May 2017 Favorites

Another month has gone by, and now summer’s just around the corner! While I could do without the heatwaves and crowded beaches, there are plenty of things to be excited about for the upcoming season.

But I’m getting ahead of myself here – May was pretty great too. Mother’s Day and the long Memorial Day weekend meant quality family time and food coma after food coma.  Somewhere in between, my best friend, Cheska, and I caught up over brunch and overpriced (but delicious) sweets! Speaking of sweets, she came back from her trip to Japan with plenty of them and, being the awesome person that she is, she gave me quite the assortment!

 
Thanks, Cheska!! :D

Thanks, Cheska!! :D

 

1 | Japanese KitKat Flavors

When I go to Japan, I’m bringing an extra suitcase just for KitKats. Seriously, have you seen the flavors they have there?! I’m not talking about the green tea ones that you can find at 90 percent of Asian supermarkets. Try sakura matcha, Shinto apples, and purple potato!

It took every fiber in my body to ration the KitKats out to last for more than two days. Spoiler alert: they lasted three. The unique flavors weren’t just for show; most were pretty dang tasty! I actually enjoyed the ones I didn’t think I would like, including the wasabi KitKat. Yup – this is coming from someone who wouldn't eat a pea-sized amount of wasabi even when offered $20. But you know what? I wasn’t mad at it or the sake one. The flavors were subtle, but not offensive. Still, my favorite has to be the sakura matcha! 

2 | The Pet Girl of Sakurasou

They say not to judge a book by its cover, but the title and the first few episodes nearly convinced me that this was gonna be one of those fan service-heavy anime. Thankfully, that’s only the surface of it. Misleading title and unnecessary fan service-y bits aside, Sakurasou was ultimately a fun and heartwarming series.

The story revolves around an average high school student named Sorata who winds up living in Sakura Hall, a dormitory occupied by immensely talented misfits. While Sakurasou is classified as a rom-com, the romance was actually one of its weaker points. What really stood out were its surprisingly complex characters and how they interacted with one another as they immersed themselves in their projects and shenanigans. And the emphasis on hard work versus natural talent ties it all together. Sakurasou caught me off guard in the best way possible, and I highly recommend the series if you want a character-driven slice-of-life dramedy.

3 | TikTeck Portable LED LightBox Tracer

Gone are the days when I transfer sketches to watercolor paper by leaning against a window! It was a cost-efficient way to ensure clean lines without damaging the paper, but I hated having to rely on the sun being fully out and my wrist hated the awkward angle. I decided that it was time for a small upgrade. Before I got the chance to buy myself a lightbox, however, my brother coincidentally got one for me as an unexpected gift – the exact one I had my eyes on, too!

 
Thanks, Davis!!! :D

Thanks, Davis!!! :D

 

The ultra-slim light pad is significantly cheaper than many light boxes and tables in the market, but it doesn’t skimp on quality at all. It’s sleek and lightweight, making it easy to store and carry around. The product comes with a long USB cable so you can power it with your laptop, computer, or any power source with a USB port, really (I use my lamp). Just plug it in, lightly tap the power button, and you’re ready to go! You can also adjust the brightness of the flicker-free light by gently holding down the same button. So much better than using a window!

4 | Cold Brew Green Tea

I’m either too eager to drink my tea that I burn my tongue or too forgetful that it becomes cold. A gigantic jar of cold brew green tea solves both of those problems – just in time for the summer, too! It’s light, refreshing, and rich in antioxidants. And it’s insanely easy to make. Aside from water, cold brew tea is all I drink now.

5 | The Body Shop Hawaiian Kukui Cream

Thanks to LUSH’s Buffy Body Butter, I rarely need to moisturize my body after I shower. Soft skin for days! Since it’s also ultra-exfoliating, though, I do try to use it sparingly. The problem is that I’d accidentally go too long without Buffy, so that’s where this body cream comes in.

 
 

The Hawaiian Kukui Cream from The Body Shop’s Spa of the World collection is oh so luxurious! And a little goes a long way. Made with skin-enriching ingredients, like cocoa butter and shea butter, the cream absorbs quickly into the skin and instantly softens it without that icky greasy feeling. And that’s not even my favorite part. The gentle, unique scent had me tossing the product into my basket without a second thought. It’s hard to describe the exact smell, but I imagine it’s like walking through a tropical garden filled with the best fruits and flowers the island has to offer.

Bonus: this song and these comments

 
 
 
 

Got a couple of exciting things planned out for the next few months! I’m looking forward to having more than just favorites in my monthly recaps. So until then, enjoy the remainder of spring and the start of summer!