Sunday, 27 November 2016

My Morning Routine! *~

Hello! ♡
I've seen lots of morning routine videos- they are a very popular video topic. While morning routine blog posts do exist, they are much less common than the video versions- so I wanted to write my own morning routine post! I saw some people who have different morning routines for each season; but I'm not exactly one of those people... though if that ever changes, I'll be sure to write a post for that, too! Anyway, without any more rambling, let's just get to my general morning routine for school.

I wake up at 6.45am. Or, at least, I'm supposed to. More often than not, I take the huge risk of sleeping for just five more minutes, which comes with a risk of sleeping for another hour. This is especially true in the winter, because my room is so cold and my bed is so warm and comfortable- I keep forgetting to heat my room at night >->
On Tuesdays I wake up at 7.40am because I start school later, so yay for an extra hour of sleep!

Once I get myself out of bed, I walk over to the bathroom and splash my face with cold water. This is very helpful for waking me up and helps me to open my eyes, and is also very refreshing. After patting my face dry with a towel, I get dressed. In the winter, I like to hang my clothes on the radiator the night before so they're nice and warm.

Once I'm dressed, I make another trip to the bathroom and moisturise my face. This is also very refreshing and feels amazing on the skin! The moisturiser I currently use is Nivea Soft and has Vitamin E and jojoba oil. Before putting the cream on my face, I mix in some sunscreen too. In the colder seasons it is SPF 15, in the warmer ones it is SPF 30-50. I might get a moisturiser with SPF already in it once this one runs out to save me the pain of mixing it every day...

Then I go to the kitchen, and, in the winter, I put some milk in a small pot and heat it over the stove. Then I go to the bathroom again and brush my hair properly, even though by the time I get to school it usually looks like I haven't brushed it at all and I have to clean it up again with a small brush >-> If I have the time, I straighten my hair too.

After that I go back to the kitchen and make and eat breakfast. 99% of the time this is just cereal and milk with a cup of green tea. If I have time sometimes my breakfast is something different, but usually it's just cereal as it's fast, easy and keeps me full for a few hours, though I tend to make myself small portions >->

Once I've eaten, I return to my room and grab my bag, which SHOULD be packed the night before but I can't always trust myself. I check if I have my purse and phone and money, put on my coat and shoes, then leave the house and get the bus for school hoping I haven't forgotten anything.

So, here's my morning routine for school! I tried to make this post as entertaining as possible, but my sense of humour isn't getting any better...
Anyway, see you all next week in a new post! It'll be December then, so I'll begin with the Christmas posts. What kinds of Christmas posts would you like to see? Is your morning routine similar to mine? Do you wake up earlier or later than me, and how much time do you need to get ready? Let me know in the comments, and as usual....
 Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Mini Japanese Candy Haul! *~

Hello! ♡
On Wednesday, I went to Warsaw, where I visited a shop selling food around the world. They had a nice array of Japanese food and snacks, from cooking ingredients to sweets! I selected five items, some that I've never tried before, and I'll discuss them in this post!
So, let's begin ^-^

Firstly, here's a picture of my mini haul;
If you're not familiar with any of the above, fear not, because I'm about to explain!

Pocky
Pocky is a Japanese snack- it's very simple and is nothing more than biscuit sticks coated in flavoured icing! There are many flavours, from chocolate to matcha. I usually buy matcha, strawberry or cookies and cream flavour, but I decided to try something different and bought Mango flavoured Pocky. It's delicious, Pocky is a super adorable snack ^-^*~ I'm glad it's so easily available in Europe! I'm not a fan of mango, but I love dried mango... if that even makes sense!

Matcha Kit-Kat
Japan is quite well-known for its many unique Kit-Kat flavours, ranging from Strawberry to Wasabi. My favourites are strawberry and matcha flavours, and since I saw this near the cash register, I just had to buy it! It has a delicious sweet flavour and a pretty pastel green colour which makes a perfect combination! I really want to try Wasabi Kit-Kats at one point, I'm very curious ^*^ I wish we had such unique Kit-Kats here.


Ramune
I LOVE Ramune- it's one of my favourite drinks. Until now, my favourite flavours were strawberry and peach. Now, Matcha is added to them! ^^ I bought Lychee and Matcha flavour. I never tried Matcha Ramune before, and I was very curious. Ramune is a Japanese sweet carbonated drink and has a very unique way of opening it- there's a special green.... thing used to push the ball stopper. You have to push very very hard for a few seconds, then the clear ball stopper comes down and stays in the neck of the bottle. The smell and taste of the Matcha Ramune are very unique, it's definitely something I'd purchase again (Christmas, maybe?) c:

Popin Cookin: Donuts
I've heard of Popin Cookin before, but I've never tried it before. When I saw the cute doughnut kit, well, I just needed to have it, right? I made four cute mini doughnuts with nothing but different powders and water! It's actually very easy to make. It's mostly mixing the different coloured powders with water in the plastic trays provided, then using the moulds to shape the doughnuts, and then decorating it with the sprinkles provided as well as icing that is made by mixing the powders with water ^-^ It's quite small and fiddly to work with, but apart from that, it's super adorable and delicious in the end! Everything you need (apart from water) is in the kit and there's lots of room for creativity! Everything smells so nice in the making too, especially the icing.



Well, I hope you enjoyed this post! It might have made you hungry,  but if you've never heard of some of those, I hope you learnt something ^^
Have you ever eaten any of those? What are your favourite Japanese sweets? Which ones would you like to try?
 Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Sunday, 23 October 2016

10 Things I Love About Autumn

Hello! ♡
If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember when I made a post back at the end of July with my 10 favourite things about Summer. Well, now that it's chilly outside and the leaves are vibrant hues of yellow and orange, it's about time I wrote a post like this, but this time for Autumn! So, here are my 10 favourite things about this lovely season, but before I get to it, I thought I'd quickly share some blog-related news. It's about time that I set a posting schedule, and I've decided that I'll be publishing blog posts once a week, every Sunday. While I'll try my best to stick to this schedule, if I can't make it, I'll let you all know beforehand! Sometimes, I might post more than once a week, too. Now, without any further ado, it's time for my 10 favourite things about Autumn!


  1. Long evenings- Autumn is the time of year when we transition from daylight at 8pm to sunsets at 5pm. Those longer evenings are something I look forward to, because it just goes perfectly with the colder weather; it's much cosier! As much as I love the long days of Summer, it does feel somewhat strange to have daylight at 8pm, and having earlier sunsets feels a little more... natural to me.
  2. Colours- What's Autumn without the characteristic leaves? Over the course of the season, the trees transfer from the vibrant greens of summer, to vivid shades of yellow and orange, and fiery shades of red, before turning to dull browns and falling to the ground, leaving bare branches for winter. The leaves are absolutely stunning- they create a gorgeous landscape. Today, I went out, and on the way there I couldn't stop admiring the leaves I saw!
    Source: Pexels
  3. Leaves- While we're on the topic of leaves, it's just as stunning to see the fallen leaves create a beautiful blanket on the ground. Also, they're a lot of fun! Whether it's just walking and hearing them crunch or making piles and jumping in them, Autumn leaves can be more than just something pretty! ^^
  4. Cooler weather- I love Autumn weather. At the start it's pleasantly warm, then temperatures drop gradually. I like how it's nice and cool, rather than the sometimes unbearable heat of Summer- I want to be outside more during the Autumn, because the weather is perfect for a walk or just being outside in general!
    Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hot_chocolate_(2).jpg
  5. Pumpkin- During Autumn, pumpkins are in season! The foods that can be made with pumpkin have a characteristic taste that brings a sense of nostalgia associated with the season. Whether it's pumpkin soup or cake, it has a distinct taste that goes perfectly with this season, and there's also the fun of pumpkin carving for Hallowe'en!
  6. Sweaters- As much as I love light Summer clothes, throughout the season I couldn't wait to wear my precious cosy sweaters again! Sweaters are warm, soft and cosy- what's not to love? Plus, there's also a wide choice of adorable designs, which makes them even more fun to wear!
    Source:https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Pumpkins_Hancock_Shaker_village_2418.jpg
  7. Hot drinks- Drinking hot drinks was yet another things I couldn't wait to do again over the Summer. Whether it's a hot cup of sweet tea or a coffee or hot chocolate, Autumn is the perfect time of year to warm up with a seasonal hot drink- such as a tea infused with cinnamon, or a coffee or hot chocolate with Autumn spices such as ginger or cinnamon.
  8. Crisp air- Doesn't Autumn air just have a distinct smell? I love the smell and feel of the crisp Autumn air- again, it's just another reason I want to be outside during the Autumn; the crisp air is something I can't get enough of!
    Source:http://www.geograph.org.uk/photo/370125
  9. Autumn sunsets- There's something about Autumn sunsets (and sunrises too, for that matter) that just sets it apart from the other seasons- perhaps because the orange hues of sunset make the fiery trees look even more stunning?
  10. Conkers- Finally, conkers! As a child, I used to visit the park during Autumn to gather conkers- later I'd have a huge collection of them under my bed, and sometimes I'd do something with them, as there are plenty of conker crafts out there. Now, when I see children doing the same, it brings a lovely sense of nostalgia.
So, those are the ten things I love most about Autumn! Before I close off, some questions to you- what do you like the most about Autumn, and why? What are your favourite months?

 Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Sunday, 16 October 2016

All About: Aegyo-sal

Hello! ♡
How is everyone? I'm really enjoying Autumn so far- all the pretty leaves and cold weather, and drinking lots of hot chocolate! Autumn topics aside though, today I'll be writing about something a little different- an Asian beauty trend called Aegyo-sal! I remember seeing this look before I even knew what it was called and instantly falling in love. Even better- it's super easy to do. In fact, it only takes two steps to achieve!
 So, what exactly is Aegyo-sal? It's a Korean term, referring to the pouches of fat you can see under your eyes if you squint or smile. Aegyo-sal can also be called 'smiling eyes' or 'tear bags'. It makes the eyes look wider, more youthful and innocent! It can be achieved through the use of a special tape, make-up or even surgery.
Is there a difference between Aegyo-sal and eye bags? Tear bags are not eye bags! The main difference between the two is that eye bags are larger and sit much lower than tear bags. Tear bags are smaller and sit just under the lower eyelid. Eye bags are part of the aging process, while tear bags are naturally present and prominent in children.
How is it achieved? Aegyo-sal can be easily achieved through the use of the right make-up! Thankfully, there's no need to get surgery to achieve this adorable look. In fact, keep reading and see for yourself just how easy it is!
You will need:
  • An eyeshadow a few shades darker than your natural skin tone- a shade of brown. A brown eyeliner pencil could also work, given that you blend it out properly. I'm using the Too Faced Chocolate Bon Bons palette.
  • A highlighter shade; I'm using the Catrice Made To Stay Highlighter Pen, in shade 010 (Eye Like!)
  • The right tools! I'd suggest an eyeshadow blending brush and a slanted eyeliner blush. I'm using the Sephora brand triple brush wand.
Steps!
  1. Squint your eyes to see your natural Aegyo-sal. Using the highlighter shade, draw along that, blending out the harsh edges with a blending brush to ensure a more natural look.

  2. Finally, use the brown shade and draw just under the highlight, to accentuate it. Again, blend out the harsh edges. For this, I used the slanted eyeliner brush, then blended it out for a softer and more natural look.
Now, you're done! Yes, it is that easy to achieve Aegyo-sal, meaning cuter, wider, larger and more youthful eyes! 
Here's how it looks! Of course, you can adjust it according to your preferences. Since this was a more natural look, I decided to make my Aegyo-sal smaller, though of course you can make it larger! Experiment, and see what works for you.
My questions to you now are: have you ever tried Aegyo-sal? Do you like how it looks? Or are you yet to try it? Let me know in the comments below and...

Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Autumn Hot Chocolate Recipe

Hello! ♡
I have been inspired to write this recipe by the chilly weather outside- ideal for a nice cup of hot chocolate! I first tried this recipe two years ago when I ran out of hot chocolate and decided to make my own using ingredients I already had- cocoa powder, milk and honey. I was pleased to discover that the result was just as good (if not better) and is also open to modification. Plus- this is healthier than regular instant hot chocolate, which is always a plus.
Anyway, without any further ado- let's just get to it!

Ingredients (for one serving):

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1-2 teaspoons of honey/sugar/sweetener; adjust amount to taste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons pure cocoa powder
  • Optional: 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon 
  • Optional: Marshmallows
Method:
  1. Begin by heating the milk in a microwave or on the stove. 
  2. Prepare a cup/mug and add in the 1/2-1 teaspoons of cocoa powder.
  3. Add the 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  4. When the milk is hot enough, pour it in the cup and stir with the teaspoon.
  5. Add your sweetener of choice and stir. If you're using honey, add it after you pour the milk. If you're using, say, sugar, you can add it before you pour the milk.
  6. Finally, add the marshmallows to the hot chocolate and you're finished! Enjoy on a chilly autumn day ^^
That's all there is to it! There are plenty of variants of this recipe: for the classic hot chocolate don't use cinnamon, and for a unique twist you can use different flavourings and spices, such as peppermint, caramel or ginger. Experiment and see what you like! I hope you have fun trying this recipe and that you'll love it as much as I do. What's your favourite hot drink and why? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Thursday, 29 September 2016

15 Random Facts About Me

Hello! ♡
Since I'm still a pretty new blogger, I figured it'd be a good idea to let my readers get to know me better by sharing 15 completely random facts about me. Hopefully, you will find this interesting! Without any further ado, let's just get to it ^^


  1. My hair isn't completely wavy but it's not completely straight either. It can be pretty annoying, especially since sometimes it can look like I haven't brushed my hair, but it can also look quite cute if done right ^^.
  2. My absolutely favourite food is mochi. I just love it. The texture, the flavour, how it looks... I'm eating it as I write this blog post!
  3. I have no idea how tall I am. Every time I get measured at the hospital, I get a different result. Once 1.68m, a month later 1.66m... am I shrinking?! For now, I just assume I'm 1.66m, because it's the result from my most recent measurement. 
  4. My birthday is on October 3rd. So... it's in a few days! Sadly this year it falls on a Monday and I also have a Chemistry quiz then...
  5. I have dark blonde hair and hazel eyes. At least, I think they're hazel, but I'm not 100% sure about my eye colour.
  6. My favorite types of tea are: green, peppermint, lemon balm and black with milk. There are a few types of tea I'd love to try, such as lavender. I drink quite a lot of tea!
  7. I'm hopeless at sports such as netball and football. I don't like football, but I don't mind netball, despite being terrible at it. In general, I'm not good at team sports.
  8. However, I enjoy cycling, ice-skating, roller-skating, swimming and badminton. 
  9. Anything over 21 degrees celsius is hot to me... I like pleasantly warm weather, though.
  10.  My favourite months are: December (because it's winter, and the holiday season is magical), January (it tends to be the month with the most snow), October (because of my birthday and the fact that it's also the month that autumn gets into full swing), April (because of the stunning blossoms and pleasant weather) and July, because it's still early in the Summer holidays and it's the time when I can do lots of my favourite summertime things for the first time that year. 
  11. I love bubble tea. My favourite combination is strawberry green tea with any boba flavour, or sometimes tapioca. Sometimes, I pair it with macarons when I really want to treat myself ^^.
  12. I can be quite clumsy and forgetful.
  13. I first discovered J-Fashion when I was 10, and started to get into it more at the age of 13.
  14. My first J-Drama was Mischievious Kiss: Love in Tokyo. I watched both seasons twice and it's one of my favourite dramas. I recently watched 1 Litre of Tears... I cried A LOT when I watched it and it's a very touching drama. I watched Hana Yori Dango too, and really enjoyed it.
  15. I don't really watch anime- I watched a few before, but I prefer dramas. I enjoyed watching Ao Haru Ride however. The first anime I ever watched was Tokyo Mew Mew.
That's it! I hope you found those interesting, and that my terrible sense of humour didn't discourage you! Finally, question time! What are some interesting facts about yourself? You don't have to write 15, of course. Do you have any J-Drama recommendations? Let me know in the comments and...
 Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Autumn Beauty Essentials

Hello! ♡
Tomorrow is the Autumn Equinox- the air has gotten crisper, temperatures have dropped and the leaves have started to change. The end of Summer can be a very bittersweet moment- but I'm really looking forward to the new season and whatever it will bring! Along with a change of the season comes the opportunity to change up your beauty routine and try out some different products, so in this post I present to you some of the beauty items I have ready for the upcoming Autumn season!

Also, on a side note- Lilac's Journal has been around for two months now! I'm really grateful for the people I met so far through blogging and I look forward to what the future holds. As for post frequency- I will post at least once a week, unless certain circumstances do not allow me to, in which case I'll inform you through Instagram.

Without any further ado, let's just get to the beauty products I'll be using the most during Autumn! Hopefully, you can use this post as inspiration for your own Autumn essentials.

Note: I am not sponsored or endorsed by any of the companies mentioned below

Red Lipstick
Red lipstick is a bold and brave choice, but it also does have a place in sweet and innocent make-up! I rarely use red lipstick, but Autumn is a great time to do so as it beautifully complements the fiery reds of the autumn leaves. The one I use was an impulse purchase; it's the Miss Sporty perfect colour lipstick in shade 059, High red. Since I'm not an avid user of red lipstick, this certainly does the job for me- the pigment is nice and smooth, very vivid and lasts a while. So, for Autumn, choose a red lipstick that you like! Personally, I think that a red lipstick with some orange undertones is perfect for this season.


Nude and brown lipsticks
Nude and brown lipsticks are easy to work into a cute and innocent look and they also beautifully complement the array of colours created by the leaves! For nude lipsticks, go for brown-ish nudes, and for brown lipsticks- I'd say stick to softer browns for a soft and sweet look. I use a nude lipstick by Catrice- Ultimate Colour lipstick in shade 240 (Hey Nude...) and it works very well! It's affordable and I'm very happy with it, plus the shade is ideal for a sweet Autumn look.

Nude eyeshadow palette
An eyeshadow palette with shades of soft and darker brown along with cream, gold and nude shades is perfect for Autumn! Why? They're very fitting to the season! The browns and golds match the leaves whereas the cream and nude shades add a beautiful touch. Autumn is just ideal for an eye make-up look of nudes and browns! Of course, this also looks great in a soft and sweet look, especially with the use of softer browns and creams. Though using gold and darker shades of brown can also definitely work! I use the Lovely nude make-up kit. At first, I was quite skeptical because of the affordable price, but once I tried it I ended up loving it! I like the shades, they're nicely pigmented and lasting. It can be used to create a wide array of looks- from soft and natural to more dramatic.

Brown eyeliner
I never really paid attention to any eyeliner colours apart from black and white, but I decided to give brown eyeliner a shot and impulsively purchased the Wibo automatic liner in shade 11 at the drugstore. Brown is a great eyeliner colour not just for autumn, but for all the seasons- as it's more natural than black while still creating a beautiful effect. Personally, I think that brown eyeliner looks amazing with an eyeshadow look of soft browns and nudes with a touch of gold, and is a very versatile eyeliner colour! So, don't overlook brown eyeliner- give it a try, you might end up loving it!

So, this concludes my post for this year's autumn essentials! I hope this will serve as inspiration for you and that you will use them in your autumn make-up routine.
My questions to you! What are your beauty essentials for this autumn? Is there anything in this post you'd like to try? Feel free to let me know in the comments!
 Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Easy Dango Recipe

Hello! ♡
I promised a recipe, so here we are! Why is it a dango recipe? Well, this is to do with a Japanese tradition called Tsukimi- let me tell you a little bit about it. "Tsuki" means moon, and "mi" means to see. So, the word Tsukimi means moon viewing. This takes place when the Harvest Moon appears (in September or October) and is very popular in Japan- often, festivals are held to honour the beauty of the moon! It is said that at this time of year, the moon is at its brightest and most beautiful. Tsukimi customs include displaying Pampas grass, which is at its tallest during Autumn, or a variety of autumn flowers in a vase. So, what has dango got to do with it? Tsukimi dango is a traditional food commonly enjoyed during Tsukimi! Its appearance also resembles the moon in a way. This type of dango is eaten plain, and is not served skewered- it is arranged on a tray in a shape similar to a pyramid! They are often also put on an altar, representing an offering to the moon.

This year, the Harvest Moon will appear this Friday- 16th of September. Since Tsukimi falls in September or October, the evenings are quite pleasant- ideal for admiring the moon's beauty! Now is the perfect time to post a recipe for Tsukimi dango, so you too can enjoy it. It's a very easy recipe, with delicious results, so... let's begin!

Ingredients

  • 100g mochiko or shiratamako*
  • 1.5-2 tablespoons of sugar**
  • 60ml water***
* Mochiko and shiratamako are types of Japanese glutinous rice flour, used for making mochi. They can be found online and at many Asian grocery stores.
** This amount is a suggestion- feel free to adjust to taste! Please note that honey will not work as a substitute for sugar in making dango.
*** This is the approximate amount of water used, but it will probably vary as water is added gradually in the recipe.

Method
  1. In a large bowl, combine mochiko/shiratamako with sugar. 
  2. Add a teaspoon of water, and begin mixing.
  3. Add another teaspoon of water, and mix.
  4. Continue adding water gradually, and mix until the mixture has a consistency of an ear lobe. This is used to describe the perfect texture of dango dough! Make sure there isn't too much water, as the dango dough won't keep the ball shape well, or not enough water, as the mixture will crumble, making it very difficult to shape.
  5. Use the dough to pick up any loose pieces in the bowl until you have a large ball of dough.
  6. Roll out the dough in a log and cut it into similarly-sized small pieces- around 10.
  7. Roll each piece into a ball.
  8. Boil some water over the stove in a pot, then add the balls in. 
  9. When they start to float, boil them for another minute or so.
  10. Carefully put the dango into a bowl of cold water.
  11. Now, take them out and arrange them! Enjoy!
Making dango is very easy, so I hope that you can try out this recipe! I adore the texture of dango, making it one of my favourite foods. Before I close off, here are my questions to you: have you ever tried dango? If so, do you like it? What's your favourite type? If you haven't tried it, would you like to? Let me know in the comments!

 Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Thursday, 8 September 2016

Autumn Bucket List Ideas

Hello! ♡
We're now a week into September, and while the weather remains very summery, soon enough the leaves will begin to change and it will get cooler. Autumn is just around the corner, and I decided to try something I've never done before- writing a list of things I'd like to do this season, creating a bucket list. Bucket lists are great for curing boredom and also for finally getting round to something you've always wanted to try, so in this post I will share with you some of the things that are on my Autumn bucket list, so that perhaps you too can create your own! If you decide to create an Autumn bucket list, now is a great time to start, while it's still Summery.

  1. Make an Autumn-y hot drink: Since my nearest Starbucks is a two-hour drive away, getting hold of one of Autumn's most iconic drinks isn't really easy. So, one of the things on my Autumn bucket list is to make a hot drink with an Autumn-y flavour- most likely I will use a base of coffee, and when I do, I'll publish a recipe here! I also plan to use spices with flavours that I associate with autumn, so I can sip the drink on a cold evening ^^
  2. Make a leaf pile: Autumn is the season when the leaves turn beautiful shades of fiery reds, yellows and oranges and fall from the tress, creating a leafy blanket on the ground. Making a pile from the leaves is a lot of fun and creates a pretty result, plus if you want, you can make it even more fun by jumping into it! I assure you that doing this with family or friends will create lovely memories.
    Source: Wikimedia Commons
  3. Take a morning/evening walk: I'm generally not a fan of walks in the summer, as it's too hot. However, during the autumn, mornings and evenings are crisp and cool, creating a very refreshing atmosphere! Whether you go alone or with someone, autumn walks can be very pleasant- as along the way you are likely to pass the gorgeous trees and breathe in lots of crisp autumn air!
  4. Go apple picking: I've never done this before, but it's something I really want to try. Near my house there are a few apple trees, so when they're ripe and ready I'll try apple picking! There's nothing like spending some time outside trying some delicious, fresh apples picked right off the tree by you! 
    Source: Wikimedia Commons
  5. Go to a trampoline park: There's a trampoline park in my city, and I've wanted to go for a while, but I haven't quite had the confidence to do so. One of the things I want to do this season is get out of my comfort zone for once and have fun at the trampoline park! If there's a trampoline park near you, it's a great way to relieve the stress of the new school year and also an excellent way to warm up, as it's chilly outside!
  6. Visit a Muffin Cafe: In my city, there is a fairly new Muffin Cafe and I've wanted to visit for a while. If there is a nice cafe near you that you've always wanted to visit, Autumn is a great time! It's lovely to sit in a warm, cosy cafe while it's cold outside. A nice, hot drink is a great way to warm up!
  7. Make something with pumpkin: Ahh, pumpkin. One of the iconic tastes of autumn. It can be used in many things- from soup, to pie, to cake, even to drinks! Try making something using pumpkin- even if you're only helping, it's great to taste something that you made! A hot and hearty pumpkin soup is perfect on a chilly afternoon.
    Source: Wikimedia Commons
  8. Read a book: Since it's cold, autumn is perfect for staying inside and reading a book. This season, I'd like to find a book that interests me and read it. So- find a book that you like, be it fiction or non-fiction, and read it! A lovely way to spend all those cold evenings.
  9. Visit a park: Autumn means colourful trees, and parks mean trees. So, visiting a park, especially if it's one you've never visited before, is a great idea! You will have the opportunity to witness and admire the beauty of autumn, surrounded by the fiery colours. If it's not freezing cold, it's also nice to just sit on a bench and read, chat or think. Parks are also great for photos!
  10. A DIY project to be proud of: Since autumn is so good for staying inside, it's perfect for trying a DIY project that you'll be proud of! Dedicate your free time on that chilly afternoon to sewing yourself a skirt, or knitting a hat, or perhaps making some jewelry with polymer clay. You will learn and improve some skills and will also have something for yourself that will be unique! 
Finally, my questions to you- do you have an Autumn bucket list? Do you plan to make one? If so, is there anything on it that I haven't mentioned here? Let me know in the comments!
 Have a lovely day!
 ~LilacBlossom

Friday, 2 September 2016

Types of Wagashi- Part 2

Hello! ♡
You can find part 1 by clicking here ^^
We got to 500 views! Yay, thank you! I know the blog is still very small and just 500 views after a month might not be very impressive, but I hope to expand it and spread cuteness around the world ^^
I promised before that I'd post about more types of wagashi, and after ordering another supply of mochiko (Japanese glutinous rice flour) I felt inspired to do so now.
In case you haven't seen the first post and don't know what wagashi is- in short, wagashi is used to refer to traditional Japanese confections such as mochi.
So, without any further ado, let's jump straight to some more types of wagashi!
Oh, and- there's a recipe coming in the next few weeks, so stay tuned ^^

Namagashi
I really love this one, because it just looks too pretty to eat! Namagashi is a term used to refer to the sweets used for Japanese tea ceremony. Their main ingredients are flour, eggs and beans. They might contain anko paste, agar or fruit jellies. Namagashi are freshly made, and they are designed to portray motifs that reflect the four seasons- for instance sakura in April, or chrysanthemum in October. Namagashi are small and, as previously mentioned, very, very beautiful, and quite expensive. Namagashi also contain more moisture than other wagashi.
Source: Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ANamagashi.jpg


Taiyaki
Taiyaki is a very well-known type of wagashi... it is a snack shaped like a fish, made of a batter that is similar to pancake batter. The most common and traditional filling is anko paste, though there have been different adaptations with other fillings, such as chocolate, custard or even sausage! Taiyaki is said to have originated in Tokyo during the Meiji era. Now, it is easy to find in Japan- from festivals to supermarkets! It is best eaten fresh off the grill, while still hot and crispy.
Source: Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ATaiyaki.jpg

Manju
Manju are popular in Japan, and there are many different types! It can be easily found and is also quite cheap, accounting for its popularity. Plus, it sounds pretty delicious! Manju is a bun that can be steamed or baked, with a filling of anko paste. It is derived from a type of mochi that has existed in China for a while. The main ingredients of manju usually are flour, rice powder and buckwheat. Some varieties of manju include matcha manju, where the outside has a green colour and a green tea flavour, and mizu manju. Mizu means water in Japanese- mizu manju has an outside with a translucent appearance, as it's made with kuzu starch. There are also varieties with different filling flavours, as well as regional manju characteristic for that region.
Source: Wikimedia Commons, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Imo_manju.jpg


Monaka
Finally, monaka! Monaka are two wafers made from mochi with a filling of azuki bean jam. Other fillings include jam made with sesame seeds or chestnuts. There are even varieties with a filling of ice-cream! The shape of the wafers can vary. It might be a basic square or triangle shape, or a shape reflecting the seasons, such as chrysanthemum or cherry blossom. Monaka can be quite simple, or intricate, with elaborately shaped wafers.
Source: Wikimedia Commons,  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ACarp_Monaka_(3195475).jpg
Now, my questions to you are- have you tried any of these? If so, which ones and did you like them? If not, which ones would you like to try? Let me know by leaving a comment!
 Have a lovely day!
~LilacBlossom

Monday, 29 August 2016

Back To School: Supplies, Kawaii Edition!

Hello! ♡
It's hard to believe that Summer is ending, but here we are- school is starting up again. Shopping for school supplies is oddly satisfying- all those cute, new notebooks and pens make me feel happier about the start of school. I finally have all my school supplies ready, so I can make a post about them! If you haven't finished shopping for school yet, hopefully this post will be a source of inspiration.
Since I love kawaii things, I bought as many cute things as possible, and here they are!

Bag
I really love my school bag this year... I wanted to use my adorable pastel blue shoulder bag, but I figured it wouldn't be too comfortable, so I got a backpack.
On the zip of the backpack I attached a silver heart-shaped keyring with my name on it, it's super adorable and makes the bag feel more personal. There's also lots of space for all my things, and useful pockets. I use the front pocket for personal things and emergency items (more on that later!) and the inside is for my books, pencil case and other things. I think the bag is really cute, with the pastel blue and the combination of flowers and polka dots.
Pencil case
I absolutely love my pencil case... it's really adorable, and reminds me of Angelic Pretty's Romantic Rose Letter print in sax blue. It has lots of space for all my things, and even has a little mirror on the inside, a very useful feature. The pencil case is cute and elegant at the same time, and has four pockets. I bought this from WHSmith, but that was last year and I'm not sure if it's still available. There is also a version with a black background. 
So, what's in my pencil case? In the largest pocket, I keep my coloured pencils, as well as my sharpeners, erasers, highlighters, fineliners, correction fluid, glue and USB stick.

My set of coloured pencils ^^ They're very useful, and in all the colours I need. 

Fineliners! They're great for making notes attractive and colourful. 

Yes, my sharpener has to be cute. It's an adorable heart shape, with an even cuter eraser with it. 

My USB stick! Really, it's not that special, but it's a very pretty pastel blue so I thought I'd include a picture.

Cute erasers! I bought the strawberry eraser at WHSmith, then there's a plain eraser, and then an Iwako eraser I bought at Empik (though I also saw them at WHSmith) which is way too cute to use, but it's in my pencil case because it's so pretty! 

Highlighters! I got them as a gift and I absolutely love them, because they're pandas! I have three other colours too, but I put those away for future use. Highlighters are great for studying- they help me a lot and make my notes brighter. 

In the mesh pockets, I keep my scissors and geometry set for Maths- ruler, set squares, protractor and compass, with a small pencil. I found a pink ruler, scissors and compass, to make it all a little cuter ^^

Next- pens! I got three pens at Hyper Japan, and one pen I bought at a grocery store, because I couldn't resist the cuteness ^^ My favourite pen is the Hello Kitty pen, but I love them all. I also bought two HB pencils. The strawberry milk pen has erasable pink, which is very useful, and the Kokeshi pen is super adorable!

Emergency Kit
In the front pocket of my bag, I keep my emergency kit and personal items. My emergency kit consists of a nail file, perfume, lip gloss, hair clips and ties, tissues, feminine hygiene products, mints, painkillers, lip balm, compact mirror (which comes with a hairbrush which is good for touch-ups throughout the day), hand sanitizer, q-tips, small roll-on deodorant, sunscreen and plasters. Those are things I always carry with me, because I never know if I will get a cut (especially since I can be quite clumsy!) or a huge stomach pain. Practical items that I don't always carry with me include sunscreen and an umbrella. 

The smallest items of my emergency kit are in a small plastic bag so I don't lose them. I don't really have many make-up items in my bag because I generally wear very light make-up to school, and I found that it doesn't really need any touching up throughout the day, so I just take lip gloss and lip balm with me.

Exercise books
I visited several different stores to buy exercise books for school, and thankfully there were plenty of cute ones! Cute exercise books make lessons more enjoyable and are a great way to express yourself. Here are the ones I have:
Some floral patterns, and a nice quote to keep me happy during lessons ^^
Pretty pastels! The one on the right says "good morning beautiful", I think it's a good way to keep my spirits raised, plus it's very, very pretty!
And... lots of rainbows! I love rainbows, so having two rainbow notebooks will surely keep me happy ^^
An elegant rose pattern, and a cute polka dot pattern! I love polka dots, so of course I needed to have a polka dot exercise book.
Don't you agree with those statements? As a lover of both tea and cupcakes, those exercise books are perfect for me, plus... polka dots!
Finally, an adorable exercise book with pretty pastels and a nice overall aesthetic. 

Planner
To keep track of tests, quizzes, essays and so forth, I bought an adorable planner with a cover that is cute and girly. It's an academic calendar, with some useful information and space for my timetable, and plenty of space for notes. It's perfect to keep organised during the school year! 

Calculator

My calculator has to be cute, too! It's a pretty pastel pink, and it's nice to look at so it makes maths more enjoyable. 


Folder
Finally, a folder! Sadly, I couldn't find any cute ones, so I bought a folder that is a nice light blue colour and decorated it a little with rainbow stickers. It contains spare paper- plain, line and grid. It also has space for other papers. Very useful!

So, those are the general items I have for school this year! Do you have any cute supplies for school? Do you like shopping for supplies? Let me know in the comments!
Have a lovely day! 
~LilacBlossom