So I got a new microwave oven last few weeks upon returning from Japan, which I'm still wondering what my motivation was. Found myself eye-ing several microwaves from different brands sometime ago but couldn't really bring myself to actually buy one, since I don't really trust my judgement when it comes to kitchen supplies. (i.e. do you know microwave and microwave oven are two different things and function?!)

So when Mum was in town, I got to bring her around and let her pick one for me. I wanted one that's convenient enough for my tight schedule (reheating food, ahem) but not so useless that I can't do anything with it!

Settled with one that suits my budget. Whatsapp-ed him the picture with a caption "this is what your kitchen microwave would look like in the future" just to freak him out a bit.

  "Frozen ready meals" YESS.

So last few days had been microwave-recipe research activity for me, as I'd like to call it. Googled some recipes with chicken (it can't be only roasted chicken, now would it?) and turns out so many things can be done (and eat) by just using this magic equipment.

For instance..I tried some.

  It's supposed to be honey roasted chicken, but I've cut the chicken open so this is how it looks like. The picture just doesn't do it justice ok?!

 Chicken and tomato topped potatoes. Got the recipe from here, altered a bit since I don't have sour cream. Tasted good enough nonetheless!

Now I'm still experimenting with some other microwave-friendly recipes I can find on net, but one of my colleagues advised that it's not really good to cook using microwave. Is it true? Because I thought eliminating cooking oil means healthier food :/

Maybe I should just use the "frozen ready meals" function.

What's a Japan trip without a visit to the most romantic city in Japan?

I wanted to bring Mum to Yokohama since a long time ago and was considering between the city and Mount Fuji (which has the most spectacular nature scene! See amazing photos here) cause going to Tokyo, Mount Fuji and Yokohama all at once is exhausting - you'd have to opt for buses too, instead of trains. And I knew that would be exhausting for Mum too, unless we hire a taxi or driver to take us there.

So opted for Yokohama instead. I shall see you next time, Mount Fuji. Sobs.

Bribed Mum with all the Ferris wheel, theme park and "amazing-scene-by-the-sea-you-won't-wanna-miss-it" stuff. She loves happening place with crowd, it's a given she'd love Tokyo.

And turns out she loves Yokohama too!

 Queen's Mall at Minato Mirai.

Went on Landmark Tower for the second time.

 View from the top!

 Lol takde keje. But I'd like a pair of Onitsuka Tiger someday too, once I could embrace the sneakers side of me.

 The shirt I bought him.

 Hard Rock Cafe Yokohama!

 Had lunch at a Japanese restaurant all the way on 7th floor. Overseeing the Cosmo World so we could see the park and Ferris wheel!

Last pose at Minato Mirai.

Spent a few hours there and by evening we were walking too much I gave in - went back to the hotel to get some rest. I don't know how I survive wearing heels there, but got through 5 days without flats!

By 5, we went out again to Harajuku. Wanted to take pictures of Mum with some Japanese chick dressed as Sailormoon or Hello Kitty-inspired but no one was hyped enough to dress that crazy that day pfft.

 Crazy cool car.

 Harajuku street.

 In the middle of Harajuku, thinking whether I should get that chocolate strawberry crepe when he took this.

Hopped on the train and went to Tokyo Station to take a look at the new outerior design they've completed - but went to different entrance -____-" Next time, if you want to visit Tokyo Station look for Marunouchi entrance/exit. We walked all the way to the opposite side only to find this pfft.

Got all grumpy so I needed my comfort food. Which means Saizeriya.

 Good salad, variety of drinks, seafood. Bliss. Had these the last time!

After days of having washoku, I could use a western-ish meal. Saizeriya is the best restaurant for that other than Joyful, so if you're craving for some pizza and fries amongst the sashimi and sushi, look for these restaurants. Good price too!

My friends are few, but that's o.k
cos when you're around it all just fades away..

Since my birthday this year is in conjunction with my second year of working mark, I decided to get myself a little treat.

That comes in a form of a pair of best quality flats.

Been browsing the net looking for a pair of flats for a while now, since I started working and realized those heels just aren't practical if you're working in an environment where meeting rooms are at the end of the corridor or even in different blocks, and your superior room is not conveniently right beside yours; a pair of comfortable shoes is crucial for your sanity.  

Doesn't help that you have to take stairs sometimes when your colleagues decided they want to be healthy and fit and all "let's exercise and take the stairs!" and you decided you need to be healthy too by taking the stairs more frequently.

So when we were in Shinjuku, we brought Mum to Shinjuku's Isetan there just for the sake of it. I mean, we went to Takashimaya like a thousand times already and we remember the stores by heart (literally) so we figured this time it ought to be different.

Different it is. I found the flats I've been looking for.

The moment I saw and tried it on, I knew I wanted to have it. I mean, I'm not really a flats person (you can count flats I own by just using one finger) and I know I won't be wearing it regularly so it'd be my go-to flats whenever I feel like I need some break from the wedges and heels; but as far as flats go, I'd like some height on it even if it's that extra 1 cm espadrille compared to Ferragamo Varina flats. Tried a few Varinas on, but they gave me blisters to no end.

  The only one that doesn't give me blisters!

Asked the nice salesgirl for my size, and she brought one out for me. Tried it on and smiled to myself, about to give the girl my credit card.

Then he asked me,

"Do you really like it?"
"You really really like it?"
"Ok, consider it your birthday present this year"  

And he proceeded to the salesgirl to pay. I was like..who are you and what did you do to my boyfriend?!

Hehe. But now I'm thinking did I get so lucky.

Scheduled to reach Haneda Airport almost midnight, so he took a flight from Fukuoka earlier to fetch us at the airport.

We took a hotel near to Haneda for the sake of easy transportation since Mum is coming too, and we didn't want her to hop on and off trains a lot. Sunline Kamata was on a discount rate compared to others and considering how close it is to the airport (took a 20-min bus ride, walked a bit from Kamata Station to the hotel) we figured it's the best choice since we didn't want to spend much money on hotels but rather on other things. Knowing Japan, almost all hotels (low and higher rate) are at par with best quality hotels - it's up to you to know which one suits your needs best.

(Also, please make sure your hotel got wifi. This hotel doesn't have one. I KNOW, I barely survived there)

Had a good night sleep (bless Japan and its comfortable beds) and ready for the next day. Took Mum to Asakusa (been there last trip) cause she wants to see everything Japanese - temple and sorts. Yes, quite demanding, the mother.

 Bought one piece of this adorable outfit for baby niece! Though she still refused to put it on -___-"

 Sensoji Temple.

My two favorite people in the world.

 Of course we had takoyaki, what else.

Next stop was Tokyo Skytree!

Recently opened, it was completed in Feb 2012 so it was our first time visiting the observation tower. Very near to Asakusa as you can just take the Tobu line straight to the place. Last time I went on a tower was Landmark Tower in Yokohama and Tokyo Tower, so I was looking forward to see the hype.

And of course..the shopping mall.

 So many people :O Oh well, what else is new.
Had lunch at one of the many restaurants on 7th floor. Had the shock of my life when we discovered the queue lines outside each restaurant; we had to wait for almost 20 minutes to be seated.


Didn't spend much time at the tower since the tickets were already sold out for the day, so we headed to my favorite place.

 Brought Mum to Shibuya!

 Shibuya crossing.

 Managed to grab a seat at the famous Shibuya Starbucks which faces the remarkable crossing. Had to wait for a while cause God, I think it's out day for everyone in Tokyo.

 Must-go place, Shibuya 109.

Managed to buy some tops there cause I knew I'd regret not buying anything - I've always refrained from buying anything whenever we went there as they are so overpriced, but secretly I really love the stores. So Japanese chic, so cute, so lovely however ridiculously overpriced they are. A top can cost up to 7000+ yen!

Couldn't walk much further cause we were worried that it would be tiring for Mum, so decided to just walk around the Shibuya 109 area. Reminded me of those times when he took me there a few years ago; young and impressionable and naive. 

After years, Shibuya is still my favorite place.


my brain dump.