Wedding Style

I love dressing up! This is what I wore to my friend's wedding in San Diego. お友達のお兄さんの結婚式に招待していただきました。

Dress: BCBG

Shoes: White House Black Market 

Choker: Swarovski

Earrings: antique/vintage

Purse: Steve Madden

Hair: done by K's Galaxy in Torrance

Hair Accessory: Swarovski 

Pictures taken at Grand Manchester Hyatt in Downtown San Diego. 

Back from Europe! Reflection and next steps

I finally got back from Europe after 5 weeks of traveling alone. I learned and went through so much, I don't even know where to begin. Basically, I went abroad for an advanced fashion program at Central Saint Martins in London, which was 3 weeks. That was sandwiched between two rounds of traveling across Europe on my own. 

Throughout my experience, I only had myself to depend on in terms of survival. I was responsible for all of my train and flight times, my own safety, and for all of my belongings. Luckily, I was on time to everything, did not get mugged, and did not lose any of my stuff. :) 

To be honest, my trip was the most challenging thing I've ever done. I had never felt those instinctually human survival skills kick in until my trip, and I was really able to test what I was capable of. I desperately learned how to use my own made-up sign language to communicate with those who don't speak either Japanese or English, and I learned that it's okay to be embarrassing sometimes. 

At the beginning, I was a wimp. I couldn't walk for more than 3 hours at a time since I would wear my heels, I would take taxis everywhere, and I needed help carrying my things. I couldn't even order an espresso at a cafe in Paris because I thought I would embarrass myself. At the end, I was so tough, I could walk all day and not feel any pain, I learned how to take public transportation, and I didn't let people push me around just because I'm a foreigner. Honestly, I feel like a completely different person. 

I'll keep sharing things about my trip! 

Glad to be back home <3

Julia

Weekend in San Diego with my friends!!

So this weekend I went to San Diego with my friends!! I went to college there so I'm really familiar with that area and what to do. I decided to put together a list of what we did and where we ate. 

1. Eating dessert at Extraordinary Desserts. My favorite dessert place in SD! They have an amazing selection of colorful, super decorated desserts. The downside is that the wait is at least 20 minutes long and they don't take reservations. 

Extraodinary Desserts

 

2. Walking around in Little Italy. This is literally my favorite place in San Diego. The entire area is a block away from the docks, so you can see sailboats as you're walking around. There's a ton of cute coffee shops and Italian restaurants, and cool artsy installments throughout. Any restaurant here has amazing food. Go here. 

3. Dinner at Sushi Ota. This place is considered one of the best sushi restaurants in San Diego. Usually, you need to make a reservation at least a week in advance, but we were able to get a reservation at 7:30 because apparently there was a cancellation!! I was still stuffed from lunch and dessert that day, so I decided to order a la carte. I got an order of salmon belly and chu-toro tuna. AMAZING. Great choice.

Sushi Ota

4. Partying in Hillcrest. Hillcrest is amazing. The bars there pass around jello shots. 

5. Partying in the Gaslamp District. Gaslamp District has the main nightclubs in San Diego. 

6. Brunch at The Cottage in La Jolla. This is a sun-hat-and-LV-bag kind of place. Anything you get here tastes really good, and is really filling. Make sure to get the stuffed French toast. The wait here is usually between 60-120 minutes (I know), so what I usually do is put my name down, then go walk around and explore La Jolla, and come back for the meal. They don't take reservations.

The Cottage in La Jolla

7. Meet the sea lions at La Jolla Cove. Literally, sea lions on the beach. Really cool picture spot. Just don't take off your shoes and step on sea lion poop like I did.

Sea Lions at La Jolla Cove

How I planned my Europe trip

Good morning!

If you didn't know, I'm studying abroad this summer in London for fashion! Before and after the program, I'm going to tour around Europe. I planned the ENTIRE thing by myself, with a little help and recommendations along the way. I am so proud to have the entire thing set up already, with all my documents in order of when I'll need them, and all addresses, times, and ticket details written out in a dedicated travel notebook. 

So I was thinking, maybe this applies to anything in life - from planning weddings, to PLANNING BUSINESSES!!! It was kind of like a sudoku puzzle where one decision depends on another. So I decided to write everything out in steps of how I did it all - hopefully this ends up being a guideline for planning things in the future. 

1. Jot down what you know already. At the beginning, I knew which dates I'd be there (I had already bought my plane ticket), which days I have class, and where in Europe I've always wanted to go to. I also wrote down my budget, and split that by however many days so I can budget per day. So important things here: dates, ideal locations, and budget. Simply, this is to compare what you want, and what you can have. 

2. Research. I went online and looked at pictures of the places I wanted to go, as well as where people recommended I'd go. I also asked my friends on Facebook for recommendations. Using this information, I changed and narrowed down my options of cities. I decided to travel every other day at the most, so I'd spend at least 2 nights in each city. 

3. Actually planning it. I then printed a map of Europe, and a calendar of the dates I'd be there for, and I planned my "ideal" scenario - which cities I'd travel through in which dates. I literally drew arrows on my map as if I was solving one of those maze puzzles. I wrote all this down in pencil. 

4. Make sure it's all possible and realistic. This is when I began to look at possible Airbnb's, as well as transportation. I looked through both, while mentally keeping track of my daily budget. I wrote down all the transportation options for the date of travel and the price. I made any changes necessary before finalizing my plans. 

5. Start paying for it. Once I knew there were lots of options for both, I began by first booking my Airbnb's (and trying to choose ones with relaxed cancellation policies). Transportation was kind of tricky for me - I had to choose between getting a EU rail pass or buying train tickets individually. I made a comparison chart and figured out that it would be around the same price for my amount of train travel, so I decided to buy them individually. I also had a hard time finding a travel method from France to Italy, so I had to buy a plane ticket for a weird time. I learned that it's easy to travel by train within a country, but more difficult between. Also, once I paid for something, I wrote it in with pen on my calendar. 

6. Keep working on it. After I booked my Airbnb's and transportation, I decided to buy tickets in advance to events that fit into my schedule. So far, I bought a ticket to the Anne Frank museum, and I booked a tour to the lavender fields in Provence. There's obviously tons more I want to do, and I need to now read about the history about each city and look at guide books. It's so much work, but I think it's all worth it! I don't feel fully prepared yet, but is there ever a point where you feel fully prepared for a trip? I guess we'll find out. 

Julia

NEW ICE CREAM PAINTING!!!

Hi everyone! I'm finally done with my painting! It's taken me about 2 months to actually finish. 

It's called, LA Ice Cream. I might change my mind later. 

I wanted to illustrate the effects of social media on how we view food, especially desserts. I decided to paint a ridiculous ice cream, complete with a churro sticking out from the side, a sparkler, candy sticks, and a sad looking Starbucks Unicorn Frap on top. 

I almost got that silly Unicorn Frap, by the way, just for the photo. I'm glad I didn't, because I heard it tasted really bad and was like 1500 calories. 

Julia

P.S. A lot of the times, Japanese people use these red block stamps instead of writing in signatures. For example, my grandma always stamps our family name when we get mail delivered, instead of signing it with a pen. The stamps are usually custom made. Unless your last name is really common, then you can find yours at the drug store, kind of like reading glasses. 

So, I changed my signature to the first character of my name written in Japanese, written in the red stamp style. Being half Japanese is a huge part of my identity and I wanted people to know. And it reminds me of my childhood.

 

Ice Cream Painting