Shopping at Mitsuwa Marketplace

I have been searching for a good place to get a nice bento set for my hubby.  Something along the lines of a black, grey or dark blue hue, which can hold enough food for an adult.  Most of the items on eBay are overpriced and I was not willing to pay the amount PLUS the shipping fee too.


Then I found a Bento Gear shopping guide which told me that a place called Mitsuwa sold some nice boxes for about USD15, so I thought of giving it a try.  Mitsuwa Marketplace is one of the Japanese specialty stores we have in the Bay Area.  As I was looking round the Mitsuwa website, I found out that the store I intended to visit was having an “All 20% off” promotion on November 20-21 2008! 


So yesterday morning saw me arrive there nice and early at 9:00a.m., only to find out that the store had already opened its doors at 8:00a.m. because of the promotional campaign.  There were so many people inside the store, I could not believe it.  Everything was on discount, and these people were not going to let this opportunity slip past them.

As for bento boxes, there were only a few in the selection, but they were really good quality ones, and I managed to get two, one for hubby and one for myself.  Both were at 20% off, of course! :)

Because of the promotion, there were long queues at every counter.  I had to wait a good 20 minutes before it was my turn.  But it was completely worth it.  I’ve signed up for the weekly mailer, so I’d know when the next sale would be too.

(All images courtesy of Mitsuwa)

The Curve will welcome Daiso soon!

Having just embarked on my bento-ing journey, and having had a blast of a time shopping in Daiso Mountain View recently, I was certainly excited when my SIL in Malaysia informed me that Daiso would be opening its doors at The Curve, Mutiara Damansara very soon!

I decided to do a little snooping around the net and I found out that many bento enthusiasts have already heard the news and are also eagerly awaiting the opening of Daiso, touted as Japan’s No.1 ranked livingware supplier.  People are already planning to spend weekends at this store, but I am not sure if there is any indication of the official opening date yet.  Renovations are currently underway and there are signs advertising job openings though, so sooner or later, it WILL be here!

I would have been happier had Daiso opened a store in Penang too, you know, so I don’t have to go to KL to get my Daiso shopping fix.  Hopefully that will become a reality soon too.

Photo credits

Shop at IKEA tax-free!

Upon arrival in California, and in my tired, weary state as we drove from San Francisco to San Jose using the US-101 freeway, something familiar on the left caught my eye.  The blue and yellow building was hard to miss.  YES.  We have IKEA here.

Even better, it was just about 20 minutes’ drive away from where we are staying.

Temptation beckons, indeed.

And since we arrived, we have only been there ONCE.  There is ample parking space, and the layout is similar to the Mutiara Damansara one, right from the two-level building to the escalators leading to the main entrance.

I was also surprised to note that most of the items were cheaper than those in Malaysia.  At least the items we were eyeing, that is.

Well, this weekend, we just might make our second visit to IKEA.  Know why?


This means a grand savings of 8.25% from the total purchase.  The only thing I will be dreading (if we do go) is probably the crowd.

Putting Memories on a Blankie

Digital cameras have certainly changed the way photography is viewed. With the advent of digital cameras, more and more people have millions of digital photos stashed away somewhere in their hard drives or external storage devices. The photos hardly ever see daylight unless they are printed out or published in websites or blogs. Photos of babies, birthdays, graduations, weddings and corporate events all hold memories that are dear to the owner.

Why not put these beautiful digital memories into good use by creating a Photo Blanket out of them? A Personalized Photo Blanket is a useful gift to present someone with and it will definitely be heartwarming to know that the recipient is hugging all those precious memories to sleep every night. With the different sizes of photo blankets available too, you can choose to have one photo or up to sixteen individual photos printed on the blanket, to create a wonderful collage.

Great Christmas gift idea? You bet!

Secrets of Custom Decorating

If you recently purchased a home of your own, and have recently completed the basic renovations in it, the next step would be the most exciting one. Decorating one’s home in a style that reflects your personality is an interesting experience, and one which will result in a comfortable livable home.

One of the most time-consuming tasks is the selection of window decorations, or as some would call it window treatments. Drapes, curtains, and blinds lend a style of their own when paired with different kinds of windows for different rooms. I remember my hubby and I made countless trips to our fabric consultant to select the fabrics for our curtains and blinds and then to finalize the designs. This was not even inclusive of the fitting appointments we made with the consultant.

Of course, that was way before we heard of this fantastic DIY home decorating concept, offered by Here, all selections for interior design can be done online without the hassle of traffic jams and travel expenses. They even ship for free, with no sales tax (except in CT). Is it any wonder that consumers have embraced this concept? This is definitely THE place to shop for fabric, with all the perks included.