Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden Travel Photo Diary 2017

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I'm slowly making my way through the thousand number of photos and hours of video footage from my Asia trip! Today I'm sharing photos from the beautiful Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden in Tokyo. We ended up visiting here on our last day in Tokyo as we had some time to kill before our flight. There's a whole story to this day, but I won't bother you too much with those details! I will say that if you plan to walk your luggage around the area, be sure to store it at the entrance where the luggage lockers are; it'll suck to try to bring your luggage with you! Lolz. For now, please enjoy these beautiful photos during the end of Winter in Japan. I can only imagine how it looks like now with all the blooming flora, but at least we were able to see some sakura (cherry blossoms!).
Shinjuku Gyoen National GArden Tokyo Japan
Photo with the NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building
Shinjuku Gyoen National GArden
NTT Docomo Yoyogi Building framed by cherry blossoms
shinjuku tokyo gyoen national garden
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tokyo japan
Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden cherry blossoms
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My cousin very excited about this scenic spot as it was shown in the anime film The Garden of Words. See the similarity below!
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Photo from The Garden of Words 
 Shinjuku gyoen katsura tree rest stop
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Taiwan Pavillion
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Sakura
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Sakura close up
Tokyo Japan
Painting Class
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French Garden
Gyoen Gardens Shinjuku Tokyo
Old Imperial Rest House

Navy & Nautical for Memorial Day

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Happy almost long weekend! Yesterday was actually my Friday and I get to enjoy 4 days off this Memorial Day holiday! I'll be busy with one of my best friend's wedding but I wanted to share this striped dress look I thought would perfect for this weekend, especially with the warmer temperatures hitting Seattle recently!
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Dress - Marshalls (similar HERE, HERE & HERE)
Purse - Coach (similar HERE)
Earrings - Thrifted (similar HERE & HERE)

I immediately fell in love with this dress when I saw it at Marshalls and knew it would be perfect going into the summer. Marshalls is one of my favorite places for affordable finds for quality pieces. If I were going to a beach party, bbq ,or on a boat, this is the dress I'd wear! And since I'm not really "me" without a pair of sneakers, these navy Ecco shoes ended up working perfectly with this look to tie it all in. The neutral tan purse also paired well with this look. I tied the whole nautical theme together with these anchor earrings I've had for years now.

I definitely wanted to wear this dress by the water and the location for this shoot was just perfect! The dock was open with no one around and Mt. Rainier is beaming it all its glory in the background - it couldn't have been a more perfect shoot day!

I hope this look inspires you for the warmer weather (especially for my PNW friends!). Have a safe and happy Memorial Day Weekend USA friends and just a happy weekend for everyone else!

-Kirstie

Asia Travel Vlog 2017 7 | CNY Day 2 + Pulau Sapi

Here's Day 7 of my Asia Travel Vlog series! We spent the day on the beach and celebrated the day all in yellow!

5 Ingredient Smoothie Bowl Recipe


I've always loved cooking or making recipes for healthier food options (despite the big sweet tooth I have, haha) and that has fallen off the wayside. However, with the weather getting warmer, and being able to cook breakfast for my friends while I was in San Diego, I've been inspired to start creating food again! To start, here's a simple 5 ingredient smoothie bowl recipe. Feel free to add other fruits in the smoothie mix itself and other grains and nuts for the toppings! This is a very simple base and you can get as complicated and creative as you want with it.

This smoothie bowl recipe is healthy, eye pleasing, delicious, inexpensive, and very easy to prepare!

Ingredients - Serves 4

  • 5 oz Organic Frozen Berries 
  • (4) Organic Bananas - two frozen and two fresh
  • Organic Nut Milk of your choice
  • Fresh Organic Strawberries
  • Organic Toasted Coconut Flakes
*I try to use Organic when I can and a lot of times, you can find in-house Organic brands (like from Safeway for example), that is very affordable. 

Directions

  1. Taken the frozen berries, frozen bananas, and nut milk and pour into a blender. Start blending the ingredients and slowly add more of the liquid until the smoothie is a smooth and thick consistency (you don't want it too watery).
  2. Slice up strawberries and bananas for plating.
  3. Pour smoothie into a bowl and start decorating with the toppings! Feel free to add leftover frozen berries on top as well.
And that's it! This takes about 5 minutes for overall preparation and is a great way to start any morning (even more so on a sunny day, hehe). Do you guys like smoothie bowls? What are your favorite combinations?

-Kirstie


Studio Ghibli Museum - Tips & Recommendations

If you're a fan of Totoro, Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, or any other Miyazaki films and you happen to be going to Tokyo, then you definitely have to check out the Studio Ghibli Museum, at least once! Here are some quick tips on making this visit as smooth and the best as possible.
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(1) Buy your tickets ahead of time at JTB Reservation Center, especially if you're coming from the US. The museum has days scheduled out for tourists and you can't just show up and get tickets. I bought my tickets about 2 months in advance and had to go with my 2nd option for the day to visit. It's a simple process; fill out the form on days you'd like to go and who is going and they will respond to your email with availability. *Make sure the name(s) written matches what's on your passport!

(2) If you're staying in one of the bigger prefectures in Tokyo (Shinjuku, Shibuya, etc.), the train is the easiest way to get to Mitaka, where the museum is located. Mitaka is much more low-key, and has a bit of a small town vibe to it. Take the Chuo main line.
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(3) Eat at Mitaka station! As mentioned in a previous post HERE, the train stations have lots of awesome food choices so save your time and eat when you get there. We made the mistake of eating a Lawson's (7/11 like) by our hotel in case there wasn't time to find food in Mitaka, but boy were we surprised to see all the food available at the station! We definitely made it a plan to try as much as we could AFTER the museum. There's food available at the cafe at the museum, but trust me, you're going to want to eat outside of the museum. However, trying their own NausicaƤ of The Valley of the Wind themed beer is pretty cool!
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Studio Ghibli Beer - Kaze no Tani
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Did I mention how affordable everything was to eat here and how many varieties of food there was to choose from? Ughh!

(4) Get to the Ghibli Bus in a timely manner. There's a special bus that's decked out in Studio Ghibli design that specifically picks you up from the Mitaka Station to the museum. You have to buy special tickets ahead of time (make sure you get ticket there and back!) and if you wait too long, the line build up can be pretty long.

(5) No cameras allowed are inside the museum. Though you will see many people/tourists break this rule, essentially, cameras are not allowed inside, but you can snap photos outside of the museum.
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Last photo I could take before going inside the Museum!
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Posing with Robot from Castle in the Sky
That's all the tips I have for you guys if you decide to visit the Studio Ghibli Museum. Be mindful of all the tourists there from all over Asia and even from Japan. There are tons of goodies you can buy there as souvenirs (I bought mainly candy and cookies there as seen below. The other Totoro items were from elsewhere in Asia!) but you may honestly be able to find them elsewhere around Tokyo, especially if you decide to visit Akihabara or Ikebukuro. Have fun, enjoy the wonderful art created by the amazing artists at Studio Ghibli, and take the magic all in!

A post shared by Kirstie Chan (@kfclovesyou) on

I hope you all enjoyed this post! Until next time =)

-Kirstie

ASIA 2017 TRAVEL VLOG PART 6 | K.K. + CNY Day 1

Part 6 of my Asia vlog series is up featuring the first day of Chinese New Year and a couple of really nice resorts! I'd like to give much kudos to daily vloggers and other video editors out there for daily work!

San Diego Outfit Diary 2017

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Today I'm sharing the different looks I wore in San Diego during my recent trip a few weekends ago. I took advantage of the warm weather and decided to bring pieces more out of my 'usual'. I also had to plan strategically since I only brought a carry-on luggage with me, but the light clothing made it simple enough to bring a lot of options for a short 4-day trip!



1) Blue Floral for Wine Tasting

Outfit fashion floral san diego
Floral Maxi - Marshalls (similar HERE, HERE, and HERE) | Sandals - Lulus (Similar HERE and HERE) | Speedy Purse - Louis Vuitton


2) Matching Walls & Pink Floral 

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target billabong hat


3) Tropical Beach Vibes

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Swimsuit - Forever 21 (similar HERE) | Sunglasses - Cotton On (similar HERE)


4) Crochet on Mission Beach

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Crochet Cover - Marshalls  (similar HERE) | Bikini Top - Forever 21 | Bikini Bottoms - Billabong


5) Romping Around

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Romper - Mimi Chica (similar HERE)


6) Seeing Red in the Gaslamp Quarter

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black shoes merona target nordstrom michael kors


7) Denim on Denim in San Diego

Top - Marshalls (similar HERE) | Shorts - Forever 21 (similar HERE) | Backpack - Marc Jacobs (similar HERE)| Slide Sandals - Target
What outfit was your favorite? My personal ones were the blue floral look as well as the one with the red dress. Both are items I hardly ever wear and I was glad to be able to have a chance to wear them out!

-Kirstie
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