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A lifestyle blog by a London gal who loves plants, metal, bleaching my hair and Osaka

Thursday 30 April 2020

Snapshots from Shizuoka city part 3/ Mt Fuji, Kiyomizudera and Fuji san traffic cones!

Mt Fuji traffic cones in Shizuoka city, Japan
I'm finally digging through my photos from my year in Shizuoka- I put it off for so long but I've decided I'm going to do a couple of 'travel guide' posts which are more polished, along with chill posts like this where I just throw a tonne of photos at you all- enjoy! These are the random DSLR snaps that don't quite get their own post ;) 

Sunday 26 April 2020

Snapshots from Shizuoka City// Part 2 Chanomachi and Shizuoka after dark

A goldfish tank by the side of the road in Shizuoka city, Japan

So it's been a few months since I moved back to the UK and I've still not really posted that much about Shizuoka- while I was there I was working a lot and v tired, but I did manage to take some nice shots so I wanted to share them here. These ones are all ones I took on my DSLR, but I have some film ones and some I snapped on my phone which I'll share later <3 

Thursday 23 April 2020

Packing for a year in Japan Round 2// Work edition

Here's what I packed for Japan when I was trying to fit my whole life for a year in a 23kg suitcase and a 12kg carry on. This time I was working and to be honest I brought loads of nice fun clothes I almost never wore because I was always at work but ... :') Here's what I packed, along with a couple of tips about what I think you should take from home vs what's worth just buying when you get there.


work clothes- 2 blazers, collared shirts, trousers, 2 skirts
underwear- I bought a couple of extra new bras because it's harder to find my size in Japan- I also brought enough knickers for 2 weeks
jumpers (about 7) jumpers are my favourite item of clothing but they take up a lot of space so I had to limit myself
skirts/ jeans- (about 4) 
t shirts (about 8)
2 dresses
pjs x 3- one pair of long pj bottoms bc winter is cold in Japan
dressing gown- I had a small silky one so it didn't take up too much space I also packed my slippers
My sukajan jacket bc it's the best
Accessories hats, scarves, jewellery
I loove Japanese fashion so I tried to be as minimal as possible so I could get some bits in Japan


DMs- for being comfy/ hiking
DM shoes for work
high heels (my size is harder to find for ladies shoes in Japan) I barely wore them 


toothbrush, toothpaste, mini shower gel
Skincare- I took enough for the first couple of months as I was a bit nervous about getting skincare I liked. On reflection I could definitely have just got some bits from Muji and there was no reason to worry. I would recommend packing minis in case your hotel doesn't have stuff you like so you can just have a bath and a nap as soon as you get there.
Makeup- especially my foundation and concealer as lots of makeup in Japan only comes in one or two shades. I also took a few nail varnishes (these are actually quite heavy so I recommend bringing only one or two and getting some in Japan... )
I took my tangle teezer hair brush and a decent heat protectant because they can be annoying to find in Japan, along with some argan oil (which you can get from muji fyi)
Stick deodorant x 2 (Japanese deodorant isn't strong enough)
My favourite hair mask and silver shampoo- Japanese hair products can be nice but some can be really drying- so I wanted to start off with some things I know I love. I actually ended up taking three Bleach London shampoos and a hair mask and this was probably too heavy but ah well. I used them all so... I took my hair dye bowl tint brush and hairdressing scissors too because I do my own hair
I took a big can of batiste dry shampoo but you can actually buy it in Japan now in Loft so I could have got away with just getting a small one.
I took lots of paracetamol bc it's 50p in the UK for a decent sized 500mg tablets but buying painkillers in Japan was expensive and confusing so I'd recommend taking some with you. Obvs bring any medicines you need
I also took a couple of boxes of tampons because although you can get them in Japan they are way more expensive. sorry for the TMI

My toiletries actually ended up being quite heavy and this was definitely something I could have cut down on but ah well. 


one notebook and one small pencil case- I don't want to have to buy all new things before I get paid, but also Japanese stationery is nice af so I wanted to buy some from Muji
some study books from home- I took my favourite Kanji book but I bought most of the ones I used for the N1 while I was there- Japanese study books are cheaper there anyway
small sewing kit- having a needle and some black and white thread is so handy, and it's also a waste to keep buying new ones every time I move
laptop and charger
*edit* Portable charger! I forgot to mention this- thanks @hellolizziebee for reminding me!
Souvenirs <3 omiyage for friends and new work colleagues- I took tea and biscuits and soap.
photos and sentimental things
small teas and coffees for when I first get there- I took some I'd swiped from a hotel ahahah
Money (in Yen obvs)
Important documents- passport, ID photos, etc.
Foldable umbrella this is something I could have just bought in Japan..

Things I didn't take: 

heat styling tools- different voltage in Japan means British stuff only works at half capacity.
bath towels- too bulky :')

my packing tips <3 

  • Roll clothes to make them take up less space
  • Pack like clothes together so it's easier to unpack
  • pack liquids inside ziplock bags in case of spills
  • pack your most valuable things and a change of clothes in your hand luggage in case your luggage gets lost (mine did ahahha) 
  • wear your heaviest/ bulkiest items- I wore my DMs obvs and my biggest scarf.
  • Also, take your laptop and any heavy cameras as your 'personal item' so you can fit more in your carry on (I think technically the carry on and a personal item must weigh under 12kg together though??)
  • Think carefully/ research what you will and won't be able to buy when you're there- if you have large feet or are tall you might have problems getting shoes or clothes for example. 
  • It's worth getting everything together and weighing it a couple of days before just in case you need to make hard decisions or need to buy something last minute. 

I hope that helped! I'll definitely be looking back on this if I go back :)
What are your travel essentials? Did I miss anything?
-Amy xoxo

What I packed for my year abroad in Japan// How I passed the JLPT N1 // Room tour of my apartment in Shizuoka city and my tips for renting in Japan// 


Monday 20 April 2020

Empties #22 inc Batiste, Simple, Muji

Flatlay of empty beauty products including Muji, simple and clinique skincare

Even though life is kind of on hold, one thing that hasn't changed is that I'm still washing my face haha. Here are some of the beauty products I've used up since I've been back in the UK:

 Stuff from Japan

Muji Face Soap 洗顔フォーム// I tried this foaming cleanser- I liked it but I prefer Muji's cream cleanser to be honest. This one wasn't drying or anything and was pretty nice so I finished it.

Muji high moisture moisturiser// My favourite Japanese moisturiser. Muji skincare is so reliably good to be honest.

Media face powder// I picked this up in the lightest shade but to be honest it was a bit underwhelming- you got a tiny bit of product for your money, you had to buy a separate case (annoying but eco friendly if you find one you like) and it was a bit cakey.
Flatlay of empty beauty products including Muji, simple and clinique skincare

Stuff from the UK//  

Simple hydrating gel cream// I feel like this is smaller than it used to be... sad times. I really like it though- it's not too expensive and seems to agree with my skin.

PS eye cream// This Primark eye cream was a present and it was cool to try but tbh I prefer my normal simple one as this was a bit of a thick consistency. 

Tresémme Biotin Repair conditioner// I love Tresémme and this conditioner was good as expected. Although tbh I think I'll be sticking with the larger 900ml bottles as they're better value for money. 

Dove caring bath// this was another present- wasn't as luxurious smelling  as my fave Lush, but it did the job and was very gentle on my skin. 

M&S Floral Collection Rose shower gel// This was part of a set- I took it on holiday because it's a perfect travel size and it smells amaaazing- quite a strong rose scent so I wouldn't recommend if you're not a fan of heavily scented things.

Sure Cotton Dry stick deodorant// It does the job, what can I say. This is the deodorant I took with me to Japan so I can definitely say it works even in humid disgusting Japanese summer.

Barry M molten Metal nail varnish// can't go wrong with Barry M can you? Proud of myself for using up another nail varnish :) This one was really nice- applied well, came out nice and silver after 2 coats and dried quickly.

Clinique SOS primer// This was part of a Christmas set and although it was a great primer, the smell was really unusual and really strong. Would like this a lot more if it was unscented.

Batiste Original Dry Shampoo// this is a staple, I prefer the original scent because some of the others are quite intense. 

Philip Kingsley Elasticiser// This is pricy but so many people with bleached hair recommended this to me that I had to try it, and I think it's become a must have for me now. It's a protein treatment and it's supposed to repair the bonds in your hair. All I know is that it makes my hair feel a lot nicer after I've bleached it. 

That's it for now! Have you guys been buying loads of beauty products in lockdown? I'm trying to use up what I have first, so I'll probably be back with another empties post soonish. I hope you're all taking care and remember self care is super important, whatever form that takes for you!
- Amy xoxo

All 41 hair dye posts I've written in 7 years of blogging// Last Japan empties (for now) Empties #21  // Room tour of my Shizuoka apartment and my tips for renting in Japan

Tuesday 14 April 2020

24 things I want to do when I'm 24

A street in Shinsekai, Osaka after dark

All of my plans have been cancelled basically, as I'm sure you guys' have been... but here are my plans for what I want to do when I'm 24. Most of these are not feasible atm, but here's to hoping we can get through this!! And I also want to look back on whether I achieved my last set of goals I published- my Japan goals ver 2

But first, did I achieve any of the goals I set when I was in Japan? 

Take the JLPT N1// yep, passed that :^)
Carry on cooking and baking// gonna have to say no for this... I did do some cooking but I definitely relied on the conbini waaay too much
Start saving money// nope! I spent every single yen :') I was fairly low paid so it was hard to save. Tbh I'm glad I spent the money on having fun, but I do want an emergency fund because not having any money is stressful as I'm sure most of you know. 
Take photos every day// I did take a lot of photos, but not every day. I also failed my other goals of post on instagram more regularly, and keep blogging at least once a week. I did post on instagram sometimes, but it was the worst year so far for me for blogging- I was just so tired! Glad I'm back on it now.
Japanese youtube channel// Nope
Walk/ cycle to work every day// Yep <3
Have a v aesthetic apartment// Yep! Check out my Room Tour of my Shizuoka Apartment post if you fancy a look around!
Travel// well I managed to get to Osaka a few times.. unfortunately I had neither the time or the money to go anywhere exciting and I couldn't convince my ex to go on a cute ryokan trip with me either :') Definitely got loads of places left on my bucket list
Sort out my future// another resounding 'no' ... send help...

my goals for when I'm 24 ♡

1 Stop putting boys first// So me and my long time boyfriend split up... it was mutual, but obviously I was devastated. But being on my own properly for the first time in 7 years (!!) has made me realise that the time and energy I invested into boys is often more than what they gave back, and I would never let a friend treat me like that.. I need someone who lifts me up and who will support me as much as I support them. And that's the last I'll be saying about boys on here for a while..

2 Get my film cameras developed// I still have loads of cool Osaka photos I haven't got developed yet! V excited because it's such a photogenic city

3 Get a new job// The job I had lined up has unfortunately fallen through bc Coronavirus (I know lots of you guys are in the same boat...)

4 Get another piercing// tempted to attempt this at home but not sure it's a good idea ahaha..

5 Try a new hair colour// I'm thinking yellow or bright orange

6 Go on holiday!! // Another far off goal, but here's to hoping... the dream would be Taiwan, South Korean and Osaka <3

7 Go back to Leeds <3 // Long time readers will know how much I love Leeds, and I'm desperate to get back and visit all my fave spots again!

8 TEFL course// bc who knows, it might come in handy :)

9 Start some savings// I've always lived a bit paycheck to paycheck, and crises like this make you reeeeally realise the importance of a safety net. Obvs not everyone can afford to, but it's a goal anyway.

10 Learn how to drive// I still can't drive, I've had a few lessons and I absolutely hate driving but it's a good skill to have.

11 Visit Amsterdam// this seemed like another 'easy' goal a few months ago- just a few hours' train! But we have to stay at home innit.

12 Have a cute picnic with my friends// I am dying to see my pals. Thank goodness for video call technology eh?

13 Learn how to cook a posh new thing// I love making macarons even though they are a massive faff, and I really want to add another 'impressive' thing to my repertoire.

14 Go to a music festival// Another uncertain thing..

15 go 'out out' with my girls// ditto

16 Go to some more gigs// live music is my absolute favourite thing

17 Try dating apps// I'm newly single and in no way ready to date yet but I do want to try dating apps for funsies!

18 Go and see The Room// Theres a cinema in Soho that did screenings once a month

19 Visit Hastings// I haven't visited this cute UK seaside town since I was a small child

20 Visit Canterbury// Another bucket list place for me

21 Do some pottery// because yolo. I want to make some aesthetic plates

22 Do something with my photos from Japan// a scrapbook, a zine, put them on the blog... I have some nice photos but there are so. many. it kind of makes my head hurt thinking about printing them or doing anything with them tbh.

23 Get a polaroid camera// I just think they seem really fun. I want to try and either get a second hand instax or a proper polaroid (should have got it in Japan regrets are real)

24 Visit Berlin// Another travel thing eek

I hope you guys are all doing well, and are getting through it. I'm trying to stay positive and plan for the future but it's hard and scary and uncertain :/ sending you all so so much love!!

My Room Tour of my apartment in Shizuoka, Japan and my tips for renting in Japan// All 41 hair dye posts I've written in 7 years of blogging  // Last Japan empties (for now) empties #21 //

Tuesday 7 April 2020

Last Japan empties (for now) Empties #21 : Muji, Lush, Clinique, Jelly x Emoda etc.

flatlay of empty products from Muji, Rimmel, Clinique, Emoda and Lush

This is the last couple of empty products I used while I was in Japan- I was trying to use things up so I didn't have to take loads of beauty products home. Most of the things in this are old faves or things I'd really recommend picking up if you're in Japan, so hopefully it's also a little informative?

Monday 6 April 2020

All 41 hair dye posts I've written in 7 years of blogging

Bleach London Rosé shampoo bottle

I've had more traffic than usual recently (because everyone's hanging out on the internet) and in particular, my youtube videos about dying your hair have been getting lots more views than usual!
I mean are you even on lockdown if you haven't given yourself a drastic makeover? I know I've dyed my hair and cut a v short fringe... I'm just using hair dye I had already at the moment, but I'm thinking of trying a cheerful yellow?

Obviously not everyone is lucky enough to be able to stay at home, and not everyone can dye their hair, but if these hair dye posts can be useful to anyone or brighten up anyone's day, that would be great! And also I AM NOT A HAIRDRESSER so pls cut/ dye your hair at your own risk and make sure to follow the instructions!!!! And also some of these posts are v old so don't judge me pls thx x

© Candyfloss Overkill

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