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Welcome to my blog!



If you are in for an adventure paired with lengthy, quirky, brutal honest thoughts then you are in the right place my friend.

My name is Arisa and was a cosplayer for 12 years before becoming a mom of 2 beautiful girls and i love sharing about Beauty, fashion and everything about Japan because i'm currently based in Kyoto!
For sponsorship, collaborations and engagements drop me an email: arisa1443@gmail.com

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Life in Kyoto | 8th Month


That’s it? 2018 just ended just like that?

It’s a fact I still find it hard to accept because where did all those 12 months ago? Earlier in December I was brooding to the danna that I haven’t achieved much for this year because before I met him my initial goal was to grow my blog and career, who knows get a pay raise but everything turned upside down when I got married, moved to Japan and had a baby all within 1 year LOL. Definitely not the kind of resolution lined up I had in mind back in 2017 but..Ok.


But first let’s bid goodbye to Autumn, and hello winter. It’s super duper cold now, can’t feel my toes and fingers anymore.

Discovered the art of dressing for winter without looking bulky lol

Finally understand why people wear ear muffs/ hoodies during winter.
My ears hurts like mad from the cold

So career advancement is something I threw out the window, looking back did I ever regretted that decision for letting go something I’ve been working so hard for the past 10 years just to start a fresh life in a foreign land. To be super duper honest, Yes and No. Lol.

Why?

Come on, let’s be realistic for a moment. When you have worked from the very lowest, earning as little as RM3 per hour and taking up 10 hours shifts 6 days a week to a manager level, just as you thought you have finally achieved financial stability with debts paid off and you just leave everything behind by throwing in your resignation letter requesting to leave within 1 month notice so you can focus going back to your morning sickness and moving your entire home and life to Japan.

Sounds bizarre right?

It’s wasn’t something I planned nor expected but I know that things happen for a reason and I’m willing to risk it all (actually I have nothing to lose liao). My own mother was constantly asking me whether I’m making the right decision or not, try not to rush things but I’m done being scared of life.

Letting the fear control my life isn’t how I intended to live.

So yes, in some aspects hints of regrets may linger for leaving Malaysia but looking at what I have today, a loving husband and a beautiful baby girl, my very own family and living in the land I dreamed of (not as great as we imagined it but oh well, we will talk about that next time).

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Here I am now typing away on my laptop as quickly as possible while lil penguin naps or else I wouldn’t have time to string proper sentences together with her demanding 100% attention (no compromises lol she’s smart), and on the side note seriously the brain fog from lack of sleep is real, half the time I don’t recall what happened the day before, worst case scenario was like 5 minutes ago Hahah. This is what happens when you have “mom brain” and lack of sleep happening all at once, so kids please be kind to your moms. Don’t laugh at her for not remembering where she left her keys or glasses lol. A mom’s sacrifice includes her memory and sleep, not just time, effort and money. 


went for my first haircut in Japan

As much i would love to keep it long but it takes forever to style and it's so heavy!

So back to short it is, and layered this time to give it more volume on top, 
and my head feels so much lighter!

 

2018 highlights

So where do I begin with the highlights since there are so many lol


May 2018 - I got Married

YingTze is probably laughing out loud right now saying “I told you so” in her manly aunty voice (don’t be fooled by her cute voice pls tipu punya sia lol). The danna was my first blessing for end of 2017, after a terrible year I’m glad I could usher in 2018 with a smile. Never in a million years I thought anyone would marry me because of my past and difficult personality, until this weird and funny guy came along. This relationship wouldn’t have worked out if I was still the same unreasonable person I was a few years ago, guess I matured over time? I might be still stubborn in some ways but at least less petty because in life we have to choose our battles wisely.


I moved to Japan

My whole 7 years of living alone packed into 2 large suitcases and 2 cabin sized ones weighing a total of 74kg (ish) shipped over to Japan. I know I have prayed countless times of wishing I could start a new life where nobody knows me, and never did I expect to have that wish granted. Yes, I might be super lonely here with everyone I know 5000km away from me but I take this opportunity to reset my life.


lil stinky penguin
October 2018 - I gave Birth

One of the biggest milestone of my life, it wasn’t planned but like they say sometimes life is full of surprises and it’s best to embrace them as they come. Though I’m still missing Mariko everyday I know I can never replace her but I’m glad I could give her a sibling #lilpenguin.

Lil penguin is indeed a blessing to the danna and I, for all the sleepless nights she has given us it’s worth it to see her growth progress daily. From the words she tries to mimic from our conversation, her generous smiles and tons of fart bombs. Such love indeed lol.

To give birth in a foreign land away from my family and friends feels kinda scary but I’m glad everything went well and I also learned so many things about their maternity culture here. Totally windblown at how things are done compared to back home in Malaysia. 


November 2018

My mom finally came to Japan for a visit, got to meet her granddaughter for the first time!  I also celebrated Mariko's 2nd birthday, how fast time just flew by and she's already a toddler. I would definitely love to see her growth progress, though i know that's impossible in this reality.



Blog

I have to thank God and lucky stars for opening such doors for me, It wasn’t an easy road but years of persistence and effort, I’m glad to see it grow in leaps and bounds. It might be a small achievement compared to other big named bloggers in the industry but I’m thankful to all my clients who believed in my work, for giving me a chance when there is none.

Being able to work with local Japan government prefectures for tourism projects is a big deal for me because I moved here with barely any connections and I was so ready to honestly just give up blogging. It’s another chapter in my life I’ve achieved like cosplay and time to move on to greener pastures. Try something else for a change.

Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart.



Traveled More

A goal I’ve always set for myself to at least travel abroad once a year, be adventurous and have a change of scenery. This year alone I’ve managed to travel to 2 countries and end up moving to one lol. Earlier this year I YOLO-ed hard by traveling all the way to Thailand just to catch my favorite Japanese rock band- One Ok Rock over the weekend and was back in office again by Monday morning lol. So. Worth. It. 

And not to mention the weekend down to Singapore and back in office again by Monday, just realized how hard core i am when it comes to traveling. 

Nokonoshima Fukuoka, summer 2018

Motonosumi Inari, Yamaguchi prefecture- summer 2018

It might sound rather silly to spend money that way, but what’s the point having all those cash kept away when you can use it to experience things. Save for retirement yes, but always set aside a budget for travel, don’t wait till you are 60-70 with your body aching all over. By then you’ll be regretting for not doing it while you were younger.

My recent postcards that arrived from Nara & Mie

Food brought back from travels

Japan alone I’ve covered 8 new prefectures this year which is a HUGE milestone because every year my target was to only cover at least 3-4 prefectures per trip when I was still staying in Malaysia, I doubled my target lol so that makes a total of 22 prefectures out of 47!
  • Tokyo
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Kanagawa
  • Yamanashi
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Nara
  • Mie
  • Shiga
  • Aichi
  • Hyogo
  • Gifu
  • Fukui
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Wakayama
  • Okayama
  • Tottori
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
  • Fukuoka

Relationships


Not talking about my love life because compared to friendships it’s probably 100 times better (even with quarrels). This is one part of my life that I wished that I could turn back time and ask what went wrong before things ended. I know I have to accept the fact that people come and go through the walks of our lives, but deep down don’t we all wish IF there is something we could have done to prevent it from happening. To those who are still by me all these years, I would like to thank each and every one of you for seeing me through my ups and downs. I’m grateful for it and I know words alone can never repay the kindness and understanding you have graciously given me. I do hope our friendship may grow stronger for the years to come and for those who have given up on “us”, thank you as well because you have taught me a very valuable lesson and shown me your true colours which I was blinded to for the past 2 years. I’m easily discarded because I have no value.

And to those who are just using me for whatever benefits, I hope you guys would realise that I won’t be always around to keep you guys afloat if you do not start pulling your own weight.


Financials


It took awhile for me to clear my debts off with my previous full time job & side projects but I’m glad that I’m finally debt free. It was a tough 2017-2018 working my ass off.

Managed to get myself a long overdue insurance card and a new laptop despite it causing a painful pinch but as you get older these things are necessities so we can’t avoid them. Both of these are considered an investment so it’s not a useless splurge, also please give me more blog jobs to make the laptop investment more worth it k lol.

Still trying to learn on how to managed my financials and save at the same time especially in Japan, because earning in MYR currency can’t justify the expenditure in YEN. I should start earning in YEN or USD more at this rate lol. It’s also difficult to save with such limited amount of MYR funds, every month after paying off my insurance policies and other needed subscriptions, it’s really depressing to see my funds depleting below my targeted saving threshold T_T

I pray that 2019 would be a better year for income, I would very much would like to give my mom a proper holiday to Japan on a yearly basis so she can also spend more time with her granddaughter. It must be difficult for her to be so far away.

Nonetheless I’m thankful for whatever amount of payment I got from my clients throughout 2018, that alone is a hidden blessing.

 These are just some of my best beauty finds for 2018, will make a separate post for that!



Christmas 

Eva's Christmas gifts

This is my 2nd Christmas celebration (first time was back in 2015) in Japan but 1st as a wife with lil penguin & the danna. Though the danna isn’t Christian, I try to upkeep my family’s Christmas tradition of decorating the house, gifting and spending time with loved ones (still haven’t found a church yet) as that’s something I grew up with and I would like my own family (sounds so weird to use this to describe my kid & husband lol) to experience this too. Nothing too fancy, no roast or whatsoever just simple takeout meals and of course strawberry shortcake because apparently that is a Japanese culture lol, like how the westerners have Log cakes/ fruit cakes. 

Our simple christmas party at the office, takeout food lol

One of Japan's Christmas tradition, to have strawberry shortcake.

There's actually a significant meaning behind this, back then these western desserts are considered "luxury" items, they symbolize wealth & status, it was also hard to find during the war due to sugar shortage. It was after world war 2 when peace ties were established and economy was stabilized thus the ration of sugar was lifted allowing the rise of these desserts appearing in supermarkets. 
And what better day than Christmas to have it to celebrate the economy's prosperity & ties with the western world. The symbolic color combination of white cream & red strawberry used to decorate the cake is considered "auspicious" and that is how till today this cake is associated with Christmas celebration in Japan. 

Also another explanation why strawberry? 
Winter is strawberry season, and Japan has the best tasting ones enough said, no argument is valid here lol. 

My favorite parfait topped with homemade Yuzu jam

We don’t have a conventional Christmas tree because I couldn’t decide on the color so we got a white naked tree with colourful lights which Eva enjoys looking at whenever she’s bored. So it was a good purchase then! Also it was kinda pricey as we bought it early December, and I found out the best time to purchase Christmas stuff for the following year (yes plan 1 year ahead lol) is 2-3 days before Christmas, by then everything would be cleared at 50-70% off!

Our "botak" Christmas tree lol

Japanese Christmas decorations are seriously on point, despite them not being a Christian majority country they still have one of the most impressive designs around! They do it for the $$ lol, it’s a good business opportunity period indeed

Not forgetting the winter solstice tradition, and ironically i've never made these for myself back in Malaysia lol. Wanted to teach the danna abit about Chinese traditions, if i was in KL i could just walk into a shop and get a packet of ready made ones down the frozen food aisle but unfortunately i'm in Japan and they don't have it in Kyoto lol. So gotta make it from a scratch, first round failed because i used the wrong flour! Thank you so much Jean for teaching me :D 

Not bad for 2nd try, need to stuff in more sesame filling next time


Realization

Sounds like 2018 has been treating me well but every coin has 2 sides, when there are ups there are bound to be downs as well because that’s how life works. It needs balance. There are many things I came to realised and one of it is “learning to call it quits”, try to stop giving things a chance when there is obviously none in the first place. Why make yourself feel so miserable and mentally exhausted all for the sake of trying to make everyone happy. No one gives a damn about your happiness except yourself, it’s good to be generous and considerate but till a certain extent. Don’t give out more than you can afford, whether it’s money, experience, emotional support, it can be anything. It’s something I’ve been struggling with all my life which caused me so much of emotional distress, I always asked my mom “why did you brought me up to be nice? Everyone just takes nice people for granted and treats us like sh*t”.

Then again.. this world is full of sh*tty people; we are just some of the rare ones out there who have hope of one day making this world a better place if it doesn’t kill us off first of course.

Just try to focus more on myself and my family, I believe things will fall into place eventually.

December has been a busy month with side projects but glad things are going smoothly

Shooting in progress, and this when we all discovered Jared is such a smooth door slider lol


Resolutions

I don’t really bother setting new year resolutions since last year, all I want is for my family to be happy through the ups & downs.

Just need to tone and get back my abs with exercising

Losing weight resolution almost achieved within 3 months (almost back to 49kg liao), my only motivation now is to lose another 2 more kg so I can eat them back while I’m in Malaysia for CNY lol.

Maybe all I want is to grow (mature kind not sideways) and keep an open mind to learn more, it could be anything..skills, language, etc.

Oh..another thing is hope to deal with lesser idiots from now on. My brain seriously beh tahan already at this stage, I don’t have the energy to layan these kind of people. Please stay far far away from me, I already have enough stress to deal with at home, don’t need you to add on to it.

My hope for the universe (particularly Malaysian companies) is to start paying your employees whether full time, outsourced, contract or freelance ON TIME as in 30-31 BLOODY DAYS.

Not after 60-90-120 days! Seriously, if you don’t pay us on time then how are we supposed to pay our rent, insurance and other commitments?? It’s not like we can tell them ”boleh bayar bulan depan tak? Gaji belum masuk” excuse. Really want to slap these companies, do the world a favor and don’t exist please. Everyone would be much happier without you guys around, don’t need us to hound around like ah longs. 

My favorite snack whenever i'm stressed out or sad, chocolate always works!
Must buy this when you are in Japan.

Other than that I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store for me, somehow kinda nervous and worried though I know it’s just gonna be another day like the rest except the numbering of the year is different on the calendar. Blessed new year and see you guys in 2019!

Found a lucky star shape gummy in my pack! Haha means i'll be lucky for 2019?


Yours Truly,

1 comment:

  1. I’m loving your Christmas tree! Feels really light, warm and cheery, much welcome in cold winter! :)

    Yea, babies are strange that way... Tiny, but with great demands. And you really can’t bluff them. If they want attention, they really want ALL.OF.YOU.

    Really respect you... being a Mother alone is already such a challenge, yet you’re already working and doing so much in the early months... o_O

    Take care, have a Blessed New Year and a even more fulfilling year ahead! ^__^

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