Author Archives: Coffee with Belle

DISNEYLAND: California or Tokyo which one should I put on my bucket list?

Now that, all the Disney stores across north America have closed, the only way to get our Disney fix is to dream about a Disneyland vacation. I’ve been lucky enough to visit Disneyland in Anaheim and the one in Tokyo. Both parks have the same magical feel, however there are a few differences. Besides wanting to grab a picture with everyone’s favourite mouse, here are a two exclusive attractions, each from California and Tokyo, that I enjoyed.

California Disneyland

Opened in 1955, Disneyland California in Anaheim celebrates the golden state. It is the original Disney Theme Park, and right across from it is California Adventure. California exclusive events include Disneyland fantasmic, world of color and main street electric parade.

One ride I truly loved was web slinger: spider man adventure. As my favourite Marvel hero, I of course couldn’t help fangirling over this ride! This immersive ride takes you along with spider-man, where you can shoot your own webs to catch some rampant bugs.

Tokyo Disneyland

About one hour away from the heart of Tokyo, Tokyo Disney Resort was the first to be built outside of the USA in 1983. At this amusement park, you will find classic attractions such as the pirates of the Caribbean, it’s a small world and haunted Mansion. Yet, there are a few Japan exclusives such as Disney Sea which explores the nautical sea. Let’s not forget, the popcorn buckets Tokyo Disney is famous for. The chocolate flavoured popcorn is amazing!

An exclusive ride I enjoyed, was Monsters Inc: Ride and Seek. It a super cute ride, that takes you into Monstropolis World, where boo and other monsters are playing hide-and-seek. Ride and seek, is an immersive attraction where you use a flashlight to seek monsters!

I hope this has helped you decide which one you would put on your bucket list. To be honest, as a huge disney fan I have all of theme parks are on my bucket list. And I am looking forward to visit both the Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland resort someday!

An Otaku bucket List: Things I look forward to doing Next time I am in Japan

Over the last 2 years, Ive been dreaming about my next travel to Japan. The last time I went was in 2019, right before the world shut down. As the world begins to adjust to the new normal, and slowly open up I am once again thinking about my next trip! crossed fingers* it will be soon.

My first visit to Japan I was there for a week and I fell in love with the culture, especially as a fangirl/ Nerd. Tokyo is rich with all things kawaii and otaku. Then, my second trip to Japan I stayed for 5 weeks but it felt like it was not enough time to explore everything I wanted to see. Since then, Ive been tracking things I want to do when I go back. This is a personal list but, I hope it gives you some ideas on what to put on your Japan bucket list. And without further ado, here is my Otaku bucket list:

20 things to do in Japan

  1. Visit Shinyokohama Ramen Museum and eat Ramen
  2. Eat cheap sushi at the conveyer sushi restaurant
  3. Go shopping in Sunshine City
  4. Visit the Nintendo store
  5. Check out a robot restaurant (Shibuya)
  6. Get lost in Akihabara – play the Gacha Machines
  7. Eat at the pokemon café
  8. Look for Junji ito (Japanese version manga)
  9. Take a photo in the middle of shibuya crossing
  10. Sleep in a capsule hotel
  11. Wander the streets of Harajuku
  12. Visit Gotokuji temple (lucky cat)
  13. Go drinking at the Whales of August Bar (shibuya)
  14. Shop at the biggest Daiso
  15. Shop at the 6 floor Unqlo in Ginza
  16. Ghbili Museum
  17. Sanrio Park
  18. Character street (Tokyo Station)
  19. Eat at the Moomin Café
  20. Relax at an Onsen

Coffee with Belle: 6 songs to Fill You with Wanderlust

Mini Assignment #4: Remix Something

Soaking up the sounds on a journey creates strong sound memories. The presence of music complements a travelling experience by engaging with all the sense. Here are 6 songs that I love to listen to while I daydream about travelling with a cup of coffee!

  1. Now Im Here by Queen

2. Tiny Dancer by Elton John

3. Autumn in New York by Billy Holiday

4. La Japanoise by Freddie Mercury

5. Wake Up by Hilary Duff

6. Everybody wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears

How I created my Island in Animal Crossing New Horizons

Blog Post

During the pandemic animal crossing new horizon or ACNH, helped fill the void of being at home all day. It is the ultimate great escape, where I invited cute animal friends and chilled on the island beach for hours.

If you don’t know what ACNH is, it is a simulation game, where you can save money, collect materials, make friends with adorable characters, and basically forget about reality. The first Animal crossing was released in 2001 for game cube and Nintendo DS. The latest version, New Horizons launched in 2020 with unique gameplay. This included experiencing four seasons and DIY materials. It has been super successful, creating a community of gamers who spotlight ACNH builds.

It took me almost a year to finally have an Island that I was happy with, and I am excited to highlight some of my favourite spots from my Island in this blog.

Something I found useful when starting to build my Island was having a theme. Having a theme guided me in my builds, as I had a direction. Im a big believer in Island themes as they make things grounded, but if you want to mix it up, why not! My initial theme for my island was a haunted Totoro forest, but it has grown into celebrating island living and Asian culture.

Otherwise, just have fun with it! I hope you enjoy and get inspiration for your builds from these pictures I took from my ACNH Island


 Welcome to Isle Bell

For the Music Lover

Avid travellers are also music lovers. The strongest memories we have usually are associate with certain songs. Music can evoke emotions and create an experience one cannot put into words. In this way, listening to music complements a travelling experience by engaging with all our senses.

It seems obvious that travelling and music go hand in hand as form of escapism. I have always found music comforting especially as a way to express one self. As well as, I love how I can put on my headphones and pretend I am the main protagonist, ready to go on an adventure or ride the bus to downtown. Not only is music a form of an escapism but I have found that, I can turn off my computer and phone and just tune in to a playlist.

I have an old school Apple MP3, strictly used for only listening to music which I will never get rid of. When Vinyl Records and LP were becoming trendy again, I found it exciting because I was discovery new artists and even rediscovering singers I totally forgot about.

I would visit record stores and hunt for Queen or Billie Holiday record. Yet, no one I knew felt passionate about LPs. Which made me think what was better, Digital music or Vinyls?

Digital or Vinyl?

Although I use both formats to listen to music, I found there are pros and cons to using either digital or vinyl.


PRO: The aesthetic feel.

I love the feeling of LPs. Whether thats displaying on a shelf, or listening to the sound Vinyl Records create a cozy atmosphere, where you can just sit with a cup of coffee and listen, without any screens distracting you.

CON: I would say a huge con for vinyls is storage and cleaning them. Although they are cute, it takes up energy to maintain vinyls.


PRO: digital is convenient. You can hold a thousand songs on your apple phone. What else is there more to say?

Visiting a record store gives the same vibes as visiting a bookstore. You cannot replace the tangible, cozy feeling you get when your there.

Nonetheless, any format you choose to listen to your favourite song should be enjoyable and fun!


The problem with “Do your Own Research”

PUB 101 Essay 1: Does social media Create a Space for Democratic Conversation?

Today, social media is so entwined in our daily lives we can send or receive any kind of information just by the click of a button. We have become very accustomed to being connected to the internet, literally in our back pockets with tucked away phones. If you asked anyone, walking down the street if they have facebook you would most likely get an affirmative yes.

The emergence of these platforms has changed the world in so many ways, especially in the ways information is presented, received, and digested. With the prevalence of this type of connectivity, one can become too caught up in a world that is not reality. Social media gives society the opportunity to widen the pathways to connect giving a democratic space for dialogue yet it can also divide.

Despite social media’s freedom of expression, access to unbiased quality information is restricted by algorithms based on personal preferences, therefore control over what we watch and read by a third party can impair our judgments. In this way more extreme voices can be amplifying a point of view that threatens social medias fragile status as an arena of true public deliberation. It has become apparent over the last years, that the flooding of information via social media has intensified the divide between polarizing forces. Although social media normalizes the ideals of democratic free speech – we must realize that the medium is more subjective rather than objective, according to personal branding and algorithms. In this way influencers or content creatives, fight to have their voices heard. Personal branding on social media is shaping the public perception. In other words, an intimate voice has the influence to impose personal values on the masses. While we can take advantage of this to gain insight, how much of personal algorithms is manipulated to the point of it being dangerous.

According to Margert Roberts personalized algorithms can amplify extreme viewpoints. This cause issues of filtering, which are built upon:

Fear: forces behind censorship

Friction: delayed censorship and government intervention

And lastly flooding: to distract or confuse audiences via fake news

The flooding of information can be so overwhelming at times that it is hard to filter what is true.

Recently, the term fake news has been loosely used to describe the issues of filtering of information. Fake news is often misleading information that aims to damage a person or entity’s reputations or to create sensational reports. It pulls readers towards a narrative that can push an agenda causing polarization. According to Tucker, “Social-media technology is young, but has already played a part in numerous turbulent protests and a highly polarized U.S. election. Social media have often been described as the site for conflict between “good” democratic forces who use social media to make their voices heard”. Therefore, platforms are neither inherently democratic. Rather social media represents as a tool for individuals to use, often to push paradoxical goals. For example protestors can battle for influence on platforms or outsiders can impact an election such as in 2017 when BuzzFeed highlighted Trump supporters pretending to be French to manipulate the French election. The problem with this is it targets certain groups of people and presents them as threats which then can push towards violence.

The internet then creates this double reality that aims towards exclusion rather than giving voice to the voiceless. Loosely connected groups can mobilize and coordinate, consistent messages that seem reliant and credible, yet this creates more barriers. Due to the overwhelming amount of information flashing before our eyes – our brains take short cuts because we are mentally exhausted and see claims of ‘experts’ all over the internet. It is a battle of influence within the flow of free information that can causes polarization.

What is Polarization?  

According to Wikipedia, Polarization is the act of dividing something, especially something that contains different people or opinions, into two completely opposing groups. This creates extreme opposing views. Although social media gives voice to those excluded to political discussion, algorithms tailored to personal preferences distorts and loudens the voices of extremist. With so much information at our fingertips it is easy to feel bombarded with information that spikes up anxiety and takes a toll on mental health. We lean towards what is easy or comfortable. In the case of social media filtering is done by simply unfollowing someone. But does that give us a the whole picture?

There is no reason to believe that the internet can strengthen democracy, only accessibility to information. Whether we can filter overload of information depends on values and social norms of individuals.

 To prevent fake news, we need to seriously think about who is creating these types of content and why it is being created. Wardle, author of ‘Fake news. It’s complicated.’ urges us to reflect upon the core foundations and values surrounding society and how we live our lives. By taking a step back, to second guess instinctual reactions, we can act more rationally rather than emotionally.

Public information accessibility means faster results which enforces a sense of responsibility. To be digitally responsible means to respect and protect privacy and to be transparent. By being digitally responsible it can help reduce digital divide among the already sensitive information ecosystem of social media platforms.

Keeping in mind while, there are some negative associations with social media the positive aspects potentially outnumber the negative ones. Social media can be beneficial if it is used in the correct ways; It requires a balance to help social media be a good influence in one’s life – by motivating people through stories we can learn from. One must carefully weigh the benefits before engaging excessively in social media.

Works cited

Anderson and Rainie. “Concerns about democracy in the digital Age”,

  Blokland, Hans. Pluralism, Democracy and Political Knowledge. Routledge, 2011,

Dahl, R. A. (1998). On democracy. New Haven & London: Yale University Press.

Tucker, Joshua A., et al. “From Liberation to Turmoil: Social Media And Democracy.” Journal of Democracy, vol. 28, no. 4, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017, pp. 46–59,

Wardle, Claire “Fake News. Its complicated.” First Draft

The Love Where You Are Project

Coffee with Belle presents: The Love Where you are Project

Mini Assignment #3: Create a story out of media only: a sequence of images, an audio production, a video production.

For the Purpose of this assignment Ive compiled a sequence of photos that tell the story of an ordinary day: Coffee, Exploring, Being in the moment, and feelings of wanderlust. I also wanted to show a feeling of love for where you are through the composition of tiny moments in a day

– B

Blog Post #1: A Reflection on What Does it Mean to Be a Self-Publisher

With the events of the last 2 years there has been more demand of being online, and defining a digital space for our personal and professional lives. Creating a space in the digital takes ingenuity; the way I think about it is being an artist with a blank canvas – and that first stroke entails fearless confidence.

This website is a space for learning and exploring – And I do confess I am building this website for a class I am taking, however EVERYONE is INVITED to come along the journey! I earnestly hope to provide insight into this fascinating subject of everyday self-publication.

As a publishing student, I am excited to create a space that not only showcases my personal quirky interests, but a place to connect and have conversations over coffee! Which is why I choose my blog name: Coffee with Belle.

What does it mean to be a self-publisher?

Whether or not you believe it, but each one of us are self-publishers.

With accessible internet right at our finger tips, it is easy to show everyone what you ate for lunch or that cute pose of your cat!

We do it everyday!For me, I spend more than a few hours a day on a screen. Statics say, the global average time spent using social media platforms per day is 142 minutes in 2021 – far higher than the 90 minutes recorded in 2012. The online world has become more a part of our daily lives – not only scrolling through social media but posting and sharing our personalities on instagram, tik tok etc. The rise of social media has brought way to a revolution of independent publishing and thats exciting!

xoxo Belle