Beauty Week: Passport to Beauty

Beauty is one of those words that is truly universal.  No matter the translation or interpretation, it’s understood and appreciated.  Author and beauty expert, Shalini Vhadera wrote the book, Passport to Beauty, for us all to release our inner “Global Goddess”.  In it, she reveals beauty secrets of women around the world.  Conveniently, they can all be done in your own kitchen.

  1. In Greece, women (aka original goddesses) grind the pits of their famous olives, add them to olive oil and use the mix as a full body scrub to cleanse and remove dead skin.
  2. Japanese use sake (when they’re not throwing it back ;-)) to exfoliate and to fade dark spots.  They also take the line “drink your bathwater” to another level, adding it to their tub time as a way to detox the body.
  3. Here in the US, Georgia peaches rub their state fruit (high in vitamin C) on their faces to give their skin a youthful glow.  So that’s Nene’s secret….?
  4. The chicas in Chile rejuvenate with a grape and flour mask on their face and/or body.
  5. Indian spices go a long way.  One of their secrets is a mix tamarack and yogurt to prevent stretch marks.  Perfect for all the mamas-to-be.
  6. The mujeres in Mexico keep their hands intact by mixing lemon juice with sugar and scrubbing away.  I guess an alternative would be dabbing a little lemonade in any problem areas hehe.

Effective, quick and simple secrets.  All sound like winners to me.  For more, start trekking around the globe to search and discover….or just get your copy of Passport to Beauty

Cherry Blossom Week: Sakura Sunday


       Today was Philadelphia’s big day for the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Sakura Sunday, the cultural peak of the week, finally arrived and brought a few surprises.  As I mentioned in earlier posts of the fest, I anticipated a day of flower-gawking, punctuated with small activities (I so was ready for some origami and calligraphy).  Well, somewhere along the road I missed the memo that the anime industry has a HUGE following here and events like these virtually serve as mini conventions for all its enthusiasts.  So, the day turned out to be a character-chasing extravaganza.  Here are just a few.

These nice ladies below were the first we noticed in costume.  They said the reason for their attire was “just something to do”.  Ok…DSCN9615

Sailor Mars.  She was costume number two spotted.  Still hadn’t clicked yet.


These were made from scratch.  By this point, it was clear.DSCN9621

More variety…

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Inspired by “My Little Pony”.


And of course, a little vending.

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We did finally get some flower qt.

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Fun times.  The end 🙂

Cherry Blossom Week: Ikebana Origami


Origami is the Japanese art of folding.  Ikebana is a Japanese art of flower arranging that focuses greatly on the stem and leaves of a plant.  Some styles are based on the scalene triangle, representing heaven, earth and man.  Individually, both forms of art are eye-pleasing and crafted with perfection.  When the two are merged, they make much more than the origami paper planes we all used to create in 5th grade.  See below.

Ikebana Arrangements:


Not quite Ikebana but it’s a killer shot.

Ikebana Origami Babies

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Love ’em 🙂

Cherry Blossom Week: Dancing Machines

     Included in the lineup of events is a segment of dance called Nihon Buyo.  Translated, it means “Japanese Classical Dance”.  The performance, one of the few forms of Japanese art not reflecting everyday life, is a mix of drama, dance and music.  This is the time to get dolled up with flawless makeup and decked out in rare silks.  Men, women and children can all take the stage to take part in this modern form of expresssion.  Here are clips.

Lady Luck:

Little guys:

So cute!  Thanks for reading 🙂

Cherry Blossom Festival Week

Japanese Tea House

Spring is officially here (yessssss!).  The air is different, along with the shades of nature.  ‘Tis the season of outdoor events.  Right on time is the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  Cherry Blossoms are highly regarded in Japanese culture and were gifted to many nations as a token of friendship.  In the US, they were primarily planted in Manhattan, Newark, Philadelphia, Washington D.C. and San Diego.  Now that they’re in full bloom, it’s time to relish in their pops of pale pink.  The festivals are full of cultural insight – much more than flowers.  They exhibit everything from tea ceremonies to kimonos.  But for now, here are shots of the flowers themselves in the few cities fortunate enough to be home to their roots.

Central Park, NY

Central Park, NY

New Jersey


Washington D.C.

San Diego

Wherever you are, take a moment to stop and smell the florals 😉

Music Week: Hip Hop Obsession in Japan

Today, I was so ready to insert  a Throwback Thursday musical tribute.  But out popped this video…oh this video.  I’ll let you watch then give my opinion.


Black Lifestyle!!!

Initially, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud.  Then, I didn’t know what to feel.  Should I be flattered?  Should I stage an intervention for the B-Gyaru girls (j/k)?  Is this stereotype insulting?  Finally, I had to say, “whatever makes you happy…”  They’re following a trend, as many of us do and some of them wear it well.  I don’t find it insulting.  Hip Hop/R&B are widely known genres of music and in some countries, stand as the only perception its inhabitants have of Black culture.  Apart from that, one short video is never enough to formulate an educated opinion on any subject.  I would love to hear from anyone that has more first-hand knowledge of the ‘Black/B-Gyaru Lifestyle’.  Please comment if you do!  Thanks 🙂