31.1.13

Oyakodon Recipe






Oyakodon is basically simmered chicken and egg over rice and is a truly yummy traditional Japanese dish. "Oyako" means parent and child(ren) and "don" refers to "donburi", a Japanese rice bowl. My version is less traditionally accurate owing to the baby spinach that I have sneaked in betwixt the rice and topping. Greens are good!

\\ Ingredients:
100cc mirin - available here
5 Chicken thighs cut into chunks
50cc Shoyu
1/2 tbsp Sugar
100cc water with hon dashi dissolved in it.
3-4 Eggs
1 tbsp Tsuyu - available here









\\ Method:
1. Mix together the mirin, shoyu, water (with hondashi) and sugar in a pan and then heat on a medium setting.

2. When the mixture just begins to bubble, throw in the onions and cook till the soften a bit, this should take about 3-4 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, crack 3 eggs  into a bowl and lightly whisk enough to just break the yolks and then set aside.

4. Add the chicken into the pot and cook till it turns white and the surface becomes firm.

5. Add the eggs to the mixture. Try not to stir the mixture too much (though you can agitate) the pan to move things about a bit. Allow to simmer for a minute or so depending on how well you like your eggs cooked.



























6. Spoon mixture over a bowl of hot rice. Sprinkle some finely chopped spring onion and shredded nori if you like too.

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28.1.13

A Bit of Blue + White


Yes, I am deplorably slow on the uptake but I may just be getting into the flow of things with Pinterest and my Penchant for Packaging board is certainly growing. It may well be at a cumbersome pace but I'd like to think that the items posted are rather dashing in appearance. 

Today, I am exploring eye-catchable blue + white packaging.



Swedish Dream Sea Salt Shaving Soap, Sweden.




Sugar Cane, Denim Detergent, Japan.



Eggwhite Soap, Belgium.



Rococo Chocolates, UK.



Soffle's Pitta Chips, UK.



I have of course added these images to my Packaging File on Pinterest. Feel free to follow.

Have you got a nice bit o' blue + white? Tell me about it!
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26.1.13

Wallowing in Milk


Number one hundred and eighteen and a half Shoreditch High Street is the home of the Milk Concept Boutique. Quaint in appearance and bright in colour, and formerly an 18th century clerk's house, this is a treat for the eyes.


Although Milk purveys works by both internationally known designers, it also presents collections from emerging talents too.



Personally, my real pleasure of wallowing in Milk comes from taking time to marvel at their large collection of Fornasetti accessories. I am very fond of Fornasetti objects, they are an extravagant indulgence but they are things of beauty that add quirky diversion in our home.







My last visit to Milk was in the company of a precious friend who was visiting from Tokyo.  Being another fan of Fornasetti, I think he too was taken with the little shop of delights. The sales assistants are helpful and very happy to let visitors take their time in enjoying their array of items.



Though there are a great many things that I fancy buying,  I have yet to buy any thing in Milk. However, my friend bought this striking cushion. I was impressed when he took it aboard the plane as his designated flight cushion. How wonderful!

| Milk Concept Boutique |
118 1/2 Shoreditch High Street,
London, E1 6JN.

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24.1.13

This is Not an Allergy Test!


A good friend of mine thinks that makeup swatches resemble allergy tests. While I am rather confuddled by the idea, I admit that she would indeed know best as she seems to have quite a collection of allergies.

Here I am dangling on a tangent before even starting this review! 

\\ Majolica Majorca Cream de Cheek - Shell Pink Cream PK312




The Majolica Majorca blush is gorgeously presented in a little glass bottle that can easily be mistaken for a nail varnish. 



In similar fashion to the Benefit Tints, this is applied with a little dip-bottle brush. The blush starts applies somewhere between a runny gel and a liquid without any sticky-icky-ness. Rather handy in my book as it allows me to blend it into my cheeks without too much rubbing. It does dry down to a soft finish that adheres to my skin well enough to last all day. This is potently pigmented stuff so a few little dabs does the trick and a little goes a long way. 

Shell Pink Cream is a lovely medium pink with a slight lean towards peach. 



I've tried to capture the blush in both its blended and unblended state. Not so easy in the lack of daylight in London but I hope you get the idea.

All in all, this is a great blush to own if you are in the market for a new one. The only drawback for me is that it can be a little drying on my cheeks in the cold but I can rectify this by using a good moisturising base or BB cream underneath it.

This is something that I brought back from Japan with me but I have seen it on Adam Beauty if you fancy one yourself.
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21.1.13

Brass Monkeying + Alessi Giveaway!




London has been so cold and with this bout of persistent snow, it's been hard for me to keep warm! In my defence, I was born on the equator where our weather is much much kinder than here and despite the fact that I have been here for AGES, I can't get used to bitter winters!



Also, this is the month in which I lost my mother many many years ago (when I was 10). Strangely, I still cannot escape the lingering pain neither can I reconcile myself with the hole she left in my heart. January is indeed a month of cold hands and cold hearts for me. Grief is something we can never really shake off it's just about learning to live with it in a positive way. 



I've been keeping my feet from slipping with my trusty Hunters. They are great in the snow so long as they are accompanied with a pair a of tights and a couple of pairs of socks to keep the cold from nipping at my toes!



Keep warm.

\\  GIVEAWAY TIME! Let's spread some cheer!




I have a got a gorgeous couple of Alessi fridge magnets to give away to one lucky winner. 



Meet Anna G + Sandro M. You may know them as iconic playful corkscrews from the Alessi design house, but now they are available in miniature do adorn your fridges with with their cuteness.

\\How to enter:


* You MUST be a follower of this blog.

* Please leave a comment in the box below.

* Open to international entries.

Giveaway closes on Monday 28th January at 10pm UK time.

Winner will be chosen at random using a random 
number generator
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16.1.13

Primp + Prettify





If you follow my Fushigi Shop's page on Facebook, then you will know that I like to dabble with immensely cute and girly photo decoration apps to create collage type pics. 
Such apps can be quite addictive and they also seem to have caught the attention of some of my followers as I have received (rather surprisingly), a few enquiries. So here for your hours of primping and prettifying procrastination are a few of my favourite iPhone apps:

\\ Line Camera
Line is a nifty app that keeps me in touch with my friends in Japan. It is sort of like WhatsApp only miles better because it enables users to make free voice calls and it has a nighty little camera with a heap of decoration capabilities with neat stamps, filters and frames etc..

\\ Snapee
Like Line this is a Japanese app but it is available in English language. It is a lot like Instagram only super kawaii in its set up. There are lots of frames, stamps and brushes free and many that you can either buy or exchange points for (the points can be earned by liking and posting photos).

\\ Collage Day
This allows users to create scrapbook like collages on your phone and save them to upload elsewhere or print for your notebooks.



I print mine using the Polaroid Pogo printer via my iMac as it will not work via the iPhone.....sadly! These pics find their way to my diary, notebooks or recipe book.

Hope this post was helpful! Feel free to ask any questions in the comments box and I will do my best to get back to you.

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14.1.13

Nice Needles


I seem to have a growing number of assortments of various things, well enough to persist in my blogging about them at least. Lately, I have noticed that I have quite a neat collection of needle-books. I do a fair amount of hand sewing and so these things are invaluable to me.











I probably ought to stop buying these little gems but I keep reassuring myself that one cannot have enough needles.


I have of course added these images to my Packaging File on Pinterest. 

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13.1.13

Mellow + Masked


Hello! Have you noticed my new buttons? ↑↑↑↑ I fancied updating the blog's design and so got rid of the page tabs because I prefer buttons. I hope that you like them too! 

Now back to Sunday laziness. Sunday is such a good day to dillydally in pyjamas, slip on a face mask and gently proceed with mellow domesticity.




Good friends can sneak photos of you even when you are at your most unpresentable. This photo was actually taken in Sicily a few years ago but it lends itself well to my mood for I wish it were warmer in London today.


\\ Mandom Barrier Repair Baby Moist Lotion



The trouble with reality is that I am actually in London where the temperatures continue to plummet and the central heating rises. Both these are problematic for my skin and so I have turned to Mandom Beauty's Barrier Repair Baby Moist Lotion.

Mandom is a Japanese brand and so the "lotion" is not the sort of lightweight moisturiser that you expect in western skincare. Japanese lotions are used to soften and prepare the skin for serums/treatments and moisurisers. The lotion is usually gently patted onto the skin using hands or cotton pads or by soaking compressed sheet masks in the lotion and then applying the mask onto the face.

I like the Mandom Beauty's Barrier Repair Baby Moist Lotion as its mild paraben, fragrance. colorant and mineral oil free formula is super kind to my sensitive skin. It also absorbs into my skin quickly and effectively leaving my face feeling moist, fresh, soft and ready for my moisturiser. The lotion contains a nano hyaluronic acid that is apparently 100 times smaller than regular hyaluronic acid so capable of faster and more effective results.



I apply this lotion using compressed sheet masks. This is my preferred method of using most Japanese lotions. It does use more product but my skin feels much better for it. These masks are cheap and can be found in Muji in the UK (Here) though many brands such as Kose, Shiseido, Kanebo manufacture them too!




I am also a fan of Muji's Dual Purpose Cotton Pads (here) which are great because they can be used as a regular cotton pad AND they peel apart so you can use them as a face mask (saturated with your chosen lotion) and stick them onto areas that you wish to target.


 (\ /) 
( ^.^ ) 
 (") (") Have a lovely Sunday x
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11.1.13

Egg Rolling


。◕‿◕。  One of my goals in life is to make the perfect tamagoyaki (Japanese style egg roll)!!! 。◕‿◕。



I had an interesting experience with tamagoyaki making this Christmas. My husband and brother-in-law were both very quick to instruct me on their methods and so it wound up being an unappetising mess. Unperturbed and oddly inspired by the eggy fiasco, I have taken elements from both their recipes and now feel better equipped to tackle perfectly rolled-many layered-fuwa fuwa-oishii-tamagoyaki (fluffly delicious egg roll) fulfilment! Now that I have a yummy recipe, I just need to work on my egg rolling skeeeeelz!

\\ Worshipblues' Not Too Sweet Fuwa-Fuwa Tamagoyaki

Ingredients:
3 eggs
4/5 tablespoons milk or water in emergencies.
1 tablespoon mirin
1 teaspoon shoyu (soy sauce)
1 teaspoon sugar (add more if you like it sweeter)
2 pinches of dashi powder
1 squeeze of kewpie (japanese mayonnaise)
Salad/sunflower oil.

Method:

1. Whisk the eggs into a frenzy then add the rest of the ingredients. Whisk into another frenzy ensuring that the mayonnaise is evenly broken up into small speckles. 

2. Heat up a square/tamagoyaki pan till hot but not scorching. Now and add enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan with a layer of oil. Take some kitchen roll and using chopsticks or a fork and dip the kitchen roll into the pan to absorb excess oil and then run it along the upper sides of the pan. You are looking to coat the entire surface of the pan with a glossy coat of oil.

3. On a low- medium heat, add 1/3 of the egg mixture into the pan and roll the pan so that it spreads into an even layer at the base. Pop any bubbles that may appear. Try to lift the egg at the edge of the pan. If you feel it is ready to roll then go for it!



4. Take the pan off the heat and then, starting at the edge furthest away from you, carefully roll the egg towards you. Try to do this as evenly and as compactly as you can.

5. Once you reach the bottom, you will need to move the rolled egg mack to the edge of the pan furthest away from you and then put the pan back onto heat.



6. Add another 1/3 of the egg mixture into the pan and ensure that it gets in between the edges of the pan and the previous roll. This will help it stick. Again, burst the bubbles and keep it even.

7. Peep under the edges of the egg and when you feel it is ready.....roll! Again, take the pan off the heat and start at the top till you reach the bottom and then carefully move it back to the top.

8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 with the final 1/3 of the mixture.



9. Move the egg roll onto a plate. Slice and serve.



As you can see, my layers are not as even as I would like, and I would like less browning on around the finished roll but at least it tastes really very good. if I do say so myself. Next time, I will do better!

P.S I think most Japanese prefer this a bit sweeter than Hiro and I so feel free to add more sugar.

P.P.S You can buy a tamagoyaki pan in Muji (yes, even the one in London does it).


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9.1.13

Thin Red Line


The very thought of red + eyelids is often met with decided disapproval by many people. Yet, somehow, to my mind at least, I find it irresistible and so it is that I have added yet another red bit of eye makeup kit to my collection.

\\ Majolica Majorca Trick On Liner in shade RS333



The Majolica Majorca Trick On Liner is part of their Circus Ecstasy collection, released in Japan in October 2012. 





This is a waterproof super richly pigmented liquid liner with a unique deep pink verging on claret hue. There is some shimmer in the formula but it is very fine and doesn't bother nor irritate me.



This is a lovely lovely liner not only because the shade is rather unique but because the applicator is on the right side of flexible yet firm. Although I find that I need to go over the initial line to get to right level of boldness, I still think this is a good liner and I am glad that I have it. I don't think it makes me look too "wounded".



Ah! Iv'e just had a thought! I wonder how this compares with the Lunasol Geminate in terms of colour? I will take photos tomorrow (sunshine willing) and update this post then.

>> Update. Lunasol Geminate RB on the right is nothing like the Majolica Majorca RS333.


Do let me know what you think of red liners won't you? 


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8.1.13

New Year. New Stationery


This is an annual habitual mantra of mine. Whilst shopping for a new diary, (I always have a paper diary as it is wise to not depend upon electronic devices completely), I find it an impossibility to resist buying new pencils, pens and other bits n' bobs. Here are my favourite UK online sellers, each stock an excellent array of goods:




|Choosing Keeping|



|Present & Correct|



|The Journal Shop|

Fresh new journals, notebooks and new pencils are almost as good as fresh sheets on my bed to me.

Where did you get your diary from this year?

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