Business Features Visual Splendor

Neko Neko Shokupan, Tokyo, Japan’s Kawaii Cat Bread Bakery

10/16/2020

What? Neko Neko Cheesecake?

“Not just cute.
Savour the fresh baked flavor of the bread, made with 100% Japan-grown wheat flour, mixed with creamy milk.
Every mouthful of the milky soft bread is rich and moist. Nothing but carefully selected Japanese ingredients. The succulent bread explodes with flavour with every bite. Come on in and try it. It’s purr-fect.” – Neko Neko Shokupan

10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Ario Kitasuna 1F, 2-17-1 Kitasuna, Koto City, Tokyo 136-0073

620620
Design Your Life

Me to Me: Stop Stifling Yourself To Make Others Happy

07/15/2020

It’s been quite a long while that I’ve been on this journey of self acceptance. Long ago there was an anonymous submission area on my blog and I got the sweetest message from a reader who said, “I wish you would be yourself and embrace it instead of hiding behind _____.”

I did hide. I hid behind my mom as a child, I hid behind Ben (my first love) as a teen/young adult, and I even hid behind Audrey Kitching and some other friends I did design for (I wasn’t as codependent with them) online and played with offline. I gave Audrey my illustrations and original artwork, I sent her inspirations daily, I blogged for her, I designed for her. We were close then, but I was always in the shadows. She would sometimes copy other designs from other artists and I didn’t want to promote any of my work because I was afraid if I took credit for my Tokyolux cats, designs, and pop art that it would be assumed I was taking credit for ALL of the copies as well.

Let’s get to know each other again.

That often happens to people who were traumatized in their youth. I was happy to create amazing things that everyone loved as long as I got to be in the background and no one really knew me.

When going through divorce or trauma it’s easy to do whatever you can to forget your memories and the pain. Embarrassingly enough, I imploded and “acted a fool.” I even pushed a lot of those friends in that community away back then. I met them all one last time at a Sanrio VIP party right near the end of my shadow self life. I was tired of being in the box I allowed myself to be placed in and I just freaked out and ran away.

I closed my store and I stopped updating my website. I fell off the online world to hide from it and isolated myself.

I’m super into SELKIE right now.

Now I’m 35 and I feel like I’ve been starting all over the last few years. I started traveling again and participating in shows in LA and NYC again (prior to the CORONAVIRUS of course). I started reconnecting with my old friends again. Like actually connecting. As myself.

I also started, 3 years ago, doing work for myself and I’m learning how to be comfortable promoting ME and MY WORK. IT’S HARD. It’s hard everyday. I often slink away and still struggle with quieting myself because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of what you will think of me or what you will say if I’m not who you expect or want me to be…

… but I’m done with that! I’m pushing myself harder each day to be MYSELF for ME. Not anyone else. I’m set on not becoming anything for anyone else. Except of course a loving mom who encourages her daughters to be powerful and NEVER stifle theirselves for ANYONE.

Thanks for coming along. I hope you brought snacks. xx

I haven’t released this anywhere else yet! The new Deericorn pendant at long last!!!
Artist & Designer Features Visual Splendor

Fabiola Jean-Louis is Rewriting History

07/07/2020

“The series speaks to the shocking treatment of Blacks throughout history and the trauma inflicted on their bodies as juxtaposed with the abstract idea of black freedom,”

“Simultaneously, it engages with a vision of the future—one of hope, resilience, and justice.”

“I have an obsession with exposing what lies beneath the surface. It is my constant examination of the spirit, and no doubt – my intense curiosity with the cycle of life and death. Everyday, I think of peeling away layers, and imagine what I will find. I know that what I am looking for is not tangible, and with all my years of studying science, not even it can help me describe this thing. When I do finally get to a place of imaginative clarity, the visions are so intricate, and intertwined, that I find them too complex to communicate through my work. I am not YET skilled enough to show you all that I see. I work to break that barrier each, and everyday.”

I cannot fawn over Fabiola’s rewriting of history enough. I know you agree. Please check out more of Fabiola’s work here.

Le Game

Le Game: Apps I love Right Now

06/26/2020

Slowly

Want to have penpals but not into the whole stationary, stamps, post office thing? You can also have penpals directly from your phone! Slowly takes 1 day to deliver your letter to someone from around the world. You can do a match yourself or the app can give you a random match based on your preferences. I’ve already gotten around 20 penpals and the slowness of the sending of your letter and the slowness of the response arrival makes you really consider your letter more than you would a text or email. After writing you can also swap a photo (only if both penpals agree). I adore it.

Florence

I love these graphic novel styled games. This one is about a girl falling in love and the soundtrack and puzzles are sweet! I have quite a few of these styles of games and this one is very well done.

Adorable Home

The purpose of this game is to collect love. Your partner goes to work and you will collect love from your cat/s as well as from the weather, from your garden, and by making bento boxes for your partner’s work day. It’s so cute and almost an exact interpretation of my life, haha.

Qeepsake

This is a baby book app. It has journalling prompts with questions each day and you can attach a photo. Personally you can use this to journal about anyone (or any pet). I have a journal going for my daughters Beatrice and Colette. I love that I can look back on my answers to questions I wouldn’t have even considered writing about on my own. You can also pay to print a book of each person you kept a journal about. The entries are usually just little blurbs but they are special memory bites for your future reminiscent appetite.

Self Decoration

Miseducated Loves Selkie Clothing

05/14/2020

Selkie is one of my new favorite clothing brands. If you love babydoll dresses and Marie Antoinette then please be seated. As Selkie says, “Transform into your favourite dessert, float through parties like cotton candy. Everywhere you go people will stop you to compliment this little piece of heaven!”

The puff dress is inspired by the British dessert “Angel Delight” a light and frothy strawberry mousse, you will feel truly edible in this deliciously poofy girl. She’s one you will hand down forever. Incredibly flattering with a tight bust and forgiving skirt, the puff sleeves give the body a beautiful shape.

Design Your Life

Staycation: Create a Hotel At Home During Coronavirus Season

03/15/2020

Does the COVID-19 Coronavirus social distancing have you down about missing your spring break vacation or plans?

Bring them to you.

Decorate. And please bring some flowers in and have a tray of muffins in the kitchen for a bed and breakfast feel. Or have a tray of special snacks on your coffee table and decorate your living room like a motel. You can also pretend your living room hotel is anywhere: the beach, Disney World, France, space, Japan, decorate it accordingly.

Get these coasters and more at bando.
Beverly Hills Hotel Pillow By Floral Inferno

There must be a limit to how much Netflix and snacks a person can handle, which are reasons we all can enjoy a few fun activities to make our staycation even more splendid (and memorable).

This article is about actually blocking out a few days or a week of time to “be on vacation” at home. It’s not a list of things to do on regular days of social distancing.

1. Splurge on Meals

Often times when we’re on vacation we eat meals out but on this staycation we may need to order in if places are looking too busy. Look up your favorite restaurants on DoorDash or UberEats and order dinner or takeout.

You could also make a cooking date night and subscribe to Hello Fresh or Marly and Spoon for the week you plan your vacation.

Orange Juice vase from bando.

2. Host a Fancy Cocktail Party Or Themed Gathering for Housemates

Your vacation at home is probably one of the best times to have a fancy gathering with your best friends or family members. Why not go all out and make a whole decadent meal?

If you’re worried about this being a lot of work on your end, try a pot luck and invite others to help prep.

3. Be a Tourist

Most staycations are a great time to act like a tourist and go on an adventure exploring your hometown. If you are having your staycation during the period (now) of distance restrictions it would be best to go to the forest, nature parks, walks around non-crowded areas, etc. Pack a picnic, enjoy your time, take everything in. You may find new favorite spots!

Picnic in your own backyard, the forest, a meadow.

4. Break out the Games

Grab some cards or board games and sit at a table inside or outside and play. If you live alone, download a card game app (Uno, Exploding Kittens), or play a board game online. They even have board games on most gaming consoles. Play a few different types of games, nostalgic games that you’ve been missing or didn’t even know you liked!

5. Make Your Own Spa Day

Create your own Spa Day and make sure you have some epsom salts, essential oils, and candles. Treat yourself to a bubble bath with a cold glass of champagne or green tea and a book. Try a face mask. Exfoliate.

After your bath, turn the shower on hot and fill the room with steam. Breathe deep and relax.

If you’re living with someone you feel comfortable asking, ask to swap massages.

6. Get in the Holiday Spirit

Pretend it’s Christmas for a day and that you’re snowed in. Make hot chocolate, light some candles, decorate cookies. Cut snowflakes out of a few squares of white paper. Sing Christmas carols and watch a Christmas movie on tv. You could even have a holiday-staycation where each day is a holiday theme: New Year, Halloween (ex: swap the hot cocoa with cider, bob for apples, wear costumes, watch scary movies, spooky); Valentine’s day (make valentines and cookies, make strawberry sodas with strawberry ice cream, sprite and strawberry jam, hearts); Easter/Spring (hide eggs with either scavenger hunt notes OR treats, boil eggs and dye with food coloring, pastel colors)

Drinks and doodles while listening to records?

7. Camp In Your Backyard

Want to go camping but don’t want to be in a campground? Do it in your own backyard! You also have access to necessities and snacks. And bathrooms. Make a fire pit and roast marshmallows. Tell spooky stories. Count the stars.

Lounge outside and make it an event.

8. Go For a Crawl

If the travel restrictions lift, get together with a friend or your partner and explore your city by going on a crawl. Choose a theme for your crawl such as sampling the best tacos, donuts, beer, or pizza.

If you’re stuck inside, try a bunch of the candy, chips or teas in your house and rate them.

9. Get your DIY on

Try to learn to do a new craft or project you’ve been wanting to do. Make it a group effort and invite everyone over to work on the same type of project such as knitting, cooking, painting, even digital creations (laptop party!).

You could also plan to learn to do a project together such as friendship bracelets, painting wine glasses, making dream catchers, creating vision boards, etc.

10. Take an Online Class

Have something you’ve had on your to-do list to learn for quite awhile? Something you’ve been wanting to learn, do, create, or experience? There are all sorts of classes online where you can join with others and achieve your goals right from the comfort of your own bed!

A few great places to try:

“Vacation is a state of mind – you don’t have to actually leave your house to get that same relaxed, never-leaving-this-room-again feeling you get in a hotel room. These products will help you recreate that feeling, whether you’re on your way to paradise or bringing paradise to you.”

ban.do?