nothing fancy, just simple and tasty.
And they were VERY tasty, if I do say so myself!

My Style Evolution

Tokyo 2010/11 – Paris 2011 – England 2011/12
 
My Style Evolution is something I have been wanting to write about for a while.
I think it’s obvious from this blog, and my pictures that during the past 2 years my personal style has changed quite a bit. When I thought about it, I realised that is could easily be attributed to time, place and culture – see, I did listen in Sociology!
Tokyo 2010/11
My year7 months studying in Tokyo were a major influence on my personal style.
At that point I had been interested in Japanese fashion, mainly「ギャル」fashion for a while, so of course it seemed only fitting that my main source of inspiration during my stay in Japan was ‘Gal fashion’. During this time I only bought clothing from Japanese brands, dyed my hair often and even bleached it.
Paris 2011
When I first arrived in Paris I was still heavily influenced by ‘Gal’. I had always loved European fashion, and being somewhere as wonderfully fitting as Paris saw my style evolve a little more. I took less inspiration from Gal and began to take it from the women and city of Paris.
England 2011/12
Moving back to England meant I had some time to relax and contemplate the last few years, and my own personal style; it had really changed a lot. I no longer felt such an affinity with Gal, and it didn’t inspire me as it used to.
Instead I took inspiration from Western fashion magazines, as well as Japanese. I began shopping primarily in places such as Topshop and H&M. I finally set on a hair colour and style that I loved; which has stayed with me for the past 7 months.
 
So where am I now?
I’m in a very comfortable place. My style is my own!
Once again I look forward to putting an outfit together, or reading about the latest trends in Western and Japanese fashion. It’s true that I don’t ‘follow’ Gal anymore, but I still have a love for Japanese brands and street-style, and I think it will always be a source of inspiration to me. As it has been in the past, my style can’t really be labelled and I like it that way. It’s a bit of everything that inspires me along the way.
 
And the blog?
Well that’s changed a lot too, you will certainly be seeing a lot more personal/lifestyle posts, along with the usual beauty product (Western and Japanese) reviews, and of course outfit posts. For those who have stuck with me this long, thank you so much for being a part of my style evolution, and for my new readers I hope you will enjoy what is to come.

OOTD: Leeds Trip

 Top: H&M | Sweater: Topshop | Skirt: Primark | Shoes: ZARA
Ok, it’s not really an ootd if it’s from a week ago I know, but it was the outfit of the day…Excuse, excuses.
It was freezing in Leeds that weekend, so I layered up with my peter pan collar top under a comfy sweater…I’m going to be so sad when it actually warms up and I have to stop wearing sweaters. I guess I’m also trying to get plenty of use out of this faux-leather pleated skirt, as I adore it so much. Someone needs to help me break my habits, clearly.
I’m impressed that I managed to steal an outfit shot before the battery ran out on the camera.
Priorities, right?!

Photo Diary; Weekend in Leeds

Hilton Hotel, Leeds City Centre, Little Tokyo

For mine and my fiancé’s 3 year anniversary I decided to treat him to a weekend away.
Lucky for me The Hilton Hotel has some great offers on right now. Their Leeds hotel was just as lovely as any of their others I had previously visited. With a gym, swimming pool, spa, restaurant and bar you could stay inside all weekend! 
As tempting as that was, we did venture outside eventually…
I had a few places I wanted to visit, such as Harvey Nichols, Seasons, Topshop and Urban Outfitters.
Unfortunately neither Harvey Nichols nor Seasons had the Marc Jacobs phone case I have been searching for. I think I will definitely have to buy it online. However, Topshop and Urban Outfitters did have what I wanted. I shall post those later!
After some retail therapy we headed to Little Tokyo, a wonderful Japanese restaurant that Sami had previously introduced me to. Their food is delicious, especially their vegan options. I’m not a vegan myself, but I love vegetables and tofu.
It did snow quite a bit that weekend, and unfortunately it disrupted our stay a little, meaning we had to head home early so we didn’t get caught up in any delays on the train. Any Brits reading this will know of the chaos that snow causes to our transport every year.
Unfortunately the battery died in the camera, so there aren’t as many photos as I would have liked, sorry.

Photo Diary; Kawagoe, Japan

Kawagoe, Saitama, Japan 川越、埼玉県、日本

Whilst I was studying at university in Tokyo my class would often go on field trips.
Anthropology was easily my favourite class, and always had the best trips. The pictures above are from the time we went to Kawagoe, a city in Saitama, the prefecture just above Tokyo. 
The city is famous for its old-fashioned buildings, dating from the Edo period. ‘Candy Street’ is also a well known spot in Kawagoe, selling traditional Japanese sweets at low prices. One more thing that the city is famous for is sweet potato. You can find various incarnations of the food in most shops, my favourite was Sweet Potato Ice Cream