Modern Love: Ero-Guro Art at the Honolulu Museum of Art

Good evening, Darlings!

Today I ventured out to the Honolulu Museum of Art, to check out their new exhibit "Modern Love", featuring several ero and ero-guro artists. The exhibit runs until March 2015.

I have been waiting for months for this exhibit to open, since I found out they'd be featuring one of my favourite manga-ka, Suehiro Maruo.

With my copy of Shoujo Tsubaki, a Maruo cult classic.
My first exposure to Suehiro Maruo was on Tumblr about five years ago. Though I was initially repelled by the gruesome art style and scenes it depicted, it slowly entranced me. Shoujo Tsubaki became my personal favourite, and I have even cosplayed the main character, Midori.

As Midori, at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii.
After my obsession with Maruo, my curiosity for guro manga led me to the cult classic "Litchi Hikari Club", theatre productions from Tokyo Grand Guignol, and various other 'grotesque' artists.

Without further ado, let me tell you a bit about the exhibit at HMA.

The exhibit is closed off by a rolling red screen door, since it is an 18+ exhibit. The walls are decorated with life-size prints from shunga paintings, with framed works by individual artists, and sometimes, related manga books in shadow boxes on display. On the walls, there are iPads loaded with the manga translated in English, so you can read the chapters.

A wall featuring the manga "Sakuran", a popular erotic manga that is also a successful film starring Anna Tsuchiya.

Aside from the Maruo collection, one of my favourite installments was this shadowbox featuring candid snapshots of girls, called "Tokyo Amour".

The artist, Yonehara Yasumasa was apparently a longtime resident of the Harajuku district of Tokyo, and has been actively involved in promoting Japanese street fashion and Harajuku culture. Some of his work will be featured in the upcoming exhibit Harajuku: Tokyo Street Fashion (November 2015-April 2016). This exhibit will also feature an original piece from the shironuri artist Minori. I can hardly wait until it finally opens! 

Yonehara Yasumasa's Tokyo Amour.
The Maruo collection left me speechless. There were eight frames of raw manga pages by the artist, mistakes, rough speech bubbles, and all.

There was also an iPad loaded with an explanation of the story, and some of the repeated symbolism in Maruo's works. It was very interesting to listen to, even as a fan familiar with his work.

After I walked around the rest of the museum, I popped into the gift shop to see if there were any Maruo goodies for sale. Though they only stocked basic books on Shunga and Ukiyo-e, I did find an interesting assortment of books on Japanese Street Fashion and Kawaii culture. I bet they're preparing for their upcoming J-fashion exhibit next year.

I picked up this one, which included a spread on the Harajuku Fashion Walks, as well as the history of Kawaii Culture.

And speaking of J-fashion, here was my outfit of the day. I decided to go casual Loli, since it was just my husband and I.

I really love my dot shantung Innocent World JSK.
Afterwards, my husband and I were really hungry, so we went to our favourite Hot Pot place on this island: Sweet Home Cafe. One of the best parts of eating at Sweet Home Cafe, is that when you're finished they treat you to a complimentary shaved ice dessert.

Yay, coffee jelly!
On the way home from our adventure, we saw a double rainbow cross right over us on the highway, and it was very bright! What better way to wrap up the day?

It's days like this that I believe the phrase, "Lucky We Live Hawaii".

Xoxo, your Kawaii in Hawaii Lolita Cherie. 

30 Days of Loli: Style Icons

We all have fashion inspirations, whether it be a band, movie star, or even a favourite blogger.

In the realm of Lolita, the latter is particularly important. There's many Lolita communities online where you can see people's daily coordinates as they post them. Some resources are Livejournal, Tumblr, and Lookbook. Often, Japanese lolitas will post on their personal blogs such as Ameblo or Yaplog.

Personally, I don't keep up much with other bloggers. Part of it is my shyness. I don't feel comfortable posting my pictures just anywhere, where my outfit is up for discussion.

As such, many of my style icons are artists, musicians, and others, rather than personal bloggers.

Without further ado, here are my current Top 10 Style Icons!

(Oddly enough, I kept this post from the last time I did this meme! You can check it out, and see how my influences have changed here.)

1. The art of Mitsukazu Mihara.

Mitsukazu Mihara has frequently illustrated covers for the Gothic Lolita Bible. Her characters have served as models for early hair and makeup tutorials. Some of her manga has also been serialized in the publication.

I love her artwork because it has an air of nostalgia, bringing me back to old school Lolita and its roots in visual kei. I enjoy her darker take on the style, and recently it has strongly influenced my aesthetic in coordinates.

Though I'd like to talk more about her, and some other Lolita artists, I'd like to save that for another post about my favourite Lolita art.

2. Sachi and Yuka of Kokusyoku Sumire.

This iconic duo comprises the enka-meets-Lolita musical group of Kokusyoku Sumire, meaning "Everlasting Violet" in Japanese. Their style ranged anywhere from stage costumes, to gothic aristocrat, to traditional Japanese coordinates harkening back to the Taisho Era. For their elegant and strange style, they are some of my fashion icons.

3. Mana of Moi Dix Moi and Malice Mizer; designer of Moi-Meme-Moitie.

Known as the 'granddaddy of Lolita', I always thought Mana was a little overrated. However, the older I get, I look back on his clean designs and bold pops of colour and find myself more and more fond of his designs. Additionally, I adore his porcelain-perfect face and crisp, clean makeup. Often, with makeup that dramatic, you can tell it is unnatural. However, with Mana, he just always seems to have a perfectly painted face! If only for his picturesque makeup, that is something I strive to emulate.

4. Uri / Oyasuminasai123

Uri is a frequent inhabitant of Harajuku, often popping up in Street Snaps and Shironuri events. When I first saw Uri, he was wearing this shironuri and kodona mashup.

This Street Snap had a huge impact on my personal style. First of all, it was the image that first pushed me to try Shironuri fashion. Later on down the line, it inspired me to try Shironuri mash-ups with Lolita...

Before an event at Kawaiikon 2014.

... As well as Kodona.

During a Hawaii Harajuku Fashion Walk.

Outside of Shironuri, Uri also coordinates a variety of kodona and decora outfits I find very inspiring. He has a keen eye for textures, colours and detail that speak to me. His passion for trying things outside of the box will always remind me why I love Harajuku culture. 

5 and 6. Akira, and Intetsu

Akira got her big break as a model for Kera magazine. She is most known for her boyish look and attitude, and her blonde highlighted visual-kei hair style. She has also modelled for Sex Pot Revenge, Boku magazine, and is the frontman in her own rock band. She often models Ouji and Aristocratic styles for Alice and the Pirates.

Intetsu is the bassist of Ayabie, now disbanded and/or on hiatus (long story). He has also modelled for Alice and the Pirates ads, and participated in fashion shows and brand-sponsored tea parties.

Both of them are absolutely fabulous in boy style, from head to toe. If I didn't have curves and could pull off boy style, I would strive to emulate their perfection. Though I don't wear boystyle as often as girl style, I still hold them highly as fashion icons.

Akira and Intetsu at a Baby, the Stars Shine Bright/ Alice and the Pirates fashion show.

7. Fairy Tale Characters

Channeling my inner "Belle" from Beauty and the Beast (left).

Often, when I am getting dressed in Lolita, I try to think of the "character" or persona I am expressing through my clothes. It may be the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, or a Witch, or a Magical Girl. 

Though not technically a fashion "icon", fairy tales play a huge inspiration in the outfits I put together.

My "White Rabbit" coordinate featuring Putumayo, Atelier Pierrot and Miho Matsuda.

8. Pop-Culture Icons

Every once in a while, I'll try to "Lolitafy" an anime or video game character. Sometimes it is to hang out with my friends, who are dressed as someone from the same series.

For example, in Nagoya I would often go out with my friend as "Miku" and I would be "Luka", two populsr Vocaloids. Though we weren't literally cosplaying, it was fun to come up with our own interpretations of the characters.

9. My Friends

When going out, I almost always consult my closest Lolita friends to see what they will be wearing. Together, we will usually decide on a theme, like "Trick or Treaters", or a brand, or a colour.

This is a great fall-back plan if you are feeling particularly uninspired that day, haha. Talking to my friends really gets my creative juices flowing!

Not to mention, my friends have impeccable taste, haha.

10. Last but not least, I feel obligated to mention Misako Aoki. 

Not only is she Japan's "Kawaii" Ambassador, but she embodies everything that I feel Lolita should be. She is mild-mannered, kind, and always perfectly coordinated from head-to-toe. She takes good care of herself, always appearing with soft, understated makeup and not a hair out of place. I also enjoy seeing her casual/"soft" Lolita and otome/"maiden" styles, with designs from brands like Milk and Emily Temple Cute.

Though personally, I don't dress in sweet very often, I try to take a page out of her book and present myself with grace while in Lolita. I try to wear the right amount of accessories and makeup without overdoing it, and always tweak my outfit until it is "just right". It is hard to explain what this level of balance is. I suppose it's when every accessory and hint of makeup serves a purpose in your outfit, without overpowering it.

For learning to recognize this balance and strive to achieve that aesthetic, I idolize Misako.

... whew, that was a little bit harder than I thought it would be! Though the world of Lolita is wider than it ever was before, that makes it harder to single out a few exceptional people that have made an impact on me. 

Lately, I have been spending more time in the Shironuri genre and mixing it with Lolita, experimenting rather than strictly following examples. Maybe for this reason too, it is harder for me to recall specific style icons. 

If anything, I hope that one day people will recognize the appeal of Shironuri and Lolita, and how it makes colours pop and drama intensify. Maybe one day, I will be someone's style inspiration... though that is not very likely, since like I said before, I never post my outfits, haha.

Me, as a Shironuri fawn in a Lolita dress I made. 

Xoxo, rambling insomniac Cherie. 

30 Days of Loli: 10 Things I Need in Lolita

Gokigenyou, darlings!

Sorry for the brief delay, I took a couple days off from blogging for work and the holidays. I hoped to do this entry on Thanksgiving, and tie it in with "Things I'm Thankful For" in Lolita, but I suppose it's not too late for that.

When I think about Lolita, and things I "Need", I think about a lot of current wants that align with my mood, aesthetic, or trends. But when I try to narrow it down to fundamental things I'll always need, or that completely changed my approach to Lolita, the bulk of it ended up being cosmetics.

For me, Lolita is a total transformation, from hair to makeup to how I carry myself. With that in mind, I wrote today's entry, "10 Things I Can't Live Without in Lolita".

1. Colour Contacts/Circle Lenses.

Geo's "Nudy Angel" series.

There are some discrepancies on the safety of circle lenses. I've been using them for about four years and have never had problems, but I always buy them from a trusted retailer like Pinky Paradise or Honey Color.

I use circle lenses in everything from cosplay, to shironuri, and absolutely in Lolita. They add an air of enchantment that take the outfit up a notch, to another character, or pulling together the colours in an outfit. They also make a dramatic impact in photo shoots, or even photos at meet-ups.

My personal favourites are the Geo Nudy Angel series, in grey, green, and blue.

Me, wearing Geo Nudy Angel in Blue. 

2. False eyelashes.

Spring Heart lashes, available at Donki in Hawaii.

Like circle lenses, false lashes add that extra "oomph" to your outfit and make your eyes pop in photos. Though natural looks are always okay, I personally prefer the dramatic effect of a well-coordinated lash. I usually look for something not too heavy, but with some fullness.

My personal favourites are the Japanese brand "Spring Heart". I like them not only for their cute lash shapes, but also for their amazing glue! A sample size is usually included in each pair of lashes.

Tip: Whenever I get a new pair of lashes, I always try them on and clip them with scissors so they are just the right length. It helps keep them in place better and accentuate the natural shape of your eye.

Me, wearing some Spring Heart eyelashes.

3. Wigs.

I love wigs!!

Personally, I was always insecure about my hair because of its unruly texture, hard to coordinate colour, and frizz that would refuse to die. Discovering wigs changed my life, confidence in my outfit, and the range of outfits I could do.

My favourite wig brands are Priscilla and Gothic Lolita Wigs.

With my friend, Gina. I'm wearing GLW's retired "Lady Grace" style. 

4. Head gear.

As stupid as it sounds, there is nothing sadder than a Lolita without anything on her head. Even if you're wigging it, at least add a simple side bow, beret, top hat, anything!

If you don't have the matching headbow to an outfit, or a bunch of "brand" accessories lying around, have no fear! Never underestimate the power of a single rose clip from your favourite store to boost your outfit's impact.

A single rose clip saved my outfit!

I am also an advocate of hand-made items, so an original rose crown, headbow, or hairclip would always be a great addition!

5. Too Faced's "The Secret to 'No Makeup' Makeup" Palette. 

To achieve the perfect, dewy and rosy look of Lolita, look no further than this palette. It also includes a handy-dandy pamphlet with an introductory, easy-to-understand guide to simple contouring and highlighting, essential for the perfect doll-like face of Lolita.

My only criticism is that this only comes in a very light skin tone. 

6. Purikura.

We don't always have time to do full-on photo shoots, and trying to snag a selfie with everyone at a meetup could be difficult. 

That's why I find purikura essential! It's a simple and fun passtime as an addition to a meet-up. It's basically a large photobooth that everyone can help choosing backgrounds for, posing in, and decorating! 

I normally like to decorate the photos around the theme for the day, such as an outfit, twinning, or where we had our meetup.

Twinning in Honey Cake, in Nagoya.

7. Support. 

In Lolita; especially when first starting; you can be the most confident person there is, and still feel self-doubt when you step outside the door. What helped the most was knowing that I had friends and family to support me. That didn't really happen until I moved back to Hawaii, and discovered the local community here.

I remember trembling when I first went out in Lolita, and how fast my heart beat. These days, it just feels like my regular clothes, thanks to the support I've had from friends and family.

Other than that, there really isn't much in Lolita I "can't live without". My tastes are always changing and evolving. I could say that confidence is essential, but even that isn't true. I am one of the least confident people I know, who somehow managed to like herself through Lolita and embracing my own aesthetics and self-expression.

In Lolita, you can make or purchase anything you would like to be in on the style and culture. The truly essential things will vary from person to person, but honestly the most important things will always be friends to support you, and belief in your own creativity to make what characters and outfit you imagine a reality.

Xoxo, Cherie

30 Days of Loli: 10 Things from my Wishlist

Aloooooha, Darlings!

This is your Dir-en-grey-obsessed, Merlot-drinking author, Cherie!

I'm starting to wonder if this 30 Day Lolita Challenge is meant to be done consecutively in days back-to-back, because honestly, it is looking a little obsessive haha.

But there have been some positive side effects of looking at my blog more. For one thing, I've deleted some irrelevant entries and cleaned up tags, and also added a handy-dandy Tag List in the side bar. Now by referencing those links, you can see My Coordinates, Event Reports, Live Reports (concerts), and more.

I am actually a little behind on Concert reports, with two big shows to tell you about. The first was a 5-man live at Takadanobaba Area, which included Kaya, Lycaon, Cocklobin, Ambergris, and Art Cube. The second was a Kyary Pamyu Pamyu concert here at the Waikiki Shell. Hopefully I can get those up soon, maybe on a day I feel like taking a break from this meme.

Today's theme errs on the materialistic side... 10 Things From My Wishlist!

Some things are specific, others not so much. I haven't lusted after a particular print in a long time, so that has something to do with it.

Anyways, let's get started!

1. "That" Beauty:Beast Bag

I have no idea what it's called, I only know that it is made by the Japanese brand beauty:beast. I've tracked it down on Y!J Auctions, Mbok and reference pictures on Poupee Girl, but have never snagged one for myself.

It's basically a fancy messenger bag, with all of those belted pockets in the front.

I always loved the gothic, but refined design, but bumped it to the top of my wishlist when I saw Kyo from Dir en grey carrying one in an old Kera Street Snap.

Can you believe that's Kyo? 

The bag comes in several colours and embossments, but I think my favourites are the plain black or red.

2. Metamorphose's Hospitality Doll and Engelsbeginn Sets

I've always been a sucker for Metamorphose's "Hospitality Doll"/Nurse sets, and even owned the pink one a few years ago. Unfortunately I fell on financial issues and had to auction it off, but oh how I wish I still had it. If I had a redeemable coupon for any one Lolita set, that would be it. I hope to someday collect the matching agenda covers, shoes, makeup bags and purses that go with it.

3. A long, bustled Atelier Pierrot Jsk.

I fell in love with Atelier's long white Jsk while I was planning my wedding. Originally, I was going to have a Lolita themed after party with this dress, but it kept slipping through my fingers. I'd still hope to own this dress one day for a vow renewal, or maybe in red, black, or blue just for anytime use.

4. A floor-length/long black corset skirt.

In the style of Excentrique or Atelier Pierrot... the perfect staple to a gothic wardrobe I have yet to acquire.

5. A Triple Fortune Bonnet

Though I've learned to make hard bonnets myself, you just can't top the extravagance of a Triple Fortune Bonnet!

6. Metamorphose's "Dolly Crown" Velveteen Jsk in green.

I love this colour, this cut, this embroidery... I love everything about this dress, but only in that exquisite and rare emerald hue.

7. Innocent World's Rose Panel Jsk

This has been on my wish list for a very long time, but I never come across it. I did find it once while I was in Japan, but it was in awful condition as if it had been run through a washing machine several times. :/ So sadly, the search continues.

8. Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Trianon OP

How long have I pined for this dress?? Probably as long as it is old, haha. As a chiffon addict, and a fan of long sleeves, I simply need this.

9. Baby, the Stars Shine Bright Charlotte Baniran Jsk in Red

I just adore how Princessy and classy this Jsk is. I also love red (and jewel tones in general) in Lolita. Plus, dem pintucks!!

10. Anything dramatic.

I love things that are refined, but unusual. Whether it's a classy pair of heels encrusted in gold glitter, or a solid colour Jsk with tons of pintucks, I love things which speak to their own quality. I'm not such a big fan of prints or patterns, unless they're leopard print, stripes, polkadots, or kimono prints. As for spinning fairy wonderland cupcakes, eh, you won't have to fight me off of that at an auction.

I love rich, decadent and unique clothing that I can use in several different ways. That's why, if you ever see my real wish list, it's overflowing with simple but sophisticated pieces by Excentrique and Atelier Pierrot. 

As for J-brands outside of Lolita, I also love Qutie Frash, Ozz-On, and Takuya Angel. 

That's all for now, shopaholics. ;)

Xoxo, slightly tipsy wine connoisseur Cherie.  

30 Days of Loli: 10 Foods I Like

I may be a Loli, but you won't catch me eating Pocky.

Bonjour, Darlings!

Here we are, chugging along on the blog train thanks to my superfluous amount of free time. In case you missed the past two days, I'm knocking out the 30 Day Lolita Challenge, which I started a few years ago and never finished!

Today's prompt is especially exciting to me, because not gonna lie, I like to eat. xD

It's time for... 10 of my Favourite Foods! And hang on to your seats, because being from Hawaii, there'll be a little bit of everything on here.

In Hawaii, there is something we call a "Mixed Plate". It's about a lunch sized portion, with foods from the different ethnic backgrounds in Hawaii. It can have a little bit of Chinese food, Filipino food, Japanese food, of course Hawaiian food, and so on. Some people say America is a "melting pot"? In Hawaii, we call ourselves a "Mixed Plate". As such, the foods you see here may be from several different countries, or a conglomerate of ethnic flavours we call "local" food.

Now... release the food porn!!

1. Lihing Mango

This is my favourite crack--I mean snack! It's sweet, salty, chewy, and stains your fingers red because of the lihing powder. Not very safe for Lolita, but great to throw in your bag for work, school, or beach.

You can also buy lihing powder in the stores. It's great on fresh pineapple, or pretty much any fruit! I even sprinkle some on my Dole Whip (pineapple soft-serve) when I get some.

2. Curry!

Gah, I love Curry! Especially Japanese curry. I had to clarify, because there's several types of curry available in Hawaii. But my favourite savory flavor is Japanese curry, like they serve at our local Coco Ichibanya. (Their recipe is a secret, but I think I've made a better one!)

Not to brag, but I'm sort of a pro at making my own curry from scratch. I don't like to use the curry roux/bricks you find at the supermarket, because it is mostly oil and not that healthy. So, I decided to experiment and combine my favourite parts of several recipes. I'll often make a big batch so we have leftovers for lunch and dinner all week. And if you're tired of just curry over rice, you can 'dilute' it in some home made dashi broth and serve it as a soup/stew over soba or udon noodles.

My secret ingredients are grated Fuji apples, and a little bit of red wine. I also love to add locally grown veggies like sweet potatoes.

However, Thai Curry is also delicious, but a little creamier since it is usually made with coconut milk. I only really eat it if I'm going out for a nice dinner with my husband. Two of the best places (I know of) to get Thai Curry in Hawaii are Souvaly Thai and Opal's.

Red and Yellow Curry from Souvaly Thai.
3. Korean food

Though really, my favourites are Bibimbap and the little kimchi dishes they serve before the meal.

Did you know, all kimchi dishes are served in odd numbers, because even numbers are bad luck?

Bibimbap is basically mixed julienned veggies, barbecued meat (usually beef, but I request chicken) and an over-easy egg on a bed of white rice. I love it because it's got choke (a lot of) veggies and it's ono (delicious)!

Bibimbap and assorted kimchee from Mililani Barbecue.

4. Chinese Food

My husband is half Chinese, so I learned to love Chinese food. I only eat it on special occasions, because it usually requires a lot of oil to cook, and I try to eat healthy.

When my husband's grandma came to visit us, she taught me recipes she learned living in Taiwan, such as dumplings and green onion pancake. I also like to make Mapo Tofu, but modify it to be a little bit healthier (using ground turkey instead of minced pork, etc.)

I also love kailan ("Chinese Broccoli") with oyster sauce, and all kinds of dim sum!

In my humble opinion, the best place for Chinese food on Oahu is Little Village Noodle House in Chinatown.

5. Japanese Food

How could I get away without listing Japanese food? It is my favourite cuisine. There are lots of recipes filled with fish and vegetables, and it is very fresh here. 

Though I'm pretty non-discriminatory with Japanese cuisine, my favourite is admittedly sushi and zaru soba. When I was a student in Japan, I practically lived off the kaiten (revolving) sushi restaurant across the street from my apartment.

Did you know that sushi started as a low-class food? I learned that when I watched a documentary called "Jiro Dreams of Sushi". Here, there are restaurants that charge $18+ a roll for sushi! Yet it used to be sold in food stalls on the streets!

I, am not wealthy enough to pay $18 a plate for sushi. I usually get my sushi from the local kaiten sushi places, my personal favourite being Kuru Kuru Sushi in Aiea. 

Though if you'd like a mid-ranged bento of sushi and many other Japanese foods, the food court and beer garden at Shirokiya is where you want to go.

An ahi nigiri and zaru soba bento from Shirokiya. 
Uh oh, I am getting hungry all ready...

6. Pho

Though I'm not well-versed on Vietnamese cuisine, I have a love for Pho. It's a light and refreshing rice noodle soup served with all kinds of vegetables, and garnishes such as peppers, mint leaves, lemon wedges and a variety of sauces.

My personal favourite is a vegetable Pho with thin slices of tofu, or sometimes shrimp Pho. But it's often served with a beef-base broth and thick slices of meat.

Fun fact: "Pho" is said to come from the French word "feu", meaning fire- perhaps because it was made in a pot over the fire. However nowadays, at least in Hawaii it is pronounced "fu", as in "fun" or "F*ck yeah!" So when I saw a restaurant called "Pho King", I found it pretty hilarious.

Side note: Pho is the best Hangover food.

7. Anything from Downbeat Diner!

Our go-to spot after a night of partying in Chinatown. They often have live bands next door at Downbeat Lounge. 

I love their vegan options! My all-time favourite is their Vegan BLAT ("Bacon", lettuce, avocado, tomato). As if to spite me, my husband orders The Carnivore. 

Coincidentally, they make a bad-ass Bloody Mary as well, when they host Sunday Brunch.

8. Macarons

Finally, something Lolita, they cry!

The truth is, I don't have much of a sweet tooth, except for two things: Macarons and Froyo.

There are a couple places to get French Macarons on Oahu, my favourite being La Tour Cafe

However you can also get them from Sugarlina Bakery and Cake Works (Where I got my wedding cake from). 

The spread at Sugarlina Bakeshop in Aiea.

9. Froyo

... especially Dole Pineapple whip, a sorbet-like delicacy you can only get at the Dole Plantation or at certain places downtown. Sometimes Menchies, my favourite build-your-own-froyo restaurant has Dole Pineapple whip "on tap", but it's gone in a flash. 

Dole Whip at Ala Moana Center.
10. Adventure!

Okay, so it's not a food. But I'm going to be honest here... there was a point in my life when I wouldn't eat anything, except maybe five or six specific foods. It was part of a super hardcore dieting and exercising thing I was doing, and while I was super thin, it was dangerous. I wouldn't let myself even have plain rice or more than a slice of wheat bread in a day. I was even vegan, but not for moral reasons, but because I was so driven to lose more and more weight. 

That is no way to live. When I moved to Japan, I was forced to try new things as a source of protein, such as yogurt, real soy milk, fish, and eggs. Though not completely "healed", I allowed myself to experiment with new foods and really enjoyed them. I got to try sweets like Taiyaki, dango, and soft serve ice cream, which I would have never allowed myself to have before.

Finally, I came back to Hawaii and met my husband. When we started going out, he would take me to all these different restaurants merely because I had never tried that kind of food before. I learned that a lot of the foods were mostly healthy, or could be made healthy at home. I also learned how to make a variety of new things at home to save money and have fun with my husband. 

A couple of years ago, this post would have looked completely different. It would have probably been a long list of fruits and vegetables, and nothing more. 

I may not be as thin as I used to be, but I am proud at how far I've come in taking care of myself, and eating the right things. It's not only good for you to eat a variety of foods, but it's also really fun!

On that note, I just got back from the gym writing this and am now hungry as hell! xD It's time for me to grab some lihing mango or whip up a snack. It's rainy today, so maybe curry or miso soup?

Xoxo, Cherie. 

Bring on the food coma!