Shozo Coffee Store | Tokyo Coffee Guide

Shozo CoffeeShozo Coffee Store | Aoyama, Tokyo | Coffee & Snacks | Map

In the space of five minutes around 10 people stopped by to take photos on our recent visit to Shozo Coffee Store. It’s true, the cafe itself is incredibly Instagram-worthy, but the aesthetic doesn’t feel out of place in the neighbourhood (Cafe Kitsune is just down the road). In short, this coffee shop feels genuine. Which makes it a real shame that only 2 out of the 10 people who took photos actually stopped to grab a coffee/food. Because in a time where cafes are designed ‘for the gram’, Shozo is a breath of fresh air.

Shozo Coffee Store

Located in the stylish neighbourhood of Aoyama, Shozo Coffee Store is just off the main road – yet it feels worlds away from the trendy cafes and fashion houses of Omotesando. The rustic, natural look of the cafe has a uniquely Japanese style inside and out. Oddly it’s a style I’ve not found to be popular in Europe.

Shozo’s ‘branding’ isn’t restricted to the outside though. Step inside and you’ll find an array of baked goods (they’re known for their scones), branded items, and of course high quality coffee. All compacted around two very small seating areas (there’s more outside), albeit it rather stylishly. We tried the cinnamon buns and coffee and bought some coffee jam to take home). The pastries were delicious and the coffee went down a treat, the two together making the perfect combo. With the light filtering through the linen curtains, and the friendly staff smiling and chatting away alongside some gentle background music, we felt a moment of serenity in the midst of busy Tokyo.

If you fancy finding out more, check out Shozo Coffee Store’s Instagram to see their food offerings, and get a behind-the-scenes look at the Tokyo coffee scene.

See more: Tokyo Coffee Guide

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Tokyo Streets – A Love Affair

Tokyo StreetsTokyo Streets – A Love Affair

This year marks 10 years since my first trip to Japan with Ben (I had been before). We have a lot of history with the country, including studying and living in Tokyo together. So it was quite fitting that we would choose it for our honeymoon location. We caught up with friends, relaxed, and did everything we had on our insanely long list. And of course there was space for one of my favourite activities in Tokyo (apart from eating) – street photography.

Tokyo Streets

We walk a lot, wherever we travel. And we treat the vast Tokyo streets no differently. I’ve always loved Tokyo’s streets – the main ones littered with my favourite stores and restaurants, are of course a must visit, but it’s the small side streets that have stolen my heart over the years. Thanks to my strange sense of curiosity, and my love for street photography, I can walk for miles and not even notice my feet aching…until I find a cute cafe, then suddenly I’m 100% down to sit for a bit.

These particular photos were taken on a walk from Asakusa to Ueno – two locations we frequented during our holidays/living in the city. Yet somehow, no matter how many times we visit, we take a different route each time. Because of this I can’t remember our exact route this visit, but that adds to the charm and mystery of it all. No?

A small disclaimer: a lot of the photos I took and feature in this post were ‘shot from the hip’ as I didn’t want to affect the scene by looking down a viewfinder. Because of this, some of the photos are a bit wonky, but I happen to think this adds authenticity to them.

See more of my Japan travels on my blogAnd if you enjoyed these photos, I’d highly suggest checking out @Super_OrdinaryLife on Instagram – an account and hashtag run by my dear friend Yasumi, who is located in Tokyo.

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The Scandi Lover Gift Guide | Christmas

scandi lover gift guide showing variety of books on Copenhagen and ScandinaviaThe Scandi Lover Gift Guide

If you’re anything like me you’ve probably spent the last few weeks window shopping – both physical and online – for potential Christmas gifts. I don’t like to make it easy for myself though. I enjoy visiting as many shops as possible, so I can make sure I get a good idea of what’s on offer this year. But that’s time consuming and if I can help anyone save time, or recommend something they haven’t thought of, then my blog’s work has been done. So without further ado, here is 2018’s ‘The Scandi Lover Gift Guide’. And I’ve made sure to pack it full of my favourite products from the year. Enjoy!

The Scandi Lover Gift Guide

As you can see I’ve focused on brands and products from a range of price points. I’ve included items I have in my own home, so you know that I can vouch for their quality and assure you that they are worth purchasing.

I included three of my favourites books this year, as I think they fit perfectly into any Scandiphile’s lifestyle – you have interior design tips for the home by Bungalow5DK, timeless fashion advice by Pernille Teisbaek, and a tour of Copenhagen with recipes by Trine Hahnemann.

I also added some bits for the home, to create that perfect ‘hygge’ feeling. What better way to do that than with a glass of something delicious, some candle light, and a mini urban jungle? And who could forget the accompanying Christmas food? Liberty has such a beautifully packaged selection this year, I couldn’t resist suggesting them.

If you enjoyed The Scandi Lover Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.

scandi lover gift guide scandi lover gift guide with whisky glasses on natural wood chopping board scandi lover gift guide

The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide

Christmas BeautyThe Christmas Beauty Gift Guide

If you’re anything like me you’ve probably spent the last few weeks window shopping – both physical and online – for potential Christmas gifts. I don’t like to make it easy for myself though. I enjoy visiting as many shops as possible, so I can make sure I get a good idea of what’s on offer this year. But that’s time consuming and if I can help anyone save time, or recommend something they haven’t thought of, then my blog’s work has been done. So without further ado, here is 2018’s ‘The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide’. And I’ve made sure to pack it full of my favourite products from the year. Enjoy!

The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide

As you can see I’ve focused on brands and products from a range of price points. I’ve included some of my trusted go-tos (Dermalogica & The Ordinary), as well as some new favourites (NIOD & Nails Inc). I’ve also added in a couple of gift sets for good measure. Why? Well I happen to think that they’re perfect for this time of year. Gift sets often feature a variety of complimentary products – sometimes limited edition – that are generally priced lower then they would be when bought separately (e.g. the Gatineau set is worth £276). If we’re being honest, we all know how much we enjoy spoiling our loved ones at Christmas. And if anything can make the gift giving season easier, and cheaper, you may as well make the most of it, right?

If you enjoyed The Christmas Beauty Gift Guide, check out the rest of my Christmas Gift Guide series.

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FLUX Period Proof Underwear – A Sustainable Alternative

FLUX PeriodFLUX Period Underwear – A Sustainable Alternative

I’d been looking at sustainable alternatives to sanitary products for a while, but found that they weren’t UK-based, and cost a lot of money. Fast forward to last month and me happening across FLUX period panties. I ended up buying two pairs – the Bikini (coz cute & lacey) and the Detachable (cute & practical) – which I’ve been using for one cycle, to date. I wanted to share my experience with them in the hopes that it will help others.

FLUX Period Panties

FLUX period panties combines four layers of ultra-thin materials to absorb up to 4 tampons worth:

  • Top layer: moisture wicking, so that you stay fresh as a daisy.
  • Second layer: anti-microbial, keeping you squeaky clean.
  • Third layer: absorbs moisture, so you don’t feel wet.
  • Fourth layer: leak-proof, so you’re worry free.

The lining holds for up to 12 hours, depending on your individual flow. And they’re easy to wash too. They can be hand-washed, or put in a cold/30c wash, and air dried.

Would I recommend them?

I’m finding them to be incredibly comfortable, and basically no different to wearing regular underwear. I don’t want to go into too much detail, but they absorb well and do everything they say on the box. I was caught out once when I decided to have dinner after work, and I found myself nearing the 12hr window. But even then I didn’t have any issues other than my own head telling me I needed to go home and change.

Would I recommend them? 100% yes! These have become a replacement for regular sanitary products for me. They’re more sustainable than pads/tampons, and down the road I’ll also be saving a lot of money. FLUX period panties have helped me feel more comfortable and confident, and have changed the way I approach my periods.

Check out more of my beauty must-haves now!

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24 Hours in Stockholm, Sweden | A Travel Guide

24 Hours in StockholmIt can be pretty tough visiting a new city, or country. You’re not sure where to eat, what to see, or even where to stay. Well I’m here to change all of that with my handy guides! They’re full of tips, tricks, and the best places to go. So stop worrying about how you’re going to make the most of your time in a new place; here are my recommendations for spending 24 hours in Stockholm, Sweden!

24 Hours in Stockholm

  • Stay at Hobo Hotel
    • The modern, design-centric hotel is placed directly in the centre of Stockholm, making it a great hub during your stay.
  • Breakfast pastries
    • You can hardly visit Sweden without sampling some of their famous pastries. Bröd & Salt bakery has stores across the capital, and offers some of the most delicious. My tip: try Mandelbulle – it’s like a cinnamon roll had a baby with an almond croissant.
  • Visit the museums
    • Most of the museums are conveniently located next to each other in Stockholm. Skansen is an open air museum which offers a glimpse at Swedish culture – including lots of cute animals – whilst the Moderna Museet includes the works of Dali, Matisse…and Beyonce?
  • Stroll through old town
    • Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s old town, and it’s full of picturesque buildings and streets.

 

24 Hours in Stockholm

 

  • Go local for lunch
    • You have to try the local delicacies whilst in Sweden. My recommendations are the bountiful seafood, and the open sandwiches, or both! There’s Drop Coffee Roasters, Green Rabbit and B.A.R to name a few.
  • Shop Scandinavian
    • The Swedes are known for being stylish, so why not shop at some of the best designers out there? Lifestyle stores such as Grandpa are aplenty, but for those who prefer their designers all in one place there’s NK Stockholm and Åhléns.
  • Splash out on dinner
    • Where better to sample Neo-Nordic cuisine than Stockholm? Kagges offers a reasonably priced tasting menu made with local, seasonal ingredients. The flavours are stunning, as is the presentation and care that goes into each dish.
  • Have a nightcap at Hobo
    • Hobo hotel have a cool bar with a DJ, which is frequented by Stockholm natives, as well as guests.

24 Hours in Stockholm

Hints & Tips for 24 Hours in Stockholm:

  • Don’t bring cash!
    • Stockholm is a cash-free society, so much so that you’ll find ‘card only’ signs in most restaurants and stores across the capital.
  • Reserve a table
    • Like most capitals, Stockholm has a thriving restaurant scene, so it’s best to try and make reservations before you arrive.

Well there you have it, my travel guide to 24 Hours in Stockholm!
Feel free to check out the my other 24 Hours In… guides.

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Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts | Wedding Guide

Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts

Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts | Wedding Guide

Of all the things that made up my wedding, I probably had the most fun choosing my bridesmaid gifts. Which makes sense when you know that I’m a serial gifter. I love spending hours looking for the perfect item, and the satisfaction that comes with finally finding it. In the end I probably spent several weeks choosing bridesmaid gifts. But I had set myself some pretty strict criteria to adhere to…

Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts

I didn’t have a massive budget for my bridesmaid gifts, as I’d chosen to also pay for their dresses and accommodation. That said, I wasn’t about to compromise. I still wanted to choose some special gifts that they could use again, whilst still marking the day.

The ‘Initial Necklaces’ were great as I was able to have them personalised, and they came in a selection of precious metals – luckily for me all my bridesmaids wore silver. The make-up for my Maid of Honour wasn’t an issue; she was already using Haloscope, and wanted to try out Lash Slick & Boy Brow – easy! Finally the hair pins and dressing gowns brought everyone’s outfits together – both before and during the wedding – and were a little reminder of the day.

My main takeaway from choosing my bridesmaid gifts has to be personalisation. Everyone has a different style and personality, so it was important to me that I took this into consideration, rather than buying a blanket gift for several people. I’d suggest anyone buying gifts for their bridesmaids take the time to look, and don’t just buy something because you think you have to (i.e tradition etc).

Check out the rest of my Wedding Series now!

Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts Choosing Bridesmaid Gifts