30 Years Around The Sun

As soon as February 18, 2019 ended, I was faced with the reality that 2019 was going to be my last year being 20+. I knew then I had to make the best of being Twenty Nine and that I did and that I did *winks* (more on this later)

               
img_5305
New York Lounge

Last year I wanted to celebrate my birthday at The Strings Hotel Nagoya, Japan (ストリングスホテル名古屋) by having a tea party, however, that idea didn’t go according to plan for various reasons that I mentioned in my birthday blog, Seven Months to Twenty Nine. A year later, I decided to revisit the idea. I took a tour of the location once again (not that I needed to but I’m extra lol) and I was still in love with it just as much as I did the first time I laid my eyes on its beauty. As is the norm for the New York Lounge (the area where they serve afternoon tea), there was a theme for this season. The theme for this winter was Marie Antionette. You know, the “let them eat cake” lady. Anyways, I was pretty excited about this because it meant they would serve colourful pastry with some very flavourful tea.

Frame Just For Me

Now, I needed something to make my birthday afternoon tea a real standout…well more than it already would be. I’ve always wanted one of those Instagram selfie frames that you see people with in photos for different events and thought this would be perfect. I did a quick search and to my surprise, there were quite a number of places in my city that I could seek info. Lord, please let it be inexpensive. One evening, I visited the closest office to the main train station I use to commute to and from work. I was lucky enough that a staff member was able to communicate effectively with me in English. Yes, I’ve been living in Japan for too long to not know Japanese, but that’s the way life goes. After gathering the information I needed about the cost for a specialized frame, I made the choice to make the project a DIY. The end result, perfection.

img_5162

Who’s Coming To Tea?

I invited two friends to join in this intimate birthday celebration. Unlike last year’s wish for getting dressed up in fancy pastel garb, I opted for a monochromatic theme. When I mentioned this to my friends they were a bit confused at first but were right on board after I explained it to them and what I was going for (I had a vision of an explosion of monochrome, knowing in the back of my mind that I’d still get just a hint of pastel. I wasn’t fully letting go of that fantasy. LOL). The only rule was that they couldn’t wear any of the colours I had in mind to wear for myself. LOL. Even if they didn’t show up in monochrome, I knew I’d be.

Did Someone Say Monochrome?

As with any birthday or event, I needed to choose the perfect outfit for me. Read that again, I needed to choose the perfect outfit for me. I had bought this coat from Zara over the Christmas holidays for about 250USD and I was just dying to wear it. The Strings Hotel Nagoya was the perfect place. The problem though was finding the right shades of the colour I chose to go with to match the theme. I spent days and weeks trying on different pieces of clothing in multiple stores, sometimes the same outfit more than once but I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. You see, it’s still winter but it’s also almost spring so the stores are in transition between the two seasons. This meant that most of the warm stuff were being phased out. Options that weren’t going to be available when I would finally arrive at a decision. Chidi from The Good Place would be proud. Haha!

Since I wasn’t sure what the actual weather conditions would be like on the day of my party, it was much harder to make a choice. The weather forecast said it would rain but knowing my city, I didn’t know whether it would be heavy or light rain, whether it would also be windy or even what the temperature would be. See my dilemma? Should I wear a sweatshirt? Carduroy pants? Should I risk wearing white sneakers? I pondered these questions and more for several days and I made the choice of buying all that I could, put the looks together in my apartment and return (yes, return) the items I no longer needed. I’m unapologetic when returning items. I ended with a look I was really happy with. A head to toe look with everything from Zara (I won’t tell you how much this costed me. Haha!)

Talk 30 To Me: Happy F-ing Birthday

The day finally arrived. The day I’d celebrate 30 Years Around The Sun. I was beaming with the utmost gratitude for just being alive. The weather forecast said it would rain all day but I didn’t care. It’s not like we were having the event on the outside. I reached out to my guests just to reconfirm the time and place so that we were all still on the same page. I started getting ready while blasting the speakers in my apartment with Troye Sivan’s Dance To This ft. Ariana Grande. I’m really 30. Wow!

I arrived at The Strings Hotel at around 13:31 and was just taken aback by the overwhelming feeling of pure joy. It was an indication that all I was really pleased with what I chose to do. The lounge had more people than I expected and I was definitely all right with that. My first guest arrived shortly after I did and we started the drinking until my other guest showed up. Now, when I say drinking I mean orange juice. LOL. Guest number two showed up and the tea party began. We glanced at the menu to see what we’d be served as the menu was set for afternoon tea. The only choice we’d have was for the different flavoured teas, my fav was the Marco Polo.

Tea Is Served

Our waitress brought out a pair of three-tiered trays filled with the sweetest scrumdiddlyumptious desserts, two plates of scones, biscuits with a cold savoury soup an two plates of savoury nibbles. Yum!

img_4956

Let Them Eat Cake

Just like last year, I ordered a special cake from the amazing Trisha Painuyl. I reached out to her at the beginning of the month and explain exactly what I wanted. My cake was a cookie n cream cheesecake with a caramel crust and mirror glazed fondant that was dyed pink. I had to make it match the theme. The only thing we couldn’t do was have our cake and eat it too. LMAO, this so funny cuz it’s true.

The conversation kept flowing. The energy was just right and I couldn’t have asked for anything more. I didn’t feel any different than I did at 29 nor 28 nor…well you get the picture. But I suppose I was different or I am now different. Whichever. The hours went by and it was time to leave the venue. Gutted. However, we brought the cake back to another friend’s apartment to cut it and for them to have a taste of what Trisha made. The cake was superb and met my every expectation. Thank you Trisha.

There’s so much more I could say but it wouldn’t be enough. I’m just thankful for this life. At times I thought (and maybe I still do from time to time) that things just don’t ever go right for me but so much has gone right and for that, I am thankful.

30 Years Around The Sun ain’t half bad.

KEIRN

The Restaurant With The Refrigerator For A Door

Every now and then I try to find a new place to eat out. Japan (日本) has an insane eating out culture as you can find a restaurant at every corner. Living in the busiest and largest city the Tokai (東海地方)region, Nagoya (名古屋市) I have many places to choose from. I usually shy away from restaurants that aren’t on the forefront until a few days ago when I decided to make a change.

Taking my usual evening stroll through Sakae () I stumbled upon a menu board for Amelie, near one of my favourite restaurants to have breakfast, Eggs ‘n Things. I saw some amazing summer drinks and thought I’d try one unfortunately I later found out they didn’t have the one I wanted to try. Upon exiting the elevator on the third floor, I was greeted with one of, if not, the most interesting entrances I’d ever seen. At the entrance lay a very antique sink and a door looked like a refrigerator. Very Little House on the Prairie meets Pleasantville. I knew immediately this was a good pick.

I was seated by one of the waitresses in a cozy section. After browsing through the menu for about 10 minutes (it was all in Japanese) I made my order. To start, I had the most delicious herb chicken, quinoa salad cuz that’s what we do, LOL. The salad was everything. You know how sometimes, chefs get carried with the herbs, well, this salad was balanced and flavourful. Then again, I’ve only ever had quinoa from Costco so I didn’t have much else to compare it to.

Believe it or not, the salad sorta filled me up but I wasn’t done. I wanted something sweet, so I got the triple berry pancake for dessert with a pink grapefruit juice. When the waitress brought out the pancakes, I began salivating. I’ve had something similar at Eggs ‘n Things but never with fluffy pancakes. Every bite I took of this berry filled goodness sent me to another realm. It was that magical.

Amelie did not disappoint, especially when I saw the bill (35USD). It would have been less but I ordered two rounds of that pink grapefruit juice. If you ever find yourself in Japan (日本), particularly Sakae () in Nagoya (名古屋) make sure you visit Amelie. You’ll be happy you did.

As most who follow my instagram would notice, currently, I’m on this pink trend. So here’s something that I thought about wearing (I actually did wear it but just to get a photo at the door).

I really liked this shirt I got from Zara for roughly 22USD and knew it would be worn sooner than later. (Though I didn’t wear it inside Amelie. LOL. I contemplated on wearing plan denim jeans or ripped jeans but when I threw on the latter, I loved it too much to take it off. These jeans I’ve had for about two years, purchases from H&M but I forgot the cost. My shoes are from my favourite store…you know itBershka which I’ve only now worn for a second time. These babies cost me just a measly 40USD, on sale. The main look was complete so I grabbed my messenger bag from GU and my accessories from both WEGO Japan and H&M. How’d I do?

CHATTERBOX KEIRN

PINK for the Party

“Every once in a while, we find ourselves in a this-is-a-first-for-me type of situation. Today, I experienced such.”

A year ago, a friend of mine decided to move from her old apartment to a new one which accommodated pets. She wanted a cat. Lucky for her, some guy had some kittens to give away and she wound up getting one. She named him Levi Jenkins BrownI’m not really a cat person because I believe they are too vicious and scary. Anyways, this meant that I’d have to interact with the Levi any time I’d visit my friend. I wasn’t too excited about the idea. Then came Christmas 2017 and my friend asked me to catsit for her while she was away visiting family and friends. I was really hesitant because if anything happened to him, I’d be held responsible. Fast forward to summer 2018 and I’ve grown fond of Levi. So much so that I suggested throwing a party for him.

Every once in a while, we find ourselves in a this-is-a-first-for-me type of situation. Today, I experienced such. Having prompted my friend to plan Levi’s party, I was now caught in a fashion dilemma. Bet you didn’t suspect this was where I was headed, did you? LOL. What do people wear to a cat party? Since this was the first cat party for me (not unusual for pet owners) I felt like we should dress up for Levi. After all, summer is almost over and I need an excuse to wear some of the stuff I bought earlier. LOL. 

I decided to use pink as the main colour. Summer is the time to experiment with colour and I was willing to fail my way to successful colour combos. My shirt was from H&M which cost me about 15USD. When I saw it I knew it would go perfectly with my slim fit cropped pants from Bershka. At the time of purchase the pants cost me roughly 45USD but now it has dropped to about 10USD and I’m so mad. Missed out on a good sale.

My shoes were also from Bershka and I waited for them to go on sale before I bought them for 20USD. Heck, Berhska needs to make me some kind of ambassador cuz I really shop there quite often. Haha! I completed my party look with my sunglasses from Forever21 Men (click here for details on the glasses) as well as my cat ears, bracelets being a mixture of H&M and WEGO Japan and a black Cordura messenger bag from GU Japan. 

Levi was very happy to see me and I couldn’t resit photo op so I could post and pretend I was as happy to see him. Jokes. Although he did scratch me immediately after the pic was taken. I guess he sensed the hug was lacking sincerity. I did, however, get him a gift which he seemed to love. For my first ever cat party, I must say, I had fun. Can’t wait for the next one…or can I?

CHATTERBOX KEIRN

(Follow my IG @chatterboxkeirn)

Spring Into Summer

It’s been a while since my last style post as I’ve been trying to reorganize my closet and put away all the late winter/early spring clothing I had out. However, since we are still technically in the spring season, yes summer doesn’t officially begin until June 21st, I decided to share with you one of my favourite looks.

A friend of mine posted a picture of some beautiful floral arrangements and I was dying to know where it was located cuz what’s spring without flowers, right? When I received the info, I knew I had to do a capture a moment there. This not so hidden treasure was located in Hoshigaoka, Nagoya, Japan (星ヶ丘, 名古屋, 日本), about 20 minutes from my apartment. But you didn’t need to know that. Ha! So I took up my phone and messaged another friend, who has no life (kidding), that their services would be needed in the early hours of a bright Sunday morning. The usual complaints followed but we agreed on a time and the shoot was set.

I already saw the outfits in my head and actually planned on wearing them to different events, which is why it didn’t take long for me to decide what to wear on this shoot. Per usual, I didn’t spend a lot when shopping for trendy spring fashion and I was quite pleased with my purchases. For the first look, I wanted to be comfortable but stylish at the same time. I wanted the look to scream look at me but not really. Get it? I got the top and bottom from Zara, my shoes from Bershka love me some Bershka), the mini shoulder bag is Cordura Brand Fabric which I got from GU Japan and my glasses are from Forever 21.

For my second look, I wore the same top but this time I went with a plaid shorts from Bershka and my pair of black, high top converse from ABC Mart. I wanted a more preppy street style, at least my interpretation of it and I felt like the patterns and colour combinations worked perfectly.

CHATTERBOXKEIRN

The Perfect Start To Summer 2018

Hello my readers,

Is it just me or does this summer seem like it’s much hotter than last year’s? What I wouldn’t give for some autumn breeze or winter nights right now. Until then, I decided to do what I like best about this season and head to the beach. If this is your first time reading my blog, I’m in Japan (日本) and summer here is dreadful. Last weekend was a holiday weekend and the beach festivities kicked off for summer 2018. I look forward in going to the beach every year since moving to Nagoya (名古屋) as it is probably one of the few times I feel like I’m back home in Montego Bay, Jamaica (モンテゴベイ、ジャマイカ). This year was a bit different as I wasn’t alone nor was I with my usual beach partner. I was joined by another friend who is filled with such vibes, I knew the day would be lit.

In keeping with a summer favourite of mine, I opted to wear yet another overall. I was lucky to have gotten it on sale. I had been waiting on Bershka to drop the price of the overall from 62USD and when it finally reached 17USD, I had to get it. The tank top was purchased from H&M at 3USD, the lowest cost I’ve ever paid for male clothing. What a joy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

By this, I hadn’t worn sandals in forever. I can’t even recall the last time I did wear sandals but I knew it would be the right footwear for the beach. Lucky for me, Uniqlo had a sale. By now you should realise that I love a sale. Style On A Dime, right? LOL. I bought a pair for about 15USD. The fit and comfort made the purchase even better. I decided to pair my sandals with some ankle socks, something I did years ago and shocked to see it trending now.

 

What beach look would be complete without accessories? My hair didn’t need any but I had the perfect pair of sunglasses from Forever21 Men (12USD) that I have been rocking for a year now. The bracelets are from from H&M and my duffle bag cost me 10USD from Flying Tiger Copenhagen.

With my look complete and confidence at an all time high, I was ready to hit the sand and the water but not before a quick drink. Cheers.

Links provided for exact outfit or similar.

CHATTERBOX: Keirn

Plaid is for Fall

Fall is here, well, it has been here and almost gone. While we are have already started layering up in Japan, that wasn’t the case in the earlier fall months. This post is a little late, so forgive me.

I was invited to go for lunch with a friend of mine and hadn’t the faintest idea what I wanted to wear. The temperature had not yet fallen and the trees were still a little green, so a jacket wasn’t necessary. As usual, I looked in amongst my things to see if I’d have had to buy something new. I came upon my red light jacket but it didn’t feel right. I kept looking for about 10 minutes. Wanting to stay on trend with the plaid theme for fall, I recalled a red, plaid kimono cardigan I purchased in the summer which I intended to wear for this purpose. Like I mentioned in a previous post, I bought this cardigan in Osaka, Japan (大阪市) during my visit in May at this store, Method. When I saw it, I knew it had to be mine. 25USD was nothing to me this point. The rest of my outfit was easily assembled.

6174669616_img_3053 

I chose a black t-shirt from H&M to wear under the cardigan but you can pair it with any solid of your choice that best represents your style/feeling for any event. I love black and since I was already running late, I had no time to dilly-dally.

My choice for pants came down to a black pair of skinny jeans bought in Forever21 Men for 28USD or a grey, ripped skinny jeans from Bershka that I copped for 30 USD. Both pair of pants were bought on sale. Never turn down a good sale. I opted for the latter and added my black sneakers from GU (16 USD).

                

I liked what I chose in the end and off to lunch I went. Unfortunately, fall lasted all of 2 seconds, so about a week after that, I started layering up. Even though it’s much colder now than it was when I wore this outfit, you can choose to wear something similar in another climate.

 

CHATTERBOX: KEIRN

My Camo Debut

On Sunday September 3rd, the One Love, One Heart: JAMAICA FESTIVAL was held in Sakae, Aichi, Japan. Typically, the dress code would be Jamaican colours, but I had other plans. I had an idea for an outfit that I wanted to try and this was the perfect place to do so. Since it’s summer and I had been wearing an overall at almost every event I could, this would be no different.

img_3309-7

Did Someone Say Camo?

If you’ve been following my style journey, you’ll notice that I stick to very affordable clothing cuz I’m not rolling in dough like Zuckerberg. The first place I checked was Bershka. I knew they had a sale going on and they usually bring out some never seen before merch. I rummaged through the racks and came upon a blue denim overall. I already own about 3 of them and wasn’t looking to add another to my wardrobe. Next! It made sense, then, to walk over to Forever21 Men and luckily I found the perfect camo overall. I felt like a real hypocrite in even liking this particular pattern cuz I always told people that I don’t like camouflage AND I thought it only worked if you’re in the military. Boy was I wrong! Thankfully, they had my size (an issue I have with purchasing clothes cuz I’m the same size as the average Japanese guy) and I was able to nab my first camo pattern for about 36USD.

img_3308-5

These Is Bloody Shoes

I’ve had Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow on repeat nonstop since its release. If you ask me what she’s saying I’d tell you a bold face lie cuz I never hear the lyrics right. But when she said “these expensive, these is red bottoms, these is bloody shoes” I knew I had to wear my red sneakers I got from Bershka a while back. If you thought for a second I owned actual Louboutins, you’ve lost the plot. I don’t have that kind of cash, so my 60USD red sneakers would work just fine. After all, Cardi could have also meant that she’s stepping on haters with her expensive shoes, hence the bloody. But this isn’t about her. LOL. I know red might be the obvious colour of choice to pair with green clothing, but I have another idea I’ll share when I retire this overall in October.

img_3310-4

White Top x Denim Jacket
This was by far the easiest decision. I love wearing white and Sunday’s event would be perfect to wear a white top. I thought of a tshirt but I had three new white tank tops that needed attention. I know, who has three of the same shirt in the same colour? Well, when items are on sale, you should never pass up a chance to grab as many as you can. 

img_3353-3

 

 

 

 

 

I ended up going with one I purchased in H&M for a measly 12USD. The look was complete. Or so I thought. After putting everything together, I felt like something was missing. I tried adding several jackets until I came upon my blue denim jacket from H&M. Adding this extra layer gave my look a different vibe. The best part being, I could wear the jacket however I pleased or none at all.

 

img_3352-1
With my hair braided and a full beard, I was now ready for the One Love, One Heart: JAMAICA FESTIVAL.

CHATTERBOX: Keirn