Rose-Tinted Living: Marron Cream

Rose-Tinted Living: Marron Cream

I sometimes forget that Sanrio has created more than the handful of characters that I see most frequently. This shouldn’t really be something that surprises me, considering that my all-time favourite character is obscure. (I love Shinkansen–he’s my man! …Or maybe they’re my men?)

I was very recently at the Sanrio store looking for a new wallet. I love character goods for their cuteness, particularly if they’re useful items rather than merely decorative. While looking around, a particular pattern caught my eye–pink flowers on a sky blue background. I am quite fond of floral designs, but the wallet in question was very large–a checkbook-style wallet–and thus didn’t meet my “fitting in the coat pocket” criteria. It caught my best friend’s attention, too. She doesn’t necessarily share my love of pink and flowers, but she adores almost anything blue–particularly pastel shades of it.

The company describes this little brown bunny as “a bright and cheerful girl with good fashion sense.”

This item that caught our attention was not a Hello Kitty product, but actually a design for a lesser-known character called “Marron Cream.” According to the company’s description of her, she’s a girlish French bunny with a penchant for crafting who wears a signature red polka-dot dress. Marron is French for “chestnut,” and she is a chestnut colour~ I think her name might also be a nod to the Mont Blanc dessert–puréed and sweetened chestnuts topped with whipped cream.

All of the “50th Anniversary” Maroon Cream items have this pattern. I particularly like that it’s coated fabric, so it doesn’t get soaked from snow or rain.

Marron Cream’s character goods are delightfully floral and sweet~ I feel like they have an “idyllic countryside” feeling. She’s often featured on stationery, lunch accessories, handkerchiefs, and tote bags. I wish she was more popular–there’s a certain style to her products that I don’t often see from Hello Kitty or the other prominent characters.

Now that I have the totebag, which has quickly become my new favourite, I find myself wanting other cute Marron Cream goods~ The totebag is perfect for carrying my knitting. It has one small pocket on the inside, which I use to keep lip balm or other small items from falling into the bottom. The lining is a matching blue with cute little white ribbon bows printed onto it~ I like the depth of the bag–I don’t have to worry about balls of yarn flying across the L car if I give them a sharp tug while working on a project. (I seem to do most of my knitting on the bus or on the L, so this is very important~)

I did also manage to find a new wallet~ (Along with a number of other items I wasn’t necessarily looking for… that’s just how Sanrio gets me.) The new wallet is much larger than my old one, but still fits into my pocket.

Sugarbunnies Hard at Work
These little cutouts of Shirousa and Kurousa are perfect for my desk~

The store that I frequent usually attaches little “extras” to the outside of the shopping bag, secured with a sticker. This time the extras were stand-ups of Shirousa and Kurousa, the Sugarbunnies~ ♥ I didn’t know what to do with them when I first assembled them, but I realized they’d be perfect decorations for my desk at work. They sit ontop of my tower and make me smile even when it hasn’t been the best day~

The illustration of Marron Cream was taken from the Sanrio character website.

Rose-Tinted Living: Cutest Cupcakes

Rose-Tinted Living: Cutest Cupcakes

I have a weakness for cupcakes that has occasionally preceded me. (It can be a bit strange to introduce oneself and hear in response, “Oooooooh, you’re that cupcake girl!” That has happened on more than one occasion.) Although I like to stop at bakeries or cupcake shops, I also enjoy baking at home. My kitchen windowsill stores my cookbooks, half of them cupcake- or tea-related! I own one cookie sheet, but four differently-sized muffin tins; my preferences are pretty clear.

If I host a gathering at my home, I usually bake cupcakes. The last time I hosted we had an assortment of lemon-lavender cupcakes with lemon glaze and honey-chai cupcakes with cream cheese frosting~ Lately I’ve been thinking of Earl Grey cupcakes with violet frosting or fresh strawberry cupcakes layered with whipped cream. Of course, I’ll probably test out my newest acquisition with some funfetti cupcakes (the white kind with multi-coloured sprinkles), as I’ve received several boxes of mix from my mother.

When I spotted the pink box, showing a white teacup filled with a cupcake and topped with pink frosting, that was it. I could not resist.

I spotted these adorable cupcake molds while shopping for thank you notes. I’d spotted these on Fred Flare, but wasn’t swayed enough to buy them online. The TEACUPCAKES are made by Fred & Friends, a company that regularly produces really adorable home goods. They make many, many things I’d love to have in my kitchen!

Although these cupcake molds were easy to resist in pictures online, it was not quite the same when I saw them in the store–especially because there was a display of the cups out of the box, so I could see just how large they were and how completely adorable they are. I wound up coming home with thank you notes, these cupcake molds, and some tea–the “teacupcakes” made the subsequent spotting of dessert-inspired teas impossible to resist.

The TeaCupCake
The creased “folds” of the cup and the swirl at the base of the handle are adorable touches!

The molds are essentially reusable cupcake liners. They appear to be about the size of a standard cupcake, and there are four per box: four baking cups and four display saucers. The plastic saucers cannot go in the oven–they’re for serving only. The silicone teacups are pretty stable, despite being made of a bendy and floppy material, although some of mine seem more oval at the top due to how they were packed in the box. Sitting out has given them time to restore themselves to a more rounded shape.

I’m not usually fond of silicone cupcake molds, but these are so cute I’m more than willing to give them a chance. I’m thinking about making cupcakes soon, although since I’m go out of town before the end of the week it’s probably not best to make too many.

The contents of the box displayed with the box. I love how pink that box is!

The only thing I could ask for is to have more of the molds. Four isn’t really enough–a standard batch of cupcakes typically makes twelve or more. If I wanted to use them for a meetup, it would be unfair to only let four people get the cute cupcakes! However, at the price (roughly $20), it’s not really feasible to buy lots and lots of sets of these at once. Maybe I can try collecting them over time? (I hope they stay in production for a little while…) I’d love to serve these adorable teacupcakes at a tea party!

Honestly, they’re so cute even empty…but they’d be even better with tasty cupcakes~

TeaCupCakes Box
I appreciate the warning not to serve tea in the cupcake molds! It is a little bit tempting…

And, I thought I’d include a cupcake recipe (for the aforementioned honey-chai cupcakes) to round this out:


Chai (tea bags, loose leaf, or concentrate)
2/3 cup water
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup honey
4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Make very strong tea with the chai and the water–either steeping tea/tea bags or mixing the concentrate until you have just 2/3 cup of the liquid. Let it cool to room temperature. (Don’t add sugar and milk! You want it to be just tea. If your concentrate already has sugar and milk you might want to use a different chai.)

Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Combine the honey, melted butter, buttermilk, and egg. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and combine–then add the tea and mix until well-blended.

Bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.

12 oz cream cheese
6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tbs honey
Honeycomb (optional)

Beat the cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and honey until light and fluffy. Gradually add the powdered sugar until the frosting is a spreadable consistency.

And garnish with honeycomb, if desired~

Rose-Tinted Living: Fancy TOOTHPASTE?

Rose-Tinted Living: Fancy TOOTHPASTE?

Breath Palette in Action!
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

I am an avid reader of the LiveJournal community lifestyle_lolis, despite the fact that I don’t consider myself to be a “lifestyle” lolita and can typically be heard refuting the concept of “lifestyle lolita.” (This is a topic for another post, which I really ought to get around to writing! I am sure my stance will be misinterpreted with such a brief comment, but I need to plan the article out carefully–perhaps this weekend?) I joined the community because I adore the work of Vivien of Candy Violet, and her posts within lifestyle_lolis make my heart flutter~ ♥

My little sister also loves the community, so we were both VERY excited to find–while randomly browsing a department store–something very fitting for a “lifestyle” lolita: tea-flavored toothpaste.

Actually, the toothpaste, sold by the Japanese company Breath Palette, comes in MANY more flavors than just tea. It was the tea, strawberry, and honey flavors that caught our attention most. (Indian curry is not a particularly lolita-esque flavor, although it may be exciting and delicious!)

We purchased one teeny-tiny tube of the toothpaste (which is approximately $5 for 25g) in the flavor “lemon tea.” We both suspected it to be more gimmick than anything, and our expectations were not very high. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that the taste of the toothpaste is very true to the labeled flavor, AND it is refreshing and cleans like a toothpaste ought to. I even made my person try it out without telling him much about it, and he confirmed that it tastes like black tea with lemon!

One of my favourite things about lolita fashion is the girlish, frilly side of things–and I certainly think a toothpaste with a sweet, unique taste compliments that kind of aesthetic~ It’s the kind of frivolity I enjoy occasionally indulging in. It adds a bit of extra charm to a normally boring part of one’s daily toilette.

Rose-Tinted Living: Cute China

Rose-Tinted Living: Cute China

Alice ♥ Teapots
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

Much like the stereotypical ideal of a lolita, I adore tea. The ceremony of a formal, traditional tea service really appeals to me, and going to an elegant afternoon tea with my friends always fills me with delight! I’ve been trying to accumulate teatime accouterments for a very long time, as I’ve loved tea since long before I was ever interested in lolita fashion. (My grandmother collects teapots and took me to tea often in my childhood.)

Whenever it’s possible, I like to have friends (most of whom are lolita) over to my home for tea. To make this possible, I’ve collected several teapots and teacups~ Right now they’re all displayed on a narrow shelf in my tiny kitchen, and seeing the bright colors and cheerful patterns always adds some cheeriness to my day!

Alice ♥ Teacups
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

Although I certainly swoon over pricely porcelain, most of my tea-time pieces are from resale shops or discount stores. Discount stores are one of my favourite places to check for teacups or teapots, since they often have quite a selection of housewares. In either store it can take a lot of sifting through to find the pieces you’ll truly fall in love with. I take it as a challenge~

Alice ♥ Teacups
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

Of course, I’ve also gotten a number of teacups added to my collection as gifts from my grandmother. She’s historically been my strongest tea-enabler, and she hasn’t hasn’t slackened in adding bits and pieces to my collection. Some of my nicest teacups have been spotted by her in awful condition, then cleaned up before making their way to me. Every cup in the above picture was a gift from her, and there are certainly more!

Alice ♥ Teacups
Originally uploaded by sweetmilktea

One of the reasons that I love having people over for tea is the intimacy. I find that people relax when seated and offered beverages and snacks. Tea is warm and soothing, and most people won’t turn down nibbling on a cookie or two.  ♥ Also, preparing tea gives plenty of time to engage in conversation. The water has to boil, the leaves have to steep, and then the cup of freshly-poured tea has to cool. It allows two (or more!) friends quite an opportunity to converse and listen to each other. Tea is rarely distracting, unlike larger meals or attention-requiring activities.

Tea services are easy to collect–they don’t need to be purchased all at once. You can start with a pretty cup or two, then look for a nice teapot. Not everything has to match–sometimes mis-matched sets have more charm. It’s not hard to find teaspoons just a few at a time, and there are always nifty little gadgets to find–like sugar tongs or drip-stoppers! There’s a lot of possibility!

And if you don’t like drinking tea, that doesn’t even matter! You can serve just about anything out of a teacup or teapot, after all. Maybe hot chocolate, soda–it’s up to you.